Help! I’m Married But Constantly Thinking About Someone Else

by Ellen EvansJune 16, 2021

Are you married and thinking about someone else other than your primary partner? 

No need to beat yourself up over this as it can be quite common.

It’s better to recognize the extent of your thoughts and feelings for the person you’re constantly thinking about.

Then you can better know what to do about your attraction.  

Why is it normal to think of someone romantically outside of your marriage, you may ask? 

Note: Ellen Evans is a professional Psychotherapist with 10+ years of experience in counseling.

Common Reasons To Think About Someone Else

  • There are holes in your marriage – sexual, emotional, or otherwise, that need attention.
  • The person you are attracted to has certain qualities that your partner lacks. 
  • The person you are attracted to has certain qualities that you lack.
  • Humans are sexual beings – it is natural for your eyes, mind, and heart to wander.
  • You are quite intuitive (or an empath) – are you picking up that someone is attracted to you? 

This last reason is an interesting one. Say this person is a female colleague or someone in your social circle.

As she is nearby daily or enough of a presence in your life, it could be that your feelings of attraction are actually hers towards you. 

Perception Is Everything

Sensitive people tend to have more flexible boundaries. 

So, this kind of entanglement may cause an adrenaline-rush-of-feelings, particularly if your marriage has hit a stale spot or needs a bit of work to maintain the initial bonds of love. 

The reasons behind constantly thinking of another person when married are varied and sometimes layered. Take the time to ask yourself what is underneath your specific attraction problem.

Maybe you are holding a classic, “the grass is green greener” perception.

Remember the initial honeymoon period with your current partner? Those often idealized first months when your partner seemed to do, (or be) no wrong?

When The Negativity Piles Up

Perhaps you have been married for a while. Or it took the trip back on the plane from your honeymoon in the Maldives to realize how annoying your spouse’s snoring actually is. 

Maybe you realized how annoying it is when your wife finishes your sentences in a way that makes you feel she hasn’t heard a single word you just said. 

Or it could be that the person sitting on that lovely green lawn appears to be a great listener or the quietest sleeper in the world.

Of course, the reality could be that years down the line, he ends up snoring like a vacuum, and she doesn’t let you start a sentence!  

Any problems in your marriage contributing to you focusing on someone else may be due to something much deeper than these “smaller” annoyances.

If that’s the case, you may need couples therapy. Read more about there here.

For example, maybe your partner is having an affair, and somehow you are picking up that vibe and turning your attention elsewhere.

Love and its many strings attached can make us perceive – and behave – in distorted and sometimes crazy ways.

I have provided these diverse reasonings and scenarios because it’s important to comprehend what drives your consuming thoughts.

Crushes Are More Common Than You Think

If you have a little crush, it may be reassuring to know how common it is to dive into this densely populated pond.

“In a 2016 study of women published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy nearly 70 percent of them said they’d had a crush.”

– Virginia Pelley

But, if you’re thinking about the person to the point of obsession, always keep in mind that you’re married, and it could well be that you are falling in love.

So try to learn what that obsession is about. 

It could be that you need to have a serious talk with yourself, your partner, and with the person you are falling for to see if his or her feelings are reciprocated for a start.

If you have realized that your focus needs to turn back to your marriage, consider changing your inner and outer environments to help establish some personal boundaries. 

For example, maybe it’s best to do some inner reflective work and receive counseling. Maybe your issue is that the qualities you see in this idealized other are the same ones you feel you are lacking. 

Alternatively, what works best is to make a practical plan – to ensure that any contact with the one you are feeling romantic about is done in a public setting.

Also, watch your use of social media. Temptations can be a lot of temptation when it comes to connecting through Facebook, Instagram, and other social media.

Though at a distance, strong emotional ties can erupt – ties that can severely sever the ones you have weaved throughout your marriage. 

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Crushes

Above all, be truthful about your feelings and the situation. Acknowledge what is going on in your inner world so that your outer one can be more clearly managed.

If you are in the wrestling the thoughts of an innocent crush of attraction only, let the wave come, then go.

Sometimes that energized state can even help spark a refresh in your sexual life with your primary partner. 

But if the crush becomes an unhealthy obsession that results in a full-blown affair, you place your relationship at severe risk of being torn apart.

Dr. Matthew states:

“A crush can feel very innocent, and it’s easy to justify its innocence until it isn’t”

He also says:

“The difference between a crush that’s healthy and one that’s unhealthy is that it’s perfectly safe and appropriate to find other people attractive, but when we act on it, it becomes inappropriate.” 

Dr. Matthew Traube, Psychotherapist

Conclusion

If you’re a married person constantly thinking about someone else, then it’s your duty exclusively to keep those thoughts in check.

In sum, no one is accountable for your behavior other than you. 

So be wise about your thoughts, and be wiser about your actions. 

Recommended: Can Therapy Help You Stop Cheating?

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