To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the devious you show yourself shrewd.
-Psalm 18:25-26, NIV
During the last ditch effort to save my first marriage, my (now ex) wife was constantly talking about how I needed to rebuild her trust and how I had destroyed trust. This was coming out of her mouth while she was cheating with another man unbeknownst to me or the marriage counselor that awful summer. From other stories I have read and heard, this phenomenon of distrustful treatment of faithful spouses by adulterous spouses is not uncommon.
It reminds me of an old saying, which inspired the title of this post:
There’s no honor among thieves.
I think adulterous spouse have trust issues because they know from their own betrayals and lies that people are capable of such dishonorable behavior. Thus, they assume distrust. At least, this is one possible explanation* for such odd behavior–odd from the faithful spouse’s perspective.
And I think this works in the opposite direction:
Honest people assume honorable actions among themselves. I felt like a clubbed seal the day I realized beyond a shadow of a doubt that my ex wife had lied to me with a straight face when I had confronted her and then spent months trying to convince me I was maliciously slandering her (whcn she knew full well I spoke the truth about her adultery). Such dishonorable, wicked behavior was beyond my understanding.
While I am wiser about the ways of the world, this still is a shocking revelation. People are capable of such wickedness and dishonorable actions. It was a costly lesson, and I dearly hope pastors plus other faithful spouses who read this blog do not have to pay the cost to gain such wisdom. People exist who are both willing and able to lie to their spouse and show absolutely no signs of remorse while doing so.
Do not be surprised if your spouse is questioning your fidelity for no good reason that he or she is possibly up to no good in another place.
Be shrewd just as our God is shrewd (see Ps 18:26 above).
Because we live in a world full of impure and unfaithful sinners.
*Another reason an adulterous spouse may treat the faithful spouse with distrust is that they are trying to dig up “dirt” to justify their wicked ways. Think of it as moral or spiritual blackmail. They feel compelled to look because they know they have some pretty damning sins on their souls. So, they hope they can find similar dirt on their spouse so that they can deflect attention if they get found out. They hope they can make their faithful spouse look bad so that they look better. This tactic is especially important in Christian circles. It is a staple in continuing “The Shared Responsibility Lie” and deflecting from taking personal responsibility for repenting.