I remember the moment I felt an unmistakable attraction to a man who wasn’t my husband. It would mark the beginning of an infatuation that waxed and waned for nearly a year. He and I were both active in a local community organization. For at least six months, we had greeted each other and exchanged superficial pleasantries on a weekly basis without anything remarkable transpiring. But on this particular day, we had a long, substantive conversation. Through it, I discovered that we not only shared many of the same perspectives but also clicked well—to the point my heart rate increased and the hairs on my arms and the back of my neck stood up.
I don’t know if he had felt any of the same things as I did. If so, he didn’t show it. Our parting was casual and friendly. We didn’t hug or shake hands. But as I got in my car, I couldn’t stop grinning. I was hyper-aware of all my senses.
Looking back, it’s not surprising it happened. I was in the midst of a major identity shift that was changing the way I saw myself and how I fit in the world. After learning previously unknown stories of my family, I had come to embrace my Taiwanese heritage—a development that caused me to abandon many of my long-held beliefs about race, class, money, power, and social responsibility. The opinions and ideas that had once fostered solidarity between my husband, Peter, and me were now a source of friction.
At home, I constantly felt hurt, misunderstood, and frustrated. I prayed about these negative feelings, but doing so didn’t magically erase the pain and isolation caused by not feeling seen or understood by my life partner. I still loved Peter and knew he loved me, but an ideological and personal chasm ...1
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