"What Do Married Women Affairs Look Like?" - Mr. Marriage Counselor
Q: I need to know what married women affairs look like. I have been married to the same man for 26 marginally-happy, rocky years. I am 56 (but look 38-40), and he is 64. Neither of us has ever been a cheating spouse. However, I think of other men all the time. I have a severe crush on another man (who probably does not know). My question is: Do most married women have crushes on other men? -- Ellen T.
A: Yes, this is what married women affairs can look like. No, I don't believe most married women have crushes on other men. But a lot of women aren't happy in their marriages, just like you. And as a result, they look for ways to get needs that should be met by their husband inside the relationship, met outside the relationship and in ways that hurt the marriage.
Getting needs met outside the marriage can take many forms:
- Interest in other men
- Over focusing on the kids
- Friends and extended family
- Over involvement in activities like exercise
- Shopping and spending
- Jobs and hobbies
Just as many married men seek to get their needs met outside the relationship as married women. Most of these activities are good things, so it can be hard to see the problem. Where the problem arises is when these activities become excessive and/or are motivated by the wrong reasons (to meet needs that should be met within the marriage).
We all have needs. Our relationship with our spouse is meant to help meet many of these needs. Here are a couple of examples of needs we all have:
- Emotional needs -- to be loved, respected, desired
- Identity needs -- be good at things, accomplish things, succeed
You need to re-examine your belief that neither of you is a cheating spouse. When we form emotional desires for and connections with others, such as the other man you have the crush on, we've become a cheating spouse. Read more below about this form of cheating, which is called an emotional affair, because this is how married women affairs start.
Talk with a marriage counselor and get some help to change your marriage. You've settled for too many years with a marginally-happy marriage, and you don't have to. By accepting a marriage that doesn't meet your needs, you're setting yourself up for making bad choices such as having this crush on another man.
--Kurt Smith, Marriage Counselor
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