A Podcast listener asked, "My husband had an affair. The Christian Counselor told me the affair was partly my fault. He told me I needed to pursue my husband so he'd be attracted back to me. He told me to not be angry, to forgive quickly and to not bring up the affair again. Is this the right advice?"
No, it is not the right advice. It's a complete and utter disaster and, frankly, a catastrophic disaster. You have just nicely summarized the wrong approach. Many Pastors and Christian Counselors take in affair recovery.
Let me tell you how I do it. Which I'm convinced is how God wants it to be done. And the Biblical way.
1. The Affair is 100% Your Spouse's Fault.
Not 90, not 95, 100%. Any sin is always 100% the sinners fault. God doesn't allow us to take any blame away from ourselves and put it on someone else for a sin that we commit.
2. You Don't Pursue Your Husband, He Pursues You.
He's the one that committed adultery. You didn't. The burden is completely on him, 100% on him to win back your trust to help you heal. To beg, to plead, to make the changes, to love on you, it's all on him.
So the Christian Counselors, most of them, and Pastors have it wrong.
3. Of Course You're Angry.
You're furious. You're in a rage. You're supposed to be. Your husband committed adultery. He broke your heart. He broke your vows.
I want you to be angry. In fact, if you're not angry you're not going to heal. You've gotta vent your anger whenever you need to. And that will be many times over the course of three or four months of the initial recovery process.
I don't care if it's three o'clock in the morning you roll him over and you vent your anger. He's lucky you're even talking to him. So anger is healthy,
it is normal, and it needs to be expressed.
4. You Couldn't Forgive Quickly if You Wanted to.
That's not how God made us psychologically. Plus, in the process of healing, God gets what he wants. Your husband will change, you will change, your marriage will change, and you both will be closer to Him. Forgiveness takes time and effort.
It's a process, it cannot happen quickly.
5. You Should Bring up His Affair Whenever You Want to.
In fact, my process I give carte blanche to the victim of the affair. To ask questions that the other spouse has to answer honestly every time to vent anger, to vent hurt, to vent rage, to vent betrayal, disgust, and lack of respect.
You'll have many conversations like this over three or four months, particularly, and any time is a good time to have these discussions. You don't just slip by this and not bring it up and focus on the marriage. The elephant in the room is the affair, is the adultery.
Now for my entire affair recovery program get my book, I Don't Love You Anymore.
You probably can tell I'm not in the mainstream of Christian Counseling when it comes to affair recovery and I don't care because I'm in the mainstream of what the Bible teaches about recovery from sin.