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April 18, 2012

Column #1,599

Adulterers Advise How To Protect Your Marriage

By Mike McManus

            ORLANDO -The Secret Service sex scandal is the tip of America’s adultery iceberg.  Studies report that infidelity is on the rise, particularly among older men and women and young couples. 

            Good news!  Adulterers have advice on how you can protect your marriage!

            First, the data.  According to a National Science Foundation survey at the University of Chicago, in any given year about 12 percent of men and 7 percent of women say they had sex outside marriage.  That’s no epidemic.

            However, the lifetime rate of infidelity for men over 60 has increased from 20 percent in 1991 to 28 percent in 2006.  For women over 60, adultery has tripled from 5 percent in 1991 to 15 percent over a lifetime.

It’s also growing among new marriages.  One-fifth of men and 15 percent of women under35 say they have ever been unfaithful, up from about 15 and 12 percent.

            At the American Association of Christian Counselors meeting in Orlando, David Carder spoke about “Close Calls: What Adulterers Want You To Know About Protecting Your Marriage.”

            First, the culture has become more permissive.  For example, a generation of divorce has spawned “children of divorce,” who are particularly vulnerable.  Half of adulterers suffered through a parental divorce. 

            Secondly, nowadays marriage is postponed so long that by the time people marry, they have had several serious relationships.  If their spouse does not turn out to be their dreamed SOUL MATE, people remember that former friend as a person to “talk to.” If they meet, and have a drink or two together, the adultery temptation becomes very real very quickly.

            Two-thirds of men and 51 percent of women would have an affair with an old flame if they don’t think they will get caught!

            Add to that the Internet, where people say things they’d never say in person. In fact, eHarmony claims credit for 5 percent of all weddings, about 100,000 a year!

            “Is it possible to be innocently prepared for adultery?” asked Carder.  “Yes!”

Stress increases the likelihood of infidelity.  He cited a study to prove it.  Researchers asked men to walk over a bridge, and then describe an average-looking coed at the end of the bridge.  A month later, they were asked to walk over the same bridge, and describe the same girl.  But this time, the bridge shook, and appeared unstable.

Now their descriptions of the same co-ed reported her more attractive, even beautiful.

“When you go through elevated periods of stress or anxiety, the first person looks better than they are,” Carder asserted. “They appear to be the answer to your dilemma.”

Another study of pastors who committed adultery found that 90 percent felt bushwhacked or surprised and never saw it coming. “Very quick chemistry can shock you with its power, an infatuation explosion,” which can ruin a career for absolutely nothing.

Be forewarned and forearmed!

Here’s another danger adulterers want to warn you about: platonic relationships. A man and woman might share an interest or a passion at work or in volunteering. Half of adulteries begin with an innocent friendship with a person of the opposite sex.  You enjoy the same music or serving the poor.

Or your might face a “dangerous partner profile.”  You meet someone and think, “I will have an affair with this guy,” as soon as he walked in.  It is not the wild person who instantly attracts you.

Adulterers want to warn you about other tempting dangers:

You find yourself saving topics of conversation for that colleague at work, rather than your spouse. You feed the friendship, but not with evil intentions.

Your friend asks you, “How can I get my husband to listen to me?”

You try to show you have a caring heart and try to be helpful.

You find yourself comparing your spouse to that friend, thinking, “If he respected me like Bill does.”  You know he is not trying to seduce you, but are seduced!

You find yourself thinking, “How lucky he is to be married to her.  He has such a great wife.”

You find yourself spending more alone time with a friend than with a spouse and rationalize, “We are serving Jesus.”

She listens to you, without flirting with you. That makes you want to spend more time with the friend.  But you tell her, “When you see me at church with my wife, don’t smile at me.”

Adultery has many pleasant faces.



© Copyright 2002 Michael J. McManus

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