I think we can all agree that cheating on your spouse is a BAD thing. We often only equate cheating with adultery, or sexual infidelity–the most devastating form of cheating in a marriage. However, there are many more subtle ways that we slip away from–or even cheat on–our spouse every day, and we must recognize these destructive behaviors before it’s too late.
To cheat is to “act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage…”, according to Google. There is no place for this in a healthy marriage. We cheat each other out of the kind of marriage God desires for us every time we betray each other’s trust…even “small” acts of betrayal. These acts of cheating may be subtle, yet they often lead to bigger marital problems.
Here are 5 subtle ways you might be cheating on your spouse:
1. Flirting with anyone other than your own spouse
My husband and I have counseled numerous couples where one partner struggles with this. It’s toxic, and there is no scenario where flirting with anyone other than your own spouse is okay. Flirting is the gateway drug to adultery. We can tell ourselves that we’re just being “friendly” or “playing around”, but honestly, flirting is just a selfish boost to our own ego and a HUGE step towards committing adultery. We can flirt by giving an overly complimentary word, sending a funny text, or exchanging sexually-charged flirtatious banter in a phone call. No matter how we flirt, any flirtation outside the marriage only leads to a broken marriage. If you struggle with this, ask yourself “Why?”. Go to your spouse and talk about it. Seek out the admiration and affection of YOUR OWN SPOUSE and flirt with him/her only.
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