Let’s cut to the chase. There will be times when we find ourselves attracted to someone other than our spouse. We don’t like to admit it, but it happens. We see someone and do a double-take. We’re with a group of people and find ourselves drawn to someone’s humor, personality, or interests.
This is normal and typically not a problem. But when that attraction gets out of hand, we start comparing this person’s positive traits to our spouse’s negative traits. We become more and more distant and dissatisfied with our spouse. This signals a move from normal attraction to fatal attraction, and we need to do something.
But before we can do something about an unhealthy attraction, we must understand it.
WHY ARE WE ATTRACTED TO SOMEONE ELSE?
In general, we are attracted to someone else when…
- We see something we like. – Maybe we’re attracted to a certain look, style, or body shape. Perhaps we’re attracted to their personality or attitude. Maybe we’re attracted to the way they carry and conduct themselves. Whatever it is, we see something we like and we find it attractive.
- The person is different from what we’re used to. We become so used to our spouse’s looks, behaviors, and attitudes that someone different feels refreshing and inviting.
- Our relationship with our spouse is not going well. When our relationship with our spouse is stagnant or frustrating, it’s easier to be attracted to someone else. The attraction feels like a reaction for the other person, but it’s actually a reaction against our marriage’s current state.
WHEN IS BEING ATTRACTED TO SOMEONE ELSE A PROBLEM?
Normal attraction becomes a problem when…
- We think about the other person when they’re not there.
- Our thoughts about the other person are increasing.
- We compare the other person to our spouse in a way that is negative toward our spouse.
- We start fantasizing about the other person.
When we do these things regularly and increasingly, we move from a normal attraction to a hurtful attraction. It becomes an unhealthy affair of the mind, and it will hurt our relationship with our spouse.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO WHEN WE’RE ATTRACTED TO SOMEONE ELSE?
When we find ourselves attracted to someone other than our spouse, there are three things we need to do:
Here are some things we need to remember when we’re attracted to someone else:
- The attraction is not a call to action.
- Reality will never measure up to our fantasy.
- Those attractive differences would eventually aggravate. (Just as they did with our spouse?)
- We’re only seeing the good side of the person. There’s another side we’re not seeing.
When we find ourselves strongly attracted to someone other than our spouse, we need to refocus on…
- All the things we like about our spouse…rather than the few things we don’t like.
- The good times and history we’ve shared with our spouse.
- Our family and friends, and how much they love us.
- What we can do to make our relationship with our spouse better.
If remembering and refocusing is not enough to short-circuit the attraction, we need to keep our distance from the other person. This can be awkward but, as much as possible, you need to distance yourself from them.
We will all find ourselves attracted to someone other than our spouse at times. Don’t let this attraction throw you or take you down the wrong roads. What’s the bottom line?
If you’re attracted to someone else…understand but don’t upgrade!