I’m 29, happily married for five years, working at this company four years where I met someone (same age, also happily married).
We connected professionally, all business-related. We started also talking about family relationships, then deep conversations sharing every detail of our lives.
Her personality matched mine. Our talks throughout the day made me happy.
We made many plans after work - going for dinner, drinks, to the park (just as friends but lying to our partners about where we were and with whom).
I was thinking of her as someone more than just a co-worker but kept these feelings inside. When I decided to tell her, she said that she didn’t feel the same way, only sees me as a friend.
I respected her feelings, so we agreed to pretend that I never said anything. Our long daily conversations kept happening, but it was hard for me.
Our talks got very personal – she’d share even what underwear she was wearing, her favourite sex position, etc., which was painful due to my feelings.
I told her that I needed some time away from her and less talking together, but she disagreed.
She now refuses to give me some space and keeps sharing details of her life.
I’ve always been very respectful and don’t want to hurt her because I care a lot about her.
What should I do?
Confused and Uncomfortable
She’s become a relentless tease, in a conscious effort through sexual innuendo to keep you hooked on this emotional affair… which is what it is.
She doesn’t want to interfere with her “happy” marriage, and she wants continued adoration from you. So, she deals in mind-porn, with word-images of her panties and positions.
Her current behaviour is extreme. Unless she stops, you’ll need to take strong, sure steps to disengage: Refuse to listen, don’t answer non-work emails/texts.
Be prepared that, if angered by your distancing, she may even stalk you or complain to your mutual employer that you harassed her.
Start writing (on a secure document) a private record of how this situation developed mutually, in case it’s needed.
Meanwhile, consider telling your wife something of what happened, before your co-worker contacts her first.
Marital counselling may be helpful to you and your wife at this time.
I was in love for one year when young but learned that he was cheating. Then I met someone who gave me his shoulder to cry on.
At 21, I had our first child. But he loved to drink and party. We split up.
I met someone else, didn’t use protection and got pregnant again. This guy went to jail for three months. When he returned, I got pregnant again and we married.
He was an abuser – physically, emotionally and mentally. But I stayed for 20 years. After that, I didn’t trust any men, so had no other relationships.
At 63 now, I never got over my trust issues and that man’s beatings. But I wish I could find someone who’d love me.
Be careful not to repeat an old pattern. You don’t have to depend on a man to make your life happier.
You’re mature, experienced. Enjoy family members you like, good women friends and only men you’ve known a good while and respected.
Get physical exercise (even just walking), go outside in fine weather, attend any event where people gather for companionship – a picnic, barbeque, etc.
Making your immediate world more satisfying can beat back loneliness.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman “stuck on a couch” despite being an active person, because her boyfriend’s preference is to just sit and drink beer with her (June 22):
Reader – “Like the song says, "Sometimes love just ain't enough." Compatibility is very important.
“Life’s much more enjoyable when your partner is on the same page in terms of goals and lifestyle.
“If it always comes down to having to compromise (because you want and enjoy opposite things), then there’ll be a limit to the amount of happiness you can find together.
“Love is great, but happiness is equally important for a healthy long-term relationship.
“A good lesson for those who are dating - focus less on the warm fuzzies and more on personality and lifestyle compatibility.
“Then when love blossoms. happiness can also follow.”
Ellie – Good advice. He feels “neglected” if she does something else even in the same room. This unequal relationship holds no happy future for her.
Tip of the day:
A co-worker “friend only” who’s sexually teasing you, is playing mind-games you need to end.