Cant get her out of my head


About 8 years ago, I briefly dated a Catholic girl in school. We were never physically intimate but I was very attracted to her looks and spirituality. Fast forward to today. I have now been married to a beautiful Catholic woman for 2 years. Our relationship is typical. Some really great times and some times that we weren’t as holy as we should be. However, we are getting stronger. Our faith is growing (she was always very spiritual just not as passionate about the Church). We are building a relationship that I wouldn’t want to give up.
The issue is that I still think about this other girl every day. We don’t talk often at all, she is married too. Our friendships are intertwined though since we had common friends. I secretly get frustrated at my wife when she doesn’t want to grow out her hair like this other girl had. Or when mutual friends feel the need to share about some great things that this other girl is doing at her church on her own initiative. It usually translates to me becoming sad about my own relationship vs what it would have been with her.
What advice can you give? I’m not asking for simple,“don’t think about her” advice since I already really try not too. I just wish it would stop. I pray for it… I could use that extra time to strengthen our marriage more instead. Any suggestions? Similiar struggles? How did you overcome it? Pray for me brothers and sisters.


Watch Hitchcock’s Vertigo. I’m serious. Even if you’ve seen it before, watch it again with your situation in mind. This comment is…disturbing.

Your wife is real. The other girl is illusion. You dated her briefly almost a decade ago. You’re not in love with her, you’re infatuated with the idea of her. Believe me, she is not more saintly than your wife, she is not perfect, her flaws would not be easier for you to accept or handle or overlook.

You say you haven’t really kept in touch - you don’t know her. Maybe you once did, but you don’t anymore. People change an incredible amount in their 20’s. She is not a missed chance, being with her would not make anything better in your life. You have to keep telling yourself this.

When I was about 18, I dated a boy for a year or so. He wound up dumping me, went to college across the country. 7 years later I get a letter from him, saying he has never stopped thinking about me, apologized for how he treated me and for not recognizing the good thing he had, and left it in my hands to contact him. I accepted the apology, but threw out the letter (I was then dating my now husband) and did not write him back. Last year I got a MySpace account so I could view my sister’s - within ONE HOUR of registering, my ex contacted me. He must have been doing a daily search for my name. I deleted my account then and there. I discovered he has had a ‘long-term girlfriend’ during all this, and even though I did nothing to encourage him, it made me feel like garbage.

I’m not going to tell you not to think about her, because that never works. Tell yourself not to think about pink elephants, and it’s all you can focus on. Instead, try to shift the direction of your thoughts. Pay attention to what your wife does that is better than what you imagine the other woman does. Compliment your wife purposefully for things you like about her that do not resemble the other woman. Don’t dwell on the negative about your wife, unless you’re willing to do the same for your ex.

Think about how crushed your wife would be if she knew you were thinking these things. And how frightened your ex would be if she found out. If you idolize her, you shouldn’t want to hurt her. She would not be flattered, she would probably file a restraining order.

Good luck - you seem like a nice guy that has developed an unhealthy thought pattern - you can beat it.


You make a decision to not think about her every day. When you do, you do something to remind yourself that you made a decision to not do this…like pinch yourself or say a Hail, Mary. You bring every possible weapon into play…you ask your Guardian Angel to keep thoughts of her out of your head, you start saying a Rosary every day for World Peace, you ask the Holy Spirit every morning upon awakening to fill your heart with His light and love and to keep thoughts that disturb your peace out of your head.

And you give yourself time for it to work…one day at a time. You look at your wife every day and say, “Thank you God for my life today. I wouldn’t change a thing even if I could”.


So you had a “crush” a over 8 years ago and now you have grown up and married your wife, the woman that you love, the one that you will spend the rest of your life with, the one that you would do anything and everything for to get her to heaven. You have committed yourself to her forsaking all others. Sorry to be harsh, but c’mon man, grow up. Be a man! Take responsibility. You are a husband, maybe even a father. How would your wife feel about this? How would she feel knowing that the person that she is committed to has thoughts about another woman? Mind you I am not saying that you are having sexual thoughts or sinning by thinking about her, but you took a vow.

Sorry that I am not able to give you “feel good advice” about this, but when I read the bolded part above it just struck me that you are holding onto an infatuation that you had 8 years ago. This is completely unfair to your wife. You are no longer a part of that other woman’s life. She is married you are married. Times change. Life changes. Priorities change. You main priority in life now is to get your wife to heaven. Focus on her and focus on that.

How do you do that? I do not know. Cut all ties is the best way to start. I just posted this in another thread, but the bible can give us some great guidance, Matthew 5:29-30

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

What is important to you?

I think that Little Texas said it the best, “I try not to think about what might have been, cause that was then and we have taken different roads.”



The perception, of the grass is usually greener on the other side. If you have no children and a wife who is prayerful, Catholic, sweet, giving, loving, kind and rational, you are ahead of the game.:thumbsup: Everyone could improve here and there spiritually and physically. Their are plenty of Biblical passages encouraging us to care for the temples/bodies we have been given.

“I secretly get frustrated at my wife when she doesn’t want to grow out her hair like this other girl had.”…

If you think other hairstyles, clothes, etc, would complement your wifes appearance better, then, let her know, tell her gently, over time, you know how fragile and sensitive women’s egos are about this kind of stuff. :wink: When she makes adjustments, that you like, don’t be patronizing, but shower her complements, take her out to a surprise evening. women love that kind of stuff too.:smiley: :smiley: This is all part of the “Care and Feeding of Sensitive Females” and their all sensitive. Trust me.

The Bible tells men to gently care for our wives. You’re the man, you’re the leader of your family.

“However, we are getting stronger. Our faith is growing (she was always very spiritual just not as passionate about the Church). We are building a relationship that I wouldn’t want to give up.”…

You can’t beat this, combo. If you want to get her fired up about the Faith and how great it is share with her the things that set Catholicism apart in todays world and excite you. You’re the leader.

“Or when mutual friends feel the need to share about some great things that this other girl is doing at her church on her own initiative. It usually translates to me becoming sad about my own relationship vs what it would have been with her.”…

Things may not be the way they seem. How do you know this girl is not a “Street Angel, House Devil” a lot of women put on a good show and are totally stressed out at home. You never know until they have you Licensed and Trapped Like a Rat, for life.

You are always going to run into women that you may think you are more compatible with or are better at this or that than your wife, forget it, 90% of them, come out of the same cookie cutter mold. Spend you time holding your wife’s hand and clinging to her not some pie in the sky illusion.

The Holy Spirit has brought this women to you for a reason. You may not know why for many years. Take your gift from God and run with her.

You’re the man, you’re the leader of your family.

Also, check this out.


Thank You for the advice. Just to give some background, my first post made it sound worse than it is. The first girl and I were friends all through school, only the dating period was short. She was a huge part of developing my faith and what I have done in my life. I made the choice to stop being regular friends a couple of years back bcause of getting married. Thinking of this girl isnt a constant, just a passing thought or two that I think is too much. I do not think this makes me a Hitchcock character.

Having said that, becoming a better husband is the goal.


“Thinking of this girl isnt a constant, just a passing thought or two that I think is too much.”…Don’t worry about fleeting thoughts. Your sweetie probably has them too, especially when you make her mad.

Take care of business and take care of each other bro.


Similiar struggles? How did you overcome it?

If you find out how to overcome this please let me know. I have a similiar struggle, but I’m single and the other person is married. I wish you the best, but I don’t have an answer.

She was a huge part of developing my faith and what I have done in my life.

Similiar situation as me, but I don’t know what to do about it. Its not like I have to put a note on the fridge to remember to think about them…it just happens. I can forget to pick up something for supper, forget my pin number for the ATM - but not them they are always hanging there.



For what it’s worth, it wasn’t meant as an insult. Scottie is one of my favorite fictional characters, and I feel very sympathetic towards him. The way you phrased things did bring the film instantly to mind. I’m glad it’s not the case, thank you for clarifying.


I sympathise with you. I don’t have a person in my life that I think of like this, but I do occasionally have to fight the temptation to compare my (in many ways) wonderful husband to the uber-catholic apologist men that give talks about how to be a loving husband, and who are so excited about their faith. Different I know, but still it is the thought of the grass being greener, even though you are fully aware of reality, and even know how good you have it. I don’t know how you make fleeting thoughts go away. But perhaps you could try to turn those thoughts into something positive. Every time you think of her, pray for her and her marriage, and then pray for your wife and for your marriage.


Bill - your posts make me feel so sad for your wife. There’s nothing worse than “the perfect and unknown fantasy” as a rival. It’s great that your wife knows nothing about her - yet I’m guessing that the “hints” she let her hair grow long are unnerving to her, making her wonder “what’s this?”

As for your former crush’s stellar performance in life, at her parish, etc., you’re assuming a lot about her strengths. Her involvement might have everything to do with the fact that her husband loves her, encourages her, praises her - and never suggests she change her hairstyle to suit his creepy fantasies. Your fantasy is creepy, very very creepy. It’s good you mentioned it since it shows how far off the rails you can ride by dwelling on what might have been. There is no ‘what might have been.’ There is only ‘here and now.’ Your wife deserves much better and you know it.

Pray, pray, pray about this. God bless both you and your wife.


Frankly, I don’t believe you.

It’s an **act of your will **to think about her, pine for her, and unfairly denigrate your wife because her hair isn’t like hers, etc.

You need to exert your will in another direction, period. You are an adult, not a teenager. It’s been 8 years. The only thing keeping you hanging on is your will to hang on.

Be thankful for what you have and stop daydreaming about what you might have had. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. You have no idea that your life would be better with this other woman, in fact the reality of living with the other woman might be worse.

I suggest you get the book The Five Love Languages, identify your wife’s “love language” and start loving her overtime.


Here’s something that’s helped me in similar circumstances.

At Judgment Day, all our works will be revealed. That means your wife and this other woman will know the works of your heart. What happens in your heart is not secret to God. Nor will it fail to be revealed to all. This realization helps me strive for holiness even in my secret thoughts.

Also, know that the good qualities that you see in this other woman - it is natural to love the good. Praise God for his creation in her, and thank God for his blessings. It is not wrong to love what is good. But what has she to do with you? Your marriage is your vocation.

I apologize if I am not communicating very well. I hope that these reflections, which have helped me in the past, will be of use to you as well.


lol–no, you’re not a Hitchcock character…your comment made me laugh.:smiley: I think it is not uncommon to think about an old flame, or friend…or whatever…but it not a good idea to dwell. Fleeting thoughts here and there are ‘normal,’ but it sounds like you’re crossing over the normal border, when you get frustrated because your wife ‘won’t grow her hair out like the other girl.’ That is only going to make you feel bad about your blessing–your wife. And she is a great blessing, and you are to her. Imagine if your wife was pondering how you would look with her old bf’s or male friend’s hair cut…and wishing you would grow it or cut it like him? Hmm…feels different now doesn’t it. It’s hard to squeeze into another’s shoes…isn’t it.:wink:

So, just be mindful of your thoughts…where they lead you…or rather, where YOU LET THEM LEAD YOU. We are masters of our minds…even though it doesn’t always feel that way. Just watch those thoughts. They can get away from us if left unwatched.:slight_smile: Good luck to you and many blessings for a fruitful and happy marriage!


Even if we have confessed our sins…God will reveal our sins for everyone in our lives to see?:confused:


This may be a little odd, but it sounds to me like your “interest” in this former flame and friend is not as much about your wife of the other girl.

When you and she were good friends and dated, you were younger, not married, not responsible for much. And, you were with a good looking and holy woman. All told, that makes for quite a nice daydream, and a wonderful memory. But, now that you have responsibilities, regardless of who your wife is, or how she acts, you will never be able to return to the carefree life that was wrapped up with this old flame.

Rather than trying to bring the excitement you wish back by changing how your wife acts and looks (which will not end well), seek to create excitement, spontaneity, and even a little bit of irresponsibility in your life. Assuming it’s possible in your situation, wake up in the morning, and announce to your wonderful wife that you’re staying home to make her breakfast in bed, massage her feet, and whatever else may follow. :thumbsup:

“Skip class”, enjoy unplanned time with your wife, and you may find more fulfillment being naughty in acceptable and romantic ways than you’ll ever find with the illusion of youth.


I agree with NocSineStellae on this point. This girl is real, but the idea of her has become an illusion in your mind. Let me tell you this - this is not uncommon and it does not make you a bad husband, a weirdo, or a perv. The fact that you are sufficiently self-aware to call yourself on this is huge. Many would assume that unacted on thoughts and fantasies were fine. But I think you will become a better husband and happier person by overcoming this. I have known a couple guys that have gone through similar issues, although for shorter periods of time. In some ways this is similar to an emotional affair, if you are familiar with that term. Its when someone gives to another the emotional (but not physical) intimacy that should be reserved for a spouse. It sounds like that has not happened here, but your yearning for her is leaning in that direction.

How to beat this is a tough question, and a hard one for a stranger to advice you on. My instinct is that you should find an older married man that you trust completely and who knows you well. Your father may work for this or not (my Father was great, but would have been unequipped for this kind of problem). A friend, maybe? A trusted counselor is also an option, whether religious or lay. I would not discuss it with either woman if I were you, although others may disagree.

I will pray for you. Please keep posting on this, if that helps.


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