Married Is Not Dating



She was the brash, rebellious type,
    never content to stay at home.
She is often in the streets and markets,
    soliciting at every corner.
She threw her arms around him and kissed him,
    and with a brazen look she said …

“Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning.
    Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses,
for my husband is not home.
    He’s away on a long trip.”

-Proverbs 7:11-13, 18-19, NLT

Being married ought to matter.

It ought to matter when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex. They don’t call it “getting married and settling down” for no reason. The season of open dating is over.

A lifelong choice has been made and sealed with a solemn vow before God and the community.

Yet some spouses fail to accept this reality…

They refuse to accept their days dating the field of men or women is over.

After all, that’s what “forsaking all others” means.

These individuals are stuck like rebellious teenagers or young adults who act on their base impulses without thought or care for those they hurt in indulging such selfishness. They keep partying and carousing at their spouse’s (and children’s) expense.

If it is a woman doing this, the typical story is of her hitting the bar scene either with or without her “girlfriends.” She wants to prove she is attractive. The desire for some guy to buy her a drink or ask her out to dance is there. She wants the thrill of having someone hit on her. She wants to “feel pretty.” It is like she thinks she is still available to date.

She is not. A husband (and sometimes even children) at home says otherwise.

She is feeding her ego at their expense. And it is a hole no amount of drinks and male attention–even from a husband–can ever fill. Only God is big enough to deliver the verdict of self-value she seeks with any finality.

If it is a man, the typical story is how he may go out to “prove” his masculinity. Women are conquests. He wants to show the world he is still sexually powerful. This “man” wants his ego stroked.

“See? That beautiful woman wants me, and I can have her.” So, this adulterous man says to himself feeding the lie that he is available.

But he is not. A wife (and sometimes children) at home says otherwise.

He is feeding his ego at their expense. And no number of sexual “conquests”–or even sex from his wife–will ever prove his masculinity or worth. Only God can bestow that upon him.

Ultimately, this is why I have such strong issues with much of the counseling world when it comes to adultery. It is not about the attention for the wife–even if the husband is lackluster in giving it. It is not about the sex for the husband–even if the wife is less than sexually enthusiastic.

Something deeper is at work for the adulterous spouse. It is a heart issue as Jesus taught (e.g. Mark 7:21-23). So, the real cause can only be discovered by looking into the heart of the adulterous spouse…everything else is just destructive noise and confusion.


5 thoughts on “Married Is Not Dating”

  1. I think that for the majority of people that is true. However, there are exceptions to that rule. I’m a separated woman for three years from my estranged spouse. We share joint custody of our 5- year old son. I usually have him 4 or 5 days/nights a week. And, his dad has him 2 or 3 days/nights a week. When Brendan is gone I often get bored and lonely without him. I’m also a singer who loves to go sing in public. I’m also going to college to be a singing elementary teacher. So I often go out to karaoke lounges. I’m also attempting to start a classic rock band with some of my fellow schoolmates who are phenomenal musicians and vocalists.

    There has been no healthy productive talk that has resulted in healing, restoration, or reconciliation between us for the past three years whatsoever. He has still not chosen to come clean about his 7- year inordinate relationship with secret lover after flaunting her in my face and gas lighting me about it. However, that’s not my point now. My point is, however, I love to sing and when my child is spending time with his father on his designated custody days I go sing in karaoke bars. I do not go there looking to be hit
    On by guys or to get into any form of romantic or sexual relations with the opposite sex there at all. I usually go alone and have one beer or a couple of sodas or coffee if they have some brewed. I do not leave the establishment drunk. That’s not what I’m there to do.

    1. I’m there to improve my vocal skills and stage presence, and gain an audience thru my songs. I do, however, like to be around crowds of people. It’s better than being completely alone at home with nothing much to do. I do talk to people, mostly other females there. If a guy strikes up a conversation with me I purposely keep it platonic and musical. I’m simply not interested in meeting a potential significant other in a bar at all. Nor am I in a condition in my life where I’m ready to be in a relationship with someone obviously. I did, however, tell a judge in a courtroom last summer when I attempted to get s restraining order against my estranged spouse that I planned on divorcing said estranged spouse. The judge randomly and point blank asked me right before dismissing us if I planned on divorcing him. And, I said, “yes”. This was after I testified about my suspicions and evidence of his adulteries, as well as stalking and vandalism towards me. I know in my heart and mind I divorced my estranged spouse right then. It just hasn’t been made officially legal, yet.

      1. PS A word of brotherly and pastoral concern: Please be cautious, Sheila. If you are thinking you are already divorced but are not in actuality, that could lead you to bad places especially with alcohol and a bar involved. Please be careful and choose wisely.

        1. No, I don’t think that I’m legally divorced already. I do believe in my heart and in my mind a divorce has already occurred. But that doesn’t mean that I’m out partying at a bar looking for promiscuous fun or my next future mate. As for the alcohol consumption, I don’t always order alcohol every time I go karaoking. Most of the time I order cherry coke. I appreciate your concern and caution. I do understand what you’re trying to convey to me. Thanks! It’s much appreciated. ☺️

    2. Sheila,

      You are right that broad strokes do not capture every situation. We each have our reasons for what we do. My point was to highlight the behavior of a married person who was acting single–i.e. going to the bar scene to be picked up by someone.


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