Mars and Venus: Should I Feel Guilty for Extramarital Attractions?

Creators Syndicate | 3/20/2014, 11:14 a.m.
Dear John: I met my husband "Brad" in high school. We got married when we were 20. We've had a ...
John Gray

BY JOHN GRAY

Dear John: I met my husband "Brad" in high school. We got married when we were 20. We've had a great marriage for 17 years. Brad is the only man I have ever been intimate with. But now, all of a sudden, I've been having some strong attractions to other people. It makes me feel really guilty but also makes me feel alive and sexy. -- Conflicted, in Cedarhurst, N.Y.

Dear Conflicted: It's a common lament among those married at an early age: "What have I missed?" The answer can range from a lot to very little. Nevertheless, that question stays with you, and it needs to be addressed. The best way to do that is in an open forum through individual or couples therapy. I say this because the path you are on will likely lead to extramarital involvements that will complicate your life far more than discussing your concerns and intentions with a therapist and perhaps, in the near future, with your husband. This is not a time to leave "sleeping dogs lie." This is a time for openness and honesty in a controlled and professional setting.

Dear John: My ex-wife is pregnant and getting married this June. This has really rocked my world. We have been divorced for over a year. I think I am over the relationship, but I have avoided any contact or thoughts of reconciliation, and I can tell that I am in for a period of pain. -- Down and Out, in Cheviot Hills, Calif.

Dear Down and Out: Clearly, for you, the healing process is not yet complete. So many people don't fully heal from their losses because they find ways of avoiding their feelings. Many people move from one relationship to another, denying the pain of their loss. Because she appears to be getting the love and support you are missing in your life right now, you are interpreting her gain as your loss. It's time to confront your feelings, which may include anger, sadness and fear for the loss of this relationship. The only way you will be able to open your heart to true and lasting love is to rid it of this lingering pain.

John Gray is the author of "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus." If you have a question, write to John in care of this newspaper or by email by going to www.marsvenus.com. All questions are kept anonymous and will be paraphrased. To find out more about John Gray and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.