Fantasizing About a Coworker: Am I having a midlife crisis?

Dear Dr. Patti:

I'm 43 and I think I'm having a midlife sexual crisis. I'm peacefully married and suddenly I'm attracted to this adorable 27-year-old graphic designer at the agency I work at. Help me!! I'm so tempted to cheat. Would it be so terrible to have a fling?



Dear A:

You are, indeed, having one of those midlife crises, the kind where you question the very ground under your feet. Here are some guidelines: Let your head, not your hormones, be your guide here. Many women and men do feel that staleness set in after time elapses in a long-term relationship, especially marriage. Even if that bond is rock-solid, often so are the lackluster feelings of "same stuff, different day" that can erode any relationship and make attraction wane. I suggest that you evaluate whether there is something missing in your present situation and, if so, try to repair that damage first. Are you and your hubby spending ample time together, as sexual beings, as erotic playmates, as real lovers? Or are you feeling a sense of neglect and feeling taken for granted? If so, guess what? YOU get to change all that, by taking charge and asking for what you want and need from your significant other.

Often I find with the women I counsel that there's an inherent edge and interest in pursuing the unavailable male, or in seeking outside fixes when things are dull on the home front. Sometimes couples lose sight of the fact that they are separate individuals who found each other as unique and attractive singles before fusing into coupledom. Once in that realm of the familiar, they can diminish their self-esteem by not taking care of the body/mind/spirit stuff that contributes to feeling and becoming attractive again.

If your young studly one is still pulling at your groin, use that wonderful erotic energy for a spring into sexual play with your mate. If the tension persists and you REALLY want to move from a fantasy to a reality with this dude, then that's your choice to make. But think and feel through possible consequences before you act, and then act honorably for all involved.

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