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Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! – 1 Corinthians 6:15b, NIV

When someone is a cheater, they are also an abuser. You cannot have one without the other.

Soul rape is abusive.

I am astounded by how cheating and adultery are too often treated as less than abuse.

The husband with a cheating wife is told to fight for her. Little attention is paid to how she is actively abusing him by her remorseless infidelity.

A pastor tells a faithful wife to buy sexier underwear when she learns about the husband’s infidelity. This same pastor would insist on a separation if she thought the same husband had hit his wife.

It is obnoxious. It is wrong. It is harmful to faithful spouses.

Cheating is not benign behavior. This behavior is not morally neutral. It involves deception and lies. Cheating is minimally an abuse of trust.

The oneness of marriage means the cheater is forcing the third party upon the faithful spouse’s soul. 

For anyone who has experienced being cheated on, they can tell you the pain is excruciating. In fact, some of us would probably prefer a punch in the face to having our spouse commit adultery.

At least with the punch, (most) religious people would “get” why we needed to get away from this person. They would understand why we took steps to avoid someone who would “punch” us again given a chance.

Another point to consider is how cheating removes consent for faithful spouses. We are deceived by the cheater. They have changed the monogamous “terms” of our marriages without notifying us.

Consider:

How many of us would consent to being in a sexual relationship with someone who was not monogamous to us? 

The cheater–by their deception–takes that choice away from us. They put us in a place of physical risk in doing so. It is an abusive thing to do.

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*A version of this post ran previously.

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Republished with permission from Blogs.crossmap.com, featuring inspiring Bible verses about prayer.

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