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    Love Letters

    I’ve got a huge crush on my husband’s friend

    We’re happily married with kids, but this flirtation has been going on for five years.

    Submit your questions for Meredith here.

    Q. I’m a married woman with kids. I’ve been with my husband for 15 years and have a happy, lovely life. But, I have had a crush on his close friend for almost five years now. When the friend and I first met, there was this amazing spark. Every time we see each other, there’s something there. He’ll grab me for a hug or touch my hand and it’s soooo nice.

    He’s single and dating, and sometimes it makes me jealous and upset. I know I have no right to feel those things. I’m pretty sure he reciprocates my feelings; a few of my friends have seen his behavior around me and confirmed that I’m not going crazy.

    I’m still in love with my husband and still sexually attracted to him, but I can’t stop thinking about his friend. I know I’m never going to be with him because that’s how it has to be. But I need to know how to stop thinking about him. He’s on my mind 24-7 and it’s getting worse. Please help.

    — Just Friends

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    A. It sounds like this crush has put you on the hamster wheel. You want to stop thinking about your husband’s friend, but when you tell yourself “I can’t think about him,” he’s already on your mind, and you start thinking about him even more. You’re spinning in circles. You have to jump off the wheel.

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    The best way to do that is to shift your attention to your husband. It is possible to have that giddy excitement about the person you married. What can you do to add romance and spontaneity to your relationship? Sometimes it’s all about changing your routine. Can you take a trip? Find intimacy at a new time or in a new place? Focus your energy on sparking up this marriage. Find surprises that please you both.

    Remember that crushes are normal. You’re supposed to have them, and they don’t have to mean you’re falling in love with someone new. Get used to having these feelings and dismissing them for what they are.

    Also, consider keeping them to yourself. It’s fun to talk to friends about this kind of thing, but it’s not a good idea if the conversation turns the infatuation into something that feels like a real option.

    — Meredith

    READERS RESPOND

    It sounds like your husband’s friend is kind of a jerk. He shouldn’t be flirting with you.

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    SUNALSORISES

    Having a strong attraction to someone doesn’t diminish your feelings for someone else and the life you have. It might blind those things for a bit when you’re in close proximity, like a camera flash. PINKDRINK

    Meredith said: “It might help to remember that crushes are normal.” Five years seems a bit extreme, no, Mere? MMNNEE

    If nothing is going to happen, why punish yourself over these thoughts that ARE NOT leading you astray? My advice is not to attempt to stop thinking about him. It’s harmless. BIGSIGH

    Meredith Goldstein’s book “Chemistry Lessons” is now available. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to meredith.goldstein@globe.com.