Learning that the person you love has been unfaithful to you is such a traumatic experience to go through. We had given our whole self to them in the faith that they would keep our heart safe and they have ultimately shown such careless disregard for it.
Betrayal comes in many forms but little else seers someones soul like a spouse that has developed a relationship with someone outside of the marriage. Some people class being unfaithful as having sexual contact with someone else, while others believe forming a personal connection with someone or flirting with others is just as unfaithful.
When someone starts deleting messages, lying about where they have been and choosing to keep parts of their life secret, it becomes a slippery slope.
In my opinion, if your loved one has not told you about their connection with another person (even before anything physical happened), then they knew they were involved in something that would deeply hurt you. To me, this is unfaithful behaviour.
In my case, I learnt that my husband had feelings for another woman after I checked his phone. I had never checked his phone before but his behaviour had changed so much during the weeks before. I discovered that this woman was a great deal younger than my husband and had been working with him for some time. I had heard of his other female colleagues but not this one. They had developed a relationship and were using their work phones to communicate outside of work hours.
When I first found the message, I asked him one simple question, ‘who is she?’ He panicked and ran from me, he was literally gone in under two minutes. This probably should have given me all the answers I needed.
Over the following months my husband would tell me that nothing had happened but I knew in my heart that he was continuing to deceive me. I later came to see all the hallmarks of my husband’s dating behaviours on our bank statements. He couldn’t admit his betrayal to himself, how was he ever going to admit it to me?
The feelings I went through when I found the text message were unlike anything I had ever experienced, the confusion, the shock, the feeling of the ground being ripped out from beneath me. The ugliness of it was too horrid to look at. I felt violated and totally naive. Then came the blame, I started blaming myself. Why wasn’t I enough? What did I do or not do to deserve this? His gaslighting of the situation only fuelled this.
The lack of admission or answers made things worse. When you don’t have explanations, you often look inwards. This can lead to you placing a great deal of blame upon yourself. Now, no one is perfect but everyone deserves the decency of NOT being cheated on.
Nothing condones cheating, nothing. If there are any issues at all in a marriage, then a partner has a duty to you to communicate this, to work on the marriage with you, rather than taking the cowards way out, blindsiding you and beginning an affair.
You were in the same relationship, you experienced the same stresses, the same bad days and you didn’t cheat.
Their lack of care for your feelings and ability to act in a way that has risked your health, your security, your future and wellbeing shows a deep flaw in them.
You may be thinking, was the other more attractive, more succesful, funnier, more intelligent. This is simply not the case. This is not a reflection of you, this is a reflection on your partners integrity (or lack there of).
Betrayal from someone you deeply love can lead you to question humanity itself. If I have experienced this hurt from one of those closest to me, what are others capable of? Questioning these things are normal, but just like you wouldn’t cheat on someone, there are many others in the world that wouldn’t also. When you said your vows, ‘forsaking all others,’ you meant those words and there are plenty others that think the same.
I once saw a sermon online by Dr. Donna Schaper where she describes betrayal as a ‘spiritual heart attack.’ She says that when a heart attack occurs, the blood to the heart becomes blocked but the blood will try to find another way, in an attempt for you to survive and for the heart to go on functioning. Things may never be the same, but the heart works its hardest to find a new way for you to carry on, to survive.
Sometimes when we encounter the shock of betrayal by a loved one, it can bring us to a standstill. A standstill in our normal functioning, our identity and our faith. The blockage burdens us and leaves us feeling inadequate, lacking and worst of all rejected. Despite this, the human spirit is such that it will try to find a new way. Trust in that.
However the betrayal has made you feel, you are enough. You are God’s precious child. He sees all of you and loves you just as you are. Jesus understands betrayal, He experienced it himself and paid the ultimate price. He understands your hurt and pain. He is in it with you. He will not reject you and is incapable of betraying you.
The betrayal you are experiencing may have brought you to a blockade, but Jesus will make a way for you. He will not leave you stranded but will guide you, He will help you find a way to survive this. He will bring new hope for your future.
When you experience betrayal, it can be so hard to know where to set your focus. The thoughts you experience can be so soul-destroying; imagining your partner with the other person, thinking about the lies you were told to cover their tracks. These thoughts can cause such pain. During this time please keep your eyes fixed on God.
Focus on His beauty, not the ugliness of betrayal. Focus on how precious you are to Him and how He is already at work, making a new way for you. He is doing it already!
You may never be the same as you were before the betrayal but He will restore you to wholeness and bring you new life and happiness, that is His promise to us.