During the 15 years we have been married, my husband, Mykel, and I have had the privilege of befriending many couples and counseling more than a few. One of the sorest topics we have ever explored is infidelity.

Unless you have suffered through the agony of sexual betrayal by your spouse, the pain is difficult to imagine. It seems the humiliation is made worse when the offending spouse has engaged not in a mere tryst, but has sustained a long-lasting, sexual and emotional relationship outside of the marriage.

Since Mykel and I have personally spoken to more men than women who have cheated in this manner, we have been able to gain some insight into the behavior successful mistresses engage in that wives typically do not. Please note: This list is not comprehensive, nor the result of any type of statistical study, only the result of a very informal survey of the few men we know who have been willing to share this information with Mykel, myself, or both. Please do not confuse my exploration of cheating with my approval. Extramarital affairs are the ultimate form of betrayal, which cause lasting damage to individuals, families, and communities. They weaken the fabric of our culture and empower the enemy to wreak havoc in our lives as well as in the lives of our spiritual and physical seed.

That said, there are some valuable lessons wives could learn from “The Other Woman” when it comes to taking care of our husbands.

  • Mistresses Initiate Sexual Contact

Yes, the man is the pursuer. When a wife pursues her husband sexually, however, it proves to him that she finds him attractive and desirable. It seems husbands enjoy being found attractive and desirable at least as much as their wives do.

  • Mistresses Are Nice

It sounds corny, but a little kindness goes a long way. Big and tough they may be, men appreciate kind words and consideration. The more brutalized a man is out in the world, the more necessary it is for him to be treated with dignity at home. Terms of endearment, such as “Honey” or “Sweetie,” a pleasant tone of voice, or basic manners – saying “Please” and “Thank you” affirm a person’s humanity.

  • Mistresses Show Interest In A Man’s Hobbies

Many extramarital affairs begin harmlessly enough over shared hobbies. While on his daily run, he bumps into her on the track. An avid reader, he joins a book club, where she happens to be a member.

If your husband enjoys football, try taking time to learn the game. If he fishes, subscribe to a fishing magazine and commit to reading an article or two a week. Investing in his hobbies can provide more common ground and an opportunity to grow closer.

  • Mistresses Seek Out A Man’s Opinion

Is there an area your husband knows a lot about? Solicit his opinion and listen to what he has to say. I have a friend who follows local politics very closely. His wife consistently asks him to explain his position on various issues. She is very smart and has her own opinions, yet makes a point to ask her husband anyway because she is genuinely interested in his perspective.

  • Mistresses Feed “Their” Men

In many households, microwave meals are the order of the day for husband and wife alike. If this is true for you and your guy, make hubby something nice once in a while. If you don’t cook, make him a sandwich, or buy him his favorite dish and bring it home to surprise him. The content may not be as important as the gesture.

  • Mistresses Affirm Men

At a marriage retreat I attended a few years back, the main speaker encouraged wives give out what she called “Attaboys” on a regular basis (as in “Attaboy Mykel! You took out the trash!).  Every husband in the room applauded his approval. Giving a man accolades for a job well done, or a simple task he did on your behalf, shows him that you appreciate his efforts. Accolades encourage repeat behavior. Repeat behavior makes for welcome habits. Everybody wins.

  • Mistresses Know When To Shut Up

Giving your husband quiet time – especially at the end of a busy day allows him (and you) to decompress. During the course of your relationship, establish together how much is a reasonable amount of time for him (and you) to recharge. Do your best to respect that time.

Resist complaining to him about things he can do nothing about. Not everything you think as a woman needs to be said out loud to your husband. Do the bulk of your complaining to God. He knows, understands, and is able to affect change when your husband doesn’t, won’t , or can’t. If you need to vent to or unload upon another human being, call or meet with a trusted girlfriend, and give your man’s ears a break.

  • Mistresses Wear Sexy Undies

Yes, granny panties are extremely comfy – but your husband does not want to sleep with his nana. Invest in one or two sexy outfits and make a point to wear them to bed periodically.

  • Mistresses Know What’s Going On At Work

I am always surprised by how many wives have no idea what their husbands face professionally. For better or for worse, many men define themselves according to what they do for a living. Wives should know how that part of their man’s life is progressing, if for no other reason than to intercede effectively on his behalf.

  • Mistresses (Sometimes) Buy Gifts

A token gift, a handwritten note, or even a phone call says, “I’m thinking about you.” Who doesn’t like to “hear” that?

  • Mistresses (Occasionally) Pick Up The Check

It is more than okay to take your husband on a date from time to time and pay for everything. If you’re like most couples, the money comes from a joint account anyway. The gesture, however, is no less sweet. If you pay from your own account or allowance, then so much the better.

  • Mistresses Ask For And Give Oral Sex

For many Christians oral sex is strictly taboo. There are as many biblically-based opinions on the matter as there are Christians. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, consider reading Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage by noted Christian author, Dr. Kevin Leman. Well researched and humorously candid, I found it pleasantly surprising.

  • Mistresses Invest In Their Appearance

Between carpooling, grocery shopping, washing clothes, and wiping noses and/or butts, who has time for a shower, let alone a spa day? As a mother of four, ages 4 through 12, a writer, an editor, a volunteer, and a student, I know first hand how hard it can be to glam it up. Sometimes simply putting on a nicer pair of earrings (or any at all), choosing the t-shirt with fewer permanent stains, or painting on clear gloss, constitutes my investment for the day. The point is to put on something, or to do something for yourself that makes you feel more feminine, more beautiful, more confident. Baby steps in the right direction still get you there. Give yourself lots of grace as you go.

  • Mistresses Say Yes To Sex More Often

I’m shaking my head because as I write this blog, my husband snoozes soundly in our bed – alone. I know what it is like to be too tired, too angry, too apathetic, too cranky, or too busy for sex. But consider this: Your husband is your first ministry. To him, your “no” is a rejection. Persistent rejection can lead to his losing interest in asking you for sex altogether (Why should he bother if you’re just going to say “no” anyway?). A loss of interest in you can lead to his turning to someone else for validation. Not a pronouncement – just something to consider.

I hope this list proved to be as thought-provoking to read as it was to discuss and write. It was not only interesting, but convicting for me to learn about the many ways in which mistresses affirm other women’s husbands. I definitely see areas where I can grow. If your marriage is in a secure enough place to do so, bring this list to your spouse’s attention and see what kind of feedback you get. If you learn anything interesting or helpful, share it by posting a comment.

Be blessed Family!

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