Thank You for giving me the opportunity to explore my interest for human connection with this pilot project called “Mondays with Mac” for the month of August. You’ve asked great questions, I didn’t get a chance to answer all of them, but who knows… we might see this pilot project again 🙂 But for now, we have come to our final question.
Question: At what point do I cross the line of acknowledging a man is attractive and crossing over into an attraction that is inappropriate? How do I handle that conversation with my spouse?
Short Answer: If you have to ask yourself if something is inappropriate, then you know the answer. If you want your marriage, then you should address it with your spouse immediately.
We’ve all heard married people say of someone they find physically attractive, “I’m married, not blind.” I’ve recently heard a rebuttal to that statement, “That’s how it starts, not being blind.”
Let’s define “it” as an “inappropriate romantic attraction,” and let’s assume this is an attraction between two adults.
When you and your spouse have established boundaries for your marriage and your attraction leads to interactions that violate the boundaries, that is inappropriate. I’m less concerned with the actual “attraction” and more concerned with what is “done” with the attraction.
Is this ok in marriage? Wether or not it’s “ok”, will depend on the person.
For me? Yes, I’m ok with a married person being attracted to someone else. I’m not ok with acting on the attraction.
In more simpler terms, being tempted and giving into temptation — two very different things. It is absolutely ok to be tempted, in fact, if we are breathing healthy human beings, we should expect it. How we respond to temptation is what’s important here.
I think a better question is, “What do I do when I am married and romantically attracted to someone else?”
1.) Identify what it is you are attracted to. Often times it will help inform you of a need that isn’t being met in your marriage.
2.) Tell your spouse. Even if you think it’s “nothing.” If you want to keep your marriage and you’re willing to put in the work, tell them. Be transparent and accountable with your interactions.
3.) Do not actively pursue a relationship with this person. Don’t call or text them casually. Don’t “check up on them.” Don’t initiate an outing with them. Don’t do anything to develop the relationship further. If the person is a co-worker, keep your interactions brief and professional.
Here’s a saying from the wisest man to have lived, “When you are full, not even honey tastes good, but when you are hungry, even something bitter tastes sweet.” (Proverbs 27:7)
In other words, satisfaction within your own marriage, doesn’t leave room for an external interest to be peaked.
Vulnerabites, what is your advice for someone who is married and romantically attracted to someone else?