Adultery – are you at risk?

I recently read an article that said there has been a change in male adultery. In the past men mostly cheated for sex. They either wanted sex and went looking, or were willing to have sex and took advantage of any opportunity. Women, on the other hand, cheated primarily out of a desire to have intimacy or they cheated because they became so intimate with a man that sex became easy. Now it seems more and more men are going the female route – forming intimate relationships that eventually become sexual the sex is the result of the relationship, not the reason for the relationship.

It seems to me that intimacy is on a continuum, and that there is a point on that continuum where sex becomes natural. Actually more than natural – a couple reaches a point where it feels unnatural to not have sex. I recall this happening to my bride and me before we were married – and it pulled us where we should not have gone. I suppose it’s possible to reach the “sex is natural” level of intimacy and not have sex, but it seems rather unwise to be in the situation in the first place.

The reason given for the change in male adultery is the long hours men and women are spending working together, side by side, as equals. Odds are you spend more time talking with your colleagues than you do with your bride. You also work with them towards a common goal, which builds intimacy. If your bride is working alongside men, she has the same potential risk.

How do you deal with the situation? My best suggestion is to avoid ever getting close enough to an individual of the opposite gender that sex becomes a natural next step. In fact, I’d avoid getting even close to that level of intimacy. Yes, I realise that this may make you seen cold or distant. I can also see it being a disadvantage to you professionally or limiting your chances for advancement. On the other hand, maintaining a more professional relationship can have its pluses – especially in the eyes of your superiors.

The bottom line is this: which is more important to you – your job or your marriage? If you have to limit or risk one to guard the other, which will you choose?

10 Comments on “Adultery – are you at risk?

  1. OK, the quick confession here. I slipped into adultery in just such a situation. but perhaps worse, and that’s what prompts this comment. I plainly remember the day I met “the other woman.” It was a work situation, her first day, and she was being introduced around the office. I had an immediate attraction for her, but very much professionally. I can so plainly remember thinking after the encounter: “That’s a very interesting woman and she could be a lot of trouble for me, but fortunately, she’s not my type.” And with that confidence that she’s not my type (and I knew exactly what was and wasn’t my type) I didn’t worry about her anymore. Well, you can see where this is going, so I’ll get to the bottom line. All women, other than your wife, are deadly dangerous. Too strong a statement? I don’t think so.

    • @Tony – When it comes to sex, “our type” can be as simple as “female”. The closer a man is to a woman, the greater the risk of something happening.

      The other thing here is that we tend to set up our safety walls as if it’s just us who might be tempted. The walls are one sided to keep us in, and do nothing to keep her out. If she is tempted, she gets in easily, and then what? A moment of need on her part is all it takes when we are only guarding our-self from our-self

  2. This type of situation ended my marriage about 13 1/2 years ago. It was my wife and someone she was working with. The emotional effect has been a big problem for me. I’m still waking up having dreams of walking in on her and another man in bed. We tryed to get back togather in the passed, I’ve tryed dateing, I’ve tryed medical help, I can’t stop the dreams. If you are man or woman reading this, if you are letting your self get too close to somebody outside your relationship you should walk away or talk to your partner and decide on as piecefull of a path as possible. Don’t put another person through this. If it were not for having 2 children who need me I would have stopped my troubles a long time ago. Don’t do this to another person.

  3. Wow! This was a powerful post! Unfortunately as a pastor I’ve had to counsel several folks going through the devastation adultery brings to a world – and over the years I’ve noticed the exact changes you have. In years gone by it was mainly sexual for the man with power, conquest and desire for significance coming in behind … then meaning, connection and intimacy way in the rear. And in recent years I’ve seen that paradigm shift and more men actually “falling in love” which leads to adultery. As men, we HAVE to set up strong boundaries for ourselves and understand we’re capable of more than we think we are. Whenever we think “I can handle this” – that usually means we can’t. Thanks for posting this Paul. Very insightful.

  4. This is killing me–because I KNOW how much harm and cost would come from a slip in this direction–but what strikes me about work (and about 80% of my coworkers & team members are women) is that at work I get a lot of respect and admiration, whereas at home I tend to not even get basic APPRECIATION for the things I do. (And I am not a “Honey I’m home what’s for dinner shut up the kids and bring me a beer, will ya?” kind of husband or dad.) I do a helluva lot–only to be ignored and taken for granted. So I have to take that dissatisfaction and erect my defenses all the higher to keep people away at work, to not accept compliments at work, to avoid the collegial conversation at work. No wonder people think I’m an unhappy person. I just keep reminding myself that an affair won’t fix it and will only make things worse.

    • @quercus – You are aware of a trap that snares many men – and some women as well. If someone else treats your spouse better than you do, you are creating a dangerous situation for them.

  5. There is an old book, Romance Factor by Alan McGinnis, must be 20-30 years ago which talks about this as well. Affairs, adultery start long before there is the first touch, first physical act. The intimacy piece you talk about Paul is dead on and what McGinnis talks about as well. We find ourselves in situations, or put ourselves into situations where we start crossing those boundaries of intimacy with those we should not be doing so.

  6. Quercus is exactly right. I’m so beaten down by my wife’s preoccupation, the way she ignores me sexually, the way she seems to go out of her way to make herself physically unattractive to me. The weird thing is that I cannot imagine myself with another woman. I may be adultery-proof in the worst possible way!

  7. i am a 23year old guy who really loves my girlfriend and really tries to do things right, i am very touchy and i’ve always been like this and for me physical touch communicates love and attraction, my girlfriend on the other hand feels like being aroused/horny is sin and impure so she resorts to no kissing and limited physical touch becuase she says she doesnt trust me with her purity. As much as she says she loves me and finds me attractive i am finding it hard to believe because how its all communicated to me. I really want to honour her and her Boundries on this purity issue but its hard for me to do that and remain feeling loved and attractive.. And what makes everything worse is the advances from other women that i have to run away from daily.. I nee help

    • torch – Three are a number of possibilities here. It may be a simple as she says. It may be that she is “up tight” and uses this as a way to avoid contact that makes her uncomfortable, and it may be that she is having a hard time staying sexually pure, and needs the distance to maintain control. Also realise that some people, both male and female, are more naturally physical than others. If she is less physical that’s not really a big deal, because when she marries the right man she will discover that joy of touch, both sexual and non-sexual. Unless there is some past issue that makes touch scary for her, she will grow into it when the time is right.

      Regardless of the why, she is right that pushing things forward sexually is a risk. If being more physical does not result in temptation, then the two of you should not be together.

      My suggestion is to talk about touch and establish forms of touch that she finds comfortable. Things like walking hand in hand and holding hands across a table would be examples.

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