I have this mental image from Exodus 7:14-25 when God "sent" the plague of blood to Egypt. The Nile River, ponds, reservoirs, and canals turned to blood. I have no idea how it happened, but I imagine it seeping slowly from the staff, traveling down the river into the other waterways until all the water in Egypt turned to blood. It's in this same way, a slow seeping into every corner and crevice, that sin takes over a life.
Whether it's adultery, sexual abuse, pornography or something else, those choices or experiences can effect nearly every area of life, even the places we least expect it. When you get to a place where you can take a "big picture" look at your life, that reality is hard to miss. Like unraveling the layers of an onion, it may start to feel like you keep finding new areas the betrayal has touched.
Adultery robbed my husband and I of many "first" experiences. They were given away to people that meant nothing. And you would like to get them back somehow, but you can't. Maybe we're overanalyzing it, but anyone who has had to deal with adultery, whether a physical or emotional affair, pornography, or lusting with your eyes (Matthew 5:28), can understand that kind of loss. You can't take back what you've given away, especially when it's your time and affection.
It can feel overwhelming as you discover more and more areas that have been effected. But once again, if you are committed to working things out with your spouse, then the process will most likely take you back to forgiving them again and grieving the losses. As time heals, you may want to consider reclaiming some of the things that are tainted. Whether it's a town with bad memories or a "lost first" experience together, you can create your own "firsts" or atleast a new, good memory. Slowly replacing the bad memories with good ones will help both you and your spouse to move forward. And trust me, your loving, intimate, married experience will trump the other experiences any day.
"What God has joined together let no man put asunder" (traditional wedding vows taken from Matthew 19:6).
1. This Is My Solemn Vow