When Times Are Tough

 I have been torn up about feelings I have toward a stranger. I have a wonderful relationship with my husband and cannot understand how this other person can have this effect on me. How can this happen when I am so happy in my marriage?

First, let me say that just because you have feelings for someone does not mean that you are being unfaithful to your husband. We can’t always control what our mind thinks.

What we can do is try to channel what we do with those feelings. It is a natural thing to notice other people. The question is what you do then. There are two things you can concentrate on: trying to minimize these feelings, and then trying to maximize feelings about your husband.

Let’s deal with the first thing first. You’ve said you have already fled, and that’s great. You’ve removed yourself from temptation, and that’s a wonderful thing. The next thing you can do is, whenever these feelings come, try to fill your mind with something else. Remember a great memory that you had with your husband, and play it out in your head. Think about a wonderful time you had with your children (if you have any), and play that out. Think about your family right now, and the fun that you do have with them. If you can choose five or six memories that make you laugh, that are very special to you, or that are very steamy with your husband, think about those. Try to banish the other man from your thoughts.

Then you need to find ways to think about your husband more. Sometimes we begin to think about other people when our own relationships have grown stale or predictable. We want something new, we want to be swept off of our feet! How can you get that again with your husband? Make a special effort to date him again. Go out just the two of you. Spice up your sex life again, and make some new memories. Try to pursue your husband again, and you may find him pursuing you right back.

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What is it that you are attracted to with this person? Is it a deep emotional attachment? Is it a physical attachment? Whatever it is, see if you can create it at an even deeper level with your husband.

As I’m sure you know from the tone of your letter, your best chance at happiness is with your husband, not with this man. So have a great time with him, and you’ll likely find that these feelings will start to pass.

Finally, I’m not sure if you’re a religious person or not, but think about praying whenever you start to think about the man. If those thoughts come, take them to God and ask Him to give you amazing feelings about your husband in their place. Remember that on earth even Jesus was tempted; He just resisted. It isn’t wrong to be tempted, and God is there to help you have the best marriage you can.

Copyright © 2006 Sheila Wray Gregoire, used with permission. Visit Shiela at sheilawraygregoire.com

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