I'm in love with a "wonderful man" but am happily married with children - can I love two men at the same time?
The questioner's philosophy
I have since married but never forgot this man and thought of him fondly over the years and then last year we reconnected on Facebook. He is a newlywed living in another country but lately our emails have turned from friendship to romance. I love my husband but my feelings for this man are also very intense. I am going to meet him and his wife in March and I am afraid that my feelings may get the best of me. I just want to know if it is possible to love more than one person or is this just a way for me to justify having an affair. I am finding this very difficult because as much as I want to see him there is a side of me that thinks this may not be a great idea. My friends say no harm done, he cares about you as a friend but he is in love with his wife - just go and see him and have a nice time. Is this possible?
I admire your courage in writing to me so honestly on this vitally important subject. I sense that your friend's advice does not sit quite right with you - hence your email. I feel the weight of responsibility on my shoulders as I reply to this question.
The situation you are presented with is a test of your resolve. You say your philosophy "is more along the lines of Science of Mind, I believe that God is pure love and in everything and everyone". Yes God is along the lines of Science of Mind and yes God is pure love. Consequently His will for our life can be understood by learning to look at any situation holistically. What does this mean? It means seeing the big picture and taking the course of action that expresses love and does not do harm. Bringing this level of awareness to every decision protects us from taking misguided (and selfish) acts that ultimately are not in our own interests and not in the interests of those we love and hold dear.
Are you doing this?
Let us look together at the big picture. First of all let's be clear about your intentions. You write, "I just want to know if it is possible to love more than one person or is this just a way for me to justify having an affair." It is obvious from your question that you are going to see this man with the intention of having an affair. As far as you are concerned it is not some casual trip to have a bit of fun as your friends suggest. I will answer your question. Where romantic love between a man and a woman is concerned - no, it is not possible to love more than one person and - yes, your thinking this, is a way for you to justify having an affair.
Let us continue to look together at the big picture. You have a husband whom you love, and children, and are married not only to your husband but also into his family, your children's step relations, cousins, uncle's and aunt's. This is a large group of people who are close to you and your children and who care about you and you about them. What will happen to your husband, whom you say you love, and this large family group, if you begin an affair with the person you call this "wonderful man"? How will they feel about you having an affair? What will happen to these relationships? How will your husband react? Your children may be teenagers or young adults, but still need a safe and secure family. What will happen to your children if you start this affair? How will they react to the turmoil of bitter relationships that will then surround them? What emotional and psychological damage will they suffer as a result?
Then we come to this newly wed you say you are in love with - this "wonderful man". He is only just married and already he is acting in ways that are contrary to his wedding vows. He is newly married to his wife and also connected to his own large family group. What will happen to all these relationships if you proceed with your intentions? Are you really prepared to travel to another woman's home, enjoy her hospitality and then steal her husband? I have to tell you, the thought of you laying plans to this effect upsets me deeply.
Now let us consider in more detail this man whom you say you admire - he is newly wed, his life bonded to that of his innocent wife, so full of shared hope and aspiration. When he is prepared to engage in romantic liaisons with you over the Internet, he is behaving in a manner that jeopardizes the young love he has with his new wife. So seriously ask yourself this question - how wonderful is he? And - who will he cheat on next? You perhaps!
Next I want you to look at this decision from your own point of view. You see God as being pure love within "everything and everyone" - that includes you! If you pursue this affair I think we can already agree that it would do untold harm to many people. Doing harm runs counter to love. What would happen to your relationship to God within (yourself) were you to pursue this path? Would your conscience trouble you for the rest of your life? I think it would. Would you ever find peace again? Perhaps not. Would you have to really struggle and repent at length to re-establish your relationship with God (within)? Most certainly.
You are a very lucky woman. You are in love with your husband and you have beautiful children and a family that care about you. Many women would love to be in your position. Don't throw it all away on a whim and a teenage fantasy. My advice to you is to break off contact with this man and never be in contact again. If you do that you will change from living a lie to living in a manner concurrent with your own philosophy and be a person of integrity once again. The relief and peace you experience from taking, and acting on, this decision will be enormous. If you feel like shedding some tears, please follow these feelings. You will be grieving for a lost fantasy, and this is good. Let it all go. Letting go of your fantasy will helps you focus on reality, the here and now, and to appreciate and value your everyday existence.
Many people have the strangest ideas about love. They think love is a feeling, an emotion, a desire. It is true that love can give rise to these experiences but are these experiences LOVE? Or is love a deeper thing - something precious, that arises deep in one's heart in response to a commitment made and seen through, despite all the trials and turmoil of life?
I urge you, after letting go of this fantasy, to return and recommit to your relationship with your husband. Open up conversations with him about meeting one another's needs within your marriage. Ask him about his needs and share with him your own needs. Reflect on your relationship and ask to be shown what aspect of yourself is not being fulfilled in your relationship with your husband. What needs of yours do you feel are drawing you out of your marriage toward this other doomed relationship? By letting go of this fantasy and recommitting to your husband in this way, you will have found your sacred contract and your purpose on this plane. I will be proud of you because you will have maintained your resolve and passed the test.
I implore you - listen to and reflect long on these words. May God guide you in your decision.
Further Help and Resources
I recommend both you and you're your husband do the Communications & Relationships Course on Trans4mind. Pay particular attention to the first three exercises since these will help you to identify, meet and understand each others needs within your marriage. You may love your husband but yours is a marriage in crisis, so failing that I strongly suggest you go together and see a relationship counselor.