Fantasizing About a Younger Woman

Photo by Beshef - http://flic.kr/p/75oehG - For illustration only

Reader’s Question

I am a married male aged 47 years, and I have two kids ages 14 and 9. My wife is a teacher aged 40.

I used to walk a distance of 2km in the morning to reach my office. While walking, I saw a girl who looked to be approximately 20-25 years old working in a hospital. I was attracted by the beauty of this girl and wanted to talk to her. She also watched me keenly and it appeared that she wanted me to talk to her. I am afraid of the consequences which may hamper my physical/mental attitude towards my family. I have a loving wife and daughters. Due to this obsession I am very much disturbed. How do I avoid this girl in my daily walk to the office? At times, I have decided to try and avoid her only to find my feet by default searching her route.

How do I avoid this relationship?

Psychologist’s Reply

It sounds as if you are looking for permission to pursue this extramarital relationship rather than avoid it. Surely there are alternate routes you could take to get to your office -– but the anticipation of seeing her on your normal route seems too difficult to resist. You seem to want to be faithful to your family while at the same time explore the possibility of a relationship with an attractive younger woman.

Someone in this situation has several choices. The first two choices really have nothing to do with faithfulness to family and don’t require sharing this experience with them:

  • Continue to enjoy the anticipation of seeing her when you walk by, and keep the contact with her as it is now: strangers who recognize one another as they pass on the street.
  • Take the chance to stop and say hello to her the next time you pass. Having a very casual conversation about light topics (such as the weather) with someone you see each day is perfectly acceptable.

If these feel like “cheating,” then your best course is to share these encounters with your wife. By including your wife in your daily experiences and thoughts, you may feel less guilty about noticing a pretty girl and she may feel less threatened because you are willing to share your thoughts with her. One way to share this in a lighthearted way might be, “I see the same young woman every day on my way to work -– if I were 20 years younger and single I would go talk to her.” This could open the door for more conversation with your wife, such as “Do you ever notice younger men?” Having a conversation like this creates more connection in your marital relationship rather than holding secrets that may create more distance.

If you choose to talk to this girl without telling your wife, then you may well be headed down the path you fear. That is also a choice -– and it sounds as if you are well aware of the potential consequences of this choice.

It is perfectly natural to notice younger, attractive people and to think about what it would be like to meet them, talk with them, or become more intimate with them. Thinking about it and acting on it, however, are two entirely different choices. Perhaps you can give yourself permission to continue to think about the “what if’s” with this woman rather than actively trying to avoid seeing her. Including your wife in your thoughts and wishes might open up new connections with her that may actually make the temptation of other women less appealing.

Please read our Important Disclaimer.

All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. Originally published by on and last reviewed or updated by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on .

Ask the Psychologist provides direct access to qualified clinical psychologists ready to answer your questions. It is overseen by the same international advisory board of distinguished academic faculty and mental health professionals — with decades of clinical and research experience in the US, UK and Europe — that delivers CounsellingResource.com, providing peer-reviewed mental health information you can trust. Our material is not intended as a substitute for direct consultation with a qualified mental health professional. CounsellingResource.com is accredited by the Health on the Net Foundation.

Copyright © 2019.