I have had the opportunity to counsel several couples who are facing adultery recovery. It is humbling, and I thankfully have a message of hope for them. I also know there is no guarantee of the outcome. They can do everything "right" and still end up divorcing or merely surviving.
One thing I have noticed with several men is that they tend to "promise the moon" to try to make their betrayed wife feel better. The good thing is they feel terrible about what they have done and want to stay in their marriage. However, after they come clean, to move forward they try to just focus on their future together and brush over the past. They say things like "I will never do that again. I have changed. I love you and will do anything for you. I promise."
Those are good things to say but are only part of the equation. It's a both/and kind of deal. You reassure AND face the ugly truth of your betrayal and sin head on. I remember wishing that it was enough for me just to come clean and then move forward. God showed me otherwise, though, and thankfully Amy and I were able to reconnect to each other while walking through the excruciating pain of my betrayal. We are better for it, though it wasn't easy.
It's hard to balance the past, present, and future. However, if you try to rush the process, you will pay the price later. As I said in an earlier post, "don't cut corners." You can't say 100% what you or your spouse is going to do beyond today. Even today is uncertain at times.
As the Lord's prayer says, "Give us this day, our daily bread." Today is all we really know, so we need to wake up each day and prepare for battle. You can hope for and plan a great future together, while doing all you can today to be accountable, heal, stay pure, grow, mature, etc. Learn from the past, so it doesn't repeat itself in the future.
Adultery recovery is slow. It's a daily process of sorting out the chaos and walking through the pain. Rushing it isn't the answer. Watering down the past isn't the answer. Dream big for your future together and ask God to do a miracle in your marriage. Then, commit daily to one another and focus on TODAY. Try not to neglect today by only focusing ahead and/or refusing to look back. Learn from the past, be grateful for and responsible in the present, and pray for a bright future.
Biblical wisdom from The Message version of the Bible:
Don't brashly announce what you're going to do tomorrow; you don't know the first thing about tomorrow.Matthew 6:34
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.James 4:13-15
And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.”