My Food Cravings & Relationship Fidelity

November 23, 2020


For the past several weeks, I’ve been cutting my carbs in an effort to lose some of the Covid weight…and let’s be honest, some of the pre-Covid weight too. The first few weeks were hard and my sugar cravings were intense. Thankfully, they went away and life was flowing along pretty well. No more insulin spikes or cravings made it much easier to make healthy choices. Until this week. My husband and I are in the Hill Country of Texas, an area known for it’s breathtaking views and it’s food. Both are heavenly.

Needless to say, my temptations have increased exponentially and yet I’ve managed to bypass them, mostly by keeping focused on the healthier options. And then I stepped foot into the HEB supermarket. Honestly, my heart goes pitter pat every time I am near one. Yes, a grocery store changes my heart rhythms! If you’ve never been inside an HEB, you have no idea what you are missing. Oh the temptations of the delicacies that reside there! I have seriously prayed and asked God for an HEB in Dallas. But I digress…

In HEB, I walked by all the breads, cakes, pies and simply looked.Then I lingered. I noticed all the flavors and textures. I even picked up a few (wrapped ones of course and with clean hands!). My husband tried to playfully pull me away and I believe I snapped out something like “Get your hands off me, it doesn’t hurt to look”. But I wasn’t just looking. I was lingering, fantasizing until the lingering became a strong longing. And just like that, the sugar craving was back. I swear I got an insulin spike just from the smell. What’s one cobbler after weeks of clean eating and “being good”? Didn’t I deserve to treat my success?

Thankfully, John did literally pull me away and I got out of there with nothing more than sweet potato fries, but it was a close call.

This got me thinking about the idea of looking, lingering and longing. Isn’t that the progression of all temptation? When men struggle with pornography (yes, women can struggle too, but men make up 72% of all sex addicts), they are taught to “bounce their eyes”. With all the images that surround us from magazine covers to billboards, it’s impossible not to see sexual images because they are literally everywhere. Bouncing their eyes gives them a tool to stop the progression. It means they don’t linger there.

I have worked with so many clients who have chosen to have an affair because they were unhappy in their marriage. They started looking at other people and didn’t worry much because looking felt safe and harmless. What is wrong with looking? Then the looking became “harmless” texting, messaging or phone calls. Lingering. Again, what’s the harm? They told themselves “we are just friends”. Lingering became longing and the desire was strong. They rationalized their actions in all kinds of ways that would make no sense to anyone else, including themselves, albeit later. Rationalizations like “I’ve never been happy with my spouse and I deserve something for me” or “God wants me to be happy” or “My spouse won’t give me ______, so I’ll get it somewhere else.” By the time we are at longing, our brains easily shut off.

If you find yourself at the place of looking outside of your marriage for something better, I hope you will decide to stop the progression now, even though it feels you are in a harmless place. I assure you it is a sign that something is off and needs to be addressed. Don’t make excuses or minimize the situation. Take it as an opportunity! Something is pulling you away from your goal or commitment. Figure out what is happening before you make a decision that can’t be easily reversed. And for those of you in a marriage you actually do need to leave, I hope you’ll make that decision while your brain is fully functioning. If you want to leave your marriage, leave it with integrity. 

Now, one more thing, this same concept of looking, lingering and longing works both ways. The people who report the most satisfaction in their relationships keep their eyes on the prize. They focus on what is good and right about their partner rather than what annoys them. Listen, I have days when John is on my last nerve. All I can see are the things he does or says that make me crazy, but I don’t want to linger there. I’ve been down that road. I allowed myself to have internal criticisms about him to the point where I could no longer see or appreciate the man I married. That’s when I started to feel trapped and began longing for divorce and a chance to find someone more “compatible”. Keep your eyes on your prize folks! Linger with your ultimate goals and watch your life blossom. Trust me on this one.

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