Feelings developing for married man
I would love your advice and please do not judge me too harshly.
I have recently separated from my husband of several years. I am in my late thirties and I am really enjoying my new life. I love my freedom and the fact that the pain has subsided. I am making the best of my new situation with friends, hobbies and focusing on my work which I really love. I have a very nice manager who, in the past couple of months, I have really become quite friendly with. Nothing untoward, we only joke and laugh a lot and I feel valued based on the work I do with and for him. He is married, I believe fairly happily, and he is very professional, i.e. not inappropriate. Over the past few weeks and months, he has really noticed my new me and we have had quite honest, down to earth chats about life. Especially following what I have gone through. He has been a great support and most of all, the fun at work has been a real motivator.
We have now started to share more personal details. Nothing sexual but just personal thoughts, dreams, wishes and considerations. I greatly enjoy that because we seem to have an amazing connection with a lot of, nearly eerie, similarities. I really like him and I feel a warm connection towards him. Nothing has happened between us and I think he would be fairly reluctant to do anything that is considered of "bad character" and so would I. We both have very strong morals, however, we cannot deny that there is a special connection between the two of us which links us more closely regularly. Today we went for a drink after work because I had a bad experience with a co-worker. We had a really nice time although I believe he was sometimes a bit concerned about keeping the necessary distance. I guess, the reason why I write this is because I would like some advice. I very much enjoy that special connection with him and I believe so does he, but I am worried about where this may lead. And I don't want to make a fool of myself either. I am not a homewrecker or flirt, but I hardly ever got along so well with someone.
I find myself a little confused. I am not interested in a relationship at the moment, but I do very much enjoy the "thing" that seems to develop between us and I cannot even define what it is. He makes me smile. Maybe he is really just a nice guy and I'm completely misinterpreting. But he told me I am attractive and sophisticated and that I am a lovely lady. What should I do? I am keen to continue but don't want to do the wrong thing.
Hey I have lived through this keep him as a special friend to be treasured, a friend is worth a thousand one night stands.
A connection like yours can last a life time.
It’s great fantasy that he may run away with you & live happily ever after , but realistically you kiss or fool around and you wreck a lifelong friendship
let him know if he’s ever single your interested but don’t cross that moral line while he’s married . Sure there are grey areas and you can be special friends that share a special bond . Enjoy that bond it’s better than sex
once you cross the moral line there is no turning back & if he chooses wife & kids you end up with nothing
Welcome AussieGal to the forum.
This is a caring, friendly supportive and non judgmental place.
Coffeelover has written a helpful reply.
I can understand how good it feels you have a special connection to someone as a good friend is very important.
As you have recently separated you are probably vulnerable and very receptive to someone show you kindness and friendship.
This man is not only married but is your manager so if you wanted more it could affect his marriage as your work . How would you feel if you lost your job?
Your manager has indicated he is happily married and there is a distance as he is your boss.
You have a 'relationship' now as worker and manager , and he may see that he has been friendly with someone who has had problems at home with the separation.
What do you imagine would happen if your special 'thing' develops into something more?
It is hard to know what his reactions and chats mean . I am wondering if the manager is much older than you, because some men would think that by saying someone was attractive and a lovely lady was just giving a compliment not flirting.
When you went for a drink he may have been concerned about you in his role as a manager to make sure his staff are happy. He would be concerned maybe what others would think if you were seen drinking together. You said his behaviour is appropriate.
I think having a good friend is a valuable thing to have in one's life.
You have come out of an emotional marriage and this man is paying you attention possibly as a manager.
In the future you will find a connection with other people and as you have said you are not interested in a relationship at the moment.
These are just my thoughts and you may not agree.
Feel free to post here as much as you like.
thank you so much for your response, I really appreciate your words. I totally agree with you, I am worried that this may go too far and ruin a friendship and a professional relationship. I do believe that he is becoming slightly emotionally attached beyond the manager duties and we do share a very personal bond. But I would much rather make sure we keep that alive than ruin everything. I have been hurt enough, I don't want to go through heartache again and I wish no one else to go through that either. Especially not other people's partners, too.
I guess, I would be interested in your advice on how I do manage the situation. The way we speak at the moment is, at times, fairly close and very open and transparent. I would like to keep that but how do I manage the situation that may lead to more. I don't mean how can I stop myself from making a mistake but rather, should there be an occasion that could lead to more, how can I make clear that I care a lot about our connection but do not believe it would be a good move to progress further because we would probably both feel terrible about it. In other words, how can I convey that message without appearing cold or pushing him away? And how do I make sure I do not send him mixed messages because I definitely do not want to lead him on but I am usually a very open and warm person when I care about someone. I don't want him to be put off but I also hope that he would understand there are limitations. How do I best do that in case he does not in the situation? I know he would agree with me, I just don't want someone to feel completely rejected or foolish because of my words and actions. And I don't really want to change too much about how things are going now because it is great and we both thrive with this development and being able to confide in each other and work great as a team.
In other words, I don't want to lead him on but I would like to be able to be me around him, which is exactly what I am right now. And that me is heartfelt and honest. But I also want to make sure we do not get into an awkward situation where either of us gets embarrassed or hurt to the point where it destroys our connection. I am probably repeating myself but it would be great to hear from you again. Thank you so much!
I know your situation and it is a great feeling to have someone special in your life , i believe it is a delicate situation but if you both use restraint & self control you can maintain this.keep away from anything sexualised or flirty,
I always think it’s best to be open & honest, You can tell him His friendship means the world to you and reinforce that it’s a special friendship unlike anything you have with someone else.Something to be treasured
If He agrees & feels the same you have a beautiful friendship and are very lucky
if He has other thoughts you have sort of warned Him without warning him, not to wreck things with something inappropriate
just my 2 cents worth
You friendship with your friend has I think filled a gap in your emotional life that has been empty for some time. When someone understands us and knows us more than ourselves this can have a high emotional feeling of beening loved and supported. For we seemed to be more judged and stereotyped in society and the elite few that allows us to be our true selfs lifts the person up emotionally on new levels.
I agree with comments from Coffee lover and Quirkywords. I think it be very unwise to push the boundaries outside of friendship. Enjoy the chats, and kindness. To be carried away would hurt lots of parties and that feeling of a special friendship would no longer exist and no one would win. If you feelings get too emotional attached to him just step back a bit. Remind yourself that you respect his family and that you are a great person for not trying to take advantage of the situation.
I think you find the correct level of friendship by not beening clingy to his emotional care and not depending on his social talks to make you fully happy.
I think it nice that you seem to have a friendship that not of trying to take advantage of someone. Their not a lot out their.
Aussiegal.Thanks for your reply.
coffee lover and hang10 have written very helpful and u derstanding suggestions.
Aussiegal, I think as the others have said you need to tel him how much you appreciate his friendship and be honest . can you set boundaries so you are friends but no more. It is hard because you feel special but he is married and he is your boss. So can you see your friendship as part of work.
After a relationship ends, one feels very confused so it is nice to have someone to talk to, it is a friendship which is what you need. In time you will feel confident to open up to other people.
You're definitely in a challenging situation based on a number of reasons and I can appreciate your interest in wanting to manage what you currently face. Someone once said to me 'If you wish to manage something you must first assess what your goal or objective is'. Good advice, I believe. Sounds like your goal is to create boundaries for both him and yourself, without upsetting anyone in the process.
It's a little outside the square but you could consider buying yourself a special ring to wear on one of your fingers. The ring would be handy for a couple of reasons when it comes to setting boundaries:
- This addition to your person could casually enter into conversation. For example 'I bought this the other day as a symbol of my commitment to myself in seeking a better life. It reminds me that the only deep relationship I wish to enter into at this stage of my life is the relationship I wish to develop with myself.' Something along those lines.
- Seeing we're typically visual creatures (relating strongly to the things we see), if temptation comes up, you could look to the ring as a commitment in respecting all concerned - respecting your own greater good, your commitment to each other as friends etc, etc. You may decide that turning the ring 3 times signifies that the conversation (the path it's taking) needs to change. You could relate to it in a number of unique ways.
Personally, I wear on my finger what I refer to as my 'Higher connection/consciousness' ring. Engraved on it (evenly spaced) are the words 'ALWAYS WITH YOU' which can also read 'WITH YOU ALWAYS'. Sometimes I find myself turning it to the left when, deep down, I know I should be moving forwards in life. I typically know when the solution I'm considering is not so good as I find myself turning it to the right, backwards. I actually loaned this ring to a friend when she split from her husband and she reported it as having made a surprising difference in her decision making and sense of inner strength.
As I say, the ring idea is a little outside the square but rings have a history of being symbolic things, representing commitment. For better or for worse, for richer or poorer...this commitment we have to our self, to remain conscious through both joy and hardship, is what sees us evolve.
Take care of yourself AussieGal81
thank you so much for your advice and sorry for the long silence. Things have changed a lot, however, in a completely different way to what you may expect. We had a lot of conversations and I set the boundaries which he was very happy with because he equally felt really bad about the situation. It turned out that there was a lot I did not know about him and he opened up to me. His wife is an alcoholic who has made his life terrible. He decided to separate from her which he recently initiated. He is currently looking after her to make sure she does not do anything silly but he is very definitive on his decision that that is not the life he wants to live anymore.
We have had a lot of conversations and nothing physical has happened because we both do not consider that the right thing to do while he is still finalising things with his wife. I am really glad he has the same moral compass and more than the physical side, we are extremely drawn to each other from an emotional connection point of view. And we would actually like to see where this could lead. I am not vulnerable after my marriage breakdown. I know this was suggested but I have never been happier in my life and I have never been clearer about what I do and do not want, both from life and a relationship. This is not a crazy hook-up, rebound or a sexual thing. I have never had such a connection with someone and he feels the same. We both cannot explain it but it is like our souls are intertwined.
So we have decided to give it a go next year. I am going away for a few weeks, which is good for us both so he can sort his situation and emotional state out before he enters into something new. But he is similar to me - marriage has been so bad for a long time, that all the grief and thinking have already occurred. I know you probably all disagree but please give this the benefit of the doubt. Not all situations that sound typical are the same. He is a very genuine man, well-liked and with very strong personal integrity. I have worked with him for 2 years with no spark but then we spent a few hours travelling in the car together when we talked and we both went home that night knowing that something had changed. So it is worth exploring, carefully and considerately, I think. We want to take it very slowly because we are both interested in the real deal and feel very comfortable with each other without physical things taking pole position. What do you think?