You made a mistake. A big mistake. One that could cost you everything - your friends, family and the one you love the most. You cheated on your spouse and committed a horrible sin.

Marriage infidelity is betrayal of the deepest kind, and most marriages don’t fully recover from such an act. That’s why Jesus said it was one of the few grounds for divorce (Matthew 19:9). For a marriage to heal, both the unfaithful spouse and the one betrayed must fight hard to rebuild their relationship.

It is not an easy process to begin, but the very first step is turning to the Lord. During this period of your life you will need prayer and faith more than ever. You’ll find that prayer will provide you with the hope for a new beginning and the reassurance that the end is not right around the corner.

When you have hurt your spouse in such a drastic way, expect emotions to start flying. It can be hard to navigate, and you will only be able to do so with God's guidance. The Lord will help you repair your marriage and yourself. Here is what you need to do first.

Ask God For Forgiveness

Do you take ownership of your actions and accept your choices without blaming others? Are you feeling pain that you are in the situation, or pain that you hurt your spouse and your marriage? Are you feeling real guilt, or showing it because you fear being humiliated, losing your children, or financial security? If you have a genuine acknowledgment and awareness for the pain you have caused your spouse, you may be able to ask God for forgiveness. Adultery is not an unforgivable sin in Jesus’ eyes. While it’s definitely not something we should commit, we can take peace in knowing that we can be forgiven. If you don't have any remorse for your actions, then there are bigger issues in your marriage. You may not really love your spouse or feel a connection to them like you thought you did.

Truly repenting requires a great deal of humility and courage, and Jesus can see in your heart when you don’t feel sorry for your actions. There is no wrong way to talk with the Lord, and you should not feel scared to admit to Him your sins. He wants you to be open with Him about your mistakes. This prayer from Jackie Osinski is a great way to begin asking God for forgiveness for your wrongdoings.

Dear Lord, I have committed adultery. I have broken the marriage vows that I made to You and to my spouse. I know that I have done an evil thing. I truly repent of my wrong doing. Help me to turn from this wickedness and never go back to those ways again. I confess that I am powerless over this situation. I ask that You give me the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome this temptation.

Your Word tells me that if I turn from my sin, commit my life to You and continue to walk in your commands then I will be forgiven and my soul will be saved from hell. I now choose to recommit my life to Your Will. Help me to no longer live for myself and my own desires, but for what is best for my marriage, my family and Your Will. I now allow the precious blood of Jesus to cover my sins.

Ask God For Guidance

No matter how awful and ugly the truth may seem, once the truth is brought to light that is when God begins to heal our hearts. He is our healer and restorer, and He can do this for your marriage as well but it won’t be a smooth journey. There will be ups and downs, and some days where you feel like you have no hope to see the end of this. Ask God to help you stay the course and do what it takes to regain your spouse’s trust, and He will help you step-by-step, day-by-day. Despite what actions you took, He will not leave your side. 

Do you have the willingness to do the work of self-examination to better understand why you made the choice to cheat on your spouse? Are you willing to look in your heart for issues that allowed you to make this choice? The problems you may find like pride, entitlement, selfishness, anger, poor impulse control, sexual addiction, or family history issues could be hard to address, so you have to make a full commitment to face your problems no matter what. It is crucial that we understand that adultery is always evidence of a deeper more sinister problem. Before a marriage can be rebuilt, the root problems must be identified and owned. It can be incredibly painful to bring up these types of problems, but it's a necessary step in the recovery process. 

For any marriage to last, even when no affair has taken place, both the husband and the wife must be fully and completely committed to one another. A marriage counselor or pastor is extremely helpful in navigating through all of these steps and helping a couple move forward. They will reveal what God wants you to do. They can help you each see Jesus in each other's hearts. We cannot forget the past, but we can move forward with recommitted hearts, healthier habits, and a deeper understanding of God and one another with God’s help through prayer and counsel. The Lord will guide you, but you have to ask Him for it.

Once these steps have been completed, you can begin to start working on forgiveness from your spouse. A marriage that has suffered infidelity can come through it stronger and healthier than it was before the affair if together a couple does the hard work. You will not be able to do this without God, so seek Him out immediately. Only His grace and forgives will allow you two to survive.

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