Are You Thinking about Having an Affair?

I will of course write this post without identification. I have been the Pastor of a small country church with an average attendance of 50-75 people on Sunday morning for almost 20 years. 5 years ago my marriage was in shambles. I knew I was in trouble...that we were in trouble. I approached my wife several times expressing my pain but it fell on deaf ears. She was cold, distant, and completely without affection. I kept trying to tell her I was in serious pain but she just didn't seem to care. So, long story short, I had an affair with a woman from our church. It lasted about 2 months and just like the prodigal son in the pig pen I came to myself and completely put a stop to it. This woman didn't want to stop and it was like pulling teeth to get her to leave me alone. About 4 months after I put an end to that stupidity her husband found phone records where we had talked several times at odd hours and it was brought before the church but I never admitted to cheating. I justified my silence with the knowledge that I stopped it before anyone suspected it. I can honestly say that this was the single most painful experience of my life and that I have never repented so hard over anything. It's been 5 years, and I am just now starting to forgive myself. And all the while I have remained Pastor, stayed in my marriage, and kept moving forward. It wasn't easy and it left a serious scar, but I am victorious. The reason I wanted to share my story is for any of you who might be in the same place I was 5 years ago. I love my wife with my whole heart. I did then too. I just didn't know what to do to ease my pain and the path I chose couldn't have been more wrong. If you are in the same place let me remind you that JESUS knows! He really can help you. I have wished so many times that I never made that mistake and while I know that I am forgiven I will bear those scars (and they run deep) for the rest of my life. Trust me on this...it isn't worth it. Keep your eyes on the prize and DO NOT allow the enemy to blind you. God bless you all!

Comments for Are You Thinking about Having an Affair?

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Thank you!!
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your courage in talking about your story. There is healing in telling the story. I am the preacher's wife and my husband did a similar thing. He did not sleep with the woman but there was an emotional connection. I was not cold nor did I ignore his feelings. He did not share them. He was suffering in silence but pretending as if everything was wonderful. It was not until I started seeing text messages and he began to be extremely mean and lying toward me that I knew something was going on.

For about a year or longer he was connecting with this woman and yet preaching every Sunday. Through much prayer and seeking God's face I have forgiven him. Our marriage is still not completely settled because there is no trust, but I am trusting God for that. There are some days that I wish we were not in ministry for the sake of our family but God is all knowing and all powerful so, I will understand it better by and by.

Again, thank you for your openness. More conversations need to happen like this to keep the enemy at bay and to save our marriages and families.

God Bless You!

Ask for forgiveness
by: Anonymous

I believe that honesty towards your wife and the church would be the best solution. It seems that hiding this information is hurting yourself and others. I appreciate this story and it took a lot of courage just to post it. Be honest with yourself and others. Living with guilt gets you into a place where it's difficult to move forward. God Bless and I'm praying for you!


by: Daniel - Editor, PastorBurnout.com

I have heard people state that the guilt of moral failure leads to burnout and/or depression. I have seen this. But I see something else more frequently.

Burnout causes real pain. It is not imagined pain. There is real suffering involved. One cannot usually point to a particular body part and say that the pain is located there. Nor can one say that the pain is "simply" emotional or mental. There is real and often devastating pain.

Like all pain, this pain demands to be healed. And so victims search for healing. They seek advice from others. They read. They pray. But so often, the pain only gets worse.

Victims often get to the point where they almost beg their spouses to help them. But for any of several reasons, the spouses cannot or will not help.

And this puts people at great risk. For pain can be at least briefly lessened through sinful activities.

Some turn to pornography, some to gambling, some to drugs, others to alcohol. While still others go a step further and enter into an adulterous relationship.

I am not excusing nor minimizing the sinfulness of such actions.

But it is important for people to understand that burned out pastors are not just tired. They are in real pain and need relief.

But in searching for relief, please remember that temporary relief can lead to long-term pain.

So I encourage you to listen and take to heart this pastor's story.

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