Married or committed men, how do you keep your mind from wandering?

Joined
Oct 25, 2001
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It doesn't matter if you've been married just a few years or for 50yrs, I know that our mind think about other women occasionally. How do you deal with it?
I saw a girl whom I had a crush on as a teen over a decade ago. She's just as great as I remember her. She is in fact married now and with a kid. Since the encounter, I can't stop thinking about her. I bought her a gift when I saw her and one for her son too and told her that I always had a crush on her. Now, this might sound strange but our family and hers have always been like family to each other so even if I gave her a kiss, it wouldn't seem weird.
Well, I love my wife and wouldn't trade her for anyone else. I don't plan on having an affair of course with this girl or anyone else I might encounter throughout my marriage. She's not happily married but it doesn't matter either way. I don't know how to deal with this superficial feelings. I know we all go through this, even the married women. I want to express the feelings in some way like treat her like a sister and get her gifts occasionally. I'm honestly not sure for this is new to me since I got married.
I don't think she knows how I feel and I don't honestly know how she feels. Again, it probably doesn't matter. I like her to think of me but what's the point right? Anyway, how do you guys or gals deal with infatuation like this. I assume this is all that is since I dearly love my wife. Right now, all I'm trying to do is just let time kill this feeling.
 

Bill Catherall

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Just had to comment on your choice of words for the subject. Heehee...
committed: To place officially in confinement or custody, as in a mental health facility.
Hmmm.

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Bill

 

Julie K

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How would you feel if your wife met up with a married guy she used to have a crush on? Would you be comfortable with her giving him and his kids gifts and gave him kisses? Go back and re-write your entire post substituting your wife for you and and an old flame of hers for the girl you have a crush on. Now pretend your wife wrote it. How do you feel about it?
I think you're playing with fire here. If you really want to keep your wife, just let that old infatuation die like it should have years ago.
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Oct 25, 2001
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Julie,
Ouch! I did say that she is like family to our family right? We used to buy each other family members gifts all the time.
Look, it's in my head. Can you and anyone here say that they never think of another guy or gal? Never ever cross your mind? So that's all I'm asking, what do you do when there's a moment in your life that it does cross your mind.
To answer your question Julie, I don't doubt that in our lifetime, some guy will cross my wife's mind. She won't act on it however. And yes, it would bother me but unfortunately it's the fact of life that it will happen. Nevertheless, I'm sure this fact of life won't prevent us from having a happy marriage.
Ah, I guess it was a mistake to post the question. I knew it would make some people upset.
 

MickeS

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I don't think she knows how I feel and I don't honestly know how she feels. Again, it probably doesn't matter. I like her to think of me but what's the point right?

You say you don't want to have an affair with her, but you'd like her to think of you? I don't get it. Either you're not being honest to yourself, or you want to be wanted by this woman, just because it makes you feel good to be wanted.
You need to drop the whole thing, now. Seems like your mind does more than "wander"...
Personally, I feel that as long as it's kept in your MIND, whatever you do is OK (as long as it doesn't interfere with your life). When you actively try and make something like this happen, one way or the other, you're doing something wrong.
Keep fantasizing about this woman, I'm sure it will go away eventually... if not, maybe the problems are elsewhere.
/Mike
 

Julie K

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Travis,
The question did not 'upset' me. I am quite happily single, so this is just a sort of people-watching thing for me.
Your thoughts are your own. However, you did take action when you bought her gifts. Maybe it doesn't matter that because you are long time family friends. Maybe it does matter. (Again, as a thought experiment, would you be bothered by similar behavior by your wife?)
Of course, there are many consenting couples who have very open marriages with many different partners. You and your wife need to decide what kind you want.
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"Some people think I'm over-prepared, paranoid...maybe even a little crazy. But they never met any pre-Cambrian life forms, did they?"
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2001
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Actually, the gifts are not a secret to anyone, even my wife. However, I'm ashame of even the thought and you guys response made me feel worst. Nevertheless, a feeling is a feeling. I can control my action but I can't control the feeling. We all wander in our mind in a relationship but what we do with that feeling separate the good ones from the bad. Like I said, I wouldn't trade my wife for anyone else. I wouldn't be asking comments if I don't feel like shit about my thoughts. I ask because I know EVERYONE in a relationship has or will go through this.
As far as wanting her to like me. You mean all us married people don't care if the opposite sex still find us appealing/attractive or not? Of course I would like her to see me attractive as I would any other woman out there. Why else would we dress nice and married women wear makeups?
 
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Hmmm.... Julie,
Since you're a gal. Let me ask you this since your response got me a bit worry. If you were in her situation, do you think the fact that I bought you and your child gifts will make you think I'm pursuing you? You see, I saw her working really hard at work, really worn down and obviously lack of sleep. Her boy was sick. So the next day I went out and bought those gifts for her and for her sick son. In fact, when I did that, it was to all honesty with a good heart. It was not secretive and anyone knew would have understood why I did it. But of course, out of comfort, I blurred out that I used to have a crush on her. So what's your take on it from her perspective.
 

Carlo Medina

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To me, it's human for the mind to wander. It's that the hands (and other body parts) stay still and do nothing that's important.
I'm sure my SO looks around, I'm not the hottest thing on the planet, but I don't mind. Now if I caught her in someone else's arms...that's a whole other story.
 
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Carlo,
She's half a world away so I'm not too worry about my hand wandering
.
The whole thing about buying her and her son gifts in the future will be mailed. I have no idea when I'll see her again. Maybe a decade or several. By then, maybe my mind is the only thing that can wander
.
I guess that's why it never crossed my mind that my marriage could in anyway be in danger. Oh, did I mention that she of a different ethnic background also? So there are loads of obstacles even if I'm stupid enough to act on my feelings. Still, I do have to deal with that feeling right now.
 

BrettB

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From your original post:
I like her to think of me
I said stop it!
This has never been a problem for me. I guess I'm lucky in this regard. It sounds as if you might have to work a little harder at it.
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Ryan Wright

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. I want to express the feelings in some way like treat her like a sister and get her gifts occasionally.
Travis, first of all, welcome to the forum. Secondly, here's my five bucks worth:
Don't treat her like a sister and don't get her gifts occasionally. I highly suggest you remove yourself from the situation: Don't spend time with her, don't talk to her on a daily basis, don't do her any special favors. Stay away from her if at all possible. That said, let's examine this a little deeper.
In a marriage, there are two things you have to worry about in regards to your behavior:
(1) Actual cheating or alienation of affection.
(2) Perceived cheating or alienation of affection.
Actual cheating: This stands on it's own. You don't want to have an affair with another person - that much is obvious. Here's the part that isn't so obvious: Don't put yourself in a situation which could lead to cheating, even if you have good intentions. You may not intend to cheat with this woman, but by placing yourself in specific situations, you may very well end up doing so. Buying her gifts, flirting a little, taking her to lunch, fantasizing about her - these may all seem like innocent things, but as you become more and more comfortable with one another, your emotions and feelings for each other will increase and these little innocent things will progress into something greater. It's a snowball effect. You combat this by not being in the situation in the first place, and if you're already there, remove yourself from it. Other examples: Don't go to a party with a bunch of single guys if you know there will be plenty of attractive, single women present. The likelihood of your cheating goes way up in such a situation.
The last few times I've gone out of town on business, the company has put me up in an executive suite. We're talking a big screen TV, large separate bedroom with a TV of it's own, spacious kitchen & dining area, etc. This place is bigger than my first house was! While I'm there, however, I stay in my hotel room, watch TV, order pizza, etc. While it might be fun to head out to the local club for a few drinks and some fun, what happens if I run into an attractive woman who decides she likes me? The temptation to take her back to my hotel room would be high. (I'm in another city far away from my wife, nobody here knows me, nobody would find out, etc) So I don't go out to clubs. I watch TV, read books/magazines, and just hang out in my room by myself. Now, the last time I was there I did head down to the hotel's swimming pool for a few laps. I don't stray easily and did not see this as a situation that would cause me a problem. Another man might find it in his best interests to avoid the pool alltogether, especially if he is a real charmer that has trouble being faithful. (I don't have women coming on to me everywhere I go
, so I usually don't have much to worry about)
Perceived cheating: Every time you put yourself in a situation where there could be actual cheating, you are creating the perception that you ARE cheating. Plain and simple, don't put yourself in a situation that would cause your spouse to worry about you. Obviously, if you're buying gifts for this woman and being close to her, or partying with your single friends while they pickup women, your wife is going to worry and you may actually end up cheating. We already covered this in the previous paragraph.
Perceived cheating takes it a step further and can be anything: Working late at night on a regular basis with a member of the opposite sex is a great example. This may be a strictly professional relationship and neither of you have feelings for one another, but it would cause your wife to worry. Here's another example: Coming home late on a regular basis, forgetting to call your wife, or telling her you'll be somewhere and then going somewhere else without informing her. You may just be sitting in a Best Buy all night, drooling over the latest HDTV offerings, but your wife is going to think you're doing something behind her back that you shouldn't be. In both of these situations, the likelihood of you cheating is nil, so we're not worried about that. However, by causing your spouse to worry, you're creating a stress in your marriage that shouldn't be there.
More examples of perceived cheating: Being close to a single woman or a woman who is having problems in her marriage. Going out of town on business and being constantly unavailable or not calling your wife to say hello.
A good friend of mine is married to a girl I knew all through high school. She & I both played the violin and sat next to each other every day in Orchestra. We get along well, and when her husband isn't home she sometimes asks me for advice/help with things. I have to watch what I do - I am not attracted to her (although she is a pretty woman), but if I spend an hour on the phone chatting with her while ignoring my wife, that would cause stress in our marriage. If I went over to fix her dishwasher some evening when her husband was gone and didn't take my wife with me, it would look weird. While nobody would say anything, both my wife and her husband would have doubts in their minds. ("What exactly did they do here all by themselves? Could it really have taken an hour and a half to fix that dishwasher? What if it only took 15 minutes and then...") Even if they fully trusted us - which they do - it would still leave doubts. Especially if it happened, say, once a month. Anyway, just a couple of months ago her and I were going to run down to Best Buy and pickup a few movies to add to our collections. Her husband had somewhere else to be and my wife also had something going on, so we were planning on going together. Well, I know it bothered my wife, because she left her function early - just in time to come with us. By being so willing to go somewhere with this woman, I was creating the perception that I had feelings for her, even though I don't and never would. I should have re-scheduled the movie purchases for some time when someone else (either her husband, my wife, or both) could come along.
So we've got two situations here, one where you do have feelings for someone but don't intend to act on them (or are doing things that could lead to cheating), and another where you have no feelings for the person (or there just plain isn't another person) but your actions create doubt and worry for your spouse. Both are to be avoided. Of course, there's the third situation where you have feelings and DO intend to act on them, but if that's the case this information wouldn't help you.
By the way, ladies, the above information applies to you as well.
Conclusions:
It's perfectly natural for your mind to wander. If a man told me he never once thought about another woman I'd call him a liar. Every time I go to the store I run into one or more stunning women and I can't help but think, "Damn, what a hottie." You know how I combat this? I do the same thing to my wife. I check her out when we're shopping together. If she bends over to pick something up I take in the full view of her luscious body. Every once in awhile she catches me and smiles, so I think she appreciates it.

Travis, you need to get your mind off this other woman. Avoid her. If you're in a store and you have an urge to buy her something, buy something for your wife instead. She will appreciate it more and you won't be pissing off someone else's husband, not to mention causing your wife grief (how would you feel if she bought little gifts for some guy - or if some guy bought little gifts for her?). If she calls you, make an excuse and get off the phone. Don't feel obligated to do anything with her - your obligation is to your wife. Spend your time fantasizing about her - she's someone you can actually have.
I hope this information helps you. I just spent the last half hour composing it.

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-Ryan (http://www.ryanwright.com )
Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
That way, when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.
 

Jeff Ulmer

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"It doesn't matter where you get your appetite, so long as you only eat at home."
It is normal to fantasize about other people, as humans are not naturally monogomous. However, it is a matter of consideration and choice how you let natural instincts affect your relationship. I don't think anyone with any feelings would condone acting on outside attractions, as the saying "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." If this seems an issue, the best thing might be to discuss it with your wife. She may have found herself in a similar situation at some point, and it would at least keep you from being secretive about it. You would have to judge your own situation, but you obviously have a problem with the idea, or you wouldn't bring it up to 20,000 strangers.

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Joined
Oct 25, 2001
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Ryan,
Thanks for the well-thought-out response. I will put all actions or thought of action to rest. As for what's in my head, well, they just have to die somehow. Time will do it I guess and feeling like a fool helps too
.
 

Chas_Michael

Second Unit
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Dec 12, 2000
Messages
441
Some women put on make-up for other women. Just keep your eyes and ears open at the next party or function you attend, most of the comments about women are made by women. The grass is always greener on the other side...Until you have to mow it! If you are in love with your wife and plan on being together til death do you part, there is nothing wrong with a fantasy. As long as it remains a fantasy,. I am happily married and also enjoy the beauty of the female form.
[Edited last by Chas_Michael on October 26, 2001 at 07:58 PM]
 

Eric Scott

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Oct 4, 2000
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It is normal to fantasize about other people, as humans are not naturally monogomous. However, it is a matter of consideration and choice how you let natural instincts affect your relationship.
I agree with Jeff's statement above.
To me, "cheating" is not only about having sex with someone other than your spouse. One spouse can "cheat" the other out of sex. Since we know that marriage is not only about sex, there are many ways to cheat. One could be "cheated" out of affection, loving, kindness, and many considerations that we hope to have in a relationship. Marriages survive, thrive and fail, sometimes for the same reasons.
I have often told my wife that I would appreciate being treated and spoken to at least as well as she would treat and speak to a perfect stranger.
I know people who have lovers and good marriages. I am not against it.
 

Brad_W

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Sep 18, 2001
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It sounds like you may cheat on your wife.
don't.
Edited to say that I'm married too.
Oh and about the cheating thing...
There was a skit from a show called "Upright Citizen's Brigade" that aired on Comedy Central. In that skit the guy, who was Jewish, thought he could do anything as long as it was through this hole in a sheet.
My point?
I don't know.
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[Edited last by Brad_W on October 26, 2001 at 09:29 PM]
 

Peter Kim

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Travis,
Sounds like you're getting on the right track...Ryan said it perfectly. And believe it or not, he was about as succinct as possible. Follow EVERYTHING he said.
In your fragile, vulnerable state, you're on the verge of losing control. At this point, rules become imperative - they're about the only thing that prop up the shaky mind. Rules are what separates the bystander from the criminal (in this case, an imminent crime (misdemeanor) of passion).
Julie K. said it perfectly from the female perspective. Regardless of whether your gift-giving was public, this has no bearing on if your wife was or was not affected - she was. She may or may not have shared her hurt with you. And if she didn't wear her pain as a badge, she definitely felt it. Haven't you ever sucked up a blow to the gut out of pride? A lot of women do that emotionally.
Travis, you're right about guys' minds wandering. However, once these feelings leave the realm of the mind and enter the public domain, you're teetering on the brink of disaster. Once you teeter, it's a near certainty you'll teeter on the wrong side.
Neither what Julie or Ryan said is meant to indict. Instead, these are sincere words of wisdom, offerred to help steer and mend.
Good luck. A life without control is a life gone too fast.
Edit: I'm married, too. First year, filled with ignorance and confusion, years since, bliss and reflection. Been there, done that...don't want to do most of 'that' at all ever again.
Work, wonder, rest when I can.
[Edited last by Peter Kim on October 27, 2001 at 03:02 AM]
 

Scott Strang

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You could end up sliding down a very slippery slope. Unless you're drawing names at a company Christmas party buying gifts for a woman that isn't a family member can't possibly be a good idea. If an ex of my wife were to buy her a gift it would bother me and I would bet she'd feel the same way if the tables were turned. And kissing another woman? All I can say is "dangerous".
As a fellow male, I can relate to thinking a women other than your spouse is attractive. I love my wife and have no desire (never have) whatsoever to have anything to do with any other woman. However, I do see women every now and then that I consider to be hot. In fact, as long as you have a set of functioning testicals, you'll probably always be the same way.
Right after we got married a girl that hung around a place where I was working at the time was constantly pursuing me. I made it very clear to her that I was out of circulation, permanantly, and had no interest in her. Don't get me wrong; she was a hot little thing and other guys that worked with me thought so too. But what was really annoying is that fact that she had absolutely no respect for the fact that I'm married. It didn't matter to her, she just wanted some of me. My wife trusted me completely but really got aggrevated over the girl's flippant attitude over my being "taken". She would jumped in the sack not caring for a minute about morality of it.
There were others that tried the same thing, but she was the most blatant about it.
This is saying a lot for me since before meeting the woman I married, I was a major slut. In fact most guys I've/I known/know were/are the same way. But I take my marriage seriously and if I wanted to continue my previous lifestyle, I never would've gotten married.
Good luck with your situation. It would be really sad to see your marriage disintegrate due to this especially if you were thinking that she would leave her marriage too and you end up being alone.
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Jason Merrick

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Ladies and Gentlemen,
This has to be the single best thread I have ever read in the After Hours forum. Is there such a thing as the AFTER HOURS ARCHIVE?

Definitely a refreshing read after the "hairy" thread I just finished.
I had some advice to offer, but Ryan succinctly beat me to it, so I will just re-iterate...
Whenever you think of buying another woman a gift, buy it for your wife instead.
Whenever you think about or fantasize about another woman, force your mind to think about and fantasize about your wife instead.
(Happily married with 4 kids...)
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