Category: Adultery

Q&A: Hope for the Separated

Q:  Gary. My husband and I recently separated and he is unwilling to listen to my reasoning.  Is there hope for our marriage?

Gary Chapman: Until your husband is remarried, there is hope for your marriage. Don’t ever give up until he marries someone else. Now having said that, I recognize that you cannot control your husband. There’s nothing you can do that is going to make him return. You or friends can put helpful books in his hands—like my book Hope for the Separated: Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed which has helped many people come to a different perspective on their marriage. If they respond and come back to reinvest in the marriage, then I would encourage you to get counseling. Don’t just move back together.

Yes, your marriage can be restored. Trust God to work in his heart and allow him be free because God also allows him to be free.

Q&A: When Do I Call It Quits?

QWhen do I call it quits in a marriage that has been filled with lies and infidelity?

A: When you’re in a difficult marriage and particularly one that involves untruths and infidelity (both of those issues create a very dysfunctional marriage), I don’t want to say when you give up because we ought to always have hope. So, I would say: if they are not willing to go with you in counseloing, you go yourself for counseling to help you decide how to exercise tough love in an effort to stimulate some chagne in the other person. You can’t change them but you can influence them. Someone coming along side you can help you do that.

Q&A: Our Friend Has Cheated, Do We Tell?

Q: We’ve just discovered that a friend of ours has cheated on his wife. My wife says we should tell, but I say we should stay out of it. What do you think?

A: I think it depends on your relationship with the couple. If you are indeed close friends, then you and your wife need to sit down with the offending husband, confront him with this, and tell him that because you love him and his wife that you cannot simply sit in silence. You encourage him to tell his wife what is going on. But you also let him know that if he doesn’t tell her, then you will have to tell her because you love her as much as you love him. With that kind of straightforward confrontation most men will tell heir wives what’s going on and then they can process that together. But as friends, I don’t think we just sit back and let things happen.

Q&A: Restoring Trust

Q: What are some ways to restore trust after an affair?

A: First of all, there has to be a clear-cut break from the adulterous relationship. Then, what rebuilds trust is that the person who has been involved in the affair says to their spouse, “No more deceit…You can check my email any time you like. If I’m going over to George’s house to help him work on his car, you can call over there to make sure I’m there. I want you to know that from here on out, you can trust me.” If you take that approach and allow your spouse to do those things, over time trust will grow. You see trust is broken because we are unreliable and when we become reliable and trustworthy, then trust can be reborn.

Q&A: I'm attracted to a woman at work who is not my wife. How do I deal with this?

Q: I work with a woman, who is not my wife but who I find attractive. How do I deal with this everyday when I know it’s dangerous?

A: The short answer is quit your job and find another job—I know that in today’s culture, that’s probably not realistic. However, that’s how serious this is. When you’re attracted to a person you work with every day, you’re setting yourself up for that moment of failure in which your eyes lock, you grab each other and kiss and then it’s started—it goes down hill from there. It’s worth whatever you have to do not to move in that direction. You do not want to destroy your marriage, disillusion your children and bring shame on the cause of Christ. If it does mean leaving the job and finding another job, it’s worth it.