So what if she’s thinking about another man?
Ever wonder “so what?” if you found yourself with thoughts of another guy creeping into your mind?
We’re dealing with that some more today, and I’ve got a gift for you at the end of this post – a free download! 🙂 So stick with me til the end, K? 🙂
4 for the weapons of our warfare are not human weapons, but are made powerful by God for tearing down strongholds. We tear down arguments 5 and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:4-5
Earlier this week, I wrote a post about what can happen when women allow themselves to go places mentally that can destroy their marriages. The sad truth is that there are WAY TOO MANY women having warm fuzzy thoughts about men other than their husbands.
I literally thought this phenomenon only applied to wives who were in hard marriages, married with difficult circumstances.
That’s simply not true.
It’s more common than we think.
A lot more common.
I was surprised by the amount of email I received dealing with this.
But what really surprised me was the “late in the game” approach many of us seem to take when dealing with it.
1 Corinthians 6:18 tells us to “FLEE” from sexual immorality.
And having done a ton of research on this topic and fought my own battles with it (just being truthful – have a bad interaction with the husband, no matter how awesome your marriage is overall, you will at some point be vulnerable enough to notice another man – it happens to us all, eventually – and don’t be putting on pride if it hasn’t happened to you yet – it likely will!) I’ve come to the conclusion that “flee” and “taking thoughts captive” need to start much much MUCH earlier in the game than they usually do.
REALLY LATE IN THE GAME:
“My mind wanders to him several times a day, remembering interactions, looking forward to seeing him again,”
“A little fantasy about an ‘accidental touch’ is pretty innocent – it’s not like I’m thinking about him sexually”
“I deserve a little happiness – he just makes me feel good about myself and I enjoy being with him”
LATE IN THE GAME:
“I’m a little concerned because I’ve found myself thinking about him when we’re not together”
“I look forward to seeing him at work/church/school”
“He makes me feel smart/attractive/valued/cared for”
STEPPING ONTO THE PATH:
“He compliments me and I feel good about myself – wish my husband did that”
“I noticed he was kind to me – and thought about him later”
“I didn’t realize I found him attractive until now”
“Something happened and I thought about his good qualities”
“His eyes held mine for a moment, and I liked it”
“I saw my friend’s husband being around more than mine was, and wished …”
“I was reading a romance novel/watching a movie/saw a post online … and wished my husband/marriage/romance was more like theirs”
Those of you who know me well know that I’m usually not one given to “ultra-conservatism” in general. I usually find it legalistic. I’m a “major in the majors” kind of gal. You may find my descriptions above a little “over the top” in the conservative department. I think this is really important though. REALLY IMPORTANT.
Why? I’ve seen too many cases where “something innocent” ends in something destructive.
And we all know who’s wandering around seeking to destroy.
This is major. And we consider it respectful behavior, something that SERIOUSLY PROTECTS your marriage, whether your husband ever knows about it or not – and for the record, you probably NEVER need to share these things with him. A girlfriend for accountability – sure, but your husband? Probably not – it will just hurt.
There are other thoughts, ones that are just as likely to destroy our marriages that we need to take captive… tiny little thoughts, the ones where we give our husband the benefit of the doubt or condemn him… You have no idea how important they are.
Those blaming ones are the most important to take captive – spend a bunch of time accusing your husband in your head of having heinous motives, and you’ll see that affect your attitude toward him, then you’ll see it effect your behavior. When God says,
4 Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. 6 It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
“Hoping all things” can mean “thinking the best.”
Same with not being “easily angered or resentful.”
These small thoughts make or break marriages. Check Shaunti Feldhahn’s research if you don’t believe me. Watch the video. It’s awesome and the book is stellar and should be required reading for all married couples.
Those little thoughts about other men? They start our hearts wandering on a path away from oneness to infidelity. Next thing you know, you are doing things you never thought you would with someone you have no business being with.
Thought —>Attitude —>Behavior
Two ways to look at this:
- Repeated accusations in your head —> Attitude about him formed —> Treating him as if accusations are true (think about it – let’s say someone has an attitude toward you that you are stupid. She constantly criticizes you. Doesn’t that naturally breed defensiveness? Low self-esteem? Anger? Resentment toward her?) Thinking negatively about your husband results in a negative attitude about him, which results in negative behaviors towards him and often HOPELESSNESS from him (why would he keep trying when you just think the worst anyway? – too often this is how it goes).
- Repeated allowance of affection or positive thoughts about another man —> Attitude about him formed —> Treating him AND your husband as if these attitudes are true (think warmly about someone, no matter how well you know them, long enough – you start to like him – and then you lose affection for your husband. You start to have affection for the other man, which opens a door that leads to destruction of your marriage and other things) Thinking positively about another man results in affinity for him, which results in positive behaviors towards him – and can result in returned affection from him.
So take your thoughts captive.
ALL of them. Have a zero tolerance policy. Declare your brain holy ground. This is respectful of yourself, your husband, your God, and your marriage.
Can’t stop thinking about the other guy?
Here’s what we’ve found to help:
- CONFESSION – but not to your husband. You will just hurt him. Confess to God, then to a trusted girlfriend, to hold you accountable.
- FLEE – if you find yourself having the “warm fuzzy” feeling more than once for this guy, you have a problem. Find a different chiropractor, dentist, etc.
- IF YOU “CAN’T” FLEE, FLEE ANYWAY – K, so I’m about to be really unpopular, but if we really believe what we say we believe, we’ll realize this isn’t what we think it is – we are at war – the enemy is trying to take you down – and God may be allowing it because your idol is materialism and you love your stuff more than Him or your marriage… OUCH… I know… but be willing to leave your job, your school, your whatever to protect your marriage if God doesn’t help you take those thoughts captive.
- AVOID – this isn’t conflict – so I’m advocating avoiding putting yourself in places where you are tempted. Don’t read romance novels, don’t watch the love story movies, (or the porn – unfortunately that’s becoming a thing with women now, too) if you find yourself comparing your husband to the ones in the fantasy. Avoid working/serving/being alone with men. PERIOD. You are vulnerable and when you are vulnerable, you need to take steps to keep yourself and your marriage safe.
- BEG GOD (and know sometimes He doesn’t answer this one with a “Yes”) – on your face-style, doing all the above, if it is something you truly love or a situation you really don’t want to give up (like your job) beg God to remove the temptation. You’ll likely still have to guard your heart and take thoughts captive, but you’ll be doing it earlier, and maybe even stop having them all together if He grants this one.
And yes, I would hope a good Christian husband would do the same if he was struggling.
So don’t send me emails or post here calling me a misogynist.
I don’t have the bandwidth for that argument today.
There are what we consider just a few of the many “Wise Fences” of protection to put up around your marriage, too.
What other “fences” have you seen as helpful? How do you protect YOUR marriage? Feel free to chime in below. (and don’t forget your download!! 🙂 )
It’s taking me a little longer to put the survey results together, but I should have them soon.
Love to you,
In the meantime, and I know it can be a MEAN TIME, you might check out one or more of the following top-shared posts.
|101 Ways to Love Your Wife (viral)|
|101 Ways to Respect Your Husband (viral)|
|How to Calm Down an Angry Husband|
|15 Ways to Show Disrespect to Your Husband…|
|Why Is Your Wife Unhappy?|
Also, Boot Camp 2016 is open for registration. Raise the Bar! (the public speaking workshop) is down to just 2 seats left, and enrollments in Boot Camp are limited. We are already almost 1/3 full – with many people returning from last year, and we’ve added 20 spots!!! Seriously, don’t wait to enroll or you won’t get a spot. Last year we took 40, this year we will take only 60.
We can’t do two camps this summer because of other commitments.
If you feel led to be a Titus 2 woman using our unique discipleship method that leaves women forever changed, check it out.
If you are booking retreat speakers, you can contact us through the www.GreaterImpact.org website for more info. We typically book 12-18 months in advance.
And here’s the free download: The Small Group Leader’s Guide for The Respect Dare. We’d love you to support your January groups with this freebie and the videos. 🙂 Our website costs have gone up, so grab them while they are $29 – in January they go up to $49.