“Someone I know is having an affair. Rebecca, what do I do?”
One of the more common questions I’m asked is what to do when someone you care about is having an affair. I applaud people who ask — the courage it takes and the care it conveys. Because a lot of people screw this part up.
When I was in my affair all those years ago, I experienced every type of reaction when is started confessing and asking for help:
- I became unwelcome in the home of certain family, as long as the affair continued.
- Others didn’t approve, but they stayed close in counsel, concern, and prayer.
- One friend in particular reached a point of rightly needing space & boundaries.
The first thing to know is you are not ultimately responsible for their choices. As hard as it is to watch someone you love stay on such a certainly destructive path, it’s ultimately their choice and free-willed responsibility to repent and walk away from the affair.
But thankfully, we don’t have to guess or wonder what we can do in situations like that. Let’s look now at:
- the best example;
- some dos and don’ts; and
- a turning point in my then-affair.
The Best Example
In my experience and opinion:
Jesus gives us the best example of how to confront a friend who’s having an affair.
In John 8:1-11, the religious leaders catch a woman in adultery and bring her before Jesus. At that time and in that culture, adultery was punishable by stoning.
Jesus publicly protects her. Then he privately, intimately, personally convicts her.
- He doesn’t condemn her — but he also does not condone her actions.
- He specifically, blatantly advises her to stop her affair (see verse 11).
- He acknowledges her responsibility and power to walk away from sin.
There is no sugarcoating in his words. He speaks plainly and lovingly.
What does this look like lived out?
This was one of the most powerful moments for me. This is Jesus. Watch now:
What to Do
- Pray for them. Pray ruthlessly. (Ephesians 6:12)
- Communicate and demonstrate that you love them.
- Ask God to show you the plank in your eye, first….
- Refer to Matthew 18:15-20 for confrontation guidelines.
What NOT to Do
- Don’t publicly expose (or privately shame) your friend.
- Don’t think or act like you’re better than they are.
- Don’t passive-aggressively tag them in social posts.
- Don’t enable them by pretending it’s not big deal.
- Don’t be afraid to implement boundaries if they’re unrepentant.
Order 2 copies of Words from the Other Woman.
One for you. One for her.
Two so you can walk through this together.
Talk. Hear her heart. Listen. Speak truth (in love).
THANK YOU for JOINING THE FIGHT against adultery: As of 2017, all book royalties from Word from the Other Woman are being sown into organizations helping people avoid or end and heal from emotional or physical affairs.
How to Contact Rebecca
- Yes, Rebecca does periodically accept a limited number of speaking invitations, to share a related word of hope about redemption -OR- her testimony publicly and answer LIVE questions (by anonymous notes, if necessary).
- No, Rebecca doesn’t provide counseling or personal support for women in affairs. She goes into more depth and detail in Words from the Other Woman, but is not qualified (or insured) to provide counsel or legal advice.