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The key to a happy marriage might be a crush on someone else

If you think having a crush on someone outside of your marriage is dangerous and bad for your marriage, you might want to think again. Oh yes, you read that right. New research suggests that a crush outside of your marriage is the ideal way to keep your primary relationship hot.

Researchers at Columbia University, Indiana University and the University of Kentucky-Lexington talked to 200 women in long-term relationships (three years or longer). About 70 percent admitted to a crush outside their primary relationship and of those, most claimed it didn’t affect their main relationship one iota. In fact, many said it increased their attraction level to their significant other.

To this, I say: duh. Sex begets sex. Always.

MoreMore than friends: When you should take it to the next level

A crush can be entirely harmless. It can add a little bounce to your step. Who among us doesn’t feel a charge from flirtation? Someone else wanting us? That shite’s addictive! Come on.

I have been with my husband for 14 years and had countless crushes. Some have been deeper than others and some have been reciprocated, but not a single one of them actually threatened my marriage. If anything, I would come home revved up, ready for good times with my own man. In most cases, the men were sexy or interesting or exciting and I was drawn into that, the same way I would be if a woman was any of those things. I get girl crushes, too.

Usually, later, I find out the person is not quite what I imagined and though I usually manage to stay friendly, the crush dissipates and I am left with a sense of appreciation for the man I chose. It’s like a constant affirmation of my decision to marry him in the first place. Also, years into a relationship, the early fire starts to smolder. Personally, I don’t believe it should ever die, but it does become less intense. A crush adds fuel back onto that home fire and makes those flames start to leap. If you ever want to kick your sex drive up a notch, start flirting again. People who feel hot want more sex. It’s a fact.

So how do you tell if a crush is dangerous?

More: How to get out of the friend zone

If you find yourself slipping into not wanting to talk to your spouse more. If you find yourself imagining you were with him more than your spouse. If you find yourself imagining him during sex with your spouse. These could all indicate problems.

All that said, as long as it doesn’t move over into acting out (read: having an affair), then it is probably fine and will lighten up with time. The heat of the crush will fade, but the love in the primary relationship will last and get a nice little boost of fire from the resurgence.

Have you ever had a crush outside your marriage?

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