Attracted to Others While Monogamous
Oh yeah, we’re going there: Are you attracted to other people while you’re in a monogamous relationship? You’re normal as fuck. As a previously married woman, I went through so much shame experiencing this. While it’s taken me a long time to feel comfortable admitting these feelings and talking about them, I think it’s useful to share.
I got married at 19 years old, and it was really beautiful. I married my best friend, my soulmate, my partner in crime. Many may say that was too young and perhaps I didn’t have enough experience with others sexually, which may have led to my wandering mind. In my case, this really isn’t true due to my past. Previous to my marriage I had myriads of sexual experience, and have always had a really fulfilled sex life. This was no different with my husband - through all the years together (and the times we weren’t together), our sex life was pristine.
All my relationships, including my marriage, were monogamous. I can openly say that through all these relationships, I experienced sexual attraction to others often. To me this was horrifying given my traumas and fears around breaking families, cheating, and lying. How could I, someone who’s experienced the backlash of these things, be sexually attracted to others? Especially when I was really happy in my marriage?
Through my studies in human sexuality, I came to realize these feelings are completely normal. It’s truly delusional to think yourself or your partner is never going to find someone else attractive or fuckable. The shame went away when I realized it was truly no harm no foul as long as you don’t act out of integrity with your partner. Having your gym crush, that person you love watching in porn, or liking someone’s Instagram photo isn’t going to make your relationship implode, I promise. At this point, I also felt very emotionally stable and satisfied in my marriage, so it was great to feel connected together.
The deep feelings of shames resurfaced when things were going south in my marriage, and I felt incredibly alone in my relationship. The sexual desires I had for others only intensified as I also fantasized of having some sort of emotional fulfillment come from it too. Now, the scary part: While ashamed, a strange kink developed for me to push these boundaries. I never understood why some people got off on breaking the rules until I was presented with the option. I pushed boundaries, and put myself in situations that were incredibly tempting. Now, this isn’t healthy - I was setting myself up for failure since these feelings weren’t communicated to my husband.
Whether you’re in a happy relationship or shit’s hit the roof, there’s a gentle way to approach these feelings in a monogamous relationship.
Use Some Logic.
Society says that when you find one person, under no circumstance can you even look at another person, let alone think about your desire for them. This leads to relationships where people tell each other dumb, controlling shit like: Who you can talk to, who you can follow, who you’re allowed to be friends with, etc.
If that’s you, newsflash: You’re being controlling as fuck.
This toxic form of thinking sets us up for shame, and unnecessary conflict.
While I had sexual desires for others, some are simply acknowledging the other person. There is nothing wrong or threatening about thinking someone else is attractive, or admiring who they are as a person. If you’re sexually attracted, there isn’t anything wrong with that either. It doesn’t mean you will act on that desire. I want to eat a pint of ice cream every night, but I don’t act on that. If you do want to act on that, more to come.
I'm sexually attracted to others, now what?
How about cheating?
When I was young, I thought cheating was the worse thing in the world until I was in a position where I wanted to do it myself. I’m not going to sit here and bullshit you, I’ve cheated. I’ve cheated because I feared confronting my partner for what I wanted. I’ve cheated out of spite. I’ve cheated to literally just feel something in very dark times.
While you can get away with it, it’s not something I condone. Cheating, or any form of dishonesty in a relationship you care about, will hurt it in some way. Breaking trust is very easy to do, and super hard to gain back. While I can’t tell you what to do, I do ask you to heavily weigh the pros and cons of your actions, while finding a better strategy to communicate.
Odds are if your default plan is to cheap in any form of relationship, desire for others is probably the smallest of your issues.
To act, or not to act:
THE KEY THOUGHT: Just because you are attracted to others, doesn’t mean you have to act on it. It’s about giving yourself (and your partner) the space to be human. This is normal, human behavior. I recommend you watch Dr. Jess’s TED Talk “Monogamish: The New Rules of Marriage”.
Make no mistake - Not all monogamous people need or want to act on these thoughts or urges. My followers have shared with me how fun, and even vital, it is to express their feelings off attraction to others. Maybe it’s commenting on that beautiful person walking by, or admiring a booty together. It’s a very non-malicious act, considering most monogamous folks get their fill from simply expressing the attraction.
If you’re like me, perhaps you have very real and strong desires that make you curious about exploring with others. I dealt with immense shame for even thinking about exploring these desires, and even deeper shame for thinking about cheating since I was scared to express these feelings to my husband. If you feel you would like to act, I would always recommend it’s done openly and agreed upon in your relationship. Of course, this is very nuanced - what are your reasons for wanting to act on this?
Do you just want sex, or are you in a bad spot like I was? Do you want some sort of fulfillment? What’s your drive? In an ideal world your partner would agree to open things up and you could explore with others or together, but many cases it isn’t so. How do you work through that?
Bringing this up to your partner
Let’s get uncomfy together. You’re realizing that your attractions, thoughts, or urges are far beyond just an innocent and casual occurrence you can swipe. If you’re simmering on these intense feelings and you’re in a relationship you care about, this will be a scary concept: Communicate it to your partner. I totally know what you’re thinking “Julieta why would I tell my monogamous partner that I fantasize about others?". Well bitch, if you don’t, and you don’t handle your urges, you’re going to do things that are out of character. Plain and simple.