At the risk of you thinking I’m totally looney, may I suggest that you talk with your husband about clear boundaries regarding your female friends? In other words, he should not be a close friend of any of your own girlfriends! I know this might seem old-fashioned or even ridiculous, but many affairs start out with a husband “just talking” with another woman. We need to be careful and alert to the schemes of the enemy!
1 Peter 5:8 says “Be alert and of sober-mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” So, be alert to the enemy’s scheme to get your husband emotionally entangled with one of your friends. He should not spend time with her without you. He should not even be spending time on the phone with her giving advice or listening to her woes. Without him intending to do so, he will slowly find himself developing an emotional bond with your friend, and she will start bonding with him. Danger lies ahead!
Betrayal in marriage is so devastating. Betrayal takes many forms…adultery, use of pornography, excessive gambling, alcohol or drug abuse, etc. If your husband betrayed you in some way, you know the resulting heartbreak first-hand. If your husband has finally repented of this behavior, praise God! However, there’s almost always a secondary, deep issue that needs to be dealt with…regaining trust. That’s because betrayal is almost always engulfed in lies. The husband who has an affair does so in secret and deceives his wife about his whereabouts. The husband who has an alcohol problem usually drinks secretly and lies about his drinking.
So, how does a wife learn to trust after betrayal? Well, the first part is up to you. You must clearly communicate what you need from your husband in order to begin to trust him again. Here is what I suggest. Let him know you will only be able to begin trusting again if you see him taking actual steps toward serious accountability and recovery. I would also let him know that he needs to show that he is willing to do the hard work of recovery over the long haul, not just a few weeks. This is the essence of Matthew 3:8, which instructs us to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
You need to see fruit, week after week and month after month. That “fruit” may involve long-term counseling, a treatment program, long-term involvement with a 12-step group such as AA, etc. The fruit should also mean willingness on his part to honestly account for his time, money, and computer use.
All that being said, remember to treat your husband with the same kindness, compassion and humility that you would want him to treat you if you were struggling with an addiction or had stumbled in some major way. Your husband is NOT your enemy! He needs you to encourage him, while also firmly requesting that he do the hard work to regain your trust.
When we first pledge our love to each other on our wedding day, we never think either one of us could possibly end up having an affair years later. Tragically, it happens quite frequently, and even among Christian couples. We can’t be ignorant of Satan’s mission revealed by Jesus in John 10:10 where He says Satan is out to “kill, steal, and destroy”. Satan would like nothing better than to rip apart your marriage. He is always plotting ways to get you or your spouse connected with someone of the opposite sex. That’s why we have to be vigilant from day one!
James 4:7 advises us…”Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” One of the ways we can resist the devil’s schemes to destroy our marriages is to talk with our husbands about rules we will both follow relating to the opposite sex. Agree that you will never spend time alone with another man and your husband will never spend time alone with another woman. If your job requires you to be in a one-on-one meeting with someone of the opposite sex, agree that the door will always be left open. Agree that you will never share anything personal about your marriage with a member of the opposite sex. If at all possible, agree to never work as a two-person team with a member of the opposite sex on a project or at your job. That feeling of being a “team” is extremely bonding!
Safeguard your marriage. You may think you don’t need all these strict rules, but I know from personal experience that you do. Many solid Christians have fallen into Satan’s trap by failing to follow these safeguards. Don’t let your marriage be another notch in the devil’s belt.