Welcome to the Healthy Families forums!

This is a space to ask questions, share experiences and support each other. Find a relevant thread or start your own!

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community and have a read of the community rules. Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

  • share on Facebook
  • share on Twitter
  • Print page

Topic: 9 year anniversary is coming up but I have strong feelings for someone else

21 posts, 0 answered
  1. porkchopsss
    porkchopsss avatar
    9 posts
    1 April 2022

    I'm in a long term relationship and engaged since 2020. She is also my first girlfriend.

    However, I started having feelings for someone that I met before my partner since April 2021.

    I had expressed my "problem" in October 2021, however, my partner was not very supportive and said that it is my fault that my feelings have changed. I attempted to break up 3 times since then, they were all unsuccessful.

    Since the start of the year, we have been going to counseulling, but I have not expressed how I truly feel about this other person as she told me I like her as a friend. I believe she is in denial.

    After 1 session together abd 1 session individually each, I feel as if she has changed the way she responds to our problems, she has become more understanding but I am still having issues with my feelings for this other girl.

    My counseuler suggested that I cut off this other girl and I did. It has been 2 months since we have spoken properly/met up, I still thinkg/dream of her.

    I burst out in tears maybe twice a week, thinking, I have always been in charge of my life in terms of work and relationships with others, but I am not right now. It kills me inside that I am not doing anything about it and I have told myself I need to do it, but nothing ever gets done.

    Everytime I think of what I want to do, I worry about my partner more than myself. I have never dealth with my feelings in the past and now I am, I do not know how to take care of myself.

    I feel so lost. I have no interest in going out, catching up with friends, work. I want to do nothing on a daily basis and hoping this pain will just go away.

    What do I do....

  2. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    11062 posts
    1 April 2022 in reply to porkchopsss

    Dear Porkchopsss~

    I would think the first thing to say is that in any long term relationship it can happen you get attracted to someone else. There may be a reason like the relationship is going though a rough patch, or it can simply happen. It is what you do about it that counts. And you get to make the choice, you are still in charge.

    For me a partner is someone you enjoy being with , want to take care of, and can rely upon. I don't think I'm capable of having two relationships at once, I'd end up hurting and unfair to one or both parties. Do you feel the same way?

    If so it basically becomes a choice as to what you want to do.

    However before that it's pretty imortant to see if in fact there is a choice. If I understand you correctly the other person said you appeared to them as a friend, how would that person feel about you giving up your 9-year relationship to be with her?

    I think if your partner is understanding you are lucky, not everyone would be. After all it is a pretty threatening situation for her.

    From what you have done it looks from your post like you wanted to preserve your relationship - by going to counseling, cutting off ties to the other person, and being concerned about your partner whenever you thought of leaving.Would that be right?

    In fact trying to leave has not been successful - may I ask why?

    It's true it is upsetting, and as your feelings where quite deep then it would take a while to cope with the matter.

    All I can suggest is you acknowledge that life has thrown a hard situation at you, one not your fault and to which there is no clear cut answer, and you are dealing wiht it as best anyone can.

    Apart from your partner do you have anyone you can talk matters over with,,\ a family member or friend? Sometimes talking makes things clearer.

    Please let us know how you get on

    Croix

  3. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    11062 posts
    1 April 2022 in reply to Croix

    P.S:

    The other thing I meant to ask (but forgot and finished my post without asking) is how you would feel if you left, then several months down the track, would you miss your partner? Would your new relationship be tinged by guilt?

    Please don't think I'm trying to steer you in either direction, I'm not, just posing the sort of questions you have probably asked yourself anyway.

    I wish you the wisdom you need, please feel free to say more

    Croix

    -C

  4. sbella02
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    sbella02 avatar
    245 posts
    2 April 2022 in reply to porkchopsss

    Dear Porkchopsss,

    Thank you so much for opening up in your post, and a warm welcome to our forums.

    The first thing I'd like to say is that attraction is a very normal part of the human experience. It's not your fault, and it cannot be controlled, as far as I'm aware. It can be exhilerating and exciting at times, but it can also be debilitating. I've done a little bit of Googling around this subject before, and my reading is that if you're experiencing attraction while you're in a long-term relationship, perhaps it could just be your brain recognising a need that somebody else fulfills, that's not being fulfilled in your own relationship.

    I have a few friends in relationships who have quite open conversations about their attraction to other people, for example celebrities, with no intention of pursuing anything with somebody external. I also have friends who are in polyamorous, open, or non-monogamous relationships, where they explore their attraction outside of the traditional limits of monogamy. I'm also in a long-term relationship, and have before experienced attraction to people outside of this. For me, this alerted me to a need that wasn't being fulfilled in my own relationship, and I opened a discussion with my partner about this particular need in response.

    Based on my experience, I would firstly establish within yourself what your main needs are in a relationship. Consider how you would feel long-term if these needs were/were not fulfilled, and which needs are deal-breakers for you. If you feel comfortable, you can talk to your partner about your attraction, or if you'd prefer, you can open up a conversation about your needs and the extent to which you feel they're being met in this relationship.

    It's super important in a relationship not to lose sight of your needs, and just generally yourself and what you want in life. My go-to analogy to help explain this is that on a plane, they ask you to put your own oxygen mask on before helping anybody else with theirs, otherwise if your own health and wellbeing is compromised, your ability to assist/provide for others to others will be too. Prioritising yourself is such a healthy and rewarding habit.

    Please feel free to chat with us, we'd love to hear more from you.

    All the best, SB

    2 people found this helpful
  5. geoff
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    16441 posts
    3 April 2022 in reply to porkchopsss

    Hello Porkchopsss, wise words have been said and just to reiterate a few points, is that this person you keep thinking of, is someone you broke off any relationship with to be with your current g/friend and wonder whether the same situation would happen if you were going out with this person you keep thinking of, and then wish you were you with your current finance.

    When we are in a relationship or perhaps a marriage, there is always another person you may have a crush on, I think that stands to reason, and at a weak point we wish we were going out with them, but realise it's impossible because we already have a partner/spouse, and can never be sure whether or not a new r/lationship would work out between us, because it's only a dream.

    We all have many thoughts for a perfect world and if by chance you did go out with this other person, it may only last a couple of days, but then lost a finance.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

  6. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2818 posts
    3 April 2022 in reply to porkchopsss

    Hi porkchopsss

    The situation you face sounds undeniably upsetting. I really feel for you as you make every effort to make better sense of it. I think it's tough when we're trying to make better sense of a challenge while others are shutting us down in a variety of ways. It's kind of like being forced to suppress natural feelings that are alerting us to something significant.

    Personally, I'm a gal who's big on feelings. Feelings can be very telling in so many ways, therefor suppressing them is kind of like ignoring them trying to tell us something. I've come to realise the challenge is to trust not ignore.

    With you being strongly attracted to this other girl, I can't help but wonder what attracts you to her. Maybe, to some degree, it's her appearance (the way she presents herself to the world). Beyond that, could it be that she has an incredibly gentle nature that you find unbelievably calming? Could she have a vibrancy to her that leads you to vibe high? Could she be a bit of a philosopher, in a world which calls for us to develop a different take on things? Maybe she's an inspirational adventurer, in a life that feels like it's lacking some adventure for you. Maybe you don't want to settle down but want to move up into new and evolving ways of living and you need the right partner for that.

    While I've been married to the same guy for 20 years, it doesn't lead me to stop admiring the nature of other guys. I simply wonder why I'm attracted to such natures. Do I need more of those natures within myself in order to connect to life, really feel it? Do I actually envy their abilities, abilities I could develop within myself if I had the right guide/partner to help me? I think we're attracted to other people for good reason and that's something that can't be ignored. The attraction is telling. Sometimes it can be telling us there are things we need to develop within our self. If our current partner can't help us develop these things or if they flat out refuse, by telling us how 'ridiculous' we're being in wanting to bring the adventurer in us to life more, for example, that's something that needs to be questioned. Are they really the right person for us or are they simply yet to develop certain abilities within themself. Developing or strengthening abilities together can be a part of the journey.

    Could you simply be desperate for more excitement in your current relationship, the kind you can really feel, the kind that brings you to life in incredible ways?

  7. porkchopsss
    porkchopsss avatar
    9 posts
    3 April 2022 in reply to Croix

    Thanks for responding Croix.

    One of the biggest reasons I feel conflicted is I do not feel in charge of my life anymore. I feel bounded by society rules, being engaged for nearly 9 years it is supposed to work out! We have gone through rough patches, I have had crushes, but nothing compared to this one. I saw it as a wake up call.

    I no longer enjoy being with my partner and I feel as if I want to care for this other person. I cannot stand having two relationships at once, and yes I feel exactly the same.

    This may sounds stupid, but I actually spoke to my friend about my problem. She said, feelings can change, if it does not feel right, better do something about it. My friends have all kind of understand how my partner has been in the past and I have never seen it as a "toxic relationship" until I started reaching out to people.

    My partner was initially very threatened by the situation.

    I was refrained to what I wanted to say initially, but i have opened up the conversation last night after we had friends come over. I have told her how I feel about the other person and I said the rational me can lie, but not my heart. Yes, I worry she may do something stupid if I do leave her.

    I believe some part of me still wants this to work but more on an obligation level, instead of passion and love. She has made the comment previously regarding biological state as a female and I have wasted her prime.

    I am so glad to hear that it is not my fault, because I have been blaming myself for 12 months on why did this happen to us and feeling I am the problem.

    I am fortunate enough to have some really good friends that are always willing to chat and help me feel like myself again.

    I have been thinking about the scenario of me leaving and might regret my decisions, but I have learnt that is part of life. In order for me to go forward I must leave something behind. I may not be able to love again, but at least I will not regret not doing something that I wanted to do.

  8. porkchopsss
    porkchopsss avatar
    9 posts
    3 April 2022 in reply to sbella02

    Hi SB,

    Thanks for reaching out, it means a lot.

    I 100% agree that somebody else fulfils what is not being fulfilled in my own relationship. My partner has asked me how would I like her to be. But I do not want her to not be herself just because I feel we lack of something that I personally want

    My really close friend has actually opened an interesting conversation with me. Asking "have you ever thought you might not be suitable in a 1-1 relationship or not able to commit to one person"

    I have started to question whether I deserve my partner or not as I do not appreciate her the way I should, but I cherish my time with the other person so much. It may be better to just let my partner go and pursue what my heart tells me.

    I have never learnt how to prioritise myself, that is why this has been draggin on for 12 months and I have been in a terrible mental state.

    I know what I want, I know what my heart tells me. I just don't know how to hurt someone that loves me so much.

  9. porkchopsss
    porkchopsss avatar
    9 posts
    3 April 2022 in reply to geoff

    Hi Geoff,

    Thanks for your response.

    I have been told I am living in my fantasy.

    I used to love what I do and think positive and be the "funny guy" around people, but I have lost all that ability becasue of my fantasy.

    At this point, I feel as if the only way to be me again is to pursue my fantasy and if it works it works, but if it does not then at least I tried.

    I feel very selfish of even thinking about it, that is one of the reasons why I beat myself for being such a prick.

    But is it more important to do what I want ? Or is it more important to not be a prick?

    I wish I had the answer....

  10. porkchopsss
    porkchopsss avatar
    9 posts
    3 April 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi there,

    Thanks for reaching out.

    I have never really thought about how "I feel" but more how others feel.
    I have been told to trust my gut by my counseullor, my friends, my parents, but I have not been succesful with how I feel.

    She definitely has an incredibly gentle nature that I find unbelievably calming, I feel like I have found myself again when I am with her. I do not have to hide my feelings and I can be open with her and yes, she definitely opened up my mind on different perspective to things.

    I have recently started to think that I am not willing to settle down and I want better things for myself, which has never happened in the past. It has always been " what can I do to make others feel better"

    If is interesting when you say that whether this person is the right person for me, I propsed to her in 2020 and now I feel as if I have shamed her if I were to break up with her. I have always had doubts and thought I can break down every challenge that comes our way, but I have been proven wrong.

    I have had my ways to break through the "lack of excitement" in my relationship, it has worked in the past and now it does not.

    She said we should spend time together more, but when I am there, I am not there.

    I told her yesterday, it hurts me to even think of someone else when I wake up, but these feelings are not fading away. I keep thinking of talking to this other person, but I do not becasue I want to try, but my feelings just can't justify it and I feel sad every day.

  11. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    11062 posts
    3 April 2022 in reply to porkchopsss

    Dear Porkchopsss~

    I guess I've already said most of what I can, though I would not think one can devote one's life to another becuse society thinks it is a good idea, or if it means saddling that person with a version of yourself who is permanently sad. I'd imagine that might lead to resentment on both sides.

    You are really the only one who can say if sadness would be permanent, also if your friend would really love you if you to go to her.

    What I can say is words matter, if I say "This is what I want" that can perhaps be seen as being selfish. If one says "This is what I need" then that puts a different complexion on things. Would you agree?

    Croix

  12. geoff
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    16441 posts
    4 April 2022 in reply to porkchopsss

    Hello Porkchopsss, you can't compare a relationship where you have been engaged to a person for 9 years, than to a person that makes you feel like you're in a 'honeymoon period', whether it's an imaginary feeling or not, because if you begin to have a relationship with this other person then the honeymoon period will eventually end, and then be in the same position as you are now.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  13. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2818 posts
    4 April 2022 in reply to porkchopsss

    Hi porkchopsss

    The point Geoff raises is a valid one when it comes to whether you're looking for that honey moon period feeling again. Such a feeling is definitely incredible fuel for the mind, body and soul. To be excited by the mere thought of a person is a truly sensational experience. Coming up to my 20th wedding anniversary, I've remained in a monogamous relationship for quite some time. Questioning the feelings I've experienced over time, some good and some not so good, I can say a long term committed relationship definitely offers it's challenges, especially when it comes to feelings. 'What am I feeling? Why am I feeling the relationship this way? What are my feelings telling me?' are a handful of the many questions I've come to carefully study in the last couple of years or so. Up until then there was quite a bit of suppression, so as not to rock the boat too much. Not a great way to live. The 'waking up' process can definitely be a challenging one, as it can generate a lot of what most people would regard as negative emotions. More constructively put, in my opinion, I'd regard them as 'red flag' emotions. They point to what needs work.

    While missing the honeymoon period and longing to experience it again is one thing, it's quite another to question whether it's time to leave a toxic relationship. It doesn't matter how long we've been in the relationship for (9 weeks, 9 months, 9 years or 20), if it's toxic, it's toxic. 'Can the toxicity be worked out of the relationship?' is another question. If it's in the nature of either person to not want to change because they don't see anything wrong with the relationship, based on the fact it serves them beautifully, that's a red flag. The fact that your partner is open to exploring what progressive forms of growth and change are required of her for the sake of the relationship is an open minded approach on her part.

    I can say that every time I've been tested through the challenges that come with the constructive growth of marriage, on the new level up I've experienced the honeymoon period again. Reaching a new level is exciting for the mind, body and soul. It's energising but if the changes don't last you can feel yourself falling back into sameness. It's a depressing feeling and, again, no way to live, especially if it's a reoccurring predictable pattern.

    In my opinion, I think we can only stay with a person who is in it partly for the experience of personal and mutual evolution.

  14. porkchopsss
    porkchopsss avatar
    9 posts
    7 April 2022 in reply to therising

    Hi all,

    Thanks for getting back to me.

    The other girl has started to ignore me. I am not sure why.

    Her and my colleagues came over to my place for a housewarming, things just seemed a bit odd since then. I feel as if I lost a friend.

    My partner has opened up even more to talk about my feelings. Not just about us but about me and the other person.

    I know what I have to do now. Think about whether I still want to be in this relationship and work it out with my partner or have to be cruel to be kind.

    I know I sound ultra screwed up consider what my situation is.

    But I guess I really need to work out what I really need for myself.

  15. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    11062 posts
    7 April 2022 in reply to porkchopsss

    Dear Porkchopsss~

    You said "The other girl has started to ignore me. I am not sure why"

    It may be either the opportunity was never there or the other person has changed their mind.

    I would think that one of the most important things in a long term relationship is the ability to talk things out with the other person. Frankness laced with kindness (never saying anything cruel) does allow a relationship to continue and ride over problems.

    As a result if you are serious about this other person might it be a good time to have a frank word with them about how you feel. That should take the doubt out of her intentions straight away.

    Geoff is quite right, there is most often a honeymoon period with a new person, and sometimes that may be the only thing one can see.

    I wish you wisdom and luck

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  16. porkchopsss
    porkchopsss avatar
    9 posts
    8 April 2022 in reply to Croix

    I won't lie, but I think Geoff is right about the honeymoon period.

    My partner and I have been communicating a lot more about our feelings to each other, whether about us or the other person. But I feel I might be causng her pain when I talk to her about someone else.

    @Croix, when you mentioned "As a result if you are serious about this other person might it be a good time to have a frank word with them about how you feel. That should take the doubt out of her intentions straight away."

    Wouldn't I be overstepping consider I am still in a relationship?

    The last thing I want to do is cause more pain for anyone else.

    I would love to know of your thoughts.

  17. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    11062 posts
    8 April 2022 in reply to porkchopsss

    Dear Porkchopsss~

    I guess if I understand you correctly you have been thinking of leaving one relationship because you are attracted to another person - and that you hope to form a new relationship with that person.

    If I've got that wrong my apologies - please let me know

    OK assuming that is the case I would think it sensible ot find out what that other person thinks about the move. Perhaps you will be met with enthusiasm, perhaps with indifference, or even hostility. As far as I can see that will not only let you know if leaving for her is a possibility, but also if she is the sort of person with whom you can have serious discussions and live with, in other words get to know her

    The only other alternative if you do leave is to be prepared to find yourself alone if you are rejected.

    I agree this may seem a cold-blooded and even disloyal way of doing things, however it still comes back to what you value most in your life. If you do not intend ot move then do nothing, if you do intend to then find out if it is practical.

    As you very often talk of your concern about hurting you partner I wonder if leaving is really what you want. Are there aspects of your existing relationship that don't at present meet your needs, but have the possibility of being improved over time? Particularly as you and your partner are able ot talk about things.

    I hope that makes my previos suggestion clearer - what do you think?

    Croix

  18. geoff
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    16441 posts
    9 April 2022 in reply to porkchopsss

    Hello Porkchopsss, you can't expect a distance relationship with this other girl to turn out to be perfect, when you're day-dreaming and your infatuation is dominating your mind because although you may be keen on her, you don't know how the two of you are going to get on and whether you would click with her friends and what she normally does every day.

    If the possibility does come up and you have a discussion with her, you can't immediately say to yourself 'that's exactly what I like', it's different talking about something rather than living with a person, there are so many other denominations that come into effect, that weren't expected.

    Take care.

    Geoff.

    2 people found this helpful
  19. porkchopsss
    porkchopsss avatar
    9 posts
    12 April 2022 in reply to geoff

    Thanks Croix and Geoff,

    When you mentioned "you can't expect a distance relationship with this other girl to turn out to be perfect". I really thought about that hard. If one cannot communicate or attempt to communicate, can't image what is ahead.

    And yes fantasies are different to real life.

    "OK assuming that is the case I would think it sensible ot find out what that other person thinks about the move. Perhaps you will be met with enthusiasm, perhaps with indifference, or even hostility. As far as I can see that will not only let you know if leaving for her is a possibility, but also if she is the sort of person with whom you can have serious discussions and live with, in other words get to know her"

    The other person has been aware of my situation as we often talk about what is happening with our lives (I do feel somestimes just me, becuase she finds it hard to open up herself). She is one of the few people that have encouraged to do what I feel is right instead of being "obligated" to stick around with my partner. That is why I greatly appreciate her as she has shown me a different aspect in life.

    The sudden change that she has started to distant me has confused the crap out of me. But I am not her, and I have learnt not to guess but ask what is wrong.

    I did and I got ignored. This leaves me to work out what I really want in life, or do I want to stay in my current relationship or do I want to do something about it.

    I have spoken to my partner and we agreed to try, I told her I cannot promise her anything but the least I can do is try.

    Please let me know of your thoughts, I really enjoy and appreciate this mature conversation....

  20. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    11062 posts
    12 April 2022 in reply to porkchopsss

    Dear Porkchopsss~

    I guess as things change so do peole. At the start the other person did encourage you to find what you needed and go for it. Maybe it is now sinking in that this puts her in a different position. I'd not find being ignored a hopeful sign, then neither would the fact you have laid out how you have felt in the past she has not done the same but was be more reticent about herself. No good communication.

    It looks, from the outside at least, that you have made a decision - to try to remain with your partner and see what can be done. As you are able to talk with her this sounds as if it could be hopeful. You may end up enjoying it.

    I would like to mention one thing, and that is saying 'No promises' is probably not very meaningful. It is not a free pass to get out whenever you feel like it as saying you wish to stay and try would, to me at least, be a sort of promise. By remaining you are taking on a responsibility, i.e. another's feelings and welfare. Does that make sense or do you think I'm being too serious?

    Croix

  21. porkchopsss
    porkchopsss avatar
    9 posts
    16 May 2022 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix,

    What you have said pretty much summarizes how I feel currently.

    The biggest challenge for me right now is to put my foot down and say I am done. I have attempted previuosly but all failed.

    I have ruled out the other person in my situation as I think this will benefit not only myself but my situation, really thinking about how it is done right.

    Procrastination is probably the best word to describe me right now.

    My partner and I are still together, we are trying to spend as much time together and talk things out, but again, my heart tells me otherwise.

    I really need to do something about it, but it is so hard.

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up