Now That I Know, Should I Confront Her?

Maybe you just found out he’s cheating.
Maybe you know now who the other woman is.
Maybe you’re the other woman, trying to clear your conscience.

Now that you know it’s an affair, should you confront her? 

That is one of the questions we (Shelley and Rebecca) have been asked most frequently. While pop culture suggests taking matters into vengeful hands, or having a knock-down-drag-out on national TV, we don’t agree. Both Shelley and Rebecca had very specific reasons for why they did, or did not, confront certain people.  Be sure to join this mailing list, for more information about the upcoming video series that will answer this question in more detail.


In the meantime, we recommend asking yourself these questions….


This biblical mandate (see Romans 12:18) doesn’t ask of us the impossible. It doesn’t ask us to play God or try to be God to anyone. It doesn’t ask us to be perfect. It reveals the ability we have to make powerful choices in our lives that, in doing so, increases our own peace so that we, in turn, can make a greater impact for good in our generation.

Whenever we’re riddled with guilt or bitterness or regret, we remain shackled in chains that have already been unlocked for us. But it has always been and will always be our choice to remain in those shackles or to cast them off and run in the freedom purchased us by the forgiveness of the God who forgave us long before we could have even begun to wonder how we could make things right with Him. He set things right. He initiated the forgiveness of all of our wrongs toward Him. And He is the One who makes us able to offer that kind of forgiveness to others, whether they realize they need it or not.

One final thought: whenever we see that a confrontation is necessary, it is vital that we take the time needed to examine our own hearts and motives first. The importance of this cannot be overstated, so please take the time to do this thoroughly by asking yourself and answering these questions:

1.      What is my motive in confronting this other person/group? If your answer reveals a desire for revenge, to put the other person in his/her place, or something of that flavor, please wait until your emotions have calmed down enough to handle the confrontation with respect for the other person.

2.      Am I ready to accept that the other person may not respond the way I would prefer? Take the time to release your expectations and desires to your heavenly Father. Going into the confrontation with an agenda can put both you and the other person on the defensive if/when things don’t go your way.

3.      Is this safe? Not to be melodramatic, but the truth is that some confrontations are unwise because the emotions involved can escalate in some situations putting one or both people at risk for harm—either verbally or physically. If it isn’t safe, don’t confront (or don’t go it alone). Common sense applies here. (As shared in detail in the above section.)

4.      What do I hope to gain? If you recognize that the importance is that your voice be heard, and not that the other person respond the way you desire, then you are probably ready to confront.

Remember … “the truth may be painful, but it should never be hurtful.” (James Eubanks) Check your motives, investigate your desires, evaluate your safety, and acknowledge your hopes before heading into a confrontation with another person or group. I believe these steps will help you to get your thoughts together for a respectful confrontation with just about anyone. (Just about!)

Go in peace.

 


Why Cant We Just Get AlongThis post is an excerpt from “Why Can’t We Just Get Along? Six Effective Skills for Dealing with Difficult People” written by Shelley Hendrix, Founder of Church 4 Chicks, and published by Harvest House Publishers. For more information on this book, along with a sneak peek and online ordering options, please visit: http://harvesthousepublishers.com/book/why-cant-we-just-get-along-2013/

This same excerpt was also featured on ValorieBurton.com (click here to see it there). 

Melanie: Redeemed from Adultery & Drug Dependency

If you had met me a decade ago, you’d have seen a very different woman.  I was a divorced, single mother struggling to figure out how to live on my own.  I had been married for 6 years to the first man to show interest in me.  We had a beautiful son together, tolerated each other and outgrew each other quickly.

After my marriage ended I started on a dangerous journey of pursuing married men.  Feeling powerless in my marriage for years, I discovered I did have power over men in regards to sex.  I carried on relationships with several different men for a few years.  The last affair was different though.

Like me, this guy had been raised in the church.  We both knew better, but it continued for almost 2 years.  Over those 2 years, he separated me from my family and friends.  Each time that I had enough he would spend a weekend with me or take me somewhere and I would resign to wait for him again.

Living this way was very stressful.
I used antidepressants and alcohol to numb the pain. 

These drugs combined with stress gave me heart palpitations.  A friend at work was seeing a Christian counselor and suggested I go.  I had shared the affair with her and she herself was emotionally troubled as well.

After a few sessions of me trying to convince my counselor that I was in the right and he needed to just leave his wife because I loved him the way he said he wanted to be loved, she pulled out a Bible.  She went to John 4:1-26 — the story of the Samaritan woman at the well.

As she read it to me, my eyes were opened and I could see the deception and my own issues of needing to be loved by someone even if that someone was the wrong one.

That day I started recovery from relationship addiction and codependency.  It wasn’t easy, but God helped me through.  The Bible became my food and drink.  Breaking free from the affair required a spiritual battle as well.

At one point the agony was so strong I was scared for my life.  My counselor reminded me of the Passover.   That afternoon I took some cooking oil and prayed over it, smeared it on my doors and windows.  That night I slept soundly for the first time in two years.

I discovered that day in therapy that I had no secrets from God.  He knew exactly how I was living, even if I had only shared with a few of my closest friends.  He wanted more for me, and loved me enough to save me from myself and my past hurts.

Something else the Bible says is “many believed in Him because of the Samaritan woman’s testimony”.  This is my journey now.  To tell my story so that others may be encouraged.


messagepartWhat Happened Next?  More from Melanie on God’s Redemption, and Life after Her Worst Day: “I found a great church to attend while in recovery. After a few months, I noticed this guy who was there every time I was there. I knew I was broken, so he had to be like me, broken & bruised. We didn’t speak for a long time. I didn’t trust myself to even talk to him, but when he finally spoke to me it was different. He was different and I was different. He was a good guy. I had never given a good guy a chance before.

Our first conversation was over an hour long in the church parking lot. I knew that day that God had brought us together. I was truthful with him about what I was going through and that I was on a mission of purity. He was on a similar mission. We had a short, but sweet courtship and have been married almost 10 years now. We have four beautiful children in all and God has restored us both.”

What Happened When I Told My Husband I’d Cheated

There are so many moments that lead to a life-altering bad decision. They don’t usually happen in a split second – God gives us many opportunities to pick a different path. Once I started compromising, it was only a matter of time until I was so deep in bad decisions that it was almost impossible to see my way out.

I knew Jesus. I knew Him, and I denied Him. Five years into my marriage, I cheated on my husband twice, who was deployed in the military.

When my husband deployed, I plunged into a deep depression. I started going out with single friends from work as an escape. What started as occasional dinner became weekly nights out dancing and drinking. I became more daring, and started removing my wedding ring before going out. My “friends” supported my behavior – justifying that I “needed to have more fun.”

I don’t remember the details of precisely when I started going completely off the deep end. I do recall that I felt sick about cheating, and told no one. Soon though, I did it again, this time with someone I knew vaguely (rather than a complete stranger). The scenarios were always the same – I got drunk, and erratic, and just wanted to escape.

But the truth is, I was living in a personal hell.

I was twice driven to my knees, begging God to forgive me. Even after that, I was reckless for a few more weeks. I wish I could explain why I couldn’t just stop. When my husband came home from deployment, I was overjoyed — but I knew I couldn’t tell him what I had done. I knew he would divorce me, and I loved him, and I never wanted our marriage to end. Why did I do it then? Here’s the hard truth: my selfishness drove out any thought of anyone or anything other than myself and my immediate impulses.

I hid my sin from my husband for over five years.

A seemingly random DVD-watching Bible study, was how God urged me to confess to my husband. I still can’t believe it. And the reveal was worse than you can imagine – because I made it so, by not telling my husband the whole truth – I told him half the truth. But a week later, I heeded the Holy Spirit’s conviction AGAIN, and told my husband: “Actually I cheated on you TWICE, not just once.”

Here’s the miracle though: my husband, a non-believer when we met, a man who has never forgiven some of his closest family members for past hurts, FORGAVE ME. And the kicker – the Lord just keeps blessing me. It doesn’t seem real – and it doesn’t seem right, but I know deep in my heart that the Lord forgave me when I truly begged him for His forgiveness, and I also know that He honored my obedience when called me to obey Him and reveal the truth when I did.


Anonymous is a friend of Rebecca Halton’s, who was in the same Bible study as Anonymous when she went home to tell her husband.  We respect and support her decision to boldly come forward, even anonymously, as was best decided by her and her husband.

In lieu of a bio, we’ll also share that Anonymous says: “I pray you’ll learn from my mistakes. I pray you won’t make the mistakes I have endured. I pray you’ll ask for help. You’ll seek Jesus – when you think you shouldn’t, when you think you can’t. I pray you’ll become moved to follow Christ now – today and forever. I pray my wounds, deep and ugly as they are, transform more than just my own life, but bring great glory to God. Somehow, someway, the Lord keeps blessing me – and I don’t deserve it. I don’t deserve any of it – but that’s why He sent his Son to die for me, and to take my sin on as His own. May Jesus’ name be glorified.”

What Really Happened When He Said He Was Leaving Her

Being an adulteress was one of the last things I ever expected.  I never expected how far I would let things go.  I never expected he would eventually want to leave his wife.  Despite how I had idealized what that day would be like, when it actually happened it was far from what I envisioned:

The last thing I felt was joy – and the first thing I thought was something I can’t print here.  (Let’s just say I wasn’t as elated and relieved as I thought I would be.)

That’s the veneer of adultery.  It looks like one experience, when the reality is quite different.  It’s like expecting good business from a known con artist, or good health from junk food.  And no matter how alluring it seems, I have yet to meet an adulteress who hasn’t traveled a hard road.  Yes, I’ll even say a road she’s choosing to be on.

Because as much as I can compassionately relate to current “other women,” my belief in taking personal responsibility wasn’t altered by my own experience.  If anything, my experience only affirmed it.

Just like it was the same for the adulteress in John 8.  Jesus compassionately defended her against the Pharisees – but he also told her to leave her life of sin.  He didn’t condone her life choices, because he knew what they meant for her.  He knew that to keep sinning wasn’t in her best interest, too.

If it had just been about getting her back in legalistic line, I dare say he would have handed her over to the Pharisees.  But that’s not God’s heart!  If you’re currently in an adulterous relationship, then you need to know that the need to end it is not because God just wants to ruin your life.

It’s because He knows a life like that will ruin you. 

Just like it had begun to ruin me.  Like any relationship, the famous “honeymoon phase” eventually ended.  But like a drug addict, I was already emotionally h