Three months ago something happened that shocked me.
I developed a crush.
Wait, what? But you’re married?? I KNOW! That is what made it feel so dirty.
(Now here I am going to take a moment to clarify the situation – I know I am married. The guy I think is adorable knows I am married. I am open about being married and how happy I am in being married – and I do adore being married. I am not flirting. There are no secret touches or long lunches. I have done nothing I would be ashamed of myself for doing. This is a case of meeting a co-worker, becoming work friends, and thinking “hmm, when I was single, you were exactly my type.”)
So, I am not doing anything I would be ashamed of anyone seeing. I know it makes logical sense that this would occur. It’s not like we stop being sexual beings or being attracted to others because we are married. Yet, while knowing all this, I felt awful. How could I be attracted to someone else when I have this handsome husband whom I adore? Then the really irrational fears started flooding in. Am I “that” type of wife? I don’t even know that “that” type of wife is, but I KNOW I don’t want to be her.
The guilt came next. It felt like I was betraying my husband. Even when writing this blog, I worried that my words would make him feel that in some way he was failing as a husband when nothing could be further from the truth. The worry and the concern felt overwhelming; bouncing between guilt and justification of my innocence to myself.
So how do you end this type of cycle?
I stopped because of a mix of choice and circumstances (I wish I could say it was all internal personal strength, but it was a combination). Life got busy, I got distracted, but I also made a choice to focus on the other things. And just like that, the crush disappeared. In the same way that most of my crushes throughout my life had disappeared, although I was treating this one like it was so different.
In retrospect, it feels so silly to have anguished so long over something so insignificant. Something so within my control. Instead, I had chosen to let this crush feed into my fears that I was somehow weak or that I would or could find myself unsatisfied in my marriage.
I don’t feel as if I had a choice in my attraction, but I always had the choice to focus on it, to let the guilt/justification cycle control me. And the longer I let that cycle control me, the more I let myself focus on the fact that I was attracted to someone else. Rinse and repeat cycle. Normally I don’t recommend ignoring something, but I do in this case. I want to be self-aware, but sometimes awareness comes down to simply acknowledging something and moving on because that is the reality I choose for myself.
So, if this ever occurs again, perhaps next time I will…
- Acknowledge it’s a thing and I am still a sexual person
- Use that knowledge to check myself to be aware of how I act and react
- Decide to remember that the grass is greener on my side of the fence
- Move on, sans anguish and guilt.
- Remember the whole time that I chose this life and I will choose to feel joy in it, because it’s a pretty blessed one.
- Probably also kiss Z. a few more times because he is way hotter than everyone else.