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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and have lived in and around Palo Alto since 1969. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background i...  (More)

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Attraction to a Person Outside Your Relationship

Uploaded: Sep 21, 2017
“It was not [a summons . . . it was simply a desire to escape from what I had.”
--Rachel Cask, Outline

I’ve taken Rachel’s words out of context for my purposes because it’s apt for couples.

Maybe things at home aren’t going how you want or need them to. Another person is fresh and interested in you, maybe s/he even needs you and you feel attractive and desired again. There’s a powerful compelling pull to pursue each other. Soon enough you’re on the path away from your marriage or relationship.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but generally this doesn’t end well. You’ll likely end up in another relationship with similar issues about two years down the road (that’s because the happy brain chemicals of a new relationship will have calmed down and you’ll likely be back where you were with your ex).

Humans are both complex and simple: most people repeat relationship patterns from one partner to the next until breaking the cycle—either by themselves or getting help to do so.
Whatever you grew up with, healthy or dysfunctional (on a spectrum of slightly to horrible) is what seems “normal” to you. Most people recreate their parents’ relationship to some degree. It takes effort and vigilance to have a different path than your parents.

I advise not talking intimately with this “other” as s/he has no vested interest in you staying married. Avoid having an emotional affair that will come back and bite you in the ass. Trust me, your partner will find out!

Instead go home and talk with your partner about what’s working and what’s not in your marriage. Put in the effort to work on your relationship. Be in with both feet, your heart in, and eyes open. If you’re not sure where to start, read and discuss Couple’s Net blogs—there’s enough content there for years of discussion.

Close the doors and windows to others that can come between you and your beloved. Spend time with people are friends of your marriage.

What are your issues? Connection? Communication? Sex? Money? In-laws? Kids? Time? Work? Your marriage or relationship has to be your number priority (yes, even a smidgen above your kids—it provides the roof over their heads). I’ve worked with a lot people that feel they are last on the list of their partner’s priorities. Is that true for you?

The brain is wired to seek shiny new objects. Head back to what you enjoyed doing together in the hot, lusty phase where all you wanted was to spend time together—there are shiny objects there, too. Go on the treasure hunt.

Silicon Valley has its own challenges—no matter what field you work in here. You get to make choices every day. Please, choose your marriage or relationship.

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sea Seelam Reddy, a resident of College Terrace,
on Sep 27, 2017 at 4:25 am

Sea Seelam Reddy is a registered user.

I have struggled with it for a number of years.

I am 65+. I was married 10 years. I had no problem keeping away from any relationships outside marriage; as I had an advantage. I am living in USA, with an indian heritage. It's not like the women are ready to have a fling.

It must be hard, when one is very attractive regardless of age and sex. You are attracted.

Only way I know is to create a family around you. Shield with children, parents, grandchildren, good friends and most importantly FAITH. Every religious faith says to be faithful to your loved one.

I do it with little alcohol and religion.

Thanks for brining this up.

Respectfully


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Sep 28, 2017 at 2:19 pm

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Thank you Sea, for posting your ideas.


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