Jun 192013 23 Responses

You Will Have an Affair If…

We are fools.

We think we are different.

We think we would have the strength to say no.

We think we can ignore boundaries for years, but never cross the final line.

We think we have the will power to flirt with temptation but never fully give in.

We think we are different. (See: Three Myths About Adultery)

We are fools.

Shared Humanity

In his book Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely reports of a large difference between people’s sexual behavior. We have different values and belief systems when we are coldly answering questions about sexuality. That’s not surprising. People look at sexual issues in different ways. Some believe it is inherently sinful to be sexually active with someone who is not our spouse, others believe there is nothing wrong with it.

However, those differences disappear in one situation. Nearly every taboo is erased when we are aroused. The person who believes they would never sleep with someone other than their wife, quickly admits they would have an affair if they are asked the question while in a state of arousal. (See: I Wouldn’t Sleep With You Either)

Ariely’s research confirms a Biblical precept. From a Biblical standpoint, humanity is created in the image of God, but we share a fallen human condition. This fallen nature means that nearly every human being is capable of any depraved behavior as any other person.

The difference between people is not what we are and are not capable of doing. The difference between people is those who understand what they are capable of doing and set-up boundaries to prevent themselves from making bad decisions compared to those who have no boundaries because they either want to make bad decisions or think they are incapable of doing so.

Ariely’s research and the Biblical story both confirm a key principle—it is more vital to prevent ourselves from getting into tempting situations than to actually withstand tempting situations. As I’ve said before, it’s a whole lot easier to stay out of trouble than to get out of trouble. It is much easier to prevent the temptation of an affair than to actually say no when we have the opportunity.

Stages of an Affair

Several years ago, Shara Saucier, a licensed counselor spoke at our church about the stages of an affair. She discussed the common path an affair travels:

1. You allow yourself to think inappropriately about the opposite sex.

2. You allow your eyes to wander when looking at someone of the opposite sex.

3. You suddenly try to reconnect (via Facebook or other format) with an old boyfriend/girlfriend.

4. You allow yourself to think about and focus on a specific person of the opposite sex.

5. You seek conversations with a specific person and begin having personal conversations with them.

6. You start looking at your spouse in a much more negative light and compare them to another person.

7. You seek the most convenient time to talk to a specific person when you won’t get caught.

8. One of you confesses how you feel about the other. Innocent physical contact takes place (a touch, hug, etc).

9. Communications go to a much more intimate and personal level.

10. You decide to meet somewhere privately.

Obviously a person has the freedom to stop from progressing between any stage, however, the last few stages happen very quickly and rarely do people past stage 5–6 stop the process. Even if caught, many will continue down the spiral until an affair happens.

The important thing is to never enter the first few stages or if you find yourself there, recognize what is happening and get help.

The tragic story for many of us is that we are foolish enough to believe we can engage in the first five steps of the process and then suddenly stop the progression of the last five steps.

We think we are different than others.

And we are fools for it. (See: Pastoral Advice for Single Women)

You will have an affair if the right opportunity presents itself and you haven’t taken the steps necessary to prevent yourself from the temptation.

Preventing an affair isn’t so much about turning down sex as it is about recognizing the early stages in the process of an affair and getting help before it is too late.

For more, see:

What Your Husband Wants From You in Bed

Are You Having Enough Sex?

Three Types of Sex Every Married Couple Should Have


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