View all Ask a Priest |
“Ask a Priest: Is Daydreaming About a Married Man Wrong?”
Q: I am struggling with loneliness. I am divorced and have been for almost seven years. I recently had a dream about my first love, but I didn’t marry him. He wanted to get married, he was 20 years old and I was 18. That was almost 50 years ago. I instead wanted to go off to college on my own and embrace worldly things — not good. So, I ended our relationship. Anyway, after a recent dream I started thinking about him and was feeling regret for not marrying him. So, I started imagining us having gotten back together when we were young, and we got married and had children. We lived a very happy life in my daydream. By the way, he is now married and has children and grandchildren, and I am sure he is very happy. I also would daydream that his wife had died. Now, I want to clarify that I wasn’t wishing for her to die. I just didn’t want to steal him away from his wife in my dream, so I imagined that she passed away and we ended up back together. Now, I have asked God that if she did by chance pass away, would Our Lord send him back to me? Is this coveting? I was not dreaming of splitting them up by his committing adultery with me. I do pray for him and his family, that they live long and holy lives. I am just having regrets which are stemming from my loneliness. But I am concerned that I have offended my heavenly Father and Jesus. By daydreaming these scenarios, have I committed a sin? – R.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: While your loneliness is understandable, it’s not healthy to be giving in to this kind of daydreaming.
It is a form of coveting thy neighbor’s spouse, even if there aren’t overtly lustful or murderous thoughts attached to it.
Put yourself in his wife’s shoes: How would you feel if someone had an eye on your spouse and was hoping he’d go to her if you died?
You made a judgment 50 years ago, and your friend respected your decision … and got on with his life.
If that was a misjudgment on your part, it was a misjudgment. The last thing you want to do now is make another misjudgment.
For that reason, it might be good to dedicate yourself to something else — volunteer work, for instance. That can help bring you out of your loneliness much more effectively than can daydreaming, which itself could lead you down the wrong path.
It is good to remember, too, that Our Lord can find ways to fill up the loneliness in our lives if we truly “seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Count on my prayers.
Keep learning more with Ask a Priest
Got a question? Need an answer?
Today’s secular world throws curve balls at us all the time. AskACatholicPriest is a Q&A feature that anyone can use. Just type your question HERE and you will get a personal response back from one of our priests at RCSpirituality. You can ask about anything – liturgy, prayer, moral questions, current events… Our goal is simply to provide a trustworthy forum for dependable Catholic guidance and information. So go ahead and ask your question…