When it Comes to Sex, What is Right?
Lucinda from New York asks:
My problem is that I must turn away a suitor who is the husband of a close friend. The difficulty arises in that I am quite vulnerable to the attentions of this man, and although I believe he is sincere about his feelings for me, and that he is unhappy in his circumstances, I must convincingly dissuade him from pursing me. I do not see the couple socially anymore, but we were once passionately involved. I have been told by a confidential source that he is still interested in me and has plans to come to me soon. I do not consciously (or even unconsciously!) want to sabotage my close friend’s marriage; but what should I say? How should I act? I know this will be hard, but I am committed to doing the right thing here. Please be specific! Thank you.
Greetings, Lucinda. I will attempt to be very precise and specific in my answer as you request. It is a sumptuous scenario you present and yet, I can’t help but wonder as to the motivation that prods you to make such an inquiry of me. Certainly you write as though you have been diligent and thorough in your own observation. You appear to stand stalwart in your decision as to what the proper, ethical response to the matter is that you must have. And yet, in careful reading of your query, I find myself thinking that you aren’t nearly so certain of things as you would like me, or yourself, to believe. With that in mind, let me attempt an illumination of sorts.
First and foremost, it appears to me that you really want to believe in the old tales of forbidden love and star-crossed tragedy. It’s a favorite subject of my own, so I applaud your interest. However, I warn you to be wary as you indulge yourself in old tales and legends. If you fail to watch closely, you’re very likely to paint yourself into an archetypal corner where you lose sight of the more pragmatic and fundamental factors in play. Archetypes are subconscious patterns that represent the deep dark corners of our instinct, desire and fear. From what I see, you are attempting to play one of the most dangerous archetypal roles with absolutely no understanding of the true substance driving the play. I have looked at this man and his marriage, and it’s not as bad as you assume. You want it to be bad, because that’s part of the tragedy. I mean, it would hardly be a romantic story if he and his wife got on just fine, now would it? I know, he told you his marriage is rocky. Do you know why? Because he’s a man. And men, being men, like to get gullible women into bed. They say all sorts of things… make all sorts of promises… in that endeavor. It amazes me, as savvy as we have become in understanding subconscious motivation and human behavior, that so many women still can be gotten so easily with a little game playing and an “I Love You” or two. The fact is, this man has no desire to leave his wife. What he wants is to have a small, manageable harem to bed down with. Three is a good number for most men his age: a wife, a mistress and a skanky youngster to spend money on. You’re being groomed for the mistress role. You run, he chases. And if he lies to you in the right way, plays the game well and caters to your ego, he’ll catch you in the end. You’ll torture yourself, betraying all your supposed ethics in a bid to catch him in return, but he will never… and I mean never… leave his wife.
As I see it, you can make some sound decisions now that will spare you all this pointless turmoil. You can turn him away once and for all. But if you chose that path, then just get on with it, and quit bemoaning the fact. Find someone else to hang out with. Period. Or, you can stop all the game playing and just sleep with him. In that case, you can relax and enjoy a relationship that might last a few months. Without all the courtship rituals and chasing you’ve been indulging in, the two of you have about two months of mating flare before it burns out. After that, you can walk away with all that tension gone. My guess is you’re going to ignore both suggestions and continue the drama. It seems that’s what you’re really after anyway, which is too bad, because many nice and actually available men exist. But maybe life just isn’t complicated enough for you.
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