The Cost Of Infidelity


I’ve read with interest a blog recently about women and infidelity. This blog coming on the heels of an article in Latina Magazine which said that 68% of college aged women cheat on their mate versus 75% of college aged men who cheat, it made for some interesting observations.

The article in Latina quoted Gary Lewandowski Jr. Ph.D who has done extensive research on infidelity. He says women tend to cheat due to dissatisfaction in their relationship. They also tend to cheat early in their marriage, the longer they’ve been married the less likely they are to cheat. When Latina did their own study on 500 readers 69% of them have cheated. Infidelity is not just a male issue anymore, if it ever was, and it seems that the numbers are staggeringly increasing.

My own personal thought on this is to look at the age we are discussing. Women in the college age group who are still finding their own identity. It makes sense to me that they would be the ones most likely to cheat as they would have more personal dissatisfaction in their relationship because they have more dissatisfaction with their life in general. These are not the women of 30 years ago who were prepared for marriage at 18. These women have been brought up with a vastly different perspective to their life. They were not brought up to go to college to find their husband as in generations past. Instead, they were brought up to find themselves. This is not a bad thing, don’t misunderstand, I like this, but mix this prematurely in a marriage and we can see where there can be issues.

What is interesting about infidelity is that once it happens the first time, it becomes easier to do it again. Lines get crossed and whether we like to admit it or not, we become desensitized to the idea. Statistically we find women who cheat live to cheat again. It becomes a vicious cycle of looking for that thrill that you can’t find in a long-term relationship. Mix this with the fact that one in five people have genital herpes and the fastest growing number of HIV/AIDS patients are Hispanics and African American women and we have a lot more issues than a broken heart. The idea that it won’t happen to me, keeps these diseases spreading.

So what is the remedy? We can’t say it’s church because even those in church cheat. We can’t say it’s God because those in church should know God and still it happens. Pastor Doug has told me over and over that those who cheat or find themselves on the brink of cheating are open to the possibility of it. I believe the real answers lie in the questions that are never asked.

What exactly are you looking for in a relationship?

How do you react when the going gets rough?

Are you run by your emotions?

Can you set clear boundaries for yourself?

Are you ready for a committed relationship?

I do the pre-marital counseling in our church. When I ask these questions, often I get the blank stares and the ‘I don’t know’ answers and only because they have never really thought of why they want to get married or if they are ready for marriage. They tend to look at the questions through the rose colored glasses of love rather than the honesty of reality that will smack them in the face quite quickly.

Then, there needs to be a clear understanding of the vows taken. What is a covenant and who did I make that covenant with? You see, that covenant although primarily with your spouse and God affects many others. Children, parents and other family members are affected by these decisions as well. When a covenant is broken those people are also indirectly affected by your decision. Sin may be personal but it is never private it affects many, even the people on the sidelines watching this all go down.

The cost of infidelity is not just the demise of a relationship, it’s the cost of a piece of a soul, the cost of those who look at the damage, the cost to your health and the opening of doors that don’t easily get closed once they are opened. Even when the relationship is saved, there is something that has been chipped away from it. We must learn to consider the cost of our actions.

Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it– 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 

As Far As The East Is To The West

Psalm 103:8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. 9 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.

God deals with our human nature. Sometimes though it’s hard to accept. Sometimes forgiving yourself is hardest form of forgiveness. Often it’s because we know what is inside of us. We know what we are capable of and if we are honest we know what we harbor in our heart. There is a song by Casting Crowns that so speaks to what I sometimes feel. I love the line in the song that says, I can’t live by what I feel, but by the truth Your word reveals. It’s a powerful line because it’s not what God is saying that condemns us but rather by our own thinking that seems to get us fixated on the problem (sin) rather than the solution (repentance). If we can get past the problem to the solution we’ll be blessed beyond imagination. It requires taking the problem and instead of wallowing in it and letting it consume us we must take a step back and look objectively at it. We need to make no excuses or justifications but just simply looking at it. Then allow the plan to form for the solution and begin to walk towards the solution rather than sitting on the problem. The obstacle that most often gets me is the guilt that the problem is there in first place and that it’s become as big as I think it has. Sin is personal, you opted to make an incorrect choice but sin is never private, it affects many.

Nothing that we do is greater or less than any other person on this planet as there is no sin better or worse than another. We all sin and we all fall short. The last thing God wants is to send us all to hell but rather his goal is to see us learn from our sin, turn away from it and keep walking forward to what he has in store for us. The guilt we feel only traps us in place. That feeling that the next time we mess up that God will say to us, “That’s it! I am so done with you!” Intellectually I think we know it’s not the case but sometimes we let that doubt creep in and it robs us of our life.



Here I am, Lord, and I’m drowning in your sea of forgetfulness                                                                                                                         The chains of yesterday surround me

I yearn for peace and rest
I don’t want to end up where You found me
And it echoes in my mind, keeps me awake tonight
I know You’ve cast my sin as far as the east is from the west
And I stand before You now as though I’ve never sinned
But today I feel like I’m just one mistake away from You leaving me this way

Jesus can You show me just how far the east is from the west
‘Cause I can’t bear to see the man I’ve been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
‘Cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other

I start the day, the war begins, endless reminding of my sin
Time and time again Your truth is drowned out by the storm I’m in
Today I feel like I’m just one mistake away from You leaving me this way

I know You’ve washed me white, turned my darkness into light
I need Your peace to get me through
get me through this night
I can’t live by what I feel, but by the truth Your word reveals
I’m not holding on to You, but You’re holding on to me
You’re holding on to me

Just how far, east is from the west
Just how far, one scarred hand to the other
You know just how far, just how far east is from west
Just how far, from one scarred hand to the other