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Dealing with Extramarital Attractions (Part 1)

Let’s talk about being attracted to other men, shall we?

Recently there have been a couple guys that got my attention. In analyzing it, I am starting to notice a couple things which are very empowering.

First of all, I am happy report that at this point in my life I do not want to jeopardize my marriage. I do NOT want out. I am not looking for a romantic relationship outside of my husband.

So in this context, I am starting to discover that the “flee” approach I had been taking when it came to guys I was attracted to isn’t necessarily the healthiest approach. For one thing, “fleeing” becomes its own directive and objectifies the guy (think reverse of muslim women in burkas). For awhile, as God restored our marriage relationship in a very good way, I was actually shielded from the kinds of guys I am attracted to, so I didn’t have to deal with it. But we are now in another season, where we interact with greater frequency with men who have the potential to get my attention, at least briefly.

Thank God I am now old enough to be able to say with reasonable certainty that NO man except Jesus himself actually has it all together, and so any reasonable amount of time spent with him (though ideally not so much one on one) pretty much gets him off my romantic radar.

So as I look back to when we were first married, when I was so into this one guy, that although as a good Christian girl I would “never” divorce my husband, I totally imagined if David were to die early I just may go for this other one, whom I shall call “Luke.” HAHAHAHAHA! I laugh because I know LukeĀ a lot better now, and I would never marry him or even want to date him. It’s funny now, but I tell you, it wasn’t funny then. I was really scared, because I felt like he was attracted to me too. And David was clueless about the whole thing.

And I think my “FLEE!” Response when I feel the first glimmer of attraction is because I fear the worst. I remember being taught out of the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife that when faced with temptation, thou shalt FLEE!

But dude, noticing the guy selling you vegetables at the outdoor market is really nice is not the same thing as being directly invited to go to bed by your boss’ wife.

I’m starting to wonder if the best way to deal with these passing attractions with people you are going to see regularly, like it or not, is not to FLEE! but to engage. Not to totally go all out and try to get to know them intensely, not to invite them out for coffee or a meal, but to NOT be afraid to engage them APPROPRIATELY for the context in which you interact. In my vegetable man example, to boldly say hello when you arrive to buy vegetables. Not to duck your head and hope his partner (who is “safer” for you) handles your transaction. Not to pretend you don’t see them when you pass by on your way to pick up your kids from school.

Sometimes I can’t believe how junior-high I still am.

Because all that awkward ducking and dodging actually feeds into make your actual interactions more awkward and weird, and may give away your feelings if they, too, once attended junior high.

Now if the other person is giving you very strong “I’m attracted to you” vibes, I’m not sure yet what to do besides run away the first time I notice and pray hard for a plan.

But in my case, when I simply noticed an attractive quality in someone else, that sometimes mirrors what David has, and sometimes showcases what he does not, and there is no reason for me to believe the other guy is checking me out, then for me and where I am at in my personal journey, it’s time to engage.

I will share more as I try it out. I have a sneaking suspicion that liberation awaits.

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