What should I do about an adulterous affair that my spouse had immediately prior to being deployed overseas by the military? He left recently for an extended tour of duty. Just before his departure I found out that he's been involved with another woman. It's difficult to communicate with him now that he's overseas. How do I deal with this while awaiting his return?
There isn't much you can do until he returns. Once he comes home, you'll have an opportunity to talk with him face to face about the affair. You will also want to discuss your present relationship and the future of your marriage. Until then, you've got your work cut out for you on at least three different fronts: 1) you can wrestle with the problem on a spiritual level; 2) you can take care of yourself and work through your emotional reaction to your husband's unfaithfulness; and 3) you can continue to care for him from a distance.
In Hosea 2:6 and 7, God has this to say about His unfaithful spouse, the nation Israel: "Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns, and wall her in, so that she cannot find her paths. She will chase her lovers but not overtake them; yes, she will seek them, but not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go and return to my first husband, for then it was better for me than now.'" While your husband is away, we'd encourage you to claim these verses on his behalf. Go before the Lord and pray a hedge of protection around him. Ask God to keep him from further temptations and opportunities to sin. Intercede for him before the throne of grace. Not only is this critical to the condition of his heart, but it will also be important to your own spiritual and emotional healing.
Consultation with a licensed counselor can also promote the healing process. In your husband's absence, it's critical that you find a therapist who can help you deal with your hurt and anger in a constructive way. Focus on the Family will be happy to help you get started. You can call and speak with a member of our Counseling staff. As a part of this conversation, our counselor will provide you with a list of referrals to qualified professionals in your area. When your husband returns, present him with the option of joining you for some intensive counseling. Suggest a series of daily sessions during which you can resolve deep issues with the therapist's help in the shortest possible amount of time. Meanwhile, you're going to need a lot of outside support and assistance to survive this difficult period in your life.
Finally, while your husband's deployment lasts, stay in touch with him to the best of your ability. You don't need to address his infidelity in your letters or e-mails. As a matter of fact, our friends in the military suggest that this would not be a good idea, since on-base disclosures can affect security. Instead, supply him with detailed information about you, your children (if you have any), and the situation on the home front. Keep the lines of communication open even when he doesn't respond. This will have the effect of reminding him of your love and commitment to the marriage relationship until the day he returns.
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Affairs and Adultery