Want to really help a faithful spouse “move on” from being cheated on? Acknowledge the very real injustices they have experienced.
Christians who are so fearful of faithful spouses “getting stuck in victimhood” fail to recognize this important lesson. They fail to see that the healing cannot begin without first seeing the wound for what it is.
That means acknowledging and condemning as wrong the injustices that the faithful spouse has endured. It means reminding the victim–i.e. faithful spouse–that they did not deserve to be sinned against as no one does.
Telling a faithful spouse to “move on” without truly acknowledging the injustice of the whole situation is like telling a rape victim to “move on” without ever acknowledging the rape as wrong and not the victim’s fault.
This failure of acknowledgement is a form of denial. It is a denial of the faithful spouse’s justified pain.
Telling the faithful spouse to “move on” without such an acknowledgement is not about serving the faithful spouse. It is about serving yourself.
You do not want to have to deal with the ugly reality of a world ripped by such injustices. You do not want to feel the ugliness of powerlessness and pain with the victim.
The world you want to live in is one where these “unseemly” matters are swept away under the rug.
“Move on” is the cry of those who really mean “Shut up!”
A person who really loved and put the faithful spouse first would patiently care for him or her. They would tell them the adultery was wrong and in no way the faithful spouse’s fault as many times as the faithful spouse needed to believe those truths.
And this person would not need to tell the faithful spouse to “move on” because they would discover once a faithful spouse internalized those two messages, he or she could and would start healing.
We must begin by acknowledging the deep wound and we must “debride” the wound with the truth that the victim did not cause their victimization.