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Married and falling for someone else
I've been with my husband for 20 years (since teenagers). We have a young child together.
We've always been the bestest of friends (we were before dating) and had lots of fun together before children came along. However, sex has always been an issue for us.
Lately we've been experiencing issues over the last year. More fights, as I guess we are exhausted and not as patient as we used to be. I'm not sure if the pandemic and lockdown exposed some side we weren't used to seeing, or the relentlessness of being parents is taking it's toll.
I suppose have started to fall out of love with him. I have no desire to be intimate anymore. He was never one for cuddles or holding hands anyway.
I've suggested counselling, which was met with 'i don't think it's needed'.
Anyway, which leads me to my dilemma. I have recently become better friends with someone i work with, who I always admired but knew i couldnt 'go there'. But lately our friendship seems to of taken a flirty tone. We text a lot and have had some drinks together, where we just talked and talked and talked.
I am falling for him and I don't know what to do.
He is also married, so adds further complications to it. He also, might not even feel the same way.
I sort of don't want to stop seeing my friend. I'm enjoying the thrill I suppose.
I know I should be working on my marriage, but I feel like I'm done, especially seeing as husband doesn't seem to want to discuss with a counsellor.
This took a lot to type out. Thank you for reading and any advice you can provide.
It's a tough one to reply to. Community Champions like myself pride ourselves from not being judgemental, so any moral frowning won't happen.
However there is or should be, a certain level of obligation towards your husband prior to embarking upon other journey. This is, imo a level of effort that will satisfy any future guilt you might experience and...any future questions you might need to answer from your then grown up child.
So far you've done well by requesting counselling. His unco-operative response was unacceptable however that could be one given due to his genuine belief all is well, that he is content. Better you ask in a clear, sit down, serious conversation without distraction.
Furthermore if he won't go that will likely clear the way. But, due to the phenomenon of "the grass is greener" I'd attend that counsellor alone anyway.
In your situation that's what I'd do. The small stuff eg "he doesn't hold hands etc is a reflection of you not obtaining satisfaction and that incompatibility is a major concern but are they grounds to split a family? Or two?. It isn't judgemental but it is weighing up the end cost for what is a gamble. This crush might well stay with his wife (that often happens). If you begin an affair then that sequence isn't a proper one in terms of reputation and general obligation.
So, I'd really urge you to focus on the next week's on your marriage, counselling and put the other guy on hold just for now.
You'll feel better for it in the long term.
I hope that helps.
Wellcome to our forums.
Can you think of all the reasons why you fell in love with your husband in the first place?
Sometimes it’s easy to focus on the negatives but it takes work to focus on the positive.
Having a child can really change the dynamics of a relationship.
Maybe you both just need some time out together…. A date night ….work on really talking to each other…….
The other guy I think I’d try to retract from that and try to focus on yourself husband and child once you go the other way sometimes there is no turning back.
if I can offer any advice from someone that is full of regret I would say please stop talking to your work colleague and talk to your husband. Express how you are truly feeling and that his actions are making you feel like seeking attention elsewhere. I got close to a colleague sent flirty and sexual messages and now I live every single day with regret, shame and guilt. Please believe me when I say you don’t want to live your life like this. Open up and if he truly doesn’t change talk about separation.
Good luck !
Hello Dazedandconfused, if you are having trouble with your marriage, then talking with someone else may seem to be a delightful relief, but if for instance, the two of you decided to hook up together, then this may suddenly change and may not be any better than how your marriage is, because talking with someone else isn't the same as if you were living together.
Although he seems to be a good person, you don't actually know what his situation is at home and whether he wants to talk to you as he might have done this before with other people.
I'm in no position to tell you what to do, however, even if your husband doesn't want marriage counselling, doesn't stop you from talking with your doctor and being referred to a psychologist, because your children and perhaps his children need to be considered before you decide to develop a relationship.
I understand what you are saying but please think about the consequences first.
I can only support the advice being offered to you on this forum. Your situation is very common for both men and women. Marriages become stale, complacency sets in and before you know it, a work colleague appears like a knight riding a white steed. The truth is, these white knights are often an illusion, especially ones that are already married.
You’re not expected to suffer endlessly in an unhappy marriage but most people would expect you to try and rebuild your relationship with your husband. You can’t do this while you have the distraction of your flirty friend in your life. Seek personal counselling, start by talking your GP. Tell your husband you are seeking professional advice if he persists in resisting your requests for counselling.
If after trying everything to save your marriage, you still feel your marriage has irredeemably broken down, then plan for ending it properly. How you do that is another subject. Good luck.
I'm so sorry that you're experiencing enough emptiness to make something that might have once seem unspeakable to you feel really tempting now. As others here have said, a clearer and more open approach to the situation will make it less messy. I know it's really tempting to ignore problems and just try to fill the gap with a secret, I totally relate to that urge! But you'd only be delaying having to face everything, and making the mess bigger for later on.
However, it clearly shows that you're in need of some relief from feeling very lonely and unsupported, and it is ok and even advisable to explore options that might help you feel that, that don't have to sabotage you and those around you. You mentioned that you've been out for drinks and chatted a long time and things like that...
There are multiple layers to why you find those things so satisfying right now, and I understand that maybe one of them is the need to feel romantically and/or sexually desirable, which is where you might feel the most stuck and the reason that seeking counselling, as others have suggested, might be the place to take that conundrum, (not that counselling can resolve that feeling for you, but might allow you to address your marriage and as others have said end things properly first if that's what's needed.)
However there are other aspects of what you've enjoyed about it that it might help you to seek out in more appropriate ways. Perhaps you could seek out opportunities to spend time with groups of people and girlfriends etc sharing interests and social activities. Maybe dress up for something now and then and give yourself opportunities to receive compliments from those around you and enjoy the buzz of different atmospheres. Maybe you could even express to your husband that this is something you need (with or without him attending if he is not interested) so that as a wife and mother you are caring for yourself and having something leftover to give.
With time maybe this could make you feel a bit more "topped up" and able to give more energy to caring what happens in your marriage... and I do say that without judgement... it can be so hard to find the energy to care about something that you have not been enjoying or that you feel neglected and ignored by.
Also, if you can do it without only making things more tempting (or tempting your friend) maybe admitting how you feel in a way that says you're worried about your marriage and don't want to lose it...
Please also feel free to share more about why it's hard for you. The advice that's been given to you is to protect you, not to judge you. When we're feeling really vulnerable in situations that have the potential to do harm, sometimes we need some straight talk from others, but it usually comes best from someone who knows us enough to know what angle is best and what we might need. You have reached out to strangers (I'm assuming?), and well done for doing so, I get that there might not be someone else to talk to, and this is exactly what this space is for. But it does mean that the seriousness of your situation makes it hard to gauge what kinds of words will help. Which is probably why this space is set up for conversation, not just question and answer. So please do give feedback on how all this advice makes you feel, and how you're doing with everything.
You are as much a person as anyone else dazedandconfused. Love and warmth to you.
Thank you for your reply. And to everyone else who did too. I guess I knew the answers/advice I'd receive. I just needed to hear it. And I don't feel judged.. I completely understand.
I did some counselling around a year ago on my own. It didn't really help that much, it only made me more annoyed that I had to put all the effort into our relationship. But I guess I'll try again.
I think you hit the nail on the head when you said my need is to feel romantically and/or sexually desirable and that I should explore some of my own interests, which I have been doing a little (such as Yoga).
I am not one for conflict usually, so all of this is very hard for me.
Good tips thank you. I'll think about positive aspects more, because you're right, there's obviously reasons why we fell in love.
Date nights are so tricky. Getting a babysitter is hard and husband doesn't want to spend the money on it. It also turns into me organising all the logistics of it. Which I'm fed up of doing.