Infidelity can be likened to a flood that gradually creeps into a farmer’s field. If not dealt with appropriately from its commencement, it can result in great disaster. Like a tsunami, the flood comes in bringing everything that destroys: contaminated water, debris, dead animals and dangerous living creatures such as crocodiles, alligators, snakes or fire ants. Eventually it can destroy everything, leaving the farmer bankrupt, disappointed and hopeless. Following the flood, after the land has been drained of toxic water and cleared of dangerous creatures, dams and trenches are put into place to protect the area from future floods.
Although adultery can potentially wreck a matrimonial relationship, a marriage can be completely restored following an infidelity. It can become stronger than it was before, with deeper intimacy, more passionate love, trust and commitment with healthier boundaries. The process of recovery can become a teaching tool to many who have experienced bewilderment, agony and pain.
Marriages will survive infidelity when couples have a genuine desire to recommit and go through the full process of restoration. It is by no means a quick-fix task of just saying, “I’m sorry. I was wrong. I won’t do it again.” The process requires time, a confidential and trustworthy environment, full disclosure, forgiveness, acceptance, compassionate nurturing, unconditional love, patience and God’s grace.
Usually a void in the relationship is the cause of infidelity. Ideally this void should be made known and filled with a measure of compromise by both partners. If the void is not addressed in time, the enemy will come in like a flood; but with God in the middle, the parties can experience complete restoration.
In young adulthood I was involved in an accident that seriously injured my right leg. During the process of healing, the doctor implanted a steel plate to hold the bones together. He assured me that my leg would never be broken at that place again because of the reinforcement that had been added. When infidelity takes place in a marriage, the marriage is broken; but when proper principles are applied in the process of restoration, a marriage can become infidelity-proof.