Can a marriage survive infidelity? This precise topic is the very catalyst of the Road to Purity ministry. In this blog, we must cover several aspects of this question.
- What exactly is infidelity?
- Should there be an attempt to even salvage the marriage?
- What is needed to heal?
- Finally, is the answer yes or no?
Let’s approach this by answering the last question first. As stated in the opening statement, with infidelity being the catalyst, my personal story is the cause, foundation, and call from God for this ministry to exist. If you have been following Road to Purity for any length of time or spent any time on the website, you know that my background is one of sex addiction. An addiction that involved not only pornography but massage parlors, affairs, and even prostitution. With that in mind, I will share that just last week, my wife and I celebrated our 35th anniversary. If you are like most people, you are now thinking “How is this possible”? They say that “with God all things are possible”, well He actually does work miracles. Especially if you expect them. My addiction was active for well over 30 years and my recovery has been for over 14. I will admit that a good portion of these 35 years of marriage have been pretty rough. The abundance of the Grace of God, and only that Grace is what made this miracle happen. My personal testimony is that if both are willing (especially the offender), you CAN get through it if Christ is at the center.
While this is topic can easily be an entire book, I will do my best to give the important highlights.
Let’s go back to the first question,
What is Infidelity?
Most people think of infidelity as adultery or cheating. In truth, infidelity includes adultery, pornography, emotional affairs, and even any improper attachment to another person of the opposite sex. Now, the big one here is pornography. Most men do not know this and will likely not agree with it, but pornography is cheating. Pornography IS adultery! Jesus said that anyone who has lust in his heart commits adultery. Porn is lust. Even turning a head to lust after the person walking by is adultery!!! And therefore infidelity! Men, I ask you to ask your wife, if she thinks that looking at porn makes her feel like she is being cheated on. If she is honest, she will say yes. There is your answer.
Should there be an attempt to even salvage the marriage?
Always, the answer is yes. Is it hard? Absolutely! Will it be easy – Absolutely NOT! What God has created, no man shall separate.
In this tough journey, there may be separation, etc. Much of this depends on the offender’s willingness to accept the damage and actively get help. This ALSO requires the victim in this relationship to get help. The bitterness, anger, resentment, and often unforgiveness must be worked through and healed for the relationship to come back together. At a minimum the victim does not deserve to carry this bitterness and unforgiveness, it will only serve to cause emotional distress and often health problems. Counseling for both sides is often required. It is also advised for the offender to seek specialized help with the addictive issues. Here is where Road to Purity comes in. Take a look at our website, or contact us for recommendations for help. The end of this article also gives a reference to some of our programs.
What is needed to heal?
Forgiveness. Forgiveness will take multiple forms. The victim must ultimately forgive the offender and the offender must take a deep look at the roots of the addictive behavior. This deep look if done with the guidance of the Holy Spirit will reveal many roots of events in their past that created a “need” to see false forms of intimacy. Frequently these events involve persons that need forgiveness in addition to a possible reconciliation. This is all in addition to behavior changes and an honest look at one’s identity. This particular topic can easily be an entire book, however, this is the basic premise.
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