The Crush: One Woman's Experience With Extra-Marital Infatuations

A few days ago, Exponentblog received an email from Lori, an active 30 year old LDS mother of three. She deeply loves her husband. However, during her marriage she has experienced a few crushes on other men. She’s troubled by this and very much wants to hear if others have had similar experiences. We ask that you be sensitive and offer constructive comments.
Lori writes:

Here’s my problem… All growing up I was one of those girls that could be described as “boy crazy”. I don’t think there was ever a moment in my life when there wasn’t at least one boy that I had a crush on. That said, I have never had any chastity problems, and the vast majority of those crushes I had were very innocent and secret ones where I never even talked to the boy, but just admired him from a distance wondering if he even knew who I was. I have never been a flirty person either, I’ve always been pretty shy and reserved. Well, I’m sorry but this tendency to have crushes didn’t just magically turn off when I got married. I have done my best to keep that tendency of mine in check, and I think I’ve done pretty good considering…. But, I still have had some though. To be exact in the 8 years that I’ve been married, I’ve had about 3 or 4 little infatuations with different men…

Of course, let me make it clear that these are not sexually charged feelings. I am very aware that being unfaithful in your heart is wrong (ie sexual lust/fantasy) I am very aware of all the things you should and shouldn’t do in order to avoid temptations, inappropriate thoughts & situations, etc.. While I know that physical attractiveness is certainly a factor, these crushes have never been “sexual” in nature. I don’t crush on every good looking guy I see. I’m mainly attracted to a particular personality type. I’ve noticed that the few crushes I’ve had since I’ve been married have been on men that are of a particular personality type, are strong in the church, and are good looking. The combination of those three things seems to be what gets me…

I want to make clear that I NEVER pursue these or try to form some kind of relationship at all with these men. In fact I never even talk to them unless I absolutely have to. And when I have talked with them I’ve usually tried to come off in one of two ways: either that I don’t even really know who they are (which I can only do for the first one or two times), or I try to come off a little bit prickly towards them in an attempt to hide my feelings. Of course, I know that I don’t really LOVE them. I Love my husband. I realize that it truly is shallow infatuation, a crush, whatever you want to call it, but it is an attraction nonetheless, and it sometimes is uncomfortably strong.

I’m not unhappy in my marriage. I love my husband dearly, we are doing great. Yes, I will admit that from what I can tell, the men I’ve crushed over seem to excel in some areas where my DH is lacking, and I wish my husband was more like that; but my DH is usually better in just as many other areas as well… They are just different. The current crush I’m having worries me though, because it’s gone on for so long. There is a man in my stake that is so incredibly dynamic and just seems so perfect (yes, very good looking too) … I can’t find anything wrong with him. He is so charming and charismatic, people are just so drawn to him…including me… and I can’t shake it. I never try to talk to him; we were introduced once, but I doubt that he even remembers my name. However, I find myself thinking about him and how lucky his wife is way too much. I admit that I get a little excited when I’m going to a meeting that I know he’ll be at…

My question is: Am I being unfaithful to my husband? Does this necessarily mean something is wrong with my marriage? Am I being untrue to temple covenants?…. I don’t know what to do. Do I need to see my bishop? I didn’t think we had to confess thoughts and feelings…. but I feel so guilty about it though.

If you have experienced this, what did you do? Is this at all normal?? (I’ve heard it is with men) PLEASE be open and frank, and share your experience with this if you have any. I’m not looking for justification, but I would feel much better to know I’m not so abnormal; and I do want help with this.


Caroline has a PhD in religion and studies Mormon women.

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41 Responses

  1. Caroline says:

    Hi Lori,

    I sympathize with your problem. Once, several years ago, I had a mild interest in a colleague at work. Luckily it went away quickly, so I didn’t really have to deal with it.

    One suggestion I have is to talk with your husband about this. Is there any way you can lightly bring up some of this stuff? I think this could help you feel less guilty because you won’t feel like you’re hiding anything.

    I know I often joke about this sort of thing with my husband. I love Colin Firth (Mr. Darcy) and I often talk about how much I love his hair and his smoldering looks. My husband jokes about him as well.

    There’s also this old guy I know who I just LOVE. He’s so smart and nice, and I often tell Mike that I want this man to be my second husband up in the celestial kingdom.

    I think being open about admiring other people diffuses things in my marriage. Of course, it only works because my husband is pretty confident and doesn’t mind when I openly admire these other guys. He thinks it’s kind of funny. I will say, though, that I think I have a double standard here. I don’t think I’d be as unaffected if Mike was openly admiring other women. Maybe that’s because I’m not as confident as he is.

  2. Caroline says:

    Ok, so now I don’t know if that was really good advice. Maybe it’s one thing if it’s an old man or a movie star, and another thing if it’s a real person where something might potentially happen.

    But I still kind of feel that it might be a good thing to initiate a conversation with your husband about it. Maybe see if your husband has ever been drawn to any other women. Then at least he might be able to understand where you are coming from.

  3. amelia says:

    i think that advice is pretty good, caroline. i’ve not been married so i don’t know how this would work in a marriage, but i have had this kind of openness about crushes in serious dating relationships. and it was fine. in fact, it was interesting to hear who my boyfriend had crushes on and he seemed interested to know how i had crushes on. and we knew each other’s crushes as we were part of a tight-knit group of colleagues and friends.

    i don’t know. i don’t think it’s all that uncommon to have these kinds of reactions. i do think you should be careful about the amount of time you spend thinking about these men, however. it’s one thing for this reaction to just show up and even to acknowledge it to yourself and potentially to your husband. but i think it’s another to spend time thinking about the other person without a natural catalyst for doing so. it’s one thing if you think about him and feel drawn to him because he just walked into a meeting you’re both attending; it’s another if you daydream about him.

  4. Tom says:

    I think the suggestion that you tell your husband about your crushes is a supremely bad one. Would you really want to know that your husband is struggling with an attraction to sister so-and-so? He doesn’t want to know and it won’t do you or him any good for him to know.

    These infatuations come and go without incident. Let them come and go without incident.

    I don’t think you’re cheating or being bad, as long as you’re resisting the crushes and not indulging in fantasies of being with another man. Just remember that if you were to actually be with him, all of his flaws and shortcomings would become glaring and annoying in short order, just like your husband’s are.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’ve had this exact situation. thankfully it’s not constant, but it’s happened with 2 people before. One was while engaged and I quit a job to sever all contact with him, and that worked. The other is a (gay) lost high school friend who I used to believe I was destined for somehow. It pops up sometimes. and we talk about it. Yep, me and my husband. Due to other life challenges we made a policy of 100% disclosure, no matter what. Our priority isn’t to spare ourselves discomfort of confessing or self-righteously “save” the other from being hurt by the truth. It’s to get things out in the light where they can’t fester any more. IMO, in a marriage nobody should have secret emotions or thoughts. If there’s a problem, we work through it as a team, not in secret.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Yep, it’s totally normal, for women and for men (although I imagine that women and men experience infatuations differently). It’s a part of being human, a part of every marriage. No, don’t tell your husband; he’ll be just as hurt and threatened as you would be if your husband told you he’s interested in the primary president. (And yes, your husband has absolutely had interests in other women during the time you’ve been married, if he’s at all normal.) No, don’t go see your bishop, and don’t torture yourself with feelings of guilt. Maintain an active, healthy social and spiritual life, and soon enough it’ll pass.

  7. Tom says:

    If people feel like they need to let their spouses know everything that’s going on inside their heads, that’s fine. Whatever works. I’ll just say that if I were your husband I wouldn’t want to know about every crush. I would be fine if I did find out something like that from my wife, but I just don’t think it would be necessary or do any good.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Lori, you’re soooo not alone. I wonder if every marriage doesn’t face this issue sooner or later.

    I agree with Anonymous, and I disagree with Tom. A policy of 100% openness and honesty is the only way to go in marriage. Even if it’s hard to talk about, secrets induce guilt. They make things worse. I’m not saying you should hit your husband over the head with everything at once, but I would definitely talk to him. Bring it up gently but honestly as a problem you’re struggling with and committed to overcoming. and reassure him of your love for him. Then, as Anonymous above said, you’ll be a team dealing with it together.

    I think it’s also important to invest in your own marriage. Sometimes looking at your life and seeing what else is going on–are you bored, lonely, unfulfilled in other ways? can help you figure out why you’re crushing on other guys.

    Crushes and emotional affairs are very common. I think in church we need to have more discussions about this reality, about keeping the law of chastity with our hearts and minds. I’ve struggled, and mostly overcome, this problem, but I consider myself “in remission” in a way. I think I’ll always have to watch it. I’ve spent years and years praying and fasting to overcome my attractions. It’s a matter of learning to control your thoughts.


  9. Tom says:

    A policy of 100% openness and honesty is the only way to go in marriage.

    Telling your spouse about every crush and attraction is most certainly not the only way to go in marriage. You may feel it’s the best way for you, but I’m sure I’m not the only person with a good marriage who doesn’t feel the need to know about every crush their spouse may have.

  10. Anonymous says:

    One more emphatic vote NOT to tell your husband. The far majority of husbands would be hurt by it. You’d end up not with a solution but two problems: a personal strugle with a crush on another man and a husband with shaken confidence in his role as the man you love and respect. This 100% honesty thing feels good to say out loud but could never be taken literally. Imagine how it would impact our spouses if we ceased considering the impact of what we say on their feelings and their confidence in the relationship. Imagine if we laid burdens on them to make ourselves feel better knowing it would likely make them feel worse. Please don’t plant the slightest seed of doubt that you love and respect you husband more than any other.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Well said Tom and anonymous. I’m sorry anony but but what your describing is a great way to talk to your closest girlfriend and a likely way to hurt a husband. Yes, discuss your feelings and challenges with him at lenth but not at his expence.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It sounds like the husbands are checking in. Hear hear. We know our wives are human and that these things will happen. Don’t tell us about other men, tell us what we can do to make you happier. That way we’ll grow in your eyes as the dashing man in your life instead of being diminished.

  13. amelia says:

    in my experience (again in a serious dating relationship, not a marriage–but it was a very serious relationship), these crushes are not a form of infidelity. they’re just a registering of an attraction. the simple fact that you’re attracted to a person other than the spouse to whom you have made a commitment is not an act of infidelity. as such i don’t know why it would be threatening at all for your spouse to know about it. if you love your husband (or wife), and he (or she) loves you and you’re both confident in that love there shouldn’t be any threat in knowing about such a crush.

    and disclosing them shouldn’t be confessional in nature. if it feels confessional, you’ve got more than a crush. my conversations with my boyfriend about this were lighthearted and even amusing. on par with “huh…you like the beatles better than the stones” more than with “i kissed someone else after we started dating.”

    in my opinion being able to have that kind of lighthearted conversation about something that is totally natural and to be expected signals a healthy relationship. not being able to talk about something that is natural and to be expected signals some lack of confidence. there may not be a need for your husband to know, but there shouldn’t be a prohibition against him knowing.

    but that’s me. and it won’t be true of everyone. ultimately you’re going to have to figure out what works for you and your husband, lori. but talking about such a thing is no worse an idea than not disclosing it.

  14. Anonymous says:

    From a husband:

    Should you tell him? It depends. (How’s that for vague?)

    I currently have a policy of openness. My wife knows about my crushes, and I know which guys she thinks are cute. I crush more than she does, but we’re both human, and we both notice other people. Our policy works well.

    It wasn’t always this way. Early in our marriage, I tried to hide any attraction I felt for another woman. My wife could tell anyway, and it bugged her that I was trying to hide it. Now, I tell her when I notice a woman.

    Also, when I was younger and less mature, I would have felt threatened by her noticing another guy. Now, we’re at a different place. I don’t think I would have reacted well if we had discussed this in the early years of our marriage.

    So the right thing to do depends on your husband, and your relationship with him, and the degree of openness you have. You don’t need to tell the bishop or anyone else — this is normal, and some bishops might freak out and assume you’re sleeping around.

    –Anony-husband (who is not related to any of the other anonymice here.)

  15. madhousewife says:

    I also vote no on telling your husband. If he were the sort of person you could/should share this with, you would already know that. He would be an exceptional man indeed.

    I think that old adage about keeping your eyes wide open before marriage and half-shut afterwards has a corrolary here…the general principle being that 100 percent openness is usually *not* the way to go in marriage. Personally, I wouldn’t go higher than 90 percent. 😉

    I believe you when you say that these crushes are non-sexual and don’t involving lusting in your heart, but I wonder if you aren’t feeding them by going so out of your way to avoid these men or be cold to them. Perhaps the crush and the uncomfortable feelings that accompany it would pass more quickly if you confronted your fears by treating the gentleman in question just as you would any ordinary, non-dreamy guy. If you can pretend you don’t know who they are, you can probably feign innocent friendliness, too. 🙂

    As guilty as you feel about it, you should keep these crushes in perspective. Just re-read everything you’ve written about your husband and your marriage. You love him, and you’re happy. Lots of married people experience attraction to someone-not-his/her-spouse. I suspect that NOT experiencing it is what’s abnormal. When you find yourself thinking about someone else “too much,” stop and think about your husband instead–or, if you prefer, shoes and handbags. Baseball. It really doesn’t matter. There’s no cure for being human. You just have to live with it.

    Maybe you could get to know these men’s wives better–they could tell you all about their husbands’ flaws. 🙂

  16. Ana says:

    I say tell, and then quit talking about it. It’s the going on about it that’s disturbing.

    Look, a little crush now and then IS normal. I think there’s a possibility this is hanging on precisely because you are so worried about it. If you were able to say, “Hm, that person is really attractive,” and be okay with your attraction to him, it might (might!) be easier to move on and not get all funny about it.

    In my experiences, crushes come and go. Don’t dwell on it and don’t feel guilty. Your good marriage doesn’t deserve to be detracted from by the simple natural fact that a handsome, healthy, high-achieving man who shares your values and faith is going to be kind of attractive to you.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Yes tell! You’ll feel alot better. Besides, what kind of a man can’t handle his wife pointing out qualities in other men that he lacks.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Besides, what kind of a man can’t handle his wife pointing out qualities in other men that he lacks.

    I hope that is not a serious question. Is there anybody on earth who enjoys being compared in a negative way to somebody else? And we can always turn the question around, just for fun. What kind of woman can’t handle her husband comparing her to other women? Caroline was right in her comment. There is a double standard here.

    Lori, I think telling your husband is a recipe for disaster. There is a very good chance that he will be crushed, and then what do you do? In an effort to make yourself feel better, you would probably do so much damage that he may never recover. Brutal honesty in a marriage is just that, brutal.

    I really don’t think you have anything to feel guilty about. As others have pointed out, you don’t need to apologize for being human.

  19. Anonymous says:

    To me, it sounds like harmless crushing. If it were to develop into something else–and you’re clear that it hasn’t–then it would be time to say something or do something corrective about it.

    I had a huge crush on a married guy friend for years. I felt guilty about it because I also knew and really liked his wife.

    They eventually got divorced, but by the time I saw him again, we were both dating other people. Then I got married and that closed the door for good.

    I still think my old crush is darling. I used to wonder if he was a good kisser. But that’s not something I’ll ever know first hand. And I’m content to let that be a mystery. 🙂

  20. amelia says:

    Besides, what kind of a man can’t handle his wife pointing out qualities in other men that he lacks.

    followed by:

    I hope that is not a serious question. Is there anybody on earth who enjoys being compared in a negative way to somebody else?

    i have no idea if the original anonymous person intended the first question seriously. but i think the question and this response miss the point a little bit.

    attraction is not a zero sum game. just because someone is attracted to a person while they’re married or in a committed relationship doesn’t mean it’s because their spouse/significant other is lacking in ways the crush is not. nor does it mean the person with the crush is making negative comparisons. it’s entirely possible to be attracted to multiple people without that fact being a judgment about the quality of anyone involved.

    if these kinds of crushes are to be talked about, it certainly shouldn’t be in terms of “he’s better than you because . . .” or “you’re not as good as him because . . .” that should go without saying.

    the question to ask is not what kind of person can’t handle being told what’s wrong with them in comparison to someone else, but rather what kind of person can’t deal with their significant other’s humanness. because it’s very human, very natural, to develop an innocent crush even when in a relationship. and knowing that your spouse has such a crush should not mean anything about his or her opinion of you; it just means he or she is human. and if you’re so insecure in your own worth and the strenth and stability of your love that you can’t deal with such basic humanness in your spouse… well, i think that’s the recipe for disaster. the telling about the crush will just be a catalyst.

  21. Eve says:

    Hmmm. Obviously there are things that don’t need to be said in marriage or in any other relationship. For example, I don’t think it’s necessary to inform one’s spouse of every single random passerby one finds attractive–particularly if these are people one is never going to see again. And of course honesty should never be an excuse to say unnecessarily hurtful things.

    But with those obvious caveats, my vote would tend to be for disclosure. If this is someone you think “yeah, he’s cute, he’s nice” when you see him, but whom you don’t really think about when you’re not in his immediate presence, then it’s probably not a big deal. But if you find yourself thinking about him quite a bit even when you’re not directly interacting with him, as it sounds like is the case here, then–for what it’s worth–I would think disclosure is a good idea.

    Here are my reasons:

    (1) Emotional honesty is important to the health of a marriage. In my experience, anyway, it’s important for me to know where my husband is emotionally–what he’s thinking about, what he’s worried about, what he enjoys, what he dreams about, what he looks forward to–and it’s important that he knows those things about me. If there’s a significant part of my emotional life I’m shutting him out of, that’s a barrier between us.

    (2) Secrecy is destructive. Honesty and transparency relieve guilt. Again, in my experience, I’ve never liked having secrets from my husband. It’s never felt right to me to keep anything important in my life from him. This last semester I suspected one of my students had a bit of a crush on me. I had absolutely no interest in him, but it was still important to me to tell my husband about the situation, just to keep him in the loop, so to speak.

    (3) Disclosure gives the advantage of accountability. I would think it would be much harder for a problem like this to get out of hand if the spouse knows about it–in the same way that transparency and accountability are vital in a marriage where one person is struggling with porn or addictions. The other spouse needs and deserves to know. In fact, disclosure might be the first step in getting over a crush.

    I loved madhousewife’s suggestion that you get to know the man’s wife. In my limited experience (I’m lousy with romantic love in certain ways, but that’s irrelevant here) crushes tend to be unrealistic idealizations of people that have more to do with our needs than with those people themselves. Getting to know someone’s foibles could be the perfect cure!

  22. Vada says:


    I think many people on this thread have given great advice, but as to whether or not you should talk to your husband about this, only you can know. For example, if it was me, I probably wouldn’t tell my husband, but if it was my husband, I would want him to tell me. This is because we have different personalities, etc. I like to hear about his college years and the girls he dated, especially the ones he dated seriously. I know that they were a significant part of his life, and I want to know everything I can about him and his life. He, on the other hand, would prefer I didn’t mention the serious boyfriends I had before him. He knows who they are, he knows they were (and in some ways still are) a significant part of my life, but he’d rather not hear about them. I don’t try to hide things from him, but I also try not to bring things up that I know are going to upset him. In that same vein, I’m constantly asking my husband what actresses/models he thinks are cute, whereas he rarely asks who I think is cute, and I don’t bring it up unless he asks.

    That being said, if you don’t talk to your husband it seems like you ought to talk with someone else about this. Not because it’s wrong or evil, but because it’s bothering you so much. You need to come to some sort of peace with it, or you won’t be able to move past it. I definitely don’t think this is something you need to “confess,” but if you have a good relationship with your bishop and he is an open and understanding guy, he could be someone you could talk this out with. If not, maybe your mom, or your best friend. Or if you can’t think of anyone else, you can always go to Heavenly Father. Telling someone that you’re struggling with this, and the reasons you are, is probably the best way to keep it from taking over more of your life. Good luck!

  23. Dora says:

    Is this why Harry said men and women can’t ever really be friends?

    I’ve actually been thinking about this since reading AmyB’s recent post on her wedding ring.

    In church settings, I rarely see friendships between heterosexual women and men. Are people in the church afraid to have friendships with members of the opposites sex because it may lead to infidelity?

    Should all needs for intersex friendships be fulfilled only by one’s spouse?

    Has the concept of marriage for love over-sexualized all adult relationships to the point that we’re unable to handle emotional closeness with someone of the opposite sex without a danger of falling in love?

    Do these ideas seem over protective, or a natural safeguard against infidelity?

  24. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad I stumbled onto this site, I’ve been dealing with the exact same thing. There is a guy that I haven’t been able to get off my mind for several years now (not that my thoughts are completely consumed by him or anything like that), I’ve always felt very guilty about it. I would think twice about talking to your hubby about it though. Everybody is different, and while some want that kind of openness and are secure enough to deal with it well, others (like my husband) can’t. I’ve been married for almost 2 years, and I started a crush on the other man right about the time I met my husband for the first time (almost 4 years ago), but nothing ever became of it. I thought it would go away when I got married, and for a while I thought it had, but it’s still around. I told my husband about it about a year after we got married and he flipped out. Now he’s suspicious of every good looking guy that comes around, and accuses me of probably liking them too (he usually says it in a joking way, but I know deep down he’s serious). In my case, I can honestly say that telling him did more harm than good. I will be honest and say that while I love my husband very much, I can recognize that this other man is simply in another league. I know he is out of my league as well, which is why I never tried to start something with him before I got involved with my husband. I just knew he would never be interested in me, plain and simple. A while after telling my husband about it he asked me if I still liked that other guy. I lied and said I was over it to spare us of anymore grief. Personally, I’ve kind of just come to the conclusion that crushes are probably normal (though mine is probably extreme), and that my hubby is just a tad sensitive. (btw, while I don’t know if he harbors feelings for other women [I don’t want to know if he does], I do catch him looking at, “checking out” other women from time to time). We’ll be moving away for dental school soon, and I’m sure that as soon as exposure to the other guy ceases, the crush will die (hopefully). Don’t beat yourself up over it; just try and keep exposure to your crush at a minimum and keep focused on your marriage and making it (and the Lord) your source of happiness.

  25. Naismith says:

    If this is not a “sexually charged feeling,” then what makes it a “crush” rather than a friendship? I think Dora raised some important points in her comment, and I’ve also wondered about whether, “Has the concept of marriage for love over-sexualized all adult relationships to the point that we’re unable to handle emotional closeness with someone of the opposite sex without a danger of falling in love?”

    As it happens, I have worked in male-dominated fields, and when I go to conferences, etc. some of my best friends are men. And they are friends, nothing sexual. I never go to their hotel room nor invited them to mine, but we’ll have long talks in the hotel lobby, have meals together, etc.

    In past years, they have sometimes brought their wives and I’ve enjoyed spending time with their spouses as well. And I was encouraged that I treated them no differently when their wife was in the room than when she was thousands of miles away.

    When our family travel has permitted it, I have taken my family to visit them, so my husband has gotten to know them as well.

    (Of course, one might argue that it is easier for me than a younger woman because of my gray hair and middle-aged frumpiness.)

  26. amelia says:

    i would imagine it’s a crush because there is some contemplation of the fact that the person has potential as more than a friend, even if there isn’t a sexual charge to that acknowledgement. i’ve had relationsihps develop without there being a sexual attraction from the beginning, so i can imagine such a crush without sexual attraction.

    i don’t think it’s marriage for love that has led us to over-sexualize male-female friendships, but rather an overly puritanical attitude about sex. i don’t think conceiving of marriage as a relationship based in love and sexual attraction necessarily will lead to conceiving of all cross-gender friendships and interactions having a sexual component to them. but when we spend all of our efforts talking about the ways in which it’s inappropriate for married people to interact with people of the opposite sex, we precondition ourselves to always already be thinking in sexual terms when we interact with members of the opposite sex. i honestly believe if we spent less time worrying about it, it would be less of a problem. and it would certainly be less of a problem if we could just be a little more honest about sex in general, acknowledging it as the natural part of human existence it is without attaching so very many taboos to it.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Ignore the crush. Eventually it will go away. Ignore means don’t think about it, don’t worry about it, just keep busy doing other things and with other people. Pray to the Lord to take the feelings away. It will be so. It was with me and the feelings were very serious, and I knew they had to go away for my sake and the sake of my existing family. The Lord understands these things better than a husband or friend would, and He, with our cooperation, can do something about it.

  28. AverageGuy says:

    This is ridiculous.

    “(1) Emotional honesty is important to the health of a marriage. In my experience, anyway, it’s important for me to know where my husband is emotionally–what he’s thinking about, what he’s worried about, what he enjoys, what he dreams about, what he looks forward to– …”

    No one has a 100% open relationship. To the women that believe you do, how often do you hear from your husband that he wishes your butt was smaller?

    Dont tell him. He wont appreciate it.

  29. Caroline says:

    Average Guy,
    I wouldn’t call being as honest as possible ridiculous. I would call it one way to handle marriage that clearly works well for that person.

  30. Sue says:

    I kind of agree with Average Guy. Why would you tell your husband something hurtful? What do you expect him to do with this information besides be hurt and angry and upset?

    A crush on a movie star is one thing. A crush on someone you know, that affects you to the point that you feel the need to confess to your husband? That isn’t harmless. That isn’t funny or cute, and if you are bothered by it, expecting your husband to think it is cute or funny or harmless (I’m not saying you expect that) is kind of naive.

    As for the guy? Stop thinking about him. Seriously. It IS that simple. When you catch yourself thinking about him, watching him, dreaming about him – whatever – just knock it off. Stop it. That’s what cleaving to your spouse means. You save your romantic feelings for your spouse. Don’t entertain those thoughts. That may not be as fun of an answer as some others you’ve gotten, but I can’t see how obsessing over another person could be anything but damaging.

    You are then taking a crush and turning it into something divisive between you and your husband. You are letting your thoughts about this person come between you and your husband.

    I could blow sunshine at you about how it’s harmless and normal, but clearly even you do not think so. You can stop it now, or you can continue and let it harm your marriage.

    Just my five cents.

  31. Anonymous says:


    That comment was worth far more than 5 cents. Well said.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Women do not want to be told that they look fat in a pair of pants even when they ask, but some of you think it is a good idea to tell your husband that you have a crush on someone else? You must be joking.

    I know that some women are saying that they want 100% openness, but I can assure you that you do not. The old adage ‘be careful what you wish for’ comes to mind.

  33. Eve says:

    Caroline, thanks so much for defending me from the charge that the honesty and openness that work for my husband and me are “ridiculous.” I very much appreciate your unwillingness to let meanness like that slide.

    “I know that some women are saying that they want 100% openness, but I can assure you that you do not. The old adage ‘be careful what you wish for’ comes to mind.”

    Anonymous, I’m perfectly willing to accept that you might not want 100% openness from your spouse. But it’s quite an inductive leap from what you want to what all women want. To paraphrase Stephen Robinson, I actually happen to be the world’s ultimate authority on what I want in my marriage. But, I’m also pretty egalitarian. Even as I claim the privilege of that authority, I’m happy to allow all men and women the same privilege of being the ultimate authorities on their marriages.

    Certainly I think there are times and places to discuss things, and perhaps there are periods in a marriage when some topics are better not raised, or perhaps even topics that shouldn’t be raised at all. I’m not arguing for tactlessness or unkindness. Honestly always requires delicacy and consideration. But ultimately I’m in favor of it. I don’t think every passing thought or fancy or attraction needs to be discussed with one’s spouse. But if something is troubling her this much–and if it’s not a one-time incident, but a pattern, as it clearly is here–I think she owes her husband the truth.

    Still, in the end, I’ll grant Vada’s point. Only she knows the dynamics of her marriage, so only she knows what she should do. I would also definitely agree with Sue that this is something to work to get over, although I disagree with Sue that it is just that simple. Changing one’s thoughts can be a very difficult and lengthy process. IN the same way that we shouldn’t assume we know what other people want in their marriages, we also shouldn’t assume what’s easy or difficult for someone to get over. This woman has clearly struggled with this for a long time.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Eve, this is where men and women differ. I am sure you know your husband the “man/husband/father”, but you do not know your husband the “guy”. It is a stereotype, but stereotypes are rooted in truth. You say that you want to have 100% openness, but I am saying that it depends on your definition.
    Reading someone’s mind would tell you what the brain is thinking prior to the filters of common sense, decency, tact, restraint, love. etc. I am saying that you do not want that, and therefore, do not want 100% openness. You want filtered openness. Openness after reflecting on the damage.
    I have a friend that has Tourette’s Syndrome. He is one of the nicest, kindest people I have ever met. What comes out of his mouth at times due to his disease is filthy, and obviously completely unfiltered.
    What I am saying is that you do not want to know your husband’s unfiltered thoughts. So, depending on your definition of 100% openness, I agree with you.

  35. Eve says:

    Anonymous, OK, it sounds to me as if we’re basically in agreement. I’ve never advocated 100% openness in the sense you describe–in fact, I’ve tried to say that I think honesty and openness should be complete but tactful and sensitive to time, place, and occasion. Personally, I tend to think that Tourette’s honsety, as we might provisionally term it, isn’t honesty at all but just a cheap excuse for cruelty. Honesty without love isn’t really honest because love is the truest, wholest way in which we see one another.

    I do have some questions about the model of selfhood you mention which I’ve frequently heard alluded to–that there’s a secret “guy” hidden in my husband whom I don’t know but every other man does–and, I suppose, a secret “girl” [?] hidden in me my husband doesn’t know but every other woman does. I’m not so sure I buy that. I mean, we do have this whole gender-is-eternal doctrine thing going on, but I don’t think it necessarily has to translate into secreted evil-gender Chinese doll selves. I mean, do we really want to construct gender as the secret we’re all keeping from the other sex?

    But that’s whole other topic, and I’ve already threadjacked too much, so–back to the matter at hand, which is helping Lori out of what sounds like a difficult and painful predicament.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Lori, you have my sympathies. I’ve experienced this several times. The first time I told my husband about it and I felt much better. The crush was the husband in a couple we spent lots of time with, and I was thinking we’d need to break off the friendship. My husband said, basically, “get over it.” And I did. It just took time. And in the meantime, knowing that my husband knew my feelings kept me from feeling so secretive/guilty. More importantly, it also kept me from any degree of flirting, because I knew he’d see right through any seemingly innocent things I did/said. It really helped.

    The second time it happened, I told my husband again. And it went away.

    I’m in the middle of a third. I haven’t told my husband yet. I tell myself I’m wanting to get rid of it on my own, and not trouble him, but part of me wonders if I am reluctant to tell him because I’m not ready to be done. That worries me.

    So, on the whole question of whether to tell, I think the answer depends on you and your husband and the way your relationship works. But if you don’t think telling is a good idea, be honest with yourself as to why you feel that way. Make sure you’re really trying to protect your husband/your relationship, and not yourself. kwim?

  37. Dave says:

    Your normal however this section worries me:

    There is a man in my stake that is so incredibly dynamic and just seems so perfect (yes, very good looking too) … I can’t find anything wrong with him. He is so charming and charismatic, people are just so drawn to him…including me… and I can’t shake it.

    When you can’t find anything wrong with a person, your just not thinking. Wives have a tendency after a few years of marriage of remembering every single one of their DH minor character flaws, but then ignore those of other men. Trust me the new dude has flaws, he’s human… Like other men he likely has thoughts about other women, that’s a guy thing every semi attractive woman I’ve ever met I have had some thoughts about…I don’t act on those thoughts however when your a man women can be distracting. He likely is self righteous, most men in the church are, he’s also probably assumes he’s a better person than you. He may leave the toilet seat up or down or not clear the table etc… Those little things that you will nag your DH about he probably does those too…..except well your DH couldnt be a perfect gentleman 24/7/365 for several years straight so your docking him for it…. Hence the new guy seems like a dream.

    Ask your girlfriends to make a list of the qualities they find attractive in your DH and see what your ignoring in him, get some perspective.

    Yes your feelings are normal, but immature I’ve been there. Think how hard it is for your DH to remain failful to you, he already thinks thoughts about every good looking woman you know, head of relief society, a young woman, primary president, your sister, your best friend then the women at work compliment him…and you can only see his flaws. Other women see him like you see this other guy…realise this and save your marriage. This is what you don’t know because guys don’t tell you, at some point when you start thinking someone else is better than us, and we are lacking in some areas… That shows a lack of respect, it annoys us. While you rack up negatives about us, men start racking up compliments about themselves from other women as a defensive measure. At some point we may realise your not respecting us….

    Men don’t want a beautiful woman, lots of alone time … That’s nice… What we want is respect. At least you seem to realise your crush is that, just be careful to respect your husband before you lose him.

  38. miriam says:

    reading the many comments this seems normal and human .i have also been having a crush on colleuge and he surprised me one day by opening up and confirming that he was ‘loves’ me and wishto have some good time with me .just the two of us .well deep within me i know i love my husbund and that i dont love this guy.i also respect him so much and want to keep the family bond intact .so it calls for total commitment to the union and divert your attention on the strengs of your HB .to some extent i agree with dave and re -read his naked truth because he has also made me think twice .wish u well in this endless journey………….

  39. Anonymous says:

    I am dealing with a crush too…on my boss! We have only worked together for a week, he recently transferred to my office, but the chemistry was instant, and strong. The only person I trusted enough to tell said “QUIT! NOW” but how do I tell my husband that I need to quit? We are middle class folk…we don’t just quit jobs, we have careers. And it’s opening up an entire can of worms. My husband is very good looking and works at an elementary school with many beautiful young women. He is one of three guys. How many times has this happened to him?! I trust him implicitly, but now I am wondering, is this what he deals with? Do I sacrifice my career? Our sex life is amazing, I always believed that as long as we kept that vibrant no crush could develop, but now my whole worldview has been undermined. I don’t want him to have crushes! I don’t want to know! And I assume he won’t want to know either. Oh my. I am ranting. Help.

  40. Elizabeth says:

    I’m coming to this thread 10 years later, and all I can say is that it makes me sad.

  41. Anonymous says:

    It’s so, so hard when your spouse tells you about a crush. We are commanded to love our spouses with all of our hearts and to cleave unto them and none else (D&C 42:22). I believe that having a crush on another violates this commandment.

    If you choose to not tell your spouse about it, you must make the effort to silently repent.

    If you do choose to tell your spouse about it, be prepared for a difficult time for both of you.

    I personally favor the approach of complete openness in a marriage, but others will disagree.

    If the crush is being nurtured through interactions by text, etc., then definitely those need to stop. There is such a thing as an emotional affair.

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