To help! I have a crush on my friend’s wife

Question: I’ve been reading your column for quite some time and know that you often write about polyamory and what monogamous people can learn from non-monogamous relationships. I know we’re supposed to talk openly about attractions and feelings, but I’m in a situation where it can only hurt things. I’m a married man and I love my wife, but I have a crush on my best friend’s wife.

Here is the situation: My wife and I have been together for almost 10 years and we have two children. We have the usual marriage stuff, but for the most part we’re both happy and our sex lives are good. She is very attractive, smart and fun and I don’t want to do anything to risk losing her. During this time, I have known my best friend for over 15 years, and he and I also work together. Two years ago he met this woman online and they dated remotely until she moved from the West Coast recently when they got married.

I was immediately won over. She is beautiful and funny and we share the same interests a lot. We both play tennis, something neither my wife nor my best friend enjoys. We’re talking about getting together to play, but I always find a reason not to, because it looks weirdly like cheating. I’m so drawn to her, but I’m afraid of ruining any of our relationships. None of us are swinger or uncomfortable with the idea of ​​opening our weddings so I feel like there isn’t even an option to talk about it. . What can I do to make these feelings go away?

Yikes on multiple bikes! It looks complicated.

Let me start by validating that this is a difficult question. It is admirable that you are concerned about the potential fallout of pursuing your desires, and it is very wise to think beyond the scope of your own marriage.

Many have not only jeopardized their own relationships in the pursuit of passion, but have completely ignored the dramatic impacts of infidelity on the rest of the family or the social network.

In any home, community, or close-knit group of friends, a change in one person will have a ripple effect on others. It is true whether the change is negative or positive. In this case, the situation poses challenges not only for your friend’s marriage, but also for your bond with him and your working together.

This does not mean that we have to live for others or suffocate ourselves to maintain stability. It just means that your crush is more complicated than a standard question of opening a previously closed unit.

As far as your crush is concerned: it makes perfect sense that you are in love with this woman. You and your friend probably share a lot of similar tastes and preferences, and anyone who would be attractive to one of you would likely intrigue the other.

She is also brand new to your life, so with her presence comes a feeling of newness, something you may not have had in a while. Plus, she’s probably on her best demeanor as a recent import, trying to make a good impression on her new husband’s friends. You haven’t had enough time to learn its boring quirks, frustrating habits, or unreasonable, unorganized parts.

So: my first advice would be to hang on. Maybe one day the four of you will find each other in an Airbnb in the Adirondacks, drinking wine, smoking weed and having more…. intimately known. Maybe at some point you will all realize that you ARE open to something a little nuanced in your relationship.

But it is also possible that you do not. Non-monogamy isn’t for everyone – and you know better than I do if you could handle it. Maybe a year from now the luster will fade and you’ll realize that she’s a really good friend – a really good friend too – and you’ll thank the stars for not making a whole THING out of her.

One way to deal with feelings while waiting is to talk about them with someone you trust who is not directly involved: perhaps a close family member, a friend from another city, or a therapist. Figure out which parts of that crush are real chemistry and what your projections are. Keep thinking about the positive and negative implications of openly acknowledging this attraction: to your wife, your friend, and the collective social group.

You can also spend this time cultivating the relationship with your wife. It is totally unfair to expect her to be the only light in the sky, but the premium for a marriage is based directly on what we invest in it.

Be the best version of a partner you can be with that woman you love, and you might be surprised if that doesn’t start to pay off rewards that overshadow the allure of fresh meat.

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