Author: Pete

Adultery Part III

In every relationship, rain will fall. You can’t have two human beings in close proximity for a lifetime without some strife, hurt feelings, annoyances, etc. You just can’t. It’s part of the human condition. A result of our sin nature.

When the rain comes, it’s hard to feel connected to your partner, and when there’s a break in connection, one of two things happens. Either you work together to reconnect, or one party says “hey, I tried, and I deserve to be freaking adored, so I’m going to get that somewhere else.”

It’s a selfish act.

Look. I can tell you firsthand what it’s like to be in a miserable, one-sided marriage. Been there, bought the t-shirt. (Still paying for it, in fact.) I felt completely powerless to improve the relationship (and was) because I was the only party putting in any effort. But I made a vow, and without integrity, a man has nothing. I stuck it out until things came to light that both pragmatically and Biblically ended the marriage. Had those things not transpired, I’d still be in a loveless, one-sided marriage.

When you are cheated on, even by someone you no longer have connection with, it sucks. You wonder why you weren’t good enough. You wonder why they were so selfish and couldn’t put some effort into their existing relationship. You feel worthless, undesirable, and pathetic. I know this firsthand.

Every person that cheats (for the most part) feels justified. They weren’t getting what they needed. The person they met is their “soulmate.” They deserve to be happy. They never give a thought to the partner they are betraying, let alone to God or their integrity. They justify their actions in their own heads. They blame the person they are cheating on. They tell themselves they tried everything they could and it just didn’t work.

To that, I say bs.

If you have literally tried everything and it didn’t work, MAN UP and get a divorce. I’m not a fan of divorce, but I’m even less of a fan of cheating. Let them go so they can have a life and move on.

I was recently informed that it’s not an affair if it starts out non-sexual. That’s a laughable comment, because I’d venture to say the vast majority of affairs start out non-sexual. That doesn’t make them NOT affairs. The same person told me I wasn’t mature enough to understand that their affair was God-centered.

God literally spewed out his coffee all over his computer screen when she said that. How deluded, pathetic, and self-absorbed does one have to be to make such a ludicrous conclusion?

God has nothing to do with it. Own what you say. Own what you do. If you’re having an affair and you feel justified, then man the hell up and just say “neener neener, I’m the exception to the universal, Biblical truth that cheating is bad.” Everyone in the universe will label you (correctly) as a narcissistic a-hole, but at least you’re being honest.

I’d venture to say that 99.99% of human beings believe that cheating is bad. And I’m including those that are actually cheating on their partner. The Bible is quite clear. It says to rejoice in the wife of your youth and to run away from anyone that tries to tempt you. It says cheating is like scooping fire into your lap. It says that marriage should be honored by all, and to keep the marriage bed pure.

But seriously. If you need Bible verses to know that cheating is bad, you simply can’t be helped.

Adultery Part II

I opened my Bible to Proverbs (my favorite book) a couple of nights ago, and I started reading at the beginning. I read the first seven chapters. A pattern emerged. I’ve probably read Proverbs 100 times in my life, and it never really jumped out at me before like it did this time. I got a little obsessed with it, and I kept reading to see how many references there were.

Apparently adultery is a really, really, really bad idea. Allow me to give you a sampling:

Proverbs 1:
16 Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman,
from the wayward woman with her seductive words,
17 who has left the partner of her youth
and ignored the covenant she made before God.
18 Surely her house leads down to death
and her paths to the spirits of the dead.
19 None who go to her return
or attain the paths of life.

Proverbs 5:
5 Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave.
6 She gives no thought to the way of life;
her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.
8 Keep to a path far from her,
do not go near the door of her house,
9 lest you lose your honor to others
and your dignity to one who is cruel,
10 lest strangers feast on your wealth
and your toil enrich the house of another.
11 At the end of your life you will groan,
when your flesh and body are spent.

Proverbs 6:
26 For a prostitute can be had for a loaf of bread,
but another man’s wife preys on your very life.
27 Can a man scoop fire into his lap
without his clothes being burned?
28 Can a man walk on hot coals
without his feet being scorched?
29 So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife;
no one who touches her will go unpunished.
32 But a man who commits adultery has no sense;
whoever does so destroys himself.
33 Blows and disgrace are his lot,
and his shame will never be wiped away.

Proverbs 7:
25 Do not let your heart turn to [the adulterous woman’s] ways
or stray into her paths.
26 Many are the victims she has brought down;
her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is a highway to the grave,
leading down to the chambers of death.

It appears to say, if I can boil it down, is that if you do this, you’re screwed. And this was written by King David, a guy who had a dude killed so he could sleep with said dude’s wife. So I’m thinking he would know…

2012 Christmas Letter

This letter will be epic in length, so please allow yourself plenty of time. I suggest a bathroom break before beginning. Or if you’re really smart, you’ll just skip reading this bad boy altogether and simply comment something like “have a happy new year” or some such nonsense.

2011 Addendum

The end of 2011 really wasn’t official enough to report in last year’s Christmas letter, so here’s the wrap up. As I had mentioned, I filed for divorce in 2011, and the final divorce decree arrived in my mail, signed by the judge, at the beginning of January, 2012. I honestly celebrated the day it came through. Things had been bad for a long time… years, and the events of last summer put a fork in it. Which was good, because I was going to need a back transplant if I kept sleeping on the pull-out sofa in the basement much longer. It seemed a bit silly to have a three bedroom home which I was paying for 100%, and be relegated to the basement. But as Proverbs 21:9 says, “Better to live on the corner of a roof, than to share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” My roof was too slanted to sleep on, so the basement was it. I hoped there was something better waiting for me around the corner, and that corner just happened to be the new year. Very convenient actually, when your fiscal year and calendar year align.

2012

2012 was a year of changes. In fact, almost everything in my life changed in the course of one year. All for the better. I had spent about 2 weeks right before Christmas emailing on eHarmony to a girl named Nicole, who I knew was a nurse, was smart, compassionate, and who had a daughter, but who I had no idea what she looked like thanks to her microscopic photos. Literally, the large versions of her photos were about 20 pixels across. But I liked her from the conversation, and we had a first date on December 30, 2011. I realize that should have been included in LAST year’s summary, but at Christmas it hadn’t yet happened. It turned out, much to my delight, that in addition to her numerous positive qualities, she was also the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. Sparks flew that first night as we closed down Bo Lings and walked together to our cars where we would share what would be the first of countless kisses.

On New Year’s Eve 2011, I sat at my parent’s house texting her, and she was at her house hosting a “kid party” (not to be confused with a Stewie Griffin “sexy party”) and texting me. January 2nd, we had our second date, this time at Cheesecake Factory. I would later find out that it was after this second date that she was sure I was the one. I was sure after the first date, but don’t tell her I said so. After that second date, we were virtually inseparable. We saw each other the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 19th…. and every day after that. One of the more momentous occasions was on the 14th when I met Lu and Momma White for the first time. Little Lu had NO idea that I would end up being her dad. I will admit, I had a hard time biting my tongue on the whole “I love you” thing with Nicole. That cat got out of the bag on the 13th. Yes, I realize that’s only two weeks. I wanted to tell her on the 3rd, if that makes it any better… Thankfully, she reciprocated, and the rest is history.

My “friends” told me I was crazy and that I was stupid and that it would never work. Ironically, the friends who made these dire predictions are hopelessly and permanently single. Perhaps there was a bit of projection happening? I digress. January included an outing to the T-Rex Cafe’, numerous trips to Research Medical to have lunch with Nicole and the nurses of the Transplant Institute, and a first trip to a new church, Gashland Baptist. On the 28th (yes, we’re still in January), I bought a ring, but she didn’t get it just yet. I knew it was a good sign when Nicole asked if I’d go with her and Lu to Florida in April and take Lu to Disney while she was at a nephrology conference. I took that to mean she thought we’d still be together in April, and that she trusted me with her daughter. The beginning of February is a bit of a blur to me, because a random virus gave me a 103.5 fever for 7 days and landed me in the hospital to get IV fluids. Nicole was by my side, keeping my parents updated and watching over the activities to make sure they didn’t kill or maim me on accident. Fortunately (for me anyhow), I recovered and didn’t have any lasting issues. My white count came back to normal after about 2 weeks. Once I was finally healthy again, I was ready to pop the question. I snuck into the Transplant Institute at Research and gathered her coworkers in the conference room. Her boss, Becky, called her to have her come join the “meeting” and then I walked in, flowers and ring in hand. I got on one knee and prayed the answer would be yes. And it was.

The next day, I officially moved into her house in Liberty, leaving my Olathe house to be destroyed by my “roomies” (or rather, the people who lived there but didn’t pay rent, let their pets destroy everything, and then skipped town instead of being an adult). My “roomies” left a cat to wander the house and pee, poop, and scratch everything in sight, virtually ensuring it would cost a fortune to sell my house. The wedding plans commenced immediately, with most of the details arranged and deposits posted before the end of February. We booked the Pilgrim Chapel and the Event Space at Nara for our September wedding. Nicole pushed for a fall wedding because she “wanted to make sure I wasn’t a psycho pretending to be nice.”

March was filled with bonding activities for the soon-to-be family. We spent the first weekend at Coco Keys indoor water park where we discovered the joy of an 11th floor walk up. Two days later, we went roller skating. And by roller skating, I mean Lu skated on the carpet, I skated like a boss, and Nicole fell on her butt and bruised her tailbone, rendering her unable to sit without screeching in pain. The weekend before St. Patrick’s day, we went to the Snake Saturday parade where we donned our gay green apparel and enjoyed the nice weather. In the interest of keeping up the pace, the next weekend, we visited St. Louis to enjoy the sights and let Nicole meet my extended family. It also gave us the opportunity to use the City Museum as a litmus test, since that’s where Nicole’s first engagement from several years ago ended. Thankfully, I passed the test and we made it through the museum without breaking up. On the 22nd, Nicole had to assist at a surgery, which gave Lu and I an opportunity for our first solo date. Needless to say, we went toy shopping. What else would we do?

The 30th of March, Nicole and I spent the day at Children’s Mercy with Lu trying to determine why she was having double vision. It was a scary day, but it turned out to be eye fatigue. We also celebrated three months together, meaning I had passed another of Nicole’s tests – apparently a psycho can only pretend to be nice for three months. With that test under our belts, it was time to get crazy. Nicole applied for a job working in Obstetrics, and not surprisingly, was offered the position, which she was to start the first week of May. Needless to say, that rendered the nephrology conference in Florida completely moot.

The second week of April, we decided to scrap our big wedding plans, and elope to Florida, using the tickets we’d already bought for the conference. We spent the following two weeks making plans and tiara shopping, and on the 27th, we hopped a plane to Orlando. We spent the 28th at the Magic Kingdom, which should actually be called the Crazed Cattle Chute from Hell. It’s basically a 140 degree parking lot stuffed with people and $95.00 bottles of water. Even Amber was like “Disney isn’t really that great.” Fortunately we had fun plans for the next day. I woke up on the 29th at about 3:30 AM and got dressed to meet with the hair stylist who was coming to do Nicole and Lu’s hair. At 5:00 AM I met the minister and went out to t

Adultery

As most of you know, I was raised in a Christian home. I was taught a lot of things from a young age that I still believe today. It seems like everywhere you turn, spouses are cheating, even people who are “pillars” in the Christian community. Jimmy Swaggart famously cheated on his wife while running his gigantic TV ministry. Countless others did as well. It raises the question as to why this has become so common particularly when people in positions of power are involved.

US News ran a survey that estimates approximately 3-4% of men will cheat on their wife. Other surveys put the number at closer to 15%. According to one survey, 90% of Americans believe that cheating is morally wrong (which makes you wonder what’s wrong with the other 10%).

I believe that some people stray because they are unhappy and they “fall” into it. In other words, they weren’t sitting around thinking about cheating, but they were unhappy and when someone came along and offered them what they felt they were missing, they went for it. Some people stray because they simply don’t respect their spouse and feel they are entitled to do what they want.

People in positions of power or notability find it much easier to cheat. Not because they necessarily look to cheat, but because they attract people to them with their power and fame, whether they like it or not. I would imagine that being a famous professional athlete, for example, would make faithfulness difficult. Women throw themselves at these guys regularly. You’d need to have strong fences and boundaries built up around you to insure that you stayed on track. Most of these athletes that cheat probably actually love their wives. But easy opportunities and loneliness on the road make it too easy. Bill Clinton had things offered to him (icky things, but things nonetheless) and he must have felt that he’d never get caught or that he had enough power to keep people quiet.

I personally have a hard time understanding how you can rationalize cheating. If you really are unhappy, get a divorce. At least then the other person has a chance at finding someone else. It’s completely selfish and wrong to “have your cake and eat it too.”

The Bible is completely clear on adultery. Thou shalt not. It’s one of the stinking 10 commandments. It doesn’t get much more clear than that. It’s on the same list with “thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt not steal.” In some states there are still laws making adultery a felony.

I’m not saying people should go to jail for it, just that it’s pretty obvious you shouldn’t do it.

The best way to prevent adultery is to love your spouse. Respect her. Care for her. See the beauty in her. Understand that her love and trust are irreplaceable.

When the opportunity to cheat knocks on your door, the Bible says to “FLEE”. Run away. In Proverbs it compares it to scooping hot coals into your lap. “No one who touches her will go unpunished.” That’s from Proverbs. The Bible also says to “Be sure your sin will find you out.” Yikes.

Sex

It’s always fun to talk about topics that are slightly taboo, which for most Christians, sex most certainly is. It’s not because Christians don’t have sex, it’s because they are taught from birth that sex is dirty and wrong, and then that when they get married it’s magically not dirty or wrong anymore. That leaves Christians feeling weird about sex and uncomfortable discussing it, especially with any frankness or detail. In the interest of stepping wildly all over your shoes and making you squirm, here goes!

Sex is not dirty or wrong. God invented it, intended for it to rock, and didn’t only create sex to make babies, although that’s a happy natural side effect. If the only point of sex was to make babies, he wouldn’t have given us the bonding chemicals in our brain that are released during and after sex. I’ve heard all SORTS of cockamamie stuff taught in churches and in Christian books about sex within marriage.

One of my favorites perpetrated by some of the more traditional churches is that “missionary” is the only acceptable position. The idea is that being face to face is the only appropriate way to have sex, and the man should be on top because he’s, well, “the man.” I’m not knocking missionary. Eye contact is not a trivial thing. But man, that’s leaving so much good stuff off the table. Some churches teach that birth control is wrong (and in some, even “rhythm” and “retraction” are considered birth control). That leaves couples to either hope for the best or just plan on having a jillion kids. Meaning that sex can’t be for bonding or as an expression of passion or for fun between playful lovers. It’s basically just something you do to make babies (all the while hoping you don’t get pregnant every single time).

Again, this is a completely stupid construct by the church. Abortion is wrong (killing a fertilized embryo). Birth control does nothing of the sort. And then there’s oral sex (yes, some churches teach this is wrong). Many Christians feel that this is something that isn’t “natural”. I recently read an article that made me laugh snot bubbles out of my nose. It said that within marriage, frequent “genital union” is required. Now, I’m not even disagreeing with that statement, but the phrase “genital union” has got to be the most hilarious thing I’ve ever heard.

But does that mean that oral sex isn’t natural? I don’t think so. And I certainly see no such restriction in the Bible. What about anal sex? Oh boy. I’m gonna get it from the Christian right-wing now. Is anal sex wrong between a husband and wife? Do both parties want to engage in it? If the answer is yes, then by all means, go right ahead. But Pete, that’s not natural….!!!! To that I say “… you’re retarded.” You find a place in the Bible that places ANY sexual restrictions on married couples. Go ahead, I’ll wait. What did you find?

WELL, if you’re being completely honest, you did find a restriction… No extra people. Sorry guys – you can’t invite another woman into the bed with your wife. Sorry wives – you can’t invite another guy (or gal) into bed with your husband. Not if you want to remain inside the bounds of a Christian marriage. Yes, I realize that this is the prevalent fantasy for most guys. Yes, I realize that some wives (even some Christian wives) are willing to allow this to make their husbands happy. But it’s wrong, so steer clear. What about other fetishes?

I have no idea what to say on this one. Here’s what I think. I’m sure you all will correct me if I’m wrong. Harming your lover is not in keeping with what God would have us do. On the other hand, some people (I hear) find that pain and other things I don’t understand increases their pleasure. Am I going to say that’s wrong? Nope. All I’d say about fetishes is that both partners should be totally on board, both partners should be open with communication, and neither partner should come out with an injury. I’m not talking about the accidental “I fell off you during sex” injury. I’m talking about – hmmm – don’t put out cigarettes on your partner. And don’t punch her in the face.

Some churches teach that a wife has “duties” which of course pretty much always means “sex.” I don’t agree with that line of thinking at all. The moment sex goes from being fun to be a job is the moment you’re in deep poop. I think that in a marriage, both partners should want to, and try to, give the other what they want and need. Often that means compromise, doing one thing when we’d rather do another, etc. That’s exactly how marriage should work. Give and take. <strong>HOWEVER</strong>, a husband demanding that his wife “perform her duties” is FAR different than a wife choosing to make love to her husband because she loves him and wants to fulfill his desires.

It is never appropriate to demand sex or insist on it. Not even if you’re married. The moment you are telling her to give you what you want when she doesn’t want to, you’ve crossed the line. Many wives, I’d imagine, would try to say yes to their husbands even in those circumstances. That doesn’t make it right, guys. She doesn’t owe you anything. You do your job (love her as Christ loves the church) and do your best to fulfill her emotional needs. If you do that, you won’t have to demand sex.

To summarize. If you and your lover absolutely adore missionary position and you’re perfectly content doing that every single time, by all means, carry on. If you and your lover are more adventurous, the go for it. God gave you to each other as lovers (assuming you’re married) and He wants that bond to be strong. He made it so that the sexual chemistry both in our hormones and in our brains would make us WANT each other and make us chemically bond when we make love. That’s not an accident. The Bible says that a husband and wife become one flesh. Think about how in tune you are with your own body, with your own thoughts, desires, fantasies, and emotions.

You should want (and try) to be just as in tune with your spouse… taking the time to understand her emotions, her thoughts, fantasies, desires, and yes, her body. That’s how you become one flesh. Ultimately whatever brings you closer to each other is what you should be doing together. That may mean you hardly ever have sex. If the way you bond and feel closer is through conversation, then you should do that. If it’s through doing activities together, then join a bowling league. And if it’s sex, then have sex. More than likely, it’s a combination of things.

So go grab your spouse and have some fun! I promise not to judge you.