This resource is taken from the “True Betrayal: Overcoming the Betrayal of Your Spouse’s Sexual Sin” seminar notebook.
Evaluating the pre-betrayal marriage requires a degree of objectivity during a time of fluctuating emotions. During this evaluation things will be both good and bad; but the good things will not excuse the sexual sin and the bad things will not explain the sexual sin. However, the evaluation needs to be done for two reasons.
1. The sexual sin, while the most obvious and emotionally urgent issue may not be the most destructive factor in the marriage. If there are more significant problems in the marriage than the sexual sin, then purity will not “fix” the marriage. It is likely that the sexual sin will have common roots (idolatry of power, immaturity, control, etc…) with these larger problems. During this time of concentrated change, the pursuit of purity by your spouse must also address these larger concerns.
2. In cases where these larger concerns do not exist, the couple may still begin trying to fix the marriage by getting back to what they had before. Whenever your past is brighter than your future it is a recipe for despair. During a crisis, pre-crisis can seem like heaven; or the “good old days.” If this tendency is allowed to take root, then purity will have become a distraction from the broader need to be growing individuals. A good marriage can never be reduced to success in one area of life.
The evaluation below is meant to help you assess the condition of the marriage before the sexual sin interfered. It would be unwise to allow this evaluation to shift your focus from marital restoration to marital enrichment. Marital restoration (the subject of this material) involves repairing the unique and significant damage done by your spouse’s sexual sin. Marital enrichment involves creating a pattern of life and interaction that fosters God’s design for a healthy personal and married life. Marital enrichment solidifies marital restoration; it is not a replacement for marital restoration.
Instructions: Read the following descriptive statements. Consider how well they describe your marriage before your spouse’s sexual sin. This exercise should be completed after the full disclosure and follow up in order to ensure that you know when “before” the sexual sin began.
(CD) Completely Disagree, (SD) Somewhat Disagree, (NS) Not Sure,
(SA) Somewhat Agree, or (CA) Completely Agree
Click here for assessment tool: Evaluation – Condition of Marriage Before Sexual Sin
Remember this evaluation is not your new “to do list” replacing the marital restoration efforts under way. Any couple taking this assessment would find aspects of marital enrichment to work on. Your goal in this assessment is to identify any long-standing marital problems that would have contributed to the sexual sin or undermine the sustained progress achieved during the restoration process.