I’m married, but I can’t get over my attraction towards the local school teacher – Ask Evie

I have been married for 15 years and we have two children. Our son was born just a few months before our daughter started school.
My husband took our daughter to school in the morning as I was busy with our son and I hadn’t slept very well. I collected our daughter at the end of her first day and when I first saw her teacher, I was immediately attracted to her. I have always been attracted to women but she was the last person that I wanted to be attracted to then. I tried avoiding her when I collected my daughter from school after that but she always insisted on talking to the parents and getting to know the children in her class, so I couldn’t really avoid her. Fairly early on when I was talking to her in the playground, I had this odd feeling like I had just met my next partner and I found that hard to shake off. 

I don’t think that I have ever felt so comfortable with anyone before. I just felt so at home with her, like I could be completely myself with her and it would be totally fine. The connection just seemed to grow somehow. I started to have trouble sleeping after we had spoken because I just wanted to think about her. At the end of the last school year, I wrote to her and told her that I liked her and would really love to get to know her properly, but as she is a teacher at my daughter’s school and maybe my son’s teacher in a few years, it felt wrong to suggest it. She replied saying that we should maintain appropriate boundaries. We have barely spoken since. On one occasion that we did, she needed to give me some change and our hands nearly touched. I felt a strong sexual attraction between us. 

At the beginning of this school year, she told me she was seeing someone and we haven’t spoken since. We have kept out of each other’s way so far and I have found it really hard. I saw her a few weeks ago and I couldn’t even look at her, it just made me feel so sad. I have realized that I like her way more than I realized. This just feels so much different from anything that I have experienced before. It feels so right somehow but I am married. I just don’t know what to do anymore. 

Thank you for reaching out, I imagine this has been a heavy weight on you for some time now. You’re dealing with a lot of complex emotions, so it’s natural to feel confused and unsure of what to do. 

Let’s start with the attraction side of things. You’ve clearly felt a strong pull towards this particular teacher at your child’s school, starting even before you got a chance to get to know her. I know this can be very unsettling – especially since you weren’t expecting it. 

But I wonder if your attraction to her is perhaps a sign that something is lacking in your marriage? Or in your personal life? 

The reason I mention this is because often, when we’re not finding fulfillment in our current situations, we can find ourselves drawn to other people either as a distraction or due to desires that aren’t being met. 

That’s not to say that your feelings of attraction aren’t valid or real. They absolutely are. It’s just to consider the idea that perhaps the reason you’re feeling this connection with a person you realistically don’t know very well could be a symptom of unhappiness elsewhere in your life. 

I would advise you to reflect on the dynamics of your marriage. What are the weaknesses and strengths? Do you still feel a strong connection to your partner? What areas could be improved? 

Take this opportunity to delve into your personal feelings on sexuality, too. You mentioned that you’ve always felt attracted to women, is this something you’ve suppressed over the years? Or something you wish you could have explored before getting married? It’s so important to understand how you’re feeling and acknowledge and accept those feelings, without shame or judgment. 

That’s why I believe speaking to a therapist would be very helpful. It’ll provide a safe space for you to explore your feelings and delve into why you’re particularly attracted to this woman. This could be something you do alone, or with your husband if he’s willing.

Now, regarding the teacher, she’s made it clear that she’s not interested. It’s crucial that you respect her boundaries, because if things get out of hand, it’s not just you who’ll face the backlash, but potentially your children too. I know how hard it can be to long for someone who doesn’t necessarily feel the same way, but there’s a lot at stake here if you decide to pursue this connection. 

Finally, don’t allow yourself to get sucked into a negative cycle of not sleeping and being constantly consumed by your thoughts. Redirect this energy into yourself. Invest in your self-care, pick up some new hobbies, and be sure to speak to trusted loved ones about what’s going on. Isolating yourself in a situation like this will do more harm than good. 

So, be kind to yourself. What you’re feeling isn’t your fault, you’re only human and we can’t choose who we feel attracted to. But don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re married and you owe it to yourself and your husband to explore your feelings deeply, communicate openly and honestly, and seek professional therapy if your situation doesn’t improve. 

I hope the new year brings you clarity and peace.

All the best,

Evie 

Do you have a question for Evie? If you would like advice from Evie, fill out the form here or send your problem to askevie@ideapod.com.

Ask Evie

Ask Evie

Evie is on a mission to revolutionize relationships and help you sort through your emotional woes. Her popular column helps readers break free from societal restraints and create empowering relationships - both with their inner selves and with those around them. With a wealth of experience in relationship counseling, backed by several professional certifications, she’s open-minded, big-hearted, and extremely compassionate… But she’ll also be completely honest in telling you the (sometimes) brutal truth, so you can get straight to the heart of the matter. Maybe you’re trying to save a marriage that currently feels like a sinking ship? Or worrying that your new friend isn’t quite as nice as they seem? Perhaps you’ve accidentally killed your partner’s goldfish and are weighing up the pros and cons of going to the pet store and finding a doppelganger, or fessing up? Whatever the dilemma, Evie’s at the ready to help sort through the emotional turmoil and guide you towards the next best step. To get in touch with Evie, click here.

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