Updated: September 5, 2013 4:33PM
A crush can be fun. A crush can be dangerous. A crush can be a safety valve.
Megan says she’s had a series of crushes during the 11 years of her marriage. They’ve always happened during stressful times.
Her first crush occurred during her second pregnancy when her husband was unemployed and her daughter was showing signs of autism. The second crush occurred when she was in her early forties and feeling “old and faded and past my prime.” The third one occurred just this past year when she and her husband were going through an especially stressful time.
Their marriage has always had a lot of stress — three rounds of unemployment, two special-needs children, injuries, depression and anxiety, temper tantrums, financial problems and an arrest that cost her husband two job offers.
But this year was especially difficult because of Megan’s husband’s temper. “He broke a TV, a car door, and a chair.”
All of Megan’s crushes involved a strong attraction to a much younger co-worker. “I would look forward to seeing him and try to look extra nice if I knew I’d see him that day.”
Megan says she doesn’t think any of her crushes knew how she felt about them. Crush No. 3 even thinks of her as “a good friend and de facto older sister.” Crush No. 2 seems to have had some feelings of his own. He made a drunken pass at her at an after-hours office party. “He grabbed my behind and one of my breasts while trying to get me to dirty dance with him. Later that night he grabbed my hand, got way too close and said, ‘You and me. What do you think?’
“Both times I told him he’d crossed a line and wriggled away from his grasp. The following day, some co-workers read him the riot act and said if my husband ever found out, he wouldn’t be pleased.”
Megan says her husband doesn’t know anything about the crushes. As far as he’s concerned, the men are just “work friends.” But she has confided in friends who have also been married for many years.
“They all said, in one way or another, it happens to everyone and if you don’t act on your feelings, it’s harmless.”
Megan also talked about her crushes with the family therapist who was working with her son when he was having behavior problems. “She thought my crushes meant I wanted to somehow return to my single life. I hadn’t felt attractive or sexy or like anything other than a mom of two special-needs kids.
“According to her, a crush let me feel hot, sexy, and exciting. She also said my husband needed to make me feel wanted. He needed to put me and our marriage at the top of his priority list. I needed to be appreciated, courted and cherished.”
Megan says that “more than once” she thought about acting on her crushes, but she never did. “I didn’t want to hurt my family or destroy our marriage. We will celebrate 12 years in October.
“Our marriage must be something special to survive all we’ve been though.”
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