1. Quit Trying to Catch Them in the ActQuit checking your spouse’s cellphone and email for illicit messages. Quit tracking their whereabouts via GPS. And quit giving them the third degree every time they walk in the door. You don’t have to know the details. God sees it all even if you don’t (Psalm 90:8), and He will make sure your spouse’s sin comes out one way or another (1 Timothy 5:24). We all reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7-8). Even your spouse.
2. Stop Trying to Convince Them They’re in SinYou’re wasting your breath and your time trying to convince your spouse their sexual sin is wrong. Stop. I’ll say it again, Stop! Their brain is already wired to protect them from confronting their guilt and shame. Satan has probably been working on them night and day for years. How in the world do you think you’ll change their mind? Your partner has to take the prodigal journey (Luke 15:11-32). And just like the prodigal’s father, you’ve got to let your spouse go so they can reap the consequences of their sin. Only then can the scales fall from their eyes so they can see clearly.
3. Accept Your PowerlessIf you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know how hard it is to change yourself. Why do we think we can change others? Besides, you aren’t God. Only He has the power to humble your spouse. When we recognize our powerlessness—that we aren’t God—it is much easier to stop fighting Him for control of our lives.
4. Focus on Your Own Relationship with GodWhile you aren’t responsible for your spouse’s choices, you are responsible for yours. How’s your relationship with God? Even if it’s been great, it’s time to go deeper. Here’s an example of how to go deeper in your Bible study:
An emotionally intimate relationship with God (Bible study, prayer, and meditation) is a bottomless well of refreshment. If you aren’t experiencing it, make a commit to it. If you can afford it, go on a vacation with just you and God. That may mean a week in a mountain cabin or a day at the beach. Commit your plans to God in prayer and He will help them to succeed (Proverbs 16:3).
If you can afford it, go on a vacation with just you and God. That may mean a week in a mountain cabin or a day at the beach. Commit your plans to God in prayer and He will help them to succeed (Proverbs 16:3).
5. Set Your Mind on Things Above
The word “repentance” has a bad rep these days. But the original Greek word—metanoia—simply meant “a change of mind”. Colossians 3:1-2 calls us to set our heart and mind on things above, not on earthly things. How do we do that?
Music is one of the most powerful tools to change both our emotions and our mind. The same technology your spouse uses for sin, you can use to renew your mind. Apps like Pandora, Google Music, Amazon Music, and the host of Christian radio stations make multiple genres of positive, Christian music available to anyone with cellphone.
The Most Loving Thing
You may think that setting boundaries and letting your spouse reap the consequences of their sin is uncaring and selfish. In truth, it’s the most loving thing you can do for them.
Remember whose hands they are in. God loves your spouse even more than you do. He wants them to repent and come into the light (John 3:19-21).
When your spouse refuses to own or repent of sin, they put their salvation in jeopardy (1 John1:8, 10; Hebrews 10:26). Tough love sets boundaries and expectations. God did it in the Garden and with the Israelites. Jesus set out his expectations in his Sermon on the Mount, and Paul and the other New Testament writers reiterated them in the epistles.
God is a gentleman. He won’t force us to do anything. He will patiently wait until we step out of the way and let Him do what He does better than anyone—lead us to Him.
Help to Change
If getting out of God’s way seems impossible for you and you find yourself helpless to stop doing the things you know you shouldn’t, there is hope. If you’re ready, REALLY ready to change and experience a victorious life regardless of your spouse’s choices to change, schedule a call with me. Let’s talk about how we can get you from paralyzing fear to mountain-moving faith in a few short months!
Struggling? Schedule a Call
Be heard, get biblical direction, and seize your own healing when you book a 45-minute call with Kim. Pick a time that is convenient for you. You may also have the opportunity to join a tribe of Truth Seekers finding intimacy with God and a community of safe others.
For me, the mastery of these was a four-year exercise in the “three steps forward, two steps back” method. Being completely convinced that I was utterly powerless to change him the clincher! Once I got that (akin to climbing Mount Everest), the others became much easier to master.
I struggle with the thought that he is still sinning with sexual sin, cheating behind my back, living a hidden dual life behind me. I am afraid most of the thing that i am being fooled by him. i dont know why this thought makes me so anxious and scared that i try to chck his phone and keep calling him and trying to catch him. i want to feel safe and im not being able to. i want to see my husband repenting but i dont see it. i am so so so afraid of being the fool when he is enjoying behind my back and i am crying. i so so so want a faithful husband. i crave a faithful husband. please tell me how to overcome the feeling that im being fooled and he is happily enjoying. please tell me
Hello, my sister. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I know you’d love to hear a quick and easy solution to your husband changing and making you feel more secure, but the unfortunate and sad truth is that we don’t have any power to change others. The only person I have the power to change is myself. This is one of the biggest lessons I learned during my recovery from my husband’s betrayal.
This may sound like bad news but it’s actually really awesome news because it empowers me to do something, instead of driving myself crazy trying to catch my husband in his sin. That’s not my job. God already sees it (Psalm 90:8).
One of the other things I recognized was that I was letting fear rule my heart because I didn’t have my trust in the right Husband. God is my first husband (Isaiah 54:5). He is the only one who will ever remain completely faithful to me. And my relationship with him is the only one that I have any control over.
Jesus was such an amazing example of surrendering his life to the Father. If you look at his example in Matthew 26:39, you’ll see that he went to the Cross against his will. He begged God for another solution, something less painful. He reasoned with God and even cried tears of blood in his anguish.
I did not have to die for anyone like Jesus, but I did have to learn to die to myself and my fears. Only when we surrender our fears and our future and put our trust firmly in the Father, can he really work in our lives.
I encourage you to look back through the article “8 Steps to Getting Out of the Way of your Spouse’s Addiction Recovery”. There are scriptures there that will help you get to a point of surrender. Also, if you live in an area that has support groups for spouses of sexual addicts or infidelity, I’d strongly encourage you to attend. There are many of them but I do list a few on the Resources page of my website. You can google “support group for spouses of sexual addicts” plus your zip code or country code. In a support group you will find many who are going through the same thing you are, and you will find strength and the will to do what YOU need to do focus on your own relationship with God so you can heal.
hi i am liva. it has been a year i found out about my husband, he apologized (half halfheartedly) and we tried to make things OK. but he made no serious effort which i saw. he has also been caught by me in various other incidents during our dating time. i don’t know how i married him then. he is very loving and caring to me but his sins, his unfaithfulness, his dual hidden lives which i suspect all are a question for me. i feel so deep in questions and darkness not knowing what is true, what is not and after being with my husband for 13 years still i don’t know him also.
what i struggle most with is the feeling that i am being fooled by him behind my back. the thought scares me and makes me so anxious. thats when i frantically call him and check his phone etc etc. how should i deal with the thought that maybe i am being made a fool and h is enjoying making me the fool. i don’t know why that thought scares so much. please help me kim.
I am now (after 17 years) ready for this step. I spent year after year trying to control my husband and demand he change. I spent hours telling him how he was a sinner and how he was going to hell by living his sinful lifestyle. I would exhaust myself trying to drill how bad his sin was into his head. Guess how well that worked?
God finally got ahold of ME and told me it’s time to let go. So I am. I feel peace in knowing I’m not the warden of my husband anymore. I’m still struggling with knowing I need to stop tracking whereabouts and asking him 20 questions ever time we talk. But God is in control, he knows what my husband is doing and I’m confident all will be revealed in due time.
I’m just ready to heal me! If he ever changes and starts his healing journey, then one day we will be restored.
Hey, Sharon. Yes, “the acid of our pain has to eat through he wall of our denial”…and that time frame is different for each of us. If you haven’t already, please consider scheduling a free breakthrough call with me (https://hopeforspouses.com/call) and/or signing up for one of our recovery programs (see our homepage). You sound like you are ready to focus on your own healing instead of your spouse or your marriage.