Let’s talk about adultery for a moment.
It sucks. It sucks real bad… I know, bad grammar, but I need to emphasize just how bad adultery really is.
If you have never been cheated on, it’s easy to say “If my spouse did that, I would ________”. But until it happens, you never really truly know what you would do. I don’t think adulterers truly grasp the magnitude of devastation their actions cause. It would almost be easier to lose your spouse to death than to face adultery. At least then, it might make sense someday. You would know that it wasn’t anything you did. You wouldn’t have to explain to your children why their parent decided to leave and “No, little Johnny, Daddy still loves you, he just doesn’t love Mommy and doesn’t want to live here anymore”. You wouldn’t have to deal with part-time parenting or watching someone else try to take your place in their lives. You wouldn’t have to watch someone else “steal” what God had given you and try to step into your shoes.
Being the victim of adultery is most definitely a type of trauma. You can’t eat, you can’t sleep, your mind plays cruel movies of scenarios in your head, you second guess everything in your life. It’s like living with a type of PTSD. You are shell shocked. The smallest, most seemingly insignificant things, can trigger you to think about the affair. To dwell on the details that you know darn well you only asked for out of morbid curiosity and now wish you never knew. But you can’t shake the mental picture of them entagled in a passionate interlude, or sharing “I love you’s”, or showering each other with romantic gestures.
The cruelest part of adultery, is that the injured spouse can often see things the perpetrator cannot. For instance, the betrayed spouse can see the lies and manipulations of the affair partner, the cheating spouse cannot (or chooses not to). The betrayed spouse can see all the flawed logic involved, the cheating spouse does not. The betrayed spouse can see all the hurt to the children, the cheating spouse tries to rationalize it by saying “they are young, they’ll get over it.” Well, unless there is extreme fighting or abuse, I don’t know that a kid ever says “Boy, I’m glad my parent cheated and left the the other person”. The betrayed spouse is able to see the relationship for what it truly is…fantasy. The cheating spouse sees the fantasy as reality. I can promise you, folks, that once the line is crossed to making the affair partner the primary relationship, it will start going downhill fast. Once they’ve “got you”, their true colors begin to show. No more being on their best behavior. You start getting to know the real them. And the true character of someone willing to become involved with a married person, is lacking at best, evil at worst.
And no, you and your affair partner are not special snowflakes. Just because you want to be, doesn’t make it so. True, something like 50% of marriages end in divorce. However, I believe it’s upwards of 80% of relationships where someone is the affair partner from their previous marriage, end in catastrophe. The new car smell wears off. It’s kind of like your college days, boys, when you went to a party and hooked up with a smoking hot girl. Then you wake up to her the next morning with no makeup, crazy hair, and puke breath and she looks nothing like the girl you took to bed. You woke up with Shrek beside you. It’s the same kind of thing. The affair partner makes themselves look like exactly what you want. Once they know what you perceive you are lacking in your marriage, they will fashion themselves into the embodiment of those attributes. But once you wake up, you see the monster for what it really is…a monster.
None of this is even addressing the spiritual side of all this. I will address that in another message. It needs its own space. It deserves its own space.
But folks, please, guard yourself against adultery. Do not put yourself in positions where this may happen. No talking about personal stuff with members of the opposite sex. Don’t be alone with members of the opposite sex. Don’t flirt with them. Don’t get all stupid when they flirt with you. Your marriage is supposed to be the most important relationship in your earthly life. Guard it at all costs. It is that important.