Attraction in relationships

Question

my partner feels deep love and attraction toward another female friend of ours. recently his feelings intensified and he became confused as to what he should do. we realized that it was karma being released from within us both. although the intensity of feeling has subsided his fondness towards her is still true. i want to be supportive and give them the space within their friendship. but i realize my ego feels hurt in regards to his energy toward her. i want to act in the highest spiritually...

—carrie, usa

Answer

Dear Carrie,

Your letter refers only to your “parner,” so i don’t know what kind of commitment you have made to each other, or for how long, but i hope the following is helpful.

First i want to say, perhaps to reassure your partner, that when your letter arrived, I read it to two men friends, who are also nayaswamis and Ananda ministers. They responded to your situation in the same way i did.

Yogananda said that married couples should not dance with people other than their own spouse. Why? Because there is a very strong magnetism between men and women, and this should be acknowledged and worked with sensibly.

You are trying to be “open-minded” and spiritual, but the reallity of the power of attraction between men and women needs to be considered. If your partner feels a strong attraction to another woman and continues to see her regularly “only as a friend,” he is, quite simply, playing with fire.

To be truly spiritual means to align ourselves with Truth on all levels, not wishful thinking.

People who are happily married often have friends of the opposite sex, but if they want to stay married, they don’t continue friendships with those to whom they feel a strong attraction. Nor would one want to put oneself in a situation with someone of the opposite sex where that kind of attraction could grow. This is just common sense, and it’s essential to be honest with oneself.

Though it will not be easy, I’m afraid your partner needs to make a decision. If he wants to be committed to you, he’s not going to be able to have another woman “friend” to whom he feels such a strong attraction.

You might enjoy reading a very inspiring book of Yogananda’s, Spiritual Relationships. It will help you understand relationships on the highest level.

I hope the two of you can work this through. Experiences like you are having can help people develop a much deeper level in their relationship and in their life, if approached in the right way.

Joy to you,

Anandi