Most people don’t believe an affair could ever happen to them, yet statistics suggest otherwise. Pastor and counselor Dave Carder helps couples find the best ways to affair-proof their marriage and avoid going down the path of infidelity. He speaks how affairs start: with slow and subtle attraction.
“It starts out with this mood-altering experience; your day brightens when you see this person, you look forward to the shared ministry together, you maybe see them at the gym and their smile is very important to you and you say, ‘I wish my wife would smile at me like that all the time, that would just be so helpful.’ It’s very innocent, but it becomes a mood-altering experience.”
“As that mood continues to increase, you might even find yourself dressing for it, you might find yourself cultivating it, trying to create more opportunities to be with this person, etc.”
Dave says that after you’ve engaged in this mood-altering experience, there’s another threshold you eventually step over and that’s the threshold of the conversational change.
“It changes from what’s external and outside of you, to what’s internal and going on inside of you; how you’re feeling about things. When you step across that threshold, you are really in danger. You need to run-baby-run, because this will continue to develop and it will take you down.”
An innocent attraction can become a full-blown emotional affair.
“I’ve seen these kind of emotional affairs go on for thirty years. The emotional affair people they’ll say, ‘We’ve done nothing wrong, we’re just good friends!’”
“What you have done wrong is you’ve robbed the marriage of developing a good friendship; you’ve developed this friendship outside the marriage, you’ve shared more of your internal world with this other person rather than your spouse. You starved the marriage and you fed the friendship and that’s where the betrayal comes in.”
Even if you’ve accidentally headed down the path of infidelity, Dave wants to remind you that it’s not too late to turn around. There are wise, protective decisions that you can make to safeguard your marriage and honor your spouse.
Dave Carder currently serves as Pastor responsible for Counseling Ministries at the First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton. He is author of several books including Anatomy of an Affair: How Affairs, Attractions, and Addictions Develop, and How to Guard Your Marriage Against Them.