Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Help This Reader Out--Girl's Got the Dopamine Sickness!

Yikes, I need your help! A reader has asked for advice and I don't want to totally fuck her up provide her with unwise counsel. So I turn to you, Faceless Internet Stranger, as I do on all Important Life Matters. Here, you tell her what to do.

This is what you have to go on, her comment on the post Dopamine, The Cruel Bitch Mistress:

Tell me how to make it stop. I've been married for 7 years now to a man who, 7 years before that was a crazy crush. He's a great guy, wonderful father to our little girl. All that. Then a dude came along who, with a GLANCE turned me inside out. We've flirted, we've talked, and he's told me I do the same to him. His integrity (dammit!) will not allow him to go any further with me, as he knows I'm married with a wee one. But, due to where I work and where said dude shops, I still see him and we still chit chat. It is driving me mad, making me seriously wonder if I still love my husband, getting seriously pissed off that I cannot work up passionate emotions for husband like I have for the dude, losing weight because I don't want to eat, etc. WTF am I supposed to do??? 
Going Crazy Here

Well, what should we tell this lady? Have any of you been in this situation? How did you handle it? Was your solution simple and elegant? Horrible and messy? Some combination therein? Any and all input welcome! You are welcome to comment anonymously (the Internet version of taking the Fifth), but I'll ask you not to be judgmental. The In Bed With Married Women philosophy is that the stuff we talk about around here is not Good or Bad--it's just True, and worth looking at with a clear and open mind.

Yours in Excessive and Unnecessary Capitalization,

jill

(photo source: Hoodoo That Voodoo, Photography by Sarah Moon)

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the answer is "ethical nonmonogamy", or polyamory. The biochemical causes of attraction are not bad things, and exploring them is quite exhilarating, even after marriage. It does require a huge level of communication, though, between everyone involved, and it can be difficult when there are children involved. But if all of you can handle that, the result can be incredible.

One of the better sites that discusses polyamory and answers many of the issues and concerns is this one: Franklin's Polyamory FAQ

Betty Fokker said...

This is a chemical reaction. It has nothing to do with your husband; hubby should be making a chemical trial like the one you feel for your daughter. If he isn't, then totally separate issue and has nothing to do with crush.

It will pass. For example, I get "crushes" on characters in shows, watch the living fuck out of said shows, and then one day *boom* I am over it. Several friends have also had crushes on real people (looks like it sucks, btw) and then one day, *boom*, crush free. Those few who indulged in the cheating wound up resenting and disliking the crush once the infatuation faded. One friend married her crush and now hates him (in fairness, he is a dickhole).

If the crush is your soul mate or whatnot, then all bets are off. The odds are unlikely, but I am not dismissive of anything vis-a-vis love.

My God, that was no help at all, was it?

Anonymous said...

Grow up. You are an adult with a family, and that's thousands of times more important than a crush. If your husband is good, loving, and loyal, then stand by him. There's a good chance that he's also been attracted to other people but hasn't acted on it because he loves you and his family too much to risk fucking it up over a temporary infatuation. I myself, speaking as a man, want to fuck about a third of all the women I see every day, but I never let it go beyond daydreams, because my marriage is the most important thing in the world.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has had divorced parents the last thing you want to do is mess up your kids life, because you wanted to get laid by someone else. Chances are you'll mess up your marriage and your kid. When your in a marriage you need to do things for yourself sometimes, but this is one of the instances where you put your family first before what you want.

Kate W said...

This is a potentially dangerous situation, and could turn your life around if you make the wrong move. You could lose everything. I have come across guys on the swinging scene that openly play away from home. I'm not interested and have told them so. If you had no reason to question your love and loyalty to your husband before you met this other guy, I would suggest this is no more than a crush and you need to move on. If you feel something is lacking in your marriage then you should talk to your husband about your concerns and hopefully things will improve. Take it from one who knows.

in bed with married women said...

A direction-shifter: I think she is not actually asking if she should bone this dude (he won't do it anyway) but rather how to stop the stinkin' dopamine from flooding her body.

Or at least direct it toward her husband.

Anyone? Anyone?

jill

jenerosity said...

1) Ride that Dopamine high then go home and ride that husband! To add a little MORE spice, tell your husband all about it. Some guys DO get off on this. Just be sure to praise him and everything you love about him.
2) Start fantasizing about your spouse more and make those fantasies come true! Next time the crush comes into the store, text your husband the things you'd like to be doing (to the crush..but sshhh don't let him in on that part).

Anonymous said...

Why not work it out between you and your shower-massage? Don't have a jetstream shower head? Get one! Fantasies galore and orgasmic explosions in the privacy of the bathroom!

Anonymous said...

I think she should go to a sex therapist with her husband and at least try to see if it is possible for some of the old passionate feelings to come back. It's natural that passion is undulating in a mariage. If she has an affair with a new exciting man, she could end up losing everything and regretting it the rest of her life. Funny thing with newness - it doesn't last long.

Anonymous said...

I married young, my family thought it a good idea. I did not even like him, really.I am from Europe and our families had known each other for years! When his brother(12 years older) came to towne; I was so excited ! I had always had a "crush" on him! Anyway, we both got "quickie" divorcees and married each other :) Sometime these hormones, are trying to tell us something. We have been together 15 years now.
It could have been a disaster, but it was not. And we were both willing to accept the consequences, if it had. No children involved. By the way,my parents divorced and it was great for me! They were much happier apart(remained friends) and that made me a happier child.
I really believe; the things we regret in life, are not those we did but those we did not have the stones to do!

mjs said...

The eternal struggle between novelty and secure intimacy - it is a classic.

You are experiencing the power of novelty and chemistry. It is why when we start dating someone there is so much energy. It comes from the mystery, the tension, the surprises. It is the opposite of secure intimacy.

Now we also love secure intimacy as well - the knowns, the stability, the familiarity...but there is no tension or excitement there and hence sexual tension can often diminish or vanish. It gives us great comfort to know everything and share everything with our partners but it more often than not kills desire because that full sharing on every level including mundane details makes lovers into family - and who wants to fuck their family?

You can't stop the flood of novel dopamine but what you can do (aside from having an open marriage of some sort) is cultivate more mystery and surprise with your husband.

Do more things apart. Don't share every detail or every story. Create a focused erotic space (ie separate email addresses for purely erotic talk) that doesn't inject itself into your regular every day lives.

Don't always be available to each other because you are doing things apart that interest you.

For more on this read the brilliant Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel - who is a friend of mine.

Tony Van Helsing said...

Ditching your family over someone you lust after would be a mistake. If your marriage is getting stale then maybe you need to address that instead. Everyone fancies other people but acting on it may not bring the results you expect. Jesus, I sound like a horoscope.

Anonymous said...

I was in a similar situation some years back, and I got through without giving in to the tempation. It was incredibly hard though and my husband could tell I was going through something emotionally. We started fighting often(husband and I). I had to make the decision that lust is just a passing thing, that once I felt twisted in my insides for my husband. At certain times I would try to rationalize leaving my husband, then something happened. The other man (who I knew as a child so we had background, but please know that I NEVER did anything with him) said he would be a great provider for me and my kids. Well, I got angry at that in defense of my husband. That was the turning point. I realized I adored and love my husband and with time we have gotten through the rough patch of our marriage and are very happy now. It's been many years since this.

Anonymous said...

Don't do it! Go and see a family therapist and work things out at home. I almost destroyed my marriage and wish I could go back in time.

Anonymous said...

Firs thing to do is stand in front of a mirror and look into your own soul. Today, tomorrow and yesterday - do you want to look into your own eyes and feel???
Next thing to do is think about those vows and how you would feel if your husband followed such impulses.
Bottom line is nobody can tell you what to do, but think long an hard about the impulse and the impact. This is not a candy bar -

Anonymous said...

I would second the comments of "jenerosity" and suggest that she talk with her husband about it, at least a little. My spouse and I find that telling the other one about our crush helps to defuse some of the power of that crush (note: we did talk about the idea of talking about it before actually saying "ooh honey, I have a little bit of a crush on so-and-so", so perhaps preparing the way is good as well). Part of what both of us find powerful about the crush is the secrecy and taboo of it, so if it's no longer secret, it has less power.

Vesta Vayne said...

Ugh. Well, I think a lot of married people fear something like this will happen. Marriage is supposed to be for life, not until something better comes along. Put yourself in your husband's shoes - if the situation were reversed, even if you knew he wasn't technically cheating, how would you feel?

Having said that, life with the same person becomes predictable. What she needs is to figure out a way to make her marriage more exciting. In my personal opinion it doesn't always take much, sometimes a 'lil extra sumthin' goes a looooong way.

Ruth said...

I'm with Jen here - ride that delicious high (mentally) while it lasts and use it to spice up things with hubby! The crush will pass: what you have with hubby is less chemically intense but has its own special strengths :) Enjoy flirting with Mr Crush, and take the buzz home to hubby! win-win :) Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I just had to comment on this to share my random, personal story...I met someone who made me feel like that and we did end up starting a relationship while we were both still in others. It wasn't ideal, it wasn't something that either of us is proud of, but it was a complicated situation that highlighted problems both of us had in our respective relationships. Four years later, we live together and have an amazing life. Since we've been together, of course I still have occasional crushes and assume that he does too. But it's different now--I am committed to this man and in it for the long haul, and no "crush" is worth it to me to destroy the life we've built. But four years ago, it was, because as I discovered, I was actually unhappy and hadn't realized it, and there's no way my relationship would have lasted whether or not this new guy had come along. It's taken us years to build a real sense of trust but it has all been worth it and I'm grateful for how lucky I have been. I would say that you need to carefully consider whether it is worth it to risk the relationship that you have built--only you know whether over the long term, that relationship is fulfilling in a real way. And then, no matter what happens with the other guy, he will either give you the impetus to end an unhappy marriage or, like others have said, the crush will pass and normalcy will return. Hope this isn't too convoluted! :)

This too shall pass said...

I like to call it dope-amine, because I became a complete freaking idiot. I was in a similar sitch with a crush about a year ago. My husband & I have been married 17 years, have 3 kids & things had gone stale to say the least. My crush had me on such a dopamine high that I was questioning my marriage, my life, thinking the grass would be greener, etc. Things never became physical with the guy, but the feelings & sexual charge he triggered lit a fire in me that translated to rejuvinated intimacy with my husband. We've had more sex this past year and become closer emotionally than in our entire marriage and we still can't keep our hands off each other!

I never discussed anything with my husband. I chose to work through it myself & after a few months the crush diminished & I had my rational-thinking head back. My marriage still stands & is stronger than ever.

'nuf said...

Sometimes what happens is the dopamine rush leads to the break-up of a marriage and a family and in a little more than a year the lady in question has married the crush. Tragic and ugly way to end an 18 year marriage but there it is...

Mongo, At The Moment said...
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