Well the numbers are in. According to an article by “Opposing Views” that researched infidelity among religious groups, we win. Evangelical Christian men are the least faithful of all other religious folks.
Nice to know, isn’t it?
There’s a very popular website out there called Ashley Madison, that helps married people find dates and affairs. Apparently, their business is booming. A recent survey shows that my particular demographic is the predominant visitor, or member, of their little community. That’s just one more thing that tells me our traditional ideas about Christain marriage aren’t working. Traditional marriage counseling isn’t working. It’s time to get our act together.
There’s another site, that does the exact opposite. GodSaveMyMarriage.com was founded by Joel and Kathy Davisson for the purpose of teaching people how to save their family, not cheat on them. Within the realm of highly outspoken and hyper religious writers, Joel and Kathy are constantly critiqued and criticized. I haven’t seen a single article or comment anywhere, about Ashley Madison. While one is actually saving families, the other is helping them fail.
Can we stop shooting our own soldiers? Seriously?
So far, all the outspoken voices attacking me or the Davissons, seem to come from men who qualify as abusive. Opinionated and arrogant. Christian men who attack other Christians for not being as religious as they think they are. I think Jesus had a few of those guys, too.
So. Armed with the wonderful news that we are the biggest cheaters, of all people of faith, what do we do? What do we change?
I found another article that asked if flirting qualified as cheating. Most folks didn’t think so. I do. According to the lessons learned in our marriage intensive, flirting is any attempt to make yourself or someone else the center of attention. For obvious reasons, I see flirting as the gateway to an affair. Flirting doesn’t always lead to an affair, but affairs don’t start without it. It’s playing Russian roulette with your family. Stop doing it.
If you have been reading along, waiting for my personal failures in this area, here you go.
Since our first date, I have never touched another woman. Not just since marriage, since the first date. I knew I had found everything I was looking for. No more searching or playing the field. This was as good as it was ever going to get and I knew it. I had found perfection. Why would I keep searching?
Did I ever try? Yep. Sure did. Working on the road, like I did, creates compromising opportunities.
During our worst days, before we found Joel and Kathy, I was still traveling. I worked a show, out of state, sleeping in a hotel for about four days. One of the ladies in the group flirted with me and I responded. As hurt as I felt, my conscience was seared. I still believed I was a good husband and my wife was just angry and trying to hurt me. I still felt like it was her fault. She wasn’t interested in me, but this lady was. That’s a dangerous place, and that’s exactly where I was.
After we finished the show, one night, the crews all ended up at the same restaurant. We were outside, on the deck. At one point, everyone was kinda moving from table to table, talking and laughing. She ended up at mine. We talked for about ten minutes. At some point, we both just moved on. I stopped flirting, she lost interest. Not out of nobility or conviction, it just fizzled out. Even though I actually intended to pursue an affair, at that point. Maybe I just came to my senses, or she did. Not exactly sure. But that’s as far as it went.
I am glad it didn’t happen. I have been in compromising situation like that before, but that was the only time I actually considered going through with it. Even allowing myself to consider it is tormenting now. I don’t think I would have gone through with it, even if she had continued. But I am thankful I didn’t have to find out. My mind was in a bad place for that stretch of time. I made several bad decisions.
We know that most women cheat when they are neglected and someone steps in to meet their needs. Men tend to cheat when weak character meets opportunity. I had my opportunity. The character definitely became questionable. I was broken and damaged by my own actions and decisions. I don’t blame my wife for anything. All my fault. My selfishness made it possible.
The way I did cheat was with pornography. I allowed myself to slip into that world. She got caught up in Facebook, where everything is light and fun. I got caught up in porn, where women are at my disposal. We both entered fantasy worlds that pulled us apart. Mine was easily worse. No one woman can compete with thousands of fantasy women. I had opened my mind and heart to other women. If you haven’t done that yet, please don’t start. If you have, get out while you can. It does qualify as an affair. Emotionally, you have given yourself to them.
Our wives deserve better that we have given them. Flirting, cheating, porn addictions all show where our hearts are. It’s all pure selfishness that doesn’t understand love at all. True love isn’t selfish. It’s not searching for its own happiness. Love seeks to serve and give. Not to take. I was taught that every soul craving within a man is met by pursuing and loving his own wife and family. I believe it more now than I did then.
Today would be a good day to consider where your heart is. Selfish or loving? Choose one. Be the man your wife needs you to be. Don’t give into the temptations. They are not justifiable. Selfishness will destroy you. Learn to love your wife.
Be a better man.