Should You Apologize to the Woman You Committed Adultery Against?
In the past, I committed adultery. I never asked for forgiveness of this man’s wife that I wronged and the family that was affected by my great sin. My husband does not want me to speak to this woman but there has been a quiet urging in me all this year to call her. To this day, it appears she has denied anything that has happened and she will most definitely not respond well. But, I feel motivated by humility and love to tell her I wronged her and her family and to ask for forgiveness. I have prayed about it and there is nothing against it in Scripture but yet my family is against me doing so.
Do you have any thoughts on this matter?
Praise God you understood that you had done something that wasn’t pleasing to the Lord and that your heart’s desire is to apologize to this woman. When I look at what the Bible has to say about our sins, James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” You wanting to apologize to this woman is biblical.
There’s another passage in Matthew 5:23 that says, “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.”
Forgiveness is huge. It is the gospel message in a nutshell. I realize that your husband doesn’t want you to do this, but a husband’s headship does not trump God’s word.
Let me reiterate that: a husband’s headship does not trump God’s word. You are God’s gal first. You are your husband’s gal second. Obey the scriptures.
What you could do in this instance is go to your husband and say, “I’m your gal, but I’m God’s gal first. I want to be respectful of your wishes, but I also want to honor my Lord.”
Instead of calling her, I’m just going to write a simple note.” If I were in your shoes, all I would write is, “I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?” and mail it off. Let her deal with the receiving aspect of it. If she wants something more and picks up the phone to call you, then that ball is in her court.
A movie that I watched recently comes to mind called October Baby. Although it has nothing to do with adultery, the story is about abortion and adoption. This mama aborted her baby, and if I remember correctly, she had twins. Later, the now teenage gal finds out that her parents had lied to her about having been adopted. Long story short, she goes and finds her birth mother. Her birth mother can’t deal with seeing her because the guilt is too much to handle. The beauty of this story is that it is a true story. The child’s (who is now the teen) is heartbroken. I’m an adopted child, so that made a profound impact on me. But as I was watching it and seeing it through the eyes of the biological mother, I saw it in a different perspective. Anyways, the teen gal came back and all she did was write, “I forgive you” on a post-it note and put it on her biological mom’s desk. There was no communication between them, but the mom needed to hear that from her.
I would take that route if I were in your shoes because it is biblical. God put this on your heart, and I believe this would also be respectful to your husband. Lord willing, his heart will be softened to the way you are trying to please your Savior and that he would be respectful of your wishes. If he is not, that is really between him and God.
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This is a well-fitting response to the woman’s question. I pray she finds the courage to do it.
October Baby was so touching. I wish all woman would watch it before making their final decision on abortion.
wow! Great godly, biblical advice. May I add my 2 cents? I’m a child of divorced parents b/c my father chose to abandon his vows to my mom and to God. He cheated and within 1 year was married to the woman who broke up our family. I HATED her with all my being and I felt my mom was justified in hating her as well. We all want justice and this was SO unjust. My mom struggled financially, but mostly spiritually, consumed with hate and bitterness. After almost 30 years I can honestly say she (and I) is rid of bitterness. She forgave my dad and his wife on her own, but wouldn’t it have happened, potentially, so much sooner if she had been asked to forgive? Really, forgiveness is not for the person that did the wrong, it is for the person wronged. You simply asking her pours out a blessing ON HER–make sure that is your motivation… this should not be motivated by how YOU feel, it should be so she can start healing, though I believe you will feel the effect of that blessing as well.
I agree a short, to-the-point note is the way to go. An “I’m sorry, I know I was wrong and I humbly ask for your forgiveness” would be a balm over the years. You getting “in her face” so to speak is more about you and less about her. And this needs to be about her, what she can handle, when she can handle it…
I too am glad you saw your role in this and have come clean with God. And remember, your forgiveness is from God– Christ has already taken this from you when he went to the cross. Blessings on you and all involved.
Thanks for sharing your perspective, Melanie!
As a wife who chose to ask her husband to leave when he refused to stop his affair, I want nothing more than never to hear of the other woman ever again.
They are “in a relationship” on Facebook. They are celebrating with my son on his birthday. I am alone, cleaning the house that was a home for my son’s party with his friends later.
Your asking her for forgiveness is looking to take something more from her. If she wants to offer you forgiveness, she will. You may never know about it. Respect her and leave her alone. It is the least you can do.
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