I get it, married life has not turned out like you had hoped it would, with the shortchange of your dreams with companionship, a safe place to call home with a supportive loving wife, enriching satisfying intimacy, mutual respect, raising and leaving a healthy legacy for your children, and building finances for a great retirement. No, it’s definitely not been in the scope of what you may have wanted, unless maybe you do enjoy all these things, but still you have gotten bored and restless with the status quo. I also am addressing the men who pursue other women and hide the very fact that they are even married to begin with before their quest, which must become quite exhausting in the over all scheme of managing and weaving tales. Whatever the issues that supplied a set up for a new romance, you now have a side relationship that appears to be a safe secure haven that engages your interest, emotions, and physical desires.
This is not an opportunity to shame males for falling into an affair or would-be affair, but simply a chance to share how it possibly could be perceived through the eyes of the woman that he pursues outside of the marriage nuptials. It’s a message to any man, no matter his circumstances >>> who cheats.
Let’s say hypothetically, the woman you could be pursuing, could be me, or, even as much of a taboo, a woman already committed into a marriage herself that might be in a bit of an unhappy dynamic like you have found yourself. It might surprise a man how a lady truly feels about your passes and suggestions to toy with the danger of an affair or even just pushing the line of safety with a “friendship”. I’m not talking from the perspective of an Alex character type from Fatal Attraction, a woman with a Jezebel spirit woefully abandoned to her own demise, partaking in a conscience-free seduction. Instead, this is the other type, imperfect as she may be, the sweet and exciting breath of fresh air, busy about her life and ministry, mother or not, focused on her world, open and warm, possibly some pain-filled and hidden areas of bitterness she carries that you are certain you can tap into and help heal, but clearly, a woman not necessarily looking for a man to “fix” her needs or to partake in a naughty side venture from a pure and upright walk.
When you see her, you might not be looking for trouble at first, but that spark and chemistry felt is undeniable and the fact that she is off-limits, is what makes her look even more enticing. You feel your conversations are harmless, which they very well may be at first, but after a while, you begin to look forward to seeing her and possibly allowing the mind to slip into the world of fantasy about the two of you. Perhaps she resembles the girl your wife used to be, or more curiously, a total departure from her altogether, and because now you are feeling shafted, bored, or estranged by the current status of your marriage, you are tempted by the “what ifs” that this other lady might offer. You entertain some conversation that if left unchecked, can eventually introduce you both into those tantalizing topics which lead to actions that are far more than unacceptable in the eyes of your wife. You begin to look forward to more time and interaction, and eventually, exchanging text messages, emails, planning quick meetings here and there, sharing a lingering hug, and whatever else transpires, you have found yourself wandering far and away into the forbidden territory. Soon you will both be imbibing in the mind altering potion of poisoned water.
Then, you are in it, and soon, you are looking over your shoulder, deleting messages so no one finds them, sneaking around, longing, wanting, wishing, plotting and more. Perhaps even both of you are dealing with the guilt and shame mixed with excitement of not getting caught, which only plays more heavily into the cycle of how it all repeats. Somehow this relationship spices up your life and helps you feel alive, wanted, and appreciated more than ever before. The delight of the way it fills the bill, seems to offer promise of more of the same down the line if you continue. Or, does it?
Personally, having been the unwilling party on the receiving end of this type of pursuit in my history, I have found it completely cheap and disheartening to be viewed as nothing more than a distraction to a married man. It short changes everything the Word of God says is pure and honorable of marriage, and without a doubt, it means trust has been broken in every sense from the safe boundaries of an acquaintance all the way to a long time friendship if you are someone I am have always felt was a safe and respectable person. It has the potential to completely crush your entire family, and not just the immediate family, those that are in the extended realm as well, for affairs effect everything and everyone around and the wake is large and consuming. Having experienced these passes of married men I have found the words they used as empty and nothing other than a smoke screen for what is going on in a broad range internally with him and certainly not that of a promising future to having the opportunity to be his cherished one and only one day. It also smacks of a serious lack of respect for women in general. A new-found secretive relationship could cost her, not to mention all that is tethered to this lifestyle choice and the fact a man would dull his own conscience to this, the price tag for him, the price tag for his children, and the price tag to the other ladies he chases, tells me volumes more about a his character than anything else.
It gives women one more reason to be disappointed in men.
The days of men protecting a woman’s honor, seems to have all but disappeared and is now used as a theme brought into films on the screen as an antiquated romantic ideal. People also forget the blessing that comes from the Lord by waiting on Him, for the best person, and then in the sexual realm, keeping things pure before marriage and during marriage, even if the journey is less than glamorous and fulfilling. Then there is also the reward that comes from two people who truly work at making a long-term commitment priority and surrender the methods they have been using to cope to the Lord, and allow Him to do the repair work needed and guiding into a renewed respect for the marriage vows.
Answer these questions: How does disobeying the Lord in the first place ever seem to assure a blessing in the long run? Did you marry the wrong woman in a hurry due to lust and now there are great regrets shopping around outside of your marriage to see what it could have been? And when did respect for each other die in the way of protecting purity of another human being not to mention for yourself?
I personally love it when a man shows a serious depth of character by realizing what is best for a lady, his own, and others. He opens the door for women, knows what good moral code is, and protects himself from his own weaknesses, even if the other party could never appreciate it. He will flee from Jezebel, and in contrast understand that if a vulnerable side of woman appears, it’s his duty and place to protect that by simply walking away, instead of sliding into a place to take advantage. He sees an attraction, but knows if that is better for the common good not to partake of such a venture. If he is my brother in Christ and knows better, and if you lady reading this know better, than why do we push the envelope into the affair level thinking it will ever bring a promise of a stable future more soundly than where we find ourselves now? It’s a lie from the Enemy as certain as a lie can be.
God’s Word basically defines building our house on shifting sands as a future disaster waiting to happen. How can building an “other” relationship, or even a new marriage with a person we cheated with, ever ensure that we won’t have even more complicated problems simply due to the fact, God’s hand is not on it?
Affairs, even if never carried fully into fruition of the actual act of full on sex, carries with it the surefire way to fail and be used. I resent men to the nth degree who think I would find their advances, of all things, flattering, knowing it could cost him and me everything, plus perpetuate generational sins already established rather than being the ones that are the catalyst to break that cycle. Is the reality of all of this really supposed to be a turn on?
One particular time I was working with a new client, a well-known attorney , doing some design work in his office, and right in the middle of a conversation pertaining to this project, with a photo of his wife and family on his desk on the periphery, he interjected an off beat question asking if I liked to travel, and do I like massages. His approach was that blunt and that obvious as the office door stood wide open within earshot of anyone in the near by hall and adjoining offices. Not preempted by any flirtation or encouragement on my part what-so-ever, I stood there with a feeling of utter disbelief that he could be so cavalier with his suggestion and a reckless side of a very arrogant risk-taking unthinking man emerged. No doubt I was not the first one he had approached and from his unashamed stance, I assumed carefully that others had taken him up on his offer without blinking an eye. My respect for my client dropped to an all time low when indeed I learned that this was taking place in his life regularly and no real effort to hide it from his co-workers who possibly had the same going on in their own lives. Imagine, he is a criminal defense attorney for some of the most heinous detailed murder cases on record, which I am sure include crimes of passion over cheating spouses. Oh the irony – that some people never learn!
If I were married, you are toying with another man’s territory, and if I am not, you are treading in the area of that of a future husband and the daughter of the King. Even if you dream of being that future spouse for a new lady, what kind of courtship is that – to be romancing someone while you are betraying your current vows, no matter what the excuse?
To add insult to injury, there is also nothing like the object of a husband’s affection that will guarantee the fury more of an anguished jilted and justifiably angry wife. Your other woman, will be regarded as the seducing villain, the enemy forever in the story, with no recourse, for no one can ever repair the feeling of being “less than”, than a wife that has been cheated on. This is one wound only the Lord Himself can heal. And please, don’t tell me sir that you are totally forthright with your wife after being caught, only to lay a large amount of blame on the woman you had the affair with or almost affair with … because somehow she gets thrown under the bus no matter if she did or didn’t do a single thing to encourage your desire. Don’t blame your wife either for your stepping into infidelity.
Still feeling enticed to cheat?
You may have already been there and done that, way past the point of no return, never having dreamed of having an affair and are now standing in a position that makes you wonder how in the world this whole thing started. You are staying in a heavily broken and strained marriage by choice in the aftermath, or even ransacked by divorce proceedings, bank account drained, reduced to seeing your children every other weekend, or even more of a dagger in the heart, your children have decided not to have anything to do with you. Your job is in question, and if in ministry, you know full well this could and probably has cost you everything you ever worked for over the years. And let’s not forget, perhaps an unplanned pregnancy or a surprise venereal disease pops into the scenario for you both to have to deal with the rest of your lives. The gift that keeps on giving. Plus this as well, what about the unbeliever or weak in faith who is watching, thirsty to see if anyone truly lives an authentic Christian life – how about what they perceive in the body of Christ to be true and dependable?
So let’s see first how the dynamic of infidelity is a set-up from the origin, and learn how to avoid the perfect storm of lies from the evil one before it ever hits – that faulty promise that the grass is greener on the other side. Marriage was never meant to fill what only God could fill. That should be the beginning of baby steps toward understanding the the Lord is the only and all fulfilling God and marriage is a GIFT and a commitment between two very imperfect people. Everyone woman can produce a vulnerable side, and if inspected long enough you will find her weaknesses and strengths, what makes her laugh and delights her heart, those areas which men are often all too familiar with – the way of her wounds and needs and past issues that she carries into her present. Isn’t that what attracted you to your wife? So when you see it as an attraction to a new person, it’s the same pattern of setting one up for emotional ties not meant for any reason other than for marriage.
Often men experience that innate desire to either protect or exploit that Achilles Heal of a woman in “befriending” her as a brother, to fulfill her at least with words and encouragement to help her feel whole, only to find himself gradually falling into an unintentional desire for filling that role himself. She will respond to you one way or the other and may even fight you for a while, but if she doesn’t run from temptation, she soon moves closer to you in heart. It’s the thrill of the chase and winning her trust and affection that keeps you both coming back for more. It could also be that she seems quite stable in her ways, and that helps you feel whole and completed drawing from her strength where you can no longer look to your wife for support.
So one has to ask himself, did the affair of the heart start with the first glimpse of each other, or was it when you decided that it was each other’s responsibility to play the fixer upper? If you can no longer fix your own, you mine as well divert your abilities onto a life that could appreciate it – right? And somebody had to make her aware of how smoking hot and desirable she is – so let it be you to do the task. You feel that she needs to understand that she “deserves to be loved and appreciated”.
Oh danger – danger! This is where we go from flattery to forgery of God’s call on her life. That is not anyone’s place to make a woman feel desirable but that of her husband alone. Your actions will woe her into falling in love and wanting you on a permanent basis and it is woefully unfair for you to truly have no intention of ever following through. This is why the Word of God says to “guard your hearts” (Proverbs 4:23). Even if you have not found yourself intertwined emotionally with a woman, you may feel that an on-line participation of a sexual nature, but no physical touching, is less threatening and more credible as the non-affair type of affair. However, let this be a glaring reality for all to know, cheating is cheating, no matter how you slice it.
Here is where we dissect an even deeper truth of the vows you willingly took on your wedding day. You took the time to consider your wife, to court her, and convene with her in marriage, for better and for worse. You are in it, although bored, restless, and wandering, feeling unloved and unconnected, feeling a fresh new face could fool you into thinking that this is the answer, even if just for a temporary fix. But beware, every relationship dynamic has areas that need to be examined, and carrying old baggage into the new, complicated by the very real fact this is an affair, can rarely ever transpire into something promising for the long haul. I will never understand why a man who wants to play the field, decides to marry and stays in it, and justifies all day long running around behind the backs of those that trust him the most. All of it, can go up in smoke with one phone call, a picture for evidence, or text copy – living on the edge of disaster smacks of nothing more than immaturity in character at its worst.
The Ten Commandments or are those regarded as old school and no longer applicable Adultery is explained loud and clear not only there, but in several other places in the Word. Those virtues of the standard of living in the Word of God, in Exodus and Proverbs, and more, explains the consequences of this danger over and over again. It can and will cost more for the undertaking of it, than anyone ever could have prepared themselves to pay. The Lord put these rules of conduct into place in order to help His children avoid pain and disaster and never for the reason of causing you to live a life that is less than.
Before you justify your actions to get your needs met outside of your consecrated vows, as yourself how adding another relationship into the equation help the matter? If you are truly ending your marriage, then take time to pray and seek Christ, and give yourself time to heal before entanglement with another potential divorce set up with a new person. Do you really want a healthy marriage as it is? Then give it all you have got. And if you do end things, don’t play around for the mean time.
Paul said it best in I Corinthians 7, that in marriage, there will be “trouble” and that he was trying to “spare them” from that pain and derailment to their walk with God. Part of the subliminal footnote I feel Paul intended in that passage conveys that two imperfect people with a sin nature, enter into marriage and then place the other person in the marriage responsible for all of their needs to be met, and to make all of their dreams come true. I have had enormous pain just in the dating relationships, with “men of God” who most certainly would have been a disaster to have married. It’s pretty much curbed my appetite for ever wanting marriage and provides one fact I can rest upon: never married, never divorced, either.
Marriage is an ideal place to find out how giving or selfish we can ultimately be with another person, and the expectation levels we put on each other are far from the ability any human being could ever endeavor to meet, which leads to the obvious and highly expected let down that ensues. After all marriage is about how we can evolve in Christ together as a team, and not about how we can tear each other apart with the microscope looking for “the answer”. God never intended for it to be the whole picture for happiness, but rather a place where “iron sharpens iron” according to Proverbs 27:17, and for the sake of ministering to each other and with each other for those around you. If one falls down the other can pull them up for two are better than one as depicted in Ecclesiastes 4. It’s to glorify the Lord in the way Christ gave Himself up for His bride, the church as her Husbandmen, and for the wife to honor that role and that man. Remember, Jesus never cheats on His bride and she has certainly been a handful for him for centuries now.
Wives, you as well can play party to the problem of a cheating husband. Maybe you have worked as hard as you can on your relationship, slowly let down over time, by the reveal that the man you loved was not the man you thought you loved. But what if you helped set up this disadvantage for what is now a reality – did you happen to ignore the signs of what was coming? Did that bitterness and the put downs, the male slamming and bickering happen to lead to a place over the years that your husband just got tired of the stress and felt driven away? Did you refuse counseling? Did you know better than to marry that guy that possibly was unfaithful before you said those nuptials thinking you could change him? Did you marry just to marry or escape another situation only to realize you two were not a life long match? Did you stop being a friend to him, and dismiss intimacy, and became the mother rather than the wife in the marriage? Do you hold past hurts from things of your childhood and other men in your life over your husband’s head as if he needs to pay the price for all of humanity? How about putting a leash on your spouse, did you think pulling him in tighter to your control was the answer? All of this is as self-serving as it can get.
“Perfect love casts out all fear” as I John 4:18 says, but that perfect love needs to be established carefully, with mutual agreement, done over time, and with open and honest transparency. Even if one person is working it harder than the other, at least they know they can put their head on their pillow at night knowing they are doing all things possible to make things work. But if all things are operating out of fear, it will serve as a sinking ship for the bottom of the abyss.
Men are visual, they like to be nurtured, we all like to be nurtured – yes, men, we women desperately need that as much as you do, and when we can’t deepen the communication and be respectful in our quest to get things out on the table for healing and counsel, we heighten the danger for either one in the marriage to seek solace elsewhere. Dr. Henry Wright, a champion on spiritual roots of healing in the ministry God gave him, points out many issues that are given for health problems due to lack of nurturing from those we are to receive it from, even including marriage. Check out his amazing ministry at http://www.beinhealth.or.
Men, do you put down your wives in the company of friends to fit in with their attitude? Does she feel valued, adored, needed, and protected? Have you set her up to feel bitter against you? And that thing we think is “harmless” with flirting, is absolutely untrue. For the small violation of trust with flirting with another, means a larger violation of trust is imminent. Flirting can turn into an all out affair and it is painfully disrespectful to your spouse. Caring, God-seeking friends – won’t set each other up for a fall into sin – so making someone who is a friend an object of your flirtation, can be a very dangerous risk. One of the things we subliminally wish for in seduction is that even though the girl you are chasing may love the Lord and want total commitment to Him, we want her to respond. She is human, and can fall, so when a man who knows better, looks for insecurities, plays on emotions, trying to slowly diminish the boundary lines of what was once – taboo, and justifies his actions due to his miserable emptiness in his marriage, it creates a total breach of safety for all, and Satan sees that nothing and no one is off-limits. The key isn’t the empty marriage, it’s the emptiness within the people themselves.
The good news is, the Lord has equipped us fully and completely with the ability to be filled with His knowledge by His word, flee immorality, clean up our mind, cling to His Word, and learn from other’s mistakes or our own. One has to be on guard, instant in season and out, and it’s the toughest lesson to learn that the enemy of our souls plants his wiles among the pews and in ministries even outside the church walls, in businesses, and anywhere that people have to interact and where the Holy Spirit dwells. Target practice is common place especially if believers are not on guard. And honestly, I would rather see a cordial end to a marriage that is simply out of fuel, both parties completely spent and done, LONG before one tries out another new relationship, and only then, after a time of counseling and reflection. We don’t want a repeat of what just happened.
Again, my goal is not to berate, but simply to paint a sobering picture and provide a checklist in the mind for future reference that will give you guys something incredibly profound to consider before deciding to open the door to share intimacy with another woman. The Scripture verse Hebrew 13:4 that says, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous,” bears some pretty heavy weight with it and seems rather terrifying to someone who knows that unless they repent of this, get the help they need, and fall headlong into the Lord’s ability to heal, there is a sobering expectation in the long run. It’s even worse, when one does know that truth and still chooses to defy God’s warning.
Let’s look at the fact that there is hope, if two shall agree to get the help they need to safeguard against adultery, or the repeat of adultery. Infidelity, sin, for whatever reason, in whatever form, will never produce the righteousness of God. In the meantime, let’s do our best to remember that truth of the matter and work to overcome the desire to cause another one to stumble along with us. To finish off my ending note, what can we do to prevent a disaster and unwanted outcome in marriage, and when do men need to know that professional Godly counsel is in order to prevent further damage …
- For men and for women – do I need to get counseling in my marriage even if I am doing it alone? Do I have a sexual addiction? (There are volumes of places to help with this.)
- Do I spend time flirting with the opposite sex calling it harmless, and even convincing myself that this flattery is making them feel worthy and needed?
- Do I have a history of infidelity and should I avoid certain types of women that may trigger a desire to step out on my marriage? Should I really be on social media, or stay in the same realm of work on that floor of the church, with “her”?
- Am I calloused to my spouses needs and have I become less and less convicted about the idea of cheating? Wives are you pushing your man away and berating him with a honey-do list and income as his means of existence for you?
- Am I spending time in God’s Word daily and pursuing the heart the of the Lord to prevent issues even in thought, that could lead to infidelity?
- Is my marriage truly over? Have I tried everything to make it work, and have I been totally transparent with my spouse that temptation sits at the door if we don’t work on things together?
- Did I see some warning flags with my spouse before I married them? Could I have prevented heartache ahead of time? Was she cheating with you and now she is cheating on you? Were you the one cheating and thinking the next marriage would fix whatever it was that was broken?
- Am I lying to myself that flirting with anyone, is harmless? ) All marital infidelity begins with flirting.)
- Do I really want to hurt someone I say I care for? My wife, the ministry, my children, the church body, unbelievers who are looking for hope, and the other woman I encounter?
- Are there generational issues of infidelity in my family that I need to be freed from? Can I truly be the one that breaks the line of the curse? Of course you can!
I pray for blessings on you as you read this and take it to heart. There are so many blessings when we ourselves remain personally healthy and attach ourselves to the same. The Lord has a great plan for you, according to Jeremiah 29:11-13, and that would include freeing you from the stronghold of infidelity. God bless you as you endeavor to overcome.
Suggested reading: The Fantasy Fallacy – Shannon Ethridge