Contact Us

I'm Falling in Love with a Married Man, What Should I Do?

I'm Falling in Love with a Married Man, What Should I Do?

 Email

Question:

Dear Rabbi,

I am having a problem with a friend of mine. There seems to be an attraction between us that I don't want there. I love my fiancé and don't want to be distracted or hurt our relationship. There is potential for a lot of hurt with this situation, especially considering that my friend's wife is also a close friend of mine.

Anyway, it's a big tangled web with lots of spiders and I don't know how to get out. If my love for my fiancé is true, how could this attraction be so strong?

Answer:

True love doesn't mean you can't be attracted to someone else. And being attracted to someone else doesn't mean that you don't love your fiancé or that he isn't your true soul-mate. All it means is that you are human.

We sometimes have unrealistic expectations of ourselves — that when I meet Mr. Right I will only have eyes for him. But reality is not like that.

You can be happily married for years - even to Mr. Right - and still become attracted to someone else. You can't control that; it is instinctive. What you can help is what you do about it. You are not forced to act on your instincts. You can't always control what you feel, but what you do about those feelings is totally in your court.

If you are committed to your fiancé then you have to be exclusively his. That means that you put your relationship with him in front of any other concern.

This may mean that you cannot continue to socialize with that other person to whom you are attracted. Even if it means a rift in your friendship with his wife, what is more important - your future marriage or your relationship with her? This may be a difficult move, but if you don't do it you are running the risk of needlessly harming four lives.

You are facing an important test. Your loyalty and commitment are being challenged. The question is: will you do what you feel like doing or what you know is right?

See this as an opportunity to take your relationship with your fiancé to a whole new level. Show yourself that although your faithfulness is being strongly challenged, the depth of your commitment to him is stronger still.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
29 Comments
1000 characters remaining
Anonymous NY March 1, 2017

To Anonymous in California Dear Anonymous in Cali,
I've been thinking about your comment for months. I feel your pain.
My story is one post below (I am Anonymous in NY.)
I just wanted to reach out to you (hopefully you will still read it), and advise you that the depression can be addressed separately.
My own attraction and loving feelings were rooted in some deeper unrealized dreams of mine which existed for years before I was even married. It took a lot of prayer for me to reach that discovery.
The prayer led me down a path of counseling, reading and personal growth. It is a process but so worth it....
The relationship itself is something I had to grieve. I treated it as losing a loved one, which is actually what happened. I loved a person with whom I had to part. That love will never go away and I don't want it to.
It doesn't take away from loving my husband and kids, actually somehow it made me love my family better.
I hope you find meaning in my words.... peace and love to you dear friend in California. Reply

Anonymous NY March 1, 2017

For those who have experienced this, this is a very difficult challenge.
I was contentedly married, with lovely kids. Start a new job, meet a coworker (also married) BAM - a few weeks later my thoughts are elsewhere, fantasies, feeling in love, obsessed, etc.
Very unexpected. Not at all like me, or so I thought! Never in my entire single life was I interested in a married man!!
Now that I'm married and "safe" this is what happened.
So....... things happen I guess. Feeling guilty about it doesn't help. It's hormones, it's admiration of another person, it's being human.
In the end I decided that if I really love him, I need to treat him (and myself) with respect. Love means doing what's right for the person whom you love.
With a heavy heart I left my job (which I liked).... but it opened my heart in unimaginable ways. As difficult as it was, Hashem saw me through it.
There was no affair. Just grief and sadness. But now a better relationship with my husband and kids. ❤ Reply

Yehudis Eretz Yisrael February 20, 2017

So many people here don't make the distinction between love and attraction. Didn't all of you people in conflict feel the same sort of attraction to your spouse, before you married, that you're now claiming you feel for this other off-limits person?
Love is something else entirely and if you miss the distinction, married life will be miserable indeed.
Love is based on commitment - without that, forget things working out. Love means putting yourself aside and thinking about the other person. It means learning to see the other person in a positive light even if you might not feel like doing so at the time. It means being determined to build together and work things out even when it's tough.
Try it even for a week and see what happens to your relationship. At the end of the day, it's about learning to be a better person via accepting your spouse for who he/she is. Try it, and you'll find that what you build is so much sweeter than even the strongest romantic attraction. Reply

Anonymous California February 5, 2016

I did that I followed what is right and am still in deep depression after 11 years. Reply

Think US June 18, 2015

Whatever happened to running away before it gets more intense? Did I have one of the few Jewish Moms who told be to be very very careful in love?
I saw temptation that friends didn't run from. Most of them were worse for it.
I don't agree with it just happens. When I was single, (and I didn't get married by 22 like many), I never ever went out with a married man. I didn't even speak to
a married man in my personal life. There were no problems or conflicts or confusion. The rule was made. No married men. Period. Reply

crazygood December 27, 2014

I am going through emotional turmoil myself. There is definitely chemistry between my married physiotherapist and me because whenever we see each other we both get intense and we are trying hard to focus on the work he needs to do. I am still getting to know how he works with other patients and maybe he treats his other patients the same way with extra caring gestures. Its only been 6 weeks for us, but I feel that the more I am falling in love with him. I need to see him more to recover from multiple injuries faster, which would mean more contacts. It's already a struggle to keep my emotions in check. I can not hide the attraction each passing day. The need to end our short relationship is what I am leaning on. Tell him and finally walk away. Might do us both good. Reply

Anonymous London October 13, 2014

I was involved with man who I should not be in love with but it kind of happened I met him in Australia and I was in love with him and now I don't know what to do when he got married he invited me to go to his wedding since then and now I had his phone number and to here his voice but now everything has changed I cant help it and it hurts my feelings and is hard and I feel like I am trapped and I feel ashamed off my self his got children to I know he loves me but he is not in love with me and I don't know any more I need your help can anyone help me Reply

Anonymous Canada September 10, 2014

Being engaged and being attracted to someone else may be a red flag that something is not going right in the relationship. Talk to someone about it. Not just an anonymous post on the web Reply

Sarah Zurich August 8, 2014

I think the problem with cheating husbands are a lot at fault with women over 50
The men are still men at that age .... And the women act older at that age ...so the
Men don't get what they need so they look for it so were else
So I think that the women should think about it and become wife's again
All the best Reply

Anonymous south africa February 25, 2014

It's not easy, but stay with your family. It's not going to be easy but after that season, you will be grateful you stayed. We must think of the pain undeserved to those we love even if it means it shall hurt you. Reply

Anonymous New york November 5, 2013

Image falling in love with someone you did not know was married..... :( Reply

Dikgaba RSA October 29, 2013

Being in love with someone you can't have is the most painfull feeling you could encounter. Human beings are very sensitive beings we rely on other people for affection and a sense of being. One should learn self control and being true to yourself in the situation you might be in. It's tough especially the matters of the heart but reality and facts must be awakening of the truth. It's sad but God had set high standards. Reply

Anonymous July 30, 2013

Don't Do It Take it as a test of your control over your feelings.
I have been through such an experience too. But I was naive when it happened.
Please for God's sake and your own sake do not start anything with that 'friend' guy, you risk so much later, if he plays with your feelings and does not divorce his wife. Reply

Anonymous Indiana June 18, 2013

Marrired women I'm a married women who fell in love with a old high school ex and it has caused problems in my life i feel like the movie bridges of Madison county i care for my ex and always will but at the same time i can't hurt my family I'm haunted by his memory daily but act like everything Is ok my advice to you don't start something like this because it can change your life love is a good thing but loving someone that you can't have isn't. Reply

Anonymous Florida May 3, 2013

Love? Falling in love with somebody while married is not really love, it is a temptation that you have to resist. It will create more damage in your life and everybody involved. Reply

Anonymous beijing January 1, 2012

Addiction it might help in such circumstances to speak to a counselor or psychologist. As wll if t is something that cannot be controlled it might be a full blown addiction and then fellowhips like SLAA can help you to recover. Reply

Anonymous Santa Rosa, CA July 2, 2011

I can relate. I am single and deeply in love with a married woman. She is in love with me too. We have acknowledged our feelings for each other but neither one of us wants her to make the ultimate sacrifice. She loves her husband and her kids, and neither one of us wants her to tear their family apart. So instead, we stay apart. Sometimes I wonder why God gave me the gift of her but made her not able to be mine. It's kind of a cruel gift. Other times, I feel blessed to love her as much as I do and to be loved by her. Doing the right thing isn't always easy, but it is important. Maybe some day I'll get to have some one of my own Reply

Anonymous Sunny Isles Beach, FL June 20, 2011

soul mates I can relate to this story. I had an affair with a married man, while i was married too. I knew him for sometime and ended up working for his company. i tried very hard to stay away and ignore his advances, but finally broke down. My marriage was having a lot of problems and i was on my way out before the affair even began, so why was i feeling so horribly guilty about the situation. I couldn't stand hurting everyone involved. I ended up going back to my husband and admitting to him about my affair. It was the most painful time in my life. I got very sick from all the stress. My husband was there for me every step of the way, even though he was hurting too. We got through it together. If I could go back , i would NOT do it!!! Thank G-d for my family! Reply

AW Manchester August 4, 2010

To anonymous in Perth The depth of your feelings comes through your writing. I hear your frustration, confusion and helplessness. I hope that G-d has given you the courage and strength to get through this tumultous test. I wish you much luck and only happiness in your life.
Regards from England Reply

Catherine Brookville, NY October 28, 2009

soul mates According to Torah's 10 commandments, adultery is a sin. If your soul mate comes along in life after your married, God will somehow change the circumstances so that the union will happen easily and naturally. But the sacrifice of giving up everything you owned is usually part of the bargain to be made. the only way to know afterward if it was truly a match made in heaven is after the marriage takes place. If your lives together produces wonderful things then that is a sign it was meant to be. Reply

Related Topics