Crushing guilt 

I listen to you every week on Z99.5. My problem is this: I am 26 years old, married for two years this month, and one child. I love my husband. We have a great relationship, minimal arguing (usually stupid). I am so ashamed to even admit this. I have a client that I am attracted to; when he comes into the office I get flustered. This is ridiculous that I would even think this. I know that I would never ever act on it, but I feel guilty for my feelings. I’ve heard this is normal, but it makes me want to cry.
Dear Anon,
At some point, most likely in the arena of foreign policy, you’ve heard the phrase “proportional response.” Those two words are your assignment this week. You, my girl, have a crush. It is just as you’ve heard: innocent, normal. But you react to your own feelings as though you’ve already been unfaithful to your husband. Not so! You must keep this in perspective; you’ve done absolutely nothing wrong! All our lives, married or not, human beings will take note of other human beings they find attractive. This isn’t some deviant, sinful thing, it’s part of how we’re made. There is much science behind this, but I won’t elaborate because I doubt that would console you right now. But when you get wobbly when this guy walks in, try just smiling and enjoying it, just a little. It’s a sign of admiration, not weakness. If you need me to tell you that it’s OK, I’m happy to do so. IT’S OK. Hell, I get them all the time. There was this Adonis who used to work at my dry cleaner’s. Absolutely gorgeous, perhaps two-thirds my age. I even told my husband about my crush, and he thought it was hilarious that I was already becoming a lecherous old lady. The point is, this ranks really low on the list of things to worry about. They’re meaningless, fun fantasies. I’m sad you’re so upset over something our brains do just to make life a little more exciting. You may have been raised with religious teachings that warned having insignificant dirty thoughts about someone placed your soul in grave peril. I’d rail on about how cruel and deliberate this machination is, because people who are afraid of themselves think less and are thereby easier to control, but that’s another column. Whatever the case, you can notice what’s-his-name’s sweet eyes or ass, and still be a wonderful woman of noble character, I promise. And, if you don’t get all repressive and guilty, your fancying him will actually fade. The thing about an adult crush is that if you let it be, it will prove to be quite fleeting. If you sit in shame, punishing yourself, these “offending” thoughts will return more often, with more force, and will start to seem obsessive. That’s not healthy, so please don’t do it anymore. Please relax, this is human. And that’s not a dirty word.

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