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August 10, 2014

How Real Life Based Sexual Fantasy Can Save a Relationship

Attraction to another happens no matter how long you’ve been in a marriage or partnership.

While attraction happens to those unattainable to us, such as movie stars, it can also happen to those who are actually accessible to us in our life.

When it is strong it can feel easy to act upon and thus be threatening. You might find yourself at a crossroads and realize you are in a position to act upon an impulse that could change your life forever.

If monogamy is your goal and the understanding of the partnership, then acting out on attraction impulses is bad. Affairs and cheating hurt people we love deeply. Studies have shown that trust is essential if a relationship is to stay fulfilling and last.

Believe it or not these real life based attractions are not just healthy, but can also be helpful . All relationships that last 10, 20…….50 years have periods of numbness.

Periods where the energy between the people involved feels low, affecting sexual chemistry, emotional intimacy, and over all appreciation.

Having a moment where you sexually notice someone in the office, or at a party, or a friends partner is very intimidating during these times. It can reinforce unmet needs you might have, and the desire to fulfill these needs by acting out can be strong.

So what can you do when you have one of these strong attractions and how exactly can you make it helpful?

1. Don’t suppress the attraction and desire. You might want to pretend like its not there, but in reality it’s present. Not wanting something to exists doesn’t make it go away, and it can grow tremendously the more someone tries to shove it away.

2. Connect internally to the desire by writing down the fantasy or by talking about the fantasy to someone you trust. This not only allows the  steam of the fantasy to release, but also allows you to own the sexual energy productively.

3. Use the fantasy to boost your own sexuality. If your sexual energy feels low, fantasize about the attraction while physically exciting yourself. This can get your sexual energy flowing again.

4. Take your new sexual energy and apply it towards your partnership. Doing this can help things reignite, bringing you and your long-term partner closer again.

5. REMEMBER: Using fantasies to stimulate intimacy and sexual energy in a long lasting relationship is not cheating. It’s not realistic to think that your long-term partner should be all you need for the rest of your life, and vice versa. There are millions of people in the world you are bound to meet, attraction is a normal response to being human.

6. Pick the least difficult path. Allowing yourself to use attraction in a productive way actually decreases the possibility of infidelity. Infidelity not only hurts self-esteem, but it also damages life goals and relationships.

7. Build enough confidence to know that even though you might be using a fantasy of someone else to feel sexual, that your partner still holds the priority and all the love. And so do you!

About the author

Patricia O’Laughlin

Marriage and Family Therapist and Art Therapist Patricia O’Laughlin specializes in adult attachment and its impact on relationships and parenting.

She has a private practice in the Silver Lake community of Los Angeles where she sees couples, children, adolescents, and adults. She supports people through the different stages of life and helps people integrate mindfulness, understanding, and support into their relationship with themselves and the people the love.

Patricia has been featured on the Today Show,, Parenting Magazine, and

Visit her at or follow Patricia O’Laughlin on Twitter (!/therapy4parents) or Facebook ( for articles or to learn more about the Psychology of Parenting.