I just wanted to finish up the discussion about my wandering eyes by reassuring everyone that in fact I'm over it. This is actually what always happens: I get restless, I wish for those "first time" feelings again, I tell my husband about it (that's key), when it's appropriate and we're close enough I tell the person I feel them for, and then in a few hours or days, I come home and see my husband and it pretty much all melts away.
I've been enjoying the lively discussion so I've been arguing for the way I felt earlier in the week, even though it was pretty much just that one day. But I want to let you know that you need not worry for the state of my immortal soul nor my mortal marriage, as both are in fine condition.
I like blogging because of the immediacy of it - the fact that you can write what you're feeling at an exact moment of time, and the neat little time stamp will record the time you felt that way. But of course our lives are constantly moving and changing, and so I thought I should bring you up to speed.
I wrote about my temptation because I want married people who've felt the same way to know they are not alone. We all struggle with this - I think it's an absolutely normal part of married life. The human being is a sensuous creature, and we long for excitement. But we also treasure the warmth, safety, and intimacy of our committed relationships. Being with one person only is difficult and requires a lot of work - even if you're deeply in love. An important part of the work is always being honest with ourselves and with each other.
And so if we are fortunate enough to be married to a person who understands all this, we will pretty much always go back. Thanks be to God.
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Feminarian, these posts have been tremendously brave. Hurrah for you. I've been married and divorced three times, and the last marriage was to a Fuller seminarian, a woman in the SOP who is no longer affiliated with the school. FWIW, there is something enormously healthy about acknowledging the humanness of your desires. One of the hardest things about marriages is coping with the "what ifs" and the "I wonders" and the "I missed out upons."
But you know, even though I come from a background of promiscuity (pre-conversion) and many, many monogamous relationships and marriages, I still struggle with this stuff. Greater experience does not translate into a sense that one is now "done". I have come to understand that my bag of wild oats is never going to be emptied, so I offer myself up to fidelity and monogamy, knowing that the sublime joys of these disciplines far outweigh anything else. But sometimes, sister, my goodness...
I just discovered your blog yesterday and spent few hours reading the archives.
You had a lot to say about advent — I'd like to hear what you have to say about Lent.
Very brave posts, and I liked Hugo's comment too. I think he's right--the desires don't necessarily mean you need to have those experiences you think you missed. They're just desires--they don't have to mean anything. If you followed up on them, they most likely wouldn't live up to the hype. And the thing is, maybe the dreams aren't about missed romantic opportunities, but about a general fear of missing out, period? That's my 2-cent psychoanalysis, there...
It's funny, the way I can look at and appreciate someone else's erotic potential, but it doesn't affect my desire to be with my spouse at all. For me personally, the initial romantic buzz was great but exhausting--I lost weight, I was really hyper, I was obsessed. I remember at the time wanting to have my old brain back occasionally, and not be in the extreme state of intoxication I was in. What we have now is not as dramatic, but it is strong and warm and comforting, and it goes deep. It's a different kind of passion.
I've been away for a while, but wanted to tell you how much those posts meant.
I've been married for nearly 12 years now, and I'm really struggling with my feelings of "Is this all there is?"
Recently, I've developed an attraction to another man, and it's driving me crazy that I feel it--even at the same time that I love feeling it.
I've tried so hard to order my life so that I don't spend time with other men---trying to "proof" myself, if you will, against temptation. I won't give in to it, of course---but the good Lord knows that I want to, even if no one else does.
My husband is a lovely man, a great friend, and an excellent father---but he cannot (or will not) meet every need I have, and this is a hard truth to swallow.
Thank you for your honest talk. It helps to know that I am not alone.
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