Q. I'm in my early 30s and I've been married for 10 years. My husband is a great dad to our two kids, and he treats me like a queen. Yet I find myself really attracted to this guy at work who turns me on in a way my husband doesn't. I feel horribly guilty. Why can't I feel as hot for my husband as I do for this other guy?
A. Because this guy's not your husband! That automatically makes him a man of mystery and thus more desirable.
Don't beat yourself up over having an attraction to him. It's perfectly normal to develop a crush at work, since you spend many more hours with your colleagues than with your family, and everyone is on their best behavior. Instead of having to shout at your coworker over the bedlam of young kids and dirty dishes, you get to have peaceful, thoughtful chats in your cubicle or at lunches you don't have to prepare.
The thing to do is take a step back from your work relationship and bring your lust object down to the level of mere mortal. He may be good-looking and a sweetheart to work with, but who knows? At home, his wife or girlfriend might have to yell at him to throw out the garbage.
What's most important is to focus your energies into putting the heat back into your marriage. All relationships get into ruts, and you've been with your husband for so many years that things may feel a bit ho-hum. Revel in the fact that he's both a good husband and a great dad, and start a romance revolution at home, says Toni Brown, president of the Counseling and Consulting Service of Brandon in Florida.
Arrange dates away from the domestic drivel, and forbid any discussion of tired topics like kids or car repairs. Make a list of life stories you've never told each other before and share them. Put the kids to bed early and play truth or dare. Park by the ocean and make out in the car. In other words, treat your husband like a lover and let the wild rumpus begin.
Holly Robinson is a Boston-area writer who lives with her husband and their five kids.
Originally published in American Baby magazine, June 2004.