Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What I Learned Wednesday #23: Married Men and Temptations Edition

This post was originally going to be a follow up to last week's Speedy Questions post but I've had a very interesting week (blog post title should give you hints) so I'll write about that instead. I think it's more important to share some things that I realize that some of y'all also go through but don't talk about. Some of you may be uncomfortable with the topics but I haven't seen them posted anywhere and I know I cannot be the only person who goes through these things.

1.) As a single young woman who knows her vocation but has yet to find that special fella, it's very easy to fall into different types of temptations. You guys know I'm notoriously private about my relationships and this part of my life but I need to share this. During the volunteer work I've been doing lately, I met a nice fella with whom I could easily talk to because our personalities and temperaments just click. He is (to a T) the kind of guy that I like (except for the "he's not Tom Hiddleston" part, lol). My mom likes him, his mom likes me... so what's the problem? He's married! I knew this beforehand because my mom told me a long time ago so I was cautious. I am not the type of person to break up a relationship (even if it's just dating) so I made sure I didn't do anything that would be inappropriate. The moment he said something that let me know there was interest on his side, I avoided the guy as much as I could. I don't know his wife but I respect his mother, myself, and the sanctity of marriage to put either of us into any further temptation.

I know some of you will get upset at me for saying that I avoided him because I did nothing wrong, but that's the thing -- I could easily fall into temptation myself. I'm not saying I would ever go there (I wouldn't) but why push my luck? I'm a human being and I make stupid mistakes all the time. Guys aren't one of them (hi, still single here, lol) but that's not to say that I'm not susceptible to it not happening to me. The devil is sneaky; he'll find a way to turn something innocent into a terrible temptation. And, for the record, yes, for a split second some thoughts did enter my mind but I quickly recognized them and knew that they were not the type of thoughts I would normally have. I said the prayer to St. Michael Archangel and then spoke to the priest in the confessional about it (it all happened on a Saturday).

2.) What I'm trying to get at with this example is that, we single young women (and men!) need to be very careful to avoid temptation. My temptation could've easily become letting him appeal to whatever vanity I have by letting him (inappropriately) compliment me and call me beautiful (which he did). My temptation could've been making excuses for his actions because of the attention I was getting. My temptation could've been letting him commit adultery in his heart by letting myself stick around. Again, some of you may have issues with the way I phrased that last sentence but it is what it is. I have as much responsibility as he does to help each other avoid any kind of temptation. And I know some of you have been there or have been on the other end. I've heard of friends who have had their spouses hit on by coworkers, etc. It's terrible. I've seen relationships and marriages broken up because of people who have either simply tempted someone to be unfaithful (though it never went far enough) or have flat out broken up relationships.

3.) I see so many young woman (and men, I see y'all on Twitter, too) lamenting being single and having a deep desire to have any sort of attention that they don't even realize what harm they could be doing to themselves and others. I have amazing guy friends, many of whom are married at this point as we're mostly between mid-late 20s to early 30s. I know and am friends with their wives. They have my back (and act like big brothers) and I have theirs. I love them all (platonically) but there's a fine line that cannot be crossed. Even if they're just dating, there's a fine line between friendship and flirting that is clearly drawn. If I feel like one of them is dangerously close to that line (and it has happened), I make sure my actions speak for themselves. I pull back and even cut off all contact from them if necessary. If they don't get it, I will spell it out for them as bluntly as I am able to with my Jane Bennet tendencies. As I like to say, "homegirl don't play that."

I hope this post didn't seem like I am full of conceit and think of myself as someone who can cause temptation 'cause I don't. In fact, I am actually surprised I had this happen to me. I actually wanted to ask the guy what he was smoking when he said I was beautiful but I opted to pretend that I hadn't heard him and I physically removed myself from where he was.

I wrote this post because I've seen and heard it happen to others and I just want some people to know that no amount of flattery is worth causing problems. Even the nicest person can have a moment of weakness and make a huge mistake. Like I said, temptation will present itself whenever it gets a chance so we must be on our guard. I am just grateful that I have amazing spiritual direction, great friends who pray for me (and I did let two friends know about my predicament as it happened) and that God has blessed me with a hyper awareness of things (except when single guys are flirting with me; I'm clueless then. lol).

Anyway, that's all for now. I am super behind on NaNoWriMo (volunteer work, errands, and illness -- grr!) and I want to get some work done before the CMAs. Go Hunter Hayes (even if I am not even sure he's nominated for anything. lol).

I hope y'all have had a great week thus far. :)

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D


Victoria said...

Thanks for addressing this - you're right, no one ever seems to talk about it.

Also, I'm sure you know this, but you don't have to mention thoughts like that in confession if you immediately try to push them out of your mind when you have them. It's only if you consent. Like I said, you probably knew that, but I didn't for a long time and would have been very grateful if someone had told *me.*

Emmy Cecilia said...

I know but I wanted advice so I brought it up.

Tiffany said...

Emmy, You are a very smart young woman. :) You are 100% correct on this, and you did right not only to yourself, but to everyone involved. I know some individuals who have had extramarital affairs; in every instance, things began with an emotional (not physical, *emotional*) bond with someone of the opposite sex who was not their spouse, that they kept hidden from their spouse. If you wouldn't tell your husband/wife about it, you shouldn't do it. The best thing that any person can is remove themselves from a situation of temptation. And it was good of you to write about this topic, we all need to keep our awareness up about it.

Julie Baldwin said...

Emmy! Wow, what a brave post. You are so grounded - compliments are harmless in themselves, but the source and the vanity can lure many into sin. I remember a good guy friend of mine would pay me compliments, and they just killed me (figuratively) because he was dating someone else and I liked him. Fortunately, we were not in the same city, and I was careful with my interactions with him (as well as a whoooooooole lot of praying for God to help!).

That being said - I do not mind when B. tells me he thinks a woman is beautiful or good-looking, but there is something unsettling if he would tell the woman herself. Thank you for sharing!