The judgement hammer bangs loudly in our head, our body tightens up, we wonder if there is something ‘wrong’ with us.
Are you in a committed relationship, but secretly attracted to someone else also?
I wanted to dive right in and open up this topic, because so many people want to shove it into the darkest corner possible and try to forget these things happen.
Here’s the breaking news though…
We are sexual beings, and we will be attracted to more than one person, like it or not.
So let’s take the shame and blame off the table right now!
We are, on some level, biologically hard-wired to find a mate, to enjoy physical intimacy with others, and to live as a social animal, not in isolation. Given all of that, is there any wonder that we look longingly at other people from time to time, and get turned on?
In our culture, it is somewhat acceptable to lust after a movie star, or the weather girl, but it is not ok to find our neighbours’ wife attractive. Why is this? Let’s explore some ideas.
There is a big debate going on now, in many circles, that we are not inherently monogamous creatures. And while this may or may no be true, this is not the major issue in my way of thinking.
The MAIN thing, is what we CHOOSE to do, how we choose to live our lives, and how in INTEGRITY we are with our own values.
We have the capability to reason, and think through a scenario and the various outcomes, so our biggest challenge in this case, is to use that power. If we let ourselves be swept away by lust, with no thought for the next day’s consequences, we are abdicating our own power as a human being. If we act secretly, attempting to ‘save’ others from the hurt our actions would cause, then we are not living with integrity.
So where does this leave us?
I believe, having feelings or desires for other people, outside our committed relationships is normal. It is something we need to accept in ourselves and shine a light on. Sometimes these feelings bring up the fact that our current relationship needs some attention. Sometimes we realize, with a jolt, that we haven’t been present in our long term partnership for a while. In other cases, we may want to discuss expanding our relationship to include other people.
So the question becomes, what do we want?
Do we want to explore and expand our desires outwardly, or turn back to our current loved ones with renewed vigour and interest? And depending on the answer to that, can we be honest and accept the consequences of our choice? Every road has pros and cons. Every action we take, will lead us to the next and the next, and so on. It can be very difficult to back track once we have started on a path. Not impossible, but effort is required, and turning back time, or wishing away something we did, is not possible.
I recently had the privilege of talking to a friend who had lived a double life for a while. He had an affair, in other words. In the moment, there was a benefit to doing what he did and cheating on his wife, but he grew tired of the secrecy and the lies were eroding all of his close relationships. After coming clean, and owning his actions, telling the people he loved the truth, he has begun rebuilding his life. It has not been easy, coming to terms with all of the parts of himself, has required true transformation and forgiveness all around. He recently went on holiday with his wife and son, and he cried when he told me he was so happy to have the chance to do that, and move on, after causing and feeling so much pain.
So, my thoughts are,
This honours both our own humanness, and that of others.
There is no absolute right or wrong way, there is only what is right or wrong for us and our own lives, in a way that respects other peoples autonomy to choose also.
We have the ability to think, to communicate, and to own our desires. Let’s honour all of that!
With pleasure and respect,