Affair with a married man... :/
I am a 21 year old woman and for a while now I have been having relations with a coworker. He is married. No kids. I have been working at this place for over 2 years, and we were such good friends, and were only that, up until a few months ago. I started feeling something when I worked with him (he is actually my boss and is 15 years older), as he started saying things to me which suggested maybe he wanted more. I tried to resist at first as I knew it was wrong and never thought of myself as someone who would ever do something like this. The thing is, we get along so well, and he just loves me for me.
I've always had low confidence, low self-esteem, rarely think I'll ever be good enough. And mostly I feel empty and like there isn't anything to look forward to. I never thought someone would ever fancy me and had never been with anyone up to this point. Before anything happened we would hang out a lot after work, sometimes with other workers, but mostly it was mainly just us. We would go and get something to eat, watch movies in the car, or go out and play a game of pool. He has been an amazing part of my life as he is basically the only reason I got my license- as he let me drive his car back home every night after work so I could get my hours up to go for my test. I couldn't drive much with mum as she would stress me out too much, and I don't have anyone else who could have helped me out really. So, usually we would go somewhere, or sometimes we just sat in the car and talked about anything and everything. At this point I never thought anything more of it. I never imagined it to be anything else, he was just a good friend who I knew always made me feel better.
He cares deeply about me I know that. And he constantly reassures me of it. I know he wont be leaving his wife, and even if you asked me whether I wanted him to, I can't even really give you an answer. I want him, and maybe even love him... But the whole situation is complicated. We stopped everything for about a week or so, but as I still went to work and saw him all the time, I just couldn't go back to friends. He respected my wishes and tried to resist, but the more he distanced himself, the more I felt like incredibly sad and angry and wanted him back.
For what it is worth, I think that you made the right decision to stop the relationship. Unfortunately, that has left you with a problem in the workplace that can't be fixed.
Understandably you are flattered with his attention, but he is married and unlikely to leave his wife. Even if he did leave his wife; can you trust him to commit to you long term?. The relationship can only go in one direction, south.
Let your head do the thinking!
I think you are so very brave to share your story and I commend you on talking about it to get some support, while you already know the limitations on this relationship and that it is challenging your moral compass so I am not going to talk about that.
I understand the feeling when you do feel very insecure and someone who you do look up to, do respect and maybe even fancy finds you interesting in return. Also he has played a very large part in leading you and being available to you, when instead he "should" have left work each night to go to his wife, not to indulge in the attention of a young woman. Also putting your role and his at risk by crossing the boundaries of the professional relationship in that he is your manager, how does that look now when you need his support or when he needs to have a difficult conversation?
I also appreciate how extremely hard this is for you as you do have to see him for the majority of the day, there is no space and this too would be very difficult to manage, I am sorry that this recovery can not be more pleasant for you, however I think you know that there is no future here with this man, even if he was to leave his wife, which I am sure he has no plans to do, he has shown you how he behaves in a relationship and can be easily distracted and I am not sure that this is someone to invest time or emotion in. I know it is hard for you and I am so very sorry that you have been drawn into this situation but I also hope that you have taken some notes on this and that the lesson is learnt.
You will find love UncertainlyMe99, real love so please don't settle and pin your hopes on a situation that can only end in tears. You deserve someone for you, wholly and only you and this man is not that person.
I think maybe there is a conversation needed here to ask him to stop, to stop reassuring you of his feelings, to stop reaching out to you, to respect the fact that this relationship has no future and to let you move on with your life.
We are here for you, to chat, to give you some support when you feel like you may slip and reconnect with this man, reach out to us and to purge and to cry. You will have to almost grieve this experience as it did mean so very much to you, however it is toxic and can not serve you or him well.
Please take care of you.
welcome to the forum , this is a supportive and non judgmental place.
I was about to write my reply and I just saw Sarah has written such a understanding sympathetic and comprehensive reply but I really don’t have much to add.
it is wonderful when someone pays you attention when you have low self esteem, I have experienced that.
We are here to support you so feel free to post when you can.
Thank you so much for having the courage to reach out, it can’t have been easy. Please know that you do not have to do this alone, we’re here to listen and help you.
It sounds like you’re managing many different emotions right now which must be very overwhelming. It seems like your co-worker became such a big part in your life and you obviously have many memories with them. Ending relationships can bring on a range of difficult feelings, and I understand that it may be especially hard for you, given that you still have to continue seeing him at work. It might take time to get over the loss of the relationship, but know that we’re here to support you along the way.
I really empathise with how difficult this experience must be for you and please know that myself and others in the forums are here to support you and listen to what you are going through. Feel free to let us know how we can best support you, and keep us updated on how you're going whenever you feel ready.
You are extremely breve for accepting this issue and reaching out for support and you are not alone in this situation as some people may experience this kind of uncertainty in a relationship. I cannot offer much support, however, I can tell you that (from what you have stated) that you need to fall in love with yourself and realise that you deserve someone better. Think about what the repercussions of such a relationship could have on all parties involved but think about yourself for the most part. You are not an option and you don't deserve to be second best. These types of relationships are never healthy - in any way. You must also understand that there's nothing wrong with you as he is the one who is having an affair. Imagine if he decided to end his marriage and what it may be like for you in the future. He has already demonstrated to you that he is unstable and is unable to have a committed relationship and he won't be able to because he has already done something so evil and wrong to his marriage. You don't want to be that person in the future. You don't deserve to go through that. No one can tell you what to do, however, you need to find it in your heart to be with someone who is available and who can give you the life and commitment that you deserve. Learn to believe in yourself and trust yourself and be self-compassionate about who you are as a person. You deserve greatness and love.
Be brave, be strong.
The thing that I have realized with age is that life is a million different shades of grey, and is rarely so black and white as to be right and wrong (even if we try and paint it as such). A person withholds affection and any form of basic kindness from their partner for decades, and that partner finds solace in someone who appreciates them - does that technically make that person wrong? Life is rarely so simple.
If you have both fallen in love and enjoy each other’s company then that happens. But I suppose the thing that worries me in this circumstance is the “he won’t leave his wife” factor. If you both get on so wonderfully and he pursued you at the start, then surely that would be the logical outcome?If he had no intention of leaving his wife then why did he start it in the first place? I suppose it’s that part that unsettles me the most for you, that he seems to have all of the cards, the stability of a marriage and someone at home, and also the excitement of an affair with a younger woman. But will that satisfy you when you can’t speak to him or see him over the Christmas holidays, or he goes on vacation with his family? Can’t call him or count on him when you’re sick or need him.
thanks for writing
Although I haven't been in that exact situation I relate a lot to wanting someone for their support and the confidence they give you.
I suggest trying to just for a try see how you go without initiating contact with for lets say 30 days etc... and see how that feels. You may find that you have ways to feel confident that weren't just from him. You may see things about him that you didn't really like that much. It's hard to discern when you are with the person all the time, but sometimes with just a little space, you can see new things. I'm sorry this must be such a hard time for you. Thank you fr sharing so honestly, i totally understand where you are coming from and the nice feeling of someone respecting you and assisting you, which you really desrve and need - I hope you can find ways to still feel loved and speial outside of this r/ship
Hi Mr Paul,
Yes I know you are right. I honestly believe the only way to completely stop and not be caught in the situation is to basically stop working there. I am searching for another job at the moment, but it doesn't seem to be working out so well (especially with all thats going on in the world today). Its also very unfortunate, because I quite enjoy that job, and its a shame that I created this situation for myself and have ruined it.
I absolutely agree with the logic of it, thats for sure. My head knows what the right thing to do is... its doing it that may be difficult. I thought it would be easier... but my emotions make it so hard.
Thank you for your response. I appreciate it.
I really want to thank you for your gentle and heartfelt comment.
I think something that I've been thinking is that maybe I have nothing else in my life to focus on, which is why this has become almost (or is) an attachment. I have work sometimes (less these days), but other than that, I have no goals and little motivation to extend myself further into other things because I quite frankly don't think I can do much.
I appreciate you saying that I do deserve more than this, as I also know that too... I just seem to be fighting with the part of me that feels like I "need" him. Which also makes me think of how much my relationship with myself needs strengthening so that I do not attach myself to people. I somehow need to learn how to love myself and do something more with my life so my focus is on other more important things. I dont really know where to start sometimes though.
I honestly believe that getting another job will be the only way to get out of it. The difficulty in working and going back to friends is something I thought would be a lot easier and that i would be stronger. But what I've noticed is when I tried to stop it, I crawled back to him because I cannot deal with it when people leave me. I feel abandoned and it triggers so much sadness I find it hard to cope. Sometimes in previous attachments to other people (not romantic), it hurts me so much when people leave (the sadness and anxiety i feel is ridiculous... and they don't even realise how much it affects me. Maybe its part of the reason why I find it difficult to stop the situation altogether.
The extremely sad part is, this situation is not one anyone knows about, as you may have guessed. I have told one person who I know won't tell a soul and is very non-judgmental... but at some point, you are right, I have to grieve. And I imagine ill have to do it in silence... and that is ever so painful. Then again, many of us suffer in silence... so maybe it just another period of that I have to get through.
Again im so grateful for your lovely comment. It means a lot to me that people don't think the worst of me. There are many different perspectives on situations, what is right and wrong, etc. I'm not saying what I'm doing is right.. its just hard when you are emotionally involved with another.
Its such a relief to know that many don't think I'm a terrible person for this. The guilt is sometimes suffocating.