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broken heart representing a husband who cheatsWhat does a wife do when her husband cheats?

That was the most frequently asked question I received last week since starting my new blog series on “Questions Women Ask.”

One woman emailed: “My husband loves me, he just loves her, too. He says the affair is over and I just need to get over it.”

Another woman who confronted her husband about an extra-marital relationship said “He said he was sorry and looked like he meant it but how can I believe him? I feel so insecure. I fear he might do it again. Should I stay or should I leave?”

And a woman who is seeking God’s will above her own says “”What if the man in question is your husband of 29 years and the father of your 3 children?  And he has been in a relationship with another woman for 10 years?”

My heart breaks that so many women are struggling with whether or not to stay in a marriage after betrayal. They shouldn’t have to make that decision. But betrayal has forced them into the question of God’s will for their heart and marriage. Scripture is clear that divorce was never God’s desire for His people (Malachi 2:16; Matthew 19:8), so it is imperative that we must take it before God carefully and prayerfully.

Marriage is defined by God as a “one flesh” union between one man and one woman, expressed through a commitment to forsake all others and cling to each other for a lifetime (Genesis 2:24). When one member of the marriage party brings another person into that “one flesh” union the marriage, as God has defined it, ceases to exist. The bond has been broken, and the union severed.

However, it does not mean it is beyond hope.

If you have been betrayed — or you know someone who has — and must decide whether to stay in the marriage or not, here are three points to consider that will prayerfully lead you toward God’s peace:

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quote over a pink flower on a lily padWhat if the man you are longing for loves someone else?

I am dedicating the next few weeks on my blog to answering questions women ask.

A reader recently asked me: “Is it worth being in a relationship with someone who may be in love with someone else but whom he cannot be with?”

My heart breaks at this question because it tells me another woman out there is lonely in love to the point that she will settle. It’s not her fault. She’s been made to believe that if she tries harder, or sticks in there longer, or loses more weight, or changes her behavior in some way, this man will begin to love her, or love her more, or love her once again.

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In my weekly bloheartbreakg series on “Answering Life’s Tough Questions,” Charity asked: How do you let go of the fear and begin to trust again when you still feel so nervous after he cheated? I’ve reconciled with him and I love him but things just aren’t the same.”

Assuming this question is in the context of marriage, I applaud you, Charity, for reconciling. God expects us to freely forgive (as you have done) just as He has freely forgiven us. But God does not command us to trust immediately after being betrayed. Perhaps God knew that would be something we would have to ease back into, after the one who betrayed us has earned our trust again.

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Having faced rejection from an abusive father, abandonment from an abusive husband, and then betrayal by a boyfriend she thought was the “real deal,” Becky asked “What’s wrong with me?”

But Becky, as many of us do, was asking the wrong question. The question is often not “What is wrong with me?” but “What is wrong with this representation of ‘love’?”

At the root of our hurts, as women, is what I call “distorted love.” We thought it was real. But then we were burned. We trusted it as love, but discovered it was manipulation. Sadly it can take several years, multiple relationships, and countless scars  to finally realize that true and perfect love exists only in the One who is truly perfect: Jesus Christ.  read more

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