Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only have I sinned and done what is evil in Thy sight. Psalm 51:3-4 (NASB)
When my adultery was exposed, I was devastated. Obviously my wife more so. Sadly, I did not offer up that information on my own. I was confronted and exposed involuntarily. Thankfully I was broken and sorrowful immediately regardless of how it came out. God gets the credit for that, not me for sure.
I was also stunned, in shock, ashamed, and dreaded having to tell my wife, my family and my church. My deepest darkest secret was out. I either was going to stay and face it head on, or run for the hills. Thank God He enabled me to stay and work through it WITH MY WIFE!!
I am grateful that God humbled me and gave me godly sorrow over my sin and toward my wife. Defending myself wasn't a desire of mine. I was guilty. Sweeping it under the rug wasn't a desire of mine either. It was tempting at times, but long term healing wouldn't occur if I tried to quickly get passed it. My "fallout" was so public, that sweeping it under the rug would have only added to the betrayal others felt.
Part four of "Some Thoughts Before You Start Your Journey of Recovery" is addressing the fact that far too many facing adultery exposure don't respond well. Damage control, defensiveness, denial, minimizing it, trying to "forgive and forget" too quickly, etc. are common responses. If you are facing exposure or walking with someone who is, keep in mind that...
In the Bible, when King David committed adultery, he tried to cover up his sin at first. He lied and showed a huge lack of integrity (see Psalm 32, 1 Samuel 12). However, once he was confronted by the prophet Nathan, he broke immediately. Like author and speaker Beth Moore says, “David responded to his Spirit-stricken conscience with an immediate change in behavior. If we are filled by His Spirit, conviction will be met with a change in behavior.”(13)
Sadly, many men (and women) who commit adultery respond like David did before being confronted – they try to cover it up, minimize it, and/or don’t own up to it. They may respond with defensiveness, harshness, anger, entitlement, or they want out of their marriage to be with the other person.
Some want to rush the healing process and don’t want to come clean and answer a bunch of questions about what happened. Others just aren’t willing to do the hard work of healing and choose to “sweep it under the rug,” thus causing more hurt and pain for their wife.
These are not the proper responses IF you want to find healing and honor God in your response to your betrayal. Pray that God breaks your heart and humbles you, allowing you to feel His love, grace, mercy and even His discipline. Let Him do His work in you.