I am in a little bit of a dilemma and I need some advice. I got married at a very young age (19), one year after I had my first child. My pregnancy wasn't planned but we both decided that getting married would be the right choice. I have always loved my husband very much, but over the past two years, I don't feel emotionally or physically connected to him. I feel like he is my best friend, not my husband. We've separated in the past, but always got back together within a couple of months. The last time we separated, he said some really hurtful things that made me want to call it quits but there is still a piece of me that wants to make this work.
During this last separation I met someone else. We go to the same gym and every time we see each other we flirt a little, but nothing has ever happened. I think about him all the time, and every time I see him I feel like asking him out. I feel like we really have a strong connection, something that I haven't felt for my husband for about three years. I'm still married and trying to make my marriage work, but can't seem to get this guy out of my head. I am also trying to decide why I'm even trying to make my marriage work. Sometimes I feel like I'm only staying with him for financial reasons and because he is all that I have known since I was a freshman in high school. I also feel that I deserve to be happy and I can't help but feel that there is something more for me out there. I am just really confused and any help or advice would be really appreciated!
— Missing Out Olivia
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Dear Missing Out Olivia,
It sounds as though you're at a real cross roads in your relationship so I think the best thing to do is take a few steps back and really try to look at your situation objectively. Since you married your husband because you felt it was the right thing to do rather than because you were ready, I'm not surprised that you've hit a few rough patches along the road. As much as you want to work everything out, it's really important to trust your gut and listen to your heart. When couples marry young like yourself, it's common for you both to grow as individuals, not necessarily as a couple. The feeling of being more like best friends than lovers is a popular predicament, but it is possible have both.
The first thing I would suggest is seeing a marriage counselor. It could be that you're thinking about this other man because he's giving you the attention that you husband isn't. If you voice your feelings to your husband, perhaps he will make the appropriate changes needed to make you happy. If you feel that your relationship has simply run its course, it's perfectly OK to move on with your life without him. It's never a good idea to stay in an unhappy relationship out of fear or dependency. Sure, it'll be very scary to leave him and to leave the comfort of someone you've known your entire adult life, but if you aren't happy, your child is bound to suffer as well. You both deserve to be in a loving relationship, but only you know what it will take to get there. I wish you luck.