Genesis 3:9-12 NKJV
(9) Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
(10) So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
(11) And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
(12) Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
Infidelity is one of the top reasons for divorce in the U.S. and for annulment in the Philippines. Unfaithfulness in the course of marriage seems to be the eventual time when couples finally set the limit of how far they can go. In this façade of infidelity, there are various reasons behind that may have led to it, such as lack of commitment, communication and trust and personality differences that are claimed by both to be irreconcilable. These same reasons too may also come after the discovery of the other’s infidelity eventually causing the relationship to turn sour.
The present culture, though more people still condemns infidelity, many seem to have been anesthetized from the rising cases of married persons having extramarital affairs and would rather accept it as an inevitable doing of men. A friend who converted into Islam told me once that it is a better to legalize for men to have multiple spouses than make a law for men to have one spouse yet caught them having an affair. No wonder that they have higher fertility rate than Europeans.
Surveys show that among married couples, the men cheat more than women. For men, they usually cheat for sex and infidelity starts when they start to see their wives as maternal objects only. For women, they cheat as they seek for emotional connection, love and care of which are disregarded by the husband. It could also be a result of the husband’s insensibility to primarily pursue in nurturing the relationship.
The book entitled “Marital Satisfaction in Women: Determinants, Change, and Consequences” notes that, women feel more responsible for maintaining satisfying marriages than men do and exert greater effort to save troubled marriages (Levenson, Carstensen & Gottman, 1993). Because of this, women are more affected and are likely to show more signs of depression.
Though men tend to cheat more than women, most men will not confess to cheating. They appear less likely to be affected and do little efforts to make amends for their mistake. This behaviour of men leads us back to the old book of Genesis which tells about the fall of man. Why do some men seem apathetic in fixing their marriage? There are three things I believe why it is so.
1. Inherited Nature.
It is a man’s inherited nature to blame someone else for his own fault. Back in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3, Adam bluntly mentioned and blamed the woman when asked if he ate the forbidden fruit. He did not voluntarily admit the truth but pointed out that it was the woman’s fault and seem to have disregarded the fact that it was to Him that GOD gave the command. Men today who cannot or fail to remain faithful and loyal blame their wives for many reasons. The wives’ lack of attention and time for the husband and for failing to please him or to look pleasing for him are some of the husband’s excuses and defense. Sometimes, even the unhappy sexual life of a couple is attributed to the wife’s inability to satisfy the husband.
When a man is tempted and falls into sin, it is his choice. It is his own conscious and deliberate will that is involved. Men should not, and must never blame their wives for their choices. Men should not blame the environment, circumstances and people for their own actions. Regardless of the state of a couple’s marriage, a man chooses his own action, and whatever he decides to do, reveals what’s stronger within him.
To be confronted with his fault is one of man’s greatest fear. After Eve and Adam ate the fruit of the forbidden tree, GOD went to the garden for a walk, looked for and called Adam when he can’t be seen. Adam answered and told God that he was afraid that’s why he hid. When a man decides to give sin a taste, he does it in secret and will try keep it hidden whatever it takes. The cunning methods to keep all signals and proof of his affair concealed from the wife’s clairvoyance is driven by fear of dishonor when it will eventually be found out, and of the wife’s likely action to retaliate or to even the score.
This fear is not easy to beat. Even when disloyalty becomes so obvious, the fear within will make him think of more inventive ways to cover the obvious. When David’s sin with Bathsheba is about to be uncovered, he devised another guaranteed step to avert the disclosure of a scandal, and hoping to bury it into oblivion, resulted to a deadly drama instead (2 Samuel 11).
With pride, a man refuses to yield. This refusal leads him to quickly turn a new page, forget what happened, never to deal with it again and start anew. His nature to establish himself as the superior gender prevents him from admitting a mistake or to even initiate a greater effort in healing a wound. In his thoughts, it wasn’t all his fault and therefore is quick to let things slide and pretend that nothing happened. Regret and display of remorse is not an option for a man who is full of pride.
This however leads the spouse into the valley of bitterness which goes deeper as the other acts in apathy. It would help the wife accept the situation if she sees her disloyal husband’s honest expression of guilt and regret. After David killed Uriah in order to freely covet Uriah’s wife, he tried to live a normal life for months like nothing has happened and it took one regarded prophet to remind David of his mistake and to tell him that God has witnessed every detail of his almost perfect plan to conceal his sin (2 Samuel 12).
Pride ends with shame.
An Example to Follow
A real man should always pursue his wife. Just as when he pursued her in her younger years, he should continuously pursue her with passion and honesty. And when he falls into sinning with another woman, he must repent, show deep and honest remorse, and must pursue her wife with a hundred fold more effort than before.
When we weren’t able to reach God’s standards, he sent His son to die on the cross. Even to death, God went after us. When we got deeper into sin after sin, God pursued us more and still showed us greater grace. Jesus who was without sin, pursued us who were full of sin.
How much more then for a man who started the trouble and broke his wife’s heart? If he is truly committed into restoring their joyful relationship, he must do every means possible to fix their wounded relationship. He must remember his vow and stay true to it, protect his wife, secure her, please her and care for her. He must not act in apathy but must show his commitment every day in every way.
A man must renounce the inherited nature, face his fear and take down his pride. Admit his fault, repent and love his wife more like he never did before.