This is the second article in an ongoing series about divorce, separation and infidelity. After my first article a few weeks ago, I received so many comments that it’s clear that this topic needs to be addressed. I pray that God will lead me, and that I would be an instrument of His Holy Spirit.
After writing my last article about infidelity, one of our readers, “Renewed Heart,” made a comment about how it isn’t just the men who are unfaithful, but women as well. Renewed Heart was actually referring to women who flirt with married men, because the resulting attention they receive from men makes them feel good. Let’s talk about this.
By the time I was divorced, I had been through a four-year period of terrible emotional pain. And during this period, I received very little attention or intimacy from my husband. I asked him for affection more than once, but he would simply look at me as though I was speaking Greek. His excuse for not wanting intimacy was that “we just don’t get along.” He had also taken to kissing me on the corner of my lips–not straight on–and then the kisses stopped altogether. Of course, I suspected that he was receiving intimacy from another source.
So when the divorce was final, I was a desert in desperate need of some sparkling water. At the same time, however, I was also THRILLED to be free, and this freedom bubbled up as sheer joy. I didn’t realize how much joy I had until I began to see how men were responding to me. When my daughter became a coach for a girls’ little league team in her senior year–the year after my divorce–I became her assistant coach. At the first game, I met the dad of one of the girls. I didn’t notice him at first–it was a freezing-cold day–but at the end of the game, he came up to me and took the ball bucket out of my hand, and walked with me as he carried it to our car. There was something compelling about him, and after he put the ball bucket in the car, he looked at me and hesitated with a small smile, as though he didn’t want to walk away just yet. I was instantly smitten. I tried to subtly check his ring finger, but couldn’t tell if he was married.
I later found out that he was. And for the next few weeks, whenever I saw him at practices, he would come up and chat with me. My daughter noticed that he tended to linger and chat with me. I was in my first crush in years, and was fighting to disengage. When I met his wife at about the third week, it helped to see her face, to realize who the woman was that I was sinning against. As I came to know her, I realized that she was a wonderful woman, and so sweet and kind. And I began to notice that at games, whenever both he and his wife showed up, he never sat next to her in the bleachers. He sometimes helped us with the girls, and if not, he tended to mill about, or stand up against the fence and watch. Clearly he was no knight in shining armor.
I knew I had to break the attraction. I knew that God was not looking favorably upon this, and that someone else’s husband was not God’s “best” for me. And so I began to ask Him for His best. “Lord,” I would say, “if you want me to have a man, I really ask for your best choice for me. Help me to look for and expect your best, not someone else’s husband.” It wasn’t long before the feelings began to fade.
And interestingly, another man came along a few weeks later–someone else’s husband–and I had to go through the same process again. He owned a fence company and was building a fence for me, and we began to joke around. BAM, suddenly he was flirting with me. Whoa, I thought. How is it that men are finding me attractive? I’m in my early 50s, and not particularly hot stuff. But I began to realize that my joy in being released from the captivity of a desperately unhappy marriage was bubbling up and spilling over, and joy is inordinately attractive. Once again, I had to go to God, and ask Him only for His “best” for me, not someone else’s husband.
When we are attracted to someone who is married, we know without even asking God that it is definitely not His will for our lives. And if we pursue it, we are running after trouble. There is nothing but devastation awaiting us–and the devastation would not only affect us, but also the entire family of the married man. And even though the married man seems wonderful, you can bet your bottom dollar that he has quite a few chinks in his armor, the most obvious being a roving eye. I remember one of the last comments the softball dad’s wife made to me about her husband. We were talking about how they divided responsibilities because they both worked full time. She said, “I’m usually the one to put the kids to bed because John does his usual disappearing act.” Chink! Hmm, I thought. He was quick to take the ball bucket from me, but manages to skirt his dad duties at home.
Flirting with married men can only lead you to the wrong guy. What’s more, you’re also leading him away from the wife he should be loving with his whole heart. It’s a lose-lose situation. If you find yourself attracted to someone who’s off-limits, ask God to remove the attraction. And ask Him to reveal the chinks and tarnish on Mr. Wonderful’s armor. If you’re tempted, remember this is not God’s “best” for your life.
Flirting with a married person for whatever reason is playing with absolute fire–the fire of hell–and if you don’t back off, you will most assuredly get burned.