Obsessed With a Friend
Q: : I have been married for 14 years to the mother of my two children. I have recently developed strong feelings for one of my married female friends. I think about this woman all of the time, which is making my home life miserable. I have never had feelings for anyone like I have for her, which is really confusing the heck out of me. I have told her my feelings, but now I think that it was a mistake. We have gone from friends who walked together and waited for one another during school time, to me asking her if she has time to talk to me for a few minutes after class. I don't know what to do. I would like to have the same closeness that we had prior to me expressing my feelings, but it may be to late. -- Reggie, 36
Dr. Susan: I think your friend is behaving more wisely than you are. Being married, she probably wants to steer clear of a married man who has the hots for her. How smart! You, on the other hand, are in the throes of an obsessive infatuation that can probably not go halfway back to being a nice friendship. You only think you want her as a friend, anyway. That so-called friendship was constantly titillating to you, and would remain so, which would endanger both your marriages. If you stop interacting with her, you'll eventually stop thinking about her, and that will give your marriage a chance to recover. Pestering her for little bits of her time will only make you seem pathetic. To her, and to yourself, when you look back someday. The pull of the hormones of attraction are very strong, but following them wherever they lead is a sure route to pain.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.