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Are stupid these crushes a form of mid-life crisis?

(45 Posts)
BananaMasher Sun 15-Nov-15 21:20:22

I'm writing this because I CANNOT talk to anyone in RL about it.
I have a massive crush on a female colleague and it's driving me mad. I have no idea why it started and it's certainly not reciprocal (she'd probably be horrified if she knew!). It's just so all-consuming and unsettling - I don't want it!! We are both married to men with children. I feel so guilty to be "somewhere else" emotionally even though it's pure fiction!
I have fought hard to build my family and although we've been through tough things, I think DH and I have a strong relationship (not perfect but good enough). I haven't been unfaithful in real life - not even close. However, I do consider myself to be bisexual but haven't shared this with anyone. This is not the first time I have had a crush on someone and I find it embarrassing (although I know it's quite common). My crushes have been men or women over the years.
I feel it's got worse recently. I'm in my mid 40s - could it be hormones or just escapism from long hours/small children etc etc. I'm doing my own head in!

HypodeemicNerdle Sun 15-Nov-15 21:24:09

No advice but watching with interest as I've recently had a rather unsettling crush myself. Thankfully it's dying down now but it was very weird

BananaMasher Sun 15-Nov-15 21:24:58

Whoops! Sorry

I can't even write a sentence. I obvs meant "Are these stupid crushes..."

mum2mum99 Sun 15-Nov-15 21:32:21

If these crushes keep coming back there might be a reason.
It there something missing in your marriage OP? Am emotional connection?
What is it about this woman that sets you off?

SurferJet Sun 15-Nov-15 21:40:30

Hi op - yes, it probably is a bit of escapism, although you do sound completely besotted with this woman so maybe more than a harmless crush? - when another person starts to dominate your thoughts it's a clear indicator that all is not great with your relationship.
I haven't really got any advice apart from be careful what you wish for.

wishingchair Sun 15-Nov-15 21:54:28

I don't know if it means there's something missing in your relationship. I think it is a perfectly normal combination of: mid-life awareness (not crisis!), hormones (I find myself lusting after 20something boys), escapism and normal laws of attraction.

I've often had crushes and been happy in my marriage.

mum2mum99 Sun 15-Nov-15 21:59:06

For me crushes were a sign that something was not good. Crushes happen but when they start occurring again and again and more and more often then maybe there might be something behind it.

spudlike1 Sun 15-Nov-15 22:05:15

I've had a similar experience a few years ago it was awful I sought therapy . I had a minor slow burn breakdown at the time , work.stress, financial stress , depression, unresolved issues/ pain / hurt from my past all led to a huge desire to escape .
Look up limerance that might help . Don't bottle it up that just feeds the guilt, and angst that surrounds it .

BananaMasher Sun 15-Nov-15 22:14:59

Hi guys

thank you - it definitely helps to air the issue.

Hypo - it's good to hear that you're out the other end with your crush. It must be such a relief - it sounds like it took you by surprise in some way?

mum2 - I think what's missing in my marriage is time together, so nothing unusual there! I work ft as a teacher and do crazy hours which makes me feel pretty fed up. We've never had family close by to help so there's little space for us as a couple. Have booked a babysitter for next w/e as we definitely need a date. However, we're both overworked/exhausted and have little time for ourselves or as a couple - I think it's a common problem but can't begin to change it unless I go p/t which I'm working on. Unfortunately, my crush is completely my type and we get on brilliantly as people/work colleagues. I'm annoyed as I'd love to be friends with her but this stupid complication has made it nigh on impossible as far as I'm concerned. I have developed feelings for potential female friends before and had to back off.

Surfer - I don't know if "besotted" is the right word or not? I'm always fully conscious it's nonsense when I have these thoughts/feelings. Just can't completely control them atm! I certainly don't want to do anything to threaten my current situation. In the end my kids are an incredibly important part of the equation and I've always (tried to) put them first.

Wishing - thanks for your post, it's really reassuring. I do believe that my relationship is for keeps, for hate it when it's tested (in my head).

BananaMasher Sun 15-Nov-15 22:18:22

Spud - Sorry to hear that you've had such a tough time ((( )))
You're very wise re your comment about not bottling it up. I think that's key. I've looked into have therapy and would be really open to that. However, at the moment I work 50-60 hour weeks and just don't have time. Need to make some changes methinks!

HypodeemicNerdle Sun 15-Nov-15 23:27:42

Took me by surprise in a major way!
I'm Happily married to a man I hope to be with for the rest of my life,. I'd just started back to work, My crush was on a gay man!

On reflection I think it was a combination of hormones, the giddiness of being back in an adult world and the wistfulness of my crush being in a very different life stage to me (single, money to play with etc)

Although I've had celebrity crushes in recent years this was the first 'real life' person in a long time and it weirded me right out, the feelings came right out of nowhere and I'm bloody glad they're dying off now.

How long have your feelings been going on for? I don't know what the secret of turning off the feelings are (my crush moved to a different workplace although we keep in touch and I have seen him since). Hopefully it'll be the case that the feelings run their course and then bugger off!

GrammarTool Mon 16-Nov-15 02:05:40

Something similar happened to me a couple of years ago. She was my manager at work. I found it unsettling because I'm not normally attracted to women, and I was married at the time.
In hindsight, I think it was because she was a naturally charismatic person who was good at validating and creating rapport with people, and maybe I needed some sort of validation??
Anyway, it faded after a couple of months, as I find crushes usually do.

GrammarTool Mon 16-Nov-15 02:10:30

I meant to add- while married I experienced a handful of other crushes (all on men), all of which ran their course over a few weeks/months.

I think it's entirely normal and human to find other people attractive and to fantasise about 'what ifs'.

derxa Mon 16-Nov-15 13:56:49

Yes it's a form of escapism. It's interesting that you say you're a teacher.
The pressures are terrible.

BananaMasher Mon 16-Nov-15 18:13:04

Thank you lots... Had work today and it's still there I'm afraid sad
Just feel worried that she'll be able to tell as it feels like it must be obvious to everybody.

Hypo - I really don't think your crush is weird at all. There's obviously something about this man that you really connected with and he was no more unattainable than mine tbh. In some ways, I draw comfort from having "focused" on someone who isn't aware or interested. Safer at least I guess!

Grammar - thanks for reminding me that this is actually quite common and I agree with you - It seems like it's the person you're attracted to regardless of gender. Particularly if there feels like something's lacking somewhere else.

derxa - Are you a teacher too? It sounds like you have insider knowledge. I do think my job has a lot to answer for! It certainly drains all the fun and lightness out of home life. I do wonder if the need for escapism stems from always feeling so pressurised. I fantasise about leaving but can't really.

HumboldtFog Mon 16-Nov-15 19:23:42

In my early to mid 40s I developed a couple of intense crushes, although they were on men. One of the men was unattainable, the other was absolutely attainable but I didn't act on my feelings because I was married.
I do think in my case it was something to do with mid-life crisis, although I do tend to dislike the terminology.
I had a huge amount of career, personal and marital stress at the time, and was struggling to keep my marriage together.

derxa Mon 16-Nov-15 19:31:10

derxa - Are you a teacher too? It sounds like you have insider knowledge. I do think my job has a lot to answer for! It certainly drains all the fun and lightness out of home life. I do wonder if the need for escapism stems from always feeling so pressurised. I fantasise about leaving but can't really.
Yes I was/am. I used an infatuation to mentally escape from bullying. I was a wonderful teacher (sorry for the boast) and this HT could not cope. I'm a farmer now grin. You can PM me.

BananaMasher Mon 16-Nov-15 20:16:18

Fintan - that's great to hear that your relationship has survived these experiences. You're right, mid-life crisis is a daft term smile - interesting though that you also cite extreme stress as being a factor. There's definitely something in that I think!

derxa - that's brilliant that you escaped teaching. Not at all boastful to call yourself a wonderful teacher and I have no doubt that you were - the profession is losing many brilliant practitioners because it's not possible to be "outstanding" all the time. Interesting that ACAS has reported a rise in workplace bullying only today in the news. Hmmm. Really hope that life is good now.

helzapoppin2 Mon 16-Nov-15 20:27:24

I think it's hormones. It's like a pre-menopausal last burst of passion. I had it, haven't had it since. Honest! It can be very intense, and a bit embarrassing, but that's all it is!

BananaMasher Mon 16-Nov-15 20:44:30

helzapoppin2 - I do wonder if it's a contributing factor too. I've had no sign of meno yet and my Mum was mid 50s when she went through the change but I must be peri-menopausal. Tbh, I feel a bit over frisky a lot of the time and I never used to. Perhaps a coincidence, who knows? Found this which might be related to what you're saying?

PS this thread is going in some different directions! smile

buckingfrolicks Mon 16-Nov-15 22:31:24

yes to the pre menopausal sex surge; if you're unaware of this then it can feel all too 'real' (it is real, of course, but I hope you follow me).

When I have crushes it's usually because I love the person I am around that person, like they ignite or relight some energy in me that has been dormant in my relationship with DP. So, sharing a job is dangerous turf because those traits of shared laughter, shared tensions/problems, working together as a team, 'us' against 'them', finding out about a new person, being alone with them, is all combustable material.

Of course the alternative is she's absolutely wonderful and a perfect match for you, who knows?

BananaMasher Mon 16-Nov-15 22:41:41

Hi bucking (love your name!)
I DIDN'T know about this. Have only noticed a change in the past few weeks and that's how long this crazy crush has been going on. It's a weird symptom as I thought libido was supposed to go down at this time of life - guess we're all different! Thanks for sharing as this info really helps to put things into perspective -still bloody hard to cope with.
I certainly don't think she's a perfect match for me though! If we weren't both married with families, were both available, she liked women AND found me attractive then maybe. Not in this life smile

helzapoppin2 Tue 17-Nov-15 07:57:42

This is something I noticed. I had a crazy and inappropriate crush or two at around 45, then thought about it a few years later and decided it was a hormonal surge.
I read an article by Mariella Frostrup the other day on the menopause and how very few people talk about it, and thought she was right. I went through it whilst working with other women my age, and, not a peep! It definitely seemed taboo!
Before it happened I thought of it as something that happened to "old ladies". 45 didn't seem old! Well, I was 45 when it started and about 50 when it finished. I don't think I've met a woman yet who will admit to having gone through it, although they all must have!

helzapoppin2 Tue 17-Nov-15 11:13:41

My other wise old girl observations include-
There are no perfect relationships. Good enough is fine!
It's ok to have "girl crushes". Sometimes I think our crushes maybe are people we want to be like. Maybe they're more exciting, sexy, secure, elegant or dynamic than we are, and we are fascinated by those qualities.

Whathaveilost Tue 17-Nov-15 11:20:10

I have a massive crush on a 28 year old. My family were no help they just teased me!! Due to a sport we follow we see this guy a lot and DH will pull my leg about it and DS1 made a point of introducing me to him and I had to pretend to be none plussed! Awkward!

For me it's harmless fun! I have a great marriage, we have lots of fun and I have great teenagers. I'm not lacking anything and would never ever act on anything. Besides I'm pretty sure the guy sees me for what I am, a married middle aged women the same age as his mum!

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