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Old 05-18-2019, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
5,049 posts, read 5,046,786 times
Reputation: 6211

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forever Blue View Post
NO, NO, NO. You don't need to try to figure out how to be more comfortable w/ him at work.

When 2 people become too comfortable & chummy w/ each other, especially when the attraction is there as you said, that's not good when 1 or both parties are MARRIED. That means the chances of things happening greatly increases, so you shouldn't want to put yourself in ANY kind of position for ANYTHING to happen that you'll both later regret. Below is what you should DO & NOT DO:

DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT:

- volunteer to be at any optional work event if you know he's going to attend so you can spend more time or "pretend to bump into him"
- don't start bringing each other coffee, doughnuts, etc. in the mornings for each other
- start having lunch together
- meet before or after work for anything
- go visit him at his desk or office "just to chat for a second"
- complain or vent about your husband: How he gets on your nerves when he does this, etc. It's none of his business
- start asking any personal questions (do you have a girlfriend, what do you like to do on weekends, etc.)
- look at him much. You'd only know how often he was looking at you if you were looking at him too, so don't even look his way, I don't care how much you can sense that he's staring, gawking, etc. at you
- make any small talk. Talk about what you have to do at the moment for work & that's it
- start talking about him to your husband at home. Often when people talk to their spouses about, "this man/lady at work" did this or that, that means they're thinking about that person more & you don't want your husband to start getting ideas that you like him


DO:

- keep everything extremely business & professional, don't even smile at him much...you don't want to give him any inkling that you like him & if he already thinks you do, become more distant & serious
- if you're eating lunch & he comes & sits w/ you, keep things serious, then leave soon after
- have more control over your mind & body. I don't care how handsome, kind, etc. this man is. He's NOT your husband

I don't know how often you have to work w/ him, but the farther away from him, the better. For the sake of your marriage & your husband who you supposedly love (the innocent by-standard in this), distance yourself as much as you possibly can to your coworker. And don't start having lunch together, meetings between just the 2 of you, etc. if you can help it.

One last thought. Just think for a moment if your husband had some female coworker at his job that is his type. You wouldn't want him to start getting too friendly, chummy, or flirty w/ her nor her w/ your husband, would you?! And don't say you wouldn't mind so you have an excuse for your conscious to feel better & justify having an attraction for YOUR coworker.
I strongly agree to all of this.

If you follow these rules you will keep your marriage and career intact.
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:23 PM
 
253 posts, read 71,166 times
Reputation: 516
I relate to OP but in a different way. I've been single for a long time. I worked closely with a married woman for years. She suddenly starts flirting with me. I ignore her (because she's married).



Then out of the blue- she's getting a divorce. What? All of a sudden I have feelings for her. That was 8 months ago. She is now divorced. She has become more friendly with me then ever before. Slowly we have become closer friends. We are probably now in something of a part-time emotional affair, but we are both single. So if this thing grows I'm ok with it.



I have not asked her on a date because it's too soon for her, and we still work together. I do wonder how she feels about me. She knows I like her and it doesn't bother her. I'm happy she got a divorce. But I wish she wasn't my coworker now. I need to start a post.


OP, even though my coworker flirted with me, I ignored it because she was married, and she was coming on to me and I didn't even know it. I will not, and can not, turn on feelings for a married woman.



Your coworker that you have affection for just might announce he's getting divorce. Believe me, it can happen. Happened to me.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
5,049 posts, read 5,046,786 times
Reputation: 6211
Quote:
Originally Posted by james112 View Post
I relate to OP but in a different way. I've been single for a long time. I worked closely with a married woman for years. She suddenly starts flirting with me. I ignore her (because she's married).



Then out of the blue- she's getting a divorce. What? All of a sudden I have feelings for her. That was 8 months ago. She is now divorced. She has become more friendly with me then ever before. Slowly we have become closer friends. We are probably now in something of a part-time emotional affair, but we are both single. So if this thing grows I'm ok with it.



I have not asked her on a date because it's too soon for her, and we still work together. I do wonder how she feels about me. She knows I like her and it doesn't bother her. I'm happy she got a divorce. But I wish she wasn't my coworker now. I need to start a post.


OP, even though my coworker flirted with me, I ignored it because she was married, and she was coming on to me and I didn't even know it. I will not, and can not, turn on feelings for a married woman.



Your coworker that you have affection for just might announce he's getting divorce. Believe me, it can happen. Happened to me.
So what's the message here? That both OP and her coworker should trash their marriages and families so they can hook up with each other?

OP doesn't sound like she wants to ruin her marriage. Sounds like she's gotten through these feelings before and wants to continue to do so. Not sure if she needs your particular flavor of input...
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:49 PM
 
253 posts, read 71,166 times
Reputation: 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingsaucermom View Post
So what's the message here? That both OP and her coworker should trash their marriages and families so they can hook up with each other?

OP doesn't sound like she wants to ruin her marriage. Sounds like she's gotten through these feelings before and wants to continue to do so. Not sure if she needs your particular flavor of input...

No. My situation is different. But I was shocked when my coworker announced her divorce. Caught me completely by surprise. I'm just warning that could happen. He may have major feelings for her that will not be going away anytime soon. Married or not.



It would ideal for her to somehow get away. Maybe take a two week vacation. Something. I agree with others this can pass in time but it's too much for her now.
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Old 05-19-2019, 01:22 AM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
5,049 posts, read 5,046,786 times
Reputation: 6211
Quote:
Originally Posted by james112 View Post
No. My situation is different. But I was shocked when my coworker announced her divorce. Caught me completely by surprise. I'm just warning that could happen. He may have major feelings for her that will not be going away anytime soon. Married or not.



It would ideal for her to somehow get away. Maybe take a two week vacation. Something. I agree with others this can pass in time but it's too much for her now.
I understand. My "friend of the family" issue is different from each of yours, but I was in another similar situation about 17 years ago and you know how that one ended? I went from one man's fiance to another man's wife in less than 2 days.

So I must concede that you're right: It could happen.
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:26 AM
 
11 posts, read 40,235 times
Reputation: 21
Appreciate hearing from people who went thru something similar and understand. I am not a jerk because I like attention. I am not a jerk because I love other men besides my husband. Love is never wrong, it is our actions that can be wrong and cause problems.


I'm not coming back to this thread. Unfortunately I cannot give you all the details as it's more complicated than you all think so I will just discuss this with a friend instead of going to strangers. I do not want to have a conversation with him about my feelings, but I do think telling him to stop looking at me so much would take some self-consciousness off of me and put it on him (which would be a good thing. He never gets embarrassed.) Thanks to those who tried to help based on their similar experiences.
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:59 AM
Status: "My privilege looks good on me." (set 6 days ago)
 
776 posts, read 167,997 times
Reputation: 1153
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingsaucermom View Post
Hey OP I'm going to come to your defense..

I can commiserate!

This has only happened to me a few times (twice) in my marriage. The first time was ten years ago when a particular social media platform become hugely popular and put me back into contact with a particular someone I went to high school. No other details warranted

It was a phase.. at the worst of it I did have lunch with the guy during my one and only return to my home state. And before anyone freaks out completely here is the context: I was only in town for 2 days and each meal I was with someone else, including my father and three of my best friends from high school and college. It was a jam packed weekend!

The phase eventually ended. I would say it took up about 6 months to a year. I was as uncomfortable as you are, and usually with problems I go to my husband, but this was one I had to work out on my own.. and I'm pretty good at it to be honest.. one thing I realized at that moment is that I was going through a difficult transition with my husband. He was graduating with his PhD at the height of the recession and job opportunities were extremely poor. I did really well in anthropology courses in college and I learned to find "utility" in human behaviors the way zoologists look for patterns in animals. I decided that on a fundamental level I was afraid that my partner wouldn't be able to provide for me and my children and it made me anxious and sad. This other individual was a distraction and a fantasy of opportunity and stability (because, you know, he had come back into life after nearly 15 years.. so naturally that means he's stable! I'm kidding BTW). It didn't make the problem go away (the problem of anxiety and fear), but the understanding allowed me to feel less guilty and sinful.

And seriously once my husband got a job and we bought a house and moved it was much, much better! Yay! Happy matrimony for years and years!

But, then, one day in 2017 my husband brought home a brawny introverted software coding foreign lumberjack. I'm not even kidding. The dude is a walking romance novel model.

We had actually been introduced to him years earlier.. my husband had been his boss (!).. he came over for a few holiday gatherings (one time he brought his girlfriend who lives abroad... she could be a romance novel model too! ). We went hiking once and I know he and my husband took our boys rock climbing... but in 2017 my husband gave our collective relationship a new intensity: He was going to spend several weeks as a guest in our home. And then after that we were going to store his stuff indefinitely. And we were going to store his car indefinitely. See, he had moved back "home" to be with his family and girlfriend, but still works out of the US and his dad is here too... so we are his "crash pad" for the times he's in the country.. he's not sure about his long term plans and isn't ready to sell his stuff and as minimalists we have a ton of extra space... we we are holding it all for free.. it's been a worthwhile arrangement just to have another vehicle at our disposal when needed.

Anyway.. I had always thought of him as a polite young man (he's 7-8 years younger than me), but during his stays I got to know more about him and I wasn't prepared to feel what I felt. And I know it's not just me either... in our own ways we all feel close/r to him. Last year we were in Europe and my younger son was complaining about having to travel with his grandparents and he looked at me and said, "I wish ___ was with us instead. He's like the cool uncle I don't have". And there were a few times during that trip that husband commented "wow look at this! ____ and I were just talking about this the other day. Let me take a photo to send to him!".

My husband and boys have this awesome "bro power" thing going on and meanwhile I'm secretly dying from my own attachment issues which are definitely less praiseworthy.

And here is what I realized... My husband is struggling and has been struggling for a long time. We are in a good financial situation, but not quite financially independent. FI might happen in the next 5-7 years if all goes according to plan. But in the meantime my husband is struggling with serious professional burnout and he's developed all these weird symptoms that seem to be stress-related. I've told him to just find a different job altogether, but he wants to see this through as much as I do.

So like before this is a variable...

But it doesn't describe the intensity I sometimes I feel. Like there have been moments when something super f-ing fundamentally powerful was happening and in the middle of one of them I had a thought that made me just sob and sob: my ultimate mortality. I believe the reason my husband has extended so much generosity towards him, the reason why my sons want to call him uncle and the reason for my.. gez, what do I call it??? Haha! I don't know what to call it! My whatever.. is because he's very, very much like my husband. Just a younger version of him. A younger, fresher carbon copy of my husband who isn't quite yet middle aged or burdened with a wife, kids, mortgage and coming college expenses. He isn't jaded from ups and downs of middle management in corporate America.

When I look at this younger man I am looking at what my husband used to be and it makes me so sad. Because time has worn on and time has worn us down. This guy represents the youth that we have lost and will continue to lose.

I think I'm mourning it a little bit... but this is normal and to be expected. We all grow old and eventually die and that's the way it's supposed to be. Perhaps this is a flowery feminine way to describe a subtle mid-life crisis.

I should write a romance novel and make some money off of it!
This is why, as a married man, I'd never bring another man around my home to get all 'chummy.'
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:06 AM
 
792 posts, read 325,922 times
Reputation: 2420
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefullmonty View Post
Appreciate hearing from people who went thru something similar and understand. I am not a jerk because I like attention. I am not a jerk because I love other men besides my husband. Love is never wrong, it is our actions that can be wrong and cause problems.


I'm not coming back to this thread. Unfortunately I cannot give you all the details as it's more complicated than you all think so I will just discuss this with a friend instead of going to strangers. I do not want to have a conversation with him about my feelings, but I do think telling him to stop looking at me so much would take some self-consciousness off of me and put it on him (which would be a good thing. He never gets embarrassed.) Thanks to those who tried to help based on their similar experiences.
He'll love you confirming how much he affects you... it will amp up the intensity and forbidden-ness.

And that is not love, btw- it's low-hanging fruit in the way of self-gratification. When you've used each other up or reality smacks both of you in the face, you'll be saying, "I/We never meant for this to happen!!! We got carried away! I guess our twu wuv was bigger than us!" Splitting marital assets and liabilities and 401Ks, putting down deposits for a rental, paying $5K retainers each just to get divorced *amicably*, and figuring out your new combined budget after spousal and child support, percentages of healthcare and childcare and activities... no one ever seems to think about those things while sneaking off to be "just friends."

If only they put as much effort into their marriages as they do in keeping their "friendships" a secret...
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
42,695 posts, read 41,426,610 times
Reputation: 82053
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefullmonty View Post

I am not a jerk because I like attention. I am not a jerk because I love other men besides my husband.
Well, no, but being a jerk isn't the only option. Liking male attention and loving other men besides your husband make it very difficult to be a good wife.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefullmonty View Post
Love is never wrong, it is our actions that can be wrong and cause problems.


This is where therapy would help you, because you really need to unpack this thought process and examine it a little.

You seem to believe that as long as you don't jump the other guy, it's perfectly fine to go around imagining scenarios with him in your head and getting all tingly by thinking about another guy. But it's NOT true.

Emerson said, "You are what you think about all day long." And it's true that our thoughts affect us in very strong ways. Our thoughts affect our moods and emotions, our behavioral choices, our self-confidence, the healthy risks that do or don't get taken, and our feelings of self-worth and self-esteem in all parts of life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefullmonty View Post

I'm not coming back to this thread.
It would be a shame if you didn't because you appear to be just on the brink of really being willing to get help for this. I'm sure your husband would appreciate that.
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
5,049 posts, read 5,046,786 times
Reputation: 6211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana Tony View Post
This is why, as a married man, I'd never bring another man around my home to get all 'chummy.'
Sure, okay.. but my "back of the house" feelings aside, please consider the following:

1) Because of cultural and religious upbringing, my husband, a naturalized citizen, struggles to find others that he trusts. He has developed a "chumminess" in this friendship and that's great.

2) Kids are being raised in isolation. Both sides of the family are thousands of miles away. In addition there are linguistic and cultural barriers with my husband's family and my family of origin is a train wreck not worth getting into. I think for my younger, more gregarious son it's been hard to have so few family members. I'm glad that he sees enough virtues and trust in our millennial friend to want to call him family.

3) I'm a pragmatic individual that looks at the bottom line. The financial savings of not having to buy and maintain a second vehicle has been amazing. For most households the three biggest expenses are housing, transportation and food. Being able to attack any of the three will put you far ahead in your financial plan. I feel blessed and protective to keep the arrangement going as long as possible simply for this reason alone.

I'll cautiously add..

4) The challenge of grappling with "complicated" feelings has made me grow in wisdom and experience. In a sense I feel like I've "taken one for the team" as I recognized long ago that the net benefits for our family far outweigh the negative for me as an individual. Also OP knows, and I know and others with maturity and experience here knows that feelings come and go... Life isn't static! Life is motion! I've learned great skills over the decades to curb impulse and reactivity, to simply sit with anxiety or, as more the case now, to instead engage and maintain certain routines (keeping up the house, finances) and behaviors (consistent exercise and good diet). I've learned the skills to ignore some feelings in pursuit of something more important.

Regardless of context: Nobody reaches goals if they haven't first learned how to focus.

As favoring my analytic and pragmatic side I've learned to see how the "grass isn't greener" on the other side. Let's consider the "friend of the family" for a moment.

1) He dropped out of college and it will have a life-long limitation on his career path and life earnings.
2) He's still trying to figure out where to start career-wise and he's in or nearing his mid 30's.
3) As far as I know he still hasn't married the GF even though they've been together for something like 10 years. I know she wants to move forward and even start a family but he seems to be dragging his feet (probably because of #1 and #2).
4) He spends money needlessly.

For all the lovely attributes our friend has he there are plenty of things that would drive me crazy and/or are simply turn-offs. There are lots of people out there that don't have a detailed life plans and sort of drift along the tide of life... well, my anxiety would never allow for such "flexibility". I'm big into commitments and routines and so is my husband. We have a shared plan of building wealth and setting our kids up with higher education, homes and inheritances. We have two homes to give each of them, we have some funds in 529's for college, but realistically we're only about 60-65% of the way there.

We've got a decade left before I think we're done (so far to go but also not so long from now!).

At this guy's age my husband had completed a PhD. He was making a 6 figure salary. He had two kids in school. He had retirement accounts, a taxable account and college accounts set up. He had 50% equity in a home in a desirable area of town.

You would have to be all sorts of crazy to think I don't know the value of what we've got together. This really is a "until death do you part" sort of thing. I love my family and my husband. If that's not plainly clear then I don't know what else to say.
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