Don’t get mad, get even: Some women cheat for revenge. Since men tend to have a slightly higher rate of infidelity, I have chosen to place this reason in this blog. This eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth sense of justice never dulls with the emotional pain of infidelity. It also fails to recognize the “spirit” of what is occurring. When a wife is betrayed, it leaves her vulnerable and accessible because her covering is lost. Some women look for a quick fix for the lost covering and revenge may seem like the perfect solution to restore balance and even the score. The erroneous sentiment is, “You cheated on me and I cheated on you, now the playing field is level again. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Let’s continue with our lives as if nothing happened.” The end result is that cheating as a quick-fix “solution” resolves absolutely nothing. The cancer in the relationship has now spread, trust is completely shattered both ways, and the probability is now even higher that someone will cheat again.
Some women cheat because of past sexual abuse. Sexual abuse always leads to a distorted, unhealthy sense of self. If the abuse was from someone in a privileged position (e.g. father, teacher, coach) this violation of authority has even greater, devastating consequences. The behavior of someone sexually abused can be manifested in different ways: eating disorders, self-esteem issues, and using sex as a means of controlling those who might abuse. Some women take great pride in knowing their sexual prowess can be used as a means of control. The injustice of abuse must be dealt with in the proper forum of counseling for the necessary healing and reconciliation to begin.
Some women cheat for the economic advantage it may seem to give. They are willing to be the other woman for the sake of financial survival. This is not always necessarily a cash transaction for housing and furniture. It can also be manifested in career advancement or promotion. A woman may be willing to sacrifice her self-worth to gain the competitive edge in what is perceived as a man’s world. For lack of affection, her need for approval turns to achievement instead of acceptance. The husband “won’t be the man” and a girl has got to do what a girl has got to do. With this mindset, a game of cat and mouse with a superior ensues.
Some women cheat because they have lost respect for their husbands. The relationship has ended and she is looking to move on. Depending on how long the couple has been together, the dating rules may have changed. She may want to prove that she’s still “got it” before leaving the security of the current relationship. She has moved on emotionally and the affair is a launching point to either completely detach or give her the courage to seek a divorce. This betrayal is how she reaches the “point of no return”. The affair is believed to be empowering, but is actually an unhealthy environment for affirming self-worth and value. The person that she is having the affair with may not be the person she ultimately chooses to be with. In some instances, the affair will be with a friend or relative – someone known to both the husband and wife.
Sometimes a woman’s revenge is passive-aggressive. A wife may choose to reignite an affair or continue an affair to “punish” the misdeeds of her husband. This punishment can be invoked over something as simple not changing a tire. Of course the husband does not know he is being punished; hence, passive aggression.
Spiritually minded women can fall into this trap through religious, satanic machinations. The devil may lure them into a place they should not be by tricking them into thinking they are doing God’s will. In fact, what is happening is that a seducing spirit is disguising itself as the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will never contradict the word of God. If any part of a relationship contradicts Scriptures or can lead down a path toward sex outside of the marital relationship, it definitely is not of God. Unfortunately, this occurs in religious organizations where wolves in sheep’s clothing prey on unsuspecting victims under the guise of religion. A woman’s guard might be down because of naivety in this spiritual environment. However, the truth is that no environment in this world is perfect and vigilance must be maintained at all times (1 Peter 5:8). The devil goes to church, too, and uses our places of strength to deceive us if we are spiritually passive.
Some women cheat to escape the noise. The other man is like a port in a storm and the instant emotional security and freedom found in that harbor is an escape from the constant pressure of the tempest.
“What was considered purpose at the altar is now completely unraveled into a muddled mess. What was considered divine design in earlier years has given way to churning chaos. Many couples find it difficult to make sense of their marriage in their disorder. We are susceptible to bad opportunities, confusion, infidelity, and a “bastard” purpose when purpose is lost. When we understand our personal mission we are not easily distracted. We cannot be distracted when we do not know where we are going. Distraction is a deviation from a predefined course. We are open to anything when we lack clear direction.” – Excerpt from my book, An Invitation to the Extraordinary.
Marriage is like a garden with protective walls (Song of Solomon 4:15). These barriers insulate the marriage from infidelity. All love seeds are to be sown in the fertile ground inside this protective fortress. When the walls seem more like a prison, some of the seeds may carelessly land outside of those barriers, produce fruit, and attract wild animals. Eventually, those same wild animals will scale that wall to eat much more. It is those sneaky, little foxes that spoil the tender grapes on the couple’s vine (Song of Solomon 2:15).
Sisters, please take the time to get know him before you say “I do”. Jumping into a marital relationship with someone that you do not really know can lead to an affair. In the modified words of that old Percy Sledge song, “It takes time to know him. Please don’t rush into these thangs.” Go through several seasons with him and see him in different areas of functioning to ensure you have the right things in common before you submit to his headship. It is easier to say “I don’t” before saying “I do”.
I think that it bears repeating that men and women cheat for the same reasons. Since respect is a primary need for a man and affection is a primary need for a woman, it stands to reason that therein lies the fundamental difference between cheating by a man and cheating by a woman. Respect is the message of the male whereas affection is the message of the female.
I chose to write these blogs on sexual temptation and infidelity for a reason. My unique role as a counselor for nearly 28 years has afforded me the opportunity to witness many situations that lead some to unfaithfulness. There is not one experienced pastor or counselor that has not dealt with this issue. This is not only something that affects the Church, but society in general. It is my hope that if one person reading these blogs rethinks his or her decision to be unfaithful, is spared the painful remorse of having an affair, or one family is spared the devastation of divorce because of infidelity, then my goal will have been accomplished.
In closing, I believe that marriage deserves its best shot. God knew what He was doing when he set his standard for monogamy. Most affairs have pleasure and excitement for a short season at a painful cost. However, the minute you choose to have an affair is the minute a part of you starts to die inside. Sowing the wind will reap a whirlwind (Proverbs 1:27-29).
Anyone (husband, wife, other woman, other man) who is reading this blog and engaged in an affair, I strongly counsel you to get out of that “car” before it meets an oncoming 18-wheeler on some foggy, crooked road.
A condom may help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, but it cannot cover your priceless soul. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can cover our sins and iniquities. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us (1 John 1:8-10 KJV).