There’s a man in my life who I’ve known for a while. We bump into each other every now and then and the attraction from years before is still there.
But I’m married to someone else.
I’m happily married and have been for almost nine years. I love my husband and have no intention of ever being with anyone else, ever. But from time to time I’m still attracted to other men. I don’t flirt (well, I try not to) but I do realise that familiar feeling. I often wonder if there’s a way to switch off potential attraction to other people, or is it normal?
I was surprised the first time I was attracted to someone after I’d been married. I was surprised, horrified and guilty. He was my new personal trainer at my gym. He was hot but he was also smart. He knew things I didn’t know. Knowledge and ambition have always been triggers for crushes for me. But how could I think about another man in that way when I was so in love with my husband? Did it mean I didn’t love my husband as much as I thought it did? Were we doomed?
I revealed my dilemma to a friend who’d been married for several years. She thought it was funny that I was so disgusted with myself. She said it was totally normal and she often felt attraction to others.
She added, “Just because you’re married, doesn’t mean you won’t be attracted to other people. You love your husband. The difference is you don’t act on it because you’re married and you don’t act on it because you love your husband. Just forget about it and move on.”
I’ve been thinking about this ever since and she is totally right. I think the trap people fall into is they think their attraction to another means they aren’t in the right relationship, as though their attraction to another must mean they aren’t with their soul mate or something. This is a romantic, idealistic and damaging way to view love and relationships. How can any marriage survive such a high bar as this?
Marriage is about love but it is also about choice. I choose to focus all my attention on my marriage, even when he is annoying and we are mad with each other. I recognise that I am attracted to others and I’m sure he is too but we don’t act on it because we love each other and are devoted to our marriage.
Our attraction to others is just that, attraction. It’s a fleeting moment of attraction that just means we are human.
And to continue my tradition of inappropriate quotes in my work, here’s one from Sister Wives. I love this show. Cody (the husband) said that sometimes in a marriage your wife might be mad at you but they still want you around to be mad at. So don’t read into your feelings too much. Attraction, anger, doubt…they are just feelings and just like feelings like happiness, fulfilment and contentment, feelings come and go. They are all part of the ride. Just stay on. And try not to flirt!
Jo Abi is the author of the book How to Date a Dad: a dating guide released by Hachette Livre Australia. You can read more about her many and various exploits here and follow her on Twitter here.
If you have a significant other – do you ever find yourself attracted to other people? Have you ever acted on it? Would you?
And while you’re pondering that dilemma, check out our gallery of the men you might be attracted to…