29 answers

How to Deal with a Big, Bad Crush?

I've had my fair share of crushes on people other than my husband and they've always fizzled out by themselves. I think it helped that they've usually been on unavailable people. However, I've been completely floored by this intense crush on a mutual single friend of my husband and I and it's showing no signs of getting better -and I've tried! I don't see him all that often but we do chat online frequently, totally in a friendship sort of way.

What do you do when you have a big, bad crush? I usually enjoy them and they're not affecting anything with my husband, but this crush seems to be more intense and harder to shake off.

Should I avoid my crush? Spend more time with him so his flaws will become apparent sooner? Just enjoy the ride? Seek professional help?

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to everyone who took the time to write - especially those who offered a balanced, caring response.

To be clear, I had a crush and I understand that crushes are unrealistic and unreasonable and I had/have no intention on taking things further or hurting my husband and family in any way. Besides that, my crush has been a good friend for many years and has no idea - and never will. And with "my fair share of crushes" I meant 3 in 9 years of marriage - on a gay coworker, an actor and another friend.

Maybe I have a different definition of what a crush is; sudden (for me, unexplained) romantic feelings for someone other than your partner. Just because I have those feelings doesn't mean that I have any intent on acting on them or have suddenly lost my mind and can't think clearly. On one hand, the excitement of those feelings is great, making me feel alive and greatly amused at the reaction of my own body. On the other hand, it is starting to get annoying and I want to move on because I know it's ridiculous and I don't *really* feel that way.

I appreciate the advice to examine if anything is lacking in the relationship with my husband, if there is something else I need, etc. and I am in the process of doing just that.

As for the morality police that came out in full force to lecture me on my sinful behavior and pray for my redemption - you will be the reason for me discontinuing my mamasource membership. Maybe I should have been clearer in my initial post, but seriously, how do you justify the holier-than-thou attitude? Do you really never experience a rush of feelings for someone other than your spouse? Is there really such a big taboo on this issue?

I hope that other people who ask an honest question, looking for people with similar experiences who might be able to offer a helpful hint or two will be spared the assault of your moral outrage.

More Answers

What an honest and courageous inquiry, C.. You might be looking at an important choice to make if you intend to stay married.

Here's are a couple of questions you might consider: If you learned your husband had a similar attraction to another woman, how would you feel? Would you be upset that he's spending his emotional energy on somebody else? Even if he assured you it was "just" a crush, would you feel threatened or alarmed that he might eventually choose the other person over you?

There's a lot of information in an honest answer, because we generally "project" onto others the feelings, motives and needs that exist in ourselves. In other words, if you'd be afraid he might leave you, you have found within yourself the potential for leaving him.

It's possible to have good friends of any gender, and even acknowledge a little buzz of sexual tension, without your feelings for your friends becoming a distraction from your primary commitment. And It's great to have friendships that are stimulating or nourishing, no matter the gender of your friends.

But there is a difference between a friendship and a crush, which we feel when we imagine the desired one might fulfill needs that are not quite conscious in us.

I'm assuming preserving/deepening your marriage is important to you. Since "crushes" are a repeating event for you, you might want to consider counseling. Sometimes relationships or events in our childhoods set us up for needing a little self-destructive chaos in our adult relationships. A counselor might be able to help you recognize underlying patterns, learn what your underlying needs are, and find ways to meet these within your marriage.

4 moms found this helpful

Hmmm, most of the responses so far have been pretty black and white, and my experience is a little more gray... so I'm compelled to leave it.

The way you describe your crushes in your first sentence just sounds familiar - an extra notice of someone for awhile that fizzles out once you know them better. I've had crushes like that as a married person and I felt like for the first time I could enjoy a small crush, because I didn't have to worry about what I was going to do or say to get them to notice me - because I knew I wasn't going to act on it! There wasn't all the angst of a crush as a single person. And as you describe, they run their course, and subside.

I think this one, that seems more intense and is not subsiding, may be fueled by chatting online. It is much easier to view (and to be) a person online as somehow less flawed than when you are interacting face-to-face. A person can edit their comments, look disheveled, have weird habits etc. that he can't do in person.

I'd say limit the online contact, keep it to face-to-face. And I wanted to mention that I noticed you said the crush was on a mutual friend of yours and your husband - NOT that the crush was mutual. That would be slipperier still. (If slipperier is a word...?)

And thanks for your honesty. The idea that somehow I'm never going to notice another man because my husband fulfills my every need day after day is a fallacy. I need to be able to live in the real world AND act respectfully to myself, my husband, and our family. I can do that, but I find that if I am dishonest with myself about my own feelings, I am more likely to justify bad behavior. It's when I am honest, that I can look at the situation more clearly and behave appropriately.

3 moms found this helpful

channel it into your relationship with your husband, and don't have any interactions with your crush alone! Talking to him is fine, but do it when your husband is around to hear the conversation. You are at a place where crossing that shady gray line is easy because you have the feelings, and you are allowing yourself to talk to him privately. It could get out of hand in just one little seemingly innocent sentence.

2 moms found this helpful

Stop feeding the attraction. You do not have to end the friendship, but don't spend a lot of time on it either. Do not chat online where saying things is so easy since it seems "harmless". You do not have to have sex with this man for it to affect your husband. Emotional affairs can be very hurtful as well. Recommit yourself to your husband. Plan a special romantic night with him so that you can start "crushing" on him again. Look at him so you can see all the special things it is about him that made you choose him for your life partner. Keep your husband in the front of your mind and hopefully this other man will find his way out the back.

Good Luck

2 moms found this helpful

Avoid him like the plague. It is not worth the pain, the time, or the daydream. Every time you have this crush picture your childrens face's and you telling them why you no longer live with their father, why you have to go to work, why you have to live in a small apartment. Picture the heartbreak you will deliver to your family. Do not tell your husband. Go to a therapist if you must talk it out, but do not tell your husband.

It is not worth it.

2 moms found this helpful

Don't spend more time with him. That won't help any. This is a time when your choices need to reflect your priorities. You've admitted yourself that there is opportunity here because this guy is single. Don't put yourself in a position that could compromise you.

I frequently get crushes, most often on movie characters now that I'm out of college and away from guys who attract me, and I find that even though my crushes are fictional, they do affect my relationship with my husband. My cure is to spend more time with my husband, more time thinking about him and all his wonderful traits, more time remembering why I fell in love with him, and I take that time out of the time I would have used to stimulate my crush. In your case, time chatting online would probably decrease so you could be with your husband more.

I wouldn't avoid your friend completely because you still have a promising friendship, but I also wouldn't give that friendship priority over your relationship with your husband in your time or in your thoughts. That is your most important relationship, and the sooner you put this crush out of your thought the better.

2 moms found this helpful

Mom gave me the greatest advice ever when I was like 13 or 14:

A crush is when you sense someone could fulfill something in your life that is not fulfilled.

If it would be inappropriate to act on that crush (in your case because of your husband, in my case back when it was because the boy in question was CLEARLY not a good person to get involved with), then you need to take care of that hole in your life some other way (because the hole is real and will stay with you, even if you manage to get over or past this incidence).

Mom suggested opening up and asking God to fill the hole in my life that was causing the crush ... and this worked in that case and in a few others over the years ... but of course as we get older, God expects us to stand on our own feet as much as we are capable, and now I have to do a lot more of the heavy lifting ;). What helps me is to analyse what thinking about the guy makes me feel like (eg., an old crush from college started reappearing in my dreams ... it took like 3 years, but I figured out it was because I felt like I had no room or allowance to be free and creative and silly, so I started making room in my life for that ... poof, no more dreams of that guy!! ... second example, I had feelings for women, that I eventually pinned down to mother-issues ... God helped process those, because I never did figure out what the specific issues were, but again, an underlying, subconscious need that *really did need to be adressed* was driving the "instinctual" attraction).

Anyhow, sorry if you aren't a "God" person, the general pattern can be followed secularly as well (observing what recent events might trigger thoughts of your crush, what pieces of you feel 'relieved' by considering it, etc.). And be very very aware that all crushes are actually psychological projections ... you are totally right that people have flaws that might in the end turn us off (I'd say "will" in the end, just in a committed relationship you work through that ;) ), and the "crush" is actually about you and not about him.

(If you are a God person, now is the time to start praying that your husband has the graces to step in and fill that hole, if it is something he needs to do ... certainly we are all so injured in America now, lots of husbands and wives aren't filling the holes we are supposed to in the other --and lots of us are trying to fill all the wrong holes!! My Ex and I never quite got it figured out. )

2 moms found this helpful

I think you need to figure out why your falling into a crush on other people when you are married and should no longer be seeking? If you love your husband, and want to continue your marriage relationship with him, then I would suggest you really focus on YOUR man and no others.
We all find ourselves attracted to other people, but the responsibility and maturity required by a committed relationship dictate that we control our urges and impulses and not act on those feelings.
You dont mention how old you are and that may play into this somewhat. Perhaps you should seek out something to do with yourself that is wholesome and will keep you busy, so you arent daydreaming about cute single guys. Try some volunteer work! There are masses of needs - you can definately find one or two that give you a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. Be a Big Sister for a child in your community. Join the local United Way board or volunteer to help with fundraisers. Start a Relay For Life team and make money for the American Cancer Society and the support programs in your area. Local food banks are always looking for assistance, as would be a soup kitchen or shelter. Domestic Violence programs are a great way to make a difference. or take lessons for a musical interest.... become more involved in your church... you could tutor a child or read books to school kids. It is up to you to make a change in your life for the better. Be in control of yourself and do the right thing.
You may need to work on becoming more connected with your husband? talk to him about your need for more attention and intimacy? Dont tell him about your "crush" - but let him know how much you love him and how good it makes you feel when he does "XXX" (fill in the blank!)Set up a date night, where maybe you just drive to the point and make out or have a picnic in the park or what ever it is that helps you fall in love again with the person you chose to marry and vowed to spend the rest of your life with. These are the things that should be filling your head and whom you should be day dreaming about... not someone who likely doesnt even look at you in that same sense, because they realize you are married and a friend. I dont think spending more time with this person is the answer, because it will become obvious that you are a lovesick puppy and some men would take advantage of that, married or not. Professional help is probably a consideration, as this is not the first time you have found yourself doing this behaviour. If you do not make a change, you will repeat this over and over. Insanity is using the same behaviour and expecting a different result.
I appreciate that you are reaching out to this forum for advice and I think you know deep in your soul what is right and what is wrong. Make the right choice. And you need to decrease the online chat thing, that is NOT good!
Best wishes for strength and willpower to do it.

1 mom found this helpful

Why would you chat unless you are planning on having an affair?
An affair would rip apart your marriage and destroy your little family.
Your kids would only see their dad or you occasionally and their world would never be the same.
My ex-husband did this and now he regrets it bitterly. He is losing out so much on his kids lives.
You cannot put energy into another man that you should be putting into your husband. You cannot make yourself emotionally available to him because you are opening yourself up to cheat.

Ask yourself if you are ready to go through a very messy expensive divorce and ruin your family.

Ask yourself why you feel it is necessary to get attention from other men? Why your needs aren't being met or why you feel insecure and seek approval elsewhere. What is wrong with your marriage? YOU NEED SERIOUS COUNSELING FAST and don't say you can't afford it because counseling is TONS CHEAPER THAN DIVORCE LAWYERS.

This is not meant to be rude but just harsh reality. I just went through this. My best friend just went through this. The reality of crushes leading to affairs leading to divorce is harsh you need to look at what could happen if if you are ready to go through that then proceed with your crush.

1 mom found this helpful

Run away fast and don't look back! Sin usually starts slowly and is really fun but before you know it you have slidden into a pit that is hard to get out of. I pray for your marriage to rekindled. maybe some fun date nights with your husband.

1 mom found this helpful

One word: RUN!!!!!!!! I'm not sure what your faith is, but I'm a Christian and my pastor just did a sermon on this sort of thing a few weeks ago! Do not have contact with him at all! Be honest with your husband. Especially if it's affecting your marriage. Tell your friend that your marriage is too important to lose and you need to put space between you and him (your friend). Do not let temptation in. If you have a rough time with this, I would suggest seeking marriage counseling. I think that it's healthy to go to marriage counseling, even if there isn't an immediate problem. Marriage is something you have to work at sometimes. I've been married for 9 years and we've been together for 11 1/2 years. It hasn't been an easy road, but well worth the hard work! Good luck with this and I'll be praying for you.

1 mom found this helpful

I don't want to sound preachy but guess I would ask myself how I would feel if I found out my husband was behaving the way I was... and then behave accordingly. I think it's a slippery slope and can only lead to trouble. I've been on the "short end" of an unfaithful partner. It's probably the worst experience I have ever endured. I feel that if you truly love your husband, you will honor that and remove yourself entirely from the situation.

1 mom found this helpful

You asked for advice so will say it fairly blunt.....I think you are playing with fire. Would you like your husband chatting with female friends of yours?? I am curious when you say your crush "is showing no signs of getting better- and you've tried" Tried to do what?? And no, spending more time with him is not at all a good idea. That may be what you want to do but will not help you in any way.

1 mom found this helpful

I think its a good idea to avoid your crush - particularly with one-on-one things like chatting on line.

Perhaps, when you feel the urge ti write to him, drop your husband a line instead. Maybe you can figure out what is exciting about your new crush, and see if you can find a corollary in your husband? (Like, if you like that this guy always talks to you through lunch time, maybe try to call your husband at lunch, or even meet him for lunch?)

I think crushes are natural, but, if this one is growing instead of shrinking its probably best not to feed it at all. It may also be time to refocus on your marriage as a reminder of how much it means to you.

1 mom found this helpful

I am impressed that you asked the question. I don't have an answer, though I do think counseling may be a good idea, seeing as this isn't the first one and, at this rate, not likely to be the last. Are they getting stronger each time? If so, I wonder if that is a sign that you are becoming more and more caught up in these crushes, and it is more psychological than you may think it is (eg, it has less to do than the actual guy or crush, and more to do with you, your happiness, and/or your marriage).

The only comment you mention that I take issue is you saying that you chat online frequently but that it is "totally in a friendship sort of way". You might not be being overt, but c'mon - it is NOT totally in a friendship sort of way or there wouldn't be a crush. Let's be honest here.

The idea of "spend more time with him so his flaws will become apparent sooner" will only get you into trouble (and you know it). Hey, for all you know, you two could be very compatible and then where would that get you?

1 mom found this helpful

Hey C.! I've been there. I have also struggled with married crushes. For me it has been with other married men, and they seem to flirt right back. It is so dangerous. For me, it seems to be the attention from men that I crave...and particularly kind and good looking ones who give me attention that my husband does not! When I was in the worst of it, asking myself if I wanted to take it further than flirting...I weighed the consequences, and decided against it. I prayed every day fervently for God to take my desire for this man away, and he did! I have talked to my husband openly about it since then, and we were able to pinpoint what in our relationship was off back then, that was causing me to distance myself from him. He is conscious of my weaknesses now, and it seems to make a pretty big difference! I still struggle with attractions to attractive men, but they dissipate pretty quickly, and I continue to talk to God about it all. He is faithful to give us what we need! Hang in there, and fight for the marraige you have, and have a good, honest conversation with your husband. He will appreciate it.

1 mom found this helpful

I have no real advice, only thoughts...I understand what you are talking about. I have not had any crushes while married but I have had thoughts and wishes for that certain special feeling you get when having a crush...we all know that feeling and I know I long to feel it again and I do understand the overall suckyness of realizing that part of being married is realizing you will not ever feel that again, well you might feel it but not for any length of time and it wont get you anywhere or lead to anything new.---Hopefully you understood that ramble of mine:) I can see how you having so many crushes could just be you mourning the loss of your own "availability" Maybe you havent been married that long...or heck maybe its been for forever like me!!
*Trying to rationalize why it would be beneficial to spend more time with your crush was funny to me and something I could hear myself saying cuz only we know where are personal limits are!

Alot of the ladies said to talk to your husband and I do not agree with telling your husband all the details of your crush...the who and the when part. I think it would only hurt him...maybe a broad example would sufice if you feel you have anything to confess about, that is and feel you are lacking in your relationship...personally I think that might not be the case though...it might be just you and your own issues. You know what I mean?

Good luck woman..no matter what, I think you are honest and emotionally just like alot of us...human!


1 mom found this helpful


I hate to be so bold, but really you should cut off ALL ties with this person. The question that you should be asking is what is causing you to seek attention from a man that is not your husband. It may not be affecting things right now, but these things have a way of building and destroying. It will destroy a marriage and a family if you do not do something about it. It may not be today, and it may not be tomorrow, but one day you will look back and say wow I wish I would have done something. I would talk to your husband and if need be seek out professional help.

There is NO such thing as window shopping, no matter what society says.

good luck

Short and sweet:
- Stop emailing!
- Get marriage counceling, NOW

You are playing with fire and the consequence is the loss of your family.

whenever I recognize that I am attracted to someone, I stop feeding that relationship. I only have whatever contact I can't avoid. The thoughts and feelings fade; sometimes it has taken months. I consider my marriage worth it.

I advise the same for you. Particularly, stop chatting on-line. It is not true, by the way, that this is "totally in a friendship sort of way." You have already told us you have a crush on this guy, so it's NOT totally in a friendship sort of way. Not for you, and you don't know what it is for him.

If you take your marriage vows seriously, want to safeguard your marriage and be faithful in loving your husband, then stop interacting with this other guy, including online.

If your husband had the same problem you do... what would you want his buddies to tell him to do?

The fact that you asked the question reveals that it is more serious.
This man has brought out some big emotions from you -"this time it's more intense" - you say. I think you need to share all of this with your husband. Share how you feel in a totally open and honest way. Make yourself vulnerable to your husband by opening up this part of you.
You might be totally surprised by his reaction. I would not even try to anticipate what it might be -just go with this as a learning tool.
If you don't feel like you are able to - or like you WANT to share this, that you are keeping it secret from him - ask yourself WHY.
This is all a wonderful opportunity for some personal growth.
From what you describe, there seems to be something you feel is missing in your marriage. Sometimes it is just a "feeling" like something missing and you can't name it.
I would encourage you to engage in some personal counseling.
Ask yourself if you truly want to be married to your husband. Or married at all?
Are you just bored? Are you willing to risk your life with your husband for a fling? Or do you feel like your soul-mate is still somewhere out there - and it's not the man you are married to?
Being totally honest with yourself will answer your question about whether or not you should avoid your crush or not.
No one else can answer that but you, my dear.

Avoid him, no more chatting online, etc.

I find it interesting that you say your crushes have been on "unavailable people". You need to realize that you are unavailable, you are a married woman. I think you need to do some soul searching to find out why you keep having these crushes. This is really playing with fire and someone will ultimately get hurt. NOt normal behavior for anyone who is in a happy marriage.

GET A GRIP! Is this question for real?? It's pretty obvious to all that you are asking for trouble and you know it! Why ask when you already know what you are going to do. Sorry to be so blunt but the writing is on the wall. If you respect your husband at all and yourself-and especially if you have children then get some help.

Perhaps you should turn to your husband and ask yourself and him what you need from him and aren't getting. And, what you need to give to him and your not doing it. I think that for sure if you don't deal with your marriage and keep "enjoying" these crushes, you will damage your relationship with your husband. Trying to stop yourself from communicating with these crushes might be like an addict trying to avoid their substance of choice, but still, I think you should seek professional help if you can't stop yourself.

Now, I don't think that occasional little crushes and flirts with someone completely unavailable are a problem - but what you describe would definitely concern me if I was in your situation.
I think that reducing your contact to your friend would be the best option, only see him when your spouse is with you. Spending more time with him just seems like an invitation for trouble. Stop the online chatting or reduce it to a bare minimum. No reason to tell him why, just say you don't have the time. Find something like an activity or work to keep your mind busy with other things.
This should help cool things down - if it doesn't resolve by itself within a few weeks I would seek a professional relationship counselor. Good luck!

Well, you've revealed a bit of your conversations when you said that it's a "mutual" crush.

If you truly love your husband and want to have a good marriage, then you should TELL HIM that you've occasionally had romantic feelings for other men and right now it's THIS friend. Then, ask him if he will attend marriage counseling with you so that you guys can figure out why this keeps happening and what the two of you can do about it. Marriage counseling is not just for people who argue or are on the brink of divorce. You can learn a lot about communicating better by working with a *good* marriage therapist.

Do what you know to be right and stop picking away at your marriage.

Respect your husband and marriage and stay away from this man! Don't put yourself in any compromising positions, such as spending more time with him in hopes of discovering his flaws. That sounds like a recipe for disaster!!

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