So you ate that forbidden fruit of love didn’t you? And now, it is eating your soul away. Why? Because the fruit of love came from a tree outside the boundary walls of marriage. You, who always prided yourself about the stability in your marriage; were always the one to provide a strong shoulder to your miserable friends when they were caught red-handed in their extramarital affairs. And now suddenly this person seems to be the centre of your life. So is this love? Or infatuation? Or pure lust?
Surely someone has bewitched you. Why else would you have feelings for someone else while you were happily married? Or, you were simply under the illusion that you were happy. Or you are sailing in an intoxicated state of mind and refuse to let go of the seductiveness it brings. Perhaps you are simply bored.
Is this really true love or just infatuation?
So, before you tear your hair out, suffer from insomnia or ruin those beautiful pages of your diary, ask yourself two very simple questions. First, why did you marry this person who is now your spouse? Second, are you really happy? (We are going to leave the deep question of ‘what is love’ to the Greek philosophers). Most likely, you will be able to differentiate whether this is love or just another rush of adrenaline that is sending you high. And highs; they are never legitimate, are they?
Was it because of your parents’ decision, or the fear of being left alone, was it love before marriage or simply a rational decision to propagate your genes? Whatever may be the reason, sooner or later love always finds a way to bring you and your partner closer. It is upon you to hold that love and never let it go. You might not have been immediately in love with each other, but surely you must have worked your way towards it, gradually, step by step. What happened then?Why did you stop loving each other midway?
Coming to the other question, your relationship equation with your partner is bang on. Your level of understanding and compatibility is impeccable. You can almost read each other’s mind when it comes to doing something. He is a doting father; you are a devoted wife and a mother. You are a model couple. You have everything that a normal, married couple has – a stable income, a house, savings account, children and good social status. But after a long day, when you go to sleep, you feel emptiness within you. With a jolt you realise, you aren’t happy, in spite of all that outward luxury.
The answers to the two questions are two of the many reasons why you start having feelings for someone else while married.
8 Reasons people fall in love with someone outside the marriage
- Because it is human: We humans are sometimes as frail and imperfect as the marriage we are bound to. And having feelings for someone else while being married, is that a devilish sin? No, it’s a just a human flaw. You keep falling in and out of love. Today you have feelings for someone else; tomorrow you start feeling guilty and once again fall back in love with your married partner. Just like the ebb and flow of tides
- You feel you are stuck with the wrong person: You were 25. You could have completed that degree and then opted for marriage. But you chose to fling yourself into the game called life, because that was the only way you could have competed with your friends. You were 25, what was the hurry? If only you had been strong enough to stand up for your love, you wouldn’t have ended up with this marriage.Sooner or later it the ‘what if’ dawns upon you. And you start feeling like you are stuck with the wrong person because of a wrong decision. And you start looking for the right one, outside your marriage.
- You start feeling invisible: On one side is your spouse, for whom, no matter how many surprises, confessions of love, special dishes, small efforts to take care of their needs you pull up, they ‘never’ notice you. And worst, they fail to appreciate you. You start feeling like you part of the furniture.The need to feel wanted, noticed, appreciated and cared for makes you develop feelings for someone else even when you’re married.
- ‘Happily’ in married takes off: One of the most common reasons why you start falling in love with someone else other than your partner is that marriage becomes more like a dull courtroom. Years after being married, you realise that ‘happiness’ has left your marriage secretly. There is no joy of being together, only an unending march of imparting duties and taking care of kids, family, job.Therefore, you start falling for someone who makes you feel alive. It might start off as an innocent friendship but before you know it, things start spiralling into something deep and intimate
- Nostalgia of the early butterflies-in-the-stomach days: Some part of you remains stuck in the good old days of the past. You miss the thrill, the rush of adrenaline and heartbeat of the early days of courtship and love. But nothing of that sort can happen in your marriage anymore, you have lived out that phase. So you start seeking that adventure with someone else outside your marriage
- There was no real love: Major illusion busting time. What you ‘thought’ was love was in fact a combination of lust, passion, heat and infatuation. There was never any real emotional bonding. So once those layers started peeling off from your marriage you started falling out of faith in your marriage and simply blame it on lack of love
- Boredom creeps in: When a marriage functions on routine, boredom starts to find a way in. It is the ‘same things’ that you both do every day without fail, and you start feeling like there is no excitement, no thrill. You two become too comfortable with each other, and comfortable with the boring married life you are living. That can make you look outside your marriage – to fight the boredom, to have something new. And because you are bored, you do not mind taking stupid risks
- You are emotionally vulnerable: Many of us face challenges in life, and these challenges sometimes make us emotionally vulnerable. Emotionally depressed people are more likely to build hope on fragile foundations. That is the risk they are willing to take with their lives.However, there is still a chance that you have found your true love outside your marriage. And if you are sure that this is what it is, you may find a way forward. If you really love someone and they love you too, and both of you see a future together, move on. Just do not sit there risking and hurting the sentiments of all the people involved. And, if you decide to take this further, make sure the deal is REAL
What to do once you fall in love with someone else while married?
You have to find a way, either back or forward.
1. Consider the consequences
Marriage is an important commitment. It is a union of two people. Before taking any decision, you might want to consider its effects on the lives of all those connected to you and your partner. Can you be sure that the person you are in love with is willing to take responsibility of his love? What repercussions will your action have on the future of your children?
When it comes to marriage, love isn’t the only ruling factor. You have to make certain difficult choices as well, whether they make you happy or not.
2. Forgive yourself
You cannot undo your feelings once they have developed for someone else. But you can certainly forgive yourself and get over the guilt. If you wish to make your marriage work, then you have to put a closure on your feelings, forgive yourself and move forward.
Remember, we are all imperfect and frail.
3. Build an attitude of gratitude
Has it ever occurred to you that instead of looking at all that you have lost you can choose to be grateful for all that you’ve received? Try doing that once and you will find yourself to be a much luckier person.
4. Love is about giving too
Love is not always about receiving love or being loved. Real and true love is finding joy in the endless tale of loving and sharing love. Once you get out the preconditioned mind-set that it is your partner’s duty to make you feel loved, cared for and respected you will find out how thoroughly misguided you were on the concept of love.
And once you start giving more love to your married partner you will start receiving it too. No more need to open the window for outsiders.
As human beings we do not always have control on our feelings and whom we fall in love with. It is more important to know whether we have chosen to place our love with a right person or not. Nothing good has ever come from being strongly dictated to by our heart. So if you fall in love with someone else while being married, try making sure if it is what you really want. And then take a decision ruled by your head as well as your heart.