How Should I Be Dealing With Extra Marital Attraction?

Expert Speak | | Expert Author , Mental Health Therapistℹ️
Updated On: October 5, 2023
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The extramarital attraction is common. Often in marriages, there can be a lull in passion or both partners get very comfortable with each other as the years go by. As a counsellor, I have observed that during such phases of marriage, when the connection with a spouse is at its lowest, you are most likely to be vulnerable and get attracted to another “potential mate”.

Is it normal to have a crush or get attracted? It is quite common to have a crush or get attracted to another person if your needs are not being met in your marriage, or if you have an inattentive spouse, or if you happen to be a die-hard romantic and fall easily in love with people. Feeling an attraction outside the marriage is quite common but why do you feel the attraction is the question you need to ask yourself. Why are you married but still attracted to someone else?

It’s when you get comfortable extra-marital attraction begins

This is the story of Asha. She was happily married but it all began when she started feeling attracted to someone else. Asha, a happily married working woman, was quite distressed, as she felt she was being disloyal to her spouse. “I love my husband but I am attracted to someone else,” was what she said. Asha was friendly with all her colleagues but she was quite friendly with a male colleague. She stated that she found him “hot” and felt he was interested in her and that he often “flirted” with her over computer chats and complimented her. All the attention that her spouse did not give her she got from her colleague. She had started looking forward to meeting this person in the office, taking good care of how she dressed, looking for opportunities to talk to him or have office group lunches, etc.

Asha was very clear that she was very committed to her marriage and that they were planning to have a child in the near future so she was in a dilemma on how she could care for her spouse and yet feel attracted to another man.

She was afraid that it either meant her marriage was in trouble or that she was going to have a potential affair with her colleague.

Asha seemed quite distressed and felt she had encouraged another man to think otherwise. Can you feel deeply attracted to someone else if you are happily married? This was a question she kept asking herself.

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He made her feel good

As human beings, we all crave to be liked, appreciated, given attention to, and made to feel special. When you are made to feel “good” about yourself, it is but natural to view the person positively and start having feelings towards the person. Sometimes the person you have a crush on may look like your favourite actor, or it may simply be the case of the “the other side looking greener”. That is the beginning of an extramarital attraction. Read a piece where one person wrote to us asking how could she have fallen in love with someone else when she was happily married. Well, these things, unfortunately, do happen.

Dealing with Extra marital Attraction at workplace is very common
Dealing with Extra marital Attraction at workplace is very common

Simran, though married with a child, would daily chat with her cousin and would often go and visit her cousin’s house and spend hours with him and his family. This would create friction between Simran and her husband. Simran felt she was being unnecessarily blamed even though it was an innocent relationship. Simran was clearly in denial about the situation.

So a “crush” or attraction to another person can “interfere” in one’s marriage if it is not dealt with in a mature manner. Another client, Sonali, felt “bereft” from her husband’s attention and felt that she may have “flings” in the absence of attention from him. Why a married woman is attracted to another man? This is one of the major reasons.

Sit down and talk to your partner about change

In such situations, women do feel guilty about having feelings and feel they are emotionally cheating on their spouses. They feel guilty that they are married but still attracted to someone else. If you are in a similar situation, I would strongly advise talking to your spouse on certain changes you would like in your marriage. Dealing with extramarital attraction beforehand is better than regretting later. These could include going for dates or spending a weekend holiday, or joining a hobby or dance class together to start getting the fun back into the marriage.

Dealing with Extramarital Attraction by discussing with your spouse
Dealing with Extramarital Attraction by discussing with your spouse

Related Reading: Confession Story: Emotional Cheating Vs Friendship – The Blurry Line

If your husband is reluctant to change or genuinely has time constraints, then try to set up some “couple rituals”, like having tea or dinner together or going for after-dinner walks or simply going for “coffee dates” or a drive together. Couples who spend too much time apart tend to drift over time. Hence having even one activity together once a week is a good beginning point. This might prevent you from feeling attracted to someone else. You won’t have to deal with the guilt of being married but attracted to someone else.

Dealing with Extramarital Attraction by discussing with your spouse
Couples who spend too much time apart tend to drift over time

In addition, it is important to acknowledge that you are having a “crush”. However, like any relationship, crushes die out over time if you don’t attend to it actively. If you find you are spending too much time with the person you are having a crush on, start maintaining boundaries, keep a distance, start maintaining minimal interaction, and avoid over-familiarity and sending mixed signals. You have to understand you are married but attracted to someone else.

If you are committed to your marriage, write down the positives and the cons if you were to “mess” up the marriage in any way.

Related Reading: 12 Signs A Married Man Is Falling In Love With You

Ask yourself why are you feeling attracted to another person? What can you do about it? Consider feeling attracted to another person as a “wake-up call” to start being attentive to your marriage. Hopefully, you will soon have a “crush” on your life partner again. There’s no need to feel guilty about your extramarital attraction as long you can work on the feeling and get over it.

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Readers Comments On “How Should I Be Dealing With Extra Marital Attraction?”

  1. Apart from what the article brief, few more are presented.

    Before dealing attraction , we need to understand why attraction happens.
    We have internally some tick boxes or lets say traits (say physical, intellectual or behavioural etc) we want in our spouse. But reality is no human being on earth can tick all qualities expected by us including our own self. If any one ticks all , then he/she is God but that is not the case. Now when we get married, our spouse ticks some and lacks some so as us. Now if the person loves his/her has selfless love towards his/her spouse, he/she will acknowledge and appreciate good in his/her spouse, be content and will have gratitude for what he/she has. Even if he/she come across persons better than his/her spouse, he/she will have respect for that person but will not develop crush because he/she knows even the other person will not have few qualities which his/her spouse has. So there will not be any impact on marriage.

    Some people confuse fulfilling responsibility as love.
    Fulfilling responsibility can be an out come of love or an out come of obligation due to marriage. For eg. If one gets admitted in a very good private hospital, the nurse will take care of person like anything. But is that love? No, just because it is service due to payment. But if person has no selfless love towards his/her spouse, treat their spouse as a responsibility, confused responsibility with love then they can become greedy and develop crush for outsider because the outsider has ticked few qualities which his/her spouse lacks. If the person lacks ethics/morals etc can end-up with one nightstand/affair etc with outsider.
    2. Marriage issues
    If some ones marriage is under rocks, the qualities which we see are lacking in ones spouse because of which either issues are coming or issues could not be resolved, under the circumstance, if an outsider come across with such qualities one can get attracted and crush will be developed. Again based on ethics/morals of self either further consequences happens.

    How to stay unimpacted by outsider (attraction)

    Acknowledge, Appreciate and have gratitude for what u have in ur spouse. Accept ones spouse as he/she is with good and flaws. Also remember sacredness of marriage, spirituality aspect of marriage, and ones commitment and loyalty, standing through Thick & Thin with partner.
    Accept outsider has few qualities better than our spouse. So be it. Some one else may be still better than this guy also. nothing great. creation has produced human beings in great variedness. Have respect for that thats all. As long as no romantic/sexual feelings are not attached , its ok.
    Also one has to say that there are some good qualities which my spouse has but this guy lacks. So there is nothing great about this person. Problem comes when and only take his good but when take ones spouse good also into account that guy becomes marginal. Then one can have respect for what the other guy has but nothing more.
    One can also visualize even self is with flaws. Am I ideal spouse to my partner. May not be because I may have many flaws yet my spouse has love & commitment for me then why bloody I have to bother about third person, bull shit & leave him/her out of mind.
    You love your spouse selflessly so this guy looks like my cousin brother or cousin sister or like my maternal uncle. The moment once u see them as equal person, mind can drag one further down.
    Remember once vows to our ancestors, gods and one spouse, the personal integrity, morals and values are of self etc and the bigger picture of marriage spanned over entire life.
    Spirituality and attraction (Request not to mock by who dont believe, pl. excuse)
    Spirituality means not that one has to renounce everything and go to Himalaya for Tapas. But it is like getting connected with Supreme power on continuous basis like how we get connected with our near & dear ones on Whatsapp.
    * Persons whose dominating nature is Rajasik or Tamasik have probability for attractions. Developing Satva guna will eliminate wrong attractions.Persons who follow Dharma, Bhakti yoga, karma yoga etc, who serve elders , parents and Guru’s lotus feet will not get wrong attractions.

  2. When I watched the movie “English Vinglish” , I wondered why there was a tinge of surprise blended with content in Sridevi when she found another man getting attracted towards her. I realised it all comes down to one thing . He made her feel good about herself. Something that her own spouse didn’t do. Something her family didn’t do.
    With the passage of time , men generally don’t feel the need to appreciate their wives. They take them for granted. And it’s only fair that a woman would feel inclined towards someone else who tend to fill that void. I guess the best way is to talk it out . Better still, love yourself enough to have a sound emotional state where you can sort things out. This article has been a insighful read. 🙂

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