Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions.
-James 1:14-15a, NLT (Emphasis mine)
When seeking to retain my minister’s license, I was asked to explain what led to the breakdown of my marriage.
To actually quote from the now defunct policy:
“In your opinion, what contributed to the breakdown of your marriage?”
I quote from James to help the confused to understand that God does not view sin as originating from a relationship. It comes from the individual. The desires are “our own.”
If you are married for any significant time, your marriage will face various stressors.
Stressors are not what cause infidelity. They do not compel someone to sin. It is the wicked desires within the sinners hearts that lead them into sin. That is what James tells us.
Performance as a godly spouse and other marital circumstances are really irrelevant. No matter how poor, these did not “cause” the cheater to cheat or choose to abandon the marriage.
That is to undervalue the agency of the cheater. It is to suggest that married individuals are less than responsible for their own choices and actions.
I assure you this is NOT how God sees the matter (see 2 Corinthians 5:10).
The faithful, abandoned spouse is neither responsible for the infidelity nor the abandonment by the cheater.
They did not make those sinful decisions. The cheater did.