Marriage

I Didn’t Even Think About That

Chris and I were visiting with our neighbors the other day, which has become quite an enjoyable past time for us. While we were talking, our neighbor mentioned that he got offered a new job where he would report directly to a woman. His wife didn’t seem to mind, but both Chris and I immediately asked him, “Is she good lookin’? Will you have to travel much?” Maybe it’s because of what we’ve endured in our marriage in regards to pornography and infidelity, but we are always trying to be pro-active in our thoughts and actions. Some might even say we are on the defensive. Perhaps. Our neighbors don’t think like we do. They’ve never had to. And I’m awfully glad that is the case for them. But we do have to think like that. Sometimes I wonder if the honest and disclosing nature that Chris and I both have is too much for some people to handle. I don’t want people to live in fear and wonder, “Is she gonna leave me? Is he gonna find a younger woman?” But, on the other side, when we don’t prepare for the battle that is sure to rage, we could get blasted by a bomb that we never knew was in the air. Because let me tell you one thing: Every single person we have spoken to who has forsaken their marriage vows to be with another NEVER SAW IT COMIN’. Thoughts?

35 thoughts on “I Didn’t Even Think About That”

  1. This can be a totally flipped subject too.

    “Is He good looking, will you have to travel much”

    I work outside my home. and I even make 2 times more than my husband does, manage men, live/work in a hispanic culture, and work in a ratio of 1 woman to 30 men.
    But I am good at what I do.

    Yes maam riduculed
    yes maam challenged of where my priorities should be.

    Yes maam even tempted to have an affair. so-so close.

    I’m glad I have someone I can be accountable too.

    That’s important, sacred, and marriage saving..

  2. My husband and I have not endured infidelity, but I’ve been in and around ministry long enough to know that one NEVER sees it coming. Nor does one think they would EVER commit adultry. My husband has never broken trust in the area of infidelity, but I can tell you there are safeguards we put up. For example, would I be comfortable with him going to lunch alone with a colleague of the opposite sex? Probably not.

  3. I was in upper management for many years in a male-dominated industry. I never considered an intimate relationship with my colleagues, but was friends with many. We had lunch, we traveled. Crossing the line of respect was just not a consideration.

    It’s the person, not the gender or reporting relationship. IF I had wanted to, there were many nights in hotels I’m sure I could have cruised the bar or figured something out.

    Honestly Cindy – I don’t believe infidelity is a stray rocket. Denial seems like an excuse for not recognizing there was a black hole that needed to be filled.

  4. no – i don’t at all think you are being “too” open or up-front about things. someone unaware wouldn’t even know to think of certain things; keep speaking up.

    i don’t need to live in fear. but if we’re both not being proactive at protecting and strengthening our marriage, the complete opposite will happen.

  5. In a world where more than 50% of marriages end in divorce and who knows how many others deal with infidelity…no, it’s not too much to be so “out there.” Learning to safeguard our marriages should be as common as learning how to sneak around.

  6. Cindy,

    I think you stance is good.

    As a safeguard for our marraige, as a rule we will not ride alone in a car with some else of the opposite sex alone, nor be alone in a house. If we are in e-contact with an old friend of the opposite sex the other knows.

  7. Well, I never made any marriage vows, but I definitely saw it coming…

    …which is exactly why I never made any marriage vows.

  8. And this is why safe guards were put in place originally by the one who knows us best – our heavenly father. This is why in HIS perfect plan a structure was given and roles where laid out. We’ve gotten away from that beautiful perfect plan (because of a fallen sinful world and our own selfishness) and now we HAVE to put safeguards up that were never even meant to have been put up in the first place. Keep being an open book Cindy becuase when you close it, God can’t use it!

  9. I think this is why you SHOULD talk about it with couples who dont see it coming. Because it makes us who are not touched by infidelity to be more aware of it and more proactive in avoiding it.

    I’m sorta a true blue person so it’s hard for me to imagine going through with infidelity. But as a Military Mommy I also have to safeguard my husbands feelings, his heart and show him respect by putting limitations on those sorts of activities. I would never go to lunch or dinner or “out” with the opposite sex alone because I dont want to put one stray hair of doubt in his mind when he is in the mission field. It’s too dangerous and it’s too painful.

    I am starting to feel like I am going to win an award for LONGEST COMMENTS EVER.

  10. I think EVERY marriage should be on the defensive like that. Even if they’ve never HAD to, you should always guard your marriage, so you aren’t doing it out of need, but out of want.

    If we had guarded our marriage from the beginning like that because we wanted to protect it, we wouldn’t need to do it now to prevent any backsliding.

    Not that we never wanted to NOT protect our marriage, but we thought we were invincible. Nothing could come between us. That is a dangerous way of thinking, in my opinion. πŸ˜‰

  11. I believe in safeguards. I would question the “never saw it coming” comment. I think one can make lots of little choices that are questionable and edgy. Affairs planned? Maybe not, but living on the edge…choices are made. I have a friend that believes an affair can just sneak up on you…I disagree. I believe lifestyles contribute to those very situations.
    I am encouraged to be proactive…besides I love my husband and want him to know that he is my favorite! Being on the “defense” almost sounds negative to me. I think it is more about wanting the best so I would chose words more like “safeguard” and “proactive”. Defense sounds like I expect the cheating, unfaithfulness and etc…just another way to look at it, I guess.

  12. I think ultimate safeguarding is the only way. Doesn’t mean the guy needs to quit his job or anything, but acknowledging a risk and bringing it into the light is wise. His wife will swoon when he shows her how important she is to him. And it always sems like God blesses people living in the light in ways you would never imagine.

    Have fun this morning Cindy! God connects us all so creatively…

  13. Hey Cindy,

    Love your blog! Love your honesty! Have you checked out the new Casting Crowns song, “Slow Fade”? AMAZING Says it all!!”Be careful little eyes”….ALWAYS

  14. Communication is vital. You have to be able to talk about this kind of stuff with your spouse. But if you have open communication going, I don’t have any problems hanging out with people of the opposite gender.

    It’s a breakdown of communication and relationship that allows for this kind of thing.

    Honestly, I’m personally still working through a lot of this stuff, and don’t have experience with never seeing it coming, so I’m certainly not an expert on this subject. I’m planning on reading your book, Cindy. I just haven’t carved out the time to do so. I’m guessing it will really help solidify (and change) some of my views.

    ~Luke

  15. You and I have had this conversation. I am with Heidi on the flip side.

    Yep…He never saw it coming. πŸ™ Neither did I.

    I work in a male dominated field. I am surrounded by men. I think that I have even stated in a comment here before about keeping an emotional distance from them. I don’t want to be the WORK WIFE. I don’t want to be the person they run to when they are sad, upset or happy. I want them to run to their spouses. As I do. Yes I can be friendly and I do like my guys at work but it is hands off. I try to get to know the wives so that there is no worries at home about the “woman” in the office. Sometimes it is the Demon you don’t know. Once they talk to me and meet me they are reassured that there is nothing going on.

    I pray for my guys and their families. I don’t need to be the crowbar breaking up their families…I need to be a safe zone where we can all work at supporting our indiviual families together.

  16. This has been a subject recently in our daily life for a completely innocent situation that we handled in a way we felt was appropriate…let me explain because I am sounding ridiculous πŸ˜‰

    We had our air conditioner replaced and there were 6 men working on it and working on it and working on it…so they were here FOREVER…so when I needed to shower, I was not at all comfortable showering while all of these men were here so I asked hubby to come home and sit with me while I showered. It was VERY strange to even be concerned with that and I am not sure I would have been concerned 10 years ago…

  17. i’m curious as to how the neighbors reacted – were they glad you warned them of the pitfalls , or did they react like ‘what ‘s it to ya?”

    i can’t tell if they told you about the female boss out of their concern and your wisdom on the subject, or if was just chit chat

  18. I am a newlywed and after reading your story a few months ago my husband and I both sat down to get proactive NOW. We made a list of things each feels/doesn’t feel is appropriate and went from there. I could not agree that in both ministry and around us in personal relationships the number one thing we have heard is, “Never saw it coming.”

    Thanks for sharing your story and for being so proactive.

    <3, Kristen

  19. This subject can go both ways. My boss is male and I work very closely with another male. I make it a point when we all go to lunch if one or more of the other girls are going, I always invite my husband to join us and if he can not then I do not go. Just as a safeguard.

  20. Hmmm I am single and find this topic rather disturbing. Call me wet behind the ears, nieve if you must. Does God not show us HUGE amounts of grace? Why not say to your neighbors or anyone else you may come into contact from here on out, “ya know that is great you got a new job!” Then perhaps take the husband to the side when the time seemed appropriate and express your concern of what he “might” encounter and leave it to him to discuss with his wife privately what their expectations of one another may be.

  21. Believe it or not I’ve gone out to dinner, lunches, movies, late night house projects with married/attached women. They know I wouldn’t even come close to crossing the lines, and the husbands/boyfriends are glad that the wives/gf stopped bugging them to go to Pottery Barn or shopping at the mall. (I am not..you know…the old word for ‘happy’..just to be clear..not that there’s anything wrong with that).

    Single women (except one person I know now)…too much insecurities and other mental junk…can’t just invite them for coffee or for lunch without them freaking out and start lecturing you on ‘becoming a stumbling block’ or ‘guard your heart and keep it pure’

    It’s just a FREAKIN’ coffee for Pete sake.

  22. Maybe this is just something you can’t understand until you have lived through it. Thanks for putting yourselves out there. It would be great if people believed it could happen to them, but maybe you’re here to help after it does happen to them. Why doesn’t God let us choose to minister in the neat and tidy places?

  23. Defensive? Been there, done that, still doing it. I think you should be defensive about something important to you. A football team can’t win without defense. Ya know? Sharing it with others would be a personal choice. But I do think it would be helpfull for other married couples to see that it is normal much less ok to be that defensive about their relationships. We live in a world that says that we should do what “feels good” and in my opinion that is where the “never saw it coming” will happen. Just chatting when it “felt good” leads to looking for more “feel goods” as we have experienced. We now have more respect for the space and warnings that we should always have followed before the adultry occured. I think sharing these warnings could be just what some couples need to hear to give them insight into something they might never consider until it’s too late.

  24. Majid – I didn’t really deal with rage. I went into a state of despair and utter hopelessness for a period of time. You can read more about it if you check out the posts I did about our entire story. See the posts under “Quick Links” or read the book I wrote under “Read My Book” at the top of my blog.

    Joy – You bring up a point that I should probably clarify to anyone reading. Our relationship with this couple is one that is very close. We are together almost daily. We eat together, watch our kids play together, carpool together, take care of each others kids…we are practically family. So, for us to say what we did to them is appropriate because we are invested in each other’s lives. They know our story so they heed our thoughts and advice. We probably wouldn’t have said this to just anyone who might have brought this topic up. But, we feel that bringing it up to them was appropriate. Also, while it would be nice if couples talked about this privately, a lot don’t. We believe God has given us a voice to help protect marriages from enduring what we have gone through.

    Hope that helps clear anything up. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Joy.

  25. And for my dear friend, Keri. When I say “never saw it comin'” I mean that they never thought they would do such a thing. So, no, I don’t believe that they just ended up in bed one day with someone other than their spouse. I think that ends up being planned or at least hoped for. It has been my experience that the people who were unfaithful never, in their wildest dreams, imagined being unfaithful…they never saw that comin’.

    Does that make more sense?

  26. We have to think about our emotional health of our marriages as well as the physical. Before I met my husband, I worked in a church and reported directly to a man. I quickly became friends with him and his wife. I thought since I was being careful and we were all friends, I was doing the right thing to prevent things from “crossing the line”.

    I never expected that he and I would become so emotionally connected. Between lunches and breakfasts together, hanging out in the office, as well as socially with his family, we shared too much of our thoughts and emotions. It drew us so close that at the end it was hard to really think clearly about what was right and wrong with the relationship.

    If we don’t have our “guards” up, it’s so easy to give more of your heart away that you intended. It’s easy to rationalize and say, “Oh it would never happen to me.”…but it can if we are not careful.

    What this means for me…I don’t allow myself to have any close male friends. Yes, it’s restrictive and hard, however, I want my emotions and marriage to be healthy. Basically, I don’t do anything that I would be embarrassed or feel like I had to hide from anyone, especially my husband.

  27. So:

    1. Married women won’t go out, cause the want to be sensitive to their husbands (ok, good reason..I respect that)

    2. Single women too busy playing mind games (like I mentioned above). Ironically…the worst ones are either in church, or in counseling industry (or both).

    3. Most guys I know, talk about football and beer. I’m more into wine tasting, finger food, classical music and interior design (but not flower arrangement, that’s where I draw the line…).

    I’m out of options and I’m afraid to think what’s behind door number 4….(NO…don’t even say mail order bride…those three words should never be in one sentence).

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