Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow
is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor.
Proverbs 25:18, NIV
Lies attacking the faithful spouse’s character.
Lies designed to destroy worth and humiliate.
Lies hiding the true marital history.
Lies manipulating counselors/pastors against the faithful spouse.
They are truly like sword wounds to the soul as this Proverb suggests. And I believe they can leave wounds long after the divorce is done and the adulterous spouse is far away. It is hard to heal these wounds without the salve of truth.
Some may say it is impossible.
Often times, I hear and experienced a desire to move quickly past the truth concerning the occurrence of adultery. It is treated like a symptom. Some truth and wisdom resides in such approaches, but they are spiked with lies.
It is truth that the problem is deeper than one sexual act (see post here). While it is utterly devastating to learn one’s spouse has had sex with another person, I think the lies surrounding this act are usually far more numerous and problematic. At least with the sexual violation, it is done.
Lies can continue to cause damage as they twist in one’s soul until removed with truth.
They shatter our sense of selves and our own stories.
And they do not just impact the faithful spouse. If a loved one is violated by adultery, the caring outsider is left wondering and second-guessing his/her discernment abilities. You see, the lies surrounding adultery traumatize more than just the faithful spouse.
Sometimes the hardest work is breaking down the lies the adulterous spouse and their supporters seeded into your heart to “justify” their sin. They may have had months if not years of doing this without being challenged. So, the roots may be deep even if they lies seem ridiculous to an outsider. It is hard work to root out such slander.
Then the question about what happened in one’s life remains: Was she always cheating on me for our entire marriage? Did he really have to stay late for work or was he hooking up with someone? Was she really just hanging out with the girls or was she messing around with guys at the bars?
Faithful spouses may never have solid answers to such questions. However, they can know what they brought to the table. They gave their heart and their fidelity. Now, they can move forward morally intact while their adulterous spouse cannot–apart from true repentance.
It is soul rape.
But the lies can fester and destroy.
This is why it is important to speak the truth about what happened. My first marriage ended with my former spouse’s choice to commit adultery and refusal to repent. Anything less gives the lies room to breath and fester.
It may seem brutal to outsiders to share such blunt truth when asked about one’s marriage ending.
But it is necessary.
To do anything less is to allow the evil to win.
Speak the truth.
Share your story.
Do not give Satan a foothold with the lies he has seeded into your heart.