When Opportunity Knocks

Much has been written and broadcast in the media about high profile personalities committing adultery. It has struck the marriages of many people from Hollywood celebrities to politicians, sports figures to pastors and church leaders. While these cases are fodder for every talk show, news and quasi-news program, the reality for the rest of us is that many normal, average, ordinary people engage in adulterous affairs. Often times husbands or wives who end up in an affair are not totally miserable in their marriage, as most people assume. In fact, recent studies show that even those people who rate their marital relationship as “pretty happy” and “very happy” end up committing adultery. Affairs don’t only happen in bad marriages.

Researchers say that one of the greatest risk factors for infidelity isn’t what is going on inside the marriage, but something that is outside. That risk factor is opportunity. The state of your marriage isn’t necessarily the greatest indicator of infidelity, so you need to be very careful. Far too many people make the mistake of thinking, “Our marriage is just fine. We love each other, we’re solid and it would never happen to us.” Then they let down their guard and don’t pay attention to the situations they allow themselves to be in because they feel like they are safe. It’s the furthest thing from the truth.

Your marriage is not immune. No marriage is. And it is especially critical that husbands and wives listen to each other when it comes to keeping an eye out for circumstances that could end up being nothing more than temptation and opportunity in disguise. Take for instance the wife who has a chance to reconnect with an old boyfriend via Facebook or some other social network. She may reason that she loves her husband, their marriage is great, she has no designs on any other man, and therefore it’s perfectly harmless and innocent. Even when her husband raises objections and says he doesn’t like it, she tells him that she’s totally happy in their marriage and he has nothing to worry about.

The work place is another area ripe with opportunity. Consider the husband who ends up spending a lot of time with a woman on the job. Maybe they have to be in meetings together or collaborate on projects. Perhaps they even need to have business dinners or travel together within a group of people. It seems like nothing on the surface, especially if his marriage is solid and he isn’t looking for anything by way of a relationship with this woman. When his wife raises a question, he tells her she there is no reason to be upset. He loves her and isn’t interested in anyone else. Yet, his wife may still be uncomfortable with the amount of time, phone calls, dinners, emails they share, even when he doesn’t see it as a problem.

Some people even tell the worried spouse that it’s their problem and accuse the concerned husband or wife of being crazy, jealous or insecure. Wrong! It’s your problem because you are creating an opportunity. Beware of the trap that comes simply from dancing too close to the flame. Most people think they can handle it and they won’t let it get out of control. Trust me—the majority of people who end up in adultery didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to have an affair. It is insidious and happens gradually when given the right circumstances and opportunity.

Don’t be stupid. Listen to your spouse because they are the voice that matters in situations like this. They often see things from the outside perspective that you don’t. When husbands and wives see circumstances are such that an opportunity is there, they need to stand their ground and tell their spouse, “No. I’m not comfortable with this.” Because as the saying goes “All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing”. Believe me, if you do not put your foot down, if you don’t do something about it, the evils of adultery will flourish.

And know that the decision to walk away from an opportunity may cost you something, but it will never be as high as the price of losing your marriage and family. Maybe you have to let a business deal go, or even in extreme cases change jobs. It may be the inconvenience of going to the other side of town to use the gym or health club to avoid a situation at the one you typically frequent. You might have to forego friendships or change churches. Do whatever it takes to guard and protect your marriage. Opportunity can stand there and keep on knocking, but if you are smart and value your marriage, you won’t dare let it in.

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55 Responses to “When Opportunity Knocks”

  1. Rhonda says:

    Amen & Amen about people telling the worried spouse they are crazy, jealous or insecure. I’ve been cheated on before & I put my foot down to try to avoid it & was told by several that very thing-”you’re just jealous” or “you’re insecure, they’re not doing anything wrong-they’re just talking, or they’re just this or just that”. The guy payed no attention to my warning & cheated anyway. Anyone in this situation, don’t believe anyone when they tell you you’re crazy, jealous or insecure. You are no such thing. You’re simply looking out for what is yours, which you are perfectly right to do so. I’m tired of people like us getting badmouthed when we aren’t doing anything wrong; we’re calling the person who is doing something wrong on it & we’re trying to prevent the adultery we see them about to commit.

  2. Lorraine says:

    Having been down this path, I wish that I had insisted that I was not insecure, but concerned. Infidelity is such a hurtful thing; in hindsight, I’d rather endure his anger for calling him out on his behavior, than the internal anguish I suffered as a result of his affair.

  3. Tina says:

    When it comes to adultery, it saddens my heart. There is WAY to much of this going on now days, and I dont understand it. I know several people who have done this, and then end up with Total Regret. If people would Stop & Count to 10 before they make this Life Changing Decision, and realize they are not only affecting their life, but both families on each side as well. It seems everyone gets Hurt, not just the adulter! If you truly are miserable in your marriage, then get out before you make this mistake, or if you think a one nihgt fling is going to do something for you, you better think twice, becuz it surly wont help anything, but make your life worse!You will also save yourself from alot of anger, pain & judgement! And what happened to Marriage Vows, I dont think people takes these seriously anymore. Divorce is too easy! Again if everyone would just stop and think for one minute what this is going to do to their lives and everyone involved, I bet their would be alot less of this happening in this world today!

  4. DJ says:

    My husband and I have been happily married for many years, but some years ago, I saw an affair developing. I told him I thought he worked too closely with the woman, but he said I was crazy, it was just work. When I finally pressed hard, I found out there had been kissing and fondeling, but no actual sexual intercourse. At first, he was defensive and said he was sorry in the same tone he might use if he spilled something. I demanded the entire relationship stop immediately and he told me he couldn’t stop working with her. I said if he didn’t, I would leave. At that point, he apparently realized the gravity of my feelings and began to sincerely appologize and told me he would do whatever was necessary to heal my feelings and not see her again, at work or anywhere else. Whether there was acutal intercourse or not, I still felt betrayed and it took a lot of work between us to rebuild trust. Today, I am so glad I chose to stay and work on the relationship and so thankful he was willing to work with me to heal it.

  5. Nina says:

    I agree with the article. I have always told my significant other to be aware of the seemingly innocent circumstances that present themselves. A former girlfriend or friendly female reconnecting on myspace, at the grocery store, at the gas station. They need help with a flat tire, they need help moving, they need a shoulder to cry on. I have always ingrained in his brain, what appears to be innocent on the surface CAN open a door that should not be opened and to be prepared to deal with ALL the adverse consequences. He was too accommodating to the needy females, he cheated and I left.

  6. Nicole says:

    I really enjoyed this because I have a husband that had an affair we are currently working on these issues and I strongly agree you should not let your guard down because it can happen to you. I thought my husband would never cheat. he did and it hurt me but we are strong enough to move on and together we are working on our marriage, although extremely hard we have faith that it will workout and we have learned better ways to communicate with each other. God has blessed us with each other and we intend on keeping it that way he has also lead us in a new direction in our marriage that we both are vary thankful for.

    • Ronnette says:

      Hi Nicole

      I too have been working through an affair. He first blamed me for all of it. It has been almost a year since I found out about his two month affair. We both are Christians and I was wondering how long does it take for all the pain to go away?

      RL

      • Patty says:

        Its been four years for me. I didn’t get any counseling, maybe that would have helped but I am in counseling now. We are still married but it has been a rough road. We have been together for 31years and married for 26 of those years. Its hard to just throw all of that away. We did attend one of the laugh your way to a better marriage seminars six months after it happened. I think it helped because we were able to spend the weekend together and the seminar was very helpful.

      • Lisa says:

        My experience: The pain NEVER goes away. Particularly when your husband still lies to you
        and deceives you and you never know what else he’s doing that he swears on the Bible
        he ISN’T doing. Because you’ve caught him in blatant lies too many times, you can NEVER believe or trust him again. It’s a rotten way to live. Pain? 24/7. It’s been over six years since I found out. It hurts just as bad today as it did then. Only I’ve learned to stuff the pain and hide the tears, and now I am becoming……….numb. Maybe I don’t even care anymore what he does. All I want is OUT. To just get away, so MAYBE the pain CAN heal.

  7. Dee Dee says:

    When my husband had his first affair I survived by following Dr. Willard Harley’s marital building theories “His Needs, Her Needs”–which basically touts that the majority of affairs are caused by unmet needs within the marriage which make them vulnerable. While need-meeting certainly has it’s place in a marriage–this article of Mark’s blows Harley’s theory clear out of the water. And after surviving two more of my husbands affairs (all while I was not only MEETING every one of his needs, but according to my husband, surpassing them!) I thoroughly believe Mark is on target.

    However I still tend to think there is one key aspect missing on why a spouse is vulnerable to an affair. And I’d like to see it addressed. Something within their personality, perhaps? Emotional intelligence? Why when both spouses are met with opportunity and temptation, only one will take the bait while the other one breaks away, running and screaming in the other direction?

  8. JOYCE says:

    WHY DOES MY HUSBAND RESPOND SO ABRUBTLY WHEN I ASK HIM TO DO A SIMPLE TASK. SUCH AS I WAS IN BED ALREADY AND REMEMBERED I LEFT MY CAR KEYS IN MY CAR, WHICH WAS A VERY SHORT DISTANT. HE JUMPED ALL OVER ME THAT I WAS TOO LAZY TO GET THEM SO HE WAS NOT. HOW DO YOU APPRECIATE A MAN WHO CAN’T EVEN DO A SIMPLE FAVOR WITHOUT TURNING IT AROUND AS A HORRIBLE TASK ASKED AND THAT I AM TOO LAZY? I HAVE BEEN TOLD HE IS INSECURE, YET HE MAKES ME FEEL VERY INSECURE ACTING LIKE THAT.HELP!

  9. Kathy says:

    Wow – I wish I had this article 10 years ago. My ex-husband was “business partners” with a lovely lady (who was also married) and they spent lots of time together selling commercial real estate. When I expressed my concerns (as well as the comments from our 3 kids), I was reassured that “I” was his wife and there was nothing to worry about (we had been married 27 years). He is from a strong Christian family where there is no such thing as divorce, so I believed him. The day he came home and told me “she” had filed for divorce, I said, “We’re in trouble, aren’t we?” To which there was no response…and we divorced as well. They are now married.

    Everything you have written is what I tried to convey. Maybe if he had read these “from a man’s point of view,” it might have had more credence?

  10. Rhonda says:

    Ronnette,

    I hate to tell u, but the pain never completely goes away. God bless u-I wish u the best & will be praying 4 u.

    • Anon says:

      Actually there is complete healing and forgiveness in Jesus’ name and no the pain will not always be there forever. Just like an old scar – it doesn’t hurt anymore but it will still be there as a reminder. But it definitely takes time, more than one year.

  11. Money says:

    Truth that is never told. My husband refuses to understand when I tell him not come home late. I dont mind him spending time with his friends but get frustrated when he comes late. I strongly beleive he is not being genuine about his feelings and at times feel he does not love me enough to change his ways. He wont listen to me and at times while we are just sitting at home doing nothing he will suddenly want to go out, that really upsets me because my mind still thinks he is still having an affair but keeps denying it. He has had an affair from since we were married and sometimes I wonder how I have survived it all but I know that God happened. its painfull though and even today it still hurts and more so when I realize that his ways havent changed much.

  12. Rhonda says:

    Anon,

    It’s been 16 yrs. 4 me. How long has it been 4 u? I’m still praying 4 complete healing. It is better, but not gone.

    • tami says:

      Rhonda, My husband had a affair for about 10 months. I never saw it coming, was in a as perfect marriage or so I thought, really never fought, 3 great kids. Date nights and had sex 3 or 4 times a week. Took long walks and talked all the time. I have known for about 13 months and can’t get the thoughts, images and questions out of my mind. We are both Christians, He has done everything he can do to help me. He is so sorry and knows the devastation he has caused. I am just empty and don’t talk much and really don’t care how he feels. Your saying you’ve been dealing with it for 16 years? I really don’t think I can deal much longer. I pray about it have talked to ministers who all say you’ve got to give it to God. Which really what does that mean?? I would if I could. Sometimes I look at him and feel nothing. Just rambling I guess, I have not really talked to anyone who has been through this and is still together. Any advice?

      • Rhonda says:

        Tami,

        The ministers r right-give it to God. What that means is to tell God I can’t take this u have 2 help me. I can’t 4give-u have 2 do that 4 me & thru me. I hope this doesn’t sound trite or old, but u really do have to take it 1 day at a time & some days will be better than others. Some days there is no pain at all & others-something can remind u of the affair & the day won’t be so good. That is a drawback to living in the town it happened in-constant reminders. The person gets aggrivated at me after this length of time, but I say (& I’m not trying 2 be mean spirited) “well, that’s what u get. u should have thought about that b/4 u did it & should have listened 2 me. Experience can sometimes be a hard teacher.” I yearn 4 complete healing-wish it had come years ago, but that also depends on your personality. Some people can get over things quickly & easily-I’m not 1 of those people, so it’s probably obvious how deeply it hurt me. Needless 2 say-it changed me 4ever. I don’t relate to anything the same way anymore. I’m a trepidatious person anyway-this has made me even more so. If I were 2 find myself in this situation again(heaven forbid)- I’d just dismiss myself from the situation-which could be premature, but I don’t want 2 go thru that again. I’d be quicker to say “ok-bye.” I probably would have a tendency 2 not work it out. Defense mechanism. I hope this helps. Let me know if u have anymore ?’s. God Bless-Rhonda

        • Rhonda says:

          Tami,

          I stayed 4 the same reasons u did. I still loved him & didn’t want 2 be divorced. I was in my early 20′s at the time, but didn’t want to go back home or thru the dating process again. There were no kids involved at the time. It is kind of harder, because he’d been cheated on b/4. If someone hasn’t, then it’s easier 2 get over, because they don’t know the pain they cause. I couldn’t believe (knowing how painful it was) that he could turn around & do it 2 me. But, as painful as that was, I can look at from a different perspective now. There r more painful things than adultery. Illnesses, deaths of loved 1′s, etc. I’ll take adultery over many other things anyday (that’s been a fairly new God given revelation & I thank Him 4 it).

      • Patty says:

        I know your pain. The same thing happened to me. I thought we had a perfect marriage and when I asked him why, he couldn’t tell me. This article hits it right on the button. We were fine, married 26 years, the sex was fine, communication was fine, three great kids, survived 20 years in the military, but an affair, its been four years, still married but sometimes its still shaky. She is right, you should “give it away to god” but sneaky satin still likes to put it back in your face. My husband tells me that all the time, that when I am obsessing about all that has happened, that is when I need to give it to god. Of course, that is when he makes me mad because I think, “Who are you to tell me what to do?” But he is right, when I do give it away and sometimes I have to give it away many, many times, I will get peace in return, even if it is just for a time, I will receive peace. Hold on to your marriage if you have a christian man who feels remorse and bad for what he has done, its worth saving. My life isn’t perfect but I still couldn’t imagine life without him.

  13. Ellen Voie says:

    I don’t believe that opportunity is the greatest factor in adultery, it’s a person’s values that drive infidelity. If someone is prone to cheating, they will do it regardless of whether they are near someone of the opposite gender or not. If they wouldn’t even consider EVER cheating because of their values, they will not violate their marriage vows. It’s based on values, not proximity.

    Ellen

    • Bob says:

      Reply to Ellen’s comments: You hit it on the ‘nail-head’! It’s all about an individual’s value system. Each person knows ‘right-from-wrong’. If you value the loved-ones in your family (your familial circle), the idea of taking such a risk is very foolhardy and simply put, your marriage vows should irradicate any opportunity (wise advice from others to remove the temptation, however it needs to be done).

      • Rhonda says:

        That’s right. Look at Joseph. He was presented plenty of opportunities by Potiphor’s wife & did not give in. In fact, he avoided her as much as possible & in the end, ran from it.

    • Lisa says:

      I believe this is true. A person’s CHARACTER. If a person is a weak, willy nilly spineless person, they are easily led into temptation. My husband wasn’t even tempted by a woman. He went looking for one – many times. But oh what a “wonderful Christian” he is – active in prison ministry, detention center, Gideons and other ministries. Everyone thinks he’s Mr. Perfect
      Christian. But when lust happens….and he goes looking for fulfillment – in all the wrong places.
      He never thought to come home to the wife who loved him. (Notice that is now in the past tense. Too many years of hurt.)

  14. Jessie says:

    Very sound advice. I wonder…is it possible for a man and woman – married but not to each other – to be good friends?

    • Jessie says:

      You’d think. I’m not so sure. I’m surrounded by men at work, you’d think a friendship would be possible. But gossip in the workplace can be vicious.

    • Mindy says:

      NO! If your definition of “good friends” includes going out to meals together, getting into a car and driving places together, sending personal texts or emails, and calling each other on the phone… Run the other way! If you need a close friend, build a relationship with another woman.

  15. Wiser in NE Wisconsin says:

    There’s some truth on both sides of this argument. It’s mostly about people making bad chices, but it’s also foolish for people to put themselves in situations that are tempting. I’ve been married for over 20 years. There have been ups and downs, but we’ve never cheated. Not that long ago I became friends with a woman at work. We spent time together at work and we also talked and emailed a lot about personal things. Kids, weekend activities, jokes, etc. I considered her a good friend. It was never a physical or sexual thing. She began to feel guilty and I eventually realized – too late – that she considered it an emotional affair. From my perspective, it was just a great friendship. The idealist in me says that what others think shouldn’t matter, but experience says otherwise.

  16. Wiser in WI says:

    I agree with you, Veronica. Men struggle with this fine line too, and I think your assessment is on the mark.

  17. Zeca says:

    How does one recover a wife with whom I have two beautiful children, that has no one else, but that hasn´t made love to me in a year and still refuses me?
    Apparently I don´t make her feel loved and wanted.

    Regards

    • Rhonda says:

      Ask her if u r doing anything wrong & u say that u don’t make her feel loved & wanted-just ask her if that’s the case. Ask her what u could do to make her feel loved & wanted. U might find something out about yourself.

  18. Jay says:

    Im not married yet and reading all this is kinda scary. I currently have a lovly relationship with my partner, we talk things over all the time, infact when ever we feel uncomfortable with anything we talk about it the very second it occurs. I pray this will continue on as we grow in our relationship with one another and also as, we as a couple, grow in God. My partner and I have plans to get married soon, and Im glad I read this way before our marriage. Hopefully this will give my partner and I a head start to a healthy marriage. Thank you so much Pastor Mark!

  19. DD says:

    All of this is good info on how cheating starts, but if you love someone with all your heart and they cheat on you and you decide stay with them how do you learn to trust them again? I have already forgiven him that is not an issue. It has been 5 years and he hasn’t done anything since then. We did the Fireproof bible study and I believe that is what turned our marriage around. I truely believe that he is sorry for what he did. So my question again is how do you learn to trust? Is there any advice out there that will help?

  20. Sandy says:

    Thank you for your shared insights on adultery. I was once married to a Godly man and had a great marriage with him until my guard was let down. I had no idea what was going on except that someone else started paying attention to me in a nice, gentle way. My husband had tried to be the best husband he could be but somehow we started drifting apart. When I finally realized I was in an adulterous affair, guilt overwhelmed me but I could not pull away from the affair. I felt so ashamed and unworthy of my husband’s love. I turned things around and blamed my husband for my waundering.I soon divorced him, saying the relationship was irreparable and that I could raise our 3 sons without him.
    It is only through a loving Heavenly Father’s mercy and grace that I am forgiven and redeemed. They enemy will use any tactic to destroy families and marriages and it’s up to us believers to stand our ground upon God’s foundation. I have been forgiven but the brutal scars remain.

  21. recovering self-a-holic says:

    I agree with everything Mark says here. I have been involved with this type of affair. That evil in my life has led to me giving my life to Christ, attending counseling, and continuously studying both the Word and other ways to improve of myself. I think husbands and wives need tools to recognize and avoid opportunities that can lead to affairs. I suggest that EVERYONE in a marriage (christian or not) read the book “Hedges” by Jenkins. It is a book that expands on what Mark says in the last paragraph. I give it as a wedding gift to everyone wedding I am invited to. Merry Christmas!

  22. Ann says:

    I know everything about the above. Some years ago I reconnected with an old boyfriend, and we ended up sms’ing quite often, and it became a disturbance. What started out harmless ended up with som pretty hot texting. I clearly knew I was not being faithful, even if we didn’t meet.After a while we stopped having contact with each other. Recently this person came on Facebook, and I sent a friend request. But I did not feel good about it, so the other day I blocked him on Facebook to protect him and myself.

    At a certain time I would have been unfaithful if the other person did not want to meet.

    It is not harmless. You do not need contact with your old boyfriend for any reason. Old memories of attraction may suddenly pop up and disturb your emotional life.

    Thank you for blogging about this. Keep up the good work.

  23. saddened by betrayal says:

    I have had a similar situation to this article. My husband was going on a business trip and there was a woman going as well that clearly had feelings for my husband. At work she would do things like wait until he wasn’t busy with his work to help her with something even though there were 4 other people right there who weren’t busy who could help her, and constantly searching him out to talk to him, things like that. Anyway, I told him to be careful of her because I didn’t trust her and he said he wouldn’t be alone with her. Only to find out 2 days in to their trip him and her went away from the group and hung out alone in a bar. I was hurt because he broke his word to me, something he had volunteered not to do on his own accord. He promised me again that he would not be alone with her. The next morning I called him hotel room to wake him because I knew he had had a lot to drink the night before, and when he asked who it was on the phone I had said, who do you think, and he said in an excited voice HER name. I was so upset that I asked him what would make you think it was her?? and he immediately began to stutter and fumble his words saying because she was one of the only women on the trip and he didn’t know anyone else who would call. I hung up before I said anything I regreted. Needless to say in the following months he continued to promise me that he would not talk to her or have anything to do with her but behind my back would joke with her and talk to her. I even saw them leaning in to each other on their chairs so close that their shoulders and arms were touching the whole length down. On another occasion I saw them walk face to face with each other and stand so close her boobs were pushed into him and they were gazing at each other with smirks on their faces. Each time I would find out about the betrayal he committed in my eyes by lieing to me, he would tell me that I was crazy and much worse. So it has been 3 years now and with marraige counselling I have been able to lessen the hurt and I do pray to god a lot to help me get past the hurt and betrayal but it isn’t easy, like others say something comes up to remind you and it is like having your heart ripped out all over again. He has since realised that he put himself in a very dangerous situation with her and promises not to ever do it again however, it is hard for me to believe him after so many lies to be with her.

  24. Yvonne says:

    So many couples are duped into thinking that because they have a “good” marriage, infidelity can’t happen to them. The Bible talks about running from the very appearance of evil. Excellent read! I love your marriage ministry.

  25. Terri says:

    We need more leaders bold enogh to declare the word of God to be truth in every area. It is so sad how loosely the people of God behave in their work as well as church relationships. We are accountable to God and one another to walk circumspectly and not create situations that will cause temptations. I have been told that I was insecure and jealous on more than one occasion but because I was firm to demand certain hedges remain around our marriage, we have been married for 30 years at the time of this writing. God’s word is tru….CHRISTIANS JUST HAVE TO ACT LIKE IT IS

  26. Ashly says:

    Being married for less than a year I have already seen countless situations where my husband has let his guard down. I had been cheated on in dating relationships and do try my best to keep my guard up at all times but that is not something my husband has yet learned. He is working on this though and is attentive when I bring situations to his attention about certain co-workers, overfriendly neighborly women showing up when I’m not home, etc. I am so sorry to all of you that have experience this and must admit it is one of my biggest fears. I work so hard in this marriage and do everything the ideal woman would do (cooking, baking,cleaning, canning, gardening, sewing, decorating, the list goes on!) But reading this I hear there are many more women out there like me that work hard and have great communication with their husbands and still it happens. I pray for all of you and for myself…may God protect us and our marriages and I can only hope that laying all those fears down and relying on Jesus will be enough to get us all through.

  27. Brian says:

    Way spot on! Speaking of insidious, there is another cancer that is just as subtle, maybe MORE SO- called contention that comes as a result of distance on social networks. The pattern occurs when more innocent relations involving the same sex friends start collaborating on one theme, like surrounding a romance book, a particular one website or blog, sometimes where comment on the human condition to admire the opposite sex is given. This subtle sexual or intense themed discussion takes place on a broad scale discussion already in the media when we let certain things into our homes. But when it is honed, in particular chat rooms on subject matter that refers directly or indirectly to it, be it a single book or movie, it smacks as obsessive to the other marriage partner and too overcoming as a subject matter that interferes with normal multi-subject and theme family patterns. The accusing spouse is much more likely to be blamed for being insecure and inappropriately insecure AND to believe that line of crap. It sets up insidious contention when at first the spouse supports that hobby or interaction, but when it starts to reflect badly on them, resentments and hurts start to take footing on BOTH sides. People, here is the key, when time or themes become obsessive, no amount of fraternizing and being open with the rest involving that invading home theme, will make up for the damage your unbeknownst doing to your marriage, especially in the name of prior insecurities that used to or rather might have been or be there. The Bible states, if you left hand offend thee CUT IT OFF. GET THIS- IT IS OFFENDING YOUR MARRIAGE!!! The KEY is this, no other interest, hobby or pursuit can or ought to take precedence over the companion spouse (call this modern day scripture and revelation) and that spouse has the right to intervene and assert his/her rights without long-suffering pain or penalty which can and will occur; perhaps, not just having been with us, but being the wiser for it after some very painful things, can protect and insulate some few others. For what it is worth department! Also, new findings indicate that when you do not use the whole brain with incessant online chatting you set yourself up for a brain dynamic, when lacking whole body interaction- they say your empathy skills involving the “right brain” or whatever section you want to identify, suffers AND you will be less sympathetic and empathetic TO THE PEOPLE THAT MATTER MOST IN YOUR LIFE! People you can touch see and feel in real time.

  28. Ann says:

    This article is so true. I have had to remind my husband of this at times. During a recent BoyScout trip, a female leader asked if anyone wanted to go on a hike? None of the other leaders wanted to go. My husband agreed to go with her. They got lost in the woods. When he came home and told me about what had happened, I suggested that he never put himself in this situation again. He agreed that this was probably not a good idea and he would be cautious in the future.

  29. Jeff says:

    It has been very interesting reading people’s comments. My wife has ended our 18 year marriage because of my infidelity. I had struggled with homosexuality at various periods during our married life. When I told her recently I had done it again. she left. I didn’t want to cheat, I don’t think it is as simple as saying it was because of my value system. It was because I am broken, felt unloved, insecure and rejected. I don’t think most men want to cheat on their wives, but I don’t think they are really aware of what is happening in themselves. They can feel unfulfilled, lonely, unsuccessful, a whole lot of things, but if you asked them, they couldn’t tell you.
    I didn’t feel like my wife loved me. I know she did, but she didn’t show it. She would snap at me often, I did everything for her, I resented her for that. She would make suggestions about things and I would ignore them because they just meant another job I had to do. I did most of the cooking and lots of the cleaning, I was an attentive father. She never showed affection and sex was left to me to do all the work. I could blame her, but it was both our faults.
    When things happened at work and home that made me feel so insecure, and ran after sin. It was my fault. I couldn’t see what was happening in me, i couldn’t get out.
    I would like to say – fight for marriage, it will never be perfect because we are imperfect, but it can be rewarding.
    Find community and close friends. I have found it hard to find good Christian men to walk with me. Basically, men suck at relationship, but we all need to walk in the light. When we are doing unwise things, we need to have friends who know who can tell us that it is stupid and dangerous. When wives tell us, we get defensive because we usually don’t want to believe what they are saying. We think we are strong enough, and their warning and wisdom make us feel stupid.
    I have lied to my wife and to myself. I loved her and didn’t want to hurt her. I thought I was strong enough to overcome my brownness and weaknesses. I ended up hurting her more.
    I have to fight to walk in the light, but I want to believe for miracles. My God is a God of miracles.
    I am not sure why I am writing this but it touched my heart to read the thoughts of so many hurting wives. I see the failures of men as a gender and see why we need our rib back, we need our wives because without them we are incomplete. Maybe God designed us to be so incomplete so that we wouldn’t try and take on the world on our own.

      • Yarb6901 says:

        So where do we go from here? My wife and I are trying to fix our marriage. I’m not going down without a fight. Yes, I screwed up and broke the most sacred thing in my life. I’m not giving up on Us. Anyone have any advice on how to fix it?

  30. Alison says:

    This is the best article I’ve ever read on this subject. People who haven’t had to face the pain of an unfaithful spouse often judge the one who has been cheated on saying, “He/She obviously wasn’t getting it at home.” or similar hurtful comments. They do not realise just how subtly an affair begins. Whilst married to my 1st husband I was constantly accused of being distrustful, suspicious, etc. I didn’t stand my ground, I backed down & apologised for being such a terrible wife. In the end, it turned out I’d been right all along.

  31. Jodi says:

    When my husband and I are attracted to someone else we tell each other. There is no greater wet blanket to desire than sharing it with your spouse. It may sting a bit but not as much as an affair. We also agreed to tell one other trusted person to increase accountability. I sometimes have to warn him not to get into a particular situation (a 2 person committee for example) with a female. He does the same for me. We respect each other enough to follow the other’s desires, whether or not they make sense to us. Attraction to others will happen; nipping it in the bud the moment it occurs keeps it from going further.

  32. Lance says:

    People need to realize that putting themselves in bad situations will almost always result in something not good. Whether its just the thought of doing something wrong or the actually doing it part. Many issues in marriage can be prevented by understanding this and only putting yourself in good situations and changing the situation to make it right before allowing it to be a problem.

  33. PAUL says:

    its interesting that all the comments are from women.
    as a guy, i can tell you that i have never had an afffair, (although i am a sex addict in therapy and have done lots of other bad things.)
    but i can tell you one thing- when my wife (of 20 years) has in the past raised a concern about a relationship with another woman, she has been right almost 100% of the time- nothing had happened, nothing ever did, BUT by the time she raised the concern , if i am honest, the thoughts/ideas/fantasies, were already there.
    i dontknow how she does this, but somehow she knew what i had not even admitted to myself at the time- i was develping an interest in a woman beyond what the work realtionship required.
    So guys, when your wife raises the red flag- listen , and examine your feelings and motives- i think that most of the time you will find that you are heading down a slippery slope already.

    • Lisa says:

      In response to Paul, the gentleman who said he has never had an affair but that he’s a sex addict and has done many other things, and that his wife is right when she expresses concern about a woman he is around. Paul said it is true that he has had thoughts, ideas and fantasies about these women. May I refer Paul to the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:28: “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
      And Jesus in Matthew 15:19-20a: For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are [the things] which defile a man…..
      Men seem to think that if all they do is have fantasies and entertain lustful thoughts, that’s no big deal, certainly not bad like actually DOING the things they are fantasizing about. Jesus seems to see it much differently than most men. He says it is EXACTLY those thoughts going on INSIDE that defile (make unclean) a man.

  34. jean says:

    I was one of those who let their guard down. I didn’t have an affair physically, but that of the heart. Long story short, I have suffered for 8 long years, wondering what could have been, even contemplating leaving my marriage for someone who I barely know-yet my heart aches for the other person. But I haven’t because I claim to be a Christian, and I know the ramifications to not only my family, but the cause of Christ. Please don’t judge me harshly for I know my sin. I only seek to relieve my pain thru confession. And hoping someone will pray for me because I honestly don’t know how much more I can take.

  35. Yarb6901 says:

    You are absolutely right. My wife- whom I love dearly- just caught me doing exactly this. Happily, it was before it moved to the physical but the damage has been done. Now my wife feels rightfully betrayed and hurt and even has considered leaving me, all over text messages and pictures. You speak in your book about forgiveness and how important it is, but not about penance. How does a husband who has screwed up so completely as I have go about trying to make things right and put the pieces back together? I’ve apologized profusely, we’ve cried together as we declare our love and how we want to fix this and make it work. Things just seem to be getting worse right now. Yesterday they seemed to be getting better. I’m at a loss. I don’t know what’s going on. What do I do now?

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