Q. How can a married man deal with his attraction towards another girl?

Answered by
Paratwar Nayana Kapil
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 19, 2023

Hello doctor,

I will narrate a story about my marriage and another girl in my life. I have been married to my wife for the last two years and have no children. It was a long-distance relationship; we married after four years of knowing each other. I had several broken relationships before her, and I felt an emotional emptiness. During the four years, I spent with my wife, I was trying to forget the pain associated with my breakup. I developed a love for my wife not because of true love but because I was not getting anyone then. I was helping her financially during those years. Finally, I married at 33 when I was getting older. I was not 100 % into marriage but 70 % interested then. I thought everything would be fine with time. My wife also had a love affair before marriage. She disclosed a little bit about it before marriage. After marriage, she said she was seriously in a relationship and still has not forgotten her ex. She sometimes says her ex was better than me, she would have lived happily if married to her ex. I know she still has a soft corner for her ex. She told me she was not interested in marriage and married me because of my financial help to her. We currently live at my parent's house in town. It is not that both of us do not care or love each other. It feels like the love has evaporated between two souls, and us staying together just for the sake of marriage. I sometimes feel the reason both of us got married was different. My wife complains I am not doing anything to make her feel special. I think, what can I do if I do not feel love and affection for her naturally myself? The problem in our married life has been there since last many months. I am currently attracted to another girl who has been working in my office for the last few months. We started having feelings for each other. It is nothing physical relationship but love and friendship. I cannot stop myself from talking or chatting with this girl in my office. My wife knows about it. The girl I love is getting married in the next few weeks, which is an arranged marriage, and she is not completely happy with the marriage but doing it due to family reasons. I am feeling emotionally helpless and not good due to her marriage plan. I think my mind is attracted to other girls because I am unsatisfied with my married life. I do not know what I should do. I am emotionally attached to this girl, and that was probably missing with my wife. Sometimes I keep thinking about continuing this relationship with the girl in my office even after her marriage. Both my wife and the girl are four or five years younger than me. Sometimes I think of divorcing my wife and marrying this girl from my office. I know it is not easy, and our relationship is not so bad that it requires a divorce. At the same time, it neither makes us happy. Please suggest what I should do.



Welcome to

Do not be disheartened by the setbacks. Life can be challenging in many ways. Also, marriage and interpersonal relationships are not easy. After reading the narrative, I would like to know what it means by "the problem in our married life was there last many months"? What is the nature of the problems you both are facing? I also would like to know what it means to be "not feeling satisfied with the relationship"? I would like to explore the relationship between communication, emotional, sexual, and interpersonal, with your parents, friends, and colleagues. I also need to know more about your previous relationships and coping mechanisms. I can observe the discontent running for the last few years before your marriage. Due to unprocessed breakups, there is a possibility to have a discontented approach toward any relationship. Now the question of leaving the marriage. As you said, it is not that bad. I would suggest not being hasty to leave the relationship but rather working on it first. You both can have couples therapy. Verbalize the problems and make an informed decision. Otherwise, it will be impulsive to leave this relationship and not give it a chance. Once you start working on it, you can make an informed decision about whether to be in a relationship or not. As you said, the feelings for another girl can be due to unprocessed problems in your marriage. Please explore the attraction you have for the girl in your office. Is it just an escape from your problems or something real? Otherwise, a series of bad relationships shows a self-defeating pattern. It is like one cannot have a meaningful relationship or gain happiness from any relationship. Please have a follow-up session with the required information. I would like to encourage you to have personal and couple therapy too. Please let me know if any queries.

Thank you.

The Probable causes:

Underline personal and interpersonal issues, adjustment issues, and personality issues.

Underline anhedonia (needs exploration).

Probable diagnosis:

Relationship anhedonia.

Treatment plan:

Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT).

Hello doctor,

I will describe a little bit about myself. I am into my own business that I run from home. I spend most of the time at home due to business. I am an introverted person, and I have no friends in life. I do not like attending family events like marriage; friends get together, etc. I like living life on my own terms in my own world. I do not like traveling long distances as it feels like I am going out of my comfort zone. I want to travel to another city, but traveling 200 km away is difficult for me. I neither feel very happy nor very sad, but you can say my emotions are neutral. I consulted some psychiatrists a few years back about my behavior and took some psychiatry tests online. I find this is a personality disorder, and some call it schizoid, AVPD, etc. Until then, I knew this was a problem in my personality, and I told my wife then. She told me she has no problem and she, too, does not have many friends. She also does not like social gatherings. I think the problem in my personality has not changed much after marriage. I had several breakups in my early to late twenties. The breakups can be for reasons like girls not agreeing, the girl's families not agreeing, incompatibility between us, etc. The problem is I get deeply emotionally involved in any relationship. When the relationship breaks, I cry, feel lonely, and look for another relationship. I moved from one relationship to another in search of finding love. I still think there is emotional emptiness within myself due to these breakups. I sometimes feel alone and listen to sad songs, but I do not know whom I miss. My heart feels something is missing, but I don't know what I'm missing. This aloneness and emptiness are still within me even after marriage. I forget it sometimes while with my wife, but the same feeling comes to me at another moment. I understand I would have been a different person if I hadn't gone through several breakups in my life. The problem in our married life means I no longer feel attracted to my wife. My wife feels more like my mother/friend but not my girlfriend or wife. Neither is my wife doing anything to make me feel attracted to her. I do not find anything attractive after two years of marriage. We have a physical relationship once in one or two weeks, but that feels monotonous though we live together. I am not feeling satisfied with relationship means in terms of communication and emotional support. She cares for me, but it feels like caring as a mother and not a wife. I know she has many problems with me. She wants to travel long distances, but I do not like traveling much. She has some expectations, like gold, etc. that I could not fulfill due to financial problems in my business. She also has a problem because business problems have reduced my earnings. I hope you can provide some solution to my problem.



Welcome back to

The feeling of isolation or alienation can be hard to cope with, but I must appreciate your efforts to seek help. It is the first step towards wellness. The diagnosis of schizoid personality does explain the difficulties that you are explaining. I suggest you read and educate yourself about sensory processing disorder (SPD). Some symptoms include not desiring or enjoying a close relationship, even with family members, and solitary jobs and activities, less or no pleasure in a few activities, including sex, no close friends, except first-degree relatives. difficulty relating to others, and not being able to experience emotion. I am trying to explain because you can understand that if these are true, then some steps need to be taken in order to improve life. If it affects your life, now is the time to take treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you have the life you want. It needs to be in therapy. Rather than having a quick fix, you need a systematic solution. It will help you improve your relationship with your near dear. It will help you to have a social life. Mainly you will feel fresh and relaxed. Feel normal in your own condition. Meanwhile, do progressive muscle relaxation techniques. This will help you relax physically. Start writing a diary and watch for the patterns that are repeating. You can try square breathing and Soham pranayama. I suggest following a routine including some leisure activities that you might like. You must understand that your difficulty feeling attached is affecting your relationship. It is not events that are triggering it. Most important that it can be dealt with. Emptiness comes from being unable to connect. You can take slow steps to improve social interaction. Family integration is important. Take help from your wife. Educate yourself on the condition that you have. You need one on one talk- therapy cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Thank you.

Differential diagnosis:


Avoidant personality disorder.

Treatment plan:

Treatment plan-

1. Enhance experience of pleasure in activities or relationships.

2. Increase activity level.

3. Reduce social withdrawal.

4. Increase emotionality, including the experience and expression of feelings.

5. Improve interpersonal skills, such as conversational behavior and empathy skills, thereby decreasing social isolation.

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