Yesterday I presented you with a fictional case study of a woman who had committed adultery years ago. She had several sexual affairs over a period of a couple of years and then ceased this activity. She never told her husband the truth and now it has been years since the infidelities took place. She states she has repented of her sin and confessed it to God. She believes she has been forgiven and sees no reason to tell her husband about it for this reason.
I believe that it is vital that the woman confess her sin to her husband, even though it took place a few years ago. She broke the covenant she made to her husband before God. She has practiced deceit for a number of years in concealing the truth from her husband.
It is normal for her to desire to continue to hide her sin, because sin hates to be exposed! Our sinful and wicked hearts love to keep our sin under wraps because to have to admit or confess our wrongs is a huge blow to pride.
She is most likely going to be very afraid to tell him the truth. She must set her fear aside for the sake of righteousness. The one thing she does have going for her is her claim of faithfulness since then, but I would expect her husband to question everything she says for a while.
Sin always has a price, no one gets off scott-free with sin. Even though in Christ our sin has been paid and is not accounted to us any longer, we still have to deal with the consequences of our sins from the smallest "white lie" to the greatest abomination- it has ramifications.
Trust will be shattered for a while, maybe permanently! A husband who has been cheated on (especially more than once) and then lied to for a number of years would have little reason to trust his wife.
He may be very angry and not know where to go from here. I would hope and urge a husband in such a state to see his pastor immediately and get some objective counsel as to what to do. I would urge him to forgive and move forward.
Any time there is unfaithfulness, a wise counselor will realize that the act of adultery is the end of the line of sinful thoughts, beliefs, and desires. The adultery is a result, not a cause. When a man or woman commits adultery the sin trail began a ways back.
The heart of adultery is set on the worship of self. I think that this heart more than any other is supremely selfish because it does not consider the other person in the marriage. All that is thought of is how they can feel better, feel desired, feel wanted, feel good, feel sensual and so on. It is truly all about them.
A definite aspect of the counseling process would be to determine if the sin issues that led the wife to be unfaithful have been addressed biblically. All the heart issues must be dealt with in order to prevent any further infidelity and aid in reconciliation.
There will surely be a long road of counseling for a couple when one person has been unfaithful but it does not have to mean the end of the marriage, and it won't when both people are determined to glorify God.