Dealing with Temptation

Q: Dear Mark, I am finding the temptation to have an affair overwhelming. My husband had one years ago that destroyed me and I'm still trying to recover from that. Plus, to be honest, there's the attraction. He takes my breath away. What is your perspective? I'm just trying to understand what's going on. I need to hear from a man.
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A: Thank you for writing Be Worth Finding! Here are a few things for you to think about...

1. I can understand the longing for passion and excitement and need to feel loved. I can. However, I don't see the cost as being worth it to you. Whether it's fair or right or not, once discovered, the chances of your husband accepting it are slim. Divorce is very likely. Violence is possible. Depression is probable and it could take you years to pull your life back to just an even level emotionally. Studies show it takes women 3-4 years to recover. Men, too. For you, consider at this point that you've been married more than half your life. I think it could be devastating and much more than you think.

The financial costs are tremendous, as well. I just wouldn't advise it. There are tons of articles on it. I won't retread that topic. Just know that you will probably have about half of the resources available to you that you think you'll have...and you'll be raising your children essentially alone.

2. You have unmet needs. NEEDS. Not wants. I've blogged on the topic of His Needs/Her Needs before.

If there is any possible way, please sit down with your husband and talk about NEEDS. You need affection, communication, etc. Let him know that. Bring that book maybe. Also examine honestly whether you're meeting his needs. Remember... they are needs and they are legitimate. If you're looking around, that normally means they aren't being met. He probably had some that went unmet, too.

Here's a couple of tips from the trenches... (A) ask him for a time to talk. Literally set an appointment if you must. That way he won't feel backed into a corner. Honor it. Defer your thoughts until the time. It should only be a day or two. (B) Sit down to talk. Touch each other. Hold hands or something. This makes it easier for both to listen and lessens the likelihood of tensions escalating. Hopefully this can start some dialogue that is sorely missing.

3. Your recollection concerning my other post is right. I have little respect for men who choose to go this route of pursuing married women. I have contempt for them. He's done this before. He obviously senses your desire and wants to take advantage of it. What's worse is he's hindering the happiness you could be experiencing right now! He can't give you anything but a few (dangerous) moments or he'd at least leave his wife and make an attempt at being a steady presence in your life.

Similarly on your end. If you're going to leave, most states can finalize a divorce in 60 days or so. You can wait that long. I hope. But I really hope you and your husband make one more attempt. If you need to have a counselor present, it would help a lot, I'm sure.

What do you think? If any of this sounds insensitive, I don't mean to be that way at all. I just have seen too many lives get worse instead of better as a result of affairs. I would not want you to worsen your situation or happiness.

"Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." ~James 4:7


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