Q: What should one do if his wife sleeps with another man? And if the man decides to maintain the erring wife, how should he go about it without hurt?
A: It is difficult for me to determine for anyone else what they should do about an unfaithful spouse, as there are any number of circumstances that will determine that decision. However, I can say that forgivenessis always a correct response, no matter whether the offended spouse decides to maintain the marriage, or whether the marriage is dissolved as a result of the unfaithful act. In either case, forgiveness can go a long way for the peace of mind of the one who has been betrayed in this way.
Obviously, restoration of trust is a key element of repairing a marriage after an infidelity. The trust issue is probably the biggest obstacle, as trust is one of the most basic elements in a successful marriage; when that trust is violated, it may take a long time before the husband can feel completely comfortable with the erring wife. Betrayal of trust is a very harmful situation. The Urantia Book teaches:
67:1.3 …And of all forms of evil, none are more destructive of personality status than betrayal of trust and disloyalty to one’s confiding friends.
This was one of the most terrible sins committed by the archrebels who plunged our world into spiritual darkness. And in relations between husband and wife, betrayal of trust can end a marriage. However, even mortal man can do as God does, and choose to show mercy and forgiveness.
It seems that a lot would probably depend on whether the wife was willing to admit her infidelity, and whether she is willing to end it completely, and return to the marriage with her whole heart. If this is the case, then the husband might find it in his heart to take her back with a whole heart. The hurtful feelings may not be eliminated quickly, but if the husband and wife can reach an agreement about it, the path to restoration can be worth the effort.
In the end, the unfortunate episode could even strengthen the marriage if both parties work towards complete transparency, openness and communication—to the eliminate the possibility that something like this can happen again. Of course, this will take determined effort and commitment on the part of both partners. And it will take time…only time will prove the trustworthiness of the erring spouse.
The Urantia Book teaches us that
12:9.2 Love is the secret of beneficial association between personalities.
This love must be mutual—a shared vision for the future must be mutual. The love and devotion that brought this couple together in the first place must be recalled and rekindled as a way to accomplish the ideal of a successful marriage. If both husband and wife can agree on this, it will become a great foundation to begin anew…true love can heal many things and soothe even the most painful hurts.
Thanks again for writing, and I hope this reply has been helpful. Best wishes…