If society says, “It’s OK,” does that really make it OK? What may be lawful isn’t necessary moral or right in the sight of God, who is the final judge of what is what is right and wrong. Neither does license nullify the wisdom of centuries that accepts the reality that no relationship is life is more intimate and personal than the marriage relationship.
A post-Christian culture has adopted the mentality that what a husband or more likely a wife, does not knows about is a personal issue and can’t hurt the one who is your husband or wife. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Surprising as it may seem more than a few renowned marriage counselors say secrecy–an encounter of any kind with anyone to whom you are not married, someone that you would not want your husband or wife to know about–constitutes a breach of trust and is in itself an act of infidelity. Experts say spouses can be unfaithful even when there is no extramarital sex. You don’t even have to touch or be touched.
Writes psychologist Marianne Costantinou, “It is the secrecy, the inherent lying, that defines an affair. If in doubt ask yourself, ‘Would my spouse be upset if they knew I was ‘seeing’ this other person? If the answer is yes, then you are being unfaithful.”[i] Psychologist Mary Lamia, says, “An affair is any action that diverts from the fidelity and loyalty in a marriage. It’s essentially a breach of trust.”
I’ve just been leafing through a file containing messages from individuals who have written or emailed me telling of the brokenness of what was once a good marriage. They simply describe what happens when someone you have trusted implicitly disappoints you. In at least 85% of marriages when there is infidelity, the relationship is destroyed.
Why? While centuries have elapsed since God put the first couple in the Garden, human nature is exactly the same as it was when Adam and Eve embraced each other for the first time, and Adam exclaimed, “This is it!” No bond so involves the totality of two people, meeting the needs of both husbands and wives. And when that bond is fractured, in most places of the world, the results are bitter tears, anger incrimination, and a fractured marriage.
If yours was a traditional marriage, when you stood at the marriage altar you entered into a covenant before God and man. The Episcopal marriage ceremony, used for generations includes the phrase that both husbands and wives vow, taking the other as a husband or wife, “until death us do part!”
While time doesn’t allow me to say much about restoration, I have to tell you that unfaithfulness in marriage does not have to destroy a relationship, though rebuilding a broken relationship requires honesty, absolute candor, asking for forgiveness or extending it, getting help and communicating at a very deep and meaningful level. When a bone is broken and heals, it is stronger than it was before the injury. The same thing can be true of a broken relationship; however, far, far better is to keep love alive, cherishing your mate, and enjoying each other, than to try to mend a broken relationship.
[i] Marianne Costantinou, The San Francisco Examiner, March 14, 2000, p 1.
Resource Reading: Hebrews 9
Text: Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
GUIDELINES with Harold Sala – September 15, 2017