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I am 33 and have been married for 6 years. In my mind, I know I love my wife, and I know I love the life that we've made. But my heart often feels like there's something missing--some passion or something. Like the Billy Joel song, it's all about soul. My wife is intelligent, pretty, and we have a lot in common--we share views on most things and share a lot of interests. But I often feel like there's some spark missing. Our sex life, too seems to be kind of "old hat" at times.

Perhaps for these reasons, I tend to become infatuated with other women. Not sexually--I don't feel the compulsion to stray sexually, or have any desire to have sex with other women. But emotionally, I meet someone who just seems in every way like she would be the completion to my spirit, the peanut butter to my jelly. I want to spend endless hours in conversation with her, to hear from her all the time, to learn more about her and get to know her, and I imagine that sharing a life with her would be so much more fulfilling and exciting than the life I share with my wife. I don't pursue anything with these women, and I have no worries that I can't control myself, but it's terribly--even physically painful to think of them and to imagine what I'm missing and how much they have to offer.

So this doesn't happen frequently, or with more than one woman at a time. It happened first a year and a half ago, when I was on a trip to another country, and was hanging out with some friends who were visiting, and another foreign woman was hanging out with them, too. We talked some, but didn't get to know each other much, but when I came back to the US, I couldn't stop my mind and my heart from dwelling upon her for the next two months, many hours a day. Eventually, this faded away, but during that period I just felt so depressed and so much like my life with my wife was gray and colorless compared to an imagined life with this woman.

Something similar happened about 7 months ago, but this time it was a woman I work with and am close friends with. There was no moment of sexual desire, and no physical aspect to this, but somehow it just dawned on me how wonderful and admirable she was, and how her mind just worked in a way that seemed to go so well with my own. She is married, too, and I can't imagine she has any romantic emotions towards me, although we have been very close friends for a while. I have tried not to see her much (and in fact, during June-Aug I didn't see her at all, as she was out of the country), but the feeling was still there--the feeling that maybe she was my true soul mate, and seemed to really understand me, and the great goals of my life, in a way that my wife just does not. This infatuation was quite strong for about 4-5 months (twice as long as the previous one), but has really somewhat dissipated in the last couple of months, although I still have some estimation that if she & I were together, it would be such a vibrant partnership.

Most recently, this weekend there were two big parties for people at the place where I work, one Friday night and one Saturday night. At the party Friday night I met a woman who was quite cute, and very interesting--the things she had to tell me about herself made her sound so exciting and romantic, like she has great, inspiring feelings and goals for her life. I saw her and chatted with her again at the party Saturday night and by Sunday I realized I was completely head-over-heels infatuated with her. She's not someone I see very much, although she works where I work, and I have no doubt that I will be able to avoid crossing some kind of line with her. I don't really have any desire to fantasize sexually about her--or about either of the other women I've had these feelings for.

But I hate feeling this way--I think in the past 18 months, I've spent at least 1/3 of the time--weeks, months on end, feeling these great emotions of yearning for companionship with someone besides my wife. And my wife loves me very much. At times our relationship seems really more like an effective socio-economic unit than one bound by mutual adoration. But I know that we have a lot in common.

What can I do to "make" myself fall in love with my wife, and become so infatuated with her that these other women won't appeal to me?

Much of the brow-beating advice on this forum is very simplistic, just telling people, "do what you know you ought to do, not what feels good." That advice does not help me. I know that I ought not to increase my contact with women I'm infatuated with who aren't my wife, and I do not increase it. I do not need someone to tell me what's right and wrong. I need advice on how to get to a place with my wife where I am infatuated with her, and other women seem as gray and colorless as my wife seems to me now. I don't need advice on what actions to avoid with regard to women I'm infatuated with. I need advice on what to do about these feelings that keep coming upon me every few months--and lasting several months.
 

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Sit down and make a list of what attracted you to these women. Was it their conversation? Intellect? Did they listen you you?

What ever it is, try to "teach" your wife these traits. Talk to her and when she hits one of those traits, "reward" her with praise and more attention. She will "learn" that her actions result in your rewarding response.

If you meet another woman that you feel the connection, figure out why and apply the above.

We are all conditioned to respond so this is nothing new.
 

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You felt the same way about your wife, or I expect you would not have married her. Maybe the two of you have fallen into a routine that makes life not so new anymore and not so exciting or stimulating. The problem you don't seem to recognize is that is what will happen with anyone you are with. No matter the infatuation and all the excitement at the beginning, it will eventually go the same route as has happened with your wife. Maybe you are not so exciting to her anymore either. Perhaps she feels the same way you do and has not mentioned it just like you have not mentioned it to her. You can't expect to place the onus entirely on her if you are not stepping up the relationship either. It seems you get excited/infatuated/head-over-heels every time a woman shows you some attention. Surely you are old enough to know that only lasts for a moment and initial impressions don't normally last. So all these women are not so fabulous as you think, and your wife is not so dull. The point is, you are not getting enough attention from her, which actually boils down to she is not getting enough attention from you either. Get it?

You know there is lots available to help you improve your relationship with your wife. Have you decided not to take advantage of counseling or anything? Would you consider being more engaging and exciting with your wife like you engage these other women?
 

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Imagined life with this woman

That is exactly what it is imaginary. You only see the good side, the attractiveness in these women.

Think more on the good traits your wife has, and less on what she is lacking.
 

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It sounds like you are addicted to the honeymoon period that relationships bring in the early days. Unfortunately this stage is temporary in all relationships regardless with who the relationship is with. The ideas that you are having about these woman are unrealistic and you would find yourself in this predicament even if you were married to someone other than your wife.
From what you have described what you are doing with these women is having emotional affairs. This is as dangerous as a physical affair and I am sure if your wife found out she would be as hurt and destroyed as if you were having a physical affair.
So how to stop feeling like this? When you have these thoughts remind yourself they are fantasy not reality,nobody is perfect,the idea of soulmates really is just a fantasy, also every emotional affair/attraction you develop with another woman takes more away from your current marriage, making more work for you to repair, causing more distance between you and your wife. Remind yourself of all the wonderful things a longterm relationship brings, the unconditional love, the comfort, the ease. Look for the wonderful things about your wife that you truly love and respect and try to remember why you fell in love with her in the first place. Try and ignite some passion and romance into your marriage, take your wife out on a date ,a weekend away, or try something new and exciting in the bedroom.
It came as a shock to me after 3 yrs of being with my Husband to discover that marriage was not the fairytale I believed! It would have been so easy for me to do something stupid during that period , it took some plain talking from older wiser couples to get my head straight. There are times when its just plain boring! and thats not mentioning the times that its bloody hard work. I have found that I have to work on falling in love with my Husband and I have done so many times over our 9 years together.
Another thing I would suggest is try to find ways to make you feel good about yourself, relying on woman and relationships to make you feel good can be rather unhealthy. I figure the best way to know you are ready for a relationship is when you are happy being alone. I am pretty sure this feeling of missing something is more about you than your relationship.
Finally dont be afraid to talk to your wife, explain that you are feeling a little soso about things,( I wouldnt necessarily mention your attraction to other woman unless you have truly crossed the line with one of these women, then your wife needs to know). You never know she might be feeling the sameway and woman are great at solving problems.
Good luck and kudos for asking for help, so many people just blame their partners for the way they feel, am sure you will get sorted.
 

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1. Imagination is by default much more colorful and exciting than real life and you have to learn to understand this.

2. What those women you've mentioned have in common is that they seem to promise you an "exciting, vibrant life".

This in some way reflects what you're missing and i'll just go ahead and say that you are making all those qualities up in those women because that's what you want to see. Just my opinion.

So this leads me to first asking...are you stuck? Any dreams, goals for the future, activities you may have had to give up because of your family? How about your wife? Has she become passive, without any goals and dreams for the future and just happy with the way things are? How was she when you met her compared to now?


3."seemed to really understand me, and the great goals of my life, in a way that my wife just does not."

Would be worth thinking about this more and defining what it is exactly that your wife doesn't get.

4. You're not attracted sexually to these women which is a small bit odd. That's because you might not be interested in them as women per say. Could be that you want your life to be more exciting badly, don't do anything to get that kind of excitement yourself (feel stuck) and any time women mention something exciting, you figure that if you were together you'd be a part of that exciting activity?

Sounds like the women are just a sort of "tool" you could use to get to that kind of life. They transform into that because you don't know them well. Your wife sounds less interesting because you already know she's not "exciting, mysterious etc".

If you check out Facebook, for example, you'll notice people only post interesting things. "Oh, i was on a trip to Greece last summer"....That person has actually spend 1 week in Greece and the rest of the year getting bored and doing ordinary stuff. You, from the outside will look at the photo and say "oh, what an exciting life this person lives!" because you won't see the rest of the boring story. If you do that with 5-6 people you might even get annoyed and feel like everyone's leading a great, fun life except for you. Then you wish you could've went with those people to Greece, Mars or wherever, to feel what they're feeling. Ever experience this kind of thought?

5."we share views on most things and share a lot of interests. But I often feel like there's some spark missing."
Do you ever fight, disagree, have different opinions on something or have you become "us" so badly that you're nearly stuck together and almost one person? Opposites attract. If there's nothing opposite in your relationship, of course there's no spark.

No one will be able to tell you what it is that you're missing. What i wrote above is based on the huge number of times you mentioned 'exciting" and similar words in your post. You've mentioned it so much that it seems you desperately want it and miss it. Just take some time to understand yourself, what you want, what you're missing, what compromises you made so far and what you'd like to experience in the future. Changes are when you're at peace you're opinion of your wife will change as well.
 
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