Love is such a fascinating emotion. You can never force it, but once it arrives and settles in, you need to actively preserve it if you don’t want it to go anywhere. Otherwise, love comes and goes, changes and takes us on a wild ride. Sometimes the ride is so wild that you wind up in uncharted territory, with no idea how to proceed…
One of my most recent coaching sessions inspired me to write this article for you today. People can sometimes wind up in very tricky situations with complex emotions, and it can be very hard to determine how exactly to react.
I will tell you about my client’s situation a little further down in this article, but she was experiencing an emotion that is probably very similar to what you are experiencing if you are reading this article.
Because the emotions involved in the situation are so complicated, she felt completely paralyzed. She didn’t know what decision to take in order to move forward, which option to choose, and how do feel confident in her approach.
Because this is something that I come across from time to time in my one-on-one coaching sessions with the people I work with, I wanted to take the time to write an article for you on what to do when you are married, but in love with someone else!
This article will provide you with tools for analyzing your feelings and getting a better idea of what you truly want, and then I will explain some tools to help you reach your goal and be truly happy in love.
Married but in love with someone else: How does this happen
There is no doubt about it, this is a pretty sticky situation. When you got married to your husband or your wife, you thought that you were in it for the long haul and that the love that existed between you would never be threatened. But fast forward to today and you’ve found yourself with very conflicting emotions.
You are still married to your spouse, but somebody is coming to your life that has sparked very intense feelings of love. For some of you, you might be feeling like you are in love with two people at the same time, and others of you might feel that you don’t feel anything for your spouse anymore.
This is a very uncomfortable and challenging situation, and it isn’t as uncommon as you might think.
The problem that we experience in our society is that we are not given a proper education about love as we are growing up. We are constantly being exposed to the Hollywood and Disney movie culture, where it seems that everything is sunshine and rainbows for the rest of the couple’s life, no matter what.
We aren’t really taught about the fact that all relationships will encounter highs and lows, and love is not something that is magically preserved on its own.
Unfortunately, many people are met with the painful realization that the love between them and their significant other was allowed to fizzle away. Like anything of value, the love between two people needs to be maintained and taken care of. This means that it needs to be nurtured in order to be kept alive.
We are so extremely busy in this and age with our jobs, our responsibilities, our social lives, etc., but it becomes dangerously easy to neglect our romantic relationships. The result is that many people get taken for granted and when this goes on for too long, the bond between the two people begins to crumble.
When that bond begins to weaken, the relationship becomes vulnerable to outside factors that can damage it further.
For example, in many of the situations I see on a regular basis in which two people in a relationship are struggling because there was infidelity, a recurring theme is neglect.
The flame and the complicity between the two people were not being nurtured so the person who sought comfort outside of the relationship felt like they needed something that they weren’t receiving inside the relationship.
Falling in love with someone else usually happens as a surprise
Many times, when there is a disconnect between the two people in a marriage, one of them will seek comfort and validation from another person. Interestingly enough, it often happens inadvertently.
The person isn’t necessarily actively searching for another person to fall in love with; it is just easier to fall for someone who offers them what they’ve been craving in their relationship.
That said and as I mentioned above, the fact that a person may develop serious feelings for someone other than their spouse does not automatically mean that they lose feelings for their spouse.
This is what it puts them in a very confusing situation, and perhaps this is exactly what you are dealing with today. You can feel paralyzed by the prospect of having to choose one person.
On one hand, you have the history and the relationship that you’ve poured your time and energy into with your husband or wife, and on the other hand, do you have this new person making you feel alive again.
So when you are married and in love with someone else, who do you choose?
Considering options when you’re in love with another man or woman
I will tell you right off the bat that I cannot make this decision for you. What I can do, however, is provide you with some pointers on how to ask yourself honest questions that will allow you to get more clarity in terms of what you truly want to do.
Someone once told me something very interesting. She explained that every single one of us always knows the answer already. Our minds are just so clouded with “What if’s,” questions, and fears, that we wind up feeling blind and confused.
Many of us develop anxiety and lose sleep over decisions with such high stakes. The result is that the more exhausted you become, the harder it is to see things clearly. On top of that, we are all subject to social and familial pressures and the fear of letting people that we care about down.
All of these elements pile up on top of us and make it feel impossible to make a decision.
What if you love this other person but divorcing your partner would cause too many problems?
What would your parents think? What would happen to your children?
What if you choose to cut ties with the person you fell in love with and return to your spouse – could you repair the damage?
There are so many questions that arise when you love someone else, but my goal is to help you zero in on the path that would ensure the most well-being in your life.
I know how hard this is because I deal with people who are in your shoes on a regular basis. But we are here to help you from A to Z, so let’s get started!
Thinking about what to do when you love someone but are married
As I said, I cannot make this decision for you but I can give you some insight on the things to take into consideration when you are in love with another man or woman.
When you think about the person that you have fallen in love with, who also happens to not be your spouse, you might be feeling like you’ve never experienced love like this before, you’ve never been loved like this before, and no one will ever understand you as well as this person does.
Of course, this makes it very hard to make a decision… especially when we are focusing on the now.
So the very first thing that I invite you to do that will help you determine what is best for you, is to focus on the long-term results and consequences of any decision that you make right now.
Every single thing that we do in life has both long-term and short-term consequences.
When it comes to the short-term, you are focused on what makes you feel good right now. Truth be told, when you are focused on short-term consequences, you often wind up making decisions that might not be the best for you.
A simple example of this is eating whatever you feel like eating right now because it tastes good, without thinking of the consequences it will have on your health later on.
So that is why it is important to think about the long-term consequences, or in other words, what happens later on down the road.
At this point, I encourage you to think about the results of whichever choice you decide to make.
– How will this affect me in the future?
– How will this affect the life of my spouse in the future?
– How will this affect the life of the person I’m having an affair with in the future?
– How will this affect the lives of the people that matter to me in my life, like my children?
I know that this is very hard to do because you are focused on what you feel with your lover right now, and it is very powerful indeed. You have to take a step back and really think about the long-term effects on every person involved in the situation.
If you choose to pursue a relationship with the person you’ve been having an affair with, how is that going to affect their life positively and how is that going to affect their life negatively?
Though you might be feeling, “I’m so in love with you” when you think about your over, you must also think about the effect it will have on your spouse and any children you may have.
Divorce is not to be taken lightly, but I know you know that because you’re already on this website researching the situation so that you can make a well-informed decision.
Last but not least, you need to really think about how this is going to affect your own life. What situation puts you most of the risk of experiencing debilitating regrets later on in your life? What does the aftermath of choosing one of these two people look like?
I have worked with people in both situations. Some have chosen their lover and have been very happy. Others have chosen to put their marriage back together, and have been very happy. I have also worked with people who made a choice only to regret it bitterly a few years down the line.
So as I said, the key to making the right decision is weighing out the long-term consequences. It is confusing and challenging, but don’t forget that we are here to help!
I’d also like to mention that we’ve created tailor-made products to help you restore the attraction in your relationship with your spouse should you choose to restore your marriage.
Having an affair: Dissecting the situation
When you are in love with another man or woman who is not your spouse, is important to look at how this happened. As I was saying above, in the majority of cases when a person is falling for someone outside of their marriage, it is because something was lacking in the marriage.
Keep in mind that love is a choice. As I explained, it is very easy to let the flame sizzle out by not maintaining the love between you. Sometimes this happens because people get lazy and too comfortable in the relationship, but other times it happens because things have been going downhill in the relationship for quite some time.
There have been fights and tensions, and it becomes easy for someone to let go of the love that used to exist.
In addition to this, I often see people making excuses. “I can’t help it” or “It’s not my fault” are things that I hear on a regular basis. When you are married and in love with another man or woman, the thing is, it’s not so much about it being someone’s “fault.”
Sure, we all have our own characteristics and personalities, but we are influenced by them; not controlled by them. If you are married and have fallen in love with someone else, it is crucial that you are very honest with yourself from here on out.
Almost never do two people fall in love on the same day, and almost never do they fall out of love on the same day. What’s more, we all fool ourselves from time to time in order to keep our thoughts and beliefs consistent with what we have already done or decided.
This is precisely why it is so important to be honest with yourself and figure out what you truly want, and what you are willing to work for. If you want to save your marriage, then it must be an active choice you make every single day. You have to TRY to save your marriage because trust me, it is not going to be saved by accident.
So the very first thing we need to do it is to dissect the situation.
How exactly did the situation unfold?
How did this happen? What exactly are you receiving from this new person that you are not receiving from your husband or your wife? How were you feeling in your marriage before this other person came along?
What were the elements that were missing, what were the problem areas, and how were you and your spouse handling them?
Carolyn’s story: I think I’m falling in love with another man
This type of thing does not happen out of the blue. When you are married and falling in love with someone else, it means that there was something substantial missing in your relationship with your husband or your wife. One of the people I worked with recently who came to me with a question about this type of situation wrote,
“My husband, Joseph, and I have been married for almost eight years and we have always been very close. The emotional bond between us died down throughout the years, but our bond was always very solid.
I never thought that it could be threatened by anything until I met Chris. I didn’t realize that my marriage had become predictable and monotonous until Chris started to surprise me and make me feel things that I hadn’t felt in a really long time.
I felt excited about Chris but not about my husband, and that’s when I realized that something was wrong. So now I am married but in love with someone else and I really don’t know what to do.
When I take a step back and put things in perspective I recognize that Joseph and I have been living like roommates in a comfortable situation, but clearly our relationship was not fulfilling me…”
So let me be very clear about something. The key to saving a marriage after something like this happens, is to pinpoint where exactly the disconnect came from. Identifying what brought distance into your marriage is going to give you a clear road map as to how to fix this, if that is what you truly want.
Again, you have to WANT to salvage this marriage you want it to survive.
Falling in love with someone other than your spouse: The emotions involved
I know that there are so many emotions coursing through you right now because you have found yourself wanting someone else while in a relationship.
You still feel a form of love and attachment to your spouse (otherwise you might not be reading this article right now), but at the same time you are drawn to this new person.
In fact, you may even be feeling like they understand you better than anyone ever has before, like they make you feel things that you’ve never felt before, and maybe even that they make you feel more alive than anyone ever has before.
It’s helpful to remember that emotions themselves and neither good nor bad. They’re just our psychological responses to the events that are taking place around us. The good news here is that they can be changed. Once again, it’s all about seeking clarity!
What we need to zero in on here is whether or not you actually still want to be with your spouse. if you could pick falling back in love with your spouse, would you? The answer to THIS question can be the answer to the question of what to do when you’ve fallen in love with someone else.
Interestingly enough, most people say YES, they would choose falling back in love with their spouse after an affair!
What to do if you want to salvage your marriage after falling in love with someone else
I wrote a lengthy article on when to get a divorce, and if you are feeling very unsure about whether or not you should leave this marriage I highly encourage you to read it. In it, you will find many indicators and signs that will help you determine whether or not it’s time to leave this marriage.
If you have fallen for someone else it means that your marriage is on rocky ground and you need to take a good look at this situation.
In many cases, people have already checked out of their marriages and if this is you, it is very important that you recognize this. You cannot save a marriage if you do not truly want it to survive!
That said, if you truly want this marriage to survive and you think, “I am in love with you” or “I truly want to fall back in love with you” when you look at your spouse, then I want you to know that there are plenty of things that you can do to restore the bond between you.
This is not a lost cause if you don’t want it to be.
Falling back in love with your spouse after an affair
This probably comes as no surprise but if you’re serious about restoring and repairing your relationship with your husband or your wife, you’ve got to cut things off with the other man or woman.
You might be wondering, “Can you ever stop loving someone, but you’re not going to be able to work this out if you’re not 100% invested in saving your marriage and focusing on your spouse.
Whether you choose your husband or wife, or the person you’ve found yourself falling for, you have to commit to them 100%. You cannot have them both if you want to be happy and cultivate a meaningful, long term relationship.
So if you’ve chosen to restore your relationship with your spouse, let’s take a look some of the most powerful tools that you can start implementing today!
Make time to reconnect with your spouse when you fell in love with someone else
When we start to fall into the routine of the relationship, it’s very easy to neglect one another, so one of the first steps of restoring and the relationship is to carve out time to spend with each other.
Don’t make the mistake of spending all your free time on social media, interacting with your “Friends” on Facebook or Instagram instead of with your significant other.
Start to reintroduce romance and quality time spent together. Give yourselves at least one date night each month where you have no distractions and can really just enjoy spending time together.
Be genuinely interested in your partner
One of the keys for maintaining the bond between you and your significant other is showing them that you are genuinely interested in them.
One of the keys to living a gratifying life is treat people the way that we want to be treated, and if you want your partner to make you feel important, you need to make them feel important too – and do it sincerely.
Take a moment to think about how a person will talk to us for hours if we allow them to talk about themselves. If you can make people feel important in a genuine way, then you can really reinforce the bond between you.
So talk about your husband or wife’s interests with them. A surefire way to get to a person’s heart is to talk about what they treasure. Be careful to never belittle the things that your partner is passionate about (even if it might sound silly to you!).
Your partner wants to be supported by you so If you talk to them about what they are interested in, they will feel valued and will value you in return.
Encourage your spouse to talk about themselves – what they like, what they feel, what they need… And actively work on being a good listener. In order to become a good listener, you have to really care about what your partner is saying.
This all is part of proper communication with your husband or wife and mastering this tool will bear its fruit in the long run. With time, you’ll both start feeling, “I’m so in love with you” and your bond can become stronger than ever.
The importance of controlling your tempter when you want to fall back in love with your spouse
It’s normal to have disagreements, it really is. We all have our own way of experiencing and perceiving the world around us, but we also need to learn how to be patient with one another and see things from the other person’s perspective.
Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. It’s important to try to figure out why a person does what they do. Is it how they were raised? Is it a defense mechanism as a result of something that hurt them at some point in their past?
It is much more profitable to come from a place of compassion and understanding than criticism. It breeds sympathy, tolerance, and kindness.
So even when things are rough and you’re in a sticky situation because you’re married but in love with another man or woman, if you really want to repair things between you and your spouse you’ve got to control your temper.
Remember, you can measure the size of a person by what makes him or her angry.
If you are constantly arguing and contradicting, then yes, you might win sometimes; but it is just going be an empty victory because you’ll be creating a larger divide between you and your husband or wife.
I’m in love with someone else but I’m married: Focus on the positives
There is a natural human tendency to dislike the bringer of bad news, even if that person was not the one who was behind the unpleasant news. The simple association with it is enough to spark a person’s dislike.
In this situation, you’re going to need to focus on the positives in your relationship.
Being aware of this this how you can begin to mend the problems in your relationship. Speak to each other about the good things, reinforce them, make exciting plans and commit to exciting adventures.
You want to make sure that you can highlight the positives and make sure that you both get excited about your relationship again. If things start to feel boring and lackluster, it becomes easy to crave outside attention.
I fell in love with someone else: Speak each other’s love language
Each and every one of us has their our love language and when we aren’t speaking the right one to each other, it can be easy to develop a disconnect and you might find that your marriage is suffering. You can start to feel neglected or unfulfilled by your relationship, so you begin to look elsewhere.
An easy way to guard against this or restore the bond between you is to learn to identify and speak your spouse’s love language.
To give you an idea, here are the 5 love languages:
1. Words of affirmation
These are words that are used to build a person up, reassure them about your love for them, and show them how much they mean to you.
2. Quality time
In this sense of the term, quality time is giving a person your undivided attention. In our busy lives, many people don’t feel like they get to spend enough time with their partners, and this is especially important for those of us whose love language is quality time.
3. Gift giving
For some people the strongest indicator of a person’s love and devotion is tangible symbols of their love.
4. Acts of service
Acts of service are things that your spouse would really like you to do. It doesn’t have to be grandiose gestures – it can be simple actions that show them how much you care and that they’re on your mind.
5. Physical touch
Physical touch is quite straight forward and we all know that it is a powerful way to communicate your love for someone.
When it comes to falling back in love with your spouse, it is important that you listen to and respond to your partner’s love language, and meet their deepest emotional needs!
Brian’s story: Falling back in love with his wife after he fell for someone else
About a year ago, Brian reached out to me saying his marriage was in trouble, and not because his wife, Alexandra, didn’t want to be with him, but because he wanted to be with his co-worker, Katie.
During our first meeting, Brian confessed that he was in love with Katie, but he didn’t want to lose his marriage. Instead, he wanted to find a way to save it.
And so we did. We started by outlining how their distance began, and discovered that a lot of what frustrated him in his marriage was feeling undervalued. Together, we developed ways to communicate these needs to his wife, and worked on how he can nourish is own self-esteem without seeking external validation.
Over time, he was able to reconnect with his wife better than ever before, and Brian found that his interest in Katie had consequently disappeared.
So even if you are married but in love with another person, it’s important to remember that you are the master of your own destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be, with whoever you want it to be with.
So, what would your ideal marriage look like? How can you transform this vision into reality?
Let’s work together if you’re married but in love with someone else
If you are still feeling unsure about how you’re going to get to the other side of this situation and find true happiness, all you have to is get in touch with me or a member of my team.
Every single marriage is unique and has its own intricacies, and by working together we can pinpoint the exact problems and define concrete solutions to help you reach your goal. We can provide you with powerful tools and techniques alongside a detailed action plan so that you know what approach to use in each specific phase.
Join The Happily Committed Project and transform your relationship before it’s too late and move forward in a dignified and meaningful way. Together we can work on reaching your goal by providing you with a clear-cut action plan that has been tailor-made to fit your relationship, your situation, and your specific needs.
As a team of dedicated love and relationship experts, we are here to guide you from A to Z and answer all of your questions.
Wishing you all the best in life and love,
Your coach when you are in love with someone who is not your spouse,