The increased stress from the COVID-19 situation has led to an increase in online infidelity apart from the existing adulterous relationships that are silently sabotaging marriages around the world.
Illicit relationships during the crisis are not as simple as making a mistake, stress reliever, bored, or the “YOLO” (You only live once) attitude.
I cannot remain silent about this as this negative coping skill cannot be belittled nor ignored.
Adultery is not a joke. I’ve been there. I wrote 8 Stages of Adultery to give warning to individuals or married people who are playing with this dangerous game.
I knew it was wrong to be in an affair. I did.
I just didn’t know how to get out.Toni Miranda
My story might sound like yours. I wrote my testimony last 2018 When Everyone Thought My Marriage Was Perfect.
You’ve realized that cheating on your spouse is wrong, but letting go of this relationship is difficult. You might have tried countless times to get out. Unfortunately, the ending is always the same: you feel stuck.
Credits to The 700 Club Asia who featured my testimony last March 25, 2020
Why Adultery Is Not Worth It
The impact of 12 years of adultery for me was horrible. I became a consistent liar. I became unforgiving, tough, yet very ashamed. It’s a never-ending fear of being caught, and the fear of losing my children, my family, and my life.
Living a double life was draining and tiring. I’ve hurt my family and lost the respect of my children. I’ve lost my reputation, which is the very first thing I was trying to build. I lost huge amounts of money to the point of losing almost all my properties. The worst is that sin affected my relationship with GOD. I was spiritually dead which is very depressing and stressful. I was always in conflict with the other person which affected my health. I felt so guilty because my husband and children have no idea what was happening and that hurt me a lot.
How To Get Out Of Adultery
I understand the struggle of people who commit adultery. I was in their shoes. It was only by God’s grace that I got out of it. So, I would like to share with you my escape plan. I hope that this will help you be free as well.
1. Admit the sin
Admitting your sin is the first step to freedom. Denial is the biggest blockage to recovery. When we refuse to admit that we are too weak to handle the problem and say we’re still okay, that is when we’ll stay in the cycle of adultery. It will never end.
I came to a point when I need to stop rationalizing and justifying my mistakes. I knew I was wrong. PRIDE and FEAR will not work!
I knew what I had to do: admit.
Admission requires you to stop denying the pain and playing God. You’re not as strong as you are. We are all weak and in need of a Heavenly Father who can get us out of our toxic cycle. You also need to start admitting that our lives and habits have become unmanageable. As I said, we will never be perfect and we need help.
The Bible is clear on the rewards of admittance. According to Proverbs
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”Proverbs 28:13
2. Understand your character defects and acknowledge your inability to correct the character defect
People like to think that they can do things on their own. They believe that once they set their mind to it (e.g., stop being adulterous), they can, by their own strength, break things off and be okay.
Sadly, that’s not how it works. We all have character defects, which resulted from unmet needs due to family dysfunction, socialization problems, and traumatizing past experiences.
When you think you can handle everything on your own, stop. Realize that getting out of adultery will need humility on your part. It doesn’t mean pitying yourself since you’re having a hard time breaking the cycle. It simply means acknowledging that you need help.
I wasn’t so keen on this idea at first. Being a woman with a high sense of pride, acknowledging I was weak meant acknowledging my imperfections. It was, however, the second step I needed to move on.
3. Cut the relationship and Change your environment
This step will be hard, but it is necessary. Break the relationship off as soon as you can.
Cut all ties.
There are steps you can follow:
- Block phone numbers
- Don’t respond to messages and phone calls.
- Block them on social media if you must
Some will want “closure.” I do not agree with this, in all honesty.
“Sometimes, the best type of closure is NONE.”by Toni Miranda
Why? What if you go and see this person for your supposed “closure” and they do something to make you fall back again? Do not lead yourself to temptation, my dear brother and sister.
Keep watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation.
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.Matthew 26:41
Protect yourself by disclosing to your spouse any attempt to re-connect from the other party for accountability. Also, share your weaknesses. By sharing with them your struggles, you are hitting two birds with one stone:
1) you are being accountable to them and
2) you show them that you are willing to change.
Speaking of change, change your environment. If you are having an affair with an officemate, leave if you must. Yes, it’s not easy, but the consequences surrounding that relationship will be much worse. Believe me. If they are your business partners and you will lose a lot of money, think of what matters most. Don’t give in to money. Give in to a better life.
Some will use the threat of committing suicide because of you. I understand that guilt might make your stay, but please consider the fact that you’ll be trapped. There is no space for any emotions here. Get out as soon as you can. It’s not easy and this is where God comes in the picture.
4. Know more about GOD.
Rekindle your relationship with HIM, Surrender to HIM your defects of character and TRUST HIM to take over (let go of your distorted image of GOD) and be strict to follow your spiritual disciplines.
Let GOD fill in the emptiness that led you to search and seek and fell into adultery in the first place. This takes a lot of dependence on His power and strength. Determination and discipline are important to your journey. Every moment is a temptation to send a message or to make a call. But the struggle and sacrifice are worth it compared to the consequences of continuing the relationship. No temptation is too strong for you when you have God on your side.
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”1 Corinthians 10:13
5. Forgive Yourself
Forgiving yourself is difficult. Shame and guilt keep you in the dark, insisting that you don’t deserve a second chance. Don’t believe in these voices. Instead, believe that when you confess your sins to the Lord, He will forgive you and you can forgive yourself.
“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”1 John 1:9
I had a hard time forgiving myself. I couldn’t believe I betrayed, not only my husband but also my children. There were times when I just couldn’t. But I was reminded by the Lord, through His Word and the people who helped me, that He has forgiven me so I should forgive myself.
Also, learn from your mistakes. Take the time to understand what happened and to assess your weaknesses. Self-analysis will help you prevent making the same mistakes. Attending recovery programs such as Glorious Hope will help you process what you have been through.
6. Confess and Repent
Many of us are not big fans of confession. I know of people who skip this stage after ending their affair. They aren’t confident in the reaction of their spouse and I understand that. I was scared of telling my husband the truth. I didn’t know how he would react.
What if he physically hurts me? What if he spreads the word about my infidelity and ruins my reputation? What if he tells the kids and they hate me?
Confession, however, is important because it releases the foothold of Satan over your weakness. It gives you the power not to go back anymore. By confessing to your spouse, you are now accountable to them. Accountability enables you to be honest with them. They will help you on your journey to recovery.
With the Lord’s strength, I brushed off these fears because this was a step I knew I had to take. I took a leap of faith and I told my husband. Naturally, he had an unpleasant reaction to the truth, but the Lord kept a hold of him. I did not deserve his response to grace and forgiveness to me.
Confession is hard. It emphasizes the fact that you made a mistake with someone else.
However, it is an important step to take so you can be free. Confess to the people you hurt and to God.
Why do I tell you about confession to the Lord? God already knows our problem, but He is after our sincerity to change. It’s also a sign that we acknowledge the Greatest Sacrifice He did, which is to send His Son to die in our place. When you confess, He is always merciful and just.
“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”Proverbs 28:13
Jesus’ sacrifice and love for me made me realize that I should let go of my adulterous relationship. He solidified my decision by reminding me of the kids as well. I couldn’t be that kind of mother to them.
When I focused on GOD, I eventually learned to respect my husband, not because he deserves it, but because I obeyed God. I also confessed to my children, family, and friends, I confessed it all, even to you who are reading my blog, because the Lord says so.
7. Take Responsibility to change, discipline and restore
Letting go of our character defects will feel like a threat to your routine because you’ve gotten so used to it. It’s hard to let go of old habits. Still, these habits are not worth losing our family and life. Change is a step by step process. Take one step each day.
I have committed and disciplined myself to change. I made sure to cut off all communication, disclose all forms of contact, and made a self-policy of “no secrets” to my husband as advised by our marriage counselor. I also disclosed and told my husband all my ex-partner’s attempts at communication.
I made my spouse my priority. It’s a lot of adjustment on my side since I am manipulative and dominant. Now, I need to submit to his ways and seek his approval. I respect him now as the head of the family and made him my priority after God.
Reconciliation is not always the effect or end result. Your loved ones may not forgive you immediately and it’s only natural. They will need time to recover. But you should not lose heart. You must try your best to reconcile things with them. They will eventually turn around.
I was not expecting my husband to forgive me. I was already expecting to lose my family and not see my children anymore. But the Lord is good. He moved my husband’s heart and helped him forgive me, even though I did not deserve it. Since then, we have tried to work on our relationship. There have been plenty of ups and downs but we committed to focus on GOD and let go of ourselves. By God’s grace, we are 100% reconciled. The same can happen to you too.
9. Seek help (seek godly counsel)
My husband was never comfortable with any support group. In fact, he was not in favor of marriage counseling. He is a very private person and he is not used to sharing his problems not even to me. However, we were made to understand that we cannot carry our burdens on our own. We need other people to help us recover. As Proverbs 27:17 says:
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Seeking godly counsel enables us to see our problems from a different perspective. These mentors will also offer advice on how we can deal with our struggles on the way to recovery.
10. Obeying GOD and do His Mission
God should ultimately be the center of every marriage — even in one recovering from the effects of adultery. He is the One who put man and woman together, therefore, it is only right for man and woman to work together to put Him in the center of their lives. By having the Lord at the center of your marriage, recovery is a more straightforward process.
My husband and I made it our mission to honor God in our marriage. As we were patching up our relationship, we heeded the Lord’s call to attend Glorious Hope so we can address our issues as a couple.
God used this experience to enable us to help others who are in the same situation by becoming life coaches ourselves. We have been helping out individuals who are undergoing similar struggles and we have been so blessed to be part of their lives.
To date, God called me to be a global speaker, soft-skills expert, transformational coach, and retail business owner. These were my dreams when I was 8 years old but I tried to maneuver my destiny on my own strength. I hurt myself in the process but I kept dreaming in my mind “The attitude for achieving one’s dreams is to KNOW that nothing is impossible to those that believe”. Now, I was able to complete the puzzle of my dream, I embraced that…”Nothing is impossible for those who surrender, trust, and believe in GOD’s love”.
I was hesitant to do these before as I felt I am not deserving and qualified. By faith, I surrendered to His will and I never imagined how GOD is using these platforms to our testimony to countless talks, training, online masterclasses, encouraging other people to take that leap of faith and break free.
Invitation to Pray
After the said steps, if you decide to get out, or still hounded by your past, you are not alone. Some of you might find themselves still scared to apply what you learned from this blog because you are not big fans of the unknown. All is not lost, my friend. There is still hope. Jesus has done everything to set you free. I invite you to pray this prayer of surrender, acceptance, and freedom.
Forgive me because I am a sinner. I have been living my life trying to take control of everything. I was too focused trying to cope with emptiness, my pain that I turned to sources of life other than You. Please forgive me.
Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins to forgive my sins and enable me to have a new beginning of a life in You. I recognize that only in You can make me be that person You intended me to be, for Your glory. I now surrender everything to You. Be the Lord of my life. Use me and the talents You gave me for Your greater purpose.
In Jesus’ name, I pray,
Final Thoughts On Adultery
The affair doesn’t have the answers you are looking for. It will only give you temporary happiness that will still leave you empty. It’s not worth sacrificing your spouse or your kids.
An adulterous relationship might seem like an exciting experience. It might even look like the answer to your prayers. But, my dear friends, believe me when I say it’s not worth it.by Toni Miranda
Breaking out of it is possible when you make the decision to do so. It starts with your choice.
I pray that you will make the right decision.
To you who is reading this, When you let it go, know that you are one step closer to the peace and freedom you are looking for.