The Answer to "Why?"

Over the past 2 years the number of counseling cases coming into our office that are due to sexual sin has increased 5 fold. It is one of the reasons I wrote my new book The Heart of Betrayal: When Your Spouse Has Sexually Sinned. 

When a woman or man learns their spouse has had a physical affair, everything takes on an unreal quality. It is the worst possible news you can imagine receiving. Some say it is worse than learning you have cancer or some other disease. The only words that can even come close to describing it are utter devastation.

She has questions about how long it has been going on and will want to pry inside her husband’s mind and learn what drove him to commit adultery.  She wants to know what exactly he has been thinking of while having sex. Who has he been picturing in his mind? Has he been fantasizing about the other women while he was physically touching you? She wonders how he could live a double life as an adulterer and still read his Bible or attend church with the family.

She will want to know the details of his activities. Ultimately, she wants to know where she didn’t measure up to her husband and what drove him into the arms of another woman.

The number one question a woman asks when she learns her husband has committed adultery is, "Why?"  She wants to know what the other woman had that she doesn't have. She wants to know how he could do this to her.  She is seeking to understand his thinking and determine what led him into the bed of another woman. 

There is more to this question than curiosity; she isn't intentionally trying to inflict pain on herself by learning these things. She is trying to learn what he was looking for in that other woman. She needs to know what the connection was between them. Without that, she will not be able to trust him again. 

One answer to "why" is there are some Christian marriages that are void of any sexual contact; the couple lives together, sleep together, and spend time together, but there is no sexual intimacy. This is a violation of 1 Corinthians 7 which clearly states that married couples are to engage in sexual intimacy for precisely this reason! Men and women were wired for sex in the confines of marriage. Paul specifically says that we are not to withhold our bodies from our spouse. In fact, he says that when you marry, your body no longer belongs to you, but to your husband or wife. When sex is withheld in marriage it provides the occasion for sin in the thought life—wandering thoughts that lead to wandering hands and wandering bodies.

One typical reason offered is "the devil made me do it." I would like to lay the blame squarely at the feet of Satan, but I cannot do that. Jeremiah 17:9 says that the heart is deceptive, and desperately wicked. The heart is so wicked, in fact, that we cannot and do not know the depths of the depravity that lives there; so wicked and so deceptive that we can rationalize our sinful desires and be lulled into thinking that our sin is justified because, “s/he would not . . . ,” or because, “I don’t feel . . . ,” and, “God surely does not want me to live this way . . .”

Sometimes it is the excitement of new attraction or the thrill of pursuing or being pursued again. Other reasons are the marriage had grown stale, life was too sedate and there was nothing new to discover about each other after a number of years.  Communication had become almost non-existent; there was no emotional spark or connection anymore.  The couple talked at each other but not to each other. In some cases, life became all about the children and the oneness of marriage got lost in the carpool lane.  The couple becomes distant, perhaps argues more than before and the drift continues as they move in opposite directions. 

Many a man has said he did not believe that anything would really happen. He did not think anything would “come of it.” They say they were “just being nice, friendly, caring, or compassionate” to the woman, up to the point where things “got out of hand.” He “never intended to develop feelings” for her, “it just happened.”  And of course, some describe behaviors that were clearly tempting the flesh, and baiting the hook of desire.

With this as a backdrop the other woman enters the scene. Scripture is brilliantly accurate in its description of the immoral woman, or harlot, as she is called. In the vernacular we would call her a whore. She is a woman who covets another woman’s husband.

An immoral woman is a predator, and she is literally hunting for a man to seduce. In order to capture a man she will use any means necessary to trap him, such as deception, flattery, and sympathy ploys. She hides her true intentions from him by telling him she is looking for a friend, how he is a good listener, or that he understands her like no one else does. She laughs at his jokes and treats him like he is the best man she has ever met. She may talk about how lonely she is, and she acts as though she needs him and wants him more than anyone else ever could. She may be loud and boisterous, acting as though she is happy and having fun in what she has chosen as a lifestyle. She may tell the man that he is the perfect remedy for her loneliness.

The bottom line is the other woman is someone who was interested in him, cared about his needs and was interested in his life. Often, the husband will say in the midst of the adultery he seemed to have the best of both worlds - he had a godly wife, a good woman to take care of him and his household and he had a sexy willing sexual playmate with which he could indulge his wildest desires.  He wants someone who will be in reality what he cannot ask his godly wife to be or to do; to fulfill his sexual fantasies.  He wants her for the sex and adventure but he doesn't want or need her for love because he has a wife. 

The trap is laid first in the heart where seeds of dissatisfaction are sewn. The dissatisfaction can be on any level of the marriage: emotional, sexual, companionship, time, distance, etc. and is actually a lack of gratitude for the spouse God has given him.