In Scripture, unfaithfulness is the only “acceptable” reason for dissolving a marriage. But we, Tonya and Angie, are telling you today that even this ultimate betrayal does NOT have to result in divorce.
Forgiveness is absolutely possible through the work of the Holy Spirit, and full restoration and reconciliation is yours for the taking. But if you’ve experienced betrayal in your marriage, you may have a few reservations about bringing sex back into the relationship. By sharing our stories and what we learned through our experiences, we hope to help you see that it IS possible…desirable, even.
How am I supposed to even entertain the thought of sexual intimacy with him when he’s been unfaithful? How do you move on? How do you move back into the intimacy that was robbed from you?
Infidelity doesn’t have to mean certain demise for your marriage. Obviously you have to rebuild trust before you can bring sexual intimacy back into the relationship. I am so blessed to have a husband who truly felt sorry for his choices and was willing to do whatever it took to rebuild my trust. That willingness in and of itself did so much to help that process.
Bringing sex back into a marriage after infidelity is definitely something you have to pray about. This isn’t a topic we usually think of when we think of prayer, but it is definitely something we need to submit to the Lord. He will let you know when it is time, and He will help you follow through when you decide you’re ready to give yourself to your husband sexually again. It’s not something you should rush into. It happened pretty quickly in my marriage because I needed the assurance that my husband wanted me. I was feeling inadequate and unwanted, and I needed to know that my husband chose me over his infidelity. Bringing love-making back into our marriage helped so much with my healing process and allowed me to focus on forgiveness instead of my own rejection.
It took me a month to allow Dale to kiss me. It took a bit longer than that to move towards intimate touch. The first time we made love, I sobbed. Raw emotions and pure love and heartache, all pouring from my shattered heart as two became one once again.
He stopped, of course, as he realized where I was emotionally. Cupped my face in his hands and kissed away my tears. His willingness to stop made me willing to push on. I WANTED to be one with my husband again, scared as I was to allow him all of me. For the next few months, tears followed our love-making sessions. Only because my heart would swell with love, and those broken pieces would stab, catch my breath and ache from the inside out.
My husband didn’t sleep with another woman, but I still feel like he cheated on me.
Sexual intercourse with another person is not the only form of infidelity. Your marriage vows probably included something about keeping yourselves only for each other. This includes your eyes, your mind and your emotions as well as your body. Porn, emotional involvement and masturbation are all forms of infidelity in that the offender takes something that should be given only to you and then gives it to someone else. My husband didn’t have sex with another woman, but it didn’t lessen the feelings of betrayal and rejection that I felt. Sometimes just recognizing that these things are a betrayal can begin the healing process
Betrayal comes in many forms, Dale’s started with the eyes and eventually led to physical betrayal. Whether you are dealing from the shock of finding out your spouse’s porn addiction, one night stand or full-blown affair, you are dealing with a VERY intimate, very personal form of betrayal.
Porn creates an ugly lust that needs to be fed regularly. Your beautiful love-making with your spouse could never, ever, EVER fulfill that ugly lust. It is impossible.
I tried to bring sex back into our marriage, but I just couldn’t do it…
Don’t try to rush things. The hardest part for me was waiting on God’s timeline instead of trying to force my own. Allow yourself to grieve for a while, but don’t dwell on the details! Satan likes to use those details to hold us captive and prevent restoration in our marriages. And expect a few setbacks. Scott and I brought sex back into our relationship pretty soon after things blew up, and things were really great for a while, but then a week or two later it was like we were starting all over again. The most important thing we did was COMMUNICATE. As hard as it was, I had to tell him what I was feeling. I was honest with him when I was having a bad day, when the reality of what had happened was knocking me down. I let myself feel the pain, but I didn’t wallow in it. And I had to help Scott know how to respond. Did I need him to just hold me and reassure me? Did I need him to give me space? Our husbands aren’t mind readers, so we need to help them understand what is going on in our hearts and minds. If you find that you have a hard time opening up to your husband, write your thoughts in a journal and then read them to him. For some reason it’s just easier to read your own words out loud than it is to say them off the top of your head.
I’ve tried to make love to my husband, but in the moment I can’t get the thought of what he did out of my mind.
One of the biggest steps we made was the day I admitted in counseling that I could feel “her” in our bedroom tormenting me during love-making. Our counselor explained that when 2 become 1, even outside of marriage, they are bonded together in the Spirit world, actually connected like a sewer pipe. He asked us if we would like to be freed from that connection. Of course we both said YES! They laid hands on us and we all prayed out loud, binding Dale’s connection to her in the name of Jesus, setting Dale free from anything and everything he had taken from her generation sin line in their union and cut off all ties.
We both could feel the release and knew Dale had been set free from this connection. You don’t have to understand it all, you will feel the change. There is much we don’t know about the forces of Good and Evil constantly battling around us, attaching to us via a lustful look, risqué book or raunchy movie.
There was a complete and TOTAL change in the tone of our bedroom after that, and it was a huge step in the healing process for us. After this, we were able to move into an intimacy unlike anything we had experienced before. What doesn’t break you, DOES make you stronger. This does not mean the attacks no longer come, it just means you recognize them for what they are.
The next struggle in the bedroom came from my lack of self-worth. I struggled with self-image for a good year, writing the blog post NOT ENOUGH, during this time. I kept wanting to make this about me, which was a sin unto itself.
Listen, do not try to use a rational mind to understand your spouse’s irrational, in-the-moment decision. It won’t make sense. EVER.
Pray, pray, pray! I really can’t emphasize this enough! Ask the Spirit to guard your mind and your husband’s mind. Ask Him to cast Satan far from you and to silence his lies. Although Scott’s body wasn’t bound to another person, his mind was filled with ungodly sexually charged thoughts. I worried that he wasn’t thinking just of me while we were making love, and I had to surrender that to God. I also had to pray that God would take my husband’s every thought captive and make them obedient to Him. It’s okay to pray your way through your love-making. God will honor your desire to love your husband and to be obedient in your submission to him. You also must communicate to your husband what is going on. If he doesn’t know WHY you can’t follow through, he may mistakenly perceive it as a rejection of him. Sometimes it is also okay to choose not to participate in some sexual activities if they too closely resemble your husband’s infidelity. But again, you’ve got to communicate that to him without being accusatory.
2 years later I can tell you that there will come a point in your timeline of healing when you actually consider being thankful for “The Fall”, thankful for the truth, even if it came as a jaw dropping shock. I am beginning to see how it was worth it. Worth the new man and new marriage I live now. The love that grows deeper with each passing day, tested by fire and found strong enough to stand again. The freedom my husband found from stepping out of the darkness and into the light.
The Oneness we both found with our spouses, from allowing the Lord to turn our Tragedies into Triumph, is unsurpassed.
Do not give up on your marriage! Victory is yours, bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus! Satan is defeated by the blood of Jesus and the word of our testimony. THIS is why we share today, the good news of Jesus Christ, who makes ALL THINGS NEW.
Revelation 12:11a “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony……”
May the Lord bless you and your marriage as you commit each step towards total healing to Him!
~Tonya and Angie, My Heart Ministry
This is Part 1 for today. Be sure to catch Part 2, Sex After Infidelity: 8 Steps To Success