Then Saul admitted to Samuel, “Yes, I have sinned. I have disobeyed your instructions and the Lord’s command, for I was afraid of the people and did what they demanded. But now, please forgive my sin and come back with me so that I may worship the Lord.”
-I Samuel 15:24-25, NLT (e.g. false apology)
Dealing with the emotions following infidelity discovery is so difficult and fraught. It is doubly so dealing with a cheating spouse who is “apologizing” but not really.
On one hand, the faithful spouse might want to forgive the cheating spouse. However, on the other hand, the faithful spouse might realize they are getting something short of a true apology and true repentance.
The feelings following a false apology for a faithful spouse can be head-spinning. This maybe doubly so for sincere Christians since pastors and other Christian leaders too often would prefer the wronged spouse simply take such an apology at face value and move on. They are the type that fear divorce more than unrepentant adultery.
RESOURCE: “When is an abusers apology not an apology?” by John Shore
Mrs. DM found this is an excellent piece helping people to cut through the false apologies to see the truth. While the author is addressing a situation of child molestation and the fraught relationship the victim has with her father, I see much application for faithful spouses. I can relate to some of the confusion described by the author in these scenarios. Maybe you can too?
Shore does suggest abuse is a parallel situation in his post, too. Adultery is certainly a case for abuse, in my opinion, as a pastor. It is soul rape.
Sadly, the scenarios of pressuring victims to accept less than a true apology or true repentance is all too common when a faithful spouse discovers infidelity and belongs to a church. While I might not agree with all this author writes elsewhere on his blogs, I highly recommend reading this piece as it makes things clear and may help you if you find yourself confused after receiving an “apology” from a cheater.