When we think of a married person having an affair, we think of lack of integrity. Some may consider adultery to be caused by a spouse falling out of love or failing to provide the love that is deserving or satisfying in a marriage.
However, Jesus tells us that “…out of the heart come evil thoughts…adultery, sexual immorality…” (Matt. 15:19). So the real question is, “What is in your heart?” Are you the sort of person who tries to blame their sin on others? In short, are you a covenant keeper or a covenant breaker?
Excuses People Make for Having An Affair
1. My spouse doesn’t look good anymore.
There are some who believe that when wives “let themselves go” they are to blame, in part, for the adulterous behavior of their husbands. However, first, one should consider the reasons that these wives “let themselves go.”
Is there something happening in the marriage that causes these women not to feel the need to look nice anymore? Typically, wives do not simply stop trying to look good because they have “caught” a husband and think that he is now obligated to stay in the marriage despite how they may look.
They may be less motivated to present themselves to the best of their ability for other reasons. Perhaps they are too exhausted with the demands of a marriage or family to put forth the effort.
They also may feel that their husband does not appreciate their efforts anymore. Whatever the case may be, reacting to marital neglect with passive aggression should not be the solution to the problem. Out of respect for the marriage covenant, wives ought to do whatever it takes to strengthen their relationship with their husband.
This is no less true for husbands. Next time you feel the temptation to place the blame and responsibility for your own sinful actions on your wife’s failure to conform to your own (probably worldly) standards of beauty, ask yourself what you are doing wrong in the marriage that makes them not care about taking care of their looks for you anymore.
2. I feel better than I have in years.
There is a reason why many think this way. The passion and romance that you first experienced at the beginning of your relationship were never meant to last, though you ought to still feel a sense of attraction and feel affectionate toward your spouse even after many years of marriage. Even so, this feeling may not be as intense as it was in the beginning.
You may get a thrill from watching this new person walk into the room, as opposed to your spouse. Basic biology can be to blame for this. Researchers have amply demonstrated that the exhilaration of infatuation lasts less than two years. Those same exciting sensations that you may have with this interloper will eventually die down in the same way that they did in your marriage. The cycle repeats itself.
Even though you get the ego boost of falling in love with someone new, this feeling is nothing in comparison with the deep satisfaction of knowing and being known by your spouse for who you truly are and unconditionally loved.
A marriage can reveal a person’s true colors when they are at their worst. Each may know their spouse’s strengths and weaknesses and yet still commit to each other entirely.
This type of love will not be entirely without passion, but the passion won’t rank as high on the scale as it once did in the beginning. The early fiery romantic love cannot be compared to the love that is strengthened through struggle and everything that you have been through together.
3. I don’t love them anymore
It should be noted at the outset that love is only about 5% feeling and 95% commitment. Though it may be shocking to think about, some spouses remain in their marriage because they made a covenant with their spouse before God and firmly intend to hold true to their promise.
Emotions will wax and wane over the course of your marriage and some days you may not like your spouse as much as you do on other days.
Situations change, and the stresses of life can be overwhelming in a marriage that cannot seem to navigate through what this life throws at them. However, that doesn’t mean you stop loving each other.
What if the feeling has faded?
Keep covenant and love them! Continue with the same loving acts that you did at the beginning of your marriage, in spite of any whatever feelings you be lacking. You may not feel like being as loving, tender, ready to please, or sympathetic as you once where, however, your actions should reflect these feelings, even when you do not have them.
Showing that you understand and are forgiving and helpful will get you through the flat times in your marriage and will render these times infrequent and less intense. Correspondingly, your feelings will become more consistent. All of this will be a result of deciding to love through it all.
It doesn’t require a lot of faith to serve someone that you love. Christ served others on this earth, despite ridicule, persecution, and death. His love for us was still strong throughout it all, and most importantly, forgiving.
“You see, at the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Matt. 5:6-8 NIV)
It is no accident that the Bible ties adultery very closely to idolatry. Adultery is essentially the worship of a false god. The passion that God intended for marriage and commitment is shared with one without bowing the knee to the one whom we were called to love. It is also covenant-breaking of the first order. It is intimacy without commitment and a soul-damning alternative to the work implicit in the marriage relationship.
Let a professional Christian counselor help you and your spouse restore intimacy, trust, and healing to your marriage.
“Girl with Copper Hair,” courtesy of tintenfieber, pixabay.com, CC0 Public Domain License; “Young Girl Crossing Hands,” courtesy of Splitshire.com, AMANDR 20160413 SplitShire-6661-2; “Thinking,” courtesy of Jaelynn Castillo, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “For Better or For Worse,” courtesy of Thomas Curryer, unsplash.com, Public Domain License