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August 21, 2018 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Relationships

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I Think I Love Another Man

Question:

My partner and I met online and fell head over heels in love. He left his job and moved 300 miles to be with me and we decided to have a child almost straightaway. I love my partner, but since returning to my education, I have met a guy. I was not immediately physically attracted to him, but after getting to know him I find myself daydreaming about him. When we were out with a group of friends, I really wanted to kiss him. I think he feels the same attraction to me but he is engaged. My friend says that I am attracted to him because I know he has proposed to his partner. And even though my daughter is 18 months old, I still don't have that ring on my finger. I fell like an idiot for writing this, but I don't know what to do. I need help.

Smeagol, 25-year-old woman

Answer:

My dear,

I remember my mother saying to my stepfather, "You can window-shop all you like, but you must come home to buy."

It is OK for you to be attracted to other guys. I think it's probable that everyone sometimes finds somebody attractive, even if they have a stable relationship that they want to maintain, and even if they are head over heels in love with their partner.

However, the actions you take need to be based on how you want your life to run. You should design your future, or at least as much of it that is in your control. What kind of a mother do you plan to be for your child? Will you have lots of sexual adventures, or will you choose stability? There is no moral judgment in what I am saying. If you want the kind of life in which you have a new guy a year, go for it. If you want to have a partner/husband and have kids with him but, at the same time, you want a string of lovers on the side, go for it. But do so because YOU have decided that this is your preferred life choice rather than drifting into it because you choose not to resist short-term urges.

Of course, when you do this, you need to do so intelligently, and look at the likely consequences of each choice. Each has costs and benefits you need to consider.

From what you write, my feeling is that you would dearly love to be married to your current partner, and to raise your joint child together. If this is your deliberate and conscious choice, then you will act in accordance with it. Whatever attractions you may feel for other men, you will ignore them. They come without you having invited them, so there is no need to feel guilt. Just accept them. Have a daydream or two if you wish. But do what advances your life's goals, which is (in this example) a mutually loving, stable relationship.

And, you know, in this modern age, you don't need to wait for your guy to ask you to marry him. Tell him that's what you want.

Bob

This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.

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