A few years ago I had a sucker punch of a dream. I was in my kitchen with C having a conversation while I stirred something on the stove. J was in the adjacent room with C’s wife having a dialogue of their own. When I turned back from tending the food I was cooking, C was just inches away, looking down at me with a very vulnerable expression of desire. Very slowly, he leaned down and kissed me gently, slowly, tenderly, sweetly. And yet it was a kiss promising something more. And in my dream, I kissed him back as J stood 20 feet away.
I woke up with a start. I had just dreamed about a married man, and me, a married woman! I had never thought of C that way until that moment. And I was left with my own yearning. For C, yes, but mostly for the feeling of being wanted. I don’t remember the last time that J expressed that kind of desire. It’s humiliating to admit it, but I can’t recall the last time J made love to me. Not since 2011, that’s for sure. It’s almost surreal to realize that for the entirety of 2012, my husband didn’t reach for me.
I have a lot of jumbled feelings. C really does move something in me that I don’t feel for J. J doesn’t want me. I must be undesirable. What man would want me, much less C. Besides, he’s married. And oh yes, so am I. I recognized that the feelings I was experiencing for the man in my dreams could become a real problem. I had to tell J about it. And I did.
“Babe, I need you to understand that I am having some very real temptations. Please. I need you to have sex with me. Soon. And with some regularity, because I desperately don’t want to betray you.”
No dice. No passion.
“Babe? I have something to ask you, and I want you to know that whatever your answer is, we’re in this together. We’ll work through this. Okay? Ready? Alright, here goes: Are you gay? *pause* No? Not gay? Are you SURE?”
Oh. Then it must be me. It’s true. I’m undesirable as a woman. My own husband doesn’t want to bed me.
And what about my confusing feelings for C? I knew it was a bigger problem than I had realized before when I asked myself what I would do if he really did express sexual desire for me. Would I say no to save my marriage? Possibly not. Would I say no to protect his children from the pain I felt when my own dad had an affair? Oh dear, probably not even then. Would I say no because I love my God and want to honor the moral code He gave His people? To my shame, I couldn’t conclusively decide either way. The only thing, at that moment, that would keep me from giving myself to him (aside from the fact that he probably has no desire for me and would almost assuredly never ask such a thing), is that that he is a pastor of my church – the church I love – and I simply could not be the one to cause such a scandal.
Oh dear, this IS a problem, I realized.
I came clean (again) to J. Luckily, the event that caused me to spend a lot of time with C passed, and I found that the less time I spent with him, the less sexual tension I felt around him.
Now that I’m not in the middle of a mind/body tug-of-war, I can better analyze how I felt and why. I realize now, that the sex bit really is only part of it. I mean, he’s not smashingly handsome, though he does have his own charm. He’s not very tall (so he wouldn’t have to lean down to kiss me – funny how dreams aren’t so very accurate in some things). He’s got rather large canines. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not ugly. No. He is attractive in his own way… His grin is infectious. And the tattoos that peek out from under his shirt sleeves drive me a little crazy because I want to see what other mysteries his body holds hidden underneath those clothes… But really, it’s his mind that does me in. His charisma. His intelligence. The way he laughs so very frequently. The way he makes ME laugh so frequently. The way he uses big words that I understand and J doesn’t. The way his face seems to light up when I say “Hey C?” The way he makes me feel important.
That man is poison to me. As horrible as it is that my dad betrayed mom and me…. In a way, I’m thankful. Because I know that the danger is there. No one is immune. Anyone can fall. And because I am able to recognize – in advance – that C is dangerous to me… Because of THAT, I am able to guard my thoughts, my actions.
There is power in secrets. By telling J of the dangers C poses to me (to us) without even being aware of his magnetism, there is a degree of safety. There is a freedom in telling the truth.
Alas, I wish there was a “getting laid” in telling the truth.