Fantasize – What’s it all about?
When we fantasize, we imagine a situation that does not correspond with reality, but expresses certain desires. Fantasies typically involve situations which are impossible or highly unlikely.
Many fantasies are sexual in nature. This applies to both sexes, but often one or the other mate is dissatisfied and will begin fantasizing to “get through” the lovemaking session with their spouse. Is this healthy for the relationship?
Fantasize – What’s the harm?
What harm, if any, is there in fantasizing? How does it begin and where might it lead? These are good questions to examine.
Fantasizing first leads to an increased dissatisfaction with your spouse. Many women experience a desire to be adorned with affection from her man. This is normal, but when he fails to come through for her, she:
- begins to have impatient, unfulfilled, and perhaps unreal expectations of him,
- dreams or fantasizes about someone else showering her with all she desires,
- begins to think that the “grass may be greener” elsewhere,
- is certainly deterred from working on her commitment to love and honor,
- finds herself vulnerable to the temptations of outside sources.
“Nobody wakes up one day and suddenly decides to begin an extramarital affair. Infidelity begins in the heart and mind. By the time a person physically commits adultery, he or she has been indulging for quite some time in progressively more intense mental and emotional affairs.”
If we continue to dwell on sexual thoughts about another man, these thoughts will eventually give birth to sexual compromise. We are rehearsing in our minds what we would like to act our physically. When this man comes in our direction, we are more likely to act upon those fantasies since we’ve already rehearsed them in our minds. As Sanford says, we’re working toward an extramarital affair by fantasizing it in our minds.
Unfortunately, the Internet has opened a new door to fantasizing. Not only is pornography abundantly available, but chat rooms are especially appealing to women. It’s very easy to begin “chatting” and begin a fantasizing online relationship. Even inappropriate online relationships can lead to infidelity of the heart and soul.
There is a great deal of harm that can begin with fantasizing. We should guard ourselves from giving into this temptation. Whenever a fantasy enters your mind, critique it. The authors of Every Woman’s Battle2 encourage us to use these questions to determine whether a particular thought is healthy:
- Is the thought beneficial? Does this thought harm me or my spouse in any way or hinder our sexual relationship?
- Does the thought involve anyone else? Sexual activity is for you and your spouse only.
- Is the thought honoring to God? The Bible is very clear that God sees our minds and wants us to focus on thoughts that are pure. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things.
Fantasizing – What can I do instead?
When you are tempted to fantasize, remember why you first fell in love and committed yourself to your spouse. Your marital fidelity began with your promise to be faithful. This applies to being faithful -- physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
If you have a hard time keeping your mind from going to thoughts of fantasy, you might try these alternatives:
- Talk to your spouse and let him know if you have feelings of neglect or dissatisfaction, but be sensitive. Address this with regard to his feelings and work on this together and prayer together about it.
- Explore intimacy with your spouse, put some new spice in your love life, be sure you make time to enjoy each other without stress and distractions.
- Pray and ask God to help keep you from fantasy and impure thoughts.
- Read your Bible daily and study topics like self-control, love, and faithfulness.
1 David Stanford, Infidelity vs. Fidelity: How Did We Get Here?, Focus on the Family.
2 We recommend the book Every Woman’s Battle by Shannon Ethridge and published by Waterbrook Press.
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