Can't escape my imagined affair
OK ladies, I need some perspective on this, I've been confused to a greater or lesser degree for some time now:
I have a wonderful other half, he's a great guy, and my best friend. We're not married but have been together since our mid-teens (each others' first love) and we're both now in our late 20s. We don't have kids. We don't really fight (we're both quite easy going, him especially). He's very supportive, and he tells me all the time how he thinks I'm beautiful, buys me flowers etc. You're thinking lucky girl yeah? So what's the problem?
Well for the last 3 years I've had strong feelings for someone else. In some ways I've done the right thing about these (avoided flirting like the plague, tried my best not to think about him, even went as far as to quit my job so I wouldn't see him). Yet I still can't seem to stop thinking about him. I saw him recently again at a night out with my old colleagues, and I'm back in that vicious spiral again. I'd never previously met anyone I just plain LIKE as much as him, we're just on the same wavelength, and thinking about him makes me go all warm and happy (in that pathetic way that people get when they're in new relationships and reality hasn't yet hit). I made the decision that I simply had to stop thinking about him, and that any potential future we might have had together if things had been different will never ever happen. Yet I still just can't shake those feelings. I thought they would go away, but after 3 years of self-discipline and working at my actual, real, loving relationship, I keep finding myself back in the same place. Does anyone have any tips as to how to forget someone, or at least not think of them so much that you end up making yourself unhappy?
Then there's also the fact that as much as I love my partner, he doesn't really turn me on any more. It was never a blazing sort of romance in the first place (we were both awkward adolescents at the start after all) but we both enjoy sex and in many other ways we're a well matched couple. I just don't really get the hots for him, which makes me feel like a terrible person. I'm not sure how much of this is what you just have to expect after many years with someone, being so used to their touch. Does this happen with everyone after a certain amount of time? Some of it might be to do with underlying problems between us that have to some extent been resolved - for a while I didn't feel I respected him a lot (he was for quite a while unemployed, sitting at home smoking weed and playing the computer and not putting a huge effort into getting work). He's a very caring person, but I can't help but feel sometimes that our future together could be a bit lacklustre - I'm the one that tries to drive us forward, get us out doing things. He's happy to spend all his free time at home playing on the computer. I think he'll grow up a bit in the future if we do end up having kids etc. But I think it's safe to say I'll always be the one making things happen.
People ask me when we'll get married as we've been together for so long. But to be honest, even though I like the idea of marriage as a concept, the idea still scares me. Is my inability to escape this imagined affair standing in my way of really committing long term to my relationship, and ruining in my head what is ostensibly a good partnership? Or is the fact I can't shake it something I should be taking as a signal that maybe staying with him isn't doing the best thing for me in the long term? Or is all this confusion maybe just a product of the depression I've been dealing with for several years, and now am beating, thanks to the support and love of my partner, who is the one person I truly trust in this world?
Any thoughts, or advice based on your own experiences would be hugely appreciated. Thanks x