For the past five years of my 20-year marriage, communication and affection have broken down. I wanted to leave, we discussed it. But I didn’t leave.
Similar to a writer in your April 20th column, I too have a co-worker with whom I hit it off, five years ago. We joked and flirted a bit.
He was gracious, a gentleman, always helping me. He’d given what seemed to be hints, but we’ve never crossed any lines.
We’re always professional, never seeing each other outside of work.
I’ve suggested having a coffee after work, but he always says he’s busy.
I have feelings for him. I want to know if there’s something there.
Would you suggest I just give up on this, or not? I’ve seen a counsellor who suggested I talk to a lawyer about options of separation if I’m at that point.
Feelings for Co-Worker
Although there are many similarly conflicted relationship scenarios (why else would so many blues songs strike the same chord?), we’re all unique individuals when we face them.
The writer of the April 20 question didn’t want to break up her marriage. You, have wanted to leave your husband, but didn’t.
That’s why a counsellor would suggest your seeing a lawyer about separating – a reality check for you to face what’s involved and how it’d affect your life.
You’re nowhere near a “feelings” conversation with your co-worker, since he’s rebuffed your attempts to meet outside of work.
He obviously likes you as a person, but he’s not even hinting at feelings.
This is at most a crush, more likely an escape dream. But as the saying goes, there’s nothing there, “there.”
Decide what to do about your marriage, not about this co-worker.
Six years ago, my ex suddenly disappeared from the lives of our two daughters and me.
She took the majority of our assets, including education savings plans.
The three of us have struggled emotionally and financially, but with my retirement savings and their penchants for winning scholarships, they've thrived.
We've always been very close, but amazingly so now.
Recently, their mother reappeared suddenly with her new wealthy husband. She visits them unannounced at their schools and gives them large amounts of money (now over $50,000).
They take it and try to give it to me. I refuse it, but am torn whether to express my opinion that they should refuse it.
They were happy when she first reappeared, but are now finding her constant rewriting of history, withering criticism of me, and self-pity, annoying.
I feel this barrage of money is unhealthy. Should I express my opinion or let my intelligent daughters work this out for themselves?
Betrayed, Dumped and Loved
Why question the judgement of two such bright, thoughtful, loyal young women?
They tried to give you the money, are entitled to it as part of what was missing from their education fund, and are free to accept it even if as “gifts” from their mother’s guilt feelings.
Unhealthy? Not likely, since they already know she’s trying to buy their acceptance of her new script.
But otherwise there can be emotional value in their life even without the money, from having their mother reconnect.
The best position you can take now is being available to advise them on sound use of the money (some for immediate needs, some saved for longer-term use).
They love and respect you. Don’t let the money intrude on your relationship with them.
READER’S COMMENTARY “I wrote you many years ago. I’d fallen in love with a co-worker who was dating another female co-worker ten years older with a child.
“You answered not to tell him how I felt.
“I knew in my heart that he was worth the chase.
“I’m so happy that I followed my heart and told him anyway. We’ve been together happily for six years.
“We have a daughter and are about to purchase our first home.
“I’d normally agree, that if someone’s in a relationship you should put your feelings aside and move on.
“But, if you find that person whom you KNOW in your bones is someone truly amazing - go for it!”
Ellie – In some cultures, psychic readers “throw” bones to predict the future. You used your own “bones” and it turned out.
It more often doesn’t work out that way, so I may advise otherwise… until a person’s determination answers his or her own question.
Tip of the day:
Unless married people are prepared for the realities of separation, an affair can become a nightmare.