Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 27 July |
Saint of the Day: St. Simeon Sylites
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Married and attracted to someone else?

KOBIETA

Steven Aguilar/Unsplash | CC0

Edifa - published on 11/06/19

Even if we don't ask for it, we can experience the temptation to be unfaithful. Here's what to do when that happens.

Are we responsible for our emotions? In the moment, no. Emotions are just a part of life. Faced with a difficult situation, we may want to sheepishly run. In the face of aggression, we may want to lash out in violence. And faced with someone who exudes great charm for us, can begin to daydream. These feelings exist. They can be very powerful, like a tidal wave pulling you under. Or they can be almost imperceptible, and it’s only after some time that you become aware of it.

“What’s happening to me?”

These words are revealing when we find ourselves saying them. They suggest a distance between the emotion we’re feeling — which may preoccupy us to the point of obsession — and our will. The feeling in us, but not of us — at least, as long as we refuse to consent to it.

This is the moment to remember a very simple but fundamental principle: temptation is not a sin. As long as we don’t give in to it in thought or deed, we remain faithful and don’t commit sin. There is nothing to forgive in an involuntary thought or feeling.

But these matters are rarely clear-cut, and there’s often a gray area. This ambiguity can be an open door for the worst to happen. At that point, there is a battle to be fought. Resistance must be clear in one’s thoughts and unambiguous in one’s will—even if it’s a less than glorious battle and sometimes harrowing because it seems to go on forever.

A temptation that should give rise to some questions …

Here we need to emphasize non-consent. Let’s be clear: consent is not just acting on our desire; there is also mental consent. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls his disciples to a justice that is not only about outward conformity but internal truth.

Being strongly attracted to someone should raise questions. What is it that may be going on inside us, or in our marriage, that might need some work? Or maybe it’s linked to imprudent behavior, a lack of vigilance, or real failings in the past that have left their mark on us and rendered us more vulnerable to that kind of temptation. That calls for a work of the Holy Spirit deep within us—a work of clarification, of healing, of liberation.

Regardless, this trial is the occasion for a renewed commitment to your marriage and to God, as well as to more humility. The Lord allows these struggles in our lives for our growth — He is not as afraid of them as we are!

Father Alain Bandelier

Tags:
MarriageRelationships
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
morning
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
2
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
3
Joachim and Anne
Philip Kosloski
Did Jesus know his grandparents?
4
ORGAN
J-P Mauro
Reconstructing a 12th-century pipe organ discovered in the Holy L...
5
SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been know...
6
BABCIA Z WNUKAMI
Cerith Gardiner
5 Ways grandparents impact our lives for the better
7
WOMAN,FACE,MASK
Cecilia Pigg
Simplify your life and honor your body with these 5 natural perso...
See More