Ethics: Should Wife Tell Her Husband About 8 Year Old Affair?

What would you do Wednesday?

The issue of whether or not to tell one’s spouse about an affair, past or present, is a question some in the church may eventually face. There are many facets to consider in such a situation. You might be the one hiding the affair or the one it is being hidden from. Let’s think about the following scenario which is loosely based on a real situation.

It is Tuesday night and your couples discipleship group has just begun. The topic being discussed is the confession of past and present sins to one’s spouse. Also being discussed, in light of confessing sins, is how spouses might pray for each other.

After the meeting, one of the wives comes to you privately with a question. She was not sure if she should have asked the group or not. She thought about going to her husband privately but is not sure how he would respond.

Her dilemma? She has been married for 10 years. She had a one-month affair eight years ago. Both she and her husband have only been believers for about two years. She wants to know if she should tell her husband about the affair to ask for forgiveness. Or should she say nothing so she doesn’t hurt him?

How would you advise her?

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tagged as , in Christianity,Church Issues,Culture,ethics

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mburatov June 3, 2015 at 1:52 pm

Numbers 32:23 – “But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.” Hidden sin does not stay hidden. She should tell him.

2 Cathy June 3, 2015 at 4:56 pm

Numbers 32:23 is addressing an obligation imposed on two tribes of Israel. I can’t see how it applies to this situation. I think a more relevant passage is Ps. 51:4 “Against You and You only have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight.”

This woman knows her spouse well enough to know if telling him would be helpful or not. Personally, I’d say let sleeping dogs lie. If my husband did something like that in the past and decided to unburden his conscience now, I’d be pretty upset with him. Telling me now would only shift the burden to me and I’d just prefer him to take that secret to the grave… a long time from now.


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