“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.”
-Matthew 23:37, NASB
Following adultery discovery, a major part of the traumatic experience is the loss of relationships with a host of people.
Family members and “friends” might respond poorly to the news of the infidelity and discard–if you discarded on top of the infidelity.
These are the staunch purveyors of THE SHARED RESPONSIBILITY LIE where they suggest the falsehood that you share some responsibility for being sinned against.
When you cut them out of your life or seriously limit your contact with them, they get all self-righteous labeling you as “unchristian” or “bitter.”
They refuse to take responsibility for their own behavior. These people are blind to how they are spewing harmful lies, and that is why you cannot have them in your life. Such lies inflict emotional and spiritual wounds on faithful spouses.
But that reconciliation longing…
I know I feel the pains of remembrance. What I wish to have are relationships at peace with those former “friends.”
But that cannot happen as long as they are unwilling to repent changing their position on what happened in my first marriage.
Too often, faithful spouses are wrongly assumed to be opposed to reconciliation. It is not that I am opposed to reconciliation. In fact, I am strongly in favor of reconciliation.
I AM opposed to reconciliation without repentance.
So, the remembrance of those old relationships becomes an exercise in processing grief. Those are lost relationships.
Those people have made choices in our relationship as well. If they really wanted out relationship to continue, they would have worked to repair what they damaged.
It is past time, faithful spouses, for us to let go of the responsibility for that sort of repair work. We cannot compel someone to repent. And we cannot force a reconciliation.
Even Jesus did not do this as the verse from Matthew 23 illustrates.
The best we can do is be open to reconciliation following repentance and grieve when people choose otherwise.
*A version of this post ran previously.
Republished with permission from www.divorceminister.com.