Monday, June 3, 2013
Some Things to Consider For the Journey of Healing and Recovery
If you are a man who has betrayed his wife, then I am sorry for what you are going through. I wish I had never done it to my wife, and I hope you feel the same. I hope you take the hurt and pain you feel and allow God to use it to lead you to healing and wholeness. I hope you also feel compassion toward your wife, even if she’s reacting to you very harshly. Her pain is real. So is yours.
I am sorry for those of you who have been betrayed. I have seen the pain I caused my wife and many others, and it humbles me each and every time it resurfaces. I need to see and feel her pain, though, in order to find my healing and be a part of hers. Your betrayer needs to see your hurt and pain, too, even if it isn’t pretty.
There are some things I have learned that may prove helpful to you as you start (or continue) your healing path. I pray that these insights will help you better prepare for the “battle” ahead. Be a part of the few men who stick with it and come through on the other side, better, stronger, and renewed by God. Like the books of 1 and 2 Samuel often say about the men – some were “worthless fellows” and some were “valiant men.” Which type of man will you be?
Due to the length of the eight things to consider for your journey (an exert from my book Moral Failure. Mighty God.), each post for the next week or so will have one part at a time. They are not necessarily in order, though each are important to take to heart and apply to your situation.
#1. You must end your affair(s) and come clean.
There is no chance of your marriage being salvaged if you are still being unfaithful to your wife. Come clean. End all ties with anyone you were unfaithful with.
In some cases, you may not be able to do this 100% due to circumstances such as having a child with the other woman, working in the same company, etc. These complications will add to the difficulty of your recovery, but keeping the lines of communication open and honest with your wife is a must. Reassure her of your efforts to end all contact and emotional connection. Share any feelings you may have about the difficulty of your situation.
If your affair was highly emotional, then this too is complicated. After you end the relationship, then your emotional healing needs to occur. Getting “unhooked” involves a “process of time.” Read chapter 13 of Torn Asunder for help on ending this type of affair. You may also be worried how the other woman will respond. You may fear that she will lash out or cause you harm or damage. You may even be worried that she will harm herself. If so, then end things with care and integrity. Avoid staying connected to her or playing “rescuer” when she’s struggling to move on. Don’t text, email or check on her from time to time. This only keeps the emotional connection intact and is not helpful.
Get real. Get honest. Flee from all sexual immorality, including pornography. Pursue Christ and get the help you need: counseling, inpatient, outpatient, hospitalization, detox, or whatever!
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9