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How to get rid of these feelings and truly move on?

Tagged as: Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (8 August 2018) 8 Answers - (Newest, 9 August 2018)
A female Canada age 26-29, anonymous writes:

Dear Aunts and uncles,

Please don't judge me for this post. I genuinely need some good advice. My stomach feels empty and my throat feels tight. I feel so wretched.

It started three years' ago. This guy at work started flirting with me. I am in a long-term relationship, him married. It was mostly being in my personal space, compliments, winking, the usual. It made me feel good. My relationship had been three years' old by then and the beginning honeymoon stage had worn off. I felt very flattered. To cut a long story short, I could never see myself with this guy, my partner is a very good person, my best friend and I love him but the spark has dimmed. This guy however was/is exciting.

It carried on like this on and off for the last three years. On and off because we would play games with each other. Sometimes we would pretend to ignore each other etc. It was only ever a distraction and an ego boost in my mind.

Last year my partner proposed to me and I said yes. I kept the details quiet at work. However, a guy I know who is going out with one of my friends, works with this guy I flirt with and he has always been jealous of our connection. Before anyone says it, he is not loyal to my partner because he doesn't know him at all and has made disparaging remarks about him before too. I think he is just one of those guys that likes to be the one getting the attention. So anyway, he started working with my crush and once he knew about the wedding he started going on and on and on about it in the office where my crush works. Now my crush hasn't been anywhere near me in about two months. I see him fleetingly, if at all. I have a feeling he is avoiding me and I wasn't prepared for my reaction. I feel very very bad.

My crush has also confessed to another person we both know that he is unhappy with his wife and has spoken to the kids about leaving her. This is none of my business. I don't want to leave my partner. I am having counselling to deal with the lack of spark in my relationship and what this means for my upcoming marriage etc. (so please no lectures about this because I am dealing with it).

However, I am really, really feeling almost ill. I feel like I am bereaving this guy. I thought it was just an ego boost and a bit of fun having someone to casually flirt with but I actually feel really deeply hurt and gutted that he is avoiding me and actually, I don't really understand it because he is married anyway, and we have never had an affair or anything like that so why all of a sudden start avoiding me when someone keeps mentioning my wedding?

Someone else at work, who knows nothing of this situation, became suspicious that he might have had feelings for me because they said something insulting jokey about me and he was in their face. Also my friend said that someone mentioned the wedding in front of him and he started to walk off as if he didn't want to hear about it.

Anyway, I a digressing. What I really want to know is, how do I get over these feelings of almost a heartache? It feels really hollow deep in the pit of my stomach and I don't know how to get rid of these feelings.

I know he has done both of us a favour. I don't want to leave my partner, I love him, he is my best friend and I want to make it work with him. I am prepared to forget about him and all others and make this marriage work with my full attention and energy, but I truly wasn't expecting to feel this sad about it all. I feel like I have been dumped and I haven't even been out with anyone!!

View related questions: affair, at work, best friend, crush, flirt, jealous, move on, spark, wedding

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 August 2018):

You say you want to work on your marriage/relationship with all your attention and energy.

I beg to differ.

You have come to a site to ask how to get rid of the feelings you have for another man.

I would stop kidding yourself. You don't want to work on this engagement. You want to find a distraction from feeling so bad because you have lost the attention of someone you really fancy at work.

That is seriously NO basis for a successful marriage. You are hankering after someone else and while you are thinking of this other man, you have NO thoughts or feelings for your fiancé.

Please don't think I'm judging, because I'm not. I have been exactly where you are. I was 'in love' with one of the best men anyone would ever meet. So lovely, funny, attractive, successful, loyal, affectionate and any other adjective you would care to name. And he was crazy about me. And we were engaged.

And then I met a man who blew my socks off. And I realised what I was missing with my fiancé. Excitement. Passion. And I am someone who needs those things. I am not someone who wants a white picket fence, married life and kids.

And I left my fiancé for this man, because there was no way I could turn my back on 'exciting man' and settle down into a lovely, but essentially boring routine.

We were together for five years. And I never once regretted leaving my fiancé for this man, even though I would have described him as my best friend to everyone.

Can you really, hand on heart, say you want to continue with your fiancé? Can you give him the love and care and undivided attention that he deserves?

Because you've already failed all three.

Tell your fiancé the truth about your feelings about this other man. Tell him about the way you feel deeply hurt and gutted because he doesn't flirt with you anymore. That you kept your engagement quiet at work because you didn't want the man you really fancy at work to find out and stop giving you attention. That you feel as if you've been dumped and you've never even been out with him.

See what your fiancé says. See if he wants you to give your full attention and energy to something that you stopped giving your full attention and energy to, when you met this man.

Or imagine it the other way around. Only imagine it with someone you truly want i.e. the man at work. Imagine you and he have got it together. You're engaged. And then he tells you that he feels the same way about another woman. That he can't bear the fact that she's stopped flirting with him. That he has a hollow pit in his stomach and it feels like he's heartbroken even though he's never been out with her.

How would you feel then? Would you want him to give his full attention and energy towards trying to make it work with you?

I'm guessing not. I'm guessing that you would want him to get as far away from you as possible, so your broken heart can heal and you can find someone who really loves you.

I'm not judging you. I'm not taking the moral high ground. I have done the same as you as I said earlier. I'm just trying to make you see that your fiancé doesn't deserve this. Doesn't deserve someone trying to make a go of it with him, when her heart is not truly in it. In fact her heart is somewhere else completely.

Do your fiancé a favour. Let him be with someone who loves him properly.

Do yourself a favour too. Don't try and live a lie your whole life. What on earth for?

Also, you weren't digressing when you told us about the two incidents which might hint at the fact that your married friend at work might like you back. You are thinking that maybe he actually has real feelings for you. And yes, he might. Honestly, please be honest with yourself. The fact that the guy at work might have feelings for you, interests you FAR MORE than trying to make things work with your fiancé.

Good luck.

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A male reader, Billy Bathgate United States + , writes (9 August 2018):

Do the poor guy you’re getting married too and yourself a favor and call off the wedding. It’s clear you’re not in love with him and are marrying more out of obligation.

After that then you can work on grieving the loss of your affair partner.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 August 2018):

Must say I agree with the other comments . You can't ask us not to judge .. we don't any way but we do have to give out opinion and yes I agree you have had an emotional affair .. it may not have been physical but you have all the symptoms of an emotional affair .

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 August 2018):

You are not ready to married your fiance. Broke up with him. Be honest with yourself.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (9 August 2018):

Yes these things do happen at work places and quite often. This is what makes those stressful work hours bearable and promps you to get up every morning and go to work, day in and day out. My advice is think twice before you go into this marriage and perhaps consider a trial seperation from your partner to sort out your tboughts and feelings. It is better to part now than after marriage if you are not quite sure of your feelings and please don't go into a marriage just because you feel it is the appropriate thing to do. Even if you have a shread of doubt in your heart then don't don't get married. As for this other married guy at work, he is married and as with most marriages he is bored with the monotoney of the daily routine of family life and wants to add some thrill and excitement to his boring and misrable life, BUT, short of threating or breaking up his marriage and I am sure if you wanted to escilate you affair with him to a higher level he would probably run a mile away from you or probably he will start an illicit affair with you as long as he can keep it secret from his wife. My advice is just know what this is all about and keep it as office flirtation and joke and laugh among collegues. If you can't do that then perhaps you need a job change.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (9 August 2018):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntReally really difficult not to "judge" when someone who is gearing up for marrying her "best friend" is already having to involve outside help "to deal with the lack of spark in my relationship and what this means for my upcoming marriage etc" yet her MAIN concern is not her fiance or their relationship but a stupid meaningless flirtation with a married guy.

I feel so sorry for your fiance. So very sorry. Do you honestly think you are being fair on him, agreeing to marry him when you are already bored of him and looking elsewhere for excitement? Is it just that he asked, so you felt you had to accept because, if you had refused, you would have to split up and that would leave you on your own? I get that he is your "best friend" but friends don't always make good life partners and almost certainly not if you are already bored with them such a short way into the relationship. You've only been together 3 years. What about the next 3? And the next? And perhaps the next 30?

Your fiance is probably a great guy who would walk over hot coals for you, but is steady and, well, just comfortable and boring. He would make a great life partner for someone who does not need a fix of excitement on a regular basis but just wants someone reliable and steady. You, however, do need that fix so how is that going to work long term? You should seriously consider whether you should go ahead with this wedding - especially when your PRIME concern is how you feel about losing some married man's attention.

Most people, when they get engaged, are excited and can't wait to share it with everyone around them. You, however, kept your engagement quiet at work. For me, that says it all. Your relationship with your fiance is not your PRIME concern; your flirtation with an "exciting" married man IS. You kept your engagement quiet so as not to spook your colleague. Again, so hard not to judge as it shouts, loud and clear, where your priorities lie.

My advice: dump your steady, reliable but boring fiance. You KNOW you don't REALLY want to marry him. Neither of you will be happy long term in this marriage. Then go for what you are yearning for - the attention of this married guy. One of two things will happen: he will either stay with his wife and keep you as his "excitement" fix or he may actually go ahead and leave his wife, and the you two would be free to have a relationship. Guess what? 3 years down the line, he will not be anywhere near as "exciting" as he seems now - when you have seen him having a pee in the morning while scratching his pubes and yawning, when you have picked up his dirty socks off the floor, when you have seen the skid marks in his underpants, when you have had the stress of dealing with a disgruntled ex-wife and the children who will see you as a home breaker and "the other woman".

Good luck.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (9 August 2018):



"BTW, you heard things through the grapevine about his marriage? Now you're in that same grapevine!"

" Getting doses of affection by-way of flirtations."

Post script:

Don't be made at the guy who got in your way. He did you a favor. He saved you from a big mistake!

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (9 August 2018):

Never start a post off with "don't judge." You're the one seeking advice! If you're going to censor or suppress your source of advice; you're basically asking us to tell you what you want to hear. The best advice is the toughest to hear. So that's my warning to you! I will lecture all I please! If you don't wish to read it, someone else can use the help. Nobody has a patent on opinions or advice.

How can people give effective advice or an objective-opinion without using judgement? Just starting that way will make people do exactly that! You're warning us that what you're about to tell us is gross, bad, illegal, or immoral. We're an advice site, and we've heard it all. We've been there, and we've done that!

Here goes!

You're going through withdrawal over the other guy. You were using him as a vitamin-supplement for your lethargic-relationship; but you got addicted! Now you're feeling the wretched withdrawal; because you need a fix. He was compensating for the shortcomings of your fiance.

I'm glad the friend ran interference and messed it up! It was sort of the way bad things sometimes work together for our good. You already have someone you love, he was just dull. So you just put him in the back of the drawer. You don't marry somebody now, and fix it later! What kind of logic is that?

You should tell him you're feeling unsatisfied in your relationship; and give him suggestions on how he could fix it. It's called opening a line of communication. It builds trust, and it improves the relationship. Cheating is not a substitute for that. Communicating and opening-up is what people in-love do for each other. Tell me what you need, I love you; so I'll see that you get it. If he can't, you've got no business marrying him.

Back to that married-guy. Just because a guy says he's unhappy with his wife doesn't mean it's true. He could just be tired of the same old vagina. It usually means he likes to mess-around on the side. If you heard he's unhappy in his marriage by-way of rumor or through the grapevine; it means he talks unfavorably about his wife behind her back. To people who tell others! That makes him a rotten piece of dirt. A scum-bucket. He's the one contemplating cheating!

He's a cheating-scoundrel. All he wants is an unfamiliar vagina to feel now and then. He flirted with you in your work-environment; which constitutes sexual-harassment. How could he be so ballsy as to presume you wouldn't mind a married-man winking and making passes at you? A bit chancy for a married-guy, wouldn't you think? That comes with experience! Picking just the right target! What are the odds?!!

A man who goes after other women before he divorces his wife has no credibility. If she's so terrible, then just leave her; and chase all the skirts you want!

You got caught-up. He was giving you the attention you craved. You were also under the influence of busy-hormones. Intrigued by the thrill of cheating on your boyfriend. You were offering that scoundrel your vulnerability; because the well dried-up at home. That occurs with time, dealing with stress, financial-troubles, and general boredom. You're in the 3-5 year lag-phase. Either you get married, or you breakup.

Pardon my presumptions; I can only presume you feel guilty.

Luckily, no sex is involved; so cheating is psychological, not physical. If you've transferred feelings; you don't love your fiance enough to marry him. He's just a convenient option. A..."might as well!" Since other options fell through.

The guy you said stuck his nose in your business; isn't the guy you should be judging so harshly. Your harsh-judgement is a bit misguided. He blew your cover and sent you back to where you belong. No chasing after married-men for a little attention. There are strings attached. He wants sex. There are no feelings, except what's happening below the waist. Flirtations at work don't mean squat! BTW, you heard things through the grapevine about his marriage, no you're in that same grapevine. Don't delude yourself, everybody knows!

I do hope you feel some guilt, which you deserve. The misery of withdrawal that comes with detachment; only means the source of your dopamine-overdose was abruptly cutoff. Your feelings are raw due to your unhappiness. Talk to your man.

You're feeling the emotional-jones that hits; like a crackhead feels withdrawal and needs his crack.

It hurts in the pit of your stomach, you get dry-mouth, you choke, and feel queasy. If you hear his voice, it sends chills through you. The fact he doesn't respond or talk to you, makes you feel as if he punched you! Yes, that's jonesing for a fix. You were conditioned over the course of years. Getting does of affection by-way of flirtations.

Good news! You'll get-over him.

The bad news is, you haven't gotten to the worst-part yet. When uncontrollable tears hit, your body aches, and you feel numbness or dizzy. Your mate will notice you're behaving strangely. Blame it on your period, don't break his heart.

I think it's dishonest to use him as a consolation-prize. Your second-choice. There could be irony in all this. He could be cheating too!

I think guilt is going to gnaw at you for a long-time, if you marry him. You shouldn't rush into it. Not until you've gotten over the withdrawal and detachment-process over that scoundrel. That could take months, maybe longer!

Have a nice long engagement. You should have a talk with your fiance; and discuss what needs aren't being met. It goes two-ways! You might be the bore, or the reason things got dull. You can't blame it all on him. That's just scapegoating and trying to justify your cheating. It's expected of you. Cheaters always have an excuse. It might seem like a good excuse. If you cheat, it's still an excuse. It's still wrong as hell!

Work on the problem(s) in your relationship now, don't wait.

That's my honest opinion. You can ignore it if you want.

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