How Affairs Begin in the Mind

An affair in mind will end up breaking hearts and relationships.

How the Mind Plays into an Affair

Most folks don’t start out planning to have an affair. Why then do they happen so frequently?

There are three stories here. I personally know every one of the people in these stories, and I know the stories are true. The names have been changed, and I’m sure you’ll understand why.

How an Affair Could Have Happened

Sue was a new mother and fighting that baby bulge, sometimes feeling less than attractive to her husband. Bob was the manager of a business and he was being sent to Atlanta. There was another person who was also going on this trip. Amy was a slim, young female – and available. They got to Atlanta the evening before the business deal and went to their motel. Amy invited Bob to join her to watch a movie in her motel room. This is exactly what Sue had been concerned about.

You know what Bob did? He said thanks, but no thanks. “I’m going to go to my room and call my bride.” And he did.

Bob knew Sue was concerned about this trip. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust her husband. She didn’t know if she could trust Amy and she certainly didn’t trust the devil.

Bob was cautious and aware of the temptation that could be thrown at him. He made himself accountable to Sue and he let Amy know that he was committed to Sue. That provided a wall of protection – by which this young couple reaped so many benefits.

You see what he did there? Bob was open and accountable and he put up a wall of protection. He didn’t have to tell Sue about the conversation, but in doing so, he made himself accountable. There were no secrets.There are still no secrets between them. Imagine how different things could have been. The steps this couple took helped affair-proof their marriage.

He’s a hard-working man who has been dependable for years. He’s held the same job almost as long as he’s been married (nigh unto thirty years), committed to his family, his church, and his job. You don’t hear him say much, but he lives his commitment daily. He’s one of those solid folks who is just there without letting others know his presence.

One day a co-worker came to him.

“George,” his friend Pat said. “One of our co-workers is interested in you.”

George was startled. “I’m a married man. You all know that.”

“Yeah,” Pat said. “She knows that, but she’s interested in you. She wants to know if you’re interested in having an affair.” [Yes, he said those words.]

You know what George told him?

“I’m a married man, Pat. I made a commitment before God to my wife. As for the woman? I don’t even want to know who she is.”

You see what he did there?

He put up a barrier. George can’t think about the woman because he doesn’t even know who she is. She might work side by side with him or she might be one of the secretaries in the office. He doesn’t know, so he didn’t even let that temptation start in his mind!

You know what else he did? George went home and told his wife everything that had happened. He made himself accountable to her. This also provided a way to put up a wall of protection. The steps this man took helped affair-proof his marriage.

Affairs in the mind can be fed by social media.

The other day via Facebook, Donna received a friend request from someone she didn’t know. Whenever this happens, she checks out the person.

Donna is in several groups and it’s always a possibility that this person is in one of those groups. Maybe she and this person have mutual friends. Donna is also a blogger, and she thought maybe this person had seen her blog and wanted to follow her.

Who knows? Sometimes Donna can figure it out. With some requests, she asks one of her mutual friends about the person. Occasionally she asks her husband. Donna never, ever accepts a request from someone unless she knows enough about the person to feel that it’s a good thing.

If none of the above reasons are there, she usually deletes the request. Other times she messages the person and asks how they are connected and why she was sent the request. More often than not, after getting a response, Donna is able to accept the request.

The following scenario happened the other day. Donna received a friend request from Victor, a total stranger with no mutual friends. She finally sent a reply, asking how he knew her and why he asked to become friends on FB. If this “someone” was interested in Jesus, she didn’t want to shun him. Maybe he read one of her blog posts, she thought. She could connect him to her husband if he was a serious seeker.

His reply was that he liked her cute profile picture (you wouldn’t believe how uncute that photo is) and wanted to get to know her. Donna explained that she was married and “totally committed to my man and to Jesus Christ.”

Victor thought that was cool (at least that’s what he said). He added, “Please accept my request and let’s talk and see what is in store for us.”

Donna had a choice. She could continue to chat, sharing the gospel of Jesus. She could ignore him, or she could respond and tell him there was nothing in store for them.

Donna called her husband and then replied to Victor as her husband requested. She told Victor that the love of her life said Victor could call him if he wanted to know more about Donna, and then she blocked Victor.

You see what she did there? Donna let her spouse know what was happening. She made herself accountable to him, and she put up a wall of protection. The steps Donna and her husband took helped affair-proof their marriage.

Best Intentions Don’t Provide Protection From an Affair

In our minds, where no one else sees or knows, thoughts come from our enemy. We can have the best intentions, but intentions don’t provide protection.

Especially in this day and time when marriages all around us are crumbling, Satan tries his hardest with those who maintain commitment. If he can begin a seed of doubt or intrigue in a person’s mind, he has cracked the door to the beginning of an affair. Our thoughts must be kept captive to the obedience of Christ.

I don’t think any affair has ever happened where both parties kept that boundary, kept no secrets, and didn’t try to wing a flirtation from someone on their own. All of these temptations begin in the mind.

Protecting your mind from affairs begins with several keys: accountability and a wall of protection.

You know one way to affair-proof your marriage? Protect your mind.

  • Let your spouse know what’s happening in your world and your mind.
  • Make yourself accountable to your spouse. Don’t think you can handle this yourself. Don’t keep secrets from your spouse.
  • Keep that wall of protection. Never, ever tell yourself, “This one time won’t hurt,” because it will.

LIke wilted flowers, affairs will destroy relationships.

When you keep watering the soil of your marriage by letting your spouse know what’s going on in your mind and your life, when you stay accountable and keep that wall of protection, you can be certain that your marriage will flourish.

It really is true. Affairs do begin in the mind. In the same way, affair-proofing your marriage begins in your mind.

P.S. If you are experiencing grief and pain from things in your past or the past of your spouse, rest assured that forgiveness and grace are available at the Cross. You can start a new path. Beginning today, you can set up those boundaries, keeping no secrets, and being accountable to each other. Your marriage can begin to thrive and flourish today.  There is nothing that God (and I) would like better!

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