Intimate Clarity

Clarity On Adultery

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: IC

Program Code: IC180123A

00:01 The following program discusses sensitive issues
00:03 related to sexuality.
00:05 Parents are cautioned
00:06 this presentation may be too candid
00:08 for younger audiences.
00:29 Welcome to Intimate Clarity.
00:30 I'm Jason Bradley,
00:32 and I'm here with Jennifer Jill Schwirzer.
00:34 And she is a licensed professional counselor.
00:38 And today we're going to be discussing
00:40 a sensitive topic,
00:41 but it's a conversation we need to have.
00:44 You know, is adultery the end of marriage,
00:48 or can it be worked out,
00:51 or what are your thoughts on that?
00:54 Well, yes to both
00:55 because each situation is different.
00:57 But let me go, like I often do to God's ideal model.
01:02 God designed us
01:03 to have ideally one partner for life.
01:07 And what we find in the research
01:09 is that when people follow God's plan,
01:11 they have a number of a host of benefits
01:14 they come to them.
01:15 Let me give you some examples, better partner communication,
01:19 better relationships satisfaction, this is all been,
01:21 you know, quantified in research,
01:23 better health, better mental health
01:26 and even a better love life.
01:28 This research comes out of Brigham Young University
01:31 which is a Mormon University.
01:32 And the Mormons, you know, often we think polygamy,
01:35 but that's not really a correct association
01:37 'cause it's really only the extreme,
01:40 you know, groups that are polygamous,
01:42 but the majority of them
01:44 are just really family oriented people.
01:46 I've met some of them, I've talked to them.
01:48 And Brigham Young University
01:50 has a lot of really good family research.
01:51 And so they've identified the benefits of God's plan
01:55 for monogamy for the human race.
01:58 So let's get into some of the, you know, brain chemicals.
02:01 I like to talk about brain chemicals.
02:03 There's a hormonal basis for monogamy.
02:06 Oxytocin is released
02:08 by the pituitary during sexual intimacy
02:13 and during childbirth,
02:14 a number of other family events,
02:15 there's lots of oxytocin.
02:17 Oxytocin is a bonding hormone.
02:19 There are prairie voles, it's a type of rodent.
02:23 Prairie voles? Voles.
02:25 Okay.
02:26 That's a type of rodent that happens to be monogamous.
02:28 Most animals aren't monogamous, you know, they're animals.
02:31 But there are some monogamous, Geese are monogamous too.
02:34 It's very interesting,
02:36 they're more monogamous than people.
02:37 I didn't know. Yeah.
02:38 And so these monogamous prairie voles
02:42 if they are bonded with their mate,
02:44 they will actually become hostile
02:45 toward other females.
02:47 So they'll really like nature
02:49 is working to keep them faithful
02:50 to their wife.
02:52 And maybe something like that happens with men,
02:53 I don't know.
02:54 But my point is that by raising
02:56 that oxytocin in that bonding experience,
02:59 God facilitates faithfulness.
03:01 Another interesting fact
03:03 is when a woman becomes pregnant,
03:05 her husband's vasopressin levels rise.
03:08 Now we think the reason that they rise is
03:10 because the woman who puts out pheromones
03:12 which are undetectible sense,
03:14 and the man picks them up unconsciously,
03:16 and they cause
03:17 a biological mechanism in his body,
03:19 and his vasopressin levels go up.
03:22 What's the significance of that?
03:25 Well, vasopressin is called the monogamy hormone
03:28 because it counters the effect of testosterone
03:32 which is called the prowling hormone.
03:34 Testosterone is responsible for the sex drive
03:37 in both males and females
03:38 and obviously men have higher levels of it
03:40 and men are more inclined to cheat on their wives.
03:45 But when she becomes pregnant,
03:46 God puts all of these chemicals in motion
03:48 to try to keep that man faithful.
03:50 So what happens with vasopressin increases,
03:53 it encounters testosterone, cuts down on the sex drive,
03:56 and he's more likely to stay home with wife.
03:59 Isn't that something? Oh, that's a good thing.
04:01 And also men gain empathy weight
04:05 when their wife becomes pregnant.
04:07 Really, they gain empathy weight?
04:08 They do.
04:10 And interestingly enough, when a man gains weight,
04:12 typically he gains in the stomach,
04:14 in the abdominal area,
04:16 and there's an inverse relationship
04:18 between abdominal fat in males and sex drive.
04:21 So the more abdominal fat, the lower the sex drive.
04:24 So on many fronts God is trying to keep
04:26 that man home with his wife.
04:27 So that's good timing.
04:29 So he stays...
04:30 In other words,
04:31 God orchestrates things down to the brain chemicals
04:34 and down to the hormones to help us follow His plan.
04:38 We still rebel against it.
04:40 But He does everything He can do to make it easier
04:43 to follow it.
04:44 But still 15-18% of people cheat
04:48 with men twice as likely to cheat.
04:50 No offense, Jason, but it's fact.
04:52 Men are more often, you know, unfaithful.
04:56 We don't have to become a statistic.
04:58 And you don't want to become a statistic.
05:00 You don't want to become
05:01 the negative side of the statistic.
05:03 And you don't have to.
05:05 We think the genetic wiring may be at play.
05:09 In science they've divided men, they classified men
05:12 into two categories, dads and cads.
05:15 And they think that men
05:17 may be born with certain tendencies
05:18 toward unfaithfulness more than others.
05:21 But even if you are born with those tendencies,
05:23 you still don't have to become a statistic.
05:26 That's right.
05:27 Yeah, you don't have to act on that, yeah.
05:29 You still have a choice and that's the thing
05:30 we need to remember is there is nature, there is nurture,
05:33 and there's also this amazing thing
05:34 called free will.
05:36 And you can say no to nature and nurture
05:38 when it's pointing you in the wrong direction.
05:39 It's possible by connecting our will to the divine will
05:43 and the Holy Spirit filling us and giving us God's power.
05:46 Absolutely. Amen.
05:47 So females are apparent more responsive
05:50 to cultural influences as pertains
05:53 to their level of promiscuity.
05:55 So the more of the culture approves
05:58 of promiscuity or cheating in women
06:01 the more they are likely to engage in that behavior.
06:04 Women are very susceptible to environmental influences.
06:07 And maybe...
06:08 Their numbers are probably raising today
06:10 with all that's going on.
06:11 That's exactly what I was going to say
06:13 is there are more teen girls having sex today
06:16 because I think of the environment
06:18 socially, the social environment
06:19 that they are in.
06:21 Most world religions skew adultery,
06:25 like it's pretty universally understood to be,
06:28 even if it's like,
06:29 you know, other things are approved
06:31 of in that society,
06:33 most world religions and societies
06:35 recognize cheating as morally wrong.
06:39 And that it can be very shame inducing.
06:42 But here's the crazy thing is that
06:43 that shame can actually become an enticement factor,
06:47 that secrecy can drive a person into secrecy.
06:51 So what we see is that secrecy factor adds
06:53 a little extra thrill.
06:55 And people can become addicted to hiding things.
06:58 You know, I remember seeing this story
07:00 about this famous actress who was obviously wealthy
07:04 because she was a famous actress,
07:05 a shoplifting, getting caught shoplifting.
07:08 Mind blowing, she didn't need that stuff.
07:10 You know, she had all the money in the world to buy it.
07:12 But there's the thrill involved in the chase.
07:15 And that unfortunately enters into this adultery issue.
07:19 We see this evidence in websites
07:21 like Ashley Madison and these types of websites
07:23 where people just literally hook up
07:25 with strangers.
07:27 So another question that arises and I'm just kind of running
07:30 through my bullet points here
07:31 but is pornography a form of adultery?
07:33 How would you weigh in on that? I would say yes, it is.
07:36 Really? How so.
07:37 It's not a person.
07:39 It's not a person,
07:40 but you're lusting after the person
07:42 that's on the other end of the screen.
07:44 That's right. I think so. It is a form of adultery.
07:47 I would say that it's,
07:49 you know, that if a wife discovers
07:51 that her husband is using adultery
07:53 or using pornography
07:54 which is usually the way it happens,
07:56 sometimes it goes the other way.
07:57 I want to be fair.
07:59 But I don't know
08:00 that's immediate divorce court material
08:02 I think that that man could overcome that addiction.
08:05 And that there should be given
08:07 some time for that in most cases.
08:10 However, I think a pornography that is engaged in addictively
08:15 for a long period of time
08:18 without that individual doing sufficient work
08:20 and making sufficient effort to deal with that addiction
08:24 that would constitute adultery in grounds,
08:26 in my opinion grounds for divorce.
08:29 You know, Solomon said,
08:30 "Drink water from your own cistern,
08:33 running water from your own well
08:34 should your streams overflow in the streets."
08:37 If only men would realize that their sexual capital
08:40 is a gift from God
08:42 and shouldn't be wasted in relationships and in context
08:45 where it causes destruction and breaks God's plan,
08:50 breaks with God's plan for human sexuality.
08:52 If men could only realize that and embrace that,
08:55 we'd all be better off, wouldn't we?
08:58 Yeah. So what are your thoughts?
08:59 Well, I think that God's divine design
09:03 is what we should follow.
09:05 I feel like, we should be focused
09:06 on following God's plan,
09:09 and keeping sex in the confines
09:12 of a marriage between a man and a woman.
09:15 And adultery constitute,
09:17 you know, Jesus only gave permission
09:19 for divorce in the case of adultery
09:20 so it must be pretty serious.
09:23 I think the reason is
09:24 because you're effectively marrying
09:26 that other person in a sense
09:28 not in the complete sense of marrying them
09:29 as a public ceremony,
09:31 but you are uniting with them as a spouse
09:33 when you commit adultery with them.
09:35 And so in a sense
09:37 you've already ended the marriage.
09:38 And I think Jesus said
09:39 that because it's very difficult
09:41 to recover from adultery.
09:43 And it goes against everything from the beginning,
09:45 you know, the one man, one woman principle like,
09:49 you know, forming that relationship
09:51 being married to one woman, one spouse.
09:54 Now oftentimes women don't have,
09:56 if the man is cheating
09:58 and he's providing for the family
09:59 and she's caring for children at home,
10:01 she may be in a situation where she doesn't have
10:04 even the ability to end that marriage.
10:07 And that's part of the reason that in the western world
10:09 we've started to work things
10:11 to where a man has to support a woman,
10:14 you know, because we assume
10:15 that she's been investing in the children.
10:17 And there are accommodations for situations like that.
10:19 But there are still situations
10:21 where that woman doesn't have the resources to break
10:24 that marriage and continue her life alone.
10:28 And that's a tragic situation
10:29 we need to come around those women and really,
10:33 you know, love them.
10:34 I think about a couple that I counseled.
10:38 There was everything
10:40 they could go wrong in the marriage went wrong,
10:42 there was domestic violence,
10:44 there was unfaithfulness, there was,
10:46 you know, just court orders, and all kinds of stuff.
10:49 And this couple would come week after week and seek help.
10:55 And I would look at them and I would think you guys,
11:00 you know, you've been through a lot.
11:02 But they kept coming.
11:04 And I would say to the husband,
11:06 you know, when you learn
11:08 what servant leadership really is,
11:10 you're going to experience a conversion
11:12 and you're going to love her the way
11:14 she needs to be loved.
11:15 And I would say that to him over and over,
11:17 it felt like it was...
11:18 He fell asleep in a session once.
11:20 I mean he was just so checked out the sky,
11:22 but I kept saying that over and over again.
11:24 And then I would get the woman alone
11:25 and this woman had been through
11:27 so much in her marriage that her doctor told her,
11:30 you divorce him or I won't see you again.
11:33 I mean, her caregivers were angry at her
11:36 for staying with him.
11:38 And I would ask her, you know, what keeps you here.
11:40 And she would say,
11:41 I just, I don't know what it is,
11:43 God has not told me to leave yet.
11:45 He has not said I should leave.
11:48 And so I honored that,
11:51 you know, commitment that she had
11:52 and I continued to support her.
11:55 And I got a call from her one day
11:56 and she said everything has changed.
11:58 He's treating me like a queen. Everything is different.
12:02 He had finally grasped servant leadership
12:04 and his life had turned around.
12:06 I'm sure they've had relapses, you know, things
12:07 that aren't usually in clean line,
12:09 we don't have this flight to health
12:10 and everything is fixed.
12:12 But at least he had a moment where he realized
12:15 what it was like to be a servant leader
12:16 and their marriage was transformed by it.
12:18 So yes, people can come back from adultery,
12:20 it's possible through the grace and power of Jesus.
12:23 I think that it would be like,
12:26 for me if I were in that situation,
12:28 I think it would be super hard to come back from that,
12:30 like, let's say for example
12:33 I was married and my wife cheated on me.
12:37 That would be very, very hard for me
12:41 to salvage that.
12:42 I would just be ready for a divorce at that point.
12:45 I wouldn't trust her.
12:46 If there's no trust, you have nothing.
12:48 That's right. So.
12:50 Well, that's why I've dedicated a whole program
12:52 because, Jason, you don't really know
12:54 what you would do in that situation
12:55 'cause you're not there yet.
12:57 So maybe you'll change your mind, I don't know.
12:59 I doubt it. You doubt it.
13:01 Yeah, I strongly doubt that. But yeah.
13:02 But that's why I've dedicated a whole program
13:04 to how to recover from adultery.
13:06 Because I've counseled a number of couples
13:08 that went through that.
13:10 And some of them just they love each other,
13:11 you know, it happened and it was terrible.
13:14 And sometimes the cheating takes the form of,
13:16 you know, something less than forming a relationship
13:19 with someone else,
13:20 maybe it's a strip club or maybe it's pornography,
13:22 you know, type of thing.
13:24 So, you know, some people do want to come back
13:26 and that's why I'm trying to give them marching orders
13:29 and action steps for that.
13:30 Yeah. Yeah.
13:32 You know, and hopefully if they do decide
13:34 to come back that their relationship can flourish
13:37 and be stronger than ever.
13:38 Sometimes when we commit an obvious sin,
13:41 you know, we can be very pharisaical
13:43 and very committed to our own righteousness
13:45 until our sin becomes so obvious
13:47 that we can no longer deny it.
13:49 And adultery is one of those things
13:50 that's so universally condemned
13:53 that it's almost like the social stigma of it,
13:55 it's just so crushing that I can see
13:56 where it would drive a person to the cross
13:59 where they would give up on themselves
14:00 and reach out to Jesus in a way they never had before.
14:03 Absolutely. Absolutely.
14:04 Well, thank you for sharing all that information, Jen.
14:07 And if you want more information,
14:09 make sure you go to
14:13 And please make sure you join us next time
14:15 where we will be discussing another sensitive topic.
14:18 God bless.


Revised 2018-10-29