What to Do When You Are Married and Have a Crush on Someone Else

What to Do When You Are Married and Have a Crush on Someone Else

The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast with Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Music Credits: Johnny Powers, “Long Blonde Hair”


What To Do When You’re Having Feelings for Someone Else While Married…

So, you are married but you have a crush on someone else. Hey, it happens and as a couples counselor and expert marriage counselor, I know that married people (even happily married people) are also human and as such, are vulnerable to developing crushes on attractive others. A crush, aka, “Romantic Infatuation” can happen with anyone who you spend time with and who has attractive or, interestingly, anxiety-producing qualities. 

But what does it mean if you have feelings for someone other than your spouse?

Having a crush on someone else when you’re married doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person. It also is not a reflection of your marriage. Believe it or not, having a crush may not mean anything at all. In fact, people in happy, healthy, committed relationships can still develop fluttery feelings for attractive others. Crush-y feelings don’t need to mean anything about your marriage or your spouse, or about the person you have a crush on.

Feelings just happen sometimes.

We have crushes because we’re living, feeling human beings who are designed to fall in love. Particularly, in long-term relationships where the zing of early-stage romantic love has faded into a steady, warm attachment, the part of us that longs for exciting, romantic love may be tickled awake by the presence of an interesting new other.

However, smart, self-aware people in good, committed relationships need to not follow those feelings but rather handle them maturely and with wisdom. 

If you’re finding yourself married with a crush, I have some expert advice for you today not only to help you work through what you’re feeling – but to also encourage growth in your marriage!

Feelings just happen sometimes… [but] it’s very important to know how to handle yourself and your relationship when crushes happen in order to protect yourself, your relationship, and your integrity.

The Smart Way to Handle Having a Crush When You’re Married

While developing a crush is not unusual, it is extremely important to be very self-aware about what is happening and redirect your energy back into your primary relationship as quickly as possible. (If you want to stay married, anyway.)

Developing an infatuation can actually be a positive thing for a relationship, particularly if you are self-aware enough to realize that your feelings for someone else might be informing you about what you’d like to be different about your primary relationship. 

Then you can build on the existing strengths of your relationship to add “crush ingredients” back in, like spending time together, novelty, emotional intimacy, flirtation, and fun. Your relationship will be stronger for it.

Grow, Together.

Our authentic relationship experts know how to help you learn, grow, and move forward into a bright new chapter.

When Crushes Cross the Line

Those feelings, those rationalizations, are the siren song that lures your marriage onto the rocks of ruin.

Crushes, when not handled well, can also be an on-ramp to an affair. Consider that very few people intend to start an affair. Most affairs begin with people having fluttery, crush-y feelings for someone who is not their spouse…convincing themselves of all the reasons why it’s okay… (We’re just friends! But my husband never talks to me like this!) and then leaning into the feelings of excitement and attraction rather than intentionally extinguishing them. Those feelings, those rationalizations, are the siren song that lures your marriage onto the rocks of ruin.

Developing a crush or romantic feelings for another can be extremely dangerous for the stability of your family and your relationship. While it’s not unusual to develop a mild crush when you’re married, if unchecked, your innocent-seeing crush could bloom into an emotional affair or even sexual affair.

While everyone can have a crush bloom, it’s very important to know how to handle yourself and your relationship when crushes happen in order to protect yourself, your relationship, and your integrity.

Protect Your Marriage From an Affair

Here at Growing Self, we are strong believers in the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That is never more so than with relationships. It’s much easier to educate yourself and learn how to handle common situations successfully, and in such a way that they strengthen your relationship rather than harm it.

Knowing how to handle yourself if you start to develop a crush on someone when you’re married to another is one of the most important ways of protecting your relationship from an affair. Even though couples can (and do) recover from infidelity, infidelity is terribly traumatic and difficult to repair. Affairs destroy marriages and destroy lives, and at the end of the day tend to result in disappointing relationships with the affair partner.

Take it from a marriage counselor (and, ahem, author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to an Ex Love”) who’s seen the destruction that affairs create: Don’t do it. The key? If you catch those normal, crush-y feelings early and learn how to use them to re-energize your marriage, you can also simultaneously learn how to extinguish the crush.

Listen To This Episode to Learn What To Do (And Not Do) When You Are Married And Have a Crush

Today on the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I’m talking all about how to handle yourself and your relationship when you have a crush on someone else. We’ll be discussing:

  • The mechanics of a crush; how and why crushes develop
  • The difference between a crush and a platonic friendship
  • Why happy, committed married people can have crushes on others
  • How crushes can turn into something more serious
  • How to use self-awareness, integrity, and honesty to protect your marriage
  • How to use your crush experience in order to add energy and intimacy into your relationship
  • Warning signs that your crush is developing into something else
  • Why extramarital affairs are always a bad idea, and rarely end well
  • How to stop having a crush on someone else
  • How to avoid embarrassment and professional ruin if you have a crush on a coworker
  • How to protect your relationship and stay true to your values even when you’re having feelings for another.

All this and more on today’s episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.


Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

P.S. If it’s not you you’re worried about, but rather that your partner may have a crush on someone else, here are some other resources for you: Signs of an Emotional Affair, and How to Get Your Needs Met in a Relationship. Play them in the car and see what your partner thinks… LMB

P.P.S. Another very low-key way to begin a productive conversation about how you’re both feeling in your relationship is to take our free online “How Healthy is Your Relationship Quiz” together and discuss the results. Having these types of emotionally intimate conversations with your partner can jump start the process of growing back together again, if you’re open to it!

When You’re Married and Have a Crush on Someone Else: Episode Highlights

[03:44] What Is a Crush?

  • It’s better to prevent an affair than repair a relationship after the fact.
  • Being happily married does not make you immune to developing a crush on someone other than your partner.
  • Humans are biologically hardwired to create bonds with other people.
  • Love is biologically addictive. We can do amazing things out of love, but the emotion uses a similar part of the brain implicated in an opiate addiction.

[15:22] Having Feelings for Someone Else while Married

  • Encountering someone who is attractive or interesting creates a physiologically arousing experience in us when we are near them.
  • Dr. Lisa uses a scale of attraction. One is when you have an innocent crush, but staying at that end of the scale requires intentional effort.
  • As a relationship develops, it can swiftly shift into the higher end of the scale, until it becomes dangerous to your relationships.
  • Early phase “love” is a romanticized version of love, and is primarily about chemistry.
  • It’s not unusual to have a feeling of, “What have I done?” after ending a stable relationship in order to pursue a crush.

[33:30] How to Get Over a Crush

  • If you find yourself a little too excited or happy when someone other than your partner is around, it helps to create distance.
  • If crushes happen at work, it can help to be more professional about your communication with your crush.
  • Discuss your feelings with your partner. It sounds shocking, but transparency takes power away from the feeling.
  • Take the energy and the person you become with your crush, and be that with your partner instead — it can really re-energize a relationship!

[42:24] How to Stop Liking Someone

  • If you notice you’re having a heightened emotional experience with someone, you need the self-awareness to back away.
  • It can also help to discuss your feelings with your crush — tell them how you feel, but also that you’re backing away.

Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast

What to Do When You Are Married and Have a Crush on Someone Else

The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast with Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Music Credits: Johnny Powers, “Long Blonde Hair”

Free, Expert Advice — For You.

Subscribe To The Love, Happiness, and Success Podcast

Growing Self Counseling and Coaching

Let’s Talk: Start With a Free Consultation

If you’re ready to grow, we’re here to help. Connect with us, and let us know your hopes and goals. We’ll follow up with recommendations, and will help you schedule a first, free consultation.

Marriage Counseling Questions | Couples Therapy Questions

If you’re considering getting involved in marriage counseling, couples therapy, or relationship coaching you probably have questions! Get your marriage counseling questions answered, right here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *