Ever fallen in love with someone not your spouse? (chastely)

This thread is not about adultery. It’s about falling deeply in love with someone else from a distance, not doing anything about it but just suffering in silent torment. Not wanting to hurt your spouse or damage the marriage. Not wanting to fall in love with another, not doing anything to make it happen, but it happens anyway and you can’t stop the intense feelings.

I don’t mean feeling lust, plain and simple. Some people in internet forums think love is nothing but sex. They advise, “Just beat off and relieve yourself.” But I mean when lust isn’t the issue: when your soul is powerfully drawn to another soul, when you feel a spiritual connection to the other soul.

For those of you who have not experienced this: Would you condemn a married person who fell in love this way? Even if they didn’t want for it to happen but couldn’t help it?

Shame’s Joys, this is a good question, and an unusual one. I have not experienced exactly what you describe, but something akin to it. I don’t think you can condemn people for loving someone else, I don’t think the love in itself is wrong. What you do about it is something else, and if your spouse is likely to suffer through some change in your attitude or behaviour, that’s another question. (For convenience’s sake, I am using the “you” pronoun, I don’t mean that I assume this is your story.)

There is a man somewhere on this planet whom I haven’t seen in a number of years. I feel that way about him. He was single when I was married, when I became single again (widowed), he had just married. We’ve known each other for a very long time, and no matter how long we’re apart, we feel the deep bond the moment we see each other. We share many interests, and every time we saw each other, it felt so much as though we had always been important to one another that I was afraid other people would notice it.I had a talk with him about that once, and I know for a fact now that he feels the same. His wife is a very good and loving woman, I would never want to hurt her, and I also just KNOW that she is better for him than I ever could be. For one moment in our conversation, I realized that if I asked, he would leave her. But I didn’t say the word, and we never mentioned it again. We have never flirted or touched. When I see him again, things will still be the same. This has been going on for over 25 years.

Wow, MoodIndigo1, 25 years! You understood the OP, that’s reassuring, I thought it might look confused (wasn’t sure how to word it). You’re right, your situation is not exactly the same as what I described, but it’s close. I was writing about burning with intense, unbearable yearning, but being unable to to do anything about it.

You said the question is “unusual” and I agree it is unusual, I can’t really think of other examples. But I wonder why does it seem unusual? Doesn’t this sort of thing happen a lot?

Yes, this has happened to me. I have never met him personally or talked to him on the phone but we have talked on-line for over 6 months and I am married. I think about him all the time. I have not told him I feel this way because it doesn’t seem to be appropriate. I do not feel that I should because I am not willing to cross the line and pursue a relationship even if he feels the same way about me. I have not hidden that I am married from him and actually he has started pursuing a relatonship with another woman. This is driving me crazy because I am irrationally jeolous even though I have no right to be and I really do want him to be happy.

So I don’t condemn you. I understand your guilt. Many times I feel like a bad person yet I still want to pursue my friendship with this person.

Seems to me we are capable of loving many people in many ways. How we react to this is the test of maturity. I’ve been married for almost 18 years. During those years, I’ve met other men to whom, had I been unattached, I’d have sent signals. I’ve had flirtations. There have been a couple of men who have set off fantasies for me. I’ve lusted from afar, and I expect I will again.

There’s never been a man who could have tempted me away from my husband - he and I share much more than a name and a child. On the other hand, should the unthinkable happen and he die before me, I wouldn’t rule out falling in love again.

Love is grand.

w

yeah, its happened to me three times over the years. im happily married, but if any of these women were to take my hand and say ‘come away with me, essvee’, i would have a terrible moral quandary.

fortunately (or unfortunately), this will never be the case. i am still friends with them, and my heart aches a little bit as i talk to them.

Yup.

Without going into details, this was the event that caused me to re-think my marriage and eventually divorce. When your feelings for someone you’ve only known a month are stronger than those for your husband, it’s time to think about the marriage. It’s 5 years later now, and I have no doubt in my mind that I did the right thing. In retrospect, what I considered love was really more just compatibility.