How Do You Deal With a Crush on a Married Man?
He is devastatingly attractive, he is totally wonderful, you can't get him out of your mind—and he's already taken. What do you do?
Like many, many women, I have been in this situation more than once in my life. Whether you yourself are single, attached, married, this can definitely happen to you. This is my take on the classic crush on the married man.
What Is a Crush?
According to Urban Dictionary, a crush is "a burning desire to be with someone who you find very attractive and extremely special." It would be a sad life indeed if you never encountered someone you consider to be very attractive and extremely special!
While it is a common first stage for a romantic relationship, crushes don't often lead to one. Crushes are especially known for being short-lived, and they are often pointed towards people who are unattainable, such as celebrities. This is especially common amongst young people who are just learning about romantic relationships. Though those feelings are very real and very strong, when those feelings are not reciprocated by the other person, the crush will eventually fade and come to pass.
Crushes Are Completely Normal
To have a crush on someone, no matter whether one or both of you are not available is absolutely normal.
Playful flirting and games are part of basic human interaction and feeling that you are attractive, interesting, and able to love feels wonderful. It causes a physical and chemical reaction in our brains that makes us happy.
I don't believe it is possible to honestly deny a crush—when it happens, you just need to wait it out.
You and the Married Man
Problems only arise when you start to act upon your fantasies with someone who is already committed to someone else. Let's be honest here, you've probably read this far because you have a crush on someone who's taken and are looking for justification, redemption, and encouragement. You are probably considering what it would be like to have a serious relationship with him. Am I right? I'm not judging you—I'm understanding you. I've been there.
Perhaps he is signaling back that he is interested too. Maybe he is indicating that something more could happen between you. Perhaps he is attempting to instigate an affair with you. Perhaps you just want to go for it, despite the consequences. Unfortunately, if you are receiving positive signals, odds are that the man is simply feeding his own ego with your attention. Even more, unfortunately, if you take it further, it will almost always end badly.
Ask Yourself: Do You Really Want to Go There?
Even if you see it as just a simple, harmless affair, some women end up wanting a proper relationship in the long run. However, it's not actually harmless—somewhere, someone is going to get hurt.
When I've had feelings for an unavailable man, I have always asked myself this (somewhat cliched) question. "If he leaves his wife for me, how could I ever trust him?"
The simple answer is ... I couldn't.
His wife is a real person with hopes, fears, dreams and feelings. If you've never met her, it makes it very hard to believe that she actually exists, even though you know she does. It might seem less painful if you are able to forget that he goes home to her, but it actually helps to really think about her and how your actions might affect her. It kind of puts things in perspective, and it personally makes me feel a little angry with the man for putting both me and his wife in this situation, and that helps too.
Be warned ... if you go looking for advice, be prepared to be judged badly. You will be perceived as a threat to anyone who is in or who has had a relationship. Almost everyone will take the high moral ground, without considering any individual circumstances. No matter what, despite what you might be told by almost anyone with an opinion ... YOU ARE NOT A BAD PERSON.
You can't help who you like.
However, this is the time when you can step up and be a good person.
What To Do...My Suggestions
It seems that the majority of people will advise you to walk away, cut contact and so on. If possible, it's not such a bad idea if you can shut off like that, but unless you are a robot, it's not always that easy. Often you will be in a situation where you can't walk away, like in a work situation, and you will still see the man every day.
Personally, I believe that sudden avoidance can be a big mistake. I feel that cutting feelings like this creates obsession. You will feel like the martyr, and it will strengthen your emotions. If he has developed feelings for you, it will trigger his urge to chase you.
Instead, I feel that you need to let your crush evolve and dwindle in its own good time. It is not love - love is so much more. It is a crush, be it an advanced one, and admitting this is a huge step forward. Crushes do pass. Be friendly towards him, be controlled, keep your head, be honest with yourself and give yourself time to sort things out.
Here are some ideas to help ease your feelings while you wait :
- Try and focus your attentions elsewhere. You are probably looking at your most attractive at the moment, because of the euphoria your crush is causing you. Who else is around who IS available? If you are already in a relationship yourself, can you spice up things there?
- Mention his wife in general conversation. It will remind both you and him that she exists, and will indicate to him that you are being respectful of her and their relationship.
- Look for things about him that you dislike, and focus on them. if you love cats, and he says cruel things about cats, focus on that! If he has ugly hands, focus on them! If he does something stupid, focus on it!
- Avoid the temptation to answer personal emails, texts and phone calls from him. If you must answer, keep it brief and impersonal. It's hard, but try to discourage any sort of intimate or private behaviour.
- Love yourself. Sometimes we look to men to validate us, because we don't have enough self confidence. Do something wonderful for yourself ... take a holiday, make some part of yourself over, learn something new, experience something amazing ... You are a fabulous woman. Go out and live!
Committed relationships can and do end.
Perhaps you are destined to have a relationship in the future with this man.
If you have been "the other woman", "the affair", "the homewrecker", the chances of a good relationship with him if he does ever become available are very, very slim.
However, if you have conducted yourself with dignity, self respect, decency and integrity, then if at some point this man's marriage fails for a reason other than your interference, you have built the foundations for a solid relationship with him.
Or, by then, you could be happily involved with someone else! There is ALWAYS hope!
Questions & Answers
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