Happily Married but………
This is my first post with this user ID, however I did have an account when was I was first married (been happily married 16 years!!!).
I have a fairly serious issue and was wondering what you would do in this situation.
First, like I said I am very happily married! My husband is awesome! He does so much for me – like sometimes I put in 10%, he puts in 90% you get the idea. I love him very much.
That being said, somehow, someway, NOT BY CHOICE (and I still can’t believe I’m writing this) I have developed a crush/attraction/whatever you want to call it on another man from my church. My husband and I work with him and his wife in a weekly ministry program. I can honestly say it is not a physical thing, as my husband is probably 10 times more attractive than him, but perhaps more of an attraction to his personality thing. While my husband is a spiritual leader and is better than most, this man is perhaps the type of man I had intended to marry (he is a minister but not the main minister at our church) before I met my husband.
I have prayed and prayed for this crush/feelings/whatever to GO AWAY and it seems to get worse. This really doesn’t even need to be said – but just in case – there is ZERO ZERO chance of course that I would act on this.
What would you do in this situation?
As far as telling my husband, I personally think more harm than good would come out of that. I would be so DEVASTATED and HURT if my husband told me that he had developed a crush on my friend. I don’t see how telling him can be a good thing?
Can I ask has anyone ever had this happen in your marriage?
My DW & I come from previous marriage where our spouses committed affairs. THE NAKED MARRIAGE podcast talks about having NO secrets. They say secrets destroy intimacy and errode trust. While I understand your hesitancy, I think it’s a dangerous game to play. While you may not, if the circumstances are right, it can quickly go to an emotional affair and destroy your marriage. Like no one has ever done that while serving in church together? (Sarcasm included).
Can you find a different ministry? A different church? What would it be like to go to a Christian counselor and discuss it? It helps to get things out in the open because darkness doesn’t like light. It can, with the right help and plan, draw you closer as a couple by seeing the length to which you are willing to protect your marriage…BUT yes, it could be a difficult road to go if he has a hard time processing it.
” there is ZERO ZERO chance of course that I would act on this.”
I have no doubt that you have no intention of acting on it. But, affairs rarely happen because someone was planning it.
I would cut contact with this man, except for what is absolutely necessary. Casually avoid him. If you’re forced into talking, nothing but the weather.
There used to be a poster in the door of the bathroom stall, of all places, at church that said “When you think you can’t fall, that is when you are weakest” (or something similar; I can’t remember exact words.) I don’t know that you have to get extreme, like changing churches and whatnot, but it certainly seems prudent to put some extra protection in place for yourself. It’s not scripture, but it’s still true: Good fences make good neighbors.
@prov31, it’s good to hear from you again and to hear where you are standing. Continued prayers for God to use this to draw you closer to Him and to your husband. And, as you learn to navigate through this and grow, one day you can take what you learn and minister to another and help them. It would be wonderful if you would stick around and continue to be a part of TMB!
My guess is that you have few or no close, special male friends other than your husband. Am I correct?
You met a man who you have “chemistry” with. If this is a new experience for you, the feelings of attraction towards him are more intense than what you would feel if you had other good male friends over the years.
I am blessed with several female friends, a few of which are close.
God designed us to need fellowship with other people, both men and women. Your husband alone cannot fill your friendship needs. There are other people, women and men , which share interests that your spouse does not, and has admirable traits that your spouse does not. Sometimes you need input from someone of the opposite sex on marriage challenges.
You say it is not at all physical. So consider the possibility that what you are experiencing is not a problem, but just normal appreciation for a new friendship with someone with admirable qualities.
In my experience, my feelings for my gal pals are different than my guy pals. There is something special about a friend of the opposite sex if for no other reason that it is, unfortunately in my opinion, not commonplace in our culture and especially our Christian subculture. Opposite-sex friendships have an added dimension because we are so different, sort of like having a good friend from a different country.
Plus, my gal pals anyway, are drop-dead gorgeous :-). But the sexual attraction does not extend beyond appreciation of feminine beauty. None of them hold a candle to my wife when it comes to need-to-get-in-her-pants allure. I have never been sexually attracted to anyone as strongly as I was to my wife when we fell in love. That attraction has only grown stronger over the many years we have been married.
If there were sexual attraction to a friend, I would simply not act on it. The cost would be too great. I would lose my wife, and probably the friend too.
Society glorifies extra-marital sex. But, if you were to have sex with your friend, how good would it really be? Your husband has had thousands of sexual experiences with you and knows more about you than anyone. Maybe it is just me, but isn’t there a bit of a yuck factor in the idea of having sex with someone else? One motivation for me to work through the rocky places in our marriage rather than throw in the towel is that I don’t want to have sex with someone else :lol:.
As others have pointed out, your see your friend only when his best foot is forward. He has his imperfections like your husband and everyone else. You just don’t know what they are yet. I say this in no way to disparage you. He doesn’t feel the same way about you that you feel about him. He is a pastor. They tend to be gregarious and have lots of friends. He admires and likes you, but this is not a new experience for him, and the feelings for you are not as intense as yours are.