Infidelity is much like a wildfire that destroys a preserve and all living things in it. But a wildfire also burns away the debris and the underbrush choking the forest’s new growth. Though infidelity initially devastates a relationship, a marriage can not only recover from adultery, but flourish after it. The process takes time, a safe environment, appropriate nurture, lots of patience, and God’s grace. It is a time of vital personal growth for both spouses.
This workbook will start you on that journey. It is a map that shows you the lay of the land. It will be your survival guide for the next one hundred days. You won’t be finished with this wildfire, but you will have it contained by then. You will be “mopping up” and putting out “hot sports” over the next several months. But best of all during that time, you will be replanting new growth personally and relationally.
You are probably in the thick of the wildfire now. You need to be tough-minded to stay there and fight it out. It will always be easier to run to what looks like safety. But just like it’s easier to fight fire with a partner, so it is true of fighting infidelity. Two spouses need to be involved in this process. At times you might need to call in additional support, such as a pastor, a therapist, or close friends. If the infidelity is complicated with disease, pregnancy, career ruination, or lawsuits, you most assuredly will need professional help. And at times, you may need to take some breaks—take them. Don’t wear yourself out trying to be too strong. Lean on your network of supports such as family, friends, coworkers, and small groups. Each of you will need all the help you can get.