When people commit adultery/sexual betrayal, they unwittingly issue a “gift certificate” to their spouse (should they choose to stay in the marriage) to do the same thing. The betrayed spouse (subconsciously) accepts this gift certificate and decides how they are going to spend it. Sexual betrayal is betrayal of the highest order. The gift certificate that the offending party issues is basically good enough for any item in the store. It’s like a $5,000.00 gift card to the Apple Store. The offending spouse can use these emotional/relational funds on whatever they desire. The typical spouse will be patient as they consider the best use of the funds. The often remain still, holding onto the new behavioral entitlement they have received.
A Christian spouse will usually not use the gift certificate on a big ticket item like adultery. They know that not only will God not approve such a purchase, but also that such an act may over-extend their funds and create back-end costs. A Christian spouse doesn’t redeem their Apple Bucks for a QuadCore G5 or big RAID Drives. Instead, they slowly cash in their funds by buying 5,000 iTunes .99 downloads. With jabs, slights, coldness, indifference, threats, instability, sexual withdraw, etc. The result is the equivalent of “death by paper cut” for their marriage. It usually dies a slow, painful death.
This can (and has) been overcome by many couples. It all starts with communication, honesty, repentance, prayer, counsel, and time to process. Forgiveness and healing can come, but not until the offended spouse has fully released their claim to the gift certificate. They must relinquish all right to any purchase small or large. Otherwise, they are simply delaying the inevitable. A person cannot be made to pay for the same sin repeatedly. If the offending spouse has brought forth fruits worthy of his/her repentance (which is a serious issue), the offended spouse has to eventually CHOOSE to let it go.
It can be done. God is Faithful. The Same Love in the heart of Jesus lives in our hearts. It is a forgiving, no-claim love. I pray God blesses and comforts any couple that may be dealing with this type of issue today. I love you! God loves you more.