I have been with my partner for six years and married for three. Recently at work, I’ve become friends with someone who is supportive and sweet and I have started to develop feelings for him. He is also in a long-term relationship but there seems to be flirting on his part, too. It has got to the point that I’ve had a few sexual dreams about him. What can I do to avoid making a mistake?
Being married does not insulate one from outside attractions so there are always going to be temptations. Having private fantasies about someone else can be harmless and is no one else’s business, but I am sure that you are already aware of the potential problems that could arise if you choose to act on those fantasies. Eroticism is usually heightened when the object of a person’s desire is forbidden or out of reach and that is why so many people succumb to it. Proximity is not your friend. If you really want to avoid allowing things to develop further, it would be wise to try to socially distance yourself from your workmate. Do not be tempted to respond favourably to his flirtatiousness and do not initiate it yourself. This is undoubtedly a tall order because aside from sexual interest, I suspect you are feeling better about yourself. So it is worth thinking about what may be missing in your primary relationship and how that might have led you to this dilemma. Feeling supported and heard can be a powerful aphrodisiac.
Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.
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