The tangled wreckage left by betrayal frequently leaves those involved feeling hopeless and confused. Jesus' statement, "Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32 NIV) seems at the very least misleading in this case. For many, the discovery of what is true leads to many things, but freedom is not how you would typically describe the ensuing feelings. In fact for many, living in the lie, before the revelation of the betrayal, seemed much more comfortable and free than having to live with the truth of what has happened. This holds true not only for the betrayed, but also for the betrayer. As couples begin to face the reality of their situation — to face what is true — they often come to the conclusion that their situation is hopeless, but not everything that is true is the truth.

When Terry first came to my office, he believed he was finally facing the truth. He had been in a four month affair with a woman with whom he had "fallen deeply in love." His 21 years of marriage had been a miserable failure — as he put it, they should have never gotten married. Right up front, he informed me that he didn't want to give up his affair partner, his marriage was hopeless, and that he was sure he didn't want me talking him out of what he was doing. I surprised him when I told him that his observations were true: "It's true that the other woman makes you feel better about your self than your wife, and it's true that she's younger and more attractive than your wife, and it's true that the sex is better with your affair partner than it is with your wife, and it's true that your marriage is hopeless." As I pointed out what was true I could see his countenance lift, but then I pointed out that not everything that is true is the truth.

We tend to view circumstances from a Godless perspective, forgetting that the "truth" is a person and what is consistent with that person! Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life ...." (John 14:6) If what I believe to be true ends up as hopelessness, then it's not the truth, because truth is found in the person through whom all things are possible and in whom things are never hopeless. The truth is, "God will not fail you or forsake you." (1 Chronicles 28:20) When we see no way, the Lord says, "For I know the plans I have for you ... plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11) I told Terry that we weren't going to focus on what was true, but rather we were going to focus on the truth and get Jesus into the center of the situation. From this Jesus-in-the-center perspective, we began to find hope.

I encourage you to keep focused on the truth.
I encourage you to keep focused on the truth and not to become discouraged by what seems to be true. As you've already learned in this life, all is not what it appears to be and only One offers us the truth, the real and powerful and hopeful truth.

Rick is the Founder of The Affair Recovery Center. For more information please feel free to visit at