Since You Asked…
By CAROLINE SPOSTO
I’ve been married for four years. Everything was fine until last weekend when I unexpectedly ran into my high school sweetheart in the park. He told me that he and his wife of two years had just moved to this same neighborhood. He and I sat down and had a cup of coffee together and chatted for an hour, though it felt like only five minutes had passed. Everything was innocent and friendly, but now I can’t stop daydreaming about him.
Since then, whenever I go out for a walk, I hope to run into him again.
The night before last, I sent him a friend request on Facebook, and now I’m obsessed with checking to see if he’ll accept it.
I feel guilty about having these feelings, but at the same time, we haven’t done anything wrong.
What do you think?
It’s not unusual to have lingering thoughts about an ex — particularly when you run into each other unexpectedly. In these situations, we need a reality check.
The lens of nostalgia tends to be made of the same material as the proverbial rose-colored glasses. It’s fine to reminisce a little, but the two of you broke up and moved on for reasons you seem to have conveniently forgotten.
More importantly, you’re both married to other people. Pursuing your fantasies, or even a friendship where an attraction is present, can destroy your marriage and his.
Given that your feelings are so intense, I think it’s best that remove your friend request, take your husband along on walks for a while and resist all temptation to Google or otherwise stalk your ex-boyfriend online.
Use this minor dilemma as your wake-up call to explore your feelings about your marriage. If there are problems you’ve been sweeping under the rug, now is the time for some loving, but open communication with your husband.
As to the fantasies … though we can’t choose every thought that enters our minds, we can choose which thoughts we entertain. When you find yourself escaping into “La-La Land” over your ex-boyfriend, you must consciously pull yourself into the present.
Imagine how you would feel if your husband wrote a similar letter about a former girlfriend. Though marriage is complex, the basic component of a solid, lasting relationship is treating your husband the way you’d want to be treated.
Though it’s normal to be attracted to someone other than your husband occasionally, the demise of many marriages starts as nothing more than an innocent cup of coffee, an hour of conversation and an abundance of eye contact. Should you run into your ex-boyfriend again and find your heart racing, take it as a sign that the last thing you need is more coffee. Be polite, but cut the conversation short and head home.
Do you have a problem that’s been on your mind for a while? Send your questions to: email@example.com.