When a Christian counselor or pastor chooses to treat the ending of the affair as a secondary issue, you can be assured they are not equipped to deal with the situation in a godly matter.
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
-Hebrews 13:4, NIV
Usually, this error of focusing on something other than ending the affair is an error drawn from the error of thinking divorce is a worse outcome (see post here). It isn’t.
A divorce is a mercy for the faithful spouse protecting them from further abuse and potentially life-threatening things like sexually transmitted disease.
Pastors who do not understand this have no business providing pastoral care to couples dealing with adultery.
They can cause incredible damage to the faithful spouse. It is like counseling an abuse victim to stay with her abuser.
Adultery is abuse. One cannot cheat without breaking vows and abusing trust. That is not even including all the gas-lighting that is very common with cheaters.
Gas-lighting refers to abuse where the abuser tries to convince the victim that he is just imagining things when his eyes, for example, are telling him she is cheating. It is a way to undermine the victim’s sense of reality.
It is worse than a waste of time working with a counselor or pastor who does not understand these things as they may encourage you to stay in a dangerous situation for you.
Find a qualified pastor or Christian counselor who understand these basic dynamics and understand the abuse–i.e. the cheating–must stop before even considering rebuilding the marriage.
*A version of this post ran previously.
Republished with permission from www.divorceminister.com.