Monday, November 21, 2005
What's Old Is New Again

In an effort to explore this topic a little further, I am going to reply to the wonderful comments from my last post, in this post. I hope that the commenters don't mind, but the comments were long and my replies will be too, so this just seems easier.

JeN said...
Thank you for being so honest.

"Don't all gasp in horror" See? You already assumed that someone would judge you right then and there. I didn't gasp in horror, I didn't even raise an eyebrow. I just continued reading to see what else you had to say.

I can't be the one to say whether you should or should not see this "B" again. That is up to you (and possibly MJ).

So much romantic junk has been placed on finding "the One". Personally, I don't believe that there is this One person out there for everybody. There are people you will not connect with, and there are people you will connect with, on varying levels. So you just happened to meet another person whose personality meshes with yours. It happens.

I don't think you should feel panicky or ashamed or anything like that.

Lots of hugs and warm smiles : )

Oh, and I like the snowflake b/g!

P.S. I got my first inch of snow today. November 17th is now unfavourable in my eyes...
: p


JeN, first of all thank you for commenting. I know that I always assume that people will think the worst of me, it seems to be a side-effect of my obsession with being likeable. I know that you aren't that judgmental. Truly, none of my regular commenters are. It just seems that writing something so *controversial* brings all the asshats out of the woodwork. I was expecting someone to say something ignorant, but it seems that I was wrong, no comments had to be moderated.

I go back and forth when it comes to believing in 'The One'. It is a very romantic notion, but what about people who find their 'One' and then they get a divorce, or he/she dies? Sometimes the person left behind finds another 'One'. Would they have felt the same way had they met their second love while still attached to their first? It does make a person ask a lot of questions.

And Boo Hiss for snow :( Yuck!

Thanks for the love and support JeN :)

Amber said...
You ask: "Given the opportunity, should I see this other person again?"

I say no.

"Should I chalk it up to some lapse of sanity and just get on with things?"

I say yes.

"Should I just go with it and see what happens?"
No.

"Should I try to forget that it ever happened?"
Yes

Okay, fixed now? ;-P

Look, we all sometimes run into people we are attracted to. It happens. The thing is, as a monogamously married individual, do we act on it or not?

Maturity means making decisions because it's the Right Thing To Do and not because It Feels Good.

You say: "I would never put my marriage or my kids on the line, and neither would MJ."

But if you go ahead and indulge in these feelings, you *will* be putting your relationship with your family on the line. With allll the talking in the world together and alllll the possible encouragement from MJ; you're risking everything you've built together to this point.

And believe me, it's a big risk.

You know my story. You know that my ex and I tried this kind of thing when I was around your age. I was attracted to another man and I knew that NOTHING would ever affect my marriage with my husband at that time and my husband back then thought the whole idea was really hot. This young slutty wife of his balling some other guy. OooO! How HAWT!

However, I "fell in love" with that other guy. And I seriously considered leaving my husband for him.

Mostly because the sex with the other guy was new, it was exciting and I mistook my infatuation for "love".

You raise the stakes dramatically when you add sex to a relationship. Even if it's consensual; it's still playing with fire.

You two have small children. Your first duty is to them, to protect this stable, loving home you have created for them.

Could you two possibly do this thing and get away with it unscathed? Possibly. All things are possible. I'm not saying that you'd be forced to go down the path I did. Everyone has a different reaction to life experiences. You could very well find that you are repulsed by this new guy. Or maybe you'd start an open marriage and you guys could make it work.

Who knows?

But why risk it? Especially with little ones at home?

Once you step outside a fantasy and make it a reality, all kinds of aspects you had not previously considered can occur. And it can be horrendously damaging. Not only do I know this from personal experience, and people I know in person who grow to regret doing such thing, but look at all the online stories about how fast things can go bad.

And MJ, with all due respect, I know you love Temp and your family to pieces and I know you don't want to hurt them, but I think Temp needs to hear that her Husband and Master would blister her ass but good if she did this thing. That you own her and nobody else can touch her.

I think that's what Temp would like to hear from you.

I know that's what I secretly wanted to hear from my ex, although I didn't have the guts to tell him.

That's just my very nosy and un-humble curmudegeonly opinion. ;-P

You know, you guys can play with this idea. Lots of couples do. So make up stories, develop "punishments" for imagined transgressions and titillate each other with this idea if that makes things more hot and fun in the marital bedroom.

But you don't have to actually DO it to get that thrill.

Btw, kudos on talking about this together. That is wonderful. :-)

Hope I wasn't too forward. But then, you guys know how I am. ;-P

11:27 AM


Amber, you are my steady voice of reason :) I know you well enough now that I can usually predict your reaction to such things, and believe me, I appreciate your unapologetic opinion. In a world where everyone likes to talk in circles and blow smoke out their ass, I know that you don't mince words, at least with me, and that is [sadly] a rare thing.

As always, you raise some very good and important concerns. I am grateful that you have shared so many of your life experiences with me. I know that this experience has been risky for my family and my marriage. I am finding out quickly that things get rather complicated once you start to look at them objectively. It's all fun and games until something horrible happens.

Thank you for your comment. And don't worry about being forward with me/us, sometimes that is exactly what I/we need. I just wish you didn't make me think so much ;) LOL.

Ben said...
Firstly, I must commend your honesty and openness. Impressive.

Secondly, why would you think it amazing that you have the capacity to feel emotions for someone else? You loved before you met MJ, just because he makes you "happy" and you said a few words in front of a cleric or a judge doesn't change your human nature.

My brother-in-law and his wife have an open marriage. They didn't start out open. They started out "playing"--a lot like what you've described, even using the internet, though not blogs.

And eventually one of them met someone that they experienced emotions and feelings for. And then they both did. And within a few months they were openly swinging and experiencing it with many others.

They are pagan and don't consider it "wrong".

There are dangers and not just diseases. My brother has a child by another woman, who is currently living with them as their "concubine".

All this to say that you should choose the path that you wish to take and then hold one another to that path and don't "explore" unless you're willing to take other paths.

Now, my perspective:
"Love" is not an emotion. It is *an act of your will*. It is *committment*. It is an active *choice*.

"Lust" is that "tingling" and "in-love" feeling that you experience. It is an emotion. It comes and goes over time and you will feel it for many different people. But don't mistake it for "love".

Love is not self-serving, it is selfless.

Love does not seek pleasure and happiness has no bearing on it whatsoever. Being happy doesn't mean you are "in love". In fact "in love" just means you are "in lust" and "infatuated".

It's very easy to mistake lust for love, especially in the first 10 years or so of a relationship.

My advice? If you don't want to live the life of a cheater and you aren't able to respect yourself in living the polyamorous life, then *quit playing around with fire*.

Turn your back on it and *never look back*.

You mentioned Catholocism. There's a term for this action: "repentence". It means "to turn away from". Thus, if you "repent" of your sins, you "turn away from them". In Greek, it has a more subtle meaning that includes "fixing" or "repairing" a relationship. (Thus, if you "repent of your sins", then you "turn away from your sins--to do them no more--and repair your relationship with God.")

In your case, if you really don't want to be a "cheater" or polyamorous, then I suggest that you "repent" of your behavior and "repair your relationship" with MJ so that you never do it again--regardless of your desire, your "in love" feelings and the infatuations that you'll no doubt experience throughout your lifetime.

(Long winded, ain't I? ;) )

6:19 PM


Ben, thank you for commenting, and for your compliment regarding my honesty. It wasn't fun or easy to write it, but it was necessary, and I am learning a great deal about myself in this process.

I suppose that I should not have been surprised to find myself in 'lust' with someone other than MJ. I suppose I just wasn't expecting it, and it kind of threw me off.

You said that I/we should choose a path and hold each other to it, and not explore unless I/we were willing to take other paths. I believe that life is an ever-changing, dynamic and evolving experience. I don't know that we ever really 'choose' one path. There are plenty of unexpected twists and turns in this journey. I always said that I never wanted kids, but to my surprise, life presented me with two beautiful children and I took off on a new path. Not one that I necessarily 'chose' ahead of time, but one that I found myself on and am trying my best to navigate. We walk many paths in life, sometimes we travel them on purpose, sometimes by mistake, sometimes by accident. We can try our best to stick to one that suites us, but sometimes fate has other plans.

I also believe that love is an emotion, as well as an act of will. However, I think that love is a highly over-used word these days. People claim to 'love' everything from other people to potato salad. I believe that love in it's purest form is really more of a state of being.

I also know that lust/infatuation is FAR from love. My feelings for B do not expend past infatuation/lust. I have found myself attracted to other people in the past, but the intensity and suddenness of the feelings I felt for B were rather unnerving.

I absolutely will not live the life of a cheater, since my relationship with MJ is built on absolute honesty. I don't believe that this is as black and white as picking one side of the fence or the other [poly or monogomy]. Then again I have very little experience in such things and perhaps I am just in denial. I never did understand the whole bit about having cake and not eating it.

I was raised Catholic, but no longer believe in *all*of the Catholic teachings. Since Catholicism IS very black and white (you're with them or against them) I cannot consider myself to be a Catholic. Actually my faith at the moment is rather non-existent which only serves to further confuse the issue, since I have no religion on which to stand when it comes to morality. I do not believe that I need to 'repent' as it were, since that would mean I view my actions and feelings as *wrong*. Since I am still figuring out exactly how I feel, I don't wish to absolutely declare it *wrong*. I have shot myself in the foot there before.

And no worries about the length of your comment. My commenters all seem to hail from The Land of The Long Winded, and I LOVE them for it!

Anonymous [Luci] said...
So you can see yourself totally falling for this guy. What you did not mention was this B's feelings/interaction with you. Since you didn't say anything about that, I can assume two different things. One, he felt the same way, at which point you have to consider do you want to be involved with someone willing to get involved with a married woman in a loving committed relationship?

Second, he views you as a friend only, in which case you have yourself a crush. Nothing wrong with that in my eyes. I've had a crush or two since I've been married. I never acted on it, just enjoyed some fantasy what if time in my own head.

I also didn't gasp in horror. I think its normal to find oneself attracted to another person throughout one's life. Just because you can see youself falling for this guy does not mean you have to act on it.

{{hugs}} Thanks for sharing this with us, Temp.

Luci (having a terrible time getting blogger to let me post comments)


Luci, sorry about your bad time with Blogger. It seems to behave like a bugger whenever I have something really insightful to say ;) LOL.

I didn't talk much about B's feelings in the beginning because I thought that getting through my feelings at the time was complicated enough, nevermind how he was feeling. So, I will clear that up now.

B expressed feelings of affection towards me. Seeing as I had only just met him and haven't gotten to know him that well I can only speculate on how genuine he was. I don't think that his feelings towards me were really that alarming, a lot of men are attracted to me. I suppose that my reaction to him was the really unsettling part.

I was totally honest with him about being married and having kids. I am sure he found it a little strange, and from his comments I can say with a high degree of certainty that he doesn't see any long-term potential with me. Likewise I know that there is no long-term potential with him. Without revealing too much about him, he will be leaving the country in a couple of months, perhaps never to return.

This entire thing is really less about him, since I KNOW that I will not be with him. I guess I just worried that I could even find myself so drawn to someone, anyone really, besides my husband. I am young and I haven't had loads of life experience. I think it also scared me because of what a cheater I used to be, and I don't ever want to be that person again. Old familiar feelings might have caused me to blow the situation a teeny bit out of proportion. But that is what is so wonderful about your voice, along with the others. It helps put things into perspective. Thank you for your support Luci :)

Anonymous said...
You don't say if "B" is married or in a long term relationship. If he is and she does not know about you and he being together that could be a problem.

Any time two people have sex, even if both say that it is just for fun, the chance exists of emotional problems. That is another thing to take into consideration.

If, for instance, "B" decides that he is in love with you and becomes determined to persue that love, it could have an impact on the things that are important to you.

In an ideal world you should be able to do as you please. In the real world things can be more complicated than that and bad things could result.

11:13 AM


Anon, as far as he told me, B is not in a relationship of any kind. I can also say that I feel quite safe that he will not try to pursue anything more serious with me. Like I said to Luci, he is leaving the country (and he cannot opt out of it for any reason) in a few months, and after that I will probably never see or hear from him again.

RAheretic's swan said...
Temptation --

you wrote: "I don't know what to do with all these messy feelings I am having. I keep wondering what I am supposed to be feeling or thinking, are there any right or wrong answers, what does it all mean?

Given the opportunity, should I see this other person again? Should I chalk it up to some lapse of sanity and just get on with things? Should I just go with it and see what happens? Should I try to forget that it ever happened?"

Dear, feelings are often messy. You are "supposed" to be feeling exactly whatever it is you are feeling. You have not had a lapse of sanity. You have encountered another person with whom you feel some sort of connection. This is neither "good" or "bad" except in the lexicon of a social/religious value system that you are laying it up against at this moment. That is something that you will have to come to some sort of terms with as you work your way through this. No one can tell you which way to go with any of this right now. I believe that you are making good choices in talking with MJ, and giving yourself time to think and feel and explore without making any immediate decisions or reactions.

It is my belief that we are made for joy. I wish you much joy.

Write to me if you think I can help.

hugs,
swan

11:18 AM


Swan, thank you so much for your kind words and offer of support :) It means very much to me.

I am doing my best to make sense of it all, and it is reassuring to know that I am neither right nor wrong in my feelings. We cannot control how we feel, but I allow myself to heap loads of guilt onto my conscious when I feel a way that I think I shouldn't. It isn't very smart, nor does it make sense, and I am working on getting over it.

MJ and I are maintaining a lot of very open, honest, and sometimes uncomfortable communication. Sometimes I worry that I will say something that hurts him, something that I cannot repair. But what is a marriage worth if you cannot tell your spouse the truth, even when it is raw and ugly and you don't even want to admit it to yourself.

Thank you again for commenting :)

**************************


Well that was long and mentally kind of exhausting. Thank you again to all of you for sharing your opinions and support. I am turning off comment moderation because it turns out that only wonderful caring people bothered to speak to this, and I appreciate that.

I read an interesting article recently that I want to share here. Please note that this is not my showing of support for swinging or open marriages. I just found it rather thought provoking. It is pretty long, but worth the read in my opinion.

The New Monogamy

As always thoughts in my comment box are most welcome :)

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