I read an article on a popular blog recently that saddened me and frustrated me all at the same time. In it, the author encouraged married people to foster crushes on people other than their spouse. Her reason. Because it could turn up the heat in their primary relationship.
She wrote, “A crush can be entirely harmless. It can add a little bounce to your step. Who among us doesn’t feel a charge from flirtation? Someone else wanting us? … Come on.”
Call me old-fashioned…
But, I think that is TERRIBLE advice and I hope I can do this justice as I attempt to explain WHY.
But first, to be fair, the author did reference an internet survey where women reported that their crushes, mostly secret, resulted in more desire with their partner. The participants also claimed that these crushes did not impact their primary relationship.
Okay. So I am not going to argue that the survey, or article, is wrong in their observation (just conclusion). It is very likely that, “sex begets sex”, as the author of the blog post humorously observes. I don’t think anyone would deny that our minds/thoughts play a powerful role in our sexuality. It IS very likely that a crush could add “fuel back onto that home fire”.
And that is a big but! It does not mean that we SHOULD foster crushes on people other than our spouse. It does not mean that it is really, truly healthy for us as individuals OR for our marriages. In other words, it does not mean that the end justifies the means.
Most of us would agree that pursuing an exciting sex life in our marriage shouldn’t mean that anything goes as long as we get the desired result. Even the author of the article recognizes THAT when she gives warning signs for a crush that has become dangerous.
A better way
I think we all want to be in loving, hot marriages, right? But I believe that there are much safer ways, than extra-marital crushes, to stoke the home fire. Ways that don’t risk burning down the entire house. Do you know what I mean!?
Here’s the deal. I view my marriage as one of the sweetest gifts I have. It is not perfect, but it is one of the sources of greatest joy in my life.
Together my husband and I have built an incredible friendship/relationship/life that has spanned over a decade now (I can’t believe this!), walking through the many joys and sorrows of life during that time. It’s not something I want to risk or jeopardize.
The importance and beauty of loving with our mind and heart
One of the ways that I can honor our special relationship and love my husband is with my MIND and HEART. I try so hard to do this. And when I do, it is such a beautiful thing. It really does make a big difference to the health of our marriage!
These are things that my husband doesn’t have direct access to on his own. But I am telling you, the stuff we meditate on in our minds and desire with our hearts DOES affect us AND our marriages, for better or for worse.
Eventually those inner thoughts/desires will work their way out into our marriages! And, if we foster crushes, we’ll be lucky if the only thing we have to show for them is more desire in the bedroom.
These two proverbs put it better than I can.
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
“For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” (from Proverbs 23:7)
Pulling a few bricks from your marital foundation, in the form of crushes, may not seem to do any harm in the short-term, but over time I really believe it could spell disaster.
I know the author of the article claims that crushes have not harmed her 14 year marriage. But I think she is sadly mistaken. I am afraid it has/is harming her in ways she is not even aware of.
Attraction vs. Crush
Most of us desire to have strong, loving feelings for our spouse. And yet, feeling an attraction toward someone other than our spouse can be a completely normal part of life. So what’s to be done?
It’s what we DO WITH a feeling of attraction that is important.
Are we feeding, meditating on, or fantasizing about someone until it becomes a crush? Or do we recognize an attraction for what it is and do our best to focus our thoughts and desires elsewhere?
I realize this idea of attraction vs. crush might be new to you. But I think you’ll find the more you attempt to love your spouse with your mind and heart, the more amazing your marriage will become over time!
3 Tips to turn up the heat in the bedroom (that really work)
In conclusion I thought I would share some tips for getting things exciting in the bedroom WITHOUT crushing on someone other than your spouse!
- ZINC. This may seem small, but supplementing with zinc has done amazing things in the bedroom for us as far as frequency and performance. For the first half of our marriage I had some “issues” in this department. Let’s just say that zinc has COMPLETELY fixed everything and these last few years have been AMAZING. For my husband the amount of zinc in his multi is sufficient. I require a bit extra. There are also foods like pumpkin seeds, oysters, beef, baked beans etc. that are naturally rich in zinc. The National Institutes of Health has a helpful little page on zinc complete with a table of food sources, if you’re interested
- Forget about crushing on someone else. CRUSH ON YOUR SPOUSE. Do you remember those days where all you could think about was how amazing your man (or woman) was? Oh yeah. Tap into some of THAT again. Our minds are so powerful. Thinking about how good your spouse looks, or smells, or how genius/talented they are etc. throughout the day can do wonders for the bedroom at night. You’ll likely find a skip in your step and a leap in your heart that you thought had disappeared a long time ago. Obviously feelings ebb-and-flow over time, but stoking your own home-fire, instead of carrying in a coal or two from someone else’s, can really get the flame roaring.
- ENGAGE IN SELF-CARE. There are few things that are like water to the fire of bedroom passions like LACK OF self-care. Surprised? Doing the things that make us feel interesting, healthy, ALIVE, sexy, fun etc. are kindling to the fire when it comes to passion. You know, those things that can slip away with the passage of time and addition of kids. It is hard to engage in something as vulnerable as making love, when we feel blah or less than. Making sure we are rested and properly nourished are very important too. Also, think about the things that make you feel attractive. If it is pretty lingerie or smelling extra nice or having your nails done or special lotions or creams or an amazing cut/color… look at those things as an investment in your relationship.