Originally Posted by MorningTwilight
Originally Posted by Tonberry
But you don't stay locked at home for fear of walking in front of a cake store, do you? You could go out with other goals, and roll with it if you meet someone...
It seems like you're trying to sacrifice yourself for something she's likely not to appreciate. First, I'm not sure how she'd know if you went out or not.
Am I not obligated to tell her, or at least, not to conceal it from her?
I think this is your mind exaggerating everything. I'm sure your wife doesn't expect you to lock yourself in at home and barricade the doors and windows. Honestly, if you went to the drycleaners to pick something up and the girl behind the counter flirted a little with you, do you really feel like now you've gone and done something you need to confess like a sinner? If your wife asks what you did while she was gone, you might mention picking up the drycleaning, or you might not. The clothing will be there in the closet. Do you need to mention every person who looks your way, smiles at you, says hello, gives wink?
Sometimes I work as an independent contractor doing covert business analysis assignments (mystery shopping). I have to go to a business, pose as a customer, and interact with the staff, after which I file a report. One of the most important things as a Shopper is to remain anonymous - you don't want the staff to know you're a Shopper. If they suss you out, there's a chance you won't get paid for the assignment. One can get real paranoid thinking that if an employee looks my way, they've figured me out. You start feeling self-conscious if you look at your watch (we often have to time how long we wait in line or receive certain services), and you begin to think that everyone in the place knows you're a Shopper and your cover's been blown. But the fact is that it's very rare for staff to ID a Shopper. When you start following that paranoid train of thought, it makes you almost want to blurt out to the staff that you're a Shopper because the tension in your mind has become almost too much to bear. But if I do that, I will never work for my client again.
This is kind of how I see what you're going through right now. You've blown some things out of proportion, whether it's guilt, self-pity, impatience, or what-have-you, you think that you can't conduct yourself normally and go out and enjoy everyday interactions with people because you are fearing some sort of connection that your wife will be upset about. You think you must confess to looking at a pretty woman walking by, otherwise it means something bad. It is simply human to be delighted with the encounters of every day, why deprive yourself out of some fearful, paranoid idea that you're really bad for wanting it?