When you think about marriage, you imagine two people happy together and enjoying their life to the fullest. But that doesn’t always happen and there’s often someone who’s unhappily married and in love with someone else.
In general, a human being has a tough time controlling their heart. We all search for that special someone – our soulmate who’ll love us for eternity – but we can’t decide who we’ll love. Even if you made vows to your spouse and you never thought you would catch feelings for another person, it could still happen to you.
It certainly doesn’t mean that you’re going to cheat on your husband or wife or that you should end your marriage. However, the very thought that someone other than your partner is occupying your mind is frustrating. It makes you feel guilty even though you can’t control it.
There’s no doubt that you’re in a tricky situation. The fate of your marriage depends on the steps you’re going to take in the near future. If it brings you any comfort, you’re not the first married man or woman who’s going through this roller coaster of emotions.
Being happily married forever is a social construct many of us believe in but the thing is, married couples do fight. There’s even the possibility that one of them will fall out of love and decide to end things. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re a bad person, just that their feelings changed.
In this article, you’ll learn about the signs you’re unhappily married and in love with someone else, as well as what you can do about it.
Signs you’re unhappily married and in love with someone else
Sometimes it can be tough to recognize that you’ve caught feelings for another person since you made a promise that you were going to love your partner forever. You feel anxious thinking about anyone else but how do you know that those emotions are real and that you’re not going through some sort of weird emotional phase?
Well, if you recognize any of these signs, you’re likely unhappily married and in love with someone else.
1. You spend quite a bit of time with them
Do you yearn for that person’s presence? Do you spend more time with them than you spend with your spouse? If your answers are yes, then that’s an obvious sign you’re head over heels for them.
Whatever you do and wherever you are, the only thing you can think of is spending some time with them. Even when you’re at home with your significant other, you try to make an excuse to go out so you can see the other person.
Perhaps you have feelings for your co-worker and you spend hours after work together ‘planning an important presentation’. You help them out with everything and you try your best to see them as much as possible. If it’s your neighbor we’re talking about, then you probably stalk them to see when they go out so you can bump into them ‘accidentally’.
Either way, you always have free time for them and you aren’t that worried that your other half will find out about it. And if it happens that you don’t see each other for days, you start missing them even if you try your hardest not to.
Truth be told, their companionship awakens deep feelings in you that you haven’t felt for quite some time. Whenever you get together, you feel your heart beating faster and you use every opportunity to be with them and not with the one you’re married to.
2. You fight with your significant other all the time
Perhaps you’re dissatisfied with your life and you seek your spouse’s help to elevate your mood. But instead of feeling better, you end up fighting about little things that don’t even matter.
Well, that’s because your ‘other half’ gives you bad vibes and slowly but surely, you’re turning into a negative person. You argue about stuff that happened two or three years ago and it always turns into a big mess.
Your spouse is perfectly aware that it’s not all their fault but still, you blame them for everything bad that happens and you always pick fights with them. It’s completely understandable to share your opinions with your partner and even argue with them from time to time but you feel that now, it’s different.
You don’t seem to care about what will happen next, so whether or not you’re going to stay together is none of your concern. There’s no spark or love between you two anymore, so you don’t even bother to try and solve your problems. Instead, you agree to disagree and stop putting any effort into making things right again.
You may start to analyze the cause of you two arguing all the time and you’ll soon realize that it’s the fault of this other person who entered your life unexpectedly.
3. You feel better when you’re with them
Does it occur to you that whenever you’re with them, you feel relaxed and better about yourself? Suddenly all your worries disappear when you’re together and it’s difficult for you to wrap your head around why.
The obvious answer is that you have feelings for them. Your self-esteem and mood abruptly change in their presence, regardless of the circumstances.
On the other hand, whenever you’re with your spouse, you feel empty and sad. It’s like all of your energy vanishes into thin air and you have no will to do anything. You’re anxious and depressed, which forces you to fight with your significant other.
You may think that it’s your partner’s fault but the truth is hidden a little deeper. You see, those deepest parts of your heart are no longer being occupied by your spouse. They may have held the keys to your heart before but that’s not the case anymore.
Someone else is making you feel like you can do anything and they’re the key-bearer now. It’s pretty clear that your feelings have changed and that you’re in love with this person. Whenever you need someone to ease your pain a bit, you run toward them because they’re the only one who can brighten your mood.
4. You avoid being at home
One of the most beautiful things that happens when you marry your soulmate is that you get to spend more time with them since you move in together.
Being in a relationship and having date nights is great but it’s a dream come true when you have the chance to wake up next to your special someone every morning for the rest of your life. You can’t wait to make them breakfast in bed and cook dinner together or plan movie nights with mutual friends at the weekend.
However, all of that changes once you start to develop feelings for another person. The worst thing is you keep making excuses as to why you have to leave the house.
Even your other half notices it but you’re too afraid to admit it. You avoid being in the house because deep down you know your needs won’t be satisfied there, so you search for your happiness in the arms of another person.
This is an obvious sign you’re unhappily married and in love with someone else.
5. You’re honest with them about your marital problems
It’s rather difficult keeping your marital problems secret since there will be times when you’re going to need a fresh perspective on things. It’s only logical to talk to your close friends or family members about those things because they won’t share them with anyone else.
You may think that a married couple should always resolve their arguments privately but it’s inevitable that something like this will happen. After all, you’re both mature adults who are capable of coming up with solutions without bothering others but sometimes you only need someone to listen to you and nothing else.
You feel burdened by all those problems at home so you search for someone willing to listen. It’s not a big deal to complain about your problems to your friends over a cup of coffee but you have to be wise and confide in the people you trust.
On the other hand, if you’ve been sharing your marital secrets and problems with this third person, that can be a definite sign you’re unhappily married and in love with someone else. But it doesn’t stop there. Their opinions affect your decision-making skills so you may start agreeing with them more than you should.
It seems as if this person significantly influences the way you perceive your marriage, so you begin to question whether or not your significant other is the right one for you.
6. You keep them a secret from your spouse
A lot of people will tell you that your spouse shouldn’t just be your romantic partner but your best friend as well. But many couples make the mistake of becoming antisocial when they get married because they feel guilty spending time with their friends and not their significant other.
However, it’s wrong to think this way. You can’t have a healthy relationship if you’re obsessed with your spouse, as you need to also have a life outside of your marriage. Of course, they should be able to trust you around other people and you can only achieve that if you’re completely transparent about the people you spend your time with.
After all, you share your everyday life with them, so it’s quite obvious that they should at least know about the existence of others in your life. Unfortunately, this isn’t true when it comes to this special person, though. You keep them a secret from your spouse and you hope they won’t ask you anything about it.
Yes, you may feel guilty for spending so much time with this person but you may not think that it’s such a big deal. And even if your spouse becomes suspicious about it, you’ll deny everything and accuse them of attacking you for nothing.
The truth is, you’re having a hard time accepting the bitter truth – you’re in love with them. That’s a huge sign you’re unhappily married and your conscience would be crystal clear if you could admit that you developed feelings for them.
7. Everything about your spouse annoys you
Remember the emotions you felt the first time you met your spouse? How your heart beat faster and everything they did was cute and adorable?
All of a sudden, things changed. Their flaws and quirks that you used to accept bother you now and even the way they talk or breathe gets on your nerves. Those irrelevant little things annoy you and it’s difficult for you to find the cause of this.
Well, the truth is that you can’t stand this person anymore. By no means am I saying that you hate them but you feel discontent or uncomfortable whenever you’re around them.
This is one of the first red flags that you’re having trouble in your marriage and that you’re thinking about ending things with your significant other. Divorce suddenly becomes a valid option to you.
8. You’ve changed significant things about yourself
Hiding your insecurities and making yourself more presentable is essential when you’re trying to impress someone you like. That’s why many people break up once the honeymoon stage ends and they each start to reveal their true face.
But if you’re willing to change things about yourself just to please another person, then you better believe that they’re important to you.
At first, you may start changing little things such as the way you style your hair or which scent you’re going to use. After a while, you notice even bigger differences about yourself.
You start paying attention to the clothes you wear because you want that special person to notice you. Your goal is to be as attractive as possible.
On the other hand, you don’t care what your spouse is thinking about you and whether or not you’re appealing to them. You’re only putting all of your effort into this new person.
9. You can’t get them out of your head
One of the sure-fire signs you’re unhappily married and in love with someone else is that you can’t stop thinking about that one person. Your new love becomes your obsession.
Even when you’re sitting with your spouse and having a conversation, you seem to be unable to control your thoughts. There’s nothing to remind you of that particular person and yet you remember them.
You think about what the two of you would be doing if you were together and the thought of them thinking of you is very exciting as well. And what’s even worse is that you think about calling them first when something good happens to you, which is an obvious red flag that your marriage is in trouble.
In your mind, the romantic relationship you have with your spouse becomes insignificant. You even start daydreaming about your life with this person.
What you can do when you’re unhappily married and in love with someone else
Now that you’ve realized you’re in an unhappy marriage, there are a few things you can do regarding your situation. The obvious answer would be to either stay married and try to save things or file a divorce but there’s more to it.
So, if your wish is to stay married to your current partner...
1. Be sure that you’ve followed your heart
You have to be absolutely certain that trying to save your marriage is something you want from the bottom of your heart. You can’t question your decision every couple of months because your skepticism will make things even worse than they actually are.
If you have kids, then you’re probably wondering how a separation would affect them or what others would think if they found out you filed for divorce. These are valid questions you need to ask yourself before making a final decision.
Don’t be too heavily influenced by other people’s opinions, however. This is your life and you’re deciding what to do with it. It’s better to follow your heart than some social norms or fears that you may have.
Yes, breaking up with a person who means a lot to you will affect your mental health but tell me, would you rather be stuck in a loveless marriage?
2. Remove the other person from the equation
Now that you’ve decided to stay and try to save your marriage, you need to remove the other person from the equation. Cut all ties you have with them and distance yourself.
The worst possible mistake you can make is to stay friends with them. The thing is, you had an emotional affair with this person (if not more), so your obligation is to kick them out of your life for good.
If that’s impossible because they’re your co-worker, then you need to limit the amount of time you spend with them. Apply the no contact rule and focus on the person who’s always been in love with you – your spouse!
3. Tell your spouse the truth!
For this step, you have to gather a lot of courage. You have to be completely honest with your spouse! This is something that has to be done if you ever wish to have a healthy marriage.
You have to tell them how you feel but at the same time, ask them for a second chance. You can suggest couples therapy if you don’t think you’ll be able to recover on your own.
Whatever you do, don’t hide the truth from your spouse and don’t just think about short-term goals. You want your significant other to trust you again, right?
If instead you want to end your marriage then...
1. Stop idealizing your new relationship
Now is the time to think about this new person in your life if you want to end your marriage. The first thing you have to do is stop idealizing them. Instead, get back to reality and think about what kind of a relationship you want to have with them.
Every beginning is all rainbows and sunshine. You may think that everything is going great but sooner or later, things will change. You’ll get tired of each other and there will be times when the other person will annoy you.
The honeymoon stage will end eventually and that’s when your relationship will be truly tested.
2. Ask for a divorce
When deciding to end things with your spouse, the hardest part is being completely honest with them. Even when you don’t have any emotions left for them, it’s still difficult to look them in the eye and say that you want a divorce.
A lot of crying will be involved, so prepare yourself to deal with the consequences. Don’t get into much detail about why things have taken a sudden turn but rather be honest and tell them that you have feelings for someone else.
If you have healthy communication with your spouse, then you can ask them not to blame the other person. Just confess that you have to follow your heart.
Your significant other will be angry and disappointed at first but after some time, they’ll understand your decision. You’ll be wasting their time and yours if you do decide to stay in a loveless marriage instead.
3. Be certain that you can build a future with this new person
If you’re unhappily married and in love with someone else, then you’re probably thinking that you’ll start a new relationship the moment you file for divorce. But that may not be true at all.
Have you considered that everything was just an infatuation and not real love? Do you really believe that you’ll have a future together now that you’re single? Perhaps you felt unsatisfied in your marriage and you used this person as an excuse to get out of it?
There are countless questions you should ask yourself before jumping into a new romance. I’m not saying that this special someone isn’t your true love but be careful not to repeat the same mistake twice.