What is it with forbidden fruit?
Look, I’m not here to judge. In a perfect world, people who have made a commitment to someone else wouldl become totally unattractive to the rest of us, since we know they’re not available.
But that’s not the perfect world we live in.
Just because a man is married doesn’t mean he becomes invisible to the rest of us. In fact, knowing a man is able to maintain a healthy relationship and commit to someone can even make him more attractive to you.
You may not be willing to admit it, even to yourself. But it’s possible you’ve become emotionally attached to somebody else’s husband.
And if that’s true, then you have some tough decisions ahead of you.
Here are some signs to watch for that can tell you if you become emotionally attached to a married man.
1) You feel comfortable around him
Once we form an emotional bond with someone, we tend to get very comfortable around them. And as time goes on, that bond only gets deeper, making us even more comfortable together.
It’s easy to think that this is just friendship, and in many ways, it’s similar. After all, we get very comfortable with our friends, too.
But it’s easy to cross the line from friendship into something else.
You see, an affair with a married man doesn’t have to be physical. As psychotherapist Marni Feuerman writes, emotional affairs usually begin as friendships.
The line between a friendship and an emotional affair is incredibly thin, and it’s not always obvious when you’ve crossed it.
Feeling comfortable around a married man doesn’t necessarily mean that you have deeper feelings for him. But often, that sense of comfort is a sign that deeper feelings may soon emerge.
2) You share your emotions with him
One of the ways humans bond with one another is by being emotionally vulnerable.
Think about it. You don’t tell people you’ve just met your hopes, dreams, and fears about the future, do you?
That kind of deeply personal information is usually reserved for lovers, friends, and family.
Now, being emotionally vulnerable is something we do with our friends, so you may be thinking that your relationship is purely platonic.
And yes, it’s possible that it is.
But if you are sharing your deepest feelings with a married man, it’s a good sign that you are becoming emotionally attached.
You want him to know how you feel, whether it’s good or bad, and as he gets to know you and your feelings better, your bond and your emotional attachment will only grow.
3) You ask his advice
There’s nothing wrong with asking the advice of other people. In fact, it’s a great way to learn, especially if they are an expert in the subject.
For example, if you work with this person, you may need to ask his advice on a work problem. Or, if you are friends, you may want to ask his advice about something more personal.
By itself, it’s not a big deal. But if you find yourself constantly asking his advice, it’s a good sign you’ve become at least a little emotionally dependent on him.
This is especially true if you often ask his advice about relationships. While you may think that talking about other relationships you have is a sign that the two of you are not romantically linked, this kind of emotional vulnerability only makes your attachment grow.
4) You’re happy to see him
This one sounds obvious. However, it can often sneak up on us.
When you see this person, do you feel your heart lifting a little? Does just being around them give you a little boost in your day?
Yes, we can often feel this way about friends. But the strength of this feeling can be a sign that there’s a deeper emotional attachment going on.
Maybe you look forward to him arriving so that you can talk to him. Maybe you can’t help smiling when he’s around. Maybe other people have even noticed how you seem to think the world is a little brighter once he’s there.
If that’s the case, it’s a good sign you’re becoming emotionally attached to him.
5) You miss him when he’s not around
The flipside of being happy to see someone is missing them when they’re not around.
You may tell yourself that it’s normal to miss people, especially if you like them. And that’s true.
But ask yourself honestly: how many other people do you feel this way about? And how strong are those feelings?
We all miss our friends, our family, and our lovers. If you miss this person with a similar intensity when they are not around, it’s a good sign you have become emotionally attached to them.
6) You remember things about him
When’s birthday? What are his hobbies? How many siblings does he have?
Often, these are standard questions we ask other people when we are making small talk or first getting to know them. So there’s nothing particularly strange about knowing the answers to these in and of itself.
On the other hand, if you remember details about his life history that you don’t remember about anyone else, it’s a dangerous sign.
You see, we remember what we care about. As this article points out, our emotions have a huge effect on our ability to remember what we are told.
If you find yourself always remembering little details about this person that you wouldn’t remember about most other people, it may well be because you have strong feelings for them.
7) You want to know everything about him
Not only are you more likely to remember things about the person you are attached to, but you also want to know everything about them.
This isn’t the case with people that we are more indifferent to, such as colleagues.
But when we find ourselves feeling strongly for someone, we want to know every little detail of their lives.
Are you always asking questions to get a better sense of his history, his preferences, and his emotions? If so, it’s probably because you have become attached.
8) You get unhappy when he is unhappy
We pick up on the emotions of the people we care about. And the stronger we feel about them, the more linked our feelings become.
This is called emotional mirroring, and “it can release tension and help us gain insight,” according to psychotherapist Helen Gerolaki.
But it can also make us vulnerable to becoming overly emotionally attached.
If you find yourself feeling sad when he is sad, or happy when he is happy, it may be because you are emotionally mirroring the way he feels.
9) You can’t stop thinking about him
This is never a good sign.
The odd thought about somebody else now and then is okay. But if you find yourself constantly thinking about someone, it’s a clear sign that you have some strong emotions.
Maybe you find yourself wondering how they would react to a situation you are in. Maybe you simply wonder what they are doing at any given time of the day.
Note that, as with all the signs on this list, you don’t have to even be physically attracted to the other person for this to happen – although it helps. The nature of emotional attachment means that all that is required is an emotional connection to keep you thinking about the other person.
10) You think his partner doesn’t appreciate him
When we bond with someone who has a partner, it’s easy for feelings of resentment and envy toward that partner to creep in.
The trouble is, our brains are very good at fooling us. It may not be obvious that you are simply jealous. Instead, you’ll find yourself thinking that the partner of the married man doesn’t deserve him.
When this happens, it’s important to separate your feelings about him from your feelings about his partner. Remember that whatever the nature of your emotional attachment, it has very little to do with anyone else.
And if your opinion on his partner is based mostly on the things he tells you, remember that you are not receiving a fully accurate picture of reality.
What to do about it
Again, I’m not here to judge. Our emotions don’t always listen to reason, and the heart wants what it wants.
But if you find yourself emotionally attached to a married man, you need to tread very carefully.
Do they feel the same way you do? That’s the first thing you need to find out. Because what seems like a deep emotional connection to you might be nothing more than a fun flirtation to them.
Alternatively, they may be exaggerating the connection they feel toward you in the hope of convincing you to have sex with them.
On the other hand, it’s possible they feel the same way. It’s even possible that the two of you will be happier together than he is with his current partner.
But before you go breaking up anybody’s marriage, you need to understand your own feelings as clearly as possible.