Physical Attraction to Someone Else

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Last night, I made a huge mistake. I cheated on my husband. I do love him, very much; it’s just that the spark between us for the most part has become a low flame. I didn’t have sex with this other man, but I was about a hairs width from doing so. I have probably never wanted anything more in my life. Even now, after the fact, after the fight, I STILL wants this man. I should probably also point out that my husband is away for two weeks for work. We don’t have a bad sex life at all; it’s just that my attraction to this man is slightly overshadowing it… I don’t know what to do, or how to fix myself.

A: Thank you for having the courage to send this in to us. This is a powerfully important dilemma for many married people. In my practice this sort of thing happens repeatedly and there tends to be a perspective that helps put things in place.

For all the wonderful things about this new person — we can only know one thing for certain: Your marriage isn’t good enough. Whatever the reasons, the feelings you have for the other person are a symptom, not a cause. They reflect the weakness in the marriage. If your marriage were better the attraction wouldn’t take place.

This is all by way of saying that the emphasis is on deciding if the marriage is where you want to put your effort. Is it good enough to work on? Or is this the indication that it is no longer viable? The thing to recognize here is that the other person isn’t the solution – he is a symptom of the marriage not being okay. Research supports this by noting most of the affairs don’t last.

It is time to ask yourself some tough questions. I would recommend individual therapy now, and if you decide you want to stay in the marriage, couples therapy. This takes courage. But you have already displayed great strength of character by sending in this letter. It is time now to think about what direction you want to take.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Nov 2012

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2012). Physical Attraction to Someone Else. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/11/09/physical-attraction-to-someone-else/