She looks at you and you quickly turn away. You catch a glimpse and your heart skips a beat. You feel something that you’ve only felt a lifetime ago. The excitement makes you feel cold yet with a warm but fuzzy feeling inside. When your fingers touch, you feel something that’s electric. You shun away thoughts but her every breath and movement seem to dazzle you. You feel confused and the only thing that seems to be clear are your unknown feelings. All rationality goes out the window and you just want to see her more. Every time you do, it seems like everything just makes sense.
The only problem is, she’s not your wife.
From one man to another, we know how these things work and they spell trouble. All it takes is for the other person to notice this and reciprocate. Our testosterone and evolutionary natural desire to keep on procreating are things that are the hardest to control. We try to resist it but the more we do, the more that these feelings seem to get worse.
1. Recognize. Ignoring these feelings and urges are futile. Think about an overflowing dam that’s waiting to break and you get an idea of what could happen if you continue to ignore them. The first step in avoiding this kind of problem is to realize that they are what they are because of our genetic makeup. We are men and it’s only natural for us to be attracted to attractive women. It’s innate for us to be attracted to our idealized form of a woman. All of us have secret desires and fantasies. These desires and fantasies are like lurking shadows that grow ever stronger the more that we dwell on them.
2. Verbalize. Talking about these feelings to someone you could trust absolutely is the next step. It could be your best friend, a trusted male older relative or in some very special cases – even your wife herself. Be careful though as you wouldn’t really know how your wife could react if she found out that you’ve been having these feelings for another woman. Things could get worse, depending on your relationship’s current situation. The important thing is, you are able to talk and verbalize these emotions on a level that insulates everybody from the sparks and explosions of complex mature relationships. It also helps you gain perspective about why you got married to the wonderful woman you’ve married before.
3. Know that the only thing that’s constant is change. Mature relationships evolve and change over the years. Our bodies change. Add to that the wear and tear of emotional distress, stress, financial problems, psychological factors and years of controlled emotions and you have a cocktail of emotional turmoil waiting to unravel. That doesn’t mean that we get to start all over again and start the cycle anew – with a new partner. As an Asian husband married to an Asian wife, I sometimes find it odd that there are so many Caucasian middle aged men who go to our country and marry Filipina wives who are often younger by decades. It’s stereotypical I know, but very common. It made me wonder about the dynamics of these relationships and if they point to an ongoing socio-cultural flux that may be engulfing many societies.
4. Evolve to the next level. For a marriage to continue and succeed, the husband and wife relationship has to evolve and go to the next level. But what is the next level? For most, it may have started as an exciting teenage or young adult physical attraction. From there, it would transform into the tempering of hormones and release of sexual tension. Then, parenthood comes along with the daily need to provide. This is the most stressful stage. Day in and day out, we struggle to provide what the offspring need. This often means a lot of stress and psycho-emotional pressure that gradually builds up and chips at the foundations of the marriage. All it takes is one catalyst to topple the structure that you and your wife have built over the years.
5. Know and build on your foundation. Love as the foundation is often confused with the sexual energy that transpires between the man and woman. That’s only one aspect of love and both couple needs to realize that love is something deeper than the physical thing. More than the physical attraction, love is a covenant and a promise. It’s about sacrificing your personal goals to contribute in building the foundation that both the husband and the wife agreed upon when they first married each other. Go ask yourself what you and your wife thought you would build when you first got married. Is it a home? Is it a dream? Is it family? Is it religion? Is it a mission or a calling?
The strongest marriages are the ones that are founded on a firm foundation. This foundation can be an ideal, a way of living or even a mission in life. If you know where you put that foundation on, where you are right now in your personal life then you would also know where you want to go in your marriage right now. The less the marriage’s foundation is based on physical things, the stronger it is and the stronger it will become.
Creative Commons Image via Flickr