Is This Normal? Married Crushes

Written by: Ann O'Neill

Alert reader, Tanya, writes, “Is THIS Normal?  Married women having a crush on their married neighbors?”

Dear Tanya,

First, pardon me.  I’m going to make an assumption.  I’m going to assume that your question refers to a married, heterosexual woman having a crush on a married heterosexual man.  Please correct me if my assumption is in error.  My answer would be different if there were sexual identity questions.

A qualified “yes” is the answer to your question.  Crushes and fantasies are normal at any age, and they usually come and go without much change in behaviors.  They can be enjoyable and enhance your life – giving you a much needed daydream in a stressful day to an added interest in your routine.

Here’s the qualification:  if you begin to change plans to arrange time to be with your crush, if you seek out situations where you know you’ll meet your crush, or if you begin to project on your crush the success where you perceive faults in your spouse, you’ve crossed a line.

Some people use crushes as foils against their own relationships, meaning that they use crushes to prove how lost their marriages are. They may believe that if their spouses were just like their crushes or that if they were married to their crushes, the marriages would be so much better.  This type of thinking isn’t really grounded.  It’s distracting from what’s wrong with the real marriage, and in part, it’s distracting from their responsibilities for the marriages’ faults.

Get help from a therapist if you feel your crush has crossed the line or if you’re not sure.  Thanks for writing, Tanya.


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