I’ve been happily married for three years, but recently my feelings about my husband and my relationship have changed. I met a man at work, and for the first time since I met my husband, I feel seriously attracted to someone else. Nothing has happened between us, but I can’t stop thinking about him, which worries me as much as if we’d had an affair. I never thought I’d want anyone else, but my husband comes second to this man in my fantasies. For the first time, I’ve asked myself whether I’ve made the right choice. Does this signal the end for my marriage?
Lucy Beresford replies: The short answer is that I don’t know, but the episode is definitely signalling that something needs addressing.
Fantasies themselves are not necessarily harmful to a marriage, so long as they remain fantasies. But relationships outside a marriage that are emotionally intense, at the very least drain that marriage of vital nourishment.
I hear your shock at finding yourself tempted and, although it’s not a given that your marriage is currently in jeopardy, I do think you’ve reached a point where you must be honest with yourself and assess how much value you place on matrimony, your own marriage in particular, and the man you married.
Ask yourself immediately what it is about this work situation that is so compelling. Is it the secrecy? The novelty? The boost to your self-esteem? Are you really being honest when you say you’ve been happily married? Or are you attracted simply to the excitement of the new, or of forbidden fruit? Have you, for example, ever talked to your husband about the possibility that the excitement in your marriage appears to be on the wane?
Don’t rush any decision-making process, but once you have done some work on yourself and have identified what fulfils you, you should be in a better position to assess what you want out of the relationships in your life.
What would you do? Add your comment below.
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