An Extramarital Affair

By Harvey & Kathy Corwin

Photo by Pixabay

It was late one night and we were getting ready for bed when the phone rang from a distraught pastoral couple who ask if they could come to see us right away. We invited them into our home and listened into the night as they unfolded their tragic and sad story of an extramarital affair in which the pastor was presently involved. Their minds were confused, they were emotionally upset and they needed immediate counsel. The suggestions we offered them would be helpful for any couple experiencing an extramarital affair.

• It’s important during an emergency to eat healthy foods at regular meal times and to get plenty of rest. Often we find couples not attending to their immediate needs because they are so stressed and pre-occupied. The couple that had come to our home couldn’t remember the last time they had eaten nor had they been getting any rest. Food and rest will help the mind and body deal with the emergency better.

• Totally sever the relationship with the person you are having an affair with as well as with their family:

1. Don’t communicate with them any longer or with people connected to them.

2. Change your home phone and cell phone numbers right away.

3. Don’t give your phone number to anyone who is in connection with this other person.

4. If you move, don’t have a home phone number for awhile.

5. Burn any pictures, notes, and memories of this other person.

6. As soon as possible move to another location, away from the area and the other person involved.

• Set up your personal boundaries to not be co-dependant in helping others (this is especially true for pastoral couples.)

• If you are a pastor or counselor, remove yourself from counseling immediately.

• Focus on your marriage partner:

1. Talk and audit your relationship daily – listen to your partner. If either sees a red flag of others intruding into your marriage, tell each other.

2. Write and express your deepest needs from each other. Then begin fulfilling those needs daily.

3. Study your partner – know them intimately (sexually, spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.) Begin a new bonding.

4. Plan private “couple time” together every week like dates, fun, and relaxation. Get away from people.

5. Talk each night together about your day. Pray together and out loud for each other.

• See a marriage counselor together and if necessary also seek individual counseling. Call the church for Family Ministries and their recommended counselors.

• Read the book Why Some Christians Commit Adultery by John Sanford from Elijah House Ministries.

• Together view and discuss the assignments in the “Love Takes Time” marriage DVD Series 1 & 2. Talk and work on each assignment. To order the “in home counseling” marriage DVD’s go to LoveTakesTime.

• As a couple, you may want to publicly express your sin and repentance to your church family, especially if rumors are spreading. Use carefully chosen words withholding details and specifics. Stand together and both share to the congregation. It’s important that the congregation see and hear that you love each other. For example, after both briefly sharing to congregation, you may want to look at each other and express your love to each other in front of the congregation.

• Pray the prayer, “Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me.”  Then expect a miracle.

• Have hope for your marriage. With God, all things are possible and hearts can be changed.

Couples experiencing an extramarital affair can, and do, turn their marriage around towards a more intimate and bonding marriage for the future. Don’t forget that God is our most powerful source and can change our human evil emotions, feelings and mind sets. He is our Counselor, our Hope and our Recovery. We only need to ask for His help.