Is attraction okay?

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by 011214, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. 011214

    011214 Fapstronaut

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    I'm wondering if there are any gurus out there who can offer insight on attraction.

    I'm in a relationship and have been throughout my recovery, which has now been just over a year. Because of my past relationship to sex and attraction, my partner is still very hurt. I've been free of porn for over a year, but there's still so much healing that needs to happen.

    My question is this: is it possible, and healthy, to be attracted only to my partner from here on in? To most people this probably sounds like wishful thinking. But if there are any of you who have been able to come through this with a level of commitment to their partners that renders all other women incapable of attracting your attention, please, do tell.

    I don't go through life gawking at women, or fantasizing about them. In fact, I avoid looking at them altogether, which in itself may be unhealthy. But there are still times when I experience attraction. I would rather not. I don't choose it. I don't act on it, in my mind or in my behavior. But it happens. And it's so minor compared to how I feel for my partner, but the fact that it exists, or even that I'm afraid of it existing, continues to disrupt our relationship.

    I've been exploring what attraction means and what its purpose is on a spiritual level. My idealistic side says that once I find my partner all other women should have no pull on me whatsoever. I know that most would say this is unrealistic and maybe unhealthy. Most would say, "you're a man. It's completely natural to feel attracted to women. If you weren't, then you wouldn't be attracted to your partner." I get that perspective, and maybe it's true, but if anyone has anything different to offer, I would greatly appreciate it. I think that my relationship rides on resolving this question.

    Thanks,

    -C
     
  2. tomtom

    tomtom Fapstronaut

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    I believe every now and then you meet people that you feel attracted to, even when you are in a relationship. The big question is what you do when that happens... Do you act on it, do you let it affect your relationship etc

    Denying or fighting it is probably harder than recognising what happened and then letting it just pass by concentrating on something else, like your current relationship.
     
  3. Herewego55

    Herewego55 Fapstronaut

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    If you are spiritual and looking for a book to explore your relationship to life and women I would suggest "The way of the Superior Man: A spiritual guide to mastering the Challenges of women, work and sexual desire" by David Deida. I have found it very insightful into my own life's purpose and relationships. A large percentage of the book is dedicated to the relationship men have with women in general. I do hope you find it helpful :)
     
  4. Herewego55

    Herewego55 Fapstronaut

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    I also find myself having those moments of attraction and then feeling bad about it, especially in my recovery. What I am doing now is tracking my eyes, thoughts and feelings I am having when I do find myself looking at someone because they are attractive. I say to myself, "yes this person is a beautiful human being, wow. I appreciate their beauty". I then get curious and ask myself, "what is it about this person that is attractive?" "Is it their physical appearance only?" Then I ask myself "What do I really find attractive about another person". I get as curious as I can about it. If I find my eyes going to look at the person again, I will even try to catch myself and divert my eyes. The desire to keep looking can sometimes become overwhelming, but I recognize it as the same desire that I feel when I want to go on porn or cam sites. I would like to take it to the next level and become aware of the sensations I am experiencing in my body. Is it just a thought that is making me so attracted to this person? Or is there some inner energy experience that is driving that attraction. It's definitely a practice and not always easy. One of my teachers said to me that meditation is a continual process of failing over and over again. I use that same advice with this practice :) Hope that helps...! You are on the right path questioning and wanting to make changes.
     
  5. 011214

    011214 Fapstronaut

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    Thank you both,

    I do want to be able to look at it when it comes up, without judgement or attachment. I do believe that things come up to be healed. If attraction comes up, I believe that there is either a perception that needs to be healed about attraction, or what attraction means, or that it indicates my longing for the divine. I wonder how I'm meant to experience beauty in this form, when for so long it has involved feelings of lust and shame. What is the healthy response to beauty?

    I read through most of Deida's book and always intended on picking it up again. Thanks for the reminder.

    Meditating on my partner and the love I have for her is, I think, a big part of the answer. Whatever resists, persists. So I don't want to put all this energy into avoiding attraction to other women. Rather, I want to pour my energy into fostering my relationship to her.

    Thanks again,

    C
     
  6. Herewego55

    Herewego55 Fapstronaut

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    I do think it's natural to always, on some level, have an attraction to people that you find beautiful. That's my opinion, but possibly a reality as well. I believe our level of attraction is heightened because we have spent much of our time super stimulated by images that have changed our perception of the opposite sex.

    I think you should follow that intuition and explore your relationship with your partner. Perhaps once some progress has been made in your connection with her, your perceptions and attraction to other women will shift? If it doesn't, then maybe it will be more of a process of accepting and working with that attraction, instead of avoiding it. This is still something I'm dealing with. I also have judgement of myself for it. Working to foster compassion. Keep posting. I'd love to hear more about how this all turns out for you! Also, I love how you write!
     
  7. Herewego55

    Herewego55 Fapstronaut

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    Also, how many days have you been without porn? I didn't notice a tracker on your page. If it hasn't been long, maybe give it some time and see how your perceptions shift. The guilt and shame might also start to fade...
     
  8. 011214

    011214 Fapstronaut

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    Thanks again H,

    In answer to your last question, I began the process of recovery on January 12, 2014 (01/12/14). I've had zero relapses in that time. Some might consider that really encouraging -- that it's possible to change. Others might consider that really discouraging -- that even after changing there is still so much work to be done.

    I have a very close friend. I meet with him most weeks. We talk about everything from feelings, to dreams, to relationships, to porn. He had been in recovery for about a year before me and had never reached 90 days. There's so much attention placed on the 90 day mark that we think it will be the day that everything gets easy. When he finally did reach 90 days, he felt incredibly discouraged. He had made it to 90 days, and yet he still had shit in his life to deal with. Of course this is obvious, but I think we can very easily begin to blame everything on our problem with porn. But then, when you take porn out of the equation and life is still challenging we feel discouraged.

    So, after a year, I still experience shame, which I understand as the belief that I am undeserving of love. I responded to the feeling in the past with porn, and with other isolating behaviors. Now, I'm no longer responding to feelings of shame with these unhealthy behaviors, which is good, but I still have to untangle myself from the lie.

    The truth is that I do deserve love. I was made for love. I was made to love myself and I was made to receive love from my partner. This is what I believe. However, there are still these deeply hidden parts of me that are caught up in the lie that I don't deserve it. Those parts of me almost feel opposed to my relationship and to the ways that I want to care for myself. I could pretend that these parts of me don't exist and they will grow and get up to all kinds of secret mischief. I could try destroying them and end up further injuring a part of myself. Or, I could look at them with compassion and try to heal them, to teach them the truth that even those parts of myself most afraid of love, are meant to be loved.

    In regards to the original thought of this thread, today was a good day. I meditated on my partner periodically throughout the day. I thought of her not with fear but with love. I imagined her as pure, white light. I kept returning to this image. As much as I am capable of straying from the truth that I am, in essence, love, I know that she is too. I need to remember that even when she is angry, or hurt, or jealous, or mistrusting, that I don't need to take on her fear, and also, that beneath all of her shadows, she is still that pure, perfect white light. We are not our fears. Our fears are clouds of shadow that obscure our vision, but they never change who we really are.

    This, by Pablo Neruda:

    If each day falls
    inside each night
    there exists a well
    where clarity is imprisoned.

    We need to sit
    on the rim
    of the well of darkness
    and fish for fallen light
    with patience.

    Also, thanks for the friend request. I'd love to keep the dialogue going with you. If ever you find yourself in the heart of the country, let me know. I'd be glad to grab a coffee.
     

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