In January of 2015, 41% of spouses admit to committing adultery either physically or emotionally. Whoa! (Source: Associated Press, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy)
With a past like mine, that number isn’t even necessary to make me feel insecure about faithfulness in our marriage.
I’m getting ahead of myself here. First, the reason why I’ve researched adultery. Let me be clear, it has nothing to do with my husband.
I am not sure if you know, but I’m taking my oldest child to church, as she is exploring her Faith, and her Daddy and I support her journey. I talk a bit about my Faith in my first blog, and my journey is ongoing for sure.
While I grew up in many different churches, going almost every weekend, I really never learned much about God. I knew all the “main” stories of Jesus, but the Old Testament was, well, Old. I didn’t know much more than the “big” stories, like Moses parting the Red Sea and Noah’s Ark.
As an adult, though, and someone who is forever curious about everything, I find myself really enjoying lessons about the Bible as I take my girl to church each week. The pastors are taking us through the Old Testament right now, and this week’s lesson was about King David and Bathsheba. I had never heard the story. Have you?
Check out 2 Samuel 11 for the full story. Basically, David, who up until this point had been a true faithful servant of God, saw a woman he wanted, Bathsheba. She was married, but he did not care. He slept with her and committed adultery. Once he found out she was pregnant with his child, he did all he could to cover it up, but ultimately had her husband killed on the battlefield and married her.
What I loved about the pastor’s lesson today was he was very strong and clear about the fact that, in this case, this was not the woman’s fault. David was her King, what was she to do? I also loved his message about adultery.
Here are the pastor’s “Realities about Adultery”:
- Adultery is never accidental.
- Adultery is never sudden.
- Adultery will not remain a secret for long.
- Adultery always damages people.
- Adultery always conceives additional sins.
- Adultery always disrupts God’s work in and through you.
He ended his lesson today about a man named Nathan, who in the Bible, was told by God that David committed adultery. Nathan confronted David. The pastor, with a straight face and emotional face said God had also spoken to him. He had three names of people at our church who had committed adultery. He was going to reveal them. After a dramatic pause, and a somewhat believable moment of tears, he opened a piece of paper. He then stopped and said, of course, this was not true, but that if anyone was worried, they needed to reevaluate what they were doing.
So, back to my original point. Here is where this really hits home to me. I have a long list of reasons why I am afraid my husband will stray: 1) my childhood (Check out my Choice Blog here), 2) the fact that only 1 boyfriend before Jason had been faithful, 3) a father who not only committed adultery on Mom, but he was absent from my life for that family (I Didn’t Marry My Dad), and 4) the fact that many of my male role models growing up either committed adultery or were a victim of it. I do not have a good basis for faithful marriages.
None of my reasons has anything to do with him. Isn’t that funny? He has never given me reason to think he will stray. In fact, he has given me a huge amount of reasons to believe he won’t commit adultery.
So, how do we deal with my insecurities? Two words: Honesty and Communication
I do not yell at him and say I think he’s cheating on me during my moments of insecurity. I calmly tell him why I am concerned or what happened to make me question. To be clear, this is not how I always handled my insecurities. I had to learn over time, this was the way to get to a better result! Poor guy had to ride that emotional wave with me!
He does not ever get defensive or act like he’s being attacked. He calmly tells me facts that eventually override my insecurities. He reminds me that losing our family would be the worst thing to happen to him. He wouldn’t ever risk it.
However, so many do. More statistics from the AP, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy:
More than half of men and women have admitted committing infidelity in any relationship they have had, not necessarily while married.
Thirty-five percent of men and women admit to having an affair on a business trip. (I already hate when he leaves town on business, this stat does not make it better!)
Twenty-two percent of men have admitted to straying, while 14% of women say they have.
So, knowing these statistics what’s an insecure lady like me to do?
I talk to my husband.
My husband and I put our marriage and our family above all else.
I love him. He loves me. We do our best to be kind.
I may seem naïve, but I believe marriages work better when couples put each other first, and are kind to one another. I have had to learn this from my husband, and his incredible parents. I was also lucky to get some glimpse of working marriages through my friends’ families growing up. I have to focus on the successes.
Most of all, I had to do what the pastor said at church this past Sunday. I have to trust God. I am not assigned to one belief in my mind or heart, but the older I get I do find it easier to trust, whatever it is you call Him…. God, Allah, Fate, Destiny…. Whatever it is.
It has taken me 45 years to let go. It has taken 16 years with Jason to begin to feel more secure that I am worth it. It has taken a lifetime to begin to: