There are people that specialize in accident reconstruction. They go into a situation and reconstruct every detail of an accident to give an explanation of exactly how the accident happened, the cause of the accident, and most importantly-how the accident could have been avoided. What was preventable? Were there warning signs? What could have been done before the accident so the accident didn’t happen?
A few hours, days, weeks after an affair we are asked the same thing. Could we reconstruct the accident? Could we help them see what could have been avoided? What was preventable? What were the warning signs?
Having reconstructed our own wreck as well as hundreds of others with couples, here are a few signs that an accident is not a matter of if, just when.
1. Frequent personal communication.
Most affairs take place with someone already in your life. They are a friend, co-worker or acquaintance. Communication with that person is probably a normal thing. The danger comes when that communication gets personal and frequent. When feelings are shared; problems in marriages are shared; dreams, hopes aspirations are exchanged. When these things start getting shared, the frequency of communication always increases.
2. Hidden anticipation to see this person
When you are getting ready for work; when you know you’ll be at a party with this person; when you are going to the gym and you know that person will be there. In your heart you are more excited about seeing this person than anyone else…that is a warning sign that something isn’t right. You dress differently. You are more intentional. You are more aware of that person’s presence.
3. Keep aspects of your life a secret
When communication becomes more frequent guilt and fear are sure to follow. As a response to these emotions, text messages are deleted; passwords and locks are put on phones; secret email accounts and special Google voice accounts are created. Because of the feelings that are being hidden, there is a natural desire to hide all aspects of the relationship.
4. Justifying how this person understands you much better than your spouse
When a person starts sharing their heart with someone other than their spouse; they start communicating with another person more than they communicate with their spouse; there is a justification that is sure to follow. They get you. They understand you. They care more about you. They believe in your dreams. Your wife doesn’t get you. Your husband doesn’t believe in you. When a person gets to this point, the wreck is imminent.
Most married people believe they will never have an affair. Most married people don’t realize how vulnerable they are to an affair. Most people that have had affairs can’t believe they allowed themselves to drift that far from God or their spouse.
The thing about this list is that it is an internal list. For the most part, you can hide most of the emotions and feelings associated with the progression of an affair…until it is too late.
It takes courage to admit you are in danger. It takes guts to be real with yourself and God in this area. It will probably cost you something.