Updated: Mar 11
Story is a Fantasy Re-enactment for conversational example…
Her phone dinged with the alert tone assigned to Facebook messenger. She looked at her phone in curiosity and saw a name which caught her off guard… A “blast-from-her-past” and honestly it brought a smile to her face! It was her X and they had not spoken since the bad break-up. She has since moved on and is happily married now, but him contacting her (sorta) struck a nerve. What could he possibly want, she thought to herself… She responded to the message, which seemed innocent enough. All he said was, “Hey Stranger, how are you doing? I heard you got married?” She responded, “Hey Stranger, I am great. Yes, I am now happily married!” He came back with, “Dag Beautiful, you sure do look amazing! You didn’t marry that boring guy from that accounting firm, did you?” And quickly transitioned from a compliment, towards putting her husband down in a smooth, single statement. Since she knew him very well after their 3-year toxic relationship, she could imagine him staring at the screen waiting for her to take the bait. Before she knew what happened, he delivered the offer to transfer my trust from my husband to him, and he waited for my answer. She was faced with the decision of how to proceed in wisdom! But curious about if he’d apologize about his blatant disregard to her feelings and not being a good steward of her, all those years ago!
This type of scenario happens on various social media platforms, smart phones or at your neutral safe place daily... And with the ease of access to other people that we used to have to get in a car and put forth effort to go engage with, the decision would have to be already made of how would react. Let us be honest, yes there are some women who intentionally attempt to seek, bait and gain attentions outside of their marriage... But this article is for the wives who can one day be caught off guard by the intentional drive-by conversation strategically constructed by a person who intends to catch you off guard and your marriage harm.
The farmer sets up a scarecrow to protect their valuable agricultural investment for when they are not around. The time to protect against an emotional affair is before an invitation unexpectedly arrives. Before eye contact is made or words are whispered from someone other than your partner. It needs to be prior to your face lighting up at a compliment that you have received, arriving from a person that positioned himself too familiar, to even notice such an area. You must already have your defensive mind made up and the stance that you would always take against an attack launched in opposition to your marital union before it happens. You must have already considered how adamant you will be about keeping your covenant vows to your husband. Most women don’t usually start out planning to commit adultery… But are put in a compromising position that speaks to their emotions, or something that meets a lack in their current relational situation. A deficit that ends up outweighing their rational judgement of loyalty. Women aren’t exempt from the laws of attention, attraction, chemistry and/or emotion. So, the rules of engagement against a preemptive attacked must have already been decided upon, if the warfare is to be won!
How Do Emotional Affairs Start?
Guarding against an emotional affair begins with growing a healthy, accountable and holy marriage. All marriages experience growth opportunities throughout the years, but living in denial or ignoring needs leads to shadowed spaces where wonderings begin. If not handled appropriately, these blind spots offer areas that can trip you up when the enemy sends an opposition to come calling. The bible is clear in 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NKJV) 5”cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” It didn’t say that things wouldn’t present themselves. And it didn’t say that our imaginations may not be presented with other ideas. But it instructs us not to allow our thoughts to roam uncontrolled and to arrest them, forcing them to fall in line with the Biblical wisdom that we’ve learned in obedient to His teachings.
The tricks of the enemy is to have us living in a state of fantasy and constantly comparing our lives, marriages or husband’s to another’s. Social media doesn’t help with that, but we also need to remember that most of what we see, is not real! Just like the Astroturf used at a football game, the grass appears greener because no maintenance is required. But you get into a dangerous situation when you begin to fanaticize different situations. Like...
What would another partner be like? Would a different life be a happier life?
A dissatisfied heart entertains alternatives when the need for attentiveness goes unanswered. Emptiness takes on a variety of appearances between a husband and wife: .
· A lack of intimate connection emotionally or physically
· Overly focused on the issues of life and now cannot enjoy liking each other
· An absence of shared fulfillment in life together
· An unmet longing to be cherished or appreciated
Unfilled emptiness in a relationship can manipulate us to make room for an imposter to fill legitimate needs with false promises. When a spouse accepts a substitute for God’s marital design, they also accept the deception of wholeness apart from His exclusive plan. Where hunger persists in a relationship meant to fulfill, division emerges to drain the divinely fused oneness. We must remember that emotional affairs form in friendly places—work, small group, next door, sidelines, social media, past acquaintances, or neutral places like the gym. Offers lurk where and when defenses are down with a co-worker, service provider, leader, customer, friend, colleague or an x-partner in whom the familiar ice is already broken with, or an emotional bond has already started with. Sometimes these opportunities begin, because we entrust too much personal, intimate and private information to someone that we should not be so familiar with. Remember that the man that you discuss your husband with, of course knows all of the perfect things to say, because you have given him all the accurate verbiage to use and stance to take against the complaints about your husband.
To Guard Yourself against Emotional Affairs, Plan Ahead for 3 Kinds of "Invitations"
1. Disappointed words from someone, bemoaning about their partner
Delivery of this invitation comes enveloped in the expression of a different person’s emptiness. It hopes and assumes that in reaching out to be heard, the needs will be comforted within a trusting, private conversation. By sharing with someone else’s spouse, the disappointed speaker borrows from the promised privacy of the vows each made to their own partner.
2. Someone else’s belittling words against your own spouse
A summons of this kind comes with a decision to make. Will you, the hearer, turn away from the one to whom they’re promised and join in the mockery initiated by the belittling outsider? To begin to join in disparaging a partner is to begin to leave a partner. Emotional betrayal deceives a heart by suggesting freedom as long as lines of physical or sexual intimacy are uncrossed. In truth, it paves the way for crossing those lines. Once negative words go uncorrected, it’s easy to welcome resting a hand on an arm, touching a shoulder, or sitting closely side by side.
3. Private words between you two
This invitation comes in the form of cracking inside jokes, sharing private fears, entrusting struggles, or revealing needs. These private exchanges live freely within a marriage bond, but stir up a sense of trespass when married people share secrecy outside their marriages. While we may veil our intentions to ourselves in a desire to be friendly and warm, open and trustworthy, the Holy Spirit nudges a straying spouse to be alert in heart. In truth, good intentions easily become evil temptations. Couples become casualties when one partner’s heart clings to another heart outside the union. Before responding to an unexpected invitation to unfaithfulness, four decisions to guard our words help to keep us from emotional affairs. The bible says, “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity,” (Proverbs 21:23). Practicing wisdom in how we use our words, verbally or online, sets a guard around our relationship. This may not seem so critical apart from God’s way for a husband and wife, but it’s essential when striving for a strong marriage forging two into one.
Here are 4 decisions to make as a couple to keep it pure from emotional affairs:
1. Communicate in Accountability
Like opening the curtains and letting in the light, communicate things that occur that may be a threat. Even if you didn’t take it as such, it may instruct your husband on what to look out for and how to pray. Men and women think differently, maybe you’re interpreting the action as innocent, but your male covering may see through his player games. Rather than saying, “I trust the outside party,” an open conversation says, “I value your opinion and would rather trust my husband’s judgement.”
2. Narrate the Day
By practicing norms of narrating our days and activities to each other, we create a transparent space in our life together. Restrictions in that space offend our conscience and alert our mate to the emergence of a divide. As we share about the details of our day, God uses the telling to sweep out temptations. Openness may lead to decisions to join each other at a child’s soccer game, to delete a social media app, to change a service provider, to pray about a commitment, or to look hard at your shared schedule. This type of open communications create an environment where areas of deficiency can be openly identified, discussed, and ministered to. Narrating the day may expose emotional hunger or the need for attention or appreciation, helping a couple strengthen their relational health. This strategically closes exposed holes in your relational armor, that others may use on either side to attempt to gain entry.
3. Strengthen your Backbone
Marriage is not for the faint of heart or the lazy in spirit. Instead, oneness requires commitment to individual and joint strength for the long haul. Be prepared to boldly speak up for your oneness. When an emotional intruder delivers an invitation to compromise the trust within your bond, stand up strongly for your union. Leave no doubt of your decision to work towards fidelity. You can even tell every friend of the same sex about battles for your wedded bliss... You must choose wisely, and if unsure then do not share certain intimate details at all, unless it’s with your spouse or a professional counselor. Don’t wait until it’s an all-out assault. Fight the urge to keep the pressure private. Instead, tell God, tell your spouse, and tell a wise friend.
4. Feed Your Oneness
Nothing keeps us from emotional affairs like living the vows we spoke by keeping our relationship strategically well fed. We hear and repeat the words of Matthew 19:6; “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” But countless encroachers insert themselves, pushing partners apart with events, commitments, and distractions squeezing between us. Many suggestions seem harmless on their own, even good, so we willingly listen and let them in. These create micro-divisions breaking down the strength and resilience of our union. Healthy, holy oneness between a husband and wife requires a place of priority in our homes. We feed our fidelity when we preserve the time and resources to pour into each other intentionally and intimately. Guarding against an emotional affair begins with growing a healthy, holy marriage.
External emotional connections take root when a God-ordained union withers. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to who we must give account,” (Hebrews 4:13).
Equally or more deadly than a physical indiscretion, an illicit emotional connection gives the illusion of intact trust. God sees it all. “You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence,” (Psalm 90:8).
A healthy, holy marriage is the best defense against the invasive wedge of an emotional affair. You don’t want a loveless, disconnected marriage. God doesn’t want you to have a cheap imitation of His creation either. There will be times of stress requiring confession, forgiveness, healing, and help if a marriage is to bear the life of oneness God planned for our good and His glory. He wants partners to experience a vibrant, exclusive marriage growing in the rich soil of trust.
Be alert to set a guard against entertaining disappointed, belittling, or private words. Practice proactive habits like sharing passwords, narrating the day, boldly strengthening your backbone, and feeding your oneness.
Act now to keep yourself from an emotional affair before intentions become temptations. God’s extraordinary blessings waits for those who desire His design for their exclusive union. You can do it sis, Christ and I believe in you!!
Leading the Charge to Become a Wife of Excellence,
Author Adia Dozier
Called to be a Wife Devotional
Perfecting Her Craft, LLC
A Literary Company