Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What Adulterers Want You to Know About Protecting Your Marriage

Dear Married Friends,

I recently heard this Focus on the Family episode about emotional affairs, and I wish each and every one of you would listen to it. At the beginning of the segment, pastor and marriage expert Dave Carder shares a story that has me on fire to make sure this information is available to you.

The topic is emotional affairs. They are so damaging … so senseless … and so preventable.

In the spirit of protecting your marriage, I hope you will read on and explore this topic further.

Emotional affairs are every bit as damaging to a marriage as physical affairs, and they are sneaky, because they develop slowly, over time -- usually between co-workers, neighbors or family friends.

Most married people don’t wake up one day and decide, “I think I’ll ruin my marriage today.” What happens is something a bit less conscious -- they make a series of poor choices over time that lead to an inappropriate relationship.

Once an affair is in motion, it is downright deadly to the marriage, because one of the most powerful emotions on the planet is in play – infatuation. Marriage experts say infatuation is as powerful as a drug.

Don’t believe it? Think about how many people walk away from their families for an affair partner. It happens all the time. From the outside, this looks like a ridiculous decision, but people consumed by infatuation do ridiculous things. They behave as if they’re literally under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Carder says, “Infatuated people are drunk with emotion. They don’t make rational decisions or care how their choices impact everyone else.” It's a long way back to reality from this addicted state.

That’s why we all need to protect our marriages. We need to be vigilant and stay on our toes to prevent ourselves from becoming infatuated with someone other than our spouse.

To help married people identify potential threats, Carder compiled a list of 19 behaviors that could lead one down the wrong track with a member of the opposite sex. Here are the top five:
  • Saving topics of conversation for your "special friend." 
  • Sharing spousal difficulties with your friend ("My husband (or wife) never..."). 
  • Allowing the friend to share their relationship difficulties with you ("My husband/wife always...) 
  • Anticipating seeing this person more than your spouse. 
  • Comparing the friend and your spouse ("If only my spouse was nicer to me like s/he is...") 
If you are interested in further information on this topic, you can check out Dave Carder's book: Close Calls: What Adulterers Want You to Know About Protecting Your Marriage.

In the meantime, just your awareness of this topic can help you protect your marriage and avoid one of the biggest mistakes of your life.



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