Since there is some unfaithfulness in marriages the question comes up, “What should a wife do if her husband has been unfaithful to her?”. That is an excellent question. What should a wife do? She should be faithful. She should always do what is right. Just because her husband has been unfaithful to his marriage vows it does not mean that she should be unfaithful to her marriage vows. Marriage vows are made to God. They are not made to each other but to God. She should keep her marriage vows to God…to love her husband for better or for worse. Circumstances do not change our vows. Vows to God can not be annulled. A marriage is a permanent oneness and is “until death do us part”. A wife is to stay with her husband and not leave him.
But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband I Corinthians 7:10
It is the Lord that says that she should not leave her husband. The Lord is very much able to deal with her husband. Her husband is not her responsibility. It is her responsibility to be the wife that God designed for her to be and to fulfill her responsibilities to the Lord. She needs to not say anything to her husband, nor should she tell other people what he has done, but rather she is to find a older godly woman who she can talk to and confide in about her situation. The Lord will take care of the wife if she will trust in the Lord even if her husband does not treat her right. Sarah was a beautiful example of this when Abraham was willing for another man to have sexual relations with his wife. Sarah trusted the Lord and the Lord did not allow the man to touch her. A woman’s biggest protection is to be in God’s will and to obey the Lord.
In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear. I Peter 3:1-6
Although it is very painful for the wife when a husband has been unfaithful to his wife, it will be even more painful to disobey the Lord in what He says. John the Baptist got his head cut off because he told King Herod that he had his brother’s wife, and he did not say “ex-wife”. If you were ever married to a person then you are still their wife. If you are married to another man then you are committing adultery. If your husband divorced you and you were not unfaithful to him, then he is also guilty of his adultery and your adultery, of being married to another man. God’s design is for one man to be married to one woman and vice versa. Anything beyond this is adultery, unless one of the spouses have died. It does not matter who counsels you otherwise, there is no justification for remarriage of any kind for a divorced person while their spouse is still living, even if they have not seen their original spouse for years and even if the original spouse has remarried.
For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. Romans 7:2,3
Faithfulness to the Lord and His ways is not easy. It was not easy for Jesus to be faithful to the Father and go to the cross. However, if anyone wants to follow Jesus then it means following Him in what He says. God’s teaching on marriage is sometimes difficult but it is His way. Even His apostles struggled with it but they all ended up getting married except for Paul, and they were faithful to the Lord even to the point of death.
The disciples *said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” Matthew 19:10
Adultery only happens when someone has sexual relations other than their spouse. If a woman is unfaithful to her husband then she alone is responsible for her adultery. However, if a man divorces his wife and she remarries then she commits adultery and he is also responsible for her adultery because he divorced her. He also is a divorced man and whoever marries a divorced man commits adultery and the divorced man also commits adultery. This is what this verse is referring to, that the husband becomes responsible also for the adultery of his wife if she remarries. If a woman does not have sexual relations with anyone but her husband then she is not an adulteress. A man can not “make” his wife commit adultery unless she remarries. Whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery because she is still her original husband’s wife. If a man divorces his wife and marries another woman then he is committing adultery and also bigamy. He now has two wives.
but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Matthew 5:32
Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery. Luke 16:18
There are no exceptions. And do not say that it was a mistake to marry the original spouse.
When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands? Ecclesiastes 5:4-6