But a man who commits adultery has no sense….
-Proverbs 6:32a, NIV
A common word of advice in the dating world is not to date a divorced individual who describes their ex as “crazy.”*
Maybe you have heard this one?
Such bad-mouthing of an ex is treated as a major red flag. The idea is that such an individual has issues themselves.
Perhaps, they are an unbalanced cheater themselves trying to throw the new partner off the trail of their past misdeeds?
Cheaters have been know to make up false narratives about their past. They don’t want a potential
target mate checking the backstory with the ex. Liars lie, after all.
Maybe such an individual has not healed enough to be ready to date again?
This concern makes sense when framed through the lens of grief.
We often view people as entirely bad or entirely good depending on how things ended. When our emotions have settled and healed, we are more able to see them as truly human with both flaws and good attributes.
These are possible reasons to follow this advice.
But I want to suggest this advice has a major flaw:
Some ex-partners really ARE crazy!
In fact, if you listen to enough stories about cheaters who lived double lives for months (and sometimes even years!), it is hard to imagine such individuals being mentally and emotionally healthy as human beings.
To deceive and deeply harm the person with whom the cheater is one–according to Scripture–is to harm themselves. Self-harming is not an indication of good health.
Plus, the Bible is explicit that adulterous spouses have “no sense” (see Proverbs 6:32 quoted above).
So, I would actually argue an adulterous (ex) spouse is more likely “crazy” than not according to what I see in Scripture. The worldly wisdom on this gets it wrong when it comes to cheaters, IMO.
Does this mean the cheater is pure evil or lacks any good attributes?
No, they might be a good lawyer, musician, etc.
There are reasons why faithful spouses were attracted to this individual in the beginning. They may have retained some of those good attributes or abilities. Or maybe not?
My point is that pushing a false narrative and living a double life predicated on believing lies will take its toll.
God did not design us to live lies and double lives. He made us to walk in the light and truth.
Anyone who chooses not to live in the light and truth will eventually discover this reality about how God has made us. It is not healthy to live in darkness believing and espousing lies.
*To be clear, I am using “crazy” in the colloquial sense. I am not offering a mental health diagnosis since I am not a mental health provider.
**A version of this post ran previously.
Republished with permission from www.divorceminister.com.