She Loves Two Men
Q: I have been married for six years and love my husband deeply. I wouldn't change our relationship for anything. But there's this man I've been friends with for years, and at one point long before I was married, we both discovered that we cared very deeply for one another, but because of circumstances that we could not control at the time, we had to walk away from one another without exploring where these feelings would take us. We have talked about it and agree that if things had developed at a different time, the outcome would have been different. But we have also both said that since they didn't, that God had other plans for us. After that I met and fell in love with my husband and have no regrets whatsoever for this. I've remained friends with the other man and have no desires to be anything other than friends with him. Yet I still love him and know that if something were to happen with my husband that we would pursue this relationship. I feel guilty over this. Is it normal to love two men in one lifetime? -- Janine
Dr. Susan: There are so many kinds of love! What you feel for your old friend is deep friendship, combined with unconsummated lust and unrealized potential. What you feel for your husband is real. Sounds like you enjoy the idea of this other fellow waiting nearby, just in case. This could turn into a very bad business if you keep seeing him apart from your husband. What happens if you get mad at your hubby at some point and decide to "show him" by starting up with the other guy? So keep those boundary lines very clearly drawn. The fact is, loving more than one person in a lifetime happens all the time. The most satisfying and lasting love, however, is based on a decision and a commitment. It doesn't matter if you love a whole football team. Your husband is the one you agreed to be with. The rest is fantasy and should stay there.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.