Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

When you know your partner is attracted to somebody else...

(57 Posts)
Greedynan Tue 05-Dec-17 20:18:33

Hypothetical question here. You've been together a long time. You've got kids. Things can get a bit predictable, but life is ok. From time to time somebody catches your eye, somebody catches your partner's eye. That's just human nature, of course. You know you're not going to act on anything. You're pretty sure your partner wouldn't either (can we really ever trust a person 100%, really).

But do you do when you know your partner is attracted to another person, but unlikely to act in it? How do you reconcile that in your mind? What is the key to accepting this but not allowing the green eyed monster to get the better of you?

Just curious 🙂

Teensandfuture Tue 05-Dec-17 20:22:27

Concentrate on yourself only. When you love yourself noone can be a threat.

hellofresh Tue 05-Dec-17 21:13:34

I'm not buying the love yourself thing. Not when the issue is trust in someone else.

PNGirl Tue 05-Dec-17 21:15:26

Dunno if I would accept it if they were making it really obvious to me - if I can spot it so can the recipient. I'd have to say something.

Codlet Tue 05-Dec-17 21:22:31

I have been through this OP. My DH was working closely with a woman on a big project. I could tell he found her objectively attractive, but AFAIK he never acted on it. Like you, I think it’s natural to feel this way sometimes. I’ve got to be honest, i did feel a bit jealous of her at the time, but it was 10 years ago now and we’re still together and still happy.

PerfectlyDone Tue 05-Dec-17 21:25:04

You can only control your own behaviour, not your partners.
No point fretting over it.

Once the trust is broken though, IME the relationship is kaput sad

MaisyPops Tue 05-Dec-17 21:26:28

Honestly, it's a how you feel in yourself thing.
I noticed a colleague was quite attractive some years back. Never acted on it, why would I because DH is amazing. It wasn't even a crush it was a 'you look good, never really noticed til now' moment.

If you trust your DP then you could mention something or just focus on you and your relationship.

crunched Tue 05-Dec-17 21:31:34

Can't this be a bit of a wake-up call in a relationship?
Knowing there is someone out there who is seeing your DP as a sexual being can remind you he isn't a dweeb who you see as chief bin-putter-outer but is actually the hottie you chose all those years ago.
And that works both ways.

Offred Tue 05-Dec-17 21:51:57

If someone is a considerate and loyal partner then surely they wouldn’t do things that make it known to their long term partner that they are attracted to someone else in the first place.

Greedynan Tue 05-Dec-17 22:10:42

Thank you all for your replies. He's not doing anything obvious. He's just got a bounce in his step. He's not aware that I've noticed. But I've known him for three decades and I know him very well and what he finds attractive in a woman.

I'm not unrealistic about finding others attractive. It's just that I don't want to allow my insecurities to get the better of me.

SandyY2K Tue 05-Dec-17 22:25:07

A friend of mine felt her DH found a colleague attractive as he kept talking about her.... in the end she said she didn't want to hear anymore about 'Amy'.... and how would he like it if she kept going on about a man at work.

This is a guy who followed my friend to work because she used to get a ride from her male colleague and he was so jealous.

I'd be tempted to mirror his movements or mention what you've observed.

RedForFilth Wed 06-Dec-17 11:00:57

I'd mention it tbh. If you can't talk about your issues or whatever then that's a totally different issue. I'd just be honest that you've noticed and it bothers you.

rizlett Wed 06-Dec-17 11:08:10

It's ok to feel jealous so accept that feeling but then use the energy to focus on yourself more - do some nice things that will make you feel good.

Jealousy usually arises when we are comparing ourselves to others and not valuing ourselves enough.

Teens has is right. When you love yourself it doesn't matter if someone stays with you or wants to leave. Once you believe that there is no insecurity or jealousy.

user1480334601 Wed 06-Dec-17 11:10:51

I agree with Teens and Rizlet.

Neoflex Wed 06-Dec-17 11:25:22

Marriage, when it lasts a lifetime like we hope, lasts a really long time. It's only nature that in life you or your partner meet another person who you find attractive. There is no promise that you will never appreciate the beauty of another person. That's just a promise that can't be kept.
If you have promised to be faithful to one another then he should be keeping his side of the bargain. You also can and should be honest. "I notice you like xyz and that you do x, y and z after spending time with her. And then you bring back the focus to the communication in your relationship, and remove the excitement of all the secrecy.

Greedynan Wed 06-Dec-17 11:34:52

I think my self esteem definitely plays a part here. DH is very intellectual and I'm not. I'm certainly no idiot but I'm just don't have my head stuck in a textbook 24/7. He pretty much does. He's slowly making a career change and spending increasing amounts of time in his other job. He's really happy and it's lovely to see him so happy. But I feel quite insecure too. His laptop is on his lap every evening and he's working on the new job and communicating with said woman. It's all professional but he's totally buzzing. He's now wanting to go into the 'office' next week just to be part of one of her presentations that he really doesn't need to do. Using his annual leave from his other job to do so. And whilst I get that he's trying to carve out this new career for himself I know he is bedazzled by this OW. He's not done anything wrong. Yet. But there's a small part of me that's frightened he's going to fall into some sort of EA. I don't want to give this fear of mine any unnecessary energy. I have a tendency to be quite negative at times and I want to try to reconcile this in my mind.

But I'm struggling.

Offred Wed 06-Dec-17 12:13:55

How is him taking annual leave so he can spend time with her and talking to her every evening after work him ‘not doing anything obvious/wrong’?!

Offred Wed 06-Dec-17 12:15:31

Has he also got mentionitis?

Offred Wed 06-Dec-17 12:19:34

I definitely don’t have self esteem problems, I have only ever had a problem with my self worth/self esteem when on the receiving end of this kind of bullshit (for two years!) and had ex telling me I was jealous/crazy/oversensitive/it is just work until 2 years later he finally admitted he HAD been ‘in love’ with OW (more like infatuation, she wasn’t interested despite numerous proclamations of love).

pallisers Wed 06-Dec-17 12:20:12

I'm married a long time too and I think it is to be expected that one or other of you will find someone else attractive at various points in a long life together.

I think you manage these things by talking about it so there are no secrets. What if you just gently teased him about how much he likes her or straight out say "Oh, I think you have a bit of a crush on Ms XYZ" That is what I would do - not as part of a big conversation about emotional affairs etc. The liking then becomes something that is part of the conversation/relationship between you two - not something external to your relationship iykwim.

Vernazza Wed 06-Dec-17 12:34:04

Greedynan if you can afford it, make life a bit "unpredictable". Treat yourself this week - go get your hair and nails done, buy a new outfit - he may or may not notice, but it'll make YOU feel better.

In answer to your other questions, no, we can't ever 100% trust anyone. I used to believe we could and I got blindsided. Talk to him before it gets out of hand. Don't accuse, just talk and tell him what you've noticed and how important your marriage is to you and how it is important to safeguard it by being aware of things (attractions) that can sneak up and whack you over the head.

Greedynan Wed 06-Dec-17 12:35:40

No he hasn't got mentionitus yet. I doubt he will. He's too smart for that. The taking annual leave thing is also him trying to 'get in' with the new job. He's got casual hours st the mo and would love a permanent role so is trying to be there as much as poss. The bounce in his step is in part because he's so happy to have a foot in the door at the new place. He's constantly talking about the role. the emails to OW are completely professional. But he's emailing her on a Sunday night for example telling her he's made changes to a presentation and then she's praising him in response. He's seeking validation from her I suppose, which is fine but he's also going a little over and above what's necessary.

Where do you draw the line? What is acceptable in a marriage te finding another person attractive? I accept that as his wife I can't fulfill all his needs. Intellectual conversation is very important to him. I don't meet that need. I feel invisible. I've raised this time and again with him. I feel invisible as he's always got his head in a book. But he tells me everything is fine. But they don't feel fine and now I see him buzzing about his new role and I'm worried.

Thank you for your replies. I'm not sure talking to him would be helpful. He's not very emotionally accommodating so I want to try to deal with this myself and trust in him.

Vernazza Wed 06-Dec-17 12:35:54

Should add that yes of course we all find other people attractive - we're all human. That's why recognising in ourselves when it happens, and consciously taking steps to pre-empt it going further, is wise.

Vernazza Wed 06-Dec-17 12:37:06

I accept that as his wife I can't fulfill all his needs. Intellectual conversation is very important to him. I don't meet that need.

Quit putting yourself down. You sound pretty damn intelligent to me.

yetmorecrap Wed 06-Dec-17 12:45:17

I was totally blindsided on this, saw a load of overtexting at the time (both ways) and then 11 years later found a load of ‘love songs’ written and recorded about this person, done obviously in our house when I was at work, told it was a crush that just went too far, other young woman was apparently ‘unaware’ , always in my opinion keep your wits about you when you are ‘aware’ of crushes. Most of us women keep it in our heads, many men seem prone to making dicks of themselves in these situations and can ruin perfectly good marriages/relationships,

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: