Are you married but in love with somebody else?
This can be so complicated, especially if you still love your spouse.
Here’s how you need to handle this difficult situation.
What To Do If You’re Married But In Love With Someone Else
The first question you need to ask yourself is… do you still love your spouse?
If the answer is no, and you’ve been out of love with your partner for awhile, then the path forward might be a lot simpler.
You could try and buckle down with your spouse, get marriage counselling, and try and make your marriage work but, if you think you’ve done everything you can to make it work with your spouse, then exploring the alternative option might be something you want to do.
Making The Tough Decision
Of course, decisions like this are never easy. Finances, children, and family can all be considerations that you have to weigh carefully, and there’s no “one size fits all” solution that can work for everyone.
However, if you still care deeply about your spouse, there are several things to consider.
You’ve built a life together
First, you have to consider that you and your spouse have built a life together. You’ve probably spent years getting to know each other and it is unlikely that there are many people in the world that know you as well as your spouse does.
You know what you’re getting and your spouse knows what they’re getting too. That’s a huge advantage.
And here’s another thing to consider: when you meet someone new and exciting and you begin falling in love with that person, it’s easy to overlook this new person’s flaws.
You probably don’t even see their faults at all! This is a form of cognitive bias that basically guarantees that you’ll be predisposed to choose this new person over your spouse simply because they’re the shiny new thing. (more on that later)
If there’s anything that I know for sure, is that this new person does have a myriad flaws, downsides, and issues that you aren’t aware of yet, even though your emotions are telling you otherwise.
With your spouse, you already know what you’re getting. Of course it isn’t perfect (and nothing is), but you have to realize that chances are, things won’t be perfect with this new person either and you have to take that into consideration moving forward.
Commitment is key
Second, you know your spouse has committed to you.
They’ve been through ups and downs with you and yet he or she has supported you and loved you through thick and thin.
The same can’t be said about your new love prospect.
RELATED: Signs Your Marriage Is Doomed
How do you know they’ll be willing to tough out what you and your spouse have already been through? There’s a huge unknown there and that’s a risk that you’ll have to take if you leave your spouse today.
Think of the children
Third, if you have children, this complicates things.
It’s going to create a lot of tension and issues in your family that will be difficult to overcome. Whatever your decision, you need to be sure to tread lightly and not involve the children in your dispute.
I’d also advise you that if you do decide to leave your spouse in favor of your new partner, be aware that there’s a very strong chance that your children won’t want anything to do with your new partner for a very long time.
Don’t force them to spend time together if it can be avoided. Eventually, as they see that your new partner isn’t going anywhere, they’ll come around but it has to be in their own time.
Humans are drawn to shiny, new things
Fourth, there is a strong, psychological fault the humans fall prey to when they see something fresh. It’s called recency bias and it could be influencing your decision more than you think.
It’s like that new, shiny toy that you really want but isn’t necessarily better than something that’s tried, tested, and true.
A great way to think about this situation is to ask yourself how you felt about your spouse BEFORE you met this brand new person.
Did you still love your spouse dearly? Were you happy? Could you still picture a strong future together with that person?
If the answer to those questions is yes, then it’s likely that the best action moving forward would be to stay and try and make it work with your spouse… because chances are, the infatuation that you feel for this new person is fleeting.
Fix what’s wrong before throwing it all away
If you feel like that there are massive problems in your existing marriage and you’re totally fixated on them, then your spouse deserves to know. It’s therefore logical to voice your opinion and you actively try and make things work out. This is what marriage is all about.
When you decide to marry someone, you’re entering into an agreement that this lifelong commitment will be the focus of your entire life.
You need to exhaust everything with your spouse before you even think about a life with another person.
Recommitting To Your Marriage
If you DO think that trying again with your spouse is the logical course of action moving forward, that you absolutely must do whatever you can to make sure that this new person is out of the picture entirely.
Remove their contact from your phone and social media. If you work or are around this person on a regular basis, you must do whatever you can to limit your contact with him or her.
The more out of sight they are, the more out mind they’ll be for you and you can concentrate on making your marriage as good as it possibly can be.
For more information on how to revitalize your marriage, then I highly encourage you to check out my video on the subject.
Leaving Your Marriage and Starting Fresh
However, if all of this advice is something that you simply can’t relate to… if you really did try to fix everything with your spouse… and you know, in your heart of hearts, that you’ll be way happier with this new person… then you can leave your spouse with a clear conscience as long as you do not cheat on your spouse.
I repeat, do not engage in an affair. I feel like this is pretty obvious advice, but it needs to be said. There are too many things that could go wrong with an affair, and if you choose to go down this precarious path, you might be asking for a world of hurt if your spouse ever finds out.
What you should do is set the wheels in motion as quickly as possible and file for a divorce or separation.
There’s no point in prolonging the suffering for you, and you’ll be doing your spouse a favor by getting out of a marriage that you’re not happy with. But only do this if you’re actually sure about what you want here.
And when you decide to break the news to your spouse, do your best to try and remain calm but unwavering. If they sense a bit of hesitation in your actions, they’re going to try and fight for you which will prolong the process and add to the heartache.
Overall, this is maybe one of the most difficult decisions that you’ll ever have to make in your life… and it is indeed life altering!
So if you have any additional questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below and I’ll do my very best to get back to you. Or… if you think that your situation is totally unique, then you can think about enrolling in my marriage coaching program. It’s way less expensive than marriage counselling and you can do it without your spouse ever finding out.