My common law and I met over the internet six years ago, and we both feel that we have met our soul mates and will be together forever. I love him dearly and we have a good relationship with lots of communication. However, the other day he told me that as he is approaching middle age he has been having urges. He has said that there are women at his work that he's attracted to, and he's been having thoughts about what it would be like to be with someone else.
He swears that he would never act on them or do anything to jeopardize our relationship. We both came from broken families wherein our partners were unfaithful and we have both vowed that we wouldn't do the same to each other but his admission has me concerned. Is this normal?
— Too Much Communication Cara
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Dear Too Much Communication Cara,
When you've been in a long-term monogamous relationship, it's normal to feel attraction towards other people or even to find yourself with a very small crush. However, even in the most communicative of relationships, disclosing this information is unusual. Typically the attraction is so innocent that it's not worth even worrying about let alone discussing or making the other person uneasy.
I don't know the level of openness between you and your partner so I can't say if this is strange for the both of you, but I do know that if it makes you feel worried or uncomfortable it's definitely not OK to just put aside. I do applaud you for not getting angry with your partner or jumping to any conclusions. I think that says a lot about the trust level in your relationship; however, now it's your turn to disclose. Explain to him how hearing this information made you feel, but make sure he understands that you appreciate his honesty.
More importantly, I think you both need to establish whether or not this disclosure is actually beneficial to your relationship. Discuss his levels of temptation and what that means for your relationship. Ask him to explain why he felt the need to give you this information, and then decide if in the future it's something that's better left unsaid. I'm so glad you both believe in communication, but keep in mind that there's nothing wrong with keeping certain things to yourselves.