Aftershock Devotional Series #6:
Make Decisions and Prepare for Action

November 22, 2021

By this point, you’ve worked to understand your own emotions in light of your spouse’s sexual sin, and you’ve learned the importance of self-care. Now you’re ready to take loving, firm action. But you’ll want to prepare before confronting your spouse. Here are some important things to consider.

Understand the severity of your situation

In some cases, the addictive and destructive nature of sexual sin carries severe complications and causes extensive damage to both partners and the marriage. To assess and treat root issues, couples need a specialized type of counseling: intensive marriage counseling.

This happens with the help of a marriage specialist who has expertise in treating complex relationship symptoms. Over several hours, or blocks of time over three to five days in a row, the specialist diagnoses and treats surface behaviors as well as hidden problems. (One week of therapy isn’t a magic fix, but it can change the direction of a marriage.)

Decide to confront your spouse

When you’re ready, you’ll need to ask your spouse to admit that they need help and agree to appropriate treatment. If they refuse to get help, you’ll let them experience natural, logical consequences. (Don’t worry; we’ll walk you through these steps in our next devotional.)

Anticipate your spouse’s response

Your spouse’s response to your requests will determine what you do next. The purpose of anticipating their response is to help you avoid being shocked and losing your composure. There are three possible ways your spouse will respond when you confront them:

  • They’ll show interest in understanding your concerns, express sorrow for their actions, and demonstrate a desire or willingness to get help.
  • They’ll waver, make excuses, or back away from any definite action.
  • They’ll deny that they have a problem and will refuse to cooperate.

Weigh concerns of domestic violence

If physical harm or retaliation is part of your marital dynamic, don’t confront your spouse until you have full support of a counselor. Then, only confront your spouse in a place and way that doesn’t put you in danger. Don’t ignore clear risks or concerns about your physical safety.

Know the difference between worldly and godly sorrow

Worldly sorrow is primarily self-centered and exclusively consequence driven. (It’s grief from being caught or because someone’s own sin has caused them pain.) But godly sorrow produces positive results. (It involves true repentance, an eagerness to mend their ways, and readiness to cooperate and seek treatment.)

Create a list of non-negotiables

Three bottom-line measures will help you clarify what you require your spouse to do if they want to show that they’re truly repentant and serious about getting help:

  • They must immediately put in place boundaries that prevent easy access to sexual sin.
  • They must share their struggle with others of the same sex who will hold them accountable.
  • They must begin specialized counseling.

These principles are drawn from the book Aftershock: Overcoming His Secret Life with Pornography—A Plan for Recovery by Joann Condie and Geremy Keeton.

fotf icon logo 512x512

Focus on the Family’s Counseling Staff is a group of highly experienced, state-licensed clinicians and pastoral counselors who specialize in addressing personal and family issues from a biblical perspective. Focus has enjoyed a long and valued referral relationship with Meier Clinics and other like-minded agencies who serve the cause of Christ in their clinical work. Focus on the Family offers free consultation through 1-855-771-HELP.

At Meier Clinics, all of our counseling staff are in agreement with our Christian statement of faith.   They are Christian and respect our clients’ beliefs, meeting our clients where they feel comfortable in their spiritual beliefs. Call us at 888-7CLINICS to get set up with one of our Christian counselors.


Take the First Step

If you're contemplating whether Meier Clinics can provide the mental health support you need, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We understand that determining whether our programs and services are the right fit for you or someone close to you can be challenging. You can start the process by filling out a simple form, and one of our empathetic and caring staff members will reach out to you. Let us help you determine if we can provide the assistance you need.

  • There is no shame in reaching out
  • We're here to help, never to judge
  • We accept insurance and have financial programs

All inquiries are completely confidential.

Related Articles

Social Media and Mental Health 

“I’ve seen lots of news stories linking adolescent social media use to bad mental health outcomes. What’s the connection between
meier clinic square

Growing Up With A Narcissistic Mother

The first in a three-episode series on narcissistic mothers. Dr. Lisa Day talks about the challenges of growing up and
teen suicide pandemic

The Teen Suicide Pandemic

There is a pandemic affecting adolescents that has been growing in severity for decades, without the coverage or attention that
meier clinic square

Emotionally Destructive Relationships with Leslie Vernick

Leslie Vernick is a popular speaker, author, and licensed clinical social worker and relationship coach. She is the author of
powerlessness no text

Embracing Powerlessness

When we think of powerlessness, most people think of the Twelve Step Program, which is an amazing healing program of
marriage guidelines no text

Guidelines for Mature Marriage Communication

Commitment to God is vital in a marriage. Imagine a triangle with God at the top. As you both grow
meier clinic square

Healing the Wounds from a Narcissistic Mother

The second in a three-episode series on narcissistic mothers. Dr. Lisa Day talks about the challenges of growing up and

The ABC’s of Finding God’s Will for Your Life

As a Christian therapist, I often assist clients struggling with decisions. Some worry about the future. Others hope to avoid
depression family no text

How to Keep Depression From Negatively Impacting Your Family

It’s the season of thanksgiving and glad tidings! Well … not necessarily. For those struggling with depression, we may know

Attachment Disorders Series #2: Parenting Reactive Children or Youth

Last month we shared an overview about parenting a child with attachment issues. And we touched on Trust-Based Relational Intervention®
Meier Clinics