If you find yourself reading this article, the first thing I would like you to do is to take a deep breath and gently tell yourself, “It is normal for me to be attracted to other people, even though I am in a committed relationship.”
Yes, it is true! Feeling drawn to people other than our spouse or partner from time to time is quite natural.
Don’t be too hard on yourself for simply having these feelings. The fact that you are here trying to figure it out implies you want to do something about it —that is what ultimately matters.
Of course, I know firsthand just how unsettling and stressful it can be when we become aware of having romantic feelings for someone other than our spouse. The intensity of the attraction can take us by surprise.
Especially if every guilty attempt at squashing, ignoring, or reasoning with your feelings only results in them burning brighter—like the novelty birthday candles which manage to relight themselves every time you try blowing them out.
Is it normal for married couples to develop crushes?
Yes, it’s completely normal and acceptable to develop crushes while being married. 74% of full-time employees have accepted having work crushes in their workplace. So, having a crush outside marriage is nothing out of the ordinary.
While it’s acceptable to fancy a new person, it should not culminate into cheating on your partner. It’s advisable to draw a line when you feel you are falling for someone else. Healthy crushes and attraction always add fuel to your existing marital relationship.
Why do married people develop crushes?
Crushes work the same way for married people as they do for any of us. If you have been constantly interacting with an attractive or interesting personality, it’s natural to feel butterflies in the stomach and develop a crush.
Obviously, it’s impossible for one person to serve as a source of all joy for their partner. So, there is an expectation from people to outsource their happiness routinely in casual crushes.
In case you are having feelings for someone else while married and find the whole thing confusing and overwhelming, here are a few practical tips that may help you manage your inner turmoil and regain your equilibrium:
1. Acknowledge and face your feelings
If you are married but in love with someone else, or having a crush while in a relationship, at first, it is likely you will choose to deny or ignore these unwelcome feelings.
But as disturbing as they are, it is vital to first face them and then accept them in their entirety, with as little self-judgment as possible.
Don’t belittle yourself for having such feelings—remind yourself that all emotions and feelings are part of our human experience. Having a crush on someone or fantasizing about someone else while in a relationship is normal.
What matters is how we choose to act upon falling in love with someone else while married or in a committed relationship.
2. Draw appropriate boundaries
In order to protect yourself from doing anything you may regret later, it is important you draw suitable boundaries with the person you feel drawn to— at least till you are clear about the way forward.
This distance will not only provide much-needed relief from the overwhelming feelings you feel when you are in their presence but also create a safe space in which you can gather yourself again.
So make sure when you are having feelings for someone else while married or in a relationship, the first thing you need to do is draw appropriate boundaries.
3. Examine and understand your feelings
Once you have truly faced and accepted your feelings, it is possible to look at them somewhat objectively.
When you are married but constantly thinking about someone else, try and understand what drives the desire to be with this other person. Is it a mere physical attraction or something more layered?
Perhaps you feel deeply appreciated or understood, or you have a lot in common such as shared values and interests? Or you feel a fulfilling emotional connection?
Spend some time honestly examining all aspects of your feelings threadbare—this understanding is vital in order to consciously navigate your way to a place of emotional stability.
4. Work on your marriage
The good news is that you can use this new self-awareness as a toolkit for strengthening your marriage when you are having feelings for someone else while married.
Carefully examine the health of your marriage against each of the parameters of attractions you uncovered.
Whether or not you choose to tell him or her about your attraction to the other person is something you must think about carefully. It is a delicate matter that must be handled with great sensitivity to your partner’s feelings.
5. Enlist support from reliable sources
One of the ways of getting over a crush when you are married is to not shy away from your true friends when you are having feelings for someone else while married.
Well-meaning friends may be unable to understand the emotional nuances of what you are going through, or offer advice based on their own personal beliefs.
Through all this, it may be more beneficial to talk to a trained counselor who can stay objective, providing a safe, non-judgmental space for you to explore your inner world as you work through your emotions and thoughts.
One of the answers to how to get over a crush when you are married is to keep track of your emotional, physical and mental wellbeing by regularly practicing hobbies and activities that soothe and nurture you.
Go for walks, practice meditation or yoga, journal your thoughts and feelings, listen to music, or silently watch the sunrise over a cup of tea.
Doing so will ensure you stay balanced and maintain clarity, avoiding any impulsive actions while having feelings for someone else while married or in a relationship.
7. Be patient as you gain alignment of mind and heart
Sometimes when the feelings we are experiencing are very intense, it can be a frustrating battle between the mind and heart.
On the one hand, letting go may seem impossible, as you feel wonderful in the company of this other person—so you wonder if you can continue as friends.
But you worry this may prove detrimental to your marriage in the long run. It can feel like a hopeless situation. Nonetheless, don’t lose heart—be patient as in time you are bound to achieve clarity.
Above all, remember that having feelings for someone else while married or in a relationship is absolutely normal. So, be gentle with yourself till you get there!
Getting over a crush when you are married might seem like an emotionally exhausting task. It can consume you in guilt and there could be days when you would question the worth of your marriage.
However, know that your feelings are completely normal and you only require some effort and take a few steps to get over your crush when you are married in order to make your marriage long-lasting and fulfilling.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Tara Anand is passionate about helping women discover that it is possible to nurture authentic, fulfilling relationships without losing yourself. She provides Life Coaching, Counseling & Mindfulness Coaching to help women through challenging relationships & life transitions at www.dhyana-life.com. Her memoir, \'Why The Lotus Blooms: Choosing to Stand Tall’ is available on Amazon.