Building Bridges

Issue # 14 of 43 

David LeClaire
By: David LeClaire

Dealing With The Lure Of Sexual Attraction

Life is full of surprises, making it impossible to know what's just around the corner.

Even if you are in love and happily married, you can by chance meet someone that you find yourself attracted to. The frequency of such an occurrance will be different for everyone, as well as the intensity of the emotions and feelings that an unexpected encounter can bring. Although you may not do anything about the stir you feel, the pull of a mutual attraction is still a force that must be dealt with.

Some idealistic romantics would like to believe that a person who is truly in love will never find themselves drawn to another person. There are many wonderful, personable, and beautiful people in the world. Over the course of a lifetime, the odds are pretty good that you will eventually meet at least a few people that you are intrigued by, regardless of whether you're happy in your relationship or not.

A couple's love and the solidity of their relationship can play a major role in keeping them true to their partnership. However, if a couple is struggling and has been for a while, it's a dangerous reality that one or both partners may rationalize having an affair. A tempted person may think they have a good rationale for straying, yet the bottom line is it would be better if he/she resisted the easy fix and instead tried to resolve their problems and renew their love for their partner.

Unfortunately, affairs do occur in a great many relationships today, and normally are the result, not the cause, of the breakdown of the relationship.

Some begin because one person may be missing companionship, intellectual stimulation, or an emotional connection with their mate. Others occur because of the lack of a fulfilling and satisfying sexual relationship between the two partners. Because it's not always easy for couples to improve or revive their sex life, often they begin looking outside of their relationship to fill the void.

Many relatively solid marriages have been abandoned, families torn apart, and careers have been destroyed by the lure of sexual attraction to a person outside of the partnership. An unkown but certainly significant percentage of marriages do not survive affairs. Some people believe they just need to get this urge out of their system. But an affair usually begins to weaken one's involvement and connection to their partner. A person who finds themself rationalizing his/her behavior is more apt to rationalize having extra-marital sex again in the future. The foundation continues to weaken as they begin lying to their partner. Self-respect decreases and sense of guilt increases, further distancing them emotionally from their partner.

For the couple who wants to do their best to stay in love and together, obviously it's important to take each other's wants and needs seriously. A willingness to be open to sharing your feelings and thoughts as well as listening to your partner is essential, especially regarding the sensitive area of sex.

Take measures to strengthen your connection and make the effort to keep your love and passion alive throughout your years together. Your desire to stray will be minimal to non-existent because you will have virtually all of your needs met. You may still find yourself attracted to another person occasionally, but you'll be very clear that the sexual energy is only a small piece of the whole pie. Because your partnership will be so satisfying in every department, you would be crazy to risk losing the complete package for a surface attraction.

David LeClaire has spent much of his time teaching at community college and private school, and lead communications training for Fortune 500 companies. Now a popular and active Seattle area sommelier, this graduate of Central Michigan University led seminars for a wide variety of organizations. LeClaire is the author of "Bridges To A Passionate Partnership." He can be reached at

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Text © 1998, David LeClaire. Part of the original Sideroad.
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