A Reader Writes…
My husband and I have been very happy in the last 13 years we’ve been together. We do all the right things – eat dinner together, have sex, talk, take care of each other, leave notes to each other, etc but recently I got a crush on another man.
This man is much older than my husband (old enough to be my father – 50yrs old), very handsome and is a co-worker – more experienced colleague. He has a wife and three kids and does not feel the same way about me (I told him I had feelings for him just to get it out in the open). I find him very attractive, and not just because he looks good. He is very smart, very experienced, I admire him at how he works, he is funny, etc. He was a gentleman when I confessed, said it’s OK and we don’t have to feel weird about it, but he is old enough to be my father and there should be nothing between us.
I suspect it has something to do with the fact that my husband has gained a little weight (not too fat, but flabby and unappealing) and the fact that I’m about to hit 30 years old – some thing’s changing in my sex drive… But I don’t know what to do about it! I’m obsessed with this co-worker, I even think about him when I’m having sex with my husband!
I do not want to cheat, in fact I want things to go back to the way they were – when I was in love with my husband. But I don’t know how to get this other guy out of my head. My husband is wonderful – he sends me flowers for our anniversary, always available when I need help, he is looking for another job to be home more often (he is a consultant, so he travels a lot for work). He is also very smart, a very interesting person, great conversationalist, very good at his job. When he travels, we talk at least 40 minutes a day on the phone. I’m just not sexually attracted to him, I guess. Something isn’t right – maybe I just got used to him and his attention?
At this point, I don’t know what to do. I am trying to get closer to my husband by doing more things together. (I have sex to show him my affection, even though I’m not turned on by him). But I just can’t get this crush out of my head. I want to become friends with this co-worker (something I’m staying away from), I want to open up to him and share my problems with him – in short, I want his support and admiration.
What can I do to go back to being attracted to my husband? How can I stop having feelings for this other guy? I feel very guilty, but I just can’t stop my fantasies. My husband and I want to get pregnant and have a child (which we are having problems with), and I don’t want us to lose touch. Is this normal? How do I get out of this hole? I feel like I’m in love with two people at once, and am totally head over heels for this co-worker. Please help!
What a dilemma! You’ve a husband that seems perfect in every way – and there will be a lot of women reading this post who will be envious – but you’re in love with someone else.
So what’s going on? I doubt it’s got anything to do with your husband putting on a bit of flab but it’s the conclusion lots of people jump to when they’ve lost the spark. It must be something about their partner. However, more time than not, it’s about the person whose lost their libido themselves.
To be honest, this is something that I see more with men than women but there’s no reason why this might not apply to you. These men are logical and downplay their feelings and emotions. If there’s a problem, they rationalise it away. However, the problems don’t disappear. They pop up somewhere that men do pay attention: The Bedroom. Does this ring any bells? From your letter, it seems that you logical and don’t like to look deeply in your motives. You’re also focused a lot on sex at the moment.
I’m fascinated by the fact this is happening while you’re trying for a baby. You also choose someone who ‘is old enough to be your father’ and you value his ‘experience’. What you want most from him is his support and admiration. I have to say those are the two most important thing a man should give his daughter.
It begs the question: what is your relationship like with your father?
- Do you have a father-shaped hole in your life? Becoming a mother will certainly make you think about your childhood but it will also make you look at your husband through different eyes.
- He might be an attentive partner but how would be measure up to being a father? Do you worry about that?
- Or do you worry he might be such a great father, you will in competition with your child for his attention?
- Do you fear feeling like a little girl who has lost her Daddy?
I know I’m talking deep stuff and I doubt you’re comfortable with all these semi buried bodies but they might explain the ‘why now’ element of this infatuation.
So what should you do? First of all, you cannot be friends with this co-worker. It is like playing with fire. Secondly, if you don’t feed the fantasies – by staying away from him, talking only about work topics, and catching yourself ever time the day dreams start “here we go again” – they will get better.
Next, I want you to look at your relationship with your husband. It sounds a bit too good to be true – almost as if you’re burying the small every day issues. We think this is good for our relationship, but they build up into resentments and put a wall between us and our beloved. If the wall is made of anger too – which it normally is – that’s a great turn off too.
So instead of getting closer to your husband by doing more together, I’d like you to be more honest about the daily niggles and tiny issues because by resolving those you will bring the two of you closer and dissipate the suppressed anger. (Please do not tell him about the co-worker, it will make him jealous and suspicious for no reason. Obviously if he asks that’s another issue).
So summing up, I think you’re moving onto the next stage of your life – having kids and being a fully fledged adult. Something about all this is terrifying you. When we’re frightened who do turn to but our daddy?
I hope my explanation will help bring you back from the brink of being in love with two people but you might also like to look at ‘I love you but you always put me last’ as I explain more how being a parent brings back your childhood issues and how to deal with them. If I’m right about stuff that you thought resolved or didn’t matter from your childhood, I would suggest consider finding a good therapist.