Cheating in marraige
I am not afraid to speak the truth, even when it’s ugly. 1 John 1:9-10, James 5:16. I have cheated on my husband, once sexually, multiple times emotionally and physically.
Nothing ever makes anyone cheat on their spouse. Never. It is always our responsibility to remain faithful, and short of some sick scenario like someone holding a gun to your child’s head and threatening to shoot if you don’t sleep with them, nothing makes you do it.
That said, cheating on one’s spouse is often not a rational decision. There are many different things that, while they do not make us cheat, they do make us vulnerable. We all have various biological and psychological drives that impel us to connect with another. Cheating is usually a result of seeking to get our needs met, it’s not really a choice. It’s our default. Where choice and rational decision enter the picture is in the decision NOT to cheat. That IS a choice, and it is one that we promised our spouse to make until death do us part.
Our drive for attachment is very, very strong. Loneliness is not the only force that might drive someone toward cheating, but it was the motivating factor in my failures.
From “Loving Your Spouse When You Feel Like Walking Away” by Gary Chapman, P. 39-40:
most human behavior is motivated by what psychologists call “The hidden self.”… Behavior that is motivated by internal physical needs is probably the easiest to observe and understand… behavior motivated by psychological or spiritual needs is much harder to recognize… Psychiatrist William Glasser says, “everything we do-good or bad, effective or ineffective, painful or pleasurable, crazy or sane, sick or well, drunk or sober-is done to satisfy powerful forces within ourselves.” This is glasser’s way of saying that even inappropriate behavior services some function…the closer you can come to understanding the internal motivation for your spouse’s behavior, the better equipped you will be to serve as an agent of positive change in your marriage. if you can help your spouse meet his or her needs in a healthier manner, then you may well see your spouse’s behavior change in a positive direction.
Chapman goes on to describe the 5 basic psychological/spiritual needs that drive human behavior: 1) the need to love and be loved (attachment) 2) the need for freedom 3) the need for significance 4) the need for recreation and relaxation, and 5) the need for peace with God. All but the last are obvious possible motivators for cheating. #1-loneliness. #2-someone who feels suffocated in their marriage seeks a place to meet their sexual needs in a situation with less intimacy #3- the affair partner validates your desirability or worth, #4 – self-explanatory? (If anyone sees how need #5 can lead to cheating on one’s spouse, you’ll have to spell it out for me)
ETA: #2 also creates a vulnerability when one spouse is controlling, even things like being passive-aggressive. We all have a need to not feel controlled by our spouse, but the need for freedom does not abolish our need for connection. When you can’t get both in one place, some people resort to cheating. This was a secondary factor in my own history of infidelity.
No. Male. 65 y/o and married almost 45.
I have certainly been tempted more than once, especially during a period of emotional & physical estrangement from DW 20-25 years ago. Besides my faith, a strong deterrence was my father’s infidelities which caused much heartbreak for us growing up and eventually destroyed my FOO. I am very thankful that through the grace of God I (and DW) stayed the course and worked our way through it.
First, I don’t really like the term “cheated”. I really don’t think it really conveys the heart of the matter.
With that said, I confess to having been un-faithful, and commited adultry.
The reason is simple enough on the surface. I was lonely. More accurately, I was alone in my marriage by most meaningful measures.
It would be easy to say that loneliness was the only reason, but over the years before, and many times since, I have endured the same loneliness and isolation, so that doesnt explain everything. I have never gone looking for an affair. The woman I had an affair with made me feel wanted and desired, so I can not discount that as a significant factor.
ShadowSpirit did a good job of presenting possible motivations, and I really can’t add anything new to it.
Male…and yes, I have. And not only was it “cheating”, it was a relationship. Mentally and physically.
As someone said earlier, nothing “made” me do it, but I see what you mean. The reason it happened was because I was selfish. I was choosing to allow myself to be sucked into the temptations of another woman through the attention she was showing me. She also flattered me (I’m 8 years older). She wanted things sexually she couldn’t get from her husband, and I had never been involved in any of those things. One thing led to another, and we were both committing adultery as often as 3 times a week. We would often call in sick and spend all day somewhere. The relationship lasted about 2.5 years.
Here’s the terrible part…how you know when your relationship with God is severed. When you KNOW in your heart what you’re doing is wrong and the consequences are not only horrifying to think about but also costly, yet you STILL continue to lie to your spouse, sneaking around, and having sex with another.
The truth and consequences were NOT worth what it did to our marriage for about 3 years. There are still comments made (discovery was 2015), the occasional question and trust issues. No matter what anyone says…NO affair is worth it
I have not physically cheated…I have emotionally cheated to where I became invested in another woman. I am glad that God intervened to show me my sin and that connection was severed.
I was attracted to her because she was into fitness, she appeared sexy in her pictures, and she flirted with me…all activities that I longed for my wife to do to me or be interested in.