Has anyone read this? Opinions?


    The article is bad enough in my mind,  but the comments run anywhere from reasonable to vitriolic.

    The premise seems to be that no matter what you have done in your marriage, that if your spouse has an affair, that you are the victim of the worst offense, and that if you suddenly realize your own sin, you are not required to make any steps towards repentance until your spouse does first.

    The comments go on to repeat that over and over again.

    Obviously, there probably can not be reconciliation, till both parties repent,  but I would like someone to convince me why only the person who has the affair has to go first and the other gets to live in unforgiveness until he does.


    I also find it troubleing that in the few cases where the wife was the unfaithful party,  the response is more along the lines of ” Oh,  you poor thing.  we are sorry for everything, but yes, you broke the covenant so you ha e to repent first”,  but it is a man, no matter what they have endured, they get what we shall call  a harsher treatment.


    On the floor Asked on August 5, 2019 in Infidelity .

    Before I read many answers above, I will just give  some of my thoughts and then see if they line up with what anyone else said or not.

    My initial impression was that Sheila read a whole lot into two sentences from “Focus on the Family” about the book and went way overboard with passion about the subject.   I guess she seemed to make a whole lot of assumptions about what is in the book  and what the author meant, even though she said she was not going to read the book and she was only commenting on the couple of sentences.

    I have read Sheila for years, but the last couple of years I have seen a pattern  where she seems to have a legitimate concern about what another author has said, but she just makes it into such a big emotional deal, and often in my mind, misrepresents  what the author said and misrepresents the author’s character at times.

    And unfortunately, in comments, it does not seem like Sheila even listens much to female readers who try to tell her she has gone overboard.  I find that very sad.

    So really from the two sentences, I don’t know enough as to whether the author really even was the first one to admit their fault in the background of leading up to the affair.

    on August 7, 2019.
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    12 Answer(s)
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      I agree that the cheating spouse should repent of cheating. They should never excuse their cheating, nor justify it. Nor should they blame their spouse for what they have done. But I agree with comments made in this thread that whoever has sinned should repent. And no one should be bent on waiting on the other to repent first.

      There were a few other things the author said that I would question.

      Does it take two to tango? Seems to me it does. The cheating spouse typically cheats with someone else. (Somehow that person is left out of the whole conversation.)

      A comment about covenants. Not all biblical scholars would agree with the author that committing adultery breaks the covenant. They would argue that it breaks the harmony of the relationship, but that the covenant remains until the death of one of the partners. Furthermore, I’m not sure it is completely accurate or fully comparable to compare God in a covenant with us with a spouse in a covenant with their spouse. In our relationship with God, He is a perfect partner and we are not. In marriage, both partners are imperfect. Therefore, it is unlikely that (m)any of us can claim totally inculpability.  Furthermore, very few things happen in a vacuum. There are usually various factors involved.

      The author seemed to suggest that assurances or guarantees could be given that cheating would never (again) happen. Isn’t that somewhat idealistic? Sure we make promises – beginning with our marriage vows, but how can we give guarantees of not sinning? Or not sinning again? We must walk in faith, humility, and utter dependence on God and one another.



      Under the stars Answered on August 5, 2019.
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        It seems to me that the whole premise of the bloggers problem is the fact that it was around a wife asking herself, “What role did I play in this?” 

        To pick up an offense and say that the spouse is being blamed or picking up the blame, by asking that question, seems to take an assumption way too far.  The truth is, our choices and our sins do not happen in a vacuum.  There is a ripple effect and our own choices/sins effect far beyond ourselves.  Are we solely responsible and will we be held accountable for our sin, no matter what others have done?  Absolutely yes.  But that doesn’t mean that others choices, or even sins, don’t have an effect on us.

        If a spouse is loving like Christ calls us to love, that helps set up an environment that vulnerability and temptation is much less.  We see in 1 Corinthians 7, a big factor in Paul telling spouses not to deprive one another is so they won’t fall into temptation.  That means, one persons choices DO effect the other.

        I don’t think a relationship or an individual can ever go wrong in examining themselves and asking “What role did I play in this?”, and taking responsibility for their own shortcomings and sin.  Isn’t this the “removing the plank out of your own eye”?

        As a former sexual refuser, I have to take an honest look and see how my choices and sin did affect my husband and his own choices/sin.  Yes, he alone will be judged and held accountable for his sin, including sexual sin…. but so will I.   Every word I have said, every deed I have done, no matter how much I felt justified in my own sin at the time….I will be held accountable.  (Praise Jesus for the covering of His blood!!!)

        I have not talked in much detail publicly about this, but I have fallen into my own EA.  I have taken full ownership of this.  I did not blame.  But if one wants to understand why another could fall to such a level, then that person has to be willing to take a look at themselves and ask, “What role did I play in this?”  Maybe the answer is “none”, but the likelihood in a marriage, that will not be the case.  My husband’s eyes were open to his own role, and he very much stepped up and took ownership and responsibility for the role he had.  He even went so far to be able to give thanks and praise God for it, because it opened his eyes to where he was falling short and was unknowingly causing deep pain and harm to me and our marriage.  The truth is, if he had not withdrawn and neglected me for such a span of time, I never would have been put in that place of vulnerability, to that same level.

        Under the stars Answered on August 5, 2019.
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          I just read it.  I agree with Sheila.  Cheating is one-sided.  The victim is not to blame at all.   Are you saying that the spouse who was cheated on is partially to blame?

          On the floor Answered on August 5, 2019.

          So you are essentially saying this.

          The victim can never be guilty of anything that is so hurtful it breaks the covenant.

          Just to take that to the obvious extreme, that is saying that physical abuse and long term emotional abuse don’t reach the level of harm to the marriage as an affair does.

          on August 5, 2019.

          I don’t know.  I think it would have to be an extreme case where the victim could be partially at fault.  I would think, though, that in the vast majority of infidelity instances that the guilt lies solely on the cheater.

          on August 5, 2019.
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            I had a friend to had an EA while he was absolutely fed up with his wife’s disinterests in their emotional, physical aspects of their marriage.  I understood that he was lonely, sexually frustrated, that they were often fighting.  He clearly blamed the affair on his DW.  I could see his point and listened long to the details he brought up.  But at the same time would never assign blame of his EA to anyone but him, speaking biblically.  A temptation is a temptation and the responsibility was still his.

            Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on August 5, 2019.

            But that wasn’t the premise of the post. Sheila book exception to a book a woman wrote who had acknowledged her role.

            Apparently acknowledging your sin and shortcomings in such a case “sends the wrong message” probably only to those who aren’t willing to see theirs

            on August 5, 2019.
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              I confess, I just don’t want to read the article. But I think I understand what happened:  a woman wrote a book saying, in effect, “My husband had an affair, he is guilty of sin, but I also have some sin that probably contributed to the situation, and I accept responsibility for that and repent.”

              Then someone else, who is over-zealous about a current hot button word, “victim blaming”, decided this book is dangerous and might make all women everywhere think that unless they are perfect wives, if their husbands cheat, it is their own fault.

              Is this right? If so, of course the woman who wrote the book is right. We are always to self-examine and avoid contributing to the sin of others. Still doesn’t make us responsible for their sin, but it does make us responsible.

              Under the stars Answered on August 5, 2019.

              “Then someone else, who is over-zealous about a current hot button word, “victim blaming”, decided this book is dangerous and might make all women everywhere think that unless they are perfect wives, if their husbands cheat, it is their own fault.” Actually Duchess, you got most of it right but the “over-zealous” blogger wasn’t rendering an opinion on the book or it’s author (the blogger said she hadn’t read it) but she objected to Focus On The  Family’s cryptic recommendation of the book which  the blogger perceived to be implying that the book’s author was right to take the blame for causing her husband’s affair even without the cheating husband unequivocally repenting of his  adultery.   I get what the blogger was saying and agree that the Biblical first step in restoring the marriage is for the unfaithful spouse (husband in this case) to repent of their sin and promise to do everything within their power to restore trust.   That said, I think the blogger overreacted in drawing that conclusion and would have been better served reading the subject book before making a big deal out of FOTF’s cryptic endorsement of it. Now, where can I go to get the last 35 minutes of my life back?

              on August 5, 2019.

              “Now, where can I go to get the last 35 minutes of my life back?” Lol! This is why I didn’t want to read it. I will admit, FOTF is one of the few organizations I generally trust and seldom feel the need to question, though I do not believe them to be infallible. I’m not sure what “cryptic recommendation” means, but I think you are right:  the place to start would have been the book itself, then the endorsement, and last the posted article.

              At least most of us seem to agree that when it comes to the breakdown–or repair–of relationships it does indeed “take two to tango”, that each person is always fully responsible for his or her own sin, and that God is the source of all that is good and holy. 🙂

              on August 5, 2019.
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                I haven’t read it.

                Blame is a strong word. I would venture to say that in some cases the non-cheating spouse is to blame (But that should never be viewed to be an excuse or permission for the other to cheat or sin in others ways).

                In other cases, there likely is no blame.  In some of these cases, there might still be a level of responsibility – because we are called to be and do “the one anothers” recorded in Scripture.  When we don’t fulfill our responsibilities toward each other, aren’t we being irresponsible? Because we haven’t done all that we could have to keep ourselves and our spouse from sinning.

                Under the stars Answered on August 5, 2019.

                If you don’t read the article, then you really miss the point of what was said. The comments, as I said, ran from reasonable to the far end of the spectrum. Essentially, the whole thing boils down to nothing is worse than cheating, period. No amount of pain you might endure could possible equal that.

                on August 5, 2019.

                Point well taken. It would have been better had I read the article. I agree that I didn’t capture the point of what she said.

                The reason I said, “I haven’t read it” was to be honest and forthright in answering your question in the header: “Has any one read this?” But now, I hope I’ve got this right, I have come to see that your concern was more with what was written, than it was with the topic of cheating and blame. Having not read the article, I was seeking to address just the issue or topic of blame in cheating. My comments were made in response to the question: “Are you to blame if your spouse cheats on you?” (in bold print above), not the article itself. So, I apologize. (Now that I have read the article, I’ll add another post below)

                on August 5, 2019.
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                  that pretty much sums it up.

                  Of course, victim blaming the other direction was OK. If you were the victim of neglect and abandonment, you had other options like counseling and boundries, or divorce and you obviously didn’t pursue those options with enough fervor.

                  On the floor Answered on August 5, 2019.
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                    She rite this article in response to a book published by Focus on the Family written by a wife who was cheated on and who “realized” she was to blame. I agree with Sheila. The one who cheats chooses to cheat. It’s not something your spouse can make you do. And you alone are responsible for your sin. You cannot blame your sin on someone else. Not to say that all the sin is on one side in a marriage like this, but no sin on one side condones adultery on the other side.

                    Double bed Answered on August 5, 2019.

                    nobody including the author who wrote the book said sin justified adultry. The Author even offered to comment and was ignored. I would think that if you were going to write a post about a book, you would read the book or at least listen to the author.

                    in any case her whole argument is that who ever broke the covenant has to be the first to repent. That is nowhere in the bible.

                    what is in the bible is Matthew 7:3 and Matthew 5:24.

                    Both say to deal with your sin, not hold out if you have been sinned against.

                    on August 5, 2019.
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                      I am posting this here for anyone who wants to read it.  I don’t know if I should.  I don’t even know if I am on solid ground,  What I do know is that I have said everything I can, and rather than change hearts,  all they did was dig in.  I am really struggling to understand why anyone would act this way.  I was initially really hurt by the whole thing,  but now I am just numb.

                      Doug on August 5, 2019 at 6:33 pm
                      I am going to address this one last time, only this time I am going to be about as real and personal as I can.
                      You have done exactly the exact thing in this post as you claim to oppose. You have done so repeatedly, and without a shred of remorse.
                      I spelled out my story as precisely as I could. My wife accused me of an affair 25 years ago, and then withheld the fact that she was pregnant, and then killed my child.
                      She spent the next 20 years punishing me for her decision. I don’t believe it was a conscious decision to do so on her part, but any shred of intimacy, love and affection died with my child. She didn’t just withhold sex, she took everything I had, and at every minor provocation, her response was to threaten to leave me. Eventually, I did have a brief affair, which I broke off and tried to rebuild things. My wife did not know about the affair, and did not learn of it for another 10 years, when I confessed it after accepting Christ.
                      After I told you my story, your response was essentially, “You had other options besides cheating”. I can no more deny that than I can my infidelity, but you and I both know those options fail most of the time. In truth, at the time, some were not even options, just because they were so foreign to me. About the only one that you mentioned that I really understood was divorce, and I never wanted that.
                      What I want to know, in your words, is how you can sit there and tell someone with a clear conscience, that they were somehow to blame for all they endured, because they didn’t explore every option you mentioned 10 years later. Your response basically said that I lost all standing when I had an affair, that I could no longer claim offense.
                      I have to be honest. you asked why I was getting angry before. Because you were wicked and abhorrent, and took my standing and my voice one more time, after it had happened so often and I had already lost so much.
                      You blamed me for not knowing the way forward in a situation that few find their way clear of, and many end up killing themselves. It isn’t like I haven’t thought of it myself.
                      I am going to close by saying that you are no different, certainly no better than those you oppose. You don’t care who your words wound. I have tried to let them go, turn the other cheek and walk away, but I felt you should know the truth.

                      Rebecca Lindenbach on August 5, 2019 at 7:56 pm
                      Doug, this is the last comment we will have on this situation (there was a previous 20+ comment thread that was deleted at Doug’s request).
                      If someone does something horrible to you, you have a choice. You can stay or you can leave the marriage. If you stay in the marriage, that is a choice.
                      Your wife killing your unborn child IS grounds for divorce–I don’t think anyone would argue that. But you CHOSE to stay despite knowing that.
                      Then, after choosing to stay–no matter what the situation–if you have an affair, that is wrong to do so. No matter what your spouse did. Because you chose to stay. And when we are in a marriage we promise not to sleep with anyone else. That’s the cornerstone of a marriage–fidelity.
                      I’m really sorry if you feel wounded or blamed but that was never the intention–we actually continuously said that the way you were treated was not appropriate and we are very very sorry for how you were treated by your wife.
                      But I’m going to be honest, you made a choice to stay in a marriage. If you didn’t want to divorce her, you definitely should not have had an affair. You can’t have it both ways, and that sounds harsh but we’re not saying you had NO option, we’re not blaming you for what your wife did, nothing like that. All we’re saying is everyone is responsible for their own sin. And if you’re in an abusive marriage, you CAN get out. But the way out isn’t infidelity. And if you choose not to leave, you also are promising not to sleep with anyone else. That’s literally all we are saying.
                      Truthfully, I don’t actually think you want to have a conversation here. I think you just want someone to tell you that what you did was OK. It wasn’t. What your wife did definitely wasn’t OK either–and I think you may really benefit from some counselling for the grief that that has caused you, because that would be incredibly traumatic. But I am going to end the conversation about your individual situation here because you keep bringing up the same point and don’t seem to be furthering the conversation. We’re not going to say an affair is ever valid, and you don’t seem to be willing to end this conversation until we say so. So the conversation is no longer fruitful, and I won’t be letting any more of these comments through, especially since earlier you said you wanted to be finished talking and I respected your request to have your comments deleted and then you started posting virtually the same comments again.
                      If you think it is wicked and abhorrent to tell people they shouldn’t have an affair when they choose to stay in a marriage, I am sorry. But we simply do not agree that an affair is ever OK, no matter how horrible the marriage is. And we do not think that you can CAUSE someone to sin–God says that we all have the ability to stand up under temptation, and that includes the temptation of an affair when you are in a horrible marriage. We are responsible for our own actions. We always have other choices to end the marriage or begin change. Even abuse victims don’t need to get out by sleeping with someone else–they can get a separation, file for divorce, get community around them for protection, even call the police.
                      Again, we’ve said all we have to say in this manner and since you’ve asked us to delete all the comment thread, which included our responses you are now attacking, and then you posted this attack of Sheila without us having all of our previous replies up I will delete this comment soon as well since it is unfair since you asked us to get rid of all of the comments you are referring to that would show people that, no, we are not blaming you for what your wife did and no, we are not saying that you lost the ability to claim offense done as soon as you had an affair. Multiple times we said that you needed to deal with what your wife had done, too–but the affair had to be dealt with FIRST because that was the current breach of trust. You can’t say you forgive someone and want to stay married to them and then years and years down the road have an affair and blame it on what they did in the past. Either you forgave them, or you didn’t. Either way, the affair is still the first thing that needs to be dealt with because you can’t deal with anything else until that is handled.
                      I’ll be deleting this tomorrow, but just so you could see this response I’ll be leaving it up for a bit. I truly do wish you well, we all do, and I hope that you and your wife are able to work through these issues if that is what you want. I do truly recommend some counselling because I can sense you’re in a lot of pain still, since this issue is still making you so angry. Often, from my experience, when this much anger is shown it’s not from a place of maliciousness: it’s from a place of deep hurt. So please seek someone to talk to both individually and as a couple, because you should not have to live with that pain forever.


                      On the floor Answered on August 5, 2019.
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                        My issue is that in her eyes,  the person who has the affair couldn’t possibly be the most offended, and always has the first to repent.  She told me over and over that “I had choices” then follows that up with “But I’m going to be honest, you made a choice to stay in a marriage.”  I was feeling pretty battered before,  but now,  after her last remark,  I am just numb.


                        On the floor Answered on August 5, 2019.
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