This is how adultery happens…


Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Anatomy of an Adultery. Dr. Wayne Mack

Understand the steps that are most likely involved in becoming involved in adultery. It doesn’t usually just happen. Be aware of the chain of events that often leads to adultery and realize that this chain must be broken at its earliest link (Prov. 17:14, I Peter 5:8).

  1. A person experiences some emotional discomfort. A person is most vulnerable when this is taking place.
  2. He or she begins to notice a person’s attractiveness (i.e. their personality, beauty, pleasantness, or friendliness).
  3. He/she just happens to be someplace where person is present.
  4. He or she notices that this person seems to treat him or her in a nicer way than their present spouse.
  5. They notice how good they feel when they’re around this other person in contrast with how they often feel with their spouse.
  6. They begin to look for opportunities when they can be with the other person, where the other person will be (e.g. they decide to go to the same event, become involved in same activity).
  7. After the event, he or she deliberately seeks the other person out for conversation while others are still around.
  8. He or she may begin to stand around and talk with the other person after others have departed. May suggest they go for a cup of coffee, grab a bite to eat, etc.
  9. The person spends time reflecting on how good they feel when with the other person in contrast with how they usually feel with their spouse. They notice how excited they are about the prospect of seeing the other person and how uplifted they are after being with this person.
  10. Begins to think and plan ways they can have more contact with this person for apparently legitimate reasons (e.g. seeks to get involved in the same project at work, same ministries at church, other person needs help or counsel that he or she can give).
  11. As these things take place, the relationship deepens; he or she feels really comfortable around this person and so when they meet or part they exchange what appears to be innocent forms of physical affection.
  12. This continues for a while, but then one day when they are together and no one else is around, the innocent form of showing affection turns into a more passionate form.
  13. At this phase if they are Christians their conscience bothers them after inordinate demonstration of affection so they seek to stifle the voice of their conscience in a number of ways: rationalize or deny, justify (spouse’s fault)
  14. They continue to be bothered by conscience, so determine to cool it, not do it again, and distance self from other person. They may even pray about it and asks the Lord to take feelings away.
  15. At this point, it is common for one of them to actually try to avoid the other person for a period of time, but strong feelings for the other person don’t decrease. In fact, they seem to intensify; he or she thinks can’t take it any longer so makes contact; gets together again and discuss how they have missed each other and they tell each other how miserable they have been.
  16. When this phase is passed, the relationship deepens and they move on to more passionate embracing and fondling, then on to actual intercourse.
  17. At this point if they are Christians, they may be greatly convicted (i.e. struggle with conscience) but the desire is so powerful that they say they can’t resist.
  18. They make plans for covert meetings where they can satisfy their desires. They are aware that they’ve become more of a hypocrite; they try to play both sides of the fence and use lies and deception to keep others from knowing.
  19. Others become suspicious and confront them.
  20. At this point the people involved usually become defensive, deny, act as if offended, seek to be more careful and subtle.
  21. Finally, God brings out the truth in one way or another; someone or something catches them or God uses some message, book, or the experience of others to convict them and they can deny it no longer.
  22. When this occurs, they do one of 3 things:
    1. Decide to continue the adulterous relationship and stay married if the mate and the other person will allow it (you think sounds crazy but I’ve seen it firsthand).
    2. Make plans to separate or get a divorce.
    3. Repent and seek help to deal with the problems in their marriage.


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