You've seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel Alone in Their Marriages keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show, Braxton Family Values. Now it's your turn to sit in her chair...
Dear Dr. Sherry,
Greetings, I became involved with a gentleman who is incarcerated and through the course of a couple of years, we have became extremely close. We have had a couple of visits, but the majority of our connection stems from a spiritual and emotional connection. We have made huge long term goals together and I know he's a really great man who made one drastic mistake that cost him years away from his life. He is everything I have prayed for and then some, as I was accustomed to nothing but abusive relationships. Our connection is phenomenal and we are very enriching to one another's lives. We have realized that we are each other's blessings and the soul mate that each of us have longed for. It took time for us to develop what we have and now we actually feel each other's thoughts and feelings. He has another year and a half and then he will be home but I am now battling with a bout of temptation as I have recently met someone who amuses me. I know it won't go anywhere but just to have the company feels wonderful. I talked to my man about my feelings of temptation and he has stated if I act on them, he cannot forgive me because we've gotten to close and have made to many promises to one another. He said that would be betrayal that he can't see past. My question is: If I cannot hold back and give in to this temptation, does that mean that I'm a horrible person? Does that mean that I am not as in love as I believe I am? Is it wrong of me to get this out of my system and still be actively involved and committed to my man? *HELP*
Tempted Beyond Return
Hey My Tempted Sis,
The fact that another man has your attention and he "amuses" you is a clear "tell tale" sign that your needs are not being met by your "Great Man" who is incarcerated. This does not mean that your guy is not great but you may be discovering that there are a lot of great guys. It is easy for a person to be a great guy when they are incarcerated. You really don't know him. Having a couple of visits through the course of a couple of years does not allow you an opportunity to get to know him. When you shared your mere temptation, he quickly told you how he could not forgive you or get past it. He also attempted to place a guilt trip on you by telling you how close you have gotten or the promises you made to each other. If he is doing all this from a prison cell, can you imagine what it would be like if he was out. The issues are not just about your great guy and the guy that you are tempted by. The real issue is about you. You stated that your great guy was everything you prayed for and then some. Really?? Are you saying that you had prayed for a man that was incarcerated and unavailable? I have a hard time believing that to be true. You are really attracted to him because you are safe with him. You can create a relationship with him based on all the things you wanted but could not find in other relationships. That works as long as he is incarcerated and you do not have to interact with him in person on a daily basis. His incarceration prevents him from potentially hurting you or you being in another abusive relationship. Unfortunately, you have no idea if your great man is an abusive man. But ask yourself if you are comfortable with his response to your honesty about being tempted. If you are comfortable, stop and take a long hard look at what you are setting yourself up for in the future. It is great that someone else has peeked your interest and "amuses " you. Explore the possibility of a "healthy" relationship without any guilt. Remember, you are not married to your great incarcerated man. I recommend that you seek individual therapy to to understand your role in abusive relationships in the past. You can not change others but you can change yourself and how you respond to others. If you want something more, do not settle for less. --Dr. Sherry
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