How to Handle a Cheating Husband

Ask Angie: Is divorce the only answer for a repeat cheater?

Ask Angie: How do I stop him from cheating on me?

Ask Angie: My husband confessed to cheating I was so hurt I threw him out of our home and we are now separated, he has been treating me worse than ever and is acting like he was when I suspected his cheating what should I do? I'm so confused.

Ask Angie: My husband left me and moved in with a woman, for the second time! He came back complaining about her but left again. I am a Christian and want my husband back. He's been gone 5 weeks with no contact. We have 3 children. The woman he is with is married too, and to number 4? Is restoration a reality?

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Friends in the LORD, please click on all of the links within the article to get a better understanding of how to deal with this issue according to God's will for your life and marriage. Print it out or email to your spouses so they may read and study it also. Marriage is a union of two people working together. We do not write these marriage columns only for the person who writes in but for anyone who has ears to hear it and to be encouraged to seek Christ for their life.

Marriage Guidance: If you are a believer then divorce is not the answer. We can't stop someone from being unfaithful to us in our marriage -- that is something they must do on his or her own. People don't cheat because of something a spouse has done; they cheat because they don't know God. In essence they are spiritually sick.

Wives tell me that their cheating husbands are Christians or they are believers but have backslidden from the Lord. If someone makes a mistake and repents and turns their life around that is one thing, but a person who cannot stay faithful in his or her marriage is not backsliding; it is unbelief, plain and simple.

The god (satan) of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4

Someone who is convicted and sincere in his or her Christian faith would not continue cheating. We have to deal with constant cheaters in the same way we would as if we were married to unbelievers. The pleasures in this world LITERALLY blind some people to the light of Christ's truth for them. What do you think faith is? Faith is believing that Jesus can redeem us of our sins, no matter what we have done and that we will have eternal life with Him. The truth is anyone who rejects Christ has made satan their god.

"And no wonder, for satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve." (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)

What is a constant or frequent cheater? It's an addiction. The alcoholic can't stop drinking and the constant cheater can't stop going outside the bounds of her or her marriage. The only difference is the substance of choice. One uses alcohol and the other uses people. Cheaters don't know how to sincerely love another person -- they are so spiritually unhealthy that they remained deceived and blinded by the truth of God's love for them. It's not that they can't love but that they really, truly do not know how. When we separate ourselves from God's love for us, we ourselves are unable to love others in the proper ways.

Even frequent cheaters can heal themselves and return their lives back to Christ. Only Christ and His saving grace can save us from ourselves. Scripture does not say we can divorce an unfaithful spouse; on the contrary we should do what we can to heal ourselves and restore the marriage to God.

Some Christians have been deceived about what the scriptures say about divorce. Even I, for many years thought that the scripture in Matthew 19:9 and 5:32 was grounds for divorcing a spouse. Below is the researched, biblical study on this. You can also find out much more about divorce and remarriage in our FREE online ebook called Permanency of Marriage.

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his WIFE, EXCEPT IT BE FOR FORNICATION, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. Matthew 19:9

No. The New Testament gives no grounds for divorce. When Jesus made an exception to the marriage law at Matthew 5:32 and 19:9, it was for a betrothed wife, not a real wife.

Betrothed wife

To understand why the word WIFE is used at Matthew 5:32 and 19:9, we need to know a little about Jewish customs because Matthew was writing to a Jewish audience. Jews had a social practice called "BETROTHAL," which is similar to engagement today. Betrothal starts when a couple agrees to give themselves to each other in marriage and ends in the actual marriage. Jewish betrothal is different from modern-day engagement in one significant way. Once a couple was betrothed, they were regarded by the rest of society as "one flesh" and were called husband and wife. Usually within a year to eighteen months after becoming betrothed, the couple consummated the marriage.

In modern society during the period of engagement, if the couple change their minds, they break up and start over again. In Jewish society, however, once a couple is betrothed, they could not just call it quits. A betrothed couple in Jewish society had to obtain a LEGAL DIVORCE. Even though they were only engaged and had never lived together as man and wife, they were considered married and must get a divorce if they wanted to separate. This custom can be proved from the scriptures.

Mary is called "wife"

Look at Matthew 1:18-20 and 24-25. Here is a passage most of us have read many times and possibly missed a powerful truth that reveals this Jewish custom. Notice that Joseph and Mary are called HUSBAND and WIFE, even though they were only betrothed or engaged:

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise; When as his mother Mary was ESPOUSED (engaged) to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph HER HUSBAND, (espoused, but called husband) being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. (literally, divorce her)

Notice that even though they had not yet consummated the marriage, Joseph was considering divorcing Mary.

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee MARY, THY WIFE: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost."

Then Joseph being raised from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him and took unto him HIS WIFE: and KNEW HER NOT till she had brought forth her firstborn son; and she called his name Jesus.

Jesus, being raised in Jewish society, was aware of this Jewish custom of being considered husband and wife during the betrothal period. Matthew records this special provision, not as a universal exception, but only as a clarification to the Jews concerning the betrothal relationship. The exception is for a betrothed couple when FORNICATION is committed BEFORE their marriage vows make them one flesh for life. The principle of the permanency of marriage that Jesus teaches applies only to those who have consummated their marriage, not to those who are merely betrothed.

Only death ends marriage

Paul confirms Jesus' teaching of being one flesh for life by saying in effect:

If you separate, stay single or reunite with your only spouse, for if you do remarry before your partner dies, you are an adulterer or an adulteress; and adulterers SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. (See 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 7:11)

When one becomes a eunuch, he cannot go back to his former state. When one marries, they cannot go back to the unmarried state. Marriage is permanent. No wonder Christ's disciples said to Him, "If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry" (Matthew 19:10).

Marriage was created to be a lifetime commitment, through the good times as well as the bad times. If your spouse is being physically abusive and or if living with an unbeliever is causing you much pain and suffering then you may need to separate yourself from him or her for a time but, Christ clearly tells us we must remain single or reunite with our spouse, for if we remarry before our spouse dies we will be considered an adulterer or an adulteress.

The "one flesh” of marriage is very serious business to the Creator and designer of marriage. God wants us to find ways in which we can bring unity back into the marriage by practicing principles of love, such as what He has taught us; forgiveness, compassion, service, humbleness, gentleness, patience, selflessness and sincere love.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:2-3)

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)

If both spouses take the willingness to heal themselvesboth spouses take the willingness to heal themselves and restore the marriage back to God, they would realize they have a true purpose of service in the LORD. Even if only one spouse is willing to stay married and work on themselves, the marriage has a better chance at restoration!

Marriage was created for couples to enjoy each other emotionally, sexually, mentally, and spiritually, but it was also created for God and His purpose of showing that marriage is a living symbol of Christ and the church. When we sin against our marriage we are making a mockery of not only our marriage, but of the relationship between Jesus Christ and His church -- His people. Ephesians 5:21-33

Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. (Ephesians 22-23)

God instituted and set aside marriage, from the world, for His purpose. Marriage was created for the purpose of glorifying the relationship of Christ and His Church. Believers (Christ followers) are the church!

As Christ and his Church are one body so is the husband one flesh with his wife.

Husbands love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it. That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 25-27)

Are we treating our marriage in the way God would want us to? Are we honoring Christ with our marriage? The reality is the high incidence of divorce in this country is because it is without the spiritual influence of its Creator. Can you have strawberry jam without strawberries? Most marriages start off on the wrong track to begin with and when trouble comes butting its head, such as an addiction and unfaithfulness couples don't know how to jump these hurdles. We absolutely need to give our marriage back to God where it belongs!

Without God in our marriage we do not have the understanding to do what is right for ourselves and the marriage and we end up walking around the hurdles, which ultimately leaves us with baggage in our wake, then we divorce and reenter into another marriage with that same baggage. Nothing learned -- nothing gained.

How about overcoming our hurdles and becoming better equipped spiritually as Christians for our marriage and God? Will that work? God wants us to go to Him with our troubles. Believers have been gifted with the Holy Spirit of Christ within them; this means His Spirit lives in us -- we are not alone -- He gives us the strength and faith to persevere through our sufferings and jump the hurdles in our marriage.

People write into our ministry every day asking me what I can do for them. But they NEED to shift their thinking over to "what can Christ do for them”. Our ministry was created to give encouragement and hope to the downtrodden and discouraged in their marriage. And we hope that through our books, ebooks, articles, and newsletters we hope that it will encourage you to truly humble your lives to Christ and live your life for Him!

Couples have to actively practice the biblical principles and teachings of Christ in their marriage for a healthy, happy and productive marriage. Humble your lives over to Him, seek forgiveness and live your marriage for God through the teachings and principles of Jesus Christ. We need to heal ourselves by preparing ourselves emotionally and spiritually for all that marriage requires. Instead of walking into the marriage with the attitude, "what can this marriage do for me” we MUST have the attitude "what can I do for God in my marriage”!!

Adultery Pandemic: Healing Ourselves and Restoring Marriage After Adultery

I wrote this book because every day wives and husbands email us who are devastated because their spouse had an affair, or keeps having affairs. The prevalence of unfaithfulness in the Christian community tells me that many people are being deceived somehow about their Christianity. We are NOT Christians if we are rebelling against principles (Christ's Teachings) for our lives!!

This book will give you the biblical understanding and encouragement you need to get your life focused on Jesus so you can begin living your life for Him. It's not too late to give up the past for good and be renewed in your attitude in the Lord. Adultery Pandemic will give you back your marriage by making Jesus Christ your number one priority in your marriage. Come out of the Adultery Pandemic and be healed!

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Copyright by Angie Lewis.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Angie is a noted author of

How Do I Detach From an Alcoholic Spouse?

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