How do you interact with the opposite sex? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
When you’re married, you tend to get used to someone being around. This is someone of the opposite sex which leads to hugs, kissing, cuddling, and of course, sex. You have someone you can sleep next to every night. Then when you get divorced, that’s gone.
By the way, I want to be clear that I’m saying this as a man. I can better explain this to my fellow men. Women can try to find corresponding advice for their sex here.
It’s a difficult switch. For a Christian man, if you plan on remarrying, it’s awkward to start looking at other women and thinking about them. I happen to think this is much harder if you have been married because you do know what you miss. The same could be said probably for those who are sexually active before marriage.
So what are some rules that I am working to live by in this?
First off guys, make no concession to pornography in this. I realize sometimes that can be difficult, but I think it is essential. Pornography will reprogram your brain and change the way you view women. For my part, I also know when I remarry, I don’t want her to have to think she has to compete against several women that are having free rent in my head.
It also teaches you that if you can’t get a woman to do anything intimate with you in real life, you can just go get one on demand. That’s really using a woman. Besides that guys, that woman on the screen doesn’t know you. She doesn’t care about you. She’s not going to date you.
With dating, you have to go out and impress a real woman and win her heart and earn her trust. That requires real work and that is difficult. Still, you have to come to realize that whatever woman you’re pursuing, you think is worth the work on some level. You think she’s worth the sacrifice.
Pornography trains you to teach women further as objects. The only goal with a woman is the sex. When it comes to a woman, you don’t just want that. You want the trust and the desire that comes with it, knowing that a woman trusts you with herself and desires you. You cannot get that in porn. That person on the screen cannot trust you and cannot desire you.
Now when it comes to actual dating, I have said whenever I get started, which will be when I get my own place at this point and hopefully soon, I have a rule that I will not be alone at a woman’s place or have her be alone with me at my place. The temptation could be too great. Now some of you will say “I won’t fall to that.” The first sign I think you will fall for temptation is that you think you cannot fall for it.
This also means watching interactions with the opposite sex. Actually, a lot of this advice is good for marrieds. This is especially so on social media where you can hear someone’s words and make them whatever else you want them to be in your mind. Sometimes in answering email questions, if one comes from a woman and gets extensive, I will get another woman involved. That way, I can get accountability.
This also could mean you need to get another man who has been here before to walk this walk with you. I have one. I also got involved in DivorceCare pretty much immediately when I moved back to Knoxville.
Having other guys can help hold you accountable. If you have a problem with pornography, make sure you have guys who are holding you accountable, including with programs like Covenant Eyes or XXXChurch. Celebrate Recovery is a great place for this.
This is a difficult transitional period in life that is extremely difficult. You don’t need to walk it alone and you don’t want to make emotional mistakes, including with the opposite sex. Also, I say this as one on the same journey as well. I have used the term “fellow traveler” to describe myself. Let’s make sure we reach our destination the right way.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)