Two men, one too many

QUESTION: Masters, I married with the intention to become a mother with a man I was not in love with. But I grew deep respect and love for him over the years. And we are now raising two boys. But recently I fell in love with another man. I admire his energy and feel consumed by it. Although I am controlling my feelings it is impossible to liberate my mind from him. I feel very uneasy to bring sadness to my husband and feel impossible to shut down this flow of love for that other man. Why did this seemingly random flow occur in my life? It is hard to let go of either of them. Why do I need to choose? This situation is torture. ~Zeljka, Croatia

ANSWER: Your main lesson in life this time was to examine several different aspects of human love. You entered a loveless marriage to learn that you could turn respect and appreciation for your husband’s life into a type of love. This type of love is mutual familial respect rather than a true romantic love. It becomes stable, comfortable, and somewhat satisfying, but not that exciting.

Your boys provided a second type of love—maternal love and a taste of the unconditional love a mother develops with her children. This is a type that grows stronger as the personalities of the children develop. You married to be a mother. You are in their lives to help them find their way and accomplish whatever they chose before coming to Earth. You can’t do their lessons for them but you can give them advice on how to proceed.

Then, BAM, along comes your first experience of romantic sexual love! You were caught in an all-consuming sense of physical attraction, which has been reciprocated. Someone entered your life who sees you not as the little woman in the home responsible for the kids but as a physically appealing, exciting woman. For the first time in your life you have been placed on a pedestal of adoration. And it feels fantastic. You can talk about your physical draw to each other instead of just about what is needed for the house.

Just as you have two boys whom you feel love toward in very different ways, you now have two men in your life causing equally divergent feelings. What you do from now is what freedom of choice is all about. This is a life lesson that is for you to learn more about yourself and your feelings. One choice is not to choose and to carry on as you are. Learning to live a dual life is not easy. Go inside and find where your feelings lie. This is your life; making yourself miserable doesn’t help anyone. Honor your feelings—they are the only things that are yours alone.