Q&A How Can the Church Support Couples after Infidelity?

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Question: 

How can the church learn to help marriages in recovery? I appreciate the encouragement & prayer, but they seem so ill-equipped in the area of infidelity. The other day in conversation with my pastor he tried to dance around the word affair and infidelity. When I said "we call it infidelity because that is what it was" he said I had unforgiveness, and needed to stop hurting my husband by using those words. He meant well, I know he did. We're 15 months out from d-day, and moving along in healing. My husband doesn't have a problem with those words. Pastors are often the "first responders" in these situations, yet as well-meaning as they are have no clue. I have often felt rushed in recovery just so I can be "spiritual" again. After just 3 months I was told I was bitter, simply because I was still hurting so bad. We didn't come across EMSO until 6 months out. I am so thankful we did, but how much healthier it would have been if we could have had the right help in those first few days and weeks. I'm not sure if it is because this has hit me personally, but infidelity seems to have a new face. God fearing, Jesus loving men (& women) end up in affairs. The church desperately needs to be educated on the trauma of it all. How and should we approach this with our pastors? Do we just leave it alone and hope that others "figure it out"?

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I love your question

Dear writer,

I just wanted to comment and tell you I love your question. Rick I agree with your answer.

After D-day my husband and I sat down with a trusted pastor and her husband. Although they did their best to be supportive since they had never had the experience their advise missed the mark. We then went to 2 different "Christian" counselors. Both of which told me (the betrayed) spouse that the answer was to discover what was missing in the marriage that caused my husband to cheat. Thankfully after a few sessions I quickly realized they were missing the mark. I refuse to take any responsibility for my husband's affairs. Finally we found a counselor that had a better plan. He actually told us that he had couples in the past that had used affair recovery. He suggested we do the same and see him at the same time.

i have since gone back to that pastor and told her if and when anyone discloses the devastation of an affair to you please give them my number.

The church as a whole (just my personal opinion) is to uncomfortable in discussing such matters and is very ill-equipped to do so, however if we (couples that have survived affairs) are willing to be honest and come out of hiding about our struggles partner with our church we can change that. It is funny how in the church we will celebrate the alcoholic that got clean but no one wants to celebrate or even talk about the sex addict that got redeemed or the marriage that survived adultery.
Thank you Rick and affair recovery for the work that you do.

I really hope this is chosen as the video of the month.