Finding out about a husband’s sexual sin and betrayal is one of the most painful things that can happen in the life of a woman. I think it is probably even more painful than the death of a spouse. Denial, anger, bargaining, and despair are all part of the natural process of grieving the great losses that result from a husband’s struggle with sexual addiction. And as long as you are moving through grief without getting stuck somewhere along the way, eventually you will come to accept the losses and be able to move on.
Moving on may mean you and your husband are able to deal with your own issues and come back together as two broken people growing daily in relationship with God and depending on Him instead of each other to meet your deepest needs for love and acceptance. This is my prayer for every woman who comes to Journey. I want you to heal. I want your husband to heal, and I want your marriage to become everything God intended it to be.
Sometimes, though, moving on means an extended separation or even divorce. This may happen if a husband refuses to work on his stuff. It can also happen if you refuse to work on your stuff. In rare cases, both the husband and wife may deal with their brokenness but be unable to reconcile because too much damage to the integrity and trust of the relationship has been done to salvage the marriage.
And I do want to make one more comment before we take a look at God’s heart. If your husband is pursuing God and allowing the Lord to replace lies with truth and learning how to let God fill up the empty holes in his heart—if he is sincerely and consistently working on his stuff—then the success of the relationship will depend on whether or not you take your own recovery seriously. Susie Sunshines, we need to take two steps away from our husbands, put up some boundary markers, and surrender our need to be loved to the only One who can truly love us. Stormy Sues, you need to take two steps toward your husbands, lay down your weapons, and surrender your need to control to the only One who has the right to rule and reign in your marriage. Remember, dear sisters, your responsibility is you.
Proverbs 19:5 (NASB) A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who tells lies will not escape.
Proverbs 28:13 (NASB) He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.
–Melissa Haas, The Journey: Book One
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