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Engaged but in love with someone else

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I have been in love with one guy for the past 8 years. We also had a 3 yr long distance relationship. But we made it through all odds and are now going to get married by end of this year. But during my long distance, I met another guy and I fell in love with him. We ended it within a couple of months because he is married. But even after 2 years, I still have feelings for him and he has expressed his love several times and is willing to leave his wife. I am confused what I should do. I think I love both of them. I cant hurt my to-be husband and our families but I also feel I will have a better life with the other. I know this is very selfish of me but I am really torn apart, so please help.

Engaged but in love with someone else

Answered by on -

A.

This isn’t so much selfish as it is a struggle with genuine intimacy. You fell in love with one man that was a long-distance relationship, unavailable by geography. Then you fell in love with another man who was unavailable because of his marriage. You are likely not to be in love with each man as he is, but rather in love with his potential.

The man you are engaged to is now becoming more available. You have worked though the rough spots and now are on the threshold of becoming an intimate couple.

A struggle with intimacy means the more available a person becomes, the more difficult it will be for you to make the commitment. This is my best guess as to what has happened. If I am right about this, then swapping out one man for the other in the name of love is not likely to yield a true change in your capacity to tolerate intimacy.

The married man and your fiancé create the same dynamic inside of you. You want and cannot fully have either.

Do not worry about hurting feelings, being selfish, or trying to do the right thing. Concern yourself with coping with the internal feeling of wanting and not having. The source of your dilemma is most likely coming from a dynamic originating inside you that developed from unresolved issues.

I would make an appointment with a therapist. Our find help tab would be a resource for finding one in your area.

In the meantime I will encourage you to read the book Dance of Intimacy, a classic in the field that might shed more light on this process for you.

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

Engaged but in love with someone else

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

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Engaged but in love with someone else. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/04/03/engaged-but-in-love-with-someone-else/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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