Former Adulteress and Once-Wounded Wife Answer Your Questions

Coming soon: All-New Videos Featuring Former Adulteress Rebecca Halton, and Once-Wounded Wife Shelley Hendrix

In a brand-new series of videos (coming soon), Team Redeemed Co-Captains Rebecca Halton and Shelley Hendrix talk candidly with each other, about the impact adultery had on each of their lives.  Real, and sometimes raw, they tackle topics and questions people ask them about the most.

In the meantime, watch the preview below, and click here to learn more and begin reading stories that give hope for “life after your worst day”! 

 


shelley headshot

Shelley Hendrix is a wife, mother, Bible teacher, speaker, author, and television talk show host –but more important than any role she fills, she is most grateful to be a child of God, learning to live out of who God says she is.

Shelley has been referred to as the “strongest female communicator on the topic of grace in our generation.” She also knows the pain of adultery.  Shelley is honored to now be married to Stephen Hendrix.

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Rebecca Halton is an author, speaker, encourager, and “redeemed adulteress”.  People are often surprised by the frankness and freedom with which she shares about her redemption.

Rebecca is eager to help others avoid adultery, or find the forgiveness and healing she has.

How You Can Help Someone Leave an Affair

One of the questions I’m asked most frequently, is how someone can help a friend or loved one in an affair.  I myself experienced a whole range of reactions, when I confessed to being in an adulterous relationship (while it was going on).  As I look back I see how some reactions were more effective than others — if the person reacting had helping me in mind.

I confided in some of my closest friends because the secret was eating away at me.  And I had begun to realize I needed help.  Before and during my adultery I had begun to really isolate myself, so reaching out to others was an effort to reconnect.  To get help.  And to re-establish accountability, which was another pre-adultery red flag I talk about both in my book and this special audio-message.

Like I said, I experienced a variety of reactions.  But I want to focus here on one of the most effective ones.  In the video below, I share what it was and how it impacted my decision to ultimately leave the adulterous relationship:

I see now how my friends’ reactions were reminiscent of Jesus in John 8.  He didn’t isolate — or attack — the woman caught in adultery.  He didn’t turn her away; he defended and protected her. And then in the intimacy of it being just the two of them, he rules out the shame of condemnation — but convicts her with his exhortation to leave her life of sin.

I imagine in my mind how soft and warm his eyes were when he looked into hers.  Maybe even a bit tearful, knowing her pain and brokenness — and knowing the heartbreak of her Heavenly Father.  Heartbreak because of how much He loves her.  Heartbreak because He sees her heart, broken by self-loathing and shame and fear.

And then, when he convicted and encouraged her to repent and leave her life of sin, it was up to her to walk it out.  Here are three things you can do to help someone in an affair “walk it out” and walk away:

  1. Intercede through prayer.  I know I had family and friends praying for me — praying that I would finally have the strength to walk away.  Which I did.  There’s no doubt in my mind their prayers were powerfully integral.
  2. Speak the Truth.  The friend I refer to in the video above was truthful with me — and it was like cold water on my face that I needed.  She wasn’t angry with me, or hurtful — she was just honest about her own heart, her own hurt, her own concern.
  3. Draw boundaries.  If you’re dealing with someone who is unrepentant and doesn’t see anything wrong with their adulterous choices, you’ll need to consider putting up some boundaries.  You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.

meRebecca Halton is Author, Encourager, and Redeemed Adulteress. Her first book “Words from the Other Woman: The True Account of a Redeemed Adulteress” is her testimony of how she fell from grace — and then how grace saved her.

She now shares her story and hard-learned lessons, as a way of helping others avoid affairs or find redemption after leaving one. You can learn more at www.rebeccahalton.com.

Shelley: How I Found Out There Was Another Woman — And Moved Forward

The moment I found out that my greatest fear had come upon me, I was sitting at a desk talking on the phone to a friend who had also been a co-worker of my first husband.

I called her to ask her if she knew what was going on with him. How had this man who had proposed to me—twice!—had children with me, and given me his name, chosen to leave me with no real reason other than, “I don’t think we belong together anymore”?

Although I was very suspicious that there was someone else, my heart and mind did not want to go there. We had seen numerous professional counselors, ministers, and friends and he continued to deny that there was anyone else in the picture or in his life. I wanted to believe him, but something kept nagging at me that there was more than what my eyes were seeing.

I asked God to reveal to me anything that was hidden but needed to be revealed. And within about 9 days, He did just that. As I called this friend and asked a bold question, “Do you know if he is having an affair?” I honestly imagined her replying with some level of shock as she would say, “No way, Shelley. He is going through something but he would NEVER do that to you or the girls.”

But she didn’t say that.
Instead, the other end of the line got really quiet as she said:
“I’m so sorry. Yes, he is.”

I literally had to concentrate on breathing in and out. I cannot even begin to describe the storm of emotions and thoughts going through me. Every nerve felt exposed. I wonder if I did not have two precious little lives counting on me what I might have done in that moment.

But God…

Moving on when he moved out was a moment-by-moment process of relying on God’s strength to get me through. What got me through this and into a much better season? To keep this brief, I’ll bullet point some major “columns” that held me together while my world fell apart:

Intentionality with God and His Word—although books on divorce, adultery, marriage are good supplements, they should never replace the nourishment we receive from God’s own word.

Authentic relationships with God’s People—there were well-meaning people who offered unsolicited advice that wounded me in places where I was already hurting. But there were also people who stood with me in the pain and loved me through it. One woman called simply to say over the sound of my tears, “Shelley, I felt the nudge of the Spirit to tell you that there will be a better day. It won’t always feel like this.” And she was so right. There have been MANY, many better days since.

While it is true that our greatest wounds come through relationships, it is also true that our greatest healing also comes through relationships. Knowing that I wasn’t alone helped me to move on with my life, into the unknown of it all, while entrusting my life and the lives of my girls to a faithful Creator.


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Shelley Hendrix is wife to her best friend, mother, Bible teacher, speaker, author, and television talk show host — but more important than any role she fills, she is most grateful to be a child of God, learning to live out of who God says she is.

Click here to learn more about Shelley, who is also the founder of Church 4 Chicks and the author ofWhy Can’t We Just Get Along?

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.”

Cindy Beall Answers: How Long Will It Hurt [After Adultery or Porn]?

How Long Will It Hurt?
I get asked that question on a regular basis.

Two weeks.
Six months.
Five years.
Not sure.

Another question I’m often asked is, “How do you get through the pain?”

Cry it out.
Yell and scream.
Act like it’s not there.
Not sure. 

These questions always come from hurting wives after they have found out of their husband’s betrayal (or hurting husbands after a wife’s betrayal). Whether it’s an addiction to pornography or a full-on physical affair, the pain is still real in both cases.

None of the answers above are right or wrong or accurate. For some people healing is faster than it is for others. Pain is no respecter of persons. You can’t buy your way out of pain and you can’t “be positive” and expect it to go away. From my personal experience, the only way to stop hurting is to walk through the mire and deal with it. Anything else will cause you to be cemented in a pit of pain and discomfort for a lifetime.

The length of the pain varies from person to person and depends upon just how willing the person is to deal with the pain versus ignoring it. But that’s not all of it. Pain will never go away and a heart will not heal without the supernatural touch of God.

It’s often said that “time heals all wounds”. I see why people say that and to a certain extent the cliche is true. However, I would change it to “God heals all wounds in time.” I do believe that time is a big factor in the healing process but a heart will not experience true healing void of the power of God.

Allow God’s truth to seep into your wounded heart:

  1. For with God nothing will be impossible.” (Luke 1:37)
  2. But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)
  3. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Ephesians 3:20)

It really stinks to hurt. There isn’t anything fun or enjoyable about it. But it’s part of life and the sooner we can accept that, the sooner we will be able to experience the power of our healing God.

Day by day. Week by week. Month by month. Year by year.

Don’t lose hope.


This post was re-published here, with permission.  It appears in its original form at www.cindybeall.com (click here).

CC-300x209Cindy Beall is a writer, speaker and mentor to women. She and her husband, Chris, speak openly about their difficult journey through Chris’ infidelity and pornography addiction that nearly destroyed their marriage and ministry. Through God’s grace they have inspired thousands of people and have returned to full-time ministry where Chris serves as the Oklahoma City Campus Pastor at LifeChurch.tv. Her first book, Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken, released on August 1, 2011, with Harvest House Publishers (click here to learn more).

WATCH — Cindy & her husband Chris share what helped their marriage survive adultery:

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

When Shelley’s Biggest Fear Came True

When I walked down the aisle in my home church on October 10, 1992, at about half past five o’clock, I never imagined that less than seven years and two children later, the man waiting for me at the end of that aisle would no longer be my husband. Never.

That fall day in 1992 was picture perfect. Our friendship and marriage seemed like it had everything going for it. Although we were both young, the pastor who married us and walked through our premarital counseling with us stated, “You two are more prepared for marriage than many 30-somethings I know.” As a young bride-to-be I paid attention to important indicators, like how he treated his mother, and managed money. I even made sure I didn’t have unrealistic expectations for our life, once we walked back up that aisle together as man and wife.

By the end of 1998, though, I began to suspect that something was not right between us. Our marriage in general was one of high highs and low lows. I consoled myself time and again with the thought that “he might do THIS, but he would NEVER do THAT.” I felt guilty for allowing myself to even wonder if he was being unfaithful. The worst my mind could imagine was that perhaps an inappropriate friendship had formed. And if it had, I wanted to nip it in the bud before my biggest fear came true.

On January 1, 1999, my husband said words I will never forget: “We are both good people, but I don’t believe we are good together.” The next few months were a nightmare, as I agonized over this relationship and tried with all my might to salvage it—whatever it took. Although his relationship with another woman did not come into the light until mid-March that year, I knew something was going on. My then-husband moved in and out of our home 3 times in those 3 months, before finalizing his decision to leave permanently on April 1.

We have two daughters, who were at that time 4 and 2 years old. My 4-year-old took it the hardest, and said so many times that I lost count: “Mommy, tell me again why my daddy doesn’t love you and doesn’t want to live with me?” How does a mother look into the innocent eyes of her 4-year-old child and answer this question?

My life—as I knew it—was over.
I felt hopeless. I felt violated.

I felt damaged. I felt like dying.

At that point, I had NO idea how much good God had in store for my children, for me personally, and for our future together. I learned something powerful in that season in my life: God’s ability to be good to us is never contingent upon someone else or what they do. I had NO idea how much my God would redeem me, my story, my daughters, and our lives in the way He can redeem anyone who wants a second chance!


shelley headshotShelley Hendrix is wife to her best friend, mother, Bible teacher, speaker, author, and television talk show host — but more important than any role she fills, she is most grateful to be a child of God, learning to live out of who God says she is.

Click here to learn more about Shelley, who is also the founder of Church 4 Chicks and the author of Why Can’t We Just Get Along?