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Read Letter

I’m Attracted to a Married Man

My dear Jil, I quite understand where you are… I do understand. If it’s not real, it’s not really temptation. You don’t tempt an alcoholic with water for example. If it’s not alcohol it can’t be temptation to him. Same thing goes for you. If hunger for affection isn’t your vulnerability this won’t be temptation to you. Our temptations define our vulnerabilities. What we’re tempted with is where we’re vulnerable. Your desire for this married man shows your vulnerability. Also gives you some knowledge about yourself – your capacities. A few years ago you’d have thought this was unthinkable. And so you have intelligence about yourself – shows you what you need to be careful about. Your emotions are your weak spot.

As these things go they happen in the natural course of events. You were stranded, the man gave you a lift. Fair enough. But then he kept giving you lift to work and back. Proximity breeds attraction. Kindness makes a man attractive. And so you’re contending with two factors – the fact you see him twice daily; and the fact he’s showing you kindness. And like the rest of us you’re responding to kindness. Only you’ve crossed the first base, and now you’re about to cross the second base – sex. What’s motivating him to want you despite his marriage? Can be a thousand and four things. Don’t assume his home is not in order for instance. It may actually be in perfect order. He may have a loving and devoted wife. Such adventures can of course begin where the home is not in order, when there’s no peace at home. It may also be he’s not getting enough sex at home, or no adventurous sex. And it can be that he just likes something about you. This can be anything – the way you smile, the tone of your voice, your anatomy, something about you that reminds him of something he likes… And it can be he’s looking for friendship. That happens. If he’s in a high pressure role he may lack sincere friends. There’s a lot of rivalry among men. And the naivety of your youthfulness may be what he finds appealing – that inexperience and vulnerability. He may be on a power trip with his modicum of attainment. He has a car, you don’t. He has financial advantage over you. And he may be opportunistic. Here’s a young vulnerable girl… And here’s a mature man, who’s obviously more adept at life. And for all you know it may just be plain old lust. He may just be lusting after you. And you’ve kind of opened the door to possibilities through your disposition. He’s exploring possibilities. But here’s the thing: if you cross this line you can’t uncross it. It’s crossed for ever, and it may trouble you for years to come.

You wrote me because you’re troubled, and your conscience is worrying you. You also wrote because you’re afraid of imminence. There’s a lot of pressure on you and you can’t trust yourself. You need external reinforcement. It’s why you wrote me. But at least you’re smart enough to know this is beyond you. Because you see him everyday, everyday constitutes a temptation for you: Should I, should I not? What if I do it just once, what’s the harm? I’ll use contraceptive… It’s my safe period… But your nature can’t handle casual relationships. You’re affection hungry. Which means you’re going to want more. A dalliance is never going to work for you. The first sex is going to lead to demand for more, therefore. You’re going to want more. You’re going to be emotionally demanding. And he’ll take full advantage of that.

All sorts of permutations are possible after that first sex. It’s possible for example that having satisfied himself he doesn’t want you again. That happens. A man is crazy about a girl and after sleeping with her he just tunes off. As a woman you’ll hate that of course but it happens. The “conquest” may just be the thing for him. After that conquest no more attraction.

You have to be mindful of what a guy tells you when he wants sex. He can say anything just to get to that base. He can promise heaven, earth and Lagos. You’d think he owns Lagos. It’s not him talking. It’s his libido talking. It’s why you have to be wise. You have to understand male sexuality, understand the psychology of lust. Of course he’s telling you things that will move you to open your legs. All those sweet words are targeted. He wants to have you. To him you’re wasting time wanting all that affection. He needs to get to base. But you have to know his marriage is at the back of his mind despite all that. At some point you’re going to meet resistance from his marriage. Then you’ll start making unrealistic demands as per time share. For you to say you don’t want to be the one who breaks up his home may actually be presumptuous of you. You’re assuming he’ll want to leave his wife for you. You may be dwelling in the tent of delusion. It’s of course possible things get so heated up he decides to leave his marriage. Then the question of the earth enduring your relationship arises. There will be social opprobrium and I doubt you’re prepared for that. You will suffer ignominy. In other words this game you want to get into is way bigger than you and you don’t have enough life resources to handle the consequences.

What if I just want a casual swing? I don’t really want to marry him, I just like him… But life never plays out that way. And sex is not that casual for women. This relationship won’t give you what you want. You won’t have proprietary affection. You’ll be sharing him with the rightful owner. And there’s no exit strategy. You’re going to get sucked in. Of course you imagine that while dating him you can still meet the right man, and then you can cut off and switch affection. If only life were that simple. For some reason you hardly see the right man when you’re in such relationship, even if he’s in front of you. Then there are the complications of transition. What if this guy does not want to give you up? He can approach the new guy and tell him to back off, claim you’re his. He can wreck your chance at marriage just to keep you. These things happen.

You can see the whole thing is getting murkier and murkier, and so convoluted. I bet you never thought of all these. And it gets more complicated if you get pregnant. Then you’ll complicate life for yourself, your parents, for him, his wife and children. Everyone will pay a price, you in particular. If he’s a player you run the risk of other exposures, not just your emotions. You run the risk of venereal disease for example. Not everyone does full disclosure. You don’t want all these complications. They’re just too many. You may be tied up in this relationship forever, unable to free yourself. There are many women in such situations. They can’t break free. I’d say cut off from this man before things get out of hand. If you cross that second base no one can predict what will happen. Certainly not you. Before he gave you a lift you were getting to work. The free ride is not worth complicating your life. You’re about to unleash a major force, step into something you have no knowledge of. Better to go for an available guy. This man is not available. Even if you have a relationship you’ll always come second to his family. And given your nature you can’t handle that. You’ll keep wanting what you can’t have in pragmatic terms. And your relationship has to be secret. That has its own pressures. You can’t share the joy with your friends and if you do you run the risk of someone blabbing about it. That person can hurt you, badly. If word gets to his wife we can’t predict what will happen either. This is volatile stuff, and you’re young and inexperienced.

I have gone to this extent to explain things to you just so you understand. This is not kid stuff. It’s not as simple as I love him, he loves me, end of the story. No, it’s the beginning. If the relationship drags on and he doesn’t give you marriage only God knows what you’ll do. Some women have been known to deliberately get pregnant. At that point some men leave. That wasn’t the agreement. Heads you lose, tails you lose. You’re in emotional Vegas.

You want a man who’ll love you for you. You want to be the beginning of his world, the end of his world… You want someone who adores you, totally – there’s no alternative to you. That’s what the human soul longs for. That’s the idea of marriage itself. It’s why it can’t be an open system. An open marriage is its own contradiction. Be patient. The right guy will come, ok. In the meantime delete this man’s contacts and make yourself unavailable. Go for alternative transportation. That’s my uncomplicated advice.

Your mentor, LA.

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Tags : Sex, dating a married man, married man

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