Refresh Series: What Is an Affair and How Do They Start?

What is an Affair -renovations

Affaircare is REFRESHING the website this month, so we thought it would be a good month to have a Refresh Series to refresh everyone on our fundamental concepts.  We are going to refresh YOU with our straightforward, Christian guidance while we refresh the look of the site and refresh the podcast.

This week we continue our Refresh Series by talking about what is and is not “an affair” and how affairs start. Next weeks we’ll keep going with “What to Do If You’ve Just Found Out: , and then the final week of August we’ll conclude with “The Steps You Can Take to Save Your Marriage.”

“What is an affair?”

You know me, I love to define! We are REFRESHING this definition!

“Infidelity is giving less than 100% of your affection, loyalty, and companionship to your spouse; in other words, giving any percentage or portion to someone other than your spouse.”

Let’s first talk about what IS and IS NOT a marriage. I’m not going into this too deeply because we’re doing a series on what marriage is next month. But for now, God defines marriage as: a man and a woman who covenant a lifetime of giving love before God. Marriage is not the same as “living together” nor “a serious relationship.” Those relationships may have an expectation of exclusivity. However, marriage is a covenant promise before God to love someone else for life!  Thus has legally and morally binding implications that other relationships do not.

Another common question we get asked is “Wait! What about giving some affection to children and relatives? You don’t mean we shouldn’t give our affection to our family, do you?”  This is not the intent of the definition.  Marriage vows promise used to include the terms “forsaking all others.”  The two in the marriage KNOW and are known in a way that is unique.  It is true intimacy–physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Finally, we are not defining an affair so you can find out “How far can I go and still get away with it?” It is emotional infidelity if you give even a little affection to another person. If you give someone your loyalty over and above your spouse, it’s an emotional affair.. You are more than “just friends” if you are a companion to someone (or something) else other than your spouse–think “football widows”.

“How do they start?”

Affairs start when we do not vigorously guard against sin and rigorously root it out!

Next, affairs bloom when there is a switch from pleasing God to pleasing self–from pursuing godliness to pursuing “happiness”

Third, affairs usually start in a way that seems fairly innocent…but is actually crossing just a very small line.

Affairs grow when the second small line is crossed…the third…the fourth…and pretty soon it snowballs and you’re off track of the godly life and heading toward a train wreck.

How an Emotional Affair progresses

Refresh Series: Signs Your Spouse is Cheating


Affaircare is REFRESHING the website this month, so we thought it would be a good month to have a Refresh Series to refresh everyone on our fundamental concepts.  We are going to refresh YOU with our straightforward, Christian guidance while we refresh the look of the site and refresh the podcast.

This week we start our Refresh Series with 1) Signs your spouse is cheating.  In the next weeks we’ll continue with more central discussions, on topics like “What is an affair and how do they start?” “What to do if you’ve Just Found Out: , and “The steps you can take to save your marriage.”

The Categories of Signs that Your Spouse is Cheating


The Classic Clue:

When you see lipstick on your husband’s shirt or strange hairs on their clothing or in the car.

Sign 1–Gut Instinct

Sign 2–Behavior That Is Not Their Usual Character

Sign 3–Birth Control

Sign 4–Showering andCologne

Sign 5–Uncomfortable Around You

Sign 6–Electronic Clues (email, cell phone, and computer)

Sign 7–Things Are Just Different at Home

Sign 8–Lots and Lots of Changes

Sign 9–Telephone Mannerisms That Are Differen

Sign 10–Automobile Related Signs That Something is Up

Sign 11–Paper Trails of a Cheating Spouse

Sign 12–Sex Tip-offs That Something’s Wrong

Sign 13–Work-related Signs That They May Be Cheating

Sign 14–Things you’ll hear

  • “We are just friends.”
  • You are not respecting my privacy.”
  • “I Love You But I’m Not In Love With You.”
  • “I need some space to figure out my feelings.”


Check out “ALL the Signs Your Spouse is Cheating” for more examples, of each of these categories!


Biblical Precepts-Notable Cases of Adultery in the Bible


My spouse is cheating, and I’m a Christian, but I’m so upset I don’t know what God wants me to do! I’m the spouse who cheated and I am a Christian, but I ended the affair and confessed to God–do I have to tell my spouse?

In this week’s episode, we conclude our series “Biblical Precepts on Adultery” which was a summer study of what the Bible has to say about infidelity and how God would have us act. Today we discuss two notable cases of adultery in the Bible: 1) King David and Bathsheba, and 2) Hosea and Gomer



King David and Bathsheba:

2 Samuel 11 and 12

Chapter 11
1. David was not where he was supposed to be–he was the king and should have been leading his army.  We learn that when we are not where we are supposed to be (honoring our vows) we can be lead into temptation!

2. David let his eyes wander; he had not disciplined his eyes to avoid lust.  We learn that if we do not live our life to please God, we can be overcome by sins such as lust.

3. David got the OW pregnant, then tried to hide a) by bringing him home from war, b) by getting him drunk, and finally c) by killing him. We learn that when someone commits adultery, they very often will do drastic things to try to hide it.

4. David tried to legitimize his adultery by marrying the OW, but what he had done displeased the Lord. We learn that often cheating spouses will try to legitimize their relationship with someone else.

Chapter 12
1. The Lord sent his prophet, Nathan, to David, and confronted him about his adultery. Nathan told David that because he had used the sword of his enemies to kill the OW’s husband, the sword would never depart from his house. We learn that adultery affects our families: parents, siblings, children and grandchildren!

2. Further, Nathan told David that he did his adultery in secret but that God would bring about all this judgment in public.  We learn that what is hidden eventually does come to the light of day–the truth is revealed.

3. David REPENTED. He didn’t blameshift. He didn’t avoid looking as his own sin. He changed 180 degrees! Psalm 51 is his poem of repentance for his adultery.  We learn from this repentance that there is HOPE, because David was the apple of God’s eye and yet he wasn’t perfect. He committed ADULTERY! And when he truly repented God did forgive him!

4. Now the real lesson! Note that after he was forgiven, God told David that HE (David) was not going to die but the child born of adultery was going to die. David begged and pleaded with God, but in His holiness, He allows David to experience the consequences of his adultery: the child died AND his older sons rose up against him and tried to take the throne and were killed in the coup attempt.

Hosea and Gomer:

Hosea 1-3

Hosea is believed to be the first prophet to use marriage as a metaphor of the covenant between God and Israel.  Whenever there is “husband imagery” that is a metaphor for God; and whenever there is “wife imagery” that is a metaphor for God’s People, Israel, His Bride.

Chapter two describes a divorce. This divorce seems to be the end of the covenant between God and Israel. However, it is probable that this was again a symbolic act, in which Hosea divorced Gomer for infidelity, and used the occasion to preach the message of God’s rejection of Israel. He ends this prophecy with the declaration that God will one day renew the covenant, and will take Israel back in love.

In Chapter three, at God’s command, Hosea seeks out Gomer once more. Either she has sold herself into slavery for debt, or she is with a lover who demands money in order to give her up, because Hosea has to buy her back. He takes her home, but refrains from sexual intimacy with her for many days, to symbolize the fact that Israel will be without a king for many years, but that God will take Israel back, even at a cost to Himself.

Chapter 11 is God’s lament over the necessity of giving up the people of Israel, whom God loves [The metaphor is a husband’s lament over losing an unfaithful wife whom he loves].

In Chapter 12, the prophet pleads for Israel’s repentance [just as a Loyal Spouse pleads for their Disloyal to end the affair and return to the marriage].

Chapter 13 foretells the destruction of the kingdom, because there has been no repentance [just as a spouse might try to warn their Disloyal of all that damage and hurt and pain that will come if they don’t end the adultery and reconcile].

In Chapter 14, the prophet urges Israel to seek forgiveness, and promises its restoration, while urging the utmost fidelity to God [Similarly, a Loyal Spouse might say “Have you ended the affair yet? No? Come talk to me about reconciling when you have” in order to let their Disloyal know there * could * be restoration if they would be faithful]!

The “Biblical Precepts” series:

  1.  Introduction
  2.  Old Testament precepts about adultery
  3.  New Testament precepts about adultery
  4. Today:Notable cases of adultery in the Bible and what we can learn