A friend loves at all times… -Proverbs 17:17a, ESV
The question of reconciliation is not limited to the relationship between the husband and wife when adultery has taken place. If you are at all like me, you opened you life to others who played instrumental roles either for the good or ill of the marriage. When the adultery bomb goes off and divorce buries the marriage, it becomes necessary to decide whether or not to continue certain “friendships” or let them go.
No friend is perfect. We are all fallible humans after all. However, I do expect my true friends to care if I express how their words or actions have negatively impacted me. Just as I would care if I wounded my own friend. This is what it means for a friend to always be loving (see verse above).
And some relationships are truly lost causes. The best thing for these is to cut them from the start. Blood related relationships of your ex’s family are potential good examples of these (everyone’s situation is unique, though). Other relationships best cutting are those that demonstrated a manipulative or even abusive effect on you during your ordeal. I do not encourage continuing these if not absolutely necessary.
Abusive relationships are not loving relationships. These people are not your friends, folks, even if they profess that they are. And some may very well profess good intentions while causing you considerable emotional damage. I know I had a few of those.
That said, maybe you have a hard time picking out abusive behavior right now after having your head bashed in by adultery discovery. I know I had a hard time sorting things while in the fire.
Here’s a a brief primer from a pastor (not a counselor):
If these individuals operate in condemnation and name-calling, do not put up with it. Do they blame you–even in part–for the adultery/sins of your spouse? This is unjust and cruel. They are being tools of destruction and not godliness. Truly godly friends operate in ways marked by the fruit of the Spirit, which include love and kindness. Would you treat a friend like they are treating you? If not, then that is a good indicator the relationship is not loving either. Do not give these abusive folk any more time to manipulate you or seed harmful lies into your soul.
Forgiveness needs to be extended to all (see Mt 6:14-15). However, I do not see a call to grant friendship universally. Reconciliation is a two way street. It takes two people working at it to restore a relationship. The broken trust needs rebuilding. So, I say friendship is a privilege to be earned through trustworthiness or lost through untrustworthy conduct.
A true friend is always loving.
So says God!