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Dear Christine, Curious in Canton

| September 4, 2018

Dear Christine,
I have enjoyed reading you articles but I feel a little out of place sending you a letter. It’s not the kind of thing I ever thought I would do but here goes. I have been in a good relationship for many years and I love my partner. I can’t think of anyone else I would rather be with, however lately I have been feeling very attracted to other men. In the past when another man flirted with me I would have never considered cheating. Lately, I’m not so sure. I don’t know why this is happening but the temptation is very strong. There is not one particular person I have in mind, I just want to go out and be with someone else. Boredom, mid-life crisis? Should I tell my partner I am having these feelings? I guess I’m just curious why I’m feeling this way when I never have before.
Let me know what you think, Curious in Canton

Hi Curious, I’m just wondering what your relationship has been like the past few years. Do you and your partner spend quality time with each other, focusing on each other without other distractions? Do you make time for time alone, without friends, without work, connecting and allowing emotional and physical intimacy to grow and deepen? Too often, I hear about couples that have gone stale, and who no longer make time for “date nights” and stop saying “I love you” and “you look hot!” and “please” and “thank you.” Small words, but they make a big difference in how we feel about interacting with each other.
Since you bring up boredom and mid-life crisis, I would ask you to look further into these possibilities. How is your life, your relationship different from the earlier years? Is it boring? Do you both have the same old routines? Have you or he gotten overly involved with work, other friendships and activities or family? Are you satisfied with your life at this point in time, being mid-life? Your work? Your involvement in your community, politics, faith? Other than a perhaps receding hairline, what is missing in your life? Excitement? Novelty? Depth? Meaning? Hot sex? Feeling attractive? Feeling attracted to your well-known partner?
Do you have a relationship in which you share your feelings honestly with each other? If so, absolutely tell your partner about your recent attractions, and your questioning of your life. Have an open conversation about how you both feel in this commitment: are there dissatisfactions and disappointments, are there needs being missed, unnoticed? Are there changes in your physical, financial, social and career aspects of your life that are slowly adding up to changes in your life together? Do you need to add some unexpected fun and excitement in the relationship, or maybe make soothing routines more reliable?
Somewhere in you lies the answer to your question about why you’re feeling attracted to other men. You can mine this question yourself in journaling, or in conversation with a trusted friend, or better yet, your partner. The more you know about yourself, the more you are able to create and live the life you really want, with those you really want to be with. So, keep seeking, and talking and writing, and find the answers that are truly yours.

Christine C. Cantrell, PhD
1026 W. 11 Mile Rd,
Suite C
Royal Oak, MI 48067
248-591-2888

Click here to email Christine.

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Category: Featured Column

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