How to Know if You`re Really in Love/my relationship with my husband.

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Question
My husband and I have had our share of bumpy roads to get past, especially since we are both in the military and have had a baby. But recently (past week or so) I've started to have weird dreams of my ex's and all the bad choices I've made relationship wise. I mean I've never really had a straight guy friend who I hadn't done something with at one point or another (whether i really wanted to or not). But I stopped making guy friends after me and my husband got serious. Untill recently that is, and my concern is what if I don't/cant stop the guy IF he does do anything. I mean I've never tried to stop it before (ever) and I'm scared ill fail. But I wouldn't even consider it rape or anything like that, because I would be letting it happen. And I told my husband all of this and now he "can't trust" me. And why would he? I've failed him as a wife. I feel ashamed and unfaithful to him and nothings even happened! Any advice?

Answer
Charity,

I hope this message finds you well, and if you are well, I hope you are peaceful. If not, Try meditating. Meditating means not asking, not listening, not praying--just sitting and breathing and granting your mind and heart some rest. After a time, answers will come--clear ones. Listen to them--unless they are not peaceful answers. Don't listen to ego, anger, violence (not that you necessarily would).

Love comes in two ways:

1. The Attraction that is pure, from intellect, emotion, affinity, and compatibility, and;
2. Discipline. If you cannot decide to say 'yes' and 'no' at the right times, you cannot love--not well.

You are ready to do numbers one and two when you feel confident in yourself. If you are dating to feel worth, you are on a path that will go in  circle. You have to be complete in your sense of self, your morals, your integrity, and your dedication to what will make you happy. If you are looking for all that in someone else--thinking it will rub off on you, it will only leave you chasing different people--because you cannot find all that in one person unless it is a best friend of high caliber or unless that best friend loves you passionately as a lover.

You must be complete in yourself, fist. It sounds to me as if you are not--and that is why you allow anyone to do anything he wants with you. You need self-control in order to love. You are not making mistakes by sleeping with different men; infidelity is not a mistake. It is a condition of inner behavior. If you love yourself, you will not hurt yourself by hurting your relationship with one who loves you.

If you are sleeping around because you do not have a man you love, well then that is just playing the field, but you don't sound like that is what you are doing. It sounds to me like you cannot stop.

Meditate, and ask yourself what you are seeking. And don't answer. Let your heart tell you. Let your inner mind say so--your unconscious. Once you have the answer, find a way to achieve it. If you find a man who is going in the same direction and you love him and he loves you, do things with him--and only him.

I gave you a lot to think about, but not a lot to do: Rest, Meditate, Listen, and Follow Your heart (not your sex, necessarily).

How to Know if You`re Really in Love

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Mando (Carl Atteniese Jr.)

Expertise

I've read, thought, written, and taught about love for over eleven years. I've had thoughtful love-oriented relationships only--for about twenty-eight years. I struggle endlessly to be a supremely thoughtful, compassionate, fair, and empirical thinker. This is crucial. I believe in the feeling and process of love. This is also crucial. As an artist, a poet, and an essayist--as a teacher of ESL in other cultures--I have had ample opportunity for the analysis of love... personally and inter-culturally, and this has made my introspection and analysis of relationships--with original ideas and those of my favorite psychotherapists--very fruitful. I will tell you three things, which will help you now--before you even write to me: To have true love in yourself and with another, you must: 1. Be Free. 2. Be Adult. 3. Be Honest. 4. Be Disciplined. 5. Find numbers 3~5 easy, because you are overcome with love. 6. Be willing to do virtually anything reasonable (and many things unreasonable from the point of view of others).7. Never settle (in other words, be with someone you do not love), thinking that you will grow into love. 8. Never take a match made by another; your heart and mind must choose your love--period. 9. Never allow yourself to be put into temptation--ever (this is also natural--if you are in love). 10. Be able to listen like you never listened before--to yourself and to your beloved. 11. Love humanity--both the conditions & qualities, and all people.

Experience

I've been fortunate to have helped many people around the world and I love to do it. I will be happy to help you, too--no matter whom you are. If I am busy or unable to help you right away, consider these books to help you help yourself--until I can respond: "Being Happy", by Andrew Mathews; any books by Dr. Wayne Dyer; "The Art of Loving", by Dr. Erich Fromm; "Love", by Leo Buscaglia, "True Love", and "Anger", both by Thich Nhat Hanh. Also Read "The Beloved" and "The Prophet", both by Khalil Gibran. Read "The Road Less Traveled" and "People of The Lie", both by Dr. M. Scott Peck.... Learn more about me at http://carlatteniese.org

Organizations
Amnesty International Partner of Conscience (http://amnesty.org), Union of Concerned Scientists (http://ucsusa.org) and Avaaz.org (htp://avaaz.org)

Publications
Korea Herald (http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20110601000943), New York Newsday, The Planetary Review, The Long Island Catholic, Wake Up And Laugh (http://wakeupandlaugh.wordpress.com), The Ocean And The Stars (http://bitnacarlo.blogspot.com/), Cradle of The Universe (http://cradleoftheuniverse.wordpress.com/)

Education/Credentials
Certificates in recognizing violence in the home and child abuse, in preventing violence in school. Raised with an emphasis on loving all people and to be politically active. Studied Zen at Hwa Gye Sa Temple, Han Maum Zen & Culture Center, and The Buddhist English Library of Seoul, in South Korea. Taught seventeen years in the US and South Korea. Teacher Training in the U.S. at Berlitz and the Center for English Studies, NYC, and at Inlingua, Princeton. Studied Drawing, Photography, and Painting at the School of Visual Arts, NYC, and basic Psychology at Nassau Community College, Long Island. Fifteen years of experience teaching English as a Second language--many of those years abroad--has helped as well, as people from other cultures help us see ourselves and other human beings in a different light.

Awards and Honors
My reward is knowing I have helped people.

Past/Present Clients
I have taught and counseled people of all ages, experience-levels, professions and religions, and consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity and thankful to those who have shared with me. Every such interaction is a learning experience, and an opportunity for growth and improvement.

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