Question: Dear Luise: I have gone to work at a Real Estate office and I am extremely attracted to one of the salesmen. We are both married and have families. I don’t want to feel this way but I am unable to get past it. I am so incredibly responsive to how he makes me feel when he focuses on me. This is going nowhere. Neither of us even wants it to. Yet my mind can’t win the battle over my emotions. What can I do to get myself in hand? Please don’t lecture me. I’ve done that. Lois
Answer: Dear Lois: I wish I could say I didn’t know how that feels but I do. And, no, I don’t see where pointing the finger at you would be of any use. I will tell you what I did and you will have to decide for yourself if it might work for you.
I made an appointment with my minister and I laid the whole sad and very old story on the table. He knew both my husband and me because we sang in the choir and our kids attended Sunday school. What a kind and understanding guy he was. He asked me what was missing in my marriage and I was able to see that it was deep conversations and mutual interests.
From that point we talked about the chances of changing any of that, (which were less than nil), and what I could do to replace the need for emotional and intellectual intimacy in my life. He helped me see that sex wasn’t anything I had to leave home for, and that it was the attention I was getting that made my head turn.
I don’t know what you might find if you took a similar course of action or whether my solution might help you to solve your problem or not. I just know that taking a closer look, with a well-trained counselor, can show you things you don’t know or don’t want to see. It was an eye-opener for me to get what was lacking and how I could fill that need safely and close to home.
I was able to silently re-commit to my spouse and family after that talk. I quit my job and started cultivating more interactions with the other women in my neighborhood to satisfy my desire to have more meaningful and stimulating interactions with others.
I didn’t try to fight my way through my problem alone and I didn’t act on it. Those are my first two suggestions to you. And it was the genuine compassion and experise of a professional that turned me around, so that’s my third recommendation. Blessings, Luise