You are a victim of adultery; your spouse has had an affair and it’s over. You have purposed to rebuild your shattered marriage by the grace of God and your willingness to pursue it. However, your thought life is being invaded by thoughts; different thoughts at different times. In this article, I’m going to explore three different sources of mental torment and how to begin to win the mind battles.
Note: For the sake of simplicity, I am going to make the husband the offender and the wife the victim simply to simplify grammatical considerations. The concepts apply in either case, but it allows me to write it from a single perspective. Thank you for your indulgence; yes, women are offenders also!
The demonic realm works to attack our thought life in every area. They will remind us of our past sins and sins against us committed by others, even after we have forgiven them. They also torment us real time and initiate all sorts of “what if?” scenarios that play upon past events.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12 that our struggle is not against flesh and blood but spiritual forces of evil. The battlefield is the mind for so many of these warfare scenarios, and few life-events are more traumatic for a couple than trying to recover from adultery.
Mental Torment After Adultery
Memories of past events, wrong assessments of current situations and fearful expectations for the future are the stock and trade of the demonic realm. They will work through other people to voice concerns but also can stir up our thoughts when we are alone. Let’s look at each in turn:
1. (Past) What my husband has done to me (and our family). These memories can resurface at any time and frequently are stirred up in the midst of conflict or disagreement with your husband. The circumstances can be unrelated to the affair, but you might lash out if your perceived treatment is unfair in any way.The victim mindset and justifiable retaliation thoughts that ensue can lead to unfortunate Taking these thoughts captive quickly and discerning what is real, becomes crucial to navigating successfully out of the difficulty.
2. (Present) Did he do this with the other woman? What did she do with him? This type of torment often surfaces most powerfully during times of intimacy that you are trying to rebuild. It takes an act of your will, and obedience to the Lord, to move forward in this area and the enemy will attack your progress.I personally believe that, after revelation of an affair has surfaced, part of the healing process for the offended spouse is that every question is fair game.
I caution them to navigate that path carefully because the demonic realm will use any information gained to stir up memories at the opportune time. How much information do you want to have? If you want it all, there are more memories available for the devils to stir up.After some reasonable period, the wife should have all the information she wants to have and commits to pressing ahead and not delving deeper.
Forgiveness, deliverance, healing and restoration can then begin to bear more fruit.Physical intimacy between spouses is an important part of a healthy marriage, and this area requires special care because there is no way to stop the thoughts from coming in. As with the first point, discerning the source, quickly capturing the thoughts and dealing with them is crucial.
3. (Future) What is your husband doing now? This type of torment surfaces when you are alone and worsens if he is late, you do not know where he is, or he has not touched base with you recently. Old memories resurface of instances in the past where the situation was similar, and he wasWhen this scenario occurs, step back and assess the situation with a clear head.
Your husband has apologized, repented and is moving forward on the road to rebuilding trust with you. You have seen the fruit and had your hopes up. Recognize that the demons will work to bring fear upon you but do not receive it. Choose to trust and believe if your husband has committed to restoring the union. Expect good news, not bad!
When the marriage covenant has been violated through adultery, it takes will, perseverance, commitment and energy rebuild the shattered walls. Resting in God’s promises and His sovereignty are necessary, and the enemy knows that.
They will bombard our thought life at critical times, and you must be prepared to discern, take the thoughts captive and replace them with God thoughts. You may need competent Christian counseling help to walk through the process.
For some, who have had prior wounds and abuse, deliverance ministry is not only beneficial but may be on the critical path to begin to secure healing and restoration.
We’ve helped many woman (and men) get through this and would welcome the opportunity to talk with you if the Lord leads.