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Why Am I Tempted to Cheat?

Dear Philippa,

I'm 43, been happily married for 15 years with three great children, and we both have great jobs. My life is good. I have never once even thought about cheating on my wife. But I met this perky woman and after talking I realized how many of the same things we like. I don't want to hurt my wife but should I tell her what I'm feeling? What's going on with me?

�Burt, Miami, FL


Dear Burt,

You sound like a decent, caring man experiencing what some would call a mid-life moment. I can understand why your feelings perplex you because you feel that there is no reason for you to even consider straying. You recognize that you have a great family and that you're happy. Take heart, Burt, what you are feeling is not unusual.

It sounds like when you met this woman that your chemistry radar came on strong and gave you a real jolt.

What if I told you that a guy met a woman he describes as perky? Oh you might think, that usually means someone lively and cute, so he obviously found her stimulating and captivating. Then he says that he could really talk to her, so naturally he felt comfortable with her. Finally, he mentions that they have many things in common so there was quite a connection. All things considered, with all these components for chemistry you could say these people really clicked. Oh, you think, but he's not supposed to click with someone, he's married. Then guilt raises it's tormenting little head and you feel even more confused.

When we date we get used to responding to lots of different people. Our chemistry radar is on full power. Then when we are in a long-term, committed relationship that radar becomes less sensitive as we focus our energies on the partnership we share. That doesn't mean that our ability to find other people attractive and stimulating disappears. When we are in a good relationship and we are happy, we may notice someone has a great body or smile, or enjoy talking about something of mutual interest. We get our little ego boost and hormone rush and then we move on.

Why would someone put their whole life at risk and devastate their wonderful family just because they met someone whom momentarily rang their chimes? This woman may have triggered some amazing feelings in you but its time take control of the situation. First shut this woman completely out of your life-stop seeing her immediately and don't be tempted to see her so you can discuss it with her in person. Next, don't let your feelings of guilt drive you to unload these feelings on your wife. If you need to talk, talk to a minister, talk to a counselor; or talk to a trusted friend.

If you are a man of faith, pray to your higher power for the strength and wisdom to deal with this situation the best way possible. Find another place in your life to discover your passion and pursue a long desired dream with your family.

And, last but not least, throw your guilt out the window and forgive yourself. Realize that you are human and vulnerable and that you are not alone. Years from now you will look back on this time as you hold your grandchildren and take your wife's hand and smile at the knowledge that you did the right thing.




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