Fantasies about someone other than your spouse


#1

Wow. Heavy stuff. Please don’t condemn me. This is very serious and I don’t know what to do. Affection has turned to lust and now I’m having sexual fantasies for someone other than my spouse. If that’s not bad enough, this person is “unavailable” as well and unaware of my feelings. We only see each other about once every other month with no phone calls and few emails in between, but in the past have had more frequent contact. I’m committed to my spouse but am definitely growing distant. Help!

  • Taylor

#2

fantasys are just that. for a year know ive noticed man(y) distancing themselves. i know understand the future for mankind is A DIFFERNCE test tube babies is in the future. im one person morally a discrace for mankind. each day my hope disappears my love is at an end seems my higher powers that i leave my future in the hands of be it god or church etc guide me to emptyness and lonliness without friends or relation ships leaving behind only fantasy


#3

Trust and loyalty lead to great intimacy. Secrets create distance. How would you feel if your spouse had fantasies about someone other than you? A priest once told me that even to entertain fantasies about someone other than who you are married to is a sin. Fantasies about your spouse are not a problem. You can stop a thought at will. Pray a Hail Mary. If you resist the devil, he will flee.


#4

Hmm, practical advice is hard, since it’s not like you see this person much. For what it’s worth, I think this sort of thing is quite common, in that many happily married people have it happen occasionally.

On the bright side, it will likely abate on it’s own over time.

It would likely be a good time to work on some more intimacy with your spouse - maybe a romantic weekend, or start a project or new activity that is something you both care about. Maybe even one of those marriage encounter things.

And when the other thing bothers you, just move on to another activity, and pray for help (not necessarily at the same time.) God won’t let this plague you infinitely.


#5

Just two suggestions. When I am tempted (by anything) I use the following prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Second; you say you are growing distant from you wife. Ask you wife, in all seriousness, “What can I do to be a better husband” When she tells you, do not argue, just do it. Do it out of a spirit of love as Jesus loved us enough to die for us when we loved Him not. You are allowed to ask for clarification if you do not understand what she is asking but no argument and no debate. Next week, ask it again and do the second thing also.

As you attempt to become a better husband, in a spirit of love, she will respond; and the two of you will have no time for fantasies about anything else.

I know it sounds silly but try it, you’ll like it. Give it a month to see if it works.


#6

I find it funny when muslims say a woman must be completely covered to stop temptation…I work in a slaughterhouse and we all, even the women wear overalls, boots, hairnets, hard hats, gloves, gauntlets and we still look at them lustfully.

Unfortunately we live in an evil world where democracy allows us to lust after anything and everything, even in the adverts now there are nude people running around.

We would be better off in a police state, working 60 hours a week and queueing up for bread, there would be no time to lust after people.


#7

Proverbs: 31
Description of a Worthy Woman
10An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.
14She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
15She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.
16She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
18She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.
20She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
21She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
25Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
26She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29"Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all."
30Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
31Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.


#8

The first person that came to mind was Megan Fox.


Maybe have a wild weekend with your wife at some nightclub with drinking and partying then go home and do something that’s never been done before to spice the relationship up. Then go on a cruise trip to the Bahamas the next big weekend that comes around. And buy some new sexy clothing for your wife. And then other wild things that come in mind.


#9

This is a common problem that many married people experience in their lives, so you are not alone. From the way you have described matters, you seem to have a very good grasp of the dangers involved. That is, you seem very aware that this situation is progressing in a bad direction and, to use your own words, you are “ definitely growing distant” from your spouse. There’s your wake-up call. You ought to see this awareness as a very special grace from God, allowing you to see how this attraction is already beginning to disintegrate your marriage. All too many people do not see it this early, and many do not see it at all until it is too late and serious damage has been done. You should be very thankful to God for allowing you to have this awareness.

Of course, awareness by itself does not make things any easier to deal with. I’m sure this person to whom you are attracted is very good and desirable. On one level, that’s the way we are created. We are meant to desire that which is good, and to the extent that this person is created in the image of God, you are attracted to the good of God that you see in that person. That reality, however, does not mean that your attraction is rightly ordered. In fact, it is seriously disordered, because it seeks to draw you away from the good of your spouse (who is also created in God’s image) and to whom you are joined as one flesh.

St. Thomas Aquinas once wrote that to love as Christ loved is to will the good of the other as other. If you really love your spouse, you need to will what is good for your relationship, and that means purging yourself of these fantasies. Without knowing the details, I suggest you limit your contact with this other person, or eliminate it entirely if that is possible. The more this person is a part of your life, the more tempted you may become. Recall that passage from scripture where sinners are told that if their eye causes them to sin they should pluck it out and throw it away. That’s not a call to self-mutilation, but rather a call to radical change. Removing this person entirely from your life may seem radical, and it is, but you’ve got to be willing to get serious here. Remember, Jesus made no distinction between lust and actual physical adultery. The good news is you do not have to go it alone. Ask Christ for help and he will do so.

With that in mind, Christopher West has written a wonderful prayer for exactly this kind of situation and you might try praying it, or some version thereof.

A Prayer to Resist Sexual Temptation

Lord, thank you for the beauty of this person. Thank you for the gift of my own sexual desires. Lord, I recognize this twisted, lustful desire in my heart, and I ask You please Jesus, by the power of Your death and resurrection, to untwist in me what sin has twisted, so that I might come to experience sexual desire as you created it to be, as the desire to love in Your image.

I’ll remember you in my prayers tonight. Don’t despair, God wants to help you, and see you through this.


#10

This is, indeed very serious stuff. To have sexual fantasies for someone other than your spouse is actually “lusting in the heart”, and, as Jesus said, is adultery.

It doesn’t matter whether or not the other person is available - you are married, so you are unavailable to anyone other than your spouse.

The first thing you need to do is bring this to confession. Make up your mind that this must stop. It is a serious offense to God and also is killing your love for your spouse. Any time you realize that you have slipped into a fantasy, immediately stop - say an act of contrition and a Memorare. Get up, do something that you will need to concentrate on - whether it be something intellectual or some manual activity, but not something you can do while you thing of other things.

Examine your conscience each day around the same time and make note (whether mental or written) of the times you slipped. Make a firm resolution to reject any and all temptations to indulge in these fantasies. Pray to your Guardian Angel and ask for his help in overcoming temptations. Go to confession weekly and make your confession - clearly, concretely, completely and contritely. Ask your priest for spiritual direction, particularly in this matter and follow his advice.

If you are not already doing so, spend time before the Blessed Sacrament - daily, if possible.

Pray the rosary daily and ask your Mother Mary to help you with this. Say the Memorare whenever you feel the pull of temptation, or a Hail Mary.

You need the help of a good priest, your Guardian Angel and Our Lady to overcome this.


#11

All good answers…only wanted to offer up some prayers to you.


#12

You need to confess this and you need to work very hard to banish these thoughts . You need to put thoughts of goodness and good will toward this person in place of them. You aren’t the first person who has had mental temptations and you won’t be the last. You can overcome this with prayer and possibly fasting. Get some spiritual guidance from a priest.


#13

As a woman 14 months into recovery from my husband’s affair, I have a few thoughts.

  1. You are to be commended for recognizing the dangers and wanting to work on them. Remind yourself of that.

  2. Buy the book Hedges, by Jerry Jenkins. It is a fabulous book discussing how to determine proper boundaries for men in their marriages. He discusses his boundaries in it, but they may not be the same as the ones you need.

  3. Right now, your boundaries are a little screwed up, which can lead to bigger temptations. You MUST stop ALL contact with this woman - no excuses. Work is not more important than your marriage. Making sure she understands why you won’t be communicating with her is not more important than your marriage. You owe her NOTHING. Do not email her again. Block her email account. Do not call her or answer any calls from her. This is non-negotiable.

  4. Get yourself some wise counsel. (I highly recommend the people at www.affairrecover.com.) Please understand that you have already crossed a line. Your wife almost definitely knows that something is wrong. She is not blind to the distance you told us about.

  5. This is the hard part. In order for there to be full intimacy between you and your wife, you must be able to know each other fully. You will need to tell her about this. Yes, she will be hurt and yes, your life will be more difficult for a while. But, if you don’t do this, you will always have a window open of which she is not aware. You are supposed to be closest to her, but as long as she doesn’t know about this, there will be a huge barrier. And these barriers can lead to further temptations.

(I speak from experience on this too. Years ago, my husband grew very distant from me after being out of town on business for a couple of months. In fact, we almost separated. He insisted that there was no one else involved. I finally chose to believe him and he did come back. Only after the affair, did I find out the truth about that time. He had been working with a woman and just hanging out with her - most of the time with other co-workers. One evening, she put her hand on his leg and propositioned him. He left immediately and had no further contact with her. In spite of not seeing her again, this one incident still opened his mind to the possiblity of more, keeping him from being able to engage with me - for almost a year. Still, because he didn’t tell me about it, he had a secret which affected our marriage and didn’t allow him or us to heal and grow from it.)

  1. Please know that I am not condeming you. I believe you are sincere in wanting to do the right thing. However, you are on very slippery ground right now. Your wife probably trusts that you would never cheat on her and you obviously are not happy at the thought of it either. You CAN fix this. You can recover from this and make your marriage stronger. I am actually a little jealous of the opportunity you have here. Only with a lot of work and heartache are my husband and I working to rebuild our marriage after the devastation he caused. You and your wife can get there without the damage of an affair. Please use it.

#14

In the words of an extremely hard-core-Catholic, devotedly monogamous neighbor man who is a father and grandfather, and whom we observed watching the pretty girls walk by through the park on a Sunday afternoon:
"It doesn’t matter where you work up an appetite, as long as you only eat at home!"
It’s true.

Well, frankly, yes…
The thing about fantasy is that it is exactly * fantasy…*… and a little fantasy, a little imagination, is what it takes to keep the home fires burning.

So when we stroll through the zoo on a Sunday afternoon, my husband watches the passing pretty girls, and I watch the playful otters, (and Husband thinks I am weird for watching the playful otters, because if he watches the passing pretty girls, well shouldn’t I be watching the passing handsome* guys?*
Naw… to me the otters look like they’re having more fun!).
At the end of the day we go home and we both feel affectionate and we express that affection for one another. It doesn’t matter where you work up an appetite, as long as you eat only at home.

Of course, beyond that, among our friends…
there is this one married woman that he is extremely attracted to, and fantasizes about… but of course, how could he not? She is so much like his father, and his mother, and both at the same time! Good grief, she is the living embodiment of every issue of his household of origin, all the way down to the fact that she dresses just like his mother once did and plays the piano just like his father once did, and is as controlling and materialistic as his mother once was, while simultaneously being just as out-of-control and drinking as his father once was! She is just exactly like they were, both of his parents, all at the same time!
So how could he not be attracted to that woman who represents all those issues from his household of origin every time she walks into a room? She is the living embodiment of all those household-of-origin issues he was born into!

Ah, but she’d kill him, you know? Every argument he ever had with Mom, everything he had ever wanted to stand up and say to Dad, it would all come up and out of him! Everything he had ever wanted his mother to be (but she wasn’t), everything he had ever wanted his father to be (but she wasn’t), he would demand that she would have to be (but she isn’t). Yup. He’s still be trying to earn the love they denied him as a child, and she would end up killing him for sure over all that old familiar family-of-origin baggage that he has been sorting out since childhood, for sure!

But he looks at her and it makes him affectionate, (and that’s not a bad thing at all from my end of things here) and I shake my head and laugh genuinely and heartily.
“She’d kill you, you know…” I laugh “you never lasted even 20 seconds fighting with your mother!”
(But that pull to love and fight out those old issues and win the love one was denied as a child… and win!.…must… win…must win this time! “exerts a powerful force on the weak-minded, young Skywalker!”… because when it came to one’s parents, one never, never, won at all…)
He knows.
He wistfully sighs and shakes his head.
He knows.

She is recently remarried, that one. What she continually marries and divorces and re-marries are men just like her controlling, brilliant, callous and insensitive *father who totally ignored her as a child…
The pull to love and fight out the old issues and win the love once denied one as a child * and win
…must…win…must win this time "exerts a powerful force on the weak-minded, young Skywalker!"
She has gone marrying and divorcing controlling, brilliant, calllous and insensitive men, whom she then tends to throw breakable objects at in an attempt to win their love and attention (must…win…must win this time!) when they (of course) ignore her.

Likewise, I might be able to walk by every guy we pass in the park and not bat an eye… but there is this one friend of ours…
Oh yes, of course, but you knew already, didn’t you?
He is so much like my father and so much like my mother, both of them… oh yes!
And so I am attracted, and fantasize, just like everybody else on the planet, because Mom and Dad once defined what love was, and when and why I couldn’t earn their love…
and so the pull to love and fight out those old issues and win.… must…win… must win this time "exerts a powerful force on the weak-minded, young Skywalker!"
I’d just love him… and I’d likewise just kill him… over every residual issues from childhood I ever had, you know? I would.
And so my husband just shakes his head and laughs:
“You’d kill him, you know? You would. I never lasted 20 seconds arguing with my mother, but nobody even lasted even 2 seconds with yours!

And so at the end of the day we go home and we talk about his parents and his childhood and we talk about my parents and my childhood and we sort through those old issues and we love each other. 30 years, 5 kids, 2 grandkids. We play far far more than we ever fight; we play like otters.
That drive “to love and fight and win… must…win… must win this time” only exerts a powerful force on the weak-minded, young Skywalker…
and it doesn’t matter where about town you happen to work up an appetite,
as long as you remember to eat only at home!


#15

Sorry… I am going to have to disagree with you on this one. So it’s okay to lust after other people?
What would stop you from viewing porn then?

I see that you are a former Catholic, so that may change your views some…


#16

While there have been some very useful insights posted to this message thread, I nonetheless feel compelled to amplify my initial response above in view of some of the comments made by SmokedSalmon, Jack17, and FormerCatholic.

I am reminded here of that wonderful story in the Gospel of Matthew where Peter walks on the water towards Jesus (cf. Mt 14:30). Peter’s exclusive focus on Christ is what enables him to do what would be otherwise impossible. As the story continues, the winds pick up and the waves become more intense. Peter begins to shift his focus from Jesus to his surroundings, and at that very moment he begins to sink into the sea and he must cry out to the Lord to save him. This is, I think, a very poignant illustration of our need to keep Christ at the center of our attention. When we don’t, we lose sight of the only one who can keep us from sinking into the proverbial abyss. We are meant to see ourselves and our lives though the lens of Peter’s experience. With that in mind, I think any discussion of adultery and sexual fantasies that does not focus squarely upon Jesus and his teachings is doomed at the outset.

First of all, let’s consider Jesus’ treatment of the woman caught in the act of adultery (cf. Jn 8:1-11). If we read the passage closely, we find that Jesus does not condemn her, but rather he sends her on her way with the admonishment to go and sin no more. Thus, we have no right to condemn twhite (Taylor) for what she is struggling with, for who among us is in a position to cast the first stone? Who among us has not entertained sexual fantasies from time to time? But notice the second half of Jesus’ admonishment, to go and sin no more. We are all of us set free by Christ, but we are obligated to make every effort to stop the thoughts, actions, and omissions that got us into trouble in the first place. Thus, it is not simply a matter of going out to nightclubs with one’s spouse, or cruises to the Bahamas, or spicing things up in the bedroom as Jack17 proposes above, nor is it a matter of adopting some twisted, Orwellian police state, with sixty-hour workweeks and bread lines as SmokedSalmon suggests. Both of these “solutions” miss the point entirely because they completely ignore the underlying issue, which is that our sexuality, while good, and God-given, needs to be properly ordered so that we might be happy. That, after all, is the whole point. God wants us to be happy. Go back and read Taylor’s initial post; she’s not happy. The fantasies she is dealing with are tearing her up inside, and that’s not what God wants for her, or any of us.

Secondly, let’s consider what Jesus had to say about sexual fantasies (cf. Mt 5:28). As above, read the passage and its surrounding context carefully. Notice that he makes no distinction between looking at someone in lust (which is a condition of the mind and heart) and actual physical adultery (which is a condition of the body). That’s because the two are essentially the same in spirit.

Now, one might say that fantasies are a harmless means of introducing some imagination into a relationship, as FormerCatholic has done above. Certainly that’s what the larger culture would have us do. There is a distinction to be made, though, between simply noticing the beauty of another person while out in public, and finding that person attractive, and fantasizing about that person intensely in private. Again, read the tenor or Taylor’s initial post. For her, this isn’t a passing thought like some guy she happened to see at the zoo, but rather an intense and profound longing that is being nurtured through sexually-charged imagination and, if you read her other posts elsewhere on this site, persistent masturbation. I’m not condemning her; I understand the struggle. I’m simply trying to counter some of the really ****** advice that’s been offered by some above. Taylor is really struggling and trying to save her marriage, and all some people want to do is tell her to put on some sexy underwear (Jack17).

Even worse, some, like FormerCatholic, seem to be encouraging the very sin Jesus warned against:

In the words of an extremely hard-core-Catholic, devotedly monogamous neighbor man who is a father and grandfather, and whom we observed watching the pretty girls walk by through the park on a Sunday afternoon:
“It doesn’t matter where you work up an appetite, as long as you only eat at home!”

Well, frankly, yes…
The thing about fantasy is that it is exactly fantasy… and a little fantasy, a little imagination, is what it takes to keep the home fires burning.

Well, frankly, no….

No matter how “hard-core-Catholic” the man in question may be, ultimately it is Christ’s opinion that matters the most. The origins of our appetites do matter. Imagination is fine when it is ordered to the good of the spouse and I would agree that married couples should introduce a healthy sense of variety and playfulness into their sex life together, but when imagination and fantasy are ordered to the sexual infatuation with another person outside the marriage then that’s a problem. More often than not, such fantasies lead to other things. Most extramarital affairs get started with, as FormerCatholic puts it, “a little imagination.”

Consider instead Christ’s words in Mark 7:20-22. Here, Jesus tells us that what comes from within (i.e., fantasies) do matter because they lead to all kinds of evils. Now, Mr. “hard-core” says, “It doesn’t matter where you work up an appetite, as long as you only eat at home!” Oh really? Has he thought the matter through? If it really doesn’t matter where our desires come from, then that covers a lot of ground doesn’t it? Surely he wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that if a man gets aroused by images of child pornography, that it’s all okay as long as he has sex with his wife afterwards. Nope. The origins of our appetites do matter, and they matter a great deal because they can lead to all sorts of problems.

Again, God wants us to be happy, and we can only be truly happy when we order our desires and appetites to His divine plan. May God bless Taylor and all of us with the grace to so order our lives.


#17

You need to stop seeing that other person even of it is once a month. It takes a little to lead you down the wrong path.

Do this for your marriage.

The rest of the members here have given good advice and I hope you can work this all out.

Resist and be strong and God bless.


#18

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:


#19

People are naturally attracted to the beauty of others just in passing. They’re all beautiful; they’re all God’s children, God’s beautiful artwork, they are inspiring. Art appreciation of God’s beautiful handiwork has nothing to do with pornography. Pornography isn’t about art appreciation of God’s beautiful handiwork. Pornography is about the will to power and control over another human being with absolutely no regard for that human being.

When someone cries out for help “I have a serious and growing lust problem with a friend of mine, please help” it is important that person consider the fact that what drives the mechanism of such intense attraction to a friend is that he/she is generally being drawn toward the issues of his/her household of origin which that friend somehow embodies or represents. The point is to figure out those issues from one’s house of origin and resolve them before they mess up one’s life.

It’s easy to say “simply pray and avoid that person like the plague!” but “that person” is NOT what is driving the problem. The issues of the household of origin that “that person” happens to embody or represent is what is driving the problem, and if those issues are not sorted out and resolved and released, those same issues will simply eventually resurface further down the road somewhere else.

The correct prayer isn’t “Lord, please help me avoid that person” “Lord please help me not be a sinner” or “Lord please rearrange my head and heart for me and keep me out of trouble before I inadvertently destroy my marriage” (God, please do my work for me)
The correct prayer is “Lord, please help me sort out, resolve, and release my issues from my household of origin so that I may live according to my intention to live a responsible and Christian life rather than by my old habits and wounds.” (God, I fully intend to do my work, please help me with it).


#20

Taylor,

This may seem weird, but then again I am weird. Where I used to work there was a very attractive lady that I found myself attracted to. Worse, she was available. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. Prayer would help when I remembered to do so.

Finally, I allowed my self to “fantasize” to conclusion and no I do not mean “the act”

I just told myself, okay what would happen if you did this? It got me thinking about the lady and how unalike we were and how much I loved my wife and how I enjoyed our life together. It really made me realize that if I actually wanted to fantasize about this woman then I should act on it, but I also realized that it would be the worst thing I could do.

In my experience nothing knocks a fantasy down to size like taking it through to the natural consequences.

In my case that would have meant losing the woman I loved for someone who could never be like my wife and I would be miserable. All this on top of committing a grave sin.

Pax,

Bryan


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