I recently reflected on my experience of relationships and how in a couple, both people can feel if there is the ‘pull’ of infidelity, and how this can act as a distraction to an otherwise beautiful relationship we might already be in. However this also made me consider the opposite – what if we encounter another person and feel there is a connection with them that is not of a sexual kind; one that is possibly a deep old connection?
Years ago, my husband met a friend (a woman) to whom he had a strong connection. This could easily have been confused with attraction, but it felt like a strong and old connection, possibly older than this life.
At the time it was not clear to me if this was a connection or an attraction, so I opened up the conversation with my husband. I voiced my concerns in full honesty, but I also felt so deeply within me that I needed to give him the space to explore this connection. Even if this meant that he would choose to be with this other woman, I knew it was not about me ‘standing in his way’ – and I said this to him: I told him I loved him deeply, but that if he felt that this was the person he wanted to be with, I would not hold it against him.
Strangely, this was not that hard for me to do, even though it hurt to feel that I might be ‘left’ by my husband. The thought of no longer being with him hurt me, but more deeply still I knew that if this was his choice I would support him and this feeling was stronger than the hurt I felt within.
Further to this, I have always had an understanding deep within that there are certain relationships or connections with people that are very important to honour and we need to allow them the space to blossom.
But what I gained a greater understanding of, is that the deep and often old and familiar connections that we may come across with another help us grow and deepen our relationship with ourselves and hence each other. We are actually divinely designed to be connected and enjoy intimate relationships with many others.
I do not mean we get to sleep around, but that we can honour the fact that there is a connection and a meaning to those particular relationships outside of our husband/wife relationship – ones that allow an honesty to unfold, a sharing with no holds barred, a sharing of the love that we are.
It is not for us to hide this beauty from others and only save it for our family at home – it is about sharing this beauty that we are with all around us and honouring those particular relationships that we know have deeply established roots of trust and love.
My husband felt that the relationship with this other woman was a dear friendship. He clearly expressed this to me but also felt deeply regarded in being given the space. By my offering him space, it also allowed our trust with each other to deepen and it was a confirmation for us both about being together as a couple.
Hence, I feel it is important to encourage and allow ourselves and our partners the space to explore the connections we feel with others, always with absolute regard, whilst still holding an honesty in communication about any hurts that come up around this.
The connections we feel with others are not random – they have a purpose, they play a role. We may not always know how this will unfold but there is a divine design that is at play.
Published with the permission of my husband.
By Henrietta Chang