Red Responds: Suffering With Desire for Another Man

Kim in Richmond writes:

I am so confused. I have been married 20 years to my husband born February 20. I was born September 22 and we have a family. Recently I have met and recaptured a relationship with an old friend born September 15 who lives in the Netherlands – he is also married. I am in love with this man and I feel a lot of pain right now. I love my husband but I am suffering with desire for this man. I can’t stop these feelings inside and now that I am back, he seems distant. I feel lost and lonely even in my marriage. I don’t know what to do. Is there some kind of hope for me with this man or do I keep trying to fall back in love with my husband?


Dear Kim,

It appears that you are at a very critical time in your life. It is a time for growth and self-discovery; and your love dilemma is the catalyst.

Long-term relationships, and the duties and obligations that come with them, often times define us. You seem to have stepped into your role as wife and mother and settled there so completely, that you essentially forgot how to be yourself. Rekindling a relationship with the man from your past has basically woken up your spirit, and reminded you that you are alive.

There are times that people connect and do anything and everything to create an opportunity to be together. However, your Netherlands man is not going to take that leap. I also don’t see you as willing to sacrifice the life and security you do have without a guarantee. It is not the man that you feel so much love and desire for that is making you drive yourself crazy – it is the illusion of what he represents: change, excitement, passion…the freedom to be more “you.” I’m not saying that you don’t have a true emotional connection to him, because you do. It just happens to be tangled up with your current state of confusion.

Your husband seems like a pretty decent guy. While there is no quick fix on how to get back to feeling “in love” with him, you can start the process by actually talking to him. He really has no clue how lost, bored and inwardly unhappy you have been for quite some time. You need to share with your husband how you feel about yourself, your life, and the marriage – but exclude the details relative to your friend. Confession may cleanse your soul, but it will only deeply hurt your husband.

The one good thing about being lost is that if you pick a direction and start walking, eventually you will come to a destination. If you choose your destination to be happy in your marriage, the first step is being happy with yourself.

While it is going to take time to get Mr. Netherlands out of your head and heart, your future is not with him. Fantasizing about him and how life could be is causing you more harm than good. While he may have brought forth many questions, he by no means is your answer. Your answers are much closer to home because they are in you.

Brightest Blessings,
Ext. 9226

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