Courting an affair

Everyone has their passions and convictions. My list is long but few equate with my thirst to honor Rick in faithfulness throughout our marriage, trusting he’ll do the same. True I sometimes get too hung up in fear over this matter, taking the latest media scandals such as the Elliot Spitzer saga too much to heart. At the end of the day though, real life Christian marriages (as well as those outside Christian circles obviously) are crumbling all around us and I for one do not want to hide in blissful ignorance of this fact. Honestly, it is frightening how many I have heard of lately. Therefore, in 50 years (and beyond:), I want to be able to say confidently that I have never in any way crossed the line with another man.

Anyways, the idea behind this post began with eavesdropping (is that a sin)? I was sitting with Micah at…surprise, surprise….Joyce Bakeshop today and at the table beside me was a late twenties, early thirties stay-at-home dad with his toddler son. Besides exchanging information about the ages of our two little boys since they were trying to communicate with one another, I did not seek further conversation with him as I would with a fellow mom.

I had somehow found a table for Micah and I but the place was crowded. A mom with a mammoth stroller walked in with her son and, surveying the place, walked up to this man’s table and asked to sit down across from him. He unhesitatingly obliged and they were soon deep in conversation. What began as mere introductions quickly morphed into deeper talk. NOTE: she could have sat across from me or other women with room at their tables.

Again, I was, I admit, quietly (and hopefully inconspicuously:), eavesdropping. She and this dad discussed matters such as their day to day lives as stay at home parents, how emotionally drained she often feels and their spouse’s occupations. She said her husband is an architect whom she mentioned works practically “24/7, seven days a week…” and his wife a high power lawyer. I guess she’s out making the big bucks and I doubt she’s home much either.

Two stay-at-home parents, obviously hungry for company, conversation and encouragement because neither of them often has time with their spouse, but making the dire mistake of finding it in the opposite sex. Even if they got up at the end and left without any agreement of seeing each other again or exchange of contact information, they still crossed a line. They were sharing more than is wise. They were making it clear they are both alone much of the time. They, like many married couples today, have likely afforded themselves far too much freedom as relationships with the opposite sex go and the lines have blurred as to wise behavior in marriage.

I realize we need as many relationships with fellow adults as we can muster and this takes more work as stay at home parents or may not come as easily. We need to actively seek that camaraderie as it is not often immediately at our finger tips. But as I have learned, there are plenty of women out there whom I can befriend…there is simply no need to take a chance that might just turn into the gravest decision of my life.

I honestly feel for the stay-at-home dad…his needs are unique and not properly tapped into in our society as of yet. We should pray that they would find the support they need. But instead of pretending as women that it is legitimate to be that friend to them, I believe that we must exercise as much caution as we would in the outside work place and keep any men other than our husbands at arms length. The success or failure of our marriages may depend on this decision!

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9 Responses to Courting an affair

  1. Anonymous says:

    wow. Interesting. I have often notice stay-at-home Dads in groups of women, and wondered how safe the situation was. Especially, given how much travel many spouses have, etc. It is so wise to guard marriage, in conversation, especially. I have found this many times at the park. Conversing less with men than with women….Maryanne

  2. Grace says:

    Great post Susanna!

  3. Anna says:

    This is such wise counsel. I think too it is different if your husband knows the man, and the man knows your family. I think there’s a little more freedom when everyone knows each other and interacts often – especially in the context of a Christian community. Of course proper boundaries and discretion are still needed. Would you agree with that? And how would you apply this to the unmarried?

  4. Johannah says:

    Sus,You know, my gut reaction to this post was to disagree. Why can’t a woman talk to a man? Just as a men/women interactions can possibly lead to lust, women/women interactions more than usually lead to gossip… But you know what? I think you’re right. I know from my youth the dynamics between men and women can too easily shift too something dangerous and hard to control. It is best to guard against it from the very beginning. thanks cous.Love, Jo

  5. Mella says:

    This is so true. I was actually just reading an older blog that I happened to stumble across the other day. It’s co-written by a Christian couple who are living in the aftermath of a husband who slipped up.What’s interesting is that he now approaches all conversations with the opposite sex very cautiously. He said red flags start going up as soon as they’re talking about anything deeper than the weather. Because his affair happened as the result of him becoming too conversational and too friendly with a woman he worked with.He said he didn’t see it coming, but there he was. And in the span of two weeks, he’d lost his wife’s trust AND his job. Ouch.

  6. Susanna Rose says:

    ** I think we all need to keep in mind: AFFAIRS CAN BE EMOTIONAL AS WELL AS PHYSICAL…OR BOTH OF COURSE. BUT ONE IS NO LESS HARMFUL OR HURTFUL THAN THE OTHER AND USUALLY, IF THE EMOTIONAL INTIMACY GOES UNCHECKED, IT LEADS TO PHYSICAL INTIMACY.**Anna, Thanks for your comment! To answer your question about what should those who are unmarried do, I would simply venture to say that they should carefully guard their hearts when it comes to the opposite sex, save emotional intimacy for same-sex friendships, have best friends be of the same sex (what are you going to do once you’re married otherwise?!) and guard against getting entangled with married people of the opposite sex. I have seen the latter happen!Jo, You’re right…women are easily given over to gossip and that is no small sin. Proverbs tells us that! I guess what I really feel is that society has lost any value in having a righteous jealousy within marriage. Any sort of jealousy now in marriage is considered atrocious…we’re just supposed to be okay with our spouses doing whatever they please. Couples don’t seem to realize that they can have emotional affairs as well as physical ones and both are dangerous and damaging. I look at God and his righteous jealousy for his bride, the church. He does not want our hearts, bodies or minds straying to find fulfillment in other things. He wants our faithfulness.Marriage and our spouses are such precious gifts…if we really love our spouses, we should want to guard our marriages with our lives!Mella, that’s what I’m talking about! Thanks for sharing that story!

  7. james says:

    well,sussana,i really do not agree with your opinion.I personally think that spouses really damages our personal true marriage life.Infact i have been researching upon how to catch spouses,and i got some valuable resources as well.so better think on your opinions…james

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi Susanna,Whilst I agree that the situation you described can get a person into trouble and can indeed lead to problems in a mariage, I think it’s sad to judge people like that. You do not know these people and do not know about their situation. Listening to a random conversation does not mean you know and understand these people. Everyone has the right to make their own choices and has to live with them. You do, I do, everyone does. I find it generally sad how everyone keeps judging about everyone else, thinking what they do is better than what others do.Maybe we should try to stick to our own business more and try to be happy and satisfied with what we have instead of looking at how other people lead their lifes.Regards.

  9. The Matriarch says:

    Great, insightful post!

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