Why would a person risk everything to commit adultery? Why would someone risk ruining their life, marriage, and reputation by cheating on their spouse? Typically, we think of a rational human being when we talk about risk. A rational person would weigh the pros and cons in a situation and then determine the best path to take. However, when we speak of infidelity in a marriage relationship, we must consider that the person is no longer rational at certain times, but instead, their reasoning has been warped by something else. Therefore, in the mind of the adulterer, there is no risk, but instead the prospects of resolution, fulfillment, and peace, which we will discuss shortly.
People typically don’t plan to get married and then cheat on their spouse. Instead, a progression of events occurs that places a person in a situation where he/she does not know how to get out of, and deep inside may not want to get out. A person may not consider risk when in those seemingly helpless situations because during those situations the focus is on meeting one’s needs and not on the relationship that is bringing displeasure in the first place.
So, what happens when a person cheats on their spouse? How did he/she get in that situation and why didn’t he/she get out? I will attempt to provide some answers to those questions in this article. The path to adultery begins long before the actual act and, in many cases, the spouse of the cheater is the one who opens the door to that path as I will explain herein.
How does it happen? It can happen in any number of ways, but ultimately there is a need that is not being met by a person’s spouse that was expected to be met by him/her. This could happen unintentionally because many people take their marriage relationship for granted in that they don’t purposely nurture it.
The husband desperately wants to be loved and wanted by his wife, which he receives through sexual contact. If this need is not met over a long period of time without any explanation or conversation, then the husband may purposely or inadvertently seek or accept those longings respectively, from another woman.
The wife desperately wants to be loved and wanted by her husband, which she receives through emotional connections, conversation, and sex. If this need is not met over a long period of time without any explanation or conversation, then she is vulnerable for having those needs met by another man, whether she planned it or it happened by circumstance.
Adultery, therefore, does not start when a man or woman seeks to be sexually fulfilled by someone other than their spouse. It starts when that man or woman was neglected by their spouse over a long period of time with no explanation or conversation. The wife simply refuses her husband’s sexual advances or otherwise does not show an interest in intimacy with him. The husband does not take the time to have deep conversations with his wife and emotionally connect with her as a normal part of their relationship. Over time, those needs become so powerful that they unconsciously or purposefully seek to get those needs met elsewhere, which sometimes is through the doorway of infidelity leading to a sexual encounter with someone else.
When the needs of a husband or wife are neglected by their spouse for a long period of time without any explanation or conversation, then he/she may find his/her mind wandering trying to find a way to meet those needs without violating the marriage. The fulfillment of those needs nag day and night causing stress from resisting and attempting to control the mind from wandering. However, in many cases, that is impossible because eventually, something gives. The man or woman nay check out of their marriage so to speak. It may not lead to adultery, but it may lead to divorce, separation, or a miserable marriage relationship. As time goes on, being unfulfilled by your spouse may grow into a pursuit of something or someone to fulfill their needs, and an intimate relationship with someone else may be the result.
The Door In
The door into the culmination of the adulterous act may be subtle, but powerful. It could be so emotionally charged that the husband’s/wife’s will to do what is right has been short-circuited, leaving him/her powerless to resist the enormous affinity to what is on the other side of the door. There may be many moments when he/she realizes consciously that what he/she is embarking on will lead to destruction (as the book of Proverbs admonishes). It is at those moments that he/she should muster all the available willpower without any other thoughts and run away from that door. It is at these moments that a person’s relationship and commitment to God becomes extremely beneficial because it is that commitment that may give them the burst of morality that they need to escape the jaws of sexual satisfaction from the other side of the door. The temptation coming from the other side of the door is very subtle. It warps one’s ability to reason and what is bad now appears to be a good thing. The husband may reason that he is fulfilling a need that his wife isn’t fulfilling and therefore this will improve his relationship with his wife by removing the stress and resentment that he has for her because of lack of sex. Likewise, the woman may reason that what she is about to enter will improve her marriage to her neglecting husband. The enticement may happen over a period of time as each encounter puts him/her closer and closer to the door and then further inside the room, inch by inch. What normally would have been “impossible to do” and a giant leap to adultery is now a mere small seemingly insignificant step to pleasure and fulfillment. Unfortunately, the pleasure of fulfillment leads to darkness and shame.
Adam’s and Eve’s eyes were opened when they sinned against God (as recorded in the Bible). Everything changed when they sinned. Before the sin, the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil looked good to eat and good to make one wise. The enticement or temptation warped their perspective of the tree and the commandment of God was buried by their perhaps emotionally charged mindset at that time. They ate, and everything changed. The same thing happens when adultery happens, at least in some cases. Everything seemed right until the deed is done, so to speak. Suddenly, the husband or wife realizes that what was done was wrong…very wrong. Not only was it wrong, but it cannot be undone. A change happens. His/her eyes are now opened and can see the truth, which was previously clouded by their emotionally charged and deceived mind. “I’m dirty now,” is what races through their minds. They go home to their wife/husband and must wash the dirt off by taking a shower or the like. Feelings for their spouse are different now because their perspective has become clearer after so much darkness. Sure. She doesn’t give me sex as I want, but at least she is here and does well in other areas. Sure, he doesn’t talk to me like I desire, but at least he works hard and provides for his family. It’s all clear now, but the deed was done.
The drug was ingested, and it felt good…very good. However, It doesn’t seem so good after the effects of the drug wear off. Was it worth it? The man or woman may ask, “Did it really make my relationship better or fill the hole in my relationship?” At this point, they may resolve to never do that again and then work really hard to do something about their marriage.
On the other hand, the experience may have been so fulfilling that he/she seeks to do it again. Perhaps it really did make him/her feel better about themselves and their marriage. They convince themselves that they are in a miserable marriage and it is only fair that they get pleasure in life and remain married. The deception here may persist until an even greater eye-opening experience happens…getting caught.
The interesting thing is that all of this could have been avoided if the couple had established and maintained a healthy sex/intimacy life. There would be no need to eat elsewhere if there is plenty of food in your own kitchen. A man or woman would be much less likely to commit adultery if he or she was fulfilled at home by his or her spouse. Why go elsewhere and risk losing so much when you are satisfied at home.
Adultery is Still Very Wrong
Adultery is still very wrong, even though the path to adultery can be easily explained in many cases. The Bible teaches us that God hates adultery and that it is a very serious thing. Adultery means that you are unfaithful to your spouse. You have broken the vows that you made on your wedding day. You have violated the trust of your spouse at the very least. This says nothing about any disease that you may bring home after having sex with someone else.
In probably many cases the path to adultery is explainable, but still wrong. So even though one may seem to be able to justify adultery, i.e., being fulfilled by someone else, it is still a very bad idea and something that should be avoided. Instead, put your energy into fixing the sexless marriage or the lack of intimacy and emotional connection you both have. Fix your marriage!
Adultery starts with neglect in many cases. The person in an affair didn’t necessarily go out looking to cheat on his/her spouse. Their spouse in effect threw him/her into the arms of someone else by neglecting their needs. A husband hungry for sex from his wife may be left to fulfill it elsewhere whether it is with another woman, porn, or just doing his best to stay away from home and do things that please himself, making the misery at home more bearable. The wife may likewise become fed up with an unappreciative husband and seek comfort in the arms of another man, her girlfriends, or her family.
The bottom line here is to not neglect the needs of your spouse. Do not take it for granted that your spouse will be there all the time. Everyone has a limit and if that limit is reached, then bad things can happen. Therefore, do not neglect your spouse’s needs. Do not take your spouse for granted. Do not assume that your spouse will always be loyal to you because you never know what is waiting for him/her to break him/her. Nurture your marriage relationship and protect it from an affair in whatever form that affair might manifest (sex with another person, abandonment of the marriage relationship, indifference towards a spouse, etc.). Present yourself to your spouse so that he/she has no reason to go anywhere else because all he/she wants is with you. If there is no food in your kitchen then you are likely to go elsewhere to eat. Make sure that there is plenty of food in your kitchen and your spouse will indeed eat from you and drink from his own cistern so to speak. If both husband and wife are doing this, then the marriage will be affair-proof for the most part.