I’m a male, 51, who’s attended the same gym for four years, and realized months ago that I’ve been developing feelings for my female trainer there.
I’m married, have a good job, and a couple of kids. I should be happy in my life, but I’m not.
Working out has always been an important way for me to feel super-charged and positive, but I now believe a lot of that comes from being with this woman twice a week.
I also go to the gym to work out on my own, and just to see her.
At first, I thought it was a crush. But when she went through a bad time in a relationship some months ago, I wanted to hug her every time I saw her.
She’s extremely fit (which I find VERY attractive) but also has a vulnerable quality that’s just as compelling.
I’m prepared to leave my wife. I know it’ll cause a difficult period for the kids, but they’re late-teenagers now, so will be on their own in a few years, and I hope they’ll understand.
My wife’s very independent and strong-minded. I’m positive she’ll carry on fine without me.
I’m ready to disclose my feelings and my desire for a future together, to my trainer.
How should I approach this – ask her out for a date or just cut my session with her short and tell her then?
Beyond A Crush
You’re treading on thin ice – i.e. no awareness at all of whether your trainer has feelings for you.
Or, whether she’ll be so taken aback by your disclosure that it’ll be too awkward for both of you, for her to continue as your trainer.
I urge you to focus on the realities of divorce, and not just on unfounded dreams of romantic escape.
If your marriage is truly unhappy, talk to your wife and get counselling together, to see if things can be resolved.
If you still want to separate, see a lawyer to learn what’s involved regarding finances, responsibilities, your teenager’s education and living needs, etc.
Then look in the mirror.
You have a fairly common “gym crush” - idealizing a trainer you only know in a limited way, based mostly on body image and the illusion of “closeness.”
If she’s a professional, who sees you no differently from other clients, she’ll be horrified at your offer of leaving your wife.
You’d be making her the cause of a family break-up.
My husband of 12 years has accessed gay porn three times that I know about. He denies being gay. Yet I’m always the one who initiates sex, and even affection.
We have children together. But he never gives me a hug or kiss spontaneously. He also rarely seems happy despite career success.
I’m wondering if he’s a closet gay, even to himself! He now masturbates while looking at his phone.
Until I threatened to leave him, he was addicted to recreational drugs. I believe he has social anxiety but he refuses to see a doctor.
He says he loves me and wants to keep the family together. Do I stay? I feel sad.
At a Crossroads
He’s a conflicted man, and likely sadder than you are.
Don’t make assumptions. Three viewings of gay porn in 12 years isn’t a diagnosis.
But he may have sexual and social issues from his past that he needs to explore.
Explain that you’re unhappy, too. Make his seeking therapy a condition of staying together, and also ask for some joint sessions.
Reader’s Commentary “I’m proof that having a relationship as “the other woman” can last.
“But only IF you’re prepared to be just that, the other woman.
“I’ve had a married man in my life for over 30 years. It started when I was married and continued when I was alone.
“I never got any false promises from him, so I was always aware of my role.
“He’s my best friend, my lover occasionally, and we talk everyday.
“I have my own social life and spend holidays with family.
“I’m comfortable with my life, it’s full and without any strings. I’m free to live as I want.
“But, if, as the other woman, you want marriage, children, and commitment… then RUN, take the first exit, because all that rarely happens.
“Your man’s marriage obligations, spousal illness, and family celebrations will always interfere and come first.
“You’ll always come second.”
Tip of the day:
If a “gym crush” affected your main relationship, share your story. No names or locales will be revealed.