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What If You’re the One Who Cheated?

by Stephen Kuhn on October 12th, 2016 in Favorites, The Haps, Men, Women, Couples, Spouses

one-who-cheatedIf you have ever been in a marriage where there has been infidelity present you probably have asked yourself, “Should I stick around or not?

It’s a fair question.
It’s also a difficult one.

Craig Gross wrote about this question in his post “Should I stay or should I go?” Check it out.

That, unfortunately, is my story.

I hid my porn addiction from my wife for the majority of our marriage. When I finally did confess it to her, it was like a bomb went off in her heart. She felt hurt, betrayed, blindsided, and angry. 

We began going to counseling and attempting to find ways to repair the damage I had caused. I played the part of the victim, saying how I’d come clean, was all better, and my wife just needed to forgive me so we could move on and live happily ever after. She would respond that she couldn’t trust me, didn’t see any changes in me, and felt trapped because she didn’t know whether she should stay with me or not. 

The truth is: she was right about not trusting me. I hadn’t built up the courage to face the full extent of my addiction yet and was still hiding the worst details from her. I had actually cheated on her (not just with porn, but with another woman), but was too much of a coward to admit it, so I continued to lie. I told her over and over I had confessed everything… even though I hadn’t. 

I still believed I could lie or bluff my way out of any situation and, with enough time, it would all be swept under the rug. I figured if I held out long enough, things would finally blow over and get better. 

346x396-recover-inline2That notion was completely shattered when my wife asked me to move out.

All this time, I had been wrestling with God about making a full confession to my wife. I continued to lie even though I knew I needed to tell her everything. I argued with God—If I tell her everything, she will leave me. I would never have said it out loud, but I believed I knew how to manage this situation better than He did.

The breaking point for me was when God showed me how my wife would never be free from the spiritual bondage in her life unless I confessed my adultery to her. Even if it meant she would leave me, I knew I had to tell her everything for her own good. For the first time in our marriage, I started to put her well-being above my own desires.

I wrote her a letter outlining everything I had held back. I told her how much I loved her, how sorry I was for all the pain I had caused her, and how I knew this would likely be the end of our marriage. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. 

But in that moment, God became real to me for the first time in my life (Tweet This!). All the signs of change my wife had been looking for in me—repentance, humility, empathy, compassion—suddenly became undeniably evident in my life. Not because I was creating them, but because I finally released control of my life to God and allowed Him to create them in me. 

I was convinced that handing that letter to my wife would be the end of all happiness for me. Instead, it became the act of submission that opened the floodgates of God’s freedom and mercy in my life. 

I had reached the end of my rope, only to find that God was waiting there to catch me (Tweet This!).

I often wonder how things would have been different if I had been honest with my wife from the start. I do know one thing though: If I’d stopped trying to control everything and submitted myself to God earlier on, she would have seen the changes He was making in me. By waiting as long as I did, I was already out of her life when those changes took place. There’s still no way she would have trusted me at that point, but perhaps she would have been able to trust God working in me.

In the same way, if you’re desperately trying to fix the damage you’ve done to your marriage, I’d encourage you to consider whether it’s even possible for you to fix it. Perhaps the best thing right now is for you to reach out to God and trust Him to fix the things you can’t. 

After all, some of the stuff we mess up in our lives can’t simply be fixed—they can, however, be redeemed (Tweet This!).

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.” – Matthew 5:3 MSG

 

 

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  • Kelly Smith-Master

    really good blog

  • John M

    If your friend was confessing this to you across a table in a coffee shop, would you stand up and say – I’m going to “TWEET THIS!”? Can we get rid of the annoying and rude links in the middle of people’s stories?

  • Bobby Kelly

    Excellent blog, I felt like I was reading my own story. One main difference is my wife didn’t asked me to move out. She left me.

    • I’m sorry to hear that Bobby. That was the end result of my marriage as well. It’s definitely a hard reality, but God can redeem even the most painful parts of our past. If you ever want to chat with someone who’s been through it, send me a message and we can skype.

      • Ericka Lynn Simich

        Stephen, I’m in this situation with my husband right this minute. He’s been diagnosed with a sex addiction(seeking attention from other women, fake online profiles, porn etc) he’s been caught, felt he could beat his addiction on his own. However he was wrong, and actually slept with another woman. He’s now starting a celebration recovery, and seeking professional help for this. I am pregnant with our first child, although I know I should leave… I feel he is better than that, and with help and guidance he will become clean. Am I asking for a miracle? He isn’t close with God, (I am) he feels he’s been “failed” too many times… I would love for you to skype with him. I’m willing to give him one last chance for our families sake.. But I’m sacred he can’t change, and so is he. Please get back with me.

        • Hi Ericka, sorry it took me a few days to get back to you. I’ve been out of town but I’m back online now. I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through. I know how hard it can be. It is a good sign that your husband has started seeking professional help though. That shows that he is coming to the end of his own resources, which is often where God begins to work His miracles. And yes, miracles are always possible. I would love to skype with him if he is willing to. Just have him contact me through my website at http://www.beltoftruth.com and we can set up a time. I will be praying for you both.

          • ES92

            Oh wow! I didn’t even realize you have repield to me. It’s been a long journey. I recently had our baby girl and my husband and I are trying to work things out although I really don’t see the light to the tunnel. I would love for him to chat with you. So what exactly do I need for him to do through your website?

  • smile now and cry later

    I felt like I was reading my life except I feel he is still hiding more. The ultimate betrayal when I found out he was with my brothers wife. The hurt the pain it felt like my heart had been ripped out of my heart. He has always had the porn addiction and I pray that he would change. Forfew year I had asked about if he was with her before I found the proof the pictures he had lied to my face and promise he would never do that. He even suggest I go get help and even had the councilers even tell me that I need to either stop thinking he’s cheating or move on with my life. He would say I dint trust him and would always think he’s cheating when he’s isn’t. I ended up getting depressed and still living with depression. It’s been a year since I since I found out and I still don’t trust him and still feel there is more. I live with if I should stay or go and even tried killing myself I can’t live with thoughts that are stuck in my head and the fear of him hurting me again I pray to god he would take these thoughts away and help me to forgive and trust. But it don’t work because even with God at times I’m angry with him cause how can he let this happen to me. How could he let my husband make me feel like I was crazy that it was all in my head he wasn’t cheating. I cry every night thinking about the betrayal and hope one day I can forgive and I still love my husband but don’t trust him. The sad thing is I will never believe him when he says I’m beautiful and he loves me and there isn’t anyone else for him but me.

    • I am sorry to hear that. You’ve been through a lot of pain and it’s understandable for you to be hesitant to trust again. I would encourage you to be honest with God about your feelings though. Cry out to Him. Take your feelings of anger and frustration to Him. He can take it. I think you will find that He didn’t want these things to happen to you any more than you did. He hates the sin that was done against you even more than you do. I also think you will find that He can (and will) comfort you no matter what direction your marriage goes from here. Please don’t get mad at God and run away from Him. Run to Him. I know that sounds like the Sunday School answer, but it really is the best thing you can do at this point.

  • Unknown

    What if me and my husband are at the best point of our marriage that we have ever been? Would you screw that up to tell them that you cheated months ago? I already swore to myself that will never happen again. I don’t want to hurt him ever!

    • zarcon8

      This is a tough situation, but being a husband who found out my wife cheated on me years ago and never knew, you will never truly be at the best point in your marriage with a lie in the mix. When it comes to cheating, the lie did not only happen once, it continues until it is revealed. That was one of the hardest parts of my situation. I was lied to for 3 years.
      You will have to be prepared for anything when you tell him. I immediately forgave my wife, however, that does not mean that I did not go through months of horrible pain. The best thing you can do, if you tell him, is listen to him and support him. Don’t try to justify your decision or try to understand what he is going through. The last thing you want is for him to think you are downplaying his pain.
      I will also say, after this last year, my wife and I are truly at a good point in our marriage, but that did not come without pain, lots of open communication, changes made by both of us, and compromises for each other. Marriage is the hardest thing to get right, but has the best reward.

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