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Exposed Infidelity Requires Divine Intervention to Repair

“I learned to compartmentalize things, I learned to hide over 20 years of using pornography. I learned how to hide from my wife.”  Barrett thinks back, “As the years went by, I continued to be further in darkness and isolation and she was growing in her faith and that divide between us just continued to grow and grow.”

When Whitney and Barrett Wilson got married, his secret life with porn brought an unknown darkness to their marriage.

“I think I thought it was all me and I was wrong,” says Whitney, “and put a lot of weight on just performing and getting better on my own. And, that darkness just kept growing at that time.”

As he continued to hide his porn addiction, Barrett eventually had an affair with a coworker.

“They were friends of ours outside of work. And so, it all seemed safe, you know, like our-our world seems safe. It seemed like it was okay.”  Barrett sadly states, “And, obviously those boundaries, boundaries were crossed and then led to - led to the affair.”

Barrett couldn’t stand the guilt and ended the affair after a couple of months.  But the shame still consumed him.

He reflects, “I just remember telling God like, if it's true that-that I'm supposed to tell this to my wife and not just live with it until I die, then you're going to have to somehow tell her or make-make it come out because I can't.”

Whitney had a thought pop into her head, “I was sitting there, and I remember the phrase going across my mind, "Barrett's had an affair with that person."

One night, Whitney looked through old messages on Barrett’s computer and found evidence of the affair.

With tears she states, “there was a flood of emotions in that moment. Um, I think I was more angry than I'd ever been. I've learned since that that's because something I love so much was - had been hurt and damaged. Probably, at that point, I thought beyond repair.”

Barrett states, “Whitney immediately left. And I mean, I just believed that that was the end of our marriage.”

Hurt and broken they both turned to their pastor and his wife for help.

Barrett told his pastor, "Look, I've-I've had an - I had an affair. Whitney knows about it and I don't know what to do.  He just hugged me, you know, and again, it's not what I expected, but he-he hugged me and told me he loved me. And I just shared everything with him, every-every corner of darkness in my heart that I could think of.”

Whitney says, “these women carried me to Jesus, they were comforting, they also challenged me to look to Christ and say, "What did Christ do for us?"

In the midst of the pain and betrayal, they decided to pursue reconciliation.

Barrett reflects, “Whitney told me that, you know, she had always loved me. And even then, knowing what I had done, um she still loved me.  I just remember thinking like, I have to do whatever I can um to stay married to this woman like I have to.”

One night as they spent time together, God changed Barrett’s heart.

“Whitney was kind of at a place where she just couldn't be consoled just, you know, in her hurt and in her pain. I just didn't know what to do. I couldn't fix anything. And so, I just felt this tug in my heart, to go and get my Bible, and just start reading the book of Romans.

I was reading to her that night, it was like I had never heard any of this before.

And whenever I got to Romans five and, you know, read that while we were still rebels and enemies of God, that God wanted to prove His love for us and that He sent Christ to die for our sins. And, I just was losing it.”

Whitney adds, “He started reading. And it was seriously this weird flip where all of a sudden, he starts crying. And I think that honestly, in a kind of funny way, was like, "What's happening?" And kind of shocked by his tears almost.

I had never seen him moved by anything he read in the Bible. And so, somehow the Spirit kind of calmed me down in that moment.

And hearing him read and seeing him being so broken over the words he was reading, and identifying so much with his own sin, and seeing him-his own story on those pages.”

Barrett says, “you know, I had a father in heaven that truly loved me unconditionally, despite everything that I had done, every-every destructive thing I had done, all the darkness that I had lived in. Even knowing that, while I still lived in that, that God wanted to prove His love for me and that He sent Jesus to die for me to pay the price that I should have to pay, and to die the debt that I really deserved.  And that was truly the turning point where God um really started to um put our lives back together and put - or not put them back together, give me a new life and give us a new marriage.”

Whitney smiles, “God was slowly showing me that I could be forgiving and loving towards Barrett while still hating the thing that had happened, and being very angry at that piece of it while still offering grace and forgiveness to Barrett.” 

Barrett is free from his pornography addiction, “The Holy Spirit was just – amidst so many things, was even showing me like my behavioral patterns of, "Okay, this is going to lead to pornography. Don't do this, don't do that." And just being obedient to that. And so I haven't looked at pornography and you know, almost nearly three years now.”

The couple now shares a mutual love for Jesus and is looking forward to starting a family through adoption.

Barrett sees marriage as a covenant now, “Hopes for my marriage now is to continue um walking in light with Whitney. To serve her and to love her and to bathe her in scripture so that God gets the glory and that she feels His love through me.”

Whitney has a new outlook, “I think my hope for our marriage is that we continue to walk in that path. And even as we adopt and bring kids into our marriage, that that belief I had where the husband and wife do become one is still true today. And even more true today than ever - it's ever been.”

Barrett smiles, “I'm grateful that living a life that I don't deserve because of the work that Christ did on my behalf.” 

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