If i run away now


#1

I have a situation I didn't see coming. I am a devout Catholic, but a sinner nonetheless.

A couple of years ago, I met a coworker and befriended her. She is married, so I kept my distance and respected that bond immensely. We became friends because I had found out that she had bought the same kind of car as me, and we enjoyed talking about it.

Fast forward to today. I started having heavier feelings for her recently, and started to try to keep more distance, but I still thought we could be friends. I took the situation to the confessional and told the priest I wasn't sure if I had sinned, but that I had started having feelings for a married friend. He unfortunately didn't offer any counsel.

Her husband lost his job about a year ago, and had to move far away from her to find work. I have since learned that their marriage has been failing for years, and that she finally decided to end it, but has not done so officially (legally).

I spent time with her, but always with other people around. Since then, she has opened up about her feelings for me, and I have successfully, with the grace of God, been able to resist the temptations of that situation. But, I told her about my feelings for her because I felt like I was hiding something I shouldn't.

She has little-to-no faith in God, and doesn't seem to have anyone to talk to about such things. I feel like if I end this friendship I am passing up a great chance to witness to her. The unfortunate thing is that I do have feelings for her, and I don't want them clouding the situation. I've asked her to fight for her marriage, but if it truly is over, I don't want to throw away something special. I've myself been through an annulment, and I didn't date or court during that time. I've explained that I want to be her friend but I have to respect the marriage bond and we can't be any more than friends at this time. Has anyone encountered anything like this? Its a difficult situation, but one I don't want to run away from, and can't really run away from. I'm trying to follow God's Will, but this is way more confusing than any situation I've ever found myself in. If you have nothing to contribute, I beg for your prayers.


#2

If she has little/no faith in God, what do you really have in common? Would it help your faith to grow?

Personally, I'd run. You sound very sincere, but I think you've done what you can to help, and it's time to let the Lord take over to help her find faith. Temptations such as this can be very serious. I think it's time to move on with your life. I will pray for you and also for her to find faith via God's plan for her.
BTW, I've known those of the opposite sex who had no faith, but I was still attracted to (when I was unmarried). Looking back, I can see the Lord shielded me from becoming involved more with any of them. I'm very thankful for that today, but it sure looked different back then!


#3

Guess what?
There is NOT something special.
This can NOT be something special.
You are talking about a married woman.

God’s will is first and foremost that
you must recall AT EVERY MOMENT that the woman is married.


#4

Run away. Run away fast.

No matter what you tell yourself, this is dirty, disgusting and just plain wrong.

One trick to help you: think about what the woman really would look like if you picture the devil who is acting through her… gross, wrinkled, dirty and smelly.


#5

First of all - she is still married even if she gets a divorce. She would actually have to get an annulment for her to be free to date you. If she is not religious, that is not a likely situation. Since she is married, there is nothing "special" for you to throw away, only the temptation to adultery!

This sounds like a situation you should remove yourself from. If you want to be a witness to her, your witness should be the respect you have for the marriage covenant. If you tell her that you can not have a relationship outside of the professional working relationship with a married women (even if she eventually is legally divorced) it will give her something to think about. It will be somebody else's job to counsel her. Your seed to plant is an example of respect of the institution of marriage. Let somebody else water it after that.


#6

[quote="Catholictrain, post:4, topic:230741"]
Run away. Run away fast.

No matter what you tell yourself, this is dirty, disgusting and just plain wrong.

One trick to help you: think about what the woman really would look like if you picture the devil who is acting through her... gross, wrinkled, dirty and smelly.

[/quote]

Yep. Run like the wind!

Avoid any one-on-one contact with her.
Make that avoidance your single priority.


#7

I agree with everyone so far... You should get out of this situation.

Have you thought about the possibility that she may have had feelings for you all along, and your apparent interest in her has made it easier for her to want a divorce? That God may very well want the preservation of her marriage and you might be making it more difficult for God's grace to work in her marriage? It is much easier for a couple to be willing to divorce instead of working through their problems, when there are others waiting in the wing. Please don't let yourself be used by the enemy to assist in the destruction of this marriage. Remove yourself completely, and pray for her if you truly care for her and her soul.


#8

Your "feelings" for her are clouding your better judgement. There's self-deception when you begin believing that by ending your friendship with her, you will be "passing up a great chance to witness to her". If you only knew how many good, decent Christian men and women used that "witness" line to justify remaining in contact with an "unavailable" person they were developing "feelings" for, you would already be running away.

There's nothing special about your feelings. She's off limits until she's divorced. Period.

However, you will be giving greater witness to God if you end the friendship. You will be removing yourself from temptation and avoiding the proximate occasion of sin. She's a non-believer and somebody has to stand up for God's will and the natural moral law. By standing up for God, you will be giving great witness. Doing so will plant the seeds of God's goodness and could very well lead her to become a follower of Christ in the future.

So please, respect God, marriage and the dignity of your co-worker, her spouse, and yourself.


#9

[quote="kristleful, post:7, topic:230741"]
I agree with everyone so far... You should get out of this situation.

Have you thought about the possibility that she may have had feelings for you all along, and your apparent interest in her has made it easier for her to want a divorce? That God may very well want the preservation of her marriage and you might be making it more difficult for God's grace to work in her marriage? *It is much easier for a couple to be willing to divorce instead of working through their problems, when there are others waiting in the wing. * Please don't let yourself be used by the enemy to assist in the destruction of this marriage. Remove yourself completely, and pray for her if you truly care for her and her soul.

[/quote]

Very valid point!


#10

I'm so glad I decided to post here today. Deep down I knew my feelings were clouding this situation way too much. I feel really ashamed of myself right now, and I need tons of prayer. I can see that I have most likely led this girl on, and every one of your responses makes much more sense to me than my own thoughts right now. Please pray for me and for her.


#11

[quote="briang72, post:10, topic:230741"]
I'm so glad I decided to post here today. Deep down I knew my feelings were clouding this situation way too much. I feel really ashamed of myself right now, and I need tons of prayer. I can see that I have most likely led this girl on, and every one of your responses makes much more sense to me than my own thoughts right now. Please pray for me and for her.

[/quote]

Cant see a cause for shame.
You questioned your feelings and addressed them here.
For that - I say blessed and brilliant action.

You've known her as a married woman:
meaning, you "owe" her exactly nothing.


#12

I think sometimes the devil uses the "But I can be a great witness to him/her!" line of thinking to put otherwise attentive and good Catholics into some pretty precarious situations. It's sort of like the spiritual equivalent of the Florence Nightengale Syndrome. :p

If your relationship with a woman is so emotionally complicated, then I would say the chances are good that you are not the best person to witness to her.

I would really recommend talking this through with a priest you trust. Some priests (for better or worse) do not like to utilize time in the Confessional for giving much in the way of advice (perhaps out of respect for other people who are waiting in line). I think it would be appropriate for you to call and make an individual appointment to discuss what you are facing.


#13

And perhaps the best witness of all will be your actions in putting aside your own feelings to do the right thing.


#14

ahh. What a difficult situation. I think the previous posters have offered sound advice and it looks like you recognize that as well. I have nothing to add but my prayers for you and for her struggling marriage.

Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.


#15

Excellent point
and great suggestion.


#16

Just wanted to come back on and let you guys know that I ended the friendship this afternoon. Please continue your prayers for both of us. Being in the same office building is going to take time to get used to.

God bless all of you for being here. I was certainly deceived and I needed all of you to wake me up.


#17

[quote="briang72, post:16, topic:230741"]
Just wanted to come back on and let you guys know that I ended the friendship this afternoon. Please continue your prayers for both of us. Being in the same office building is going to take time to get used to.

God bless all of you for being here. I was certainly deceived and I needed all of you to wake me up.

[/quote]

Yet in the best sense of the word, you followed your CONSCIENCE
and you asked here about it. You might want to follow up w/ a priest
if that will help you with peace of mind.

(In no way were you deliberately deceiving anyone.)


#18

[quote="briang72, post:1, topic:230741"]

I spent time with her, but always with other people around. Since then, she has opened up about her feelings for me, and I have successfully, with the grace of God, been able to resist the temptations of that situation. But, I told her about my feelings for her because I felt like I was hiding something I shouldn't..

[/quote]

Just curious but if there are ALWAYS other people around, did you both tell each other you had feelings for the other in front of this big group of people?

As for confession, my personal opinion is adultery is not just physical. Telling a married woman you have feelings for her is emotional adultery. Confession can help ease your guilt

[quote="briang72, post:1, topic:230741"]
She has little-to-no faith in God, and doesn't seem to have anyone to talk to about such things. I feel like if I end this friendship I am passing up a great chance to witness to her. ..

[/quote]

Pass up this friendship and this woman will get to see first hand how much strengh God gives His followers when they choose to do the right thing

[quote="briang72, post:1, topic:230741"]
The unfortunate thing is that I do have feelings for her, and I don't want them clouding the situation. I've asked her to fight for her marriage, but if it truly is over, I don't want to throw away something special. I've myself been through an annulment, and I didn't date or court during that time. I've explained that I want to be her friend but I have to respect the marriage bond and we can't be any more than friends at this time. ..

[/quote]

Action speaks louder than words. If you spent time with her, you are sending out a strong message that it doesn't matter if she is married

You sound like a very genuine and sincere person. I think you simply need the prayers of others right now to overcome this temptation. I will remember you in my prayers

God Bless

CM


#19

change from “kept my distance and respected her marriage” to “had heavier feelings for her.” That change is where you went wrong, IMO. Too much contact with her? She maybe was flirting with you, you with her? If you were friends and not starting to go down the wrong path, then you should have met her husband. If a friend of the opposite gender is not included in the couple’s relationship, then something else is going on. It may not be very planned out, but one or the other of them is starting to think in the wrong direction.

Please don’t go any further with this relationship. You should cut off your friendship with this woman and hopefully allow her to fight for her marriage, which she will not do with you in the picture. You are not called to be a missionary to her - she and her husband need counseling, not someone coming in from behind as a spoiler.

I’m sure you are going to do the right thing, your conscience has been bothering you, it’s easy to tell. I will add you to my prayers, and her marriage also.


#20

BrianG72:

I second the advice of others, i.e., run away, fast. Clearly, you have done that.

2 additional points which may help look at this soberly:

  1. Although it is unclear if we, or you, should have reason to doubt what this woman said to you, I noticed your reference to her and her husband having problems. Are you sure they really are? Or is this just something she told you? I ask because I consider it possible that she may have simply said this to you in case she had feelings for you, i.e., it may have been her way of trying to suggest she was "there to be had" just to see how you would react, i.e., contra to you having feelings for her, perhaps she was looking to stray & give you a reason to do so.

  2. I borrow a concept from a Jewish friend: "Build a wall around the Torah," meaning, keep clear, definite boundaries FAR away from where the boundaries really are, so the boundaries never get APPROACHED, much less breached. For example, in a setting like yours, I might have asked, weeks ago, "how's your husband?" a lot, asked how she met him, made a comment about a (fictitious) movie which I did not like because it portrayed adultery sympathetically, i.e., made clear my values and my respect for boundaries. This is easy for married folks -- just always praise your spouse to others, say your planning her/his birthday, etc., and you go a long way to signalling, "I am not available," to anyone who might be wondering.

--VdT


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