Ever Been Tempted to Cheat?

I’ve recently written about my own temptations to cheat and what I did about those temptations, even despite our painful and fragile marriage.

You can read about it here.

Comments 6

  1. You are not to blame for this. Her actions are wholly her decision. My husband also struggles with porn, but that does not and will never give me license to reciprocate his unfaithfulness in any form. You are on the right track. This is the Enemy trying to break you. I want to share with you what keeps me going through my own husband’s struggles with infidelity- when I can’t come up with a phsyically tangible reason to be faithful when I am the only one in the relationship doing so; be faithful to the Lord. When you are so broken down and hurt that you feel you can’t justify being faithful FOR your wife, remember that it is not just for HER that you remain faithful. The Lord sees your faithfulness to him through your following of His commands and He will reward you for it. As someone else commented, take care of yourself. You do not deserve what your wife is doing to you and your family. Give your heart to the Lord, just as you are doing, and He will keep it safe. I will not tell you if you should divorce your wife or not because that is not my place. Seek counsel from your pastor, seek counsel from the Lord, and remember that you have value even if your wife will not acknowledge it. I’ll pray for you. God be with you.

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    2. Thank you for your reply and your words of encouragement. I know that the Lord accepts me and He knows my heart (both comforting and scary at the same time).
      Through all of this I have come to realize that I have spent most of my married life trying to become the person that she claimed she wanted me to be. Only to find that when I reached that point, that isn’t what she really wanted. In this I have learned a lot about myself. I have always been a “man’s man” denying that I have much in the way of feelings, never really being close (mentally intimate) with with anyone. Part of this comes from my upbringing- mine was a very loving family and I have no complaints (we weren’t a hugging family) and we really didn’t talk much about feelings- they were uncomfortable, so I buried them. I was never one of these guys that didn’t want to settle down, I always wanted to be married. I so desired to be one with my wife, although I couldn’t have identified that at the time. I married when I was 21 to the pretty girl thinking that we were going to be so close and selflessly meet each others needs for life. I tried for intimacy in the beginning, but quickly learned that I couldn’t share a lot of my emotions because they were criticized and judged. We couldn’t just disagree on something, she had to win-she had to be right. So, I let her be right, I let her win. After all- she was so much more spiritually mature than I was, she probably knew best.

      I will say, that my porn use made a lot of this possible. It made me feel so awful about myself and it was something that I knew I could never confess to her (which is what i needed to do) Porn taints everything it touches. It is amazing to me how different I am now that I am free of it. I see things that I never would have seen while in it. I finally understand what true intimacy is, and I long for it. I am finally starting to see who I really am on the inside.

      Back to my original point, I have discovered over the last 2.5 years that I am a “feeler” and it has been quite a revelation. I used to bury my feelings so deeply (because real men don’t have feelings) now, my feelings are pretty well right on the surface. I want to have deep conversations (without judgement). I have become so much more aware of the feelings of other people and sensitive to them. I actually like feeling enough to cry during a movie. (Facing the Giants gets me every time)

      All of this to say, I desire so much to be truly intimate and one with my wife, but at this point I really have no hope that will ever happen. Therefore, I am vulnerable and I know it. Thankfully, I am faithful because of my commitment to obedience to Christ, I am faithful because I love Jesus and I know that He loves me, I am faithful because I believe in my vows to my wife (no matter if she says they don’t mean anything anymore)

      No, I can never again justify being unfaithful no matter what she has done. I have seen the damage of porn, adultery, physical and emotional unfaithfulness. I won’t say affair, it makes the sin sound somehow cute or acceptable. I do believe that I have biblical grounds for divorce, but that isn’t what I want. My desire is to build a new marriage, built the right way, but I also know that despite what I want that might not happen, and I may be forced to divorce.

      Thankfully I do have Godly mentors that really help me, support me, and continually pray for us through all of this. One thing I require of anyone that I allow into that position is that they will be honest with me. Brutally if necessary. I tell them that if anything I am saying or doing is not honoring to God, they have to tell me. I recognize that with everything going on I can easily get something wrong. We all need people that can tell us the hard truths when we need it, otherwise we become our our own god, sitting firmly on the throne of our lives, content in our self-righteousness.

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        Thank you for writing so much, Broken. I agree with everything you’ve said, and I am very glad to hear you’re surrounded by mentors who you welcome to be brutally honest with you. Sending up prayers for reconciliation with your wife. God bless.

  2. I have started a long reply to this several times over the last week but I always end up deleting it. I’m not even sure why I’m trying to share this. I suppose it is a warning to those that want to use the sins of others to justify their own sin. I will try to be brief.

    Just over 2 years ago my wife confessed to having an affair 18 years ago. I never knew. I chose to forgive her. This confession gave me the courage and hope I needed to confess to her that I had been addicted to Porn most of my adult life. She didn’t know. She chose not to forgive. She decided that I had to “win” her back and earn her love. I tried, I decided to love her unconditionally, expecting nothing in return.

    I put in place big things to stop the porn use. Accountability software, filtering, brutal honesty about everything with my wife, accountability partners, counseling, limiting internet to work related things only, calling and checking in. God broke my pride and humbled me beyond belief. But the biggest change was in my heart with God. I realized that I had always wanted Him for what he could do for me, not because I loved him. I now loved Him for who He is and what He has done for me. I was now free, Christianity was no longer a set of rules to be followed to earn the favor of a demanding God. I now wanted to obey Him because I love Him. I believe that at this point I was truly saved. My life changed, and God delivered me from Porn. I haven’t looked at it since.

    Tragically my wife went the opposite direction. The first year after “the day” was difficult as i’m sure you know if you have had to face your husbands porn use, but I truly thought things were getting better. We were being emotionally intimate at a level we never had been before. Unfortunately the “earn my love” attitude never went away, and the anger and bitterness grew in her. She became angry at God for not rewarding her for her years of service to Him.

    After the first year I noticed that something had changed in her but I didn’t know what or why. She became more distant, more explosively angry, and everything bad in her life was blamed on me. So I tried all the more to love unconditionally. This is when the lying and deception started. After 2 months of this,I discovered that she had left the children at home and was meeting another man in the parking lot of the local school. I confronted this and she said they were just friends and that nothing physical had happened, and that if I pushed her on this she would leave me and the kids. I finally bought this and decided to keep going with the unconditional love (I now believe that this was mostly due to me being a coward and not wanting to lose her) I kept this up for the next 10 months until her behavior was so bad and irresponsible that I could no longer ignore what was going on. So I decided to obtain proof of what she was doing. That didn’t take long and I discovered that yes, she was having an adulteress affair and had been for almost a year. I started the steps of church discipline and confronted her with 2 witnesses. After a lot of denying it, she finally admitted that yes she was having an affair.

    That was 3.5 months ago. She still hasn’t taken responsibility for her actions. She blames me, she blames God, she blames the church, she blames her family. She says she has ended it, but she only plays at accountability. Even though she has said that she is sorry, there isn’t any brokenness, I haven’t seen any tears, I don’t see grief over personal sin. I have spent the last year and a half with her telling me on a regular basis that she doesn’t love me and that she feels nothing for me. She now wants to just “be friends” and continue on, but she isn’t willing to commit herself to me, or honor her vows. We still live together with our children, but I believe this is mostly because she is afraid of what everyone would say about her if they found out.

    I am broken. I am lonely. Humanly speaking, I have no hope. I struggle knowing that I have Biblical grounds for divorce, but I don’t want that, I want to give our marriage every chance I can. Even after everything, I still want her. I want to be married to her (in a real marriage). But I also grieve for her, she seems to have rejected her God and put herself firmly on the throne of her life. I am still working to love unconditionally, but it is difficult because my every word and action are taken negatively.

    This being said, as the Casting Crowns song goes “I will praise you in this storm” I do thank God for this because I know that He is refining me in this. He is teaching me that He is my hope, that He is trustworthy, that though everyone else may fail me, He will not. He has shown me that my faith is real, He has shown me that though my life seems to be falling apart, I’m not going back to porn! He has shown me that though I crave to be emotionally intimate with someone, I’m not going to meet that need with an affair! I have learned that “my response is my responsibility”. Nobody can make me hate them, I am responsible for my actions no matter what others may do to me.

    Some of you will probably think that I deserve all that has happened, and is happening to me, and that’s ok, honestly I struggle with that thought myself.

    This has gone on far longer than I intended, I just want to say… If you have been hurt by your spouses physical, mental, or emotional infidelity, PLEASE DON’T USE IT AS JUSTIFICATION FOR AN AFFAIR. I guarantee that it will only make things worse.

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      Hey Broken, Thank you for your story. And thank you for the warning.

      First, I want to say I am sorry you’re going through this. Whether male or female, betrayal is difficult–extremely difficult.

      While she may feel she’s justified, she’s not. “Everyone pays for their own sins,” was a word God gave me early on in our healing when I was believing my husband’s blame-shifting comments. So be careful in your struggle with thinking you deserved all of this. You don’t, just like she didn’t.

      And just know, regarding your, “Some of you will probably think that I deserve all that has happened, and is happening to me,” comment, just know that if anyone becomes abusive to you in a reply–let’s just say I won’t approve comments like that. This needs to be a safe place–whether or not porn is in your past.

      It sounds like your wife is on a downward spiral to destruction. Follow God, and continue to draw near to him, especially if he has you take the next step in church discipline. God put that in there for a reason, so it may be the only thing that gets her refocused on her family again.

      Please take care of yourself during this time.

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