Infidelity and Religion

if my wifer loved meOften times a victim of abuse is torn between leaving their abuser and their religious beliefs or they feel pressured by the church to forgive and forget, stay together for the children, they said “til death do us part” 
Wasn’t there anything in those vows about fidelity? I don’t recall the vows saying, “you have to stay until death but I get to cheat as much as I want and you have to forgive me because God says so”

Hebrews 13:4 ESV / 41 helpful votes

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

I found this quote today:

Infidelity—the absence of faithfulness—is a major cause of broken relationships, especially marriages. In any close relationship faithfulness and trust are vital. Most marriage ceremonies contain a statement from each party promising to be faithful to the other—often until death. Fulfilling such a promise involves each demonstrating faithfulness to the other by continual, loving actions.

M. Scott Peck, in The Road Less Traveled , concludes that such commitment—such determination to faithfully perform one’s vows, promises and relational responsibilities—is essential in all successful relationships. He writes, “… Commitment is the foundation, the bedrock of any genuinely loving relationship” (p. 140)

You can read the rest of the post here.


oppositeIn my mind whether a couple is married or not, if they are having sex and saying they love each other they have made a commitment, but that does provide a loop hole for some people. “I didn’t do anything wrong, we aren’t married”. I did not need a marriage certificate to be committed to James, we had discussed our expectations of the relationship. I told him that I expected honesty above all else, I made it very clear from the beginning that I expected that if I was having sex with a man we would remain monogamous until such time one of us decided it wasn’t working for us. I didn’t have casual sex, he said he didn’t either, I had no fear of pregnancy with a preference for sex without a condom but with std’s that can kill you, we agreed we wouldn’t sleep with anyone else. Fidelity is more than marriage vows, it is trust, it is concern for the safety of your partner, it is having the decency of giving them the option of protecting themselves from diseases you are too stupid to protect yourself from. 

I always said to James that him wanting more than one sex partner was not wrong as long as he was honest and respected my right to not want to be with him if he chose to be with more than me. I made it very clear that I expected him to only have sex with me and not break up with me on day so he could screw around and then get back together the next day. My only expectation of him was to be honest with me.

I am not stupid or so naive to believe that just because a man tells me he loves me and will be faithful forever that at some point he won’t change his mind. People fall out of love all the time, people grow apart, goals change, what worked once no longer works. It hurts when the person you love wants out of the relationship but it is a lot easier than finding out by discovering they are being unfaithful.

But the ultimate in cruelty is when one partner insists they are faithful and the other person is just paranoid and then use their suspicions as an excuse for infidelity, “I thought I might as well do it seeing as you kept accusing me.” “If you trusted me I wouldn’t have to cheat” Huh???? 

To be told if you just, “trusted them”, “changed this or that about yourself.” That they love you and you are crazy to suspect them, “How can you have so little faith in their love?”

infidelty under the rugAnd THEN when they are discovered to be screwing around blame the victim for their infidelity and say that they have found their true soul mate and the ex made their life hell the whole time they were together. And THEN come crawling back asking for forgiveness and promising total honesty and fidelity only to do it all over again.  I can’t count how many times James had an epiphany, had received a message from God and realized I was the woman he loved. I am surprised he wasn’t struck by lightening right before my eyes.

I just read a post over at Chump Lady’s blog and she provided the link I gave earlier. 

What are your thoughts on religion and infidelity? married vows? how has religion affected your decisions with your N?

 

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6 thoughts on “Infidelity and Religion

  1. I believe it depends on the person/ couple. Seems to me that some women accept the fact that their spouse/ person/ significant other will cheat. They look the other way for whatever reason. I guess they want to remain “known ” as the spouse. significant other. I have a friend that told her live in b/f for 9 years if he cheated to make sure it was w/ someone that was not known to her, someone out side of her neighborhood. She felt if would be “disrespectful” if he screwed someone she knew/knew of , but I guess if you don’t know them it’s ok? I have been told that it is naive of me to believe that a person will not “desire” someone else eventually, that it is human nature. And I think that is partly true, we all at some point have ” attractions”. But I think it is the acting on it, without the other person involved knowing, that is extremely disrespectful. Religion aside, I believe when you make an emotional commitment to another person then you will avoid those situations that put you in a position of being “tempted”. And you certainly won’t act on it. Perhaps it is “pie in the sky” in this day and age, but, it is what I want and expect.

    I believe God pre ordained mankind to go out and populate the earth. With one partner only.I am sure there all all sorts of “students” of the bible that can point out passages that will contadict this, but for me this is my truth. It is what the bible says to me.

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    1. Ellie I agree. I have always felt that both people in the relationship have a responsibility to keep the relationship interesting and exciting so there is no need to look elsewhere, of course with consideration to some times life just gets in the way. Maybe one has to take more responsibility than the other at times and then the other one packs the load for awhile but somehow it all balances out and if you love the person it isn’t work so much as wanting the relationship to work. But it goes both ways, I don’t agree with women that say they had kids and that is their “get out of jail card” for getting fat and letting themselves go. Or men who don’t shave, have a big beer gut and BO and then bitch because they never get sex. But when they are out cruising for another woman they certainly make sure to look their best and they expect their wives to stay in shape.
      I was as committed to James as anyone can be, I have been married three times so I know that “til death do us part” is a little hard to attain but I was faithful in all my relationships and when I started to feel like I was looking and interested in looking elsewhere I ended it before I went there and I never dated right away after it ended. But for me, if I was even entertaining having sex with someone else I knew it was over with the person I was with. Sex is just not casual with me. and I can’t be with someone who is casual about sex. If that makes me old fashioned so be it. I would rather stay single than be “test driven” by a bunch of guys and hope they pick me. That is what it is like now. I can’t believe how many women feel they must go to bed with a man on the first or second date or lose them. I don’t want a man who is just looking for a screw, I think I have more to offer than that. I was floor when James started dating and had all these women on the hook and they were all having sex with him. Did they all think he was faithful to them? The thought of a man leaving one woman’s bed and coming to mine makes me ill.

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  2. I just wanted to say I never knew for sure that my ex husband was having physical affairs but he had a lot of emotional affairs. He would become fixated on one woman after another. He would come home and talk about them all the time. It got to be really old. Other women would come to me and tell me about things he would be telling them about our relationship. He would talk intimately to them but never to me. When he moved out he immediately moved in with this woman that he was emotionally involved with and then ended up marrying her.

    Gail

    “The air of heaven is that which blows between the ears of a horse.” – Arabian proverb.v

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    1. kansastec, I didn’t think James was “unfaithful” sexually, I too thought it was more of an ego boost, that he just wanted to know he could get another woman. I would find letters he wrote to other women professing his love and it would break my heart, it was almost worse than physical infidelity because he was looking for a true connection with women. But in actual fact he was leading them all on and wasn’t honest with any of them, it was just a game.
      James would also become fixated about a woman, he would talk about her constantly but I got to know that when he said he wasn’t interested in her, she wasn’t his “type” something was up and the fact that he was always talking about her made it pretty obvious he was infatuated with her. He was obsessed about them, always on the internet messages them. Even though he was living with me and had numerous women on the hook he was jealous if they went out with another man and expected all women to remain faithful to him but he wasn’t faithful to anyone. I was not a jealous type person, I never have been, I never worried about a man leaving me for another woman. I don’t know why, I just knew I was a catch for any man and that he would have a hard time finding someone who would treat him better or love him better than me. I wasn’t aware that he had no capacity for love at all and that all women were interchangeable as far as he was concerned.
      They very rarely can be alone for long, they need to know they have a woman at home waiting for them. He would repeat history once he had her firmly hooked, one woman can never satisfy their need to be idolized and they need the constant ego boost of winning over a new woman.

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  3. Tough subject…every abuser I have had a relationship with made glorious claims of being ______religion…and made big deals of it. I have been married twice, and took the vows to heart each time. I was raised in a spiritual environment, and love God…there was a lot of guilt associated with divorce-I tried very hard to endure the abuse-in the end, it was my abuser who filed for divorce so he could seemingly have the upper hand. Now my abuser serves in the church…confirms to me that just because someone is in church doesn’t mean they are the real deal!

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    1. Army of Angels, I too learned the hard way that going to church does not make a person a christian nor trust worthy. I had such a strong faith for most of the 10 years I was with James and it is coming back slowly but he even managed to tarnish that. He even got his mother lying and covering for him, the most God fearing woman I have ever known and who I trusted explicitly to be honest with me and to do what was right. Some times I really hate him and I don’t hate anyone.

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