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The Married Crush

The Married Crush

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I didn't see it coming. At all.

Perhaps it's because I'd known George for a couple years before I started to notice a certain flutter when we talked, a desire to dress cuter when I knew I'd see him, a slight blush when he asked me to meet for coffee to discuss a project we were both working on. It was several years ago, so I don't quite remember the exact moment when I realized I was crushing on George. But I remember the resulting feeling of dread quite clearly.

Sure, George was a great man who shared my faith and my passion for cross–cultural ministry, a man whose intellect, integrity, and humility I really respected. But he was also very married.

I was surprised by my feelings for George … and appalled. As a Christian, I know married men are so not an option. One of the first things I usually try to notice when I first meet a guy is whether or not he's wearing a ring. It just helps me put our interactions in context. When there's a ring present, so are a certain set of boundaries. Because that's just been truth for me for as long as I can remember, my romantic feelings for George hit me out of the blue.

A flood of emotions accompanied this realization. Embarrassment. Guilt. Perplexity. And, I hate to admit, a bit of that delicious excitement when there's a new love interest. After having no one trip my trigger for so long, it was kind of fun finally to have someone to think about whenever I heard love songs or whenever I'd lie in bed at night and daydream about some possible future before drifting off to sleep. These thoughts came unbidden, but I didn't always chase them away as fast as I should have. The guilt they'd cause was always close–by. Into the darkness of my bedroom I'd confess my emotions aloud to God, and (sometimes reluctantly) ask him to steal them away.

Questions swirled in my head in those moments alone with my conflicting emotions. Was this just a harmless crush? Or was this the slow–burn beginning of an emotional (or even physical) affair—as those things always start with secret emotions in someone's mind? Should I run away from our common circles? Or would that draw too much attention to something that could ultimately be harmless—and that would leave me with less community? Was George sensing my feelings? Did he share any of them—and what was the better of the two possible answers to that question? Of all the guys in my life, why was this one attracting me? And why wasn't God answering my prayers and melting these ragingly inappropriate feelings?

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Jen

January 09, 2012  2:01pm

I realize that this article and the comments are a few years old, but this is so relevant. I recently met one of those "oh, if he wasn't married..." guys. I didn't struggle with it. I guess I put it out of my mind immediately. I also thought, 'Yeah. If he wasn't married, he wouldn't be interested in me anyway.' Camerin: I love your point that maybe the woman he married is part of the reason he is the man he is today. Maybe I'm just getting cantankerous (did I spell that correctly?) in my late 40s, but I have to choose the best places to spend my energy. So, I can divert it from the unproductive (although bound to happen) directions into better ones. It still takes a while quite often to discern this, then it takes energy to override my emotions. I find what helps me can be: putting my mind into what I have (my job, my hobbies, the knowledge that God is leading me in a specific direction and I need to trust that, the belief that I do not want someone's else spouse.) I guess I know from experience that these attractions will happen, not to freak out, and to go on with my life. Nubian: I suggest that you get away from him as much as you can. You don't have to be rude about it. Just try to come up with alternatives when you know you will encounter him. He's not yours and you are not his. And maybe there's a friend you trust, like Camerin mentioned above, to share this with. Even if he's "just flirting", he's overstepping boundries. It's one thing for someone to notice and flirt once or twice naturally; it's entirely different to consciously flirt repeatedly. He may just be trying to massage his ego. Or he may see it as just being friendly. You are responsible for taking care of you, and he doesn't need you. God does.

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Grace

September 04, 2011  11:54pm

Thank you. It is good to know that i'm not alone. I am in a similar situation right now, we attend the same church-i am the married one and he is single. You cannot imagine all the guilt and the shame i'm feeling right now because i know and i'm sure he knows too that that this is all wrong.Like Nubian, there hasn't been any serious interactions but there's a lot of eye contact and I can sense his effort of trying to be near me. I've spent so many nights crying and praying to God that He will give me the stregnth i need not to fall into temptation.I do love my husband and my family and i dont want to break this marriage but i find myself being happy everytime i see him.Pls pray for me as i have no one else to talk to about this except in my prayers.

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Joi

January 18, 2011  3:57am

thank you for this is it is a great weight lifted when talking about it to someone who does understand and god and for me it kind of helped to get a feel for the other persons feeling and now i know that there is not a mutual feeling that helps to im taking it day by day its hard to avoid the person they are my partner at work im glad im not the only one experiencing this and overwelmed by guilt

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