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Ask Dr. L Your Own Question

Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1168
Experience:  Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
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My husband and I have been together for 5 years and married

Customer Question

My husband and I have been together for 5 years and married for 9 months. We have a solid relationship full of affection and we never fight. He has been through many major family crises throughout our relationship and I have been there for him without question. I have also supported him financially almost the entire time we have been together. He is in an artistic field and does not earn much income. I know this subject bothers him and we rarely discuss it. What he does earn, he gives to me immediately. Recently, I have been noticing increased attention from a particular co-worker. This coworker is warm, caring, brilliant, and approaching the top of his field. He also did not know I was married. I am not secretive about it and I always wear my ring. He just claims to have not noticed. Unfortunately, once I realized that he does have feelings for me, I recognized my own for him. I discussed the situation with him and we agreed that it is best not to enter into any sort of physical relationship. Mainly because I am married, but also because we work together. Unfortunately, I have not been able to think about anything else and am questioning the basis of my marriage and my overall compatibility with my husband. I suspect I am at a crossroads.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. L replied 3 years ago.

Dr Levang :

Hello,

Dr Levang :

I would like to help you with your question.

Dr Levang :

Yes. From what you write, it sounds like you are in a dilemma. I understand the crossroads.

Dr Levang :

Do you believe you are in love, or beginning to fall in love, with your co-worker? Or is this about infatuation?

Dr Levang :

In my experience, infatuation is often at the core of these romantic stirrings. And, infatuation is far different from love.

Dr Levang :

Since you are only 9 months into your marriage, I wonder if you are feeling the normal ups and downs that are part and parcel of that first year. Most newlyweds have some adjustment issues and feel some uncertainty about the marriage. I work with both pre-marital couples and newlyweds and the question about was this the right choice, are we compatible, will we make it are normal.

Dr Levang :

I see you are typing. I will wait for you to reply.

JACUSTOMER-abw0wfc7- :

It is hard to determine the depth of the feelings at this point. I would like to add that, when this coworker discovered that I was married he became upset and left (we were out as a group).

Dr Levang :

Prior to knowing how that this co-worker was interested in you, did you feel satisfied and happy with your marriage?

Dr Levang :

Did he explain why he became upset and left? Was it because he realized the inappropriateness of his actions toward you, was it guilt, or what? Did you talk about it later?

JACUSTOMER-abw0wfc7- :

Yes, I was satisfied with my marriage prior. He did not say explicitly why he was upset.

Dr Levang :

So....did this man's attention catch you off guard and, in a way, see yourself as attractive/sexy/exciting in a way that you have not felt for awhile?

Dr Levang :

What is it about this man that excites you - the fact that he is more financially secure than your husband? Or are there other factors?

JACUSTOMER-abw0wfc7- :

Possibly. More details: I am a nurse, he is a cardiac surgeon. For months, he would only talk to me when he came to our floor. I did not think much of it for a while, because I am very friendly and approachable. I always say hello to everyone.

JACUSTOMER-abw0wfc7- :

I also think I am feeling some guilt. He has basically been in school his whole life and I don't think he has had much experience dating. Obviously, if did not ask around if I was seeing anyone. I am afraid his feelings may be hurt badly.

Dr Levang :

Why are you feeling guilty? Because this involvement is harmful to your marriage? Or, because you are worried about hurting this man's feelings?

JACUSTOMER-abw0wfc7- :

I suppose it is easy to see why I am a bit in awe of him. It's like life is dangling the carrot of a whole other life in front of me.

JACUSTOMER-abw0wfc7- :

Both

Dr Levang :

I have enough experience with medical school students to know that he is likely had as many dating experiences as the next guy - and maybe even more!

Dr Levang :

Yes...I understand completely the powerfrul allure a physician's life would have for you. I've had plenty of clients married to professional atheletes, best-selling authors, cardiologists, ceo's of companies to know the pros and cons of those relationships. Still...love is not about a wallet or a bank account. Love is about the heart.

Dr Levang :

I see you have gone off line.

Dr Levang :

If you would like to chat more, please let me know.

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