Friday, January 19, 2007

Change up the playlist!


Today in reading AOL news I came across one of their front page articles, "Four Reasons Why Men Cheat." I found it interesting. As I teach on marriage a lot both in our church and outside of it, have written a book on the subject, and Larry and I are in fact preparing to do three marriage conferences right now, these are issues I often study and read up on. Here are the four reasons the AOL article gave for cheating, with my thoughts afterward. 

1) To fulfill his biology - to "spread his seed". 

The article says, "A man's main job, besides killing the saber-tooth, is to spread his seed in order to ensure the survival of his genetic legacy." 

Personally I don't understand what cheating has to do with that. He can ensure the survival of his genetic legacy by fathering many children with his wife if that is his desire. Isn't it amazing what excuses some people come up with to do wrong? If you need to have kids to feel like a man, by all means, have them with your wife!

2) To get attention.

The article says: "Some men cheat because they aren't having frequent sex at home, but others who do have frequent sex at home still cheat. Why? "Because cheating isn't just about the sex," asserts Zinczenko. "Just as a woman who cheats may be seeking more affection than she's getting at home, a man often cheats because he's seeking the attention that he no longer gets at home."

I will agree, this is an issue. Not a justification by any means, however it's a real problem. Once most women become mothers, they believe that is where their attention must go first. But they disregard the biblical order that we are WIVES first, mothers second. Before you became a mother, you were a lover. So, why aren't you still? To become a mother, it's God's design that you be a wife first. God created marriage first. I have heard countless women say, "now that we have kids, he'll just have to learn to wait. He's not first anymore." I think, "And they wonder why they have problems?" Men need us just as much after we have kids, it's just a fact. And truth be told, we need them! When we begin to live in such a way that we don't lose our identify of wife and lover, you notice that YOU as a woman need the attention from your husband just as much now that you're a mother. The fact is, we let go of a very important part of our identity sometimes that God never wanted us to let go of. Part of the reason we have so many unfulfilled couples in this day and age is that they put meeting one another's emotional and physical needs last after the kids arrive.

3) To get out. 

The article says, "Some men want to get out of their marriage, but they don't have the guts to properly end it. So they cheat in an attempt to drive their wife away. For some men, "the only way out is to commit the relationship sin that drives a woman away for good. It's not right, but it's what happens." 

I believe this is true and it's very sad. If these men only realized, the grass is not greener. They only go through the good times with the woman they have the affair with. They don't pay the bills with her, clean the house, raise the kids, etc. All they do is talk and have sex. If they only transferred that attention to their wife... When they leave their wife and start doing the everyday mundane things with the mistress such as pay the mortgage they see, it's not utopia. A relationship is work no matter how you slice it. So you might as well stay in a long term, committed marriage and reap the benefits of it. Long term married people are even physically healthier. This is a proven fact from medical surveys.

3) To change up his playlist. 

The article says, "File this under excitement. A long and loving marriage is often about comfortable routine. For some men, that routine may be boring. A new relationship adds zing and spice to life." 

This is true. Again, not a justification to cheat, but a definate word to the wise that we change up the playlist within our marriage (without bringing anyone else into it, of course!) If people only realized, long term married sex, with a couple who work on keeping their relationship fresh - is the very best. It's been proven even in secular studies. There is greater trust the longer you are married. There is also the fact that you know your partner so well from many years of being together. You know how to make them happy and, being in a trusting relationship for so long you feel comfortable trying new things, and growing together. Unfortunately for some, they prioritize other things besides their spouse and the playlist is non-existent. Some people aren't even playing, let alone having a playlist! And again, they wonder why they have problems. 

You know, I talk to and counsel women a lot in pastoral ministry. And it boggles my mind as to the fact that so many think their husbands should be put on hold for 18+ years while they raise the kids. It's no wonder some men wander, although it's very wrong. I have to admit though, if I had to wait 18 years for sex or for somebody to change up the playlist, I would be very sad. 

To all my married friends reading this - just a reminder to change up the playlist!

No comments: