infidelity

Dangerous Lies that Lead to Infidelity

When I was in college, I spent a summer working in a lock shop. My supervisor was an old, stocky African American man named Rock with a raspy voice. He was a hardworking man who had a nickname for everyone and was a great storyteller. One of my favorite stories he told was about a day he was asked to collect screws in the warehouse.

Apparently, the company was trying to save money and time for an in-house building project requiring screws. Rock’s manager brought him into the warehouse and pointed to the high steel shelves. Then he asked Rock to remove all of the screws fastening the shelves to the walls. Rock diligently got out a ladder and went to work, moving right to left. With each screw removed, the shelves stood in place. Finally, he ascended the ladder and removed the final screw on the last shelf. As he looked at the final screw in his hand, the last shelf leaned and crashed into the one next it. The rest went down like thundering dominoes discarding all of the contents in an enormously mangled mess. The manager came running in to find a pile of destruction. Behind the debris was Rock standing sheepishly on a ladder holding one screw in his hand. They stared at each other until Rock broke the silence, “This is your fault.”

Marital affairs rarely happen randomly. They result from believing and justifying lies. [Tweet This] In marriage, believing lies is like removing the fastening screws. It is dangerous, causes bad decisions, and leads to broken marriages. Exposing lies for what they are keeps us from falling into their traps and knowing the warning signs of infidelity can keep the dominoes from falling. Here are the dangerous lies that lead to infidelity. Although I am speaking to husbands, I believe these apply equally to wives as well.

My wife should make me happy/I deserve to be happy.

Marriage is actually not about happiness. It may be a part of it at times. The problem is that this attitude is selfishness, plain and simple. When this attitude is nurtured, spouse blaming becomes routine; bitterness is right around the corner. The list of negative qualities in the spouse gets longer and longer. All it does is attempt to justify the selfish attitude so the person is free to chase happiness or the greener grass. Marriage is about dying to self, giving, and loving in good times and bad. That’s why it’s so difficult, but also so rewarding.

There’s nothing wrong with a little flirting.

It’s exciting. When someone finds you sexually attractive it feels good, particularly when you feel the same way about them. No one wants to lose that feeling, they want it to continue. So they justify it by telling this to themselves accompanied by: It doesn’t mean anything. It does. It’s hurtful to the spouse because it trains the heart to wander. It’s natural to have those feelings, but playing with them gives the wrong person an improper place in the heart. Flirting is like entering a river with a powerful current that ends at a large drop off.

What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.

This attitude can take root in the person doing something they know would make their spouse upset. They recognize it’s wrong and probably feel guilty, but don’t want to stop. In an attempt to make themselves feel better, they simply tell themselves: It’s not like I’m hurting anyone. It does hurt. Secrets cause disconnection. Spouses can intuitively sense when there is distance, no matter the degree. They may not address it, but they sense it. Believing a lie like this is just the beginning of allowing disconnection to enter the relationship. The distance just gets wider and wider until this person connects to someone else.

I have sexual needs.

Food is a need. Sex is not a need, it’s a desire. An attitude such as this one gives sexual urges too much power. It is also a subtle way to justify pursuing sex outside of marriage. Once it’s justified in the person’s heart and mind, acting on it becomes easier.

Our marriage problems are HER fault.

Marriage relationships consist of two people. One person might be more responsible, but not completely to blame. This is a convenient way to avoid responsibility. Anytime a person avoids responsibility, blames others, or justifies themselves, they become colder. Walls of defense get fortified and the separation begins. Note: There are occasions where one person is completely to blame, but those are rare.

Sound Off

What do you think leads to infidelity?

BJ Foster

BJ Foster is the Director of Content Creation for All Pro Dad and a married father of two.

  • Josh Brunner

    you know i love all pro dad, BUT im kind of tired of us guys ALWAYS getting the bashing…. i wish some great people would start an allpromom type site so that WE as WHOLE understand that its not only us DADS that deal with these feelings and issues… i love all pro dad, but when it comes to infidelity, and other marriage issues: IT TAKES 2…. and sometimes, YES SOMETIMES….its NOT US MEN WHO CAUSE THE ISSUES…no matter how strong (stereotype of a man anyways) WE ARE, or anything else…. yes sometimes WOMEN CAN AND WILL DO THE SAME STUFF AND IT IS GETTING GREATLY OVERLOOKED!

    • vinny

      Thank you for saying it. I was starting to think I was the only one.

      • Josh Brunner

        Yeah man it sucks to keep loosing selfworth everytime u read one of these all pro dad articles and all it does is show how horrible they make fathers and husbands out to be…like a woman in a marriage is not also responsable….

        • vinny

          It’s like the whole thing is being run by Lifetime or something.

          • Josh Brunner

            Yup i agree! Im gonna find their other article about why a wife doesnt want to have sex and then im gonna blow that horrible article up as well because i dont think any of this is based on biblical doctrine any longer….. Because that article is so full of bs it stinks so badly!

    • Matt

      It’s called iMom.com… and yes on a “Dad / Husband website” they tend to talk about our roll way more often than our wives. Go Figure!

      “IT TAKES 2…. and sometimes, YES SOMETIMES….its NOT US MEN WHO CAUSE THE ISSUES” isn’t this a contradiction?

      As Men, Husband, Fathers we can only focus on our roll. behavior, actions. We can guide, discipline and lead our kids through our example. Work with our wives to have a better stronger marriage. But, our kids will make their own choices, more so as they get older. Our wives make their own choices, many in response to choices we make, both good and bad, small and large. Looking at our responsibility in no way eliminates their personal responsibility. But if we blame our action or their’s we are hurting our ability to be the Men we need to be.

      • Josh Brunner

        ill reply to this in depth when im at a computer as my phone doesnt work well in this little screen

      • Josh Brunner

        SORRY MATT BUT: as fathers husbands and as men, we cannot just focus on our roll! we have to focus on the family as a whole, and u need to make sure that each person in that family is just as important as the other… how can u only focus on your roll in a family if your wife is not holding up her end of the covenant she signed before GOD? thats crazy talk man! women have just as much to do in regards to all of this as a MAN does… she came into this as a WIFE…. that does not mean she gets preferential treatment…? and neither does he….

        if a man is not holding his wife to the same standards how can a family function and make it thru the ruff patches? u need to hold each other up and help each other focus on their roles and responsibilities within that family framework… we all make decisions daily based upon our own life experiences…if the flesh gets in the way u break it off…. but thats just my take on marriage, none of it is easy but we need to hold each accountable for their own actions, and hold each other up to see to it that we all do what is best for our families

        • Andrew Mayer

          I personally thought this was a great article. My marriage isn’t perfect. We’ve had our share of fights. We’ve been to counseling. Ultimately, what I learned from a dark time in my marriage was that I can only control me. I spent an entire year focused on her shortcomings, and it caused me to believe and justify some of thought patterns in this article. Fortunately, it did not lead to infidelity, but it did lead me into the absolute hardest year of my life. It wasn’t until I determined in my mind and heart that I was going to focus on loving my wife and meeting her needs (without any expectation that she’d meet mine) that I began to see a change for the better. I’ll be the first to admit that this approach feels counter-intuitive. It doesn’t seem to make sense. However, my life is proof that this approach (which I’d argue IS Biblical) actually creates an environment in my home where my wife chooses to love me, respects me because she wants to… not because I hold her accountable for her end of the “covenant.” BJ, I need articles like this to challenge me to be the kind of man I deeply desire to be. Please keep these coming!

        • Matt

          Josh, If that is what you took from my comment it was was a misunderstanding. Part of our roll is the “focus” on the rest of the family. If you read my comment there was plenty of implied “focus”. My point is the site focuses on the husband/father point of view and their sister site iMom.com is focused on the wife/mother.

          If your wife is not holding up her end of the covenant, we are still to love her as Christ loved the Church (as the Church we surely don’t hold up our end all the time.) There is not an easy answer in this case, I have had close friends go through divorces of this vain. But, through it all our calling is the same, we must continue to guard against temptation, we must continue to love our wives. Part of that love, is working to bring about a change.

          I believe far to often one partners indiscretion is returned with another. I know because I am guilty of this, as is my wife. This obviously escalates fast. As husbands, during times like this, focusing on our roll, as mirroring Christ’s love, most of the time ends the escalation. The same thing works in reverse. I can attest to many times my wife has been the catalyst for healing by being “submissive” even when I fall short. But this site is not geared towards the wife’s roll. And, when our wife’s fall short (they will just as we will), if we focus on how they are falling short rather than how we respond. We will only perpetuate the problem.

          My initial response was not in correcting you, as much as it was in putting out more information that may benefit someone struggling with this this scenario. God Bless!

        • JP

          I am divorced from a cheating wife. I feel mainly because I was concentrated on what she was doing and trying to fix our marriage. I believe had I focused more on myself and God I would still be married. I can not fix my spouse that is between her and God. JP

  • Ken Kowalski

    Both Dr Willard Harley, the author of the book, “His Needs, Her Needs, How to Build an Affair-proof Marriage”, and Dr Emerson Eggerich, the author of “Love and Respect” disagree with your statement that sexual fulfillment is not a need for a male. They both state in their respective books that sexual fulfillment is a need for a guy. Not trying to be disagreeable, but simply sharing what two different experts in their fields have already stated.

    • Josh Brunner

      THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

      I got to ask who writes these articles with little to no research? Maybe men put too much emphasis on sex, but thats because its a very important item in a marriage

      I cant wait to leave a comment on their other article about why the wife doesnt want to have sex…. Loopholes and full of crap in that article as well…..

    • Andrew Mayer

      Ken, I agree with you. But I also think you may have misunderstood what the article is saying. You, me and the guy who wrote this are all men. We understand the power of our sex drive. Nothing can compare to a satisfied sex life. If men were given a choice between sex or food, many of us would seriously consider starving! Yes, I get it. However, I also think we’d agree that… although it isn’t ideal… in a physical sense, we could LIVE without sex, but we can’t LIVE without food. Sex therefore is NOT in the same category as food. That’s what I heard the author saying.

      • Paul_Sp

        Agreed, and thus not a true “need”.
        If a true need, no one should really blame a person for taking it by force if they had no other way to get it.
        And no, no one would seriously consider starving to death to get sex. (Starving for a few days isn’t starving either.)

    • BJ_Foster

      I don’t think you are being disagreeable at all. I appreciate your comment. It made me re-think what I wrote. I think this comes down to the definition of need and how I used it here. I haven’t read those books, but I will put them on my list. I used need in this article as something vital to survival, more specifically vital to marriage survival. They may define need as something that makes a marriage thrive in intimacy or be the best it could be. What I call desire they may call need. I would agree that sex is an important ingredient for an intimate and fulfilling marriage – no doubt. Wives (or men) that withhold sex do so to the detriment of the marriage. It means she’s not attempting to meet her husbands desires. I discuss that in this article http://www.allprodad.com/do-we-have-less-sex-than-other-married-couples/. But it doesn’t lead to the automatic “death” of the marriage or give permission to find sexual “life” outside of it.

      Bottomline: I could have done a better job explaining all of that. I may even go back and re-write that part to make it more clear. Thanks for your comment Ken.

    • Paul_Sp

      Yeah, depends on how you define “need”. I agree with the author of this post. “Need” works for air, water, food, maybe love, but not for sex.

      It’s so contemporary to use the word “need” for a desire or want. Can find an “expert” to say almost anything is a need.
      And I’m sure there are other “experts” who would say sex isn’t a need.
      In the end, we all have our opinion on this one.

  • Sandra Wise

    I agree with the two comments. I had a friend who got married and as soon as he had the ring on his finger, women started hitting on him.

    • Paul_Sp

      I don’t. You yourself aren’t blaming the men, and I know plenty of others of both genders who blame women too.

  • vinny

    Yeah I was looking for an excuse to stop reading these. If sexual contact isn’t a need then neither is subscribing to this pile of crap.

    • Josh Brunner

      Yup all their stuff towards marriage is really downing the men as if everything that happens is our fault and just because we are the men of the house we r to blame when something goes wrong…. Give me a break WHY DONT THEY HAVE AN ARTICLE WHERE THEY INTERVIEW MARRIED COUPLES SO PEOPLE FINALLY SEE ITS A 2 way road?

      • vinny

        Yeah only men can be the abusers or be the ones to blame. I really thought this was supposed to be a biblically based newsletter instead of a mess of neo-ffeminist horsesh-t

        • Josh Brunner

          Yup i agree i dont actually feel good about myself after havibg to read thru crap like this….id rather read the bible and not throw in my own biased view of marriage or anything else! Sorry all pro dad but ur missing the mark on this article as well as the why ur wife wont have sex with u article! Its becoming a joke

      • Sarah A

        I don’t see that the writer or All Pro Dad are trying to say that things are always the Man’s fault or assign blame. The goal of these articles is to remind us that we need to protect our families and our marriages. Adultery and other problems usually happen incrementally. Men and Women are sinful and no one is perfect. I think it’s good to read these and take what you can apply in your life and no see it as a blame game.

        • K-lo

          I agree with Sarah A. I think the author brought up a hot button issue with these guys!!!

    • Paul_Sp

      I don’t what you believe, but if sex with another is a true need, the Bible should not call it a sin outside of marriage, as not everyone can get married.

  • Josh Brunner

    The articel above the author bj foster is another make me want to puke and punch someone due to it being so full of crap i could cry!

    5 reasons why your wife doesnt want to have sex with you….

  • Jonathan Knisley

    Easy there Josh. You seem a bit angry. Yes these articles are geared toward men. They are also suggestions on one point of view. As with anything in life it is good to do your research. This article may actually help someone. So just keep calm.

    • Josh Brunner

      jonathan, i respect your reply, im not angry at all, im frustrated with the fact that these people keep putting up all these articles that portray the MAN as the evil doer, yet there are always 2 people in a marriage, ive seen time and time again on comments on certain all pro dad articles where the man is the one that had to deal with all this crap from the woman…. a man can only do so much…. yet society and these writers place it all on us men…as if it is all caused by us, and if a woman were to be doing the same thing? how do u as a man correct that? you cant….

  • BJ_Foster

    Wow. This created quite a reaction. Thank you for all of the feedback. It is never my intent to make anyone feel bad nor is it my intent to portray men as evil doers. I am also certainly fine with disagreement. However, I want to make clear that I am writing to men and not women. We have a site called iMom.com that writes to women and there are plenty comments there from women along the same lines (“Why are you always telling women to sacrifice”). The point of both of our sites together is to point husbands and wives back to one another. All Pro Dad from the male side, iMom from the female side.

    With that said, I don’t believe I have put the blame and ownership of cheating solely on men. In this article I specifically state, “Although I am speaking to husbands, I believe these apply equally to wives as well.” In addition to that I have written five articles on infidelity and I have dealt with either side equally. Here are the titles:

    “I Caught My Wife Cheating, What Now?”
    You Cheated and Want to Win Your Wife Back
    Why Women Cheat
    Why Men Cheat
    Signs of an Emotional Affair

    The heart of many of the articles on All Pro Dad is to call men to initiate love, sacrifice, and service to their wives first – no matter their response. We are called Biblically to love our wives as Christ loved the church. In His love for the church He sacrificed everything. He meets us completely on our soil, literally and spiritually. Jesus washed the feet of Judas knowing he would be betrayed by him. He washed the feet of Peter knowing he would be denied by him. Being a leader means moving first. That’s what we call men to. Women are called Biblically to certain things in a marriage too. iMom communicates those to women.

  • Matt Abel

    Vinny, Josh, critics et al: Listen up, gentlemen.

    There are some glaring flaws in your criticisms of Mr. Foster’s article.

    At the top of the list is simple reading comprehension. Mr. Foster chooses five examples of how faithfulness drifts. He’s not make practical theological statements about marriage. He is simply illustrating how faithfulness in relationships slowly withers. With some simple algebra, you can remove “husband” and replace it with “wife” or “friend” or “people of God” and the whole thing still works. (Well done, Mr.Foster.) This last group, in particular,
    is important.
    God’s people witnessed unbelievable miracles and grace and power and protection and provision in the exodus from Egypt, and then in the wilderness, and then in the promised land. However, their faithfulness drifted. That’s all this article was: a discussion of faithfulness drifting into unfaithfulness.

    But, since you opened the door on other topics, it’s actually very important that your gross errors in Biblical teaching are corrected. There are many, but the three main ones are these:
    1. The assertion was made that Mr. Foster’s article was unbiblical. This is entirely wrong.

    2. Husbands don’t bear blame for family struggles. This is also wrong.

    3. And – related to 2 – wives are not being properly challenged. This is wrong. Trifecta.

    I’ll work back through these – 3, 2, 1 – and we’ll see that Mr. Foster’s view of husband is entirely Biblical.

    Number 3 is simple. No one is giving wives a pass on their sin that comes from not fulfilling their roles. Not once did Mr. Foster write a single word absolving wives from their
    duties. When a wife sins in a particular way related to being a wife, she will have to explain that before the Almighty. No one is arguing differently.
    This is not the entire story when it comes to responsibility for sin, though.

    The entire story begins in Genesis and ends with Jesus Christ on the Cross – and this is what teaches us about being Biblical husbands.

    You see, Scripture teaches clearly that we’re all sons of Adam. (C.S. Lewis picks up on this in the Chronicles of Narnia.) Adam was not just our forefather, but he wasour representative. Twice in Romans 5 Paul explains that sin came into the world through the one man: Adam. Adam’s debt – as happens with debt – is passedto us, so to speak. Not only that, Adam’s characteristics – as happens with fathers and children – are passed to us. We’re sinners because of Adam. (The problem of sin is so serious because we also choose sin, as Scripture makes clear.)

    Praise be to God that a second, last Adam came to earth: Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:45, for those who want this in black and white.) Jesus, being completely human, did what no other person could. He lived perfectly, without sin. Then, He took the sins of
    God’s people upon Him; every Christian owes their salvation to the fact that Jesus represented them on the Cross. No human can do anything to save himself.
    We must have a representative who takes the blame for us. All Christians must have a representative that bears responsibility for them – even though He is not responsible. Jesus didn’t say, “That’s not my sin; that’s his and that’s hers. It’s not fair for me to die for it.”

    This is the greatness of the Gospel: when we were responsible and condemned for our sin, Jesus came and died representing us. This is the message of the Bible from beginning to end.

    HOW DOES IT BEAR ON HUSBANDS? Ephesians 5 teaches that Christ is the head of
    the Church (“Church” meaning all Christians); this was just explained. Jesus is the representative head of all Christians, standing in our place, taking our sin. Ephesians 5 also teaches that Christ is the head of the Church like husbands are the head of the wife (and the family). Husbands are to relate to wives the way Jesus related to the Church.

    So, while a wife is responsible for her sin, her husband will is also be asked to take responsibility for it – just as Jesus took responsibility for the sin of the Church. THIS IS SIMPLY HOW HEADSHIP WORKS. It is what we see with Adam. It is thankfully
    what we see with Jesus. Also, it’s what we see with parents and leaders in the Church.
    Hebrews 13:17 tells us that leaders will have to give an account before God for their flock. (Don’t enter the ministry on a whim – or get married, or start a family.) The flock will give an account – but so will the shepherd, the leaders.

    So, gentlemen, what’s this mean for husbands? In regards to many of these posts and comments it means, in Biblical terms: gird your loins. Man up.
    Do NOT be a man like Adam – who shifted blame to his wife when confronted
    in the garden of Eden.
    Man up like Jesus. Look at yourself first, and second and third and be ready to give an answer for your leading of your wife. Men, you are the head of your household and
    that means taking the blame. Christ did it – and He’s made you a new man through the power of the Spirit so that you can be like Him and no longer like Adam.

    The sniveling in some of these comments about the responsibility of wives is unbecoming of husbands who call themselves followers of Christ. Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for an underserving, unfaithful bride. (Read Ezekiel illustrating this in Ezekiel 16.)
    Aim to be holy as He is holy. Aim to take responsibility as He did: sacrificially and in abject humility.

    What is worse than the sniveling is that there is such a gross misunderstanding of Biblical headship. What has just been written is not “feminist”; feminists have a fit when husbands shown to be the head of the family like Christ is the head of the Church!

    The concept of a representative head bearing responsibility for others is taught in the Bible from beginning to end. If you are uncomfortable with this, then you must be uncomfortable with Christ being your representative at the Cross.

    Mr. Foster’s comments on drifting faithfulness were directed by – as we saw with the exodus, etc. – Biblical teaching about that happens.
    His comments as they pertain to husbands were anchored in the fundamental message of salvation in the Bible. To claim anything in this article was unbiblical is a blatant falsehood, hopefully from simple ignorance and not intentional deceit.

    Husbands: Trust Christ as your representative, and trust Him to equip you to be the head of your wife.

  • Matt Abel

    I forgot: Sex is NOT a need.
    Don’t quote some doctor and his books to back that up; such an argument is detritus. It’s human opinion; not God’s authoritative Word.

    Quote some comprehensive teaching from the Bible that sex is a need; link me to a serious theologian that’s not part of the “sex is the fundamental aspect or our identity” party – and then we can have a discussion.
    I don’t have time to address this in full, but here’s the quick and dirty – ’cause apparently some folks need it however they can get it.
    The fundamental characteristic of humans is that they are image bearers of the triune God. (All Christians should confess this truth.)
    The triune God does not have sex among the Father, Son and Spirit. (I’m sure some bottom-shelf bishop will assert this soon, if it hasn’t been already.) God is a spirit, infinite and eternal – and doesn’t have sex.
    So, as image bearers sex can’t be a fundamental aspect of our identity – or a need.
    Certainly, “relationship” is central to the Trinity and therefore “relationship” is central to humans. But “relationship” does not equal “sex”.

  • I have some concern about telling people sex is not a need and that food is. Sex is not a need for everyone, but some see it as a language of love as much as positive affirmation or quality time. Sex is a different need than food because it has a larger reservoir. But to those who by no choice of their own have sex as a love language, once they loose hope and their bucket is empty they run to one of three options. Finding something that is a facade, medicate, or end their life. This is one of the reasons that suicide is very high in the gay/lesbian community. I believe that Maslow came close with his pyramid of needs hierarchy, but time and time again sex reacts more like someone who needs love, rather than someone who needs to be eternal by having his genetics continue on.
    I just want to get across this isn’t a matter of white knuckling it, if we understand this better, than we can get closer to getting out of brain lock.

    • HRT

      Sex is not a love language; physical touch is. Sex can be a component of that love language but it is not itself a love language. This is not to deny the importance of sex in a healthy marriage, it is essential to keeping the couple close and connected. But, please, don’t confuse the love languages.

      • Different book, the book you are referring to is not definitive. It is called Love Languages. The book that I am referring to is called His Needs, Her Needs. According to Maslow, sex is a basic need for survival. I don’t subscribe to that view, plus I don’t think that it is necessarily everyone’s need, which is why I used the term love language even though that is not the term that His Needs, Her Needs uses.

        • HRT

          Thanks for the clarification.

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