Adultery – Betrayer

Mentoring Tips

Make one-to-one mentoring easier by learning what to do and what not to do.  Click to learn more.

Tip#1 – Find your PLACE

  • Pray: simple yet powerful act
  • Listen: people want to feel heard
  • Ask: good questions foster productive dialogue
  • Consider: think slowly and biblically
  • Encourage: uplift rather than beat down
Tip#2 – Avoid the common mistakes

  • Fixing: this is a person, not a project
  • Preaching: walk alongside, don’t talk at or down to them
  • Carrying: show concern but don’t carry too heavy a burden
  • Blaming: no condemnation in Christ Jesus
  • Rescuing: you are not their savior!
    • How did the affair begin? How long did it last?
    • Have you ended the extramarital affair? If not yet, why not?
    • Have you ended all contact with the person – phone calls, text messages, social networking, emails, as well as meeting together? If not what kind of contact have you continued to have and what does this continued connection mean?
    • Does your spouse know about your affair? If so, did your spouse find you out first or did you confess first?
    • Have you confessed everything to your spouse or are you holding back information?
    • How is your spouse reacting to the news of your affair?
    • If your spouse does not yet know about your adultery, what has kept you from confessing? What do you think needs to happen before you are ready to make this confession?
    • What is your hope for your marriage now and in the future?
    • What were you looking for in this relationship that was missing in your relationship with your spouse?
    • What do you believe you could have done to prevent the affair? Have you and your spouse discussed what could have been done differently?
    • Do you have a picture in mind of what full reconciliation with your spouse will look like, how long it will take to rebuild trust?
Deeper Questions
    • How would you describe the difference between genuine remorse and just being sorry for getting caught? (2 Corinthians 7:10)
    • If the tables were turned and your spouse had cheated on you, how long do you think it would take you to be able to trust again? How prepared are you to give your spouse significant time to recover from this news?
    • What do you think you can do to convince your spouse that you will now remain faithful to your marriage vows?
    • Do you have a relationship with Christ? Can you tell me about that?
    • Do you believe that God is able to cause “all things to work together for good” even in this difficulty?  How are you finding Him in the midst of this difficult experience?
    • Have you sought the help of a wise pastor or counselor?  Was that helpful?
    • Who are you willing to be accountable to so that you can protect your marriage in the future?
    • What is one step you can take in the right direction and how can I help you do that?
Online Helps
Other Ministry Links
  • - Stormie Omartian, The Power of a Praying Wife, p. 75

    “I know several couples who experienced adultery in their marriages, but because in each case there was a wife who was willing to pray and a husband open to allowing God to change and restore him, the marriages are still intact and successful today.  Only prayer, a submitted heart, and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit can work those kinds of miracles.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Staying Close, p. 81

    “Emotional adultery is unfaithfulness of the heart. It starts when two people of the opposite sex begin talking with each other about intimate struggles, doubts, or feelings. They start sharing their souls in a way that God intended exclusively for the marriage relationship. Emotional adultery is friendship with the opposite sex that goes too far.”

  • - Dave Carder, Torn Asunder, p. 76

    “In marriages that have suffered an affair, it is critical during the recovery process for both partners to develop close, same‐sex relationships to supplement the marriage relationship. Those outside relationships can provide much of the nurturance, empathy, mutual support, and affirmation that both individuals need.”

  • - Dan Allender and Tremper Longman, Bold Love, p. 279

    “Adultery or any form of sexual immorality should be viewed as a serious breaking of the covenant of marriage … Few adulterers want to do much more than patch a leaky boat … He should be under the careful and passionate eyes of a mature group of believers and a therapist.”

  • - Dave Carder, Torn Asunder, p. 115

    “It’s a lot easier to trash the marriage and for both parties to flee the difficulty of reconstructing the relationship. Yet to divorce now means that you only take all this unfinished business with you. It will require you to work on this by yourself. Should you refuse and try to bury it, it will contaminate all future relationships you might develop.”

  • - Dave Carder, Torn Asunder, p. 120

    “At discovery, the spouse’s emotions are usually intense. The anger, hurt, bewilderment, betrayal, and numbing shock are almost overwhelming. … If denied, that anger goes underground and eats away at the innermost spirit of the person. It is very important for the violated spouse to be free to express the rage that he or she feels.”

  • - Nancy Anderson, Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome, p. 120

    “Hedges will protect your marriage from the intrusion of external temptations as well as provide internal support structures, keeping the bad things out and the good things in. ‘A man planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it’ (Mark 12:1).”

  • - Dave Carder, Torn Asunder, p. 204

    “As you and your mate restructure the intimacy in your marriage, realize that it’s going to be two‐steps‐forward, one‐step‐backward progress. … It won’t happen overnight; in an ultimate sense you’ll never be completely over the affair. Trauma always changes people, and it should.”

  • - Dave Carder, Torn Asunder, p. 261

    “Because an affair produces so much turmoil, it is difficult to spell out an ideal process that works for every family. The bottom line is that you are trying to make the best decision in a very bad situation. … It’s easy for the well‐intentioned but emotionally uninvolved people around you to provide simplistic answers. There is no perfect solution to every lousy situation.”

  • - Dave Carder, Torn Asunder, p. 151

    “The initial revelation of the affair produces a crisis experience. The natural response—indeed the healthy response—is anger. There are both positive and negative aspects of this anger.”

  • - Dave Carder, Torn Asunder, p. 89

    “The infidelity itself changes the way members of the family relate to each other; they begin to keep secrets from each other or develop unbalanced relationships … Overall, with affairs, no one in the family is left untouched—that’s how devastating the breaking of the marriage vow is.”

  • - Dave Carder, Torn Asunder, p. 106

    “In most cases it will take the spouse as long to recover as it took the infidel to get into and out of the affair.”

  • - Dave Carder, Torn Asunder, p. 121

    “If you are going to live together in harmony in the future, you need to live together differently. It’s time to start over. … The most sacred aspects of this marriage have already been violated. Now you both have to begin to rebuild.”

  • - Nancy Anderson, Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome, p. 88

    “Affairs begin in many ways and for many reasons, so we must always be on guard for the slightest hint of temptation. Because hints turn into flirtations, flirtations turn into attractions, attractions turn into affairs, and affairs turn into disasters. First Corinthians 10:13 says that God will always provide a way of escape, but we have to make a decision to run toward the door.”

  • - Nancy Anderson, Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome, p. 88‐89

    “If you feel an attraction to someone in your office, consider a transfer to a different department, a different position, or maybe you should quit. No job is more valuable than your marriage.”

  • - Nancy Anderson, Avoiding the Greener Grass Syndrome, p. 52

    “When our marriage fell apart, it happened through my taking one little step at a time. I made tiny choices that all added up to two huge choices. I had to choose between my husband and my boyfriend, and I had to choose between God’s will and my own. Be warned that each emotional step you take will either be toward your spouse or away from him or her. Choose wisely.”

Next Steps
    • Esteem your mentee for coming to you admitting their sin and seeking help
    • Encourage your mentee to get involved in a local, bible‐believing church for spiritual growth and accountability
    • Encourage them with Scriptures of hope and help, with God’s forgiveness and God’s plan
    • Let them know that while not every marriage that experiences adultery survives, many do. If appropriate, encourage them with examples you are personally aware of where a marriage has been restored.
    • Let them know that restoration of a marriage following an adulterous relationship is hard work, but there are steps they can take to move in that direction
    • Let them know that it is normal for the offended spouse to take a very long time to heal, so to be patient as this process may take much longer than they are anticipating
    • Assure them that you care about them and plan to be with them to find solutions together
    • Encourage them to be completely open with their spouse regarding their schedule, who they meet with, where they go, who they email or text, etc. They will need to prove themselves trustworthy over time.
    • Encourage them to consider attending a FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage getaway
    • Encourage them to find a same‐sex accountability partner who will regularly challenge them in the area of sexual purity
    • Encourage them to invite God into their relationship with their spouse by praying together daily
    • Encourage them to read appropriate online articles and discuss these with you as the mentor
    • Encourage them to take the initiative to be understanding of their spouse and the hurt they have caused
    • Encourage them to continue to seek biblical counsel to guide them in restoring the marriage
    • Remind them of the vows of faithfulness they made to their spouse
    • Remind them that the goal is not just to speak the right words of regret but to show commitment from the heart
    • Encourage them to guard their heart and to set safeguards against temptation from sexual sin in the future