Understanding the Steps to Adultery

Ephesians 5:25-26 – “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word…” 

1 Corinthians 9:27  – “But I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

“A woman wants a man she can look up to, not one who looks down on her!”

The chemistry between a man and his wife was marvelously and deliberately created by God. Yet, we must realize that this relationship is one of the most complex to understand.

Adultery is one of the most painful examples of unfaithfulness. Providing help for a woman in this situation is more effective if we can understand how it begins and develops.

Here is ONE of the common patterns (unfortunately, it’s not the only one!):

First step: Because of different circumstances in life (maternity, solitude at home…), the woman sometimes suffers a period of decreasing self-esteem. She feels her dependence on her husband grow. An imbalance between them is created. She suffers and complains more often.

At the same time, her husband is perhaps in a period of increasing competitiveness on a professional level. He loves his wife but doesn’t take the time to take care of her emotionally.

Second step: The woman has a strong tendency to become depressed. She becomes angry more and more often. She isn’t herself and only rarely feels satisfied.

The husband’s dedication to his work takes first place in his life… “for the good of his family,” so he thinks…

Third step: This is the most dangerous period, the time when things are at the tipping point. The woman is in danger of adultery when it comes to her thoughts.

The husband has no idea about his wife’s internal struggle. He does not pick up on the warning signs and thus definitely cannot come to her aid.

Fourth step: Another man approaches this woman who is not his. He appears tender and attentive and seems to have all the qualities the husband lacks… The woman’s thoughts go toward this man, in secret. The conditions making way for the act come together: the wife is emotionally ready for a physical relationship with him.

The husband has not yet realized what is truly going on. He has gotten used to his wife’s hostility, attributing it to stress, children, life…

Fifth step: The woman demonstrates a lack of taste for her spiritual life. This step reveals a low point, the disappearance of her communion with God.

The husband starts to worry. Confusion settles in between them. He no longer recognizes his wife.

Sixth step: The adultery occurs. It’s a “euphoric” period, where the woman has the illusion of “coming alive again.” The husband starts suspecting something and eventually discovers the truth, often by accident. It is the first confrontation.

Seventh step: The woman denies the truth or cracks and confesses. She digs her heels in or asks for forgiveness. It’s a period of crisis, full of highs and lows.

The husband suffers. He tries to understand what happened.

Eighth step: There are two possibilities here: With hard work, the couple succeeds in recognizing the reasons that caused the situation. Forgiveness takes place between them. Trust is restored little by little. They reconcile with each other and rebuild their relationship.

Or, they don’t succeed in resolving their situation, and it remains unmoving, leading towards a separation.

In the second scenario, the husband may panic, sometimes having bouts of violence, trying to “force” the situation to turn around. His self-esteem is at at all time low.

Ninth step: The adventure with the other man is less and less exciting but the woman feels she can no longer back out.

Her husband’s respect for her has disappeared; love is dying.

Tenth step: They reach a decision to divorce. The children suffer. “What have I done? My God…”

The husband feels betrayed; he no longer wants to even consider taking his wife back.

Eleventh step: The husband and wife each remarry and are greatly at risk of reliving the same pattern.

How horribly sad! This scenario represents the devil’s plan for your life…

You are perhaps only in the first few steps…This is the time to act, to throw yourself at God’s feet and implore His help. This is the moment to find a genuine female friend who will know that you need help, pray with you, and ask you the painful questions that will help you keep your thoughts pure for your husband.

Husband and wife, work to improve your marriage relationship…there is always room to go further and expand your view of this precious gift that God has entrusted to you: your marriage.

Despite the illusion of the moment, the intensity of the adulterous relationship cannot compete with the real intimacy that can only develop between a husband and wife.

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