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Help!

I am 23 and I have been married for 1 and 1/2 years. seven years ago when I was in high school I fell for a guy from my church (not my husband). we were a fling for a while but never amounted to a relationship (I kinda ended things with him when he was in the army after he graduated high school - he is 2 years older than me). we never lost contact and would occasionally see each other in groups of our church friends. i never got over him or could stop thinking of him. one day 2 years ago (in the summer of 2012) i texted him just to see how he was doing and what he was up to. we texted all night and he told me in a text that he loved me and i admitted that i loved him (we had first started seeing each other 4 years before this). i had always loved him and cared about him and thought about him but had no idea he felt the same towards me, or still did. at the time I was engaged and i called it off (though my fiancé didn't know the reason and i came up with other reasons. my parents were the only ones who knew i called it off - it was for a very brief time, about 1 week or so). i didn't know what to do. i never saw the guy in person to discuss it (we only talked through text and over the phone). i wasn't sure what would happen if i saw him in person.. i eventually decided to go back to my fiancé after my fiancé told me that he wished me the best in life and that he hoped we could remain friends (after fighting like CRAZY to keep me, and me pushing him away). after he told me that i just realized it wasn't fair to leave him and that i was being selfish, i couldn't imagine a future without my fiancé. i can't really say i regret marrying him, but i'm not so sure i don't. it's been 1 and 1/2 years and i still think about the other guy every single day. i don't know what to do. my now husband still has no idea. i feel terrible and i don't know if i should leave him for this other guy or come to terms that i'm not in an unhappy marriage and to just be happy with what I have... that we all can have multiple loves in our lives. no one knows about this. honestly i feel so stupid even posting this on a relationship advice website but i don't know what else to do and i want to hear from an experienced relationship/marriage counselor or psychologist. thank you for your help.

Answer: 

I do understand your torment.

Perhaps it will help you to know that you are comparing apples and oranges. 

You said yourself that what you had with this other guy “never amounted to a relationship.”  If he was such a great love, why did you end it? I know you said that he entered the army, but if he had been such a great love how could you have let him go?

It’s very easy for us to build romantic castles in the sky. But, in reality you are idealizing this other guy, when, in fact, you don’t even know if you would be compatible with him, since you never had a real relationship.

You say that you returned to your fiancé because you didn’t want to be selfish and unfair to him.

Is that the only reason you went back to him? 

You say you have a nice marriage.

Do you love your husband?

And, would you be willing to go for broke, end the marriage and explore whether this other man is better for you, knowing that it might not work out with this other man and you might lose both men in the end?

In other words, is the bird in your hand worth two in the bush? 

You are right that we can and often do have many loves in our lives. And, just because we love someone doesn’t mean that we are compatible or that we would have a good relationship with that person. Do you know this other man well enough to say that he would be better for you?

And, can you say that you now have a good relationship? Does this relationship meet your needs?  

If so, then why go looking for greener grass?

In truth, this other guy is a pure fantasy, the forbidden fruit that always seems sweeter till you take the first bite. If you formed a relationship with him, he would no longer be a fairytale. He would not be a partner in a real relationship with all the problems and challenges that relationships bring.

I have given you the necessary questions to help you to move forward in a way that’s good for you and for all the parties involved. 

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