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The Latest from Church for Men on Facebook

16 hours ago

Church for Men
Men and women working out together. Elevated heart rates. "Platonic" touch. It can easily lead to an affair as testosterone surges through the body.Fifteen years ago, there was a lot of debate about “friending” old boyfriends and girlfriends on Facebook. I heard many tales (I don’t know how many were verified) of old boyfriends and girlfriends getting reconnected and starting an affair. The debate seems to have quieted down a bit, perhaps because it seems that as many people are leaving Facebook as they are joining it.While writing Making Your Marriage a Fortress, I came across some fascinating research that makes Cross Fit seem even more dangerous than Facebook. David and Terri Sumlin put on near-weekly retreats through Marriage Life Ministries. What makes their retreats different is their use of marital adventure programs that elevate the participants’ heartbeats. Renowned psychologist and relationship expert Dr. John Gottman has demonstrated that elevated heartbeats (95 beats or more per minute) put our brains in a heightened state of emotion, which leads to a more meaningful conversation during or immediately after the activity, which gives a couple a better chance of creating a positive memory. That’s why David and Terri like to use strenuous activities or even scary ones (like high wire obstacle courses) after a time of teaching. The elevated heart rate creates a new vulnerability that can foster a new connection.When David told me that “We have counseled many couples with infidelity, and about seventy percent of the time the affair is between a spouse and a cross fit or gym trainer, especially for the wives.” I reminded him of Gottman’s research that he had shared with me earlier.Both of us looked at each other and said, “Of course!” I then remembered my conversation with a woman who confessed to having an affair with a married man in her marathon training group. It’s the same principle: getting our heartbeats elevated puts us in an elevated emotional state. If someone other than your spouse is encouraging you, “You can do this!” “Good job!” “Don’t give up!” that gives you another hit of adrenaline.Working out to the point of emotional vulnerability, and then having someone touch you (just to fix your posture, of course) as they encourage you (“keep going! You got this!”) sets you up to go where you might otherwise never imagine going. Pretty soon, that “therapeutic touch” will create an electrical buzz that comes during an emotionally elevated window.We are wisely wary of the power of social media apps, and most of us have heard how many affairs have started online as people reconnect with old flames, but David and Terri warn couples of how actual interaction, especially at the gym, can be even more dangerous. If you can’t go to the gym together, at least maintain high boundaries with the people you work out with. Or bring a strong (spiritually speaking) friend along if your spouse isn’t interested.If your marriage is in a depleted state with little to no connection, it’s foolish to hang around someone of the opposite gender just when your brain is vulnerable to a more intense connection. Be honest about your vulnerability. If you’re feeling sexually deprived or emotionally abandoned and putting yourself in harm’s way just when you need to keep your defenses keenly on alert, you’re ripping down the walls of your fortress and all but inviting an attack.The release of Making Your Marriage A Fortress: Strengthening Your Marriage to Withstand Life’s Storms is just days away. You can pre-order it now and receive it next week. This book contains the full account of David and Terri’s story, including Terri’s affair, and the dramatic, even horrific event that God used to help David finally forgive Terri and decide to rebuild their marriage. It’s a fascinating story, with so many powerful takeaways. I can’t wait for so many others to learn from this wise, godly couple. Pre-order Making Your Marriage a Fortress, buff.ly/3M3wPbZ . ... See MoreSee Less
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“David Murrow is a talented and entertaining speaker who really delivers the goods. His message is right on target.”

Patrick Morley, President, Man in the Mirror