Re: Infidelity

If a young man has been married 10 years and he cheats on his wife and his wife files for separation after knowing he is sorry, what does he do when he is a good father to his kids? Is there a story in the bible about somebody that was in the same sort of predicament? thankyou

He repents, deeply, and he loves as much as he can for the remainder of his life, his kids, and his wife, even from afar. He vows to live chastely until death. He made a commitment, and he broke it, and the Lord forgave him before he sinned – but our decisions and ideas have consequences, some simply irrevocable, and often there are no outs.

Not much he can do except to try to keep visitation rights to his kids.

He spends the rest of his life trying to make it up to his children. His wife may forgive him, but that doesn’t mean she’ll take him back.

I’m praying for all involved.


Is this a hypothetical?

Filing for separation is not divorce…

A good father does not wrong the mother of his children

The prodigal son is the same story…and it will require grace for the husband to see himself as the son and the wife to see herself as the father…until then they should do what is in the best interest of their children.


In the catholic perspective and about the link between him and his wife , his wife should try to forgive him under some conditions if and only if he is so sorry and if he has received the obsolution after a confession. In the marriage, forgiving is the principle, otherwise where is the charity between spouses.

In the catholic perspective and about the link between him and his children, if he is so sorry and if he has received the obsolution after a confession, in the case where his wife can not forgive, his wife, the mother of his children has no moral right to use the legal civil system by using his cheating in order to deprive him to his parental rights.

In addition:

In this situation, his wife has a moral obligation to question herself:
Why did he cheat on me?

Questionning of herself is a moral obligation that is coming from the natural contract and the natural institution : the marriage.

Thankyou…also, I have read in The Story of Hosea and Gomer another set of circumstances Hosea forgave her(Gomer) constantly, after repetitious adultery, and took her back when She (Gomer) cost money too come out of slavery. Hosea forgave Gomer "…up to seventy times seven (Matt 18:21;22) ? Is this relevant to this couple ? Thankyou…

This is an interesting question, because it raises the issue of what it means to be “a good father.”

I think it goes without saying that “a good father” is one who is concerned with keeping the family together. Believe me when I say that nothing destroys a person’s childhood like having their parents break apart from under them.

Now, if the unfaithful father in this instance is a “good father” in that sense, but just had a lapse into sin (as we all do, from time to time, though not necessarily of this type,) then he will naturally choose to leave his mistress immediately and focus on doing everything he can to repair the damage he’s done to his family. Even after his wife chooses to separate, he will not see his mistress anymore, regardless of how lonely he may be.

If the wife allows it, and/or the court, the father could maintain contact with her, or with his children, even after separation, but the important thing is for the father not to do anything that would further damage his relationship with the woman who (in spite of the separation) is still his wife.

Thankyou…he meets that role you are talking about - “a good father” . Thanks again

You’re welcome.


Extra awesome comments. His future will depend on other factors:
Does the wife get a divorce?’
Are they both Catholic?
Were they married in a Catholic Church?
Are they able to be granted an annulment if divorced?
Is he going to trash his wife because he messed up and she drew the line in the sand and won’t be humiliated further?

All things someone should consider BEFORE he/she cheats.

a thought:

In the marriage, there are three dimensions for each one of member of this natural institution and of this natural contract because of the notion of couple, of paternity (fatherhood) and of maternity (motherhood) and of the family.

Husband and thus the good husband in link with the couple; Wife and thus the good wife in link with the couple;

Father and thus the good father in link with children ; Mother, thus the good mother in link with the children;

Husband, Wife, Father, Mother and children are notions that form the family (husband/father, wife/mother and kids or husband, wife without children). A couple, husband and wife without kids do they form a family ?? For me yes.


Can. 1152 §1. Although it is earnestly recommended that a spouse, moved by Christian charity and concerned for the good of the family, not refuse forgiveness to an adulterous partner and not disrupt conjugal life, nevertheless, if the spouse did not condone the fault of the other expressly or tacitly, the spouse has the right to sever conjugal living unless the spouse consented to the adultery, gave cause for it, or also committed adultery.

My comments:A contrario reading is is necessary !!! And the innocent spouse has to question itself about this situation.

§2. Tacit condonation exists if the innocent spouse has had marital relations voluntarily with the other spouse after having become certain of the adultery. It is presumed, moreover, if the spouse observed conjugal living for six months and did not make recourse to the ecclesiastical or civil authority.

§3. If the innocent spouse has severed conjugal living voluntarily, the spouse is to introduce a cause for separation within six months to the competent ecclesiastical authority which, after having investigated all the circumstances, is to consider carefully whether the innocent spouse can be moved to forgive the fault and not to prolong the separation permanently.

I don’t know about all that highlighted stuff but his stuff would be on the porch. And I would expect the same if I did that.

I’m too old to play those “take you back” games. We must extend forgiveness, this is true, but his next wife will benefit from his lessons. Wouldn’t be me.

Actually God told him to marry this woman so he can demonstrate to Israel how they “play the harlot” while God (the ever faithful husband) keeps taking them back. So God wanted him to do this to prove a point. A wife is obligated to forgive but not obligated to take him back…and with all the STD’s and HIV, his stuff would be in a paper bag on the porch. Once you break someone’s trust, it takes a lot of nerve to insist they take you back.

I hope I’m misunderstanding the highlighted portion but: What “cause” can a spouse give to allow the other to commit adultry?

I read that too and was about to ask the same question :confused:

the spouse has the right to sever conjugal living unless the spouse consented to the adultery, gave cause for it, or also committed adultery.

Sarah x :slight_smile:

Does a priest have an obligation to tell the spouse if he knows them of the affair or is it up to the spouse to come clean to the spouse instead?

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