The Challenge and Importance of Disclosure – Part 1

The Challenge and Importance of Disclosure – Part 1

One of the most difficult issues a man has to face is disclosing his sexual sin to his wife. The issue is loaded with both honest and resistant questions:

  • Why bring up something that is only going to hurt my wife?
  • What good is there in bringing up the past?
  • Where does the Bible say I have to disclose this to my wife?

While there is no clear biblical mandate, and no two situations are alike, there are some principles that apply.

  1. Your sexual sin has broken your marital covenant. Hiding it from your wife continues to break the covenant, while bringing it to the light gives opportunity for true repentance, healing, and restoration.
  2. Your wife is entitled to know that the covenant has been broken. In almost every case, a wife would want to know; so you should not be making this decision for her.
  3. What you don’t disclose, you give yourself permission to do again. Be honest with yourself. Not telling your wife makes it easier to continue in your behavior.
  4. Disclosure is an essential step towards restoring a trustworthy relationship with God and, therefore, your wife. See 1 John 1:5-7.
  5. There are real advantages in disclosing:
    1. First, it is usually better than having your wife find out another way.
    2. Second, it increases your chances of becoming sexually pure, because it puts her on guard to any further cheating.
    3. Third, it re-establishes the primacy of your marriage by ending the conspiracy of silence that created distance between you and her. In doing this, you realign yourself more closely with your wife and your right to control critical information that matters greatly to her.
    4. Fourth, your disclosure may awaken your wife to issues that need to be addressed in order to achieve true intimacy with her.
  6. There is also a disadvantage or dangerous reality in disclosing your sexual sin to your wife. In some cases, the wife will leave the marriage. This is true in a great minority of the cases.