This is the fourth podcast in a nine part series entitled “True Betrayal: Overcoming the Betrayal of Your Spouse’s Sexual Sin.”  True Betrayal has a complementing seminar entitled “False Love: Overcoming Sexual Sin from Pornography to Adultery.” For more information on either seminar, please follow the links provided.

Is What I’m Thinking… True, Right, Real, Helpful, Crazy?
LEARN MY SUFFERING STORY which I use to make sense of my experience.

“I formed beliefs [define] about myself, life, marriage, and God based on my spouse’s betrayal. I lived out of those beliefs [describe] because they were all I knew and they ‘fit.’ Those beliefs became the guiding themes of my life story. Putting those beliefs into words scares me [describe why]. I reject that false life story and am committed to learning how my life fits into God’s great story of redemption.”

Memorize: Solomon 8:6-8 (ESV), “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “Set me as a seal” – Expecting your spouse avoid sexual sin and to honor the marriage covenant is reasonable.
  • “Love is strong” – The betrayal of sexual sin hurts so bad because love is so good and so powerful.
  • “Fierce as the grave” – Sexual betrayal is a very tangible experiences of “the wages of sin is death (Rom 3:23).”
  • “Flashes of fire” – The intensity of the emotional pain can have psychosomatic effects of pain, nausea, or illness.
  • “If a man offered” – This is why it hurts and is offensive if your spouse tries to do or offer some form of penance.

Teaching Notes

“How many people knew about the affair? I didn’t know and would never know… I felt as if I were wearing a sign that read, “NOT GOOD ENOUGH!’ (p. 61)…. God, I need a miracle here. You’re the great Healer. Heal us! Let me wake up from this nightmare. We’re sitting here breathing, and yet as surely as there is air moving in and out of my lungs, I know we’re dying. But I want to know why I have to die when the sin is not mine! I didn’t do this (p. 75)… In my weary brain there were only three alternatives: lying to myself, being lied to, or pain. If there was no pain, then someone must be lying (p. 98).” Gary & Mona Shriver in Unfaithful

“Quite often I hear in counseling, ‘If he loved me he wouldn’t have had the affair.’ I sadly respond, ‘He loves you and he had an affair (p. 347).’” Doug Rosenau in A Celebration of Sex

“Couple shame makes them feel that they have a bad marriage and that people won’t want to associate with them (p. 183).” Mark Laaser in Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction

“[Case study] Tiffany could not believe what she just heard. After all of the sexual improprieties her husband Jason had engaged in, he was blaming her for his acting out. According to Jason, Tiffany was critical, blaming, non-supportive, and wasn’t meeting his sexual needs (p. 7)… Examples of impaired thoughts for co-addicts include I deserve to be treated this way. I can’t do any better. If I was performing better sexually this wouldn’t have happened (p. 21)… Many co-addicts, even before marrying a sex addict, have come to believe that sex is the most important sign of love. This makes them the perfect partner for a sex addict, who usually believes that sex is his or her most important need (p. 35).” Stephanie Carnes in Mending a Shattered Heart

“And I was angry! Gary and his partner had ‘repented and been forgiven.’ They could move on with their lives. Well, I couldn’t! I resented the fact that I had not committed this sin, yet I still had to carry the pain. Why didn’t they just run away together? By now I could have been moving on with my life instead of being stuck. And at least I wouldn’t have had to suffer in silence; everyone would know if they’d run off. Even as I thought these things, I knew the absurdity of them. We all suffered. We all were suffering. But it was so unfair. No one had ever wanted to have an affair with me! There had been no desire so strong that I had risked everything to satisfy it. Gary had risked everything and everyone for her. What had he ever risked to have me? Maybe I wasn’t worth having. Maybe I should just disappear (p. 110).” Gary & Mona Shriver in Unfaithful

Other podcasts in the G4-addiction series are available at:


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