When I was a young adult in the 1980s, I knew many married men who were cheating on their wives. They didn’t even try to hide this from me. It almost felt like they were attempting to teach me how these things work—to show me the way. Although in my gut I knew it was wrong, it messed up the way I viewed women and marriage for most of my 20s.
1. Marriage doesn’t come with a sexual loophole.
It fascinated me that none of those men seemed to be in an unhappy marriage. They loved their wives, they all had children, and all were living “good” lives. They just seemed to believe the lie that there is a sexual loophole for men in marriage. This strangles the emotional and physical bond between a husband and wife. Often in its place, the couple settles for a platonic partnership as the sexual relationship dwindles.
2. You’ll be setting a terrible example.The example we set for other men around us matters a great deal.
Think about the young men in your own life. When your adultery is revealed (and it will be), how is that going to affect them? How would it affect your own son if he knew his dad was cheating on his mom? What would that knowledge do to his own future relationships? The example we set for other men around us matters a great deal.
3. You’re endangering your family.
In breaking your marriage vows, you’re wrecking your integrity and the ramifications reach far beyond sex. A primary role of a husband and father is to protect his family from harm. When a man engages in a sexual relationship with a person aside from his wife, he’s opening the door to a host of problems. Not only are you inviting a person into your world that your wife and kids wouldn’t welcome, but you are involving your family in that person’s problems.
4. You’ll probably end up alone.
Once trust has evaporated, it is likely never coming back, and the outcome is that you’re going to wind up divorced and broken. I know of men (and women) in their 40s and 50s desperately seeking substance in relationships but settling for meaningless sexual encounters. It’s a sad club and you don’t want to become a member. They had substance but traded it for sex without commitment, which doesn’t last. Commit yourself instead to the things that do last.
5. Your children will pay the price.
Think about your kids. They look up to you with trust, hope, and security. Knowing that their dad cheated would cause them pain and heartache. Many of these wounds will be with them for the rest of their lives. It’s simply unfair to give them that burden to bear. There are solutions to help your marriage become whole and thriving. Seek them out.
Sound off: What would you say to discourage a man from cheating on his wife?