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I'm a married man but became utterly obsessed with a young co-worker. We've been friends for a while but I just can't stop thinking that I'm destined to be with her

Tagged as: Big Questions, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (24 November 2007) 36 Answers - (Newest, 24 September 2013)
A male Canada age 51-59, anonymous writes:

Hi,

I am a married male with children, and I love my wife very much. I hired this girl (who has a boyfriend) who was almost 20 years younger than me for a 1 year term. She is extremely sociable, and has a good relationship with almost everyone she meets. At first, I hardly spoke to her, and let my team leads work with her. I received good feedback: extremely smart and great team player. Within 3-4 months, I started working closely with her on a small project and instantly fell for her. It got so, that all I did was think of her. I found every excuse to talk to her and exchange e-mails. I brought her small things like pens, etc. I found myself falling more and more in love with her with everything she did. I traveled with her once for business, and on the flights to and back, and the dinners we had, I felt so comfortable talking to her. It was very easy and effortless. I became obsessed with her. All I did was constantly think of her. I became so obessed that I saw her name everywhere. On my way to work, I spotted a travel agency carrying her name. Watching TV, her name would appear in the credits or one of the actors had her name as a stage name. Walking in the mall, I would pass by a father and daughter, and the father would call her daughter by her name. I got signs everywhere, on the radio, TV, sporing events, books, songs, etc. I was sure this was my destiny, and someone was telling me that I needed to be with this girl regardless of my current situation. So one day right after work, I met her in the elevator. I decided to ask her out to watch a movie. She replied, "sure". But then immediately said, "You mean as friends?". I said that I was extremely attracted to her. She then got very emotional and said "But I don't want things to change between us", and ran off. I was devastated. The next morning, I called her into my office and apologized to her. I made it clear that what I did was very inappropriate, and that it would never happen again. She tried to say that there were other reasons, but I stopped her at that point, as I was sure it was going to hurt very much. At that point, she was going to leave the company in a few months, and I didn't want her to have a bad image of me and the company, so I went about my business as if nothing had happened. We adjusted well, and still had a very friendly working relationship. However, I was still completely obsessed with her. I was still receiving all the signs, and even more at a furious pace. When she finally left the company, I asked if I could talk to her alone for a few minutes during a coffee break. I explained to her that what I did earlier was very bad, and that it is the only time since my marriage that something like that has happened to me. She said she felt uncomfortable at the time. She was still very uncomfortable and somewhat emotional being alone with me now, and we rushed out of there as soon as I had finished. At her going away party, I bought her some nice gifts on behalf of the company, and wrote something very nice for her. I think she really appreciated it, and stood by me during the presentation. She was gone on vacation and out of the country for the summer. I wrote to her by e-mail to give her the latest scoop on the office, and what her friends were doing. She wrote back to me on several occasions, and we became good friends. She went back to school, and we wrote e-mails to each other for the year on and off. Sometimes she would visit the office and I would talk to her. I got her a gift for her birthday. Anyway, at one point, she asked for my help in an e-mail. She had graduated from school and wanted my advice on whether she should leave the city to work at this place or this other place. We did not have an opening at our company, but given how competent she was, I was sure I could get approval to hire her. During that time we became close, (she sent me holiday greetings) and I spoke to her about my work situation. My boss wanted me take on more challenging tasks but not necessarily in my field. She was very supportive. Anyway, I managed to convince my boss to hire her, and she was very grateful as she could be with her boyfriend, and she negotiated some time off during the summer. She went on vacation, and just before she left, we had a small moment, where her and I looked both very sad as I was saying have a nice trip. A co-worker broke up the moment with a bad joke. When she was gone, I decided that this wasn't going to get me anywhere (I being married, 20 yeards difference, etc), so I decided to ignore her when she returned. After a few days, she wrote me an e-mail asking me what's happening with me? Being still obsessed, I immediately warmed up to her again. A few months later, I moved on, and I was no longer her boss. She got sick shortly after and had to go on disbility for a while. I felt very sorry for her, and kept in touch with her. I even wished the pain on me if it could rid her of the pain. At one point, she was extremely depressed, and I think I really helped her out of it. I bought her another birthday present, and helped her in any way I could. I thought she was starting to warm up to me, and maybe she felt the same way about me, but she didn't acknowledge the gift until a week later, and said that she forgot about it. I took that as a confirmation that she is not obsessed about me as I am about her. In any case, she returned to work, and she is healthy again. Our relationship since then has been hot and cold, where I decide to ignore her, and then warm up to her again. We have never talked about the incident again, and now rarely communicate through e-mail. We still eat lunch together often with other co-workers, and when we are at social work events, we seem to cling to each other, but that's about it. However, I am still completely obsessed with her. My birthday came and went and she didn't even acknowledge it. So I think this relationship is somewhat over, but all I do is think about her constantly. It has been over 3 years since we first met, and I can't seem to stop the signs and get her out of my head. My mind is telling me that this is wrong, but my heart is pushing me towards her. Its her birthday in a few days, and of course, I know everything about her, so there is no way I can forget it. But I'm contemplating not acknowledging it. I don't know what to make of this? Funny thing, is that I don't really dream about her, or even think about her in a sexual way. I've thought about quitting my job and making a fresh start, but I am so in love with her. I want to be with her all the time, and when I am not, I just think about her. My relationship with my wife follows this relationship in a way. When she is paying attention to me, I am happy, when she is not, I am sad. I've gotten very close to my wife as a result, but I don't know what that means either. I am totally confused. What should I do? Is she my destiny? Am I here to protect her? Does she feel the same way about me? Should I quit, and try to live without her? Help, before I sink deeper in this hole ...

View related questions: broke up, co-worker, depressed, has a boyfriend, married man, my boss, player

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A female reader, Comra United States +, writes (24 September 2013):

Hi there. I read your story and I'd like to tell you how I see things from my own perspective, although I hope by now your obsession is over and you don't even check out for any updates. I've been through a similar situation, only I was the object of obsession of my married and 23 years older than me boss. I knew from the very first time we met that he liked me, but as I was in a relationship with a coworker who introduced me to him, he did not act on his feelings. The relationship did not work out, and from that point on my boss started being very friendly and caring with me, contrary to his cold and distant behavior towards the rest of the team. Anyway, I must have been the last one in the office to notice his growing interest in me, and my mistake was that I underestimated the whole thing in the first place, believing that it is quite normal for an older man to be infatuated with a young and attractive girl. Things started to get bad when suddenly he moved me to a different department where we would work all alone, just the two of us, sometimes till late at night. I was really unhappy in my new post, since I did trivial tasks and I lost contact with all my coworkers. Now the only person I worked with was my boss, only for a few hours per week, since his busy schedule made him travel abroad all the time. I started feeling depressed and resentful, because I realized he was ruining my career to get me close to him, but despite all this there were many things about him that I admired and I ended up sympathizing with him. Like you, he was a clever and passionate person, who might be feeling that youth and love were going away for ever and was trying to get hold of life through the passion that only unreciprocated love offers. I definitely did not match the image of me he constructed in his own head, I was only used as a symbol of things he had lost and should be looking for in his own life. Maybe this is also the case for you, and I am not surprised that you say that you do not think sexually of this girl and that nowhere in your posts do you talk about her looks. Attractiveness made me more desirable in my boss's eyes only because more options were open before me. So I think that instead of blaming your hormones and making this obsession look like a matter of biology, you could look inside yourself and find what this girl represents for you.

Anyway, my life was becoming more and more miserable, with mixed feelings of helplessness because someone was projecting his own desires and unmet needs on me, and guilt because I might be torturing him by letting him get too close to me. So I decided to quit my job. I do not suggest that anyone should take this bold decision, I just was lucky enough to find a way out this painful situation. Those two weeks after I had given notice were amongst the hardest in my life. My boss seemed devastated, one moment he was emotional, asking me to change my mind and complaining that I did not care about him, next moment he would make scornful remarks about my new job or tell me that I was “good at deceiving people”. On my last day at work he refused to accept me in his office to wish me good luck. He tried to reach me a few days later, but I decided never to look back. I am sure time and distance have played their part and by now he can see things clearly.

I wanted to share my story without the intention to moralize. I cannot imagine that anyone would wake up one day and decide to ruin the lives of two people, or even more. Passion is all powerful and we as adults have to take on responsibility and channel this force to creating, not destroying. It is just that sometimes I wish I had not been so cruel and I had explained to my ex boss how much I cared about him as a person, without the fear that he would become even more emotionally attached to me.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (31 January 2013):

I know how you feel mate. I've been obsessed with the same guy for a year now.

I was in one or two relationships that didn't work out because I still just was not over him. I'm in a relationship now and I really love my boyfriend but I still find myself thinking about the other guy. The problem is all of my relationships are rebounds.

At least you were already married when you met this woman, and and I know your wife loves you because she has put up with this for 3 years. Obviously she knows.

My boyfriends have all known about my obsession, even my current boyfriend even though I thought it was completely imperceptible at this point. But I know he really cares about me and notices when things are on my mind. You're lucky you have your wife from before you met this woman because you had love before you met her.

You can go back to the place in your mind where you and your wife are in love and try to forget ever meeting this woman. That's what you need to do. You're lucky because when I met mine I felt like my life started over and so now everything I do compares back to him and I don't remember anything but him. It's messed up because we weren't even that serious.

I know I was more into him than he was into me, but in my heart he did and said all the right things and he was my dream guy. I do dream about him, but it's not sexual. I see the signs, all the time. so many things remind me of our tome together and make me wish for another chance. Thing is i dont know what it is that draws me to him so, whether it was just the timing or some chemical reaction...

I want to let him go so i can move on but in a way i dont want to let go of the memories because theyre of the best love ive ever known. i dont know what to do. i wonder if i'll ever get over him.I feel bad for you and your wife, myself and all our future lovers. I hope we can find a way to get over them because I know it's for the best.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (24 October 2012):

Im glad ,I found this site!!

Somehow I feel relieved knowing that Im not the only person on earth that is on the same situation.

I'm married , I'm infatuated with this male co worker and he's married too. I know its wrong but I dont know what happened!

When did I start to have feelings for him. I treated him just like a any other co worker before and then he started telling me that I'm special,he winks at me, he do little things for me, he smiles all d time when m around but hes friendly by nature.

Then that's when ,I think I started to think of him ! he texted me once that he thought of me at a grocery whilw he was shopping, (maybe hes just being friendly)?

I dont know!!! and since then I cant stop thinking about him. I would like it very much for these feellings/emotions to end , because its wrong!! But its kind of sad not to think about him!!

I think I'm crazy!! I wish there's a medicine that I could take to make it go away easily..

I never thought of cheating on my husband ..

I'm afraid if he ask me out, I'm afraid M gonna say YEs. But he has not asked me out yet!!

I dont know if he has d same feelings for me or just being friendly. I keep convincing myself hes just being Friendly to me that way I would not think of HIM!! As of now Its not helping!Pls. HELLLLLPPPPPPPP..

Its very PAINFUL!!!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (12 October 2012):

I REALLY feel sorry for your wife. You're living a lie. At least give that poor woman her freedom and the chance to find an honest man who will love her.

Obviously you are not bright enough to realize that YOU ARE BEING PLAYED. She does not have feelings for you. It is obvious, but she strings you along because it gets her a job, gifts ect.

Get over it. Speak with her as you would any other coworker. No more lunches, gifts, emails ect ect ect.

We had a man in my office who was about 20 years older than our receptionist ( and she was in her late 40's), he too was allegedly happily married, but acted like he was obcessed with her. Took her car to get it washed, put gas in it, bought her snacks, little gifts ect ect ect.

It became the TALK AND JOKE OF THE OFFICE. She had not intention of leaving her husband, she used him for the generous gifts. Finally a coworker confronted him and he claimed he was generous to us all. True, he remembered each of us at Christmas ect...but NOTHING like this woman received.

He was thought of as pathetic. Is that what you want ?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (22 June 2012):

I too am in the same situation. I am a married man, atracted and in love with a woman at work. I too am her boss. I am 10 years older, we are both married. My situation is that the past 4 years I traveled 250 miles from home to work. I have an apartment, and I commute to and from weely. So I have a lot of time to think. We exchange email a lot, im, etc...We meet regularly, and sometimes i feel an attraction. For a long time we would talk about her family, kids etc, but recently it is all work. We occasionally go to lunch, and have gone out for drinks a few times after work, but again nothing recent. At times i wonder if she sends me stuff to just communicate? I get more from her than ony one. Last fall I mustered the courage to ask he to go out for a drink. She immediately said yes. They she said she had a family thing and could not, but said maybe next week. I said fine. Then the next week cam and i asked her, and she was not able to go one night but suggest another. We did go out, had a nice time and just talked. When she left I called her cell and we continued to talk. Everything was ok. Then the holidays came, and still general office banter. Then after the holidays i took all my managers to dinner. She was among them and made sure i sat next to her . The evening went well, however later a man came to the table and was talking to another manager and her. I asked the others who he was. They said it was her husband. He came over for some reason. WellI met him and bought him a drink and just talked small talk. After a bit, he said he was leaving, she did not say anything to him the whole time. as we were leaving, she got close to me took my hand and shook it saying thanks for the dinner and drinks. Nothing more. This confused me. Then things seemed to chill a bit with work, emails etc..Then again picked up. I then asked her out for drinks and she agreed. We went and had some appetizers and drinks, and were having a good time. She was getting texts from her kids and we were laughing. Then the phone rang, it was her husband, he asked where she was and she said having a drink with me. After she hung up, she became a little distant, then left shortly after. We have not been out since. I did ask her once again, bt she said we could go and ask another manager to go too. We have been to lunch, a few times but don't talk like we did before. I stillfind asker her to meetings and talking shop, but she is not as open as she was. But when we do talk, she stays in my office when she could just leave. There is alot more to my constantly thinkling about her, and the relationship with my wife, but just to say that I truly understand what the original poster said...

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 October 2011):

I am a woman and it's the president of my company who is obsessed with me. He has had co-workes take pictures and videos of me during group meetings. He spends time at my desk every morning, when he is in town, before I come in. He has let me know for sure that he has these feelings. It's very hard on me, because I know that everybody in the company knows, but nobody will talk to me about it. With time, he is just getting worse. We are both married, so there is no chance for a relationship. I am attracted to him too, but nobody knows. I just wish all these feelings would just go away for both of us. It's torture, very painful for both of us.

I wish everyone the best in these situations.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (13 September 2011):

Hi there, many thanks for your updates. I really do sympathise with you and I know exactly how you feel. It is good that your marriage hasn't suffered because of it, and I know you are still suffering inside. The pain you have can be one of the worst emotional pains you can have and when you do not see them for a while, it can feel pretty awful- I even have those feelings If I havent talked to her for a day sometimes. The feelings can be so strong it is easy to burst into tears- yes even for a guy. I know like you, it may be a long road to recovery, as can be seen from your story.

I wish you all the best.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (12 September 2011):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

My relationship is still good (was always good) with my wife and family. It has suffered a little at the begining but in recent years is more or less back to normal. Its only me that's messed up. This is really a one-sided relationship I have with this co-worker, and I don't think she even knows or cares on how obsessed I am. Its taken me a while to get my head straight and I've managed to cope ok (better) with this obsession. I just can't seem to shake this one yet. When we don't see each other for a while (i.e. due to vacations, etc), I get a little depressed and I'm always thinking of her (although not as bad as in the begining). When we do see each other all I really need is a glimpse of her and I feel better. I'm coping and over time it has got better, but I'm still quite obsessed. I thought many times of quitting my job, but I'm not sure if that would even help as I get depressed when I don't see her for a while. I have my wife and family to support so it does not make sense to give up a good job and put them at risk. Thank you everyone for caring regardless of whether you approve or disapprove of the whole situation.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 September 2011):

Op thanks for the update

BUT

What about your relationship with your wife?

LoveGirl

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A reader, anonymous, writes (11 September 2011):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Still obsessed but living with it. We are like old friends now. We don't see each other or talk often even in the work place but when we do we rely on each other for little things. Recently we traveled together on a business trip and we looked out for each other in terms of flights, taxis, lunch, dinner, etc. Its been a long-term relationship :) In this example, I didn't even know we were on the same flight, and she text me while I was at the airport to find out if the plane was delayed. Hope you have a better time shaking the obsession than I do.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (11 September 2011):

I too can relate to your situation, except in my case she is married and I am not, and I have to work with and see her all day, every day:

http://www.dearcupid.org/question/im-like-a-lovesick-teenager-over-this-married.html

I know how hard it is to get over an obsession with someone- although its only been 6 months for me, but I have a long way to go.

What is your situation now, another 2 years later? Any suggestions?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (31 May 2011):

Wow! My husband of 22 years is going through this same thing...except I (his wife) have found the chats and e-mails, etc. It has been VERY painful for me and I am being treated for depression. He says it's over now, but I think he still has feelings for her. He is manic/depressive at home and I find it hard to love him anymore. You have to think about the marriage commitment to your wife and if you do really "care" for this woman, you will let her alone and let her be free to live and pursue her life. That would be loving her and loving your wife (and family if you have one).

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 May 2011):

I can relate to what the original poster is saying. I am a 36 year old female in a committed relationship with my partner of 11 years. Its a sexless and emotionally cold relationship. I have been very open about what my needs are and extremely patient, loving and committed to him as I know his problems stem from child hood.

I constantly feel emotionally and physically neglected and abused and have told him that I can't take anymore of it and that I am seriously contemplating leaving. The problem is he keeps promising to work on his issues and the relationship holding me here which isn't fair to either of us.

I know I deserve a lot better but I do love him deeply, however I am no longer attracted to him due to the neglect. I've tried everything in my power to make it work but can't do it anymore. I've given a time frame for us to work things out or part ways. Recently I met someone in a professional setting who I have very strong feelings for and whom I believe has strong feelings for me. He is also in long term committed relationship with a family and I get the sense their are similar issues there. I can't stop thinking about him even though we cannot be together morally and ethically speaking.

I disagree with some posters who moralise and see this issue without compassion for all sides involved. There are reasons why people fall out of love with their partners and find themselves attracted to other people. Both sides are responsible for making a relationship work, one can't neglect their spouses and expect them to not be attracted to someone who could potentially meet their needs. We are all human and we all need to have our emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical needs met. In my situation I respect that this person has a family and I will stay away...

At the end of the day we all deserve complete love and happiness, if you've tried everything to make your relationship work and it doesn't then its time to move on to someone who can give you those things.... this means someone free to give their complete love to you.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (24 May 2011):

OK, here's my situation. I have a godd marriage of 12 years and a nine year old son. In the last 9 years my wife has not made love to me except for two times, eventhough every other part of the marriage works. Even after surviving SERIOUS cancer two years ago and trying to rekindle the flame with my wife, she still slaps my hand. We never really fight about it. I've tried to be patient and raise my son. I grew up without a father and don't want to hurt him. I don't feel like there's anymore desire left in me for my wife sexually, after nearly a decade of neglect.

Now, after shutting down the sex needs for thes past 9 years, I have become hopelessly attracted to a female co-worker who is also married, and 9 years older than me. She spent the first nine months of ny employment finding numerous exuces for me to come to her desk and help her. She asked me to lunch early on, and we had a great time -her asking all kinds of question about me. Then she started playing cat & mouse, hot & cold with me. I finally sat down after work one night and told her that I had these feelings - which I didn't try to cultivate, but that make feel so intrigued by and attracted to her. I have never wanted to kiss a woman so badly in all my life. And over the last decade I have been propositioned by two other coworkers at previous jobs. The new gal, I'll call her Miranda, seems to eat up my attention. She smiles at me with her eyes, leans in toward me when we speak, sometimes stands closer or leans over me a bit when I'm working at her computer. She's began wearing perfume, dressing in mostly skirts etc... She talks with me sweetly, but without overt lovey dovey language, on the phone or when we're alone. She even has accepted two lunches with me since I talked with her, but then something happens and she has to cancel. I'm not looking for someone, but she has my attention. Is she playing me so she can feel good about herself, or is it possible she's working thru feelings too? When I asked her if we could explore a relationship, she thought and said "no, I'm committed to my husband". She didn't say "no I'm madly in love with my husband". Then she said "would it help if I see you more often in the day at work"? I'm totally confused, and affected by this incredibly beautiful 56 year. Most men my age are looking to step out with a 20 something. I can't help but feel my infatuation with her is genuine. HELP!!!!!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (12 October 2010):

I found this post very interesting, as there are some elements that i can relate to in my own life, have been with partner for 15 years and made a connection out of the blue with a guy 15 years younger. I dont agree with other posters who judge you for the hurt you are causing your wife, because i think these things happen for a reason and force us to address issues within ourselves, and within our relationships. i think you know that this younger woman is not a solution to your problem. in fact, i think that she should have kept her distance from you, knowing your feelings, hurtful as that would have been. You say the younger woman is sociable,gets on with everyone,you find her easy to talk to - maybe there is an emptiness in your own life that you have to address, either through changing yourself and your relationship with your family. It may be that you had a sociable wife who has now changed or that when you married you did not marry your ideal partner. Also, you may need to change to make your marriage more enjoyable. Only you know the answers to these issues. It is better to do everything possible to re-ignite a stale marriage that was once inspiring, then again I know many people who are happier in their second marriages. In my own situation, the younger man made it clear that the only reason he would not go out with me was because i was "married", yet it still caused a lot of pain, in the end i went cold turkey, ie cut off all contact, and things got easier, as i was forced to address issues within my own life and relationship. I think that you know at base that you have no future with the younger woman, and indeed you dont really want a future with her, however i thinnk the intense yearning for her is really a sign of a yearning for change within yourself or your marriage.

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A male reader, smpengwin United States +, writes (27 February 2010):

When you are obsessed with someone else for whatever reason that is unhealthy. Obsession is in fact a very selfish feeling . It is not a caring kind of feeling. You want something that you can not have and this relationship that you fantasize about is totally inappropriate. You are married, this is a younger girl and she's a co worker. The fact that it's inappropriate may make it seem more naughty, seductive, exciting.

You say that it's not a sexual thing but you also said you are so in love. That's sort of a paradox. It is sexual.

Try to stop thinking of yourself so much and try to care more about other people. Don't concentrate so much on trying to make yourself happy by taking whatever you want. You will find that you can't have what you want and you will hurt yourself and make yourself miserable.

When you let her know that you wanted her she made it clear that she didn't feel the same way. You fooled her into thinking that it's a thing of the past and that now you just want to be friends. You are lying to her because you want to remain in her life. You hope no doubt that some day she will feel something for you. That day will most likely never come and you will suffer waiting and hoping for it.

I suggest that you try to rekindle your relationship with your wife. I think it would be good for you to visit with a therapist and talk about your obsession. Obsession is really a terrible and painful thing.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 January 2010):

I am a woman in love with a married male coworker. I've worked with him for many, many years, so I know it's not just a passing thing. Problem is, I am also "married", living with my boyfriend of many years.

I don't think this is just a male-natured "hunting" problem - as another reader suggested. I think women are just as prone to becoming bored in a long-term relationship, to desire flirting, and all the excitement that comes with discovering a new love. It seems to directly coincide with the old "7-year itch". Maybe we're not meant to be with people longer than that. Who knows, I have not figured it out yet. I love my boyfriend, but desire this other man. It's somewhat comforting to know I'm not the only one dealing with this. But it's still complete torture. I guess if we all had it figured out, we would not be posting here!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 January 2010):

are you men only thinking with that flaccid penis dangling somewhere between your legs. so much of drama, for the pretty young thing in your lives. enjoy it while you all can the cookie will crumble very very soon........soon the wife is gone, kids hate you, friends gossip abou you, extended family members want nothing to do with you, the assets divided, career on the slide, but hey, your pretty little thing will always be there for you, won't she??? strange how you men don't seem to realise that these pretty little things also grow up and age just like your wives. these pretty little things also start to nag and wear nightdresses in bed, these pretty little things will also start to worry about the extra lines on her face........oh well, at least your wives will be rid of you and lets hope that your wives find some real man to give her the sexual gratification you are unable to. lets hope that your wives are also conducting themselves in a manner unbecoming, after all , what is good for the good faithful husband is definately good for the good bored sex starved wife.

By the way, have you men not realise the kind of women you are having affairs with......the so called ones with good morals who think nothing of stealing a man away from their wives and marriage. these wonderful women who hang on to your every word, your every joke, your everything. the flirty emails, stolen phone calls, extended lunch dates, the friend/lover "friendship" . Oh well, as said you need to ride out the "friendship" . be careful while you are investing in the other woman another man is not investing in your wives. choices, dear cuckolding men, choices.

You men want it all - the faithful wife making certain the family life is intact - the kids in school, homework done, supper ready, home neat, respectful AND on the other side, your pretty young things, full of excitement, fun loving, just into you, with no cares in this world. Becareful when you become greedy. You may be left all alone in your mature years without the faithful wife and the Side dish. But i think my words will fall on deaf ears. After all, you are not doing anything wrong, are you???

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A reader, anonymous, writes (13 January 2010):

I totally understand where you're coming from. I'm in a pretty similar situation and it is not easy. I know what it's like to constantly think about another woman who is not my wife. I have 2 kids and I agree with kana, we as fathers and husbands made these choices, there's no such thing as destiny. Love is a choice. It's all about choices. I realize I have only two choices: 1) go cold turkey 2) just ride it out and let it die. I've chosen the latter because I know this is temporary and one day we will both move on with our lives, careers and families. For now, I just really enjoy her company. I love talking to her and just hanging out for lunch or whatever. She inspires me. I enjoy and value our friendship. I think the sweet spot is right there, enjoying the friendship. It's the desire to want more which is the hard part. That's just going to bring you down and I know because I struggle with this part. As painful as it is sometimes, I'm just riding it out because her friendship is very important to me. I dunno, maybe I just have a bleeding heart.

Hang in there, I'm sure you have a wonderful family, don't forget that.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 December 2009):

I'm in the same situation as "Kana" I'm the cute 23year old that every male co-worker wants to "get with" but I'm utterly infatuated with one of the bosses at my store. He's married with children - however, he's into me. Primarily, it was "sexual comments" but now he wants to spend time with me and "get to know me" .. The situation's so confusing. I don't know what to think or do.

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A male reader, HarryS United States +, writes (24 November 2009):

dear Anonymous, first I want to say I love you. We are all people and we should try to help each other. I am also depressed, the result of an obsessive love which is futile, and which I must abandon to preserve my sanity and my family. Nature made men to pursue women. It's how we are born and hard wired so to speak. Many of us, including you and I struggle between the way nature created us, and the way society says we should behave. We torture ourselves to balance our desires and our dreams against what people say we should do. I want to give my family a stable and strong leader, a source of security and love. At the same time I am tortured by dreams of an old and dear friend who I love as much as my family. I didn't plan it this way, it just happened, and I'm on my way to a psychiatrist's office to ask for help in about 1 hour. You hang in there, and if we ever meet I'll be glad to share your company. One more thing: thank you so much to all the women who have an ounce of compassion for what it means to be a man in this world. They are a true source of inspiration when compared to the legions of women who would like to see all men castrated, killed, or ostracized for deviating in the least from what they believe is our duty as dictated by old time religion and conservative doctrine.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (5 September 2009):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you for you reply. You make a lot of sense and I have thought along those lines as well. I still work with my co-worker and we are still friends. She invited me to a drink with some other co-workers recently and we help each other out every now and then. I have convinced myself that I would hurt too many people if we ever did have a real relationship which I am still not sure would ever happen anyway. Problem is that I have become quite depressed over the years because of it.

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A female reader, kana United States +, writes (4 September 2009):

Hello! I read your blog and was kind of taken by it. You see...the situation is turned around for me. I am the cute 20 year old co-worker who gets along well with all the other employees and has a great personality, but i am particularly friends with a certain male co-worker and I think that he is a great married 30-some year old guy with two kids but I also think that he might be into me. It doesn't freak me out in any way...it's just that

A.) I don't want to be the one who destroys a family that looks happy and has no problems and...

B.) I have a good thing going on with my boyfriend

So... I understand that yes it is tempting and believe me, it's not like I haven't though of the idea of doing something with my co-worker. I just don't think that it is worth all the pain and suffering of others that you can cause if you both were to follow through. That is what's on my mind when those thoughts go through my head. So maybe that is what she was thinking too when you went out and asked her. Is she your destiny... maybe in a previous life. But for now my advice would be focus on your wife and kids because you chose to have them before this cutie with a booty came around. And to me, that is something I want in the future and I wouldn't like it if someone just came and took that away from me.

Good Luck in all of your endevors!

From the other side!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 January 2008):

Dear Sir,

I read your story and the first reply. I have to say that disagree with the first reply.

You sound like a man who simply want to love a woman and be loved in return. You evidently know how to love a woman (as evidenced by your love for your co-worker and sometimes your wife) but you are not getting the continous love you need from either one of those woman. Why divorce your wife only to be with a woman who also ignores you half or more of the time. If she has not gotten into you yet, she will not get into you if you divorce.

There is a reason why she has not fallen intensely in love with you(and that reason is NOT because you are married). She obviously likes you --as a friend and someone to give her attention -- but not more. She even has/had a boyfriend. If I were you, I would not give up my marriage and family for something so unsure. You definitly want a woman who will return your love, that is clear (or else you would just be content to just pine for this girl). But from your story, I can not see the difference between this co-worker and your wife besides the difference in your attraction to them. They both seem to not give you the intense amount of love you crave.

If you get with this woman and sacrifice your family, one day your attraction for this young co-worker may fade (I believe it is probably more superficial than you realize) and you will be left with a woman who does not treat you as you wish as a lover, but more so as a fuctional friend.

If you're going to leave your wife and kids, you might as well leave them for a woman who ends up treating you better.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 January 2008):

I read your story of life and decide write to you.

You know for sure that I really know what are you going through with this 'destiny' woman. I could say that you are not only one who has same experience. Myself has experienced this as well and I quarantee that it was not easy job.

But I past it and now it is behind to me. Love is something what you cant never expected until its blows yours face. That is what happened to you and me. This experience is something what you dont never expected to happen and it is still happen.

It is something what you cant control and what you just have to face it. It brings something very special to your life.

There is nobody who can explain why this all happen, I mean really explain. Everybody who doesnt have experience this kind of happens of life, they really cant help you at all.

There is only two person who can help you and one of them is yourself and other person is that woman. In your case maybe your wife too, its depends how well she knows you and that is she willing to help you. But fact is you are in love to that woman and you never can hide that, believe me.

I survived in this so I believe that you can too. All about is choices what you have to take. What really makes you happy, really happy. I dont believe that this woman ever loves you like you wanted and this is because your age difference. But it tells you that you really desires something more what you havent get it yet. I noticed that your wife is important to you, but do you really , I mean really love her, that she is that woman who really makes you happy??? And please all your family sakes, dont fool them they dont deserve that. I dont know what you think, but my opinion is that you have to tell her, better soon than later. Talk everything what had going trough and what has happen to you. She will understand or she don't. And if she dont it will hurt everybody. But it will anyway in time, if that is not now it will be later. You are happy with this woman, why you should be unhappy and keep this knowledge only yourself. Because afterall what ever happens between this young woman and you, you have to think what is best for you and family, but remember that if you are not happy then your family cant be either. Dont make this very difficult for yourself, if you continue keep hide this thing you will be faced only unhappy moments in your life. You have to think what will you lost if you do something and are you ready do to this and still accepted results what ever results are. You can have them all, so there is choice what you have to made, otherwise this situation come to you later and then you can sure that is not so easy. I suggest that you have to make clear your relationship with young woman to yourself. And make it soon because otherwise you maybe never get chance to know what is going between you two. You have talk too this woman and find out what she thinks about this and main thing is that what you want from her. Dont expect that she can have feelings for you because you are married.

Dont ever expect that any woman can seriously think about you if you are envolved to somebody else. If you dont want become happy or cant become happy with your wife, then you have sorted out what are you going to do. Dont expect that this younger woman wanted you see beside you. Only thing what your story tells me that your are not happy in your life and this have to changed or you are soon in difficulties in your life. You cat forget her so you have to sorted out things with this young woman. But first you have to think what you do for your marriage, is this what you want or are you unhappy. It seems to me that you dont want leave your family, but still desire something what you havent get from your marriage. There is not perfect marriage, but if this kind of thing appear to your life you should do something about it, not just be misereable because this. I think that you cant be happy either of your womans.

You have figured out yourself what is going with yourself.

There is not any easy way and you have to sacrifice something before things goes better. If you think that time will heal all this then you are wrong, who just have to face it what is your destiny, is destiny your wife or that woman you dont know that, but you know what makes you happy and for this question only can answered.

Please dont hide these things from wife. If she is who you love than anything else this world then you should tell this for her. Its like car accident you cant hide these kind of things from your loved ones. If she dont understand you then she dont, it is risk what you have to take. Love is only thing what meaning in this world. Be honest to your family and most of all be honest yourself.

If you want be that young woman then take divorce, only after that divorce you can know does she really want man like you are. I think it is small possibility that she say yes, because she is young and she dont know what she wants from her life. And if she choose your your cant be never sure is she with you tomorrow. Can you say same fom your wife? I dont mean that you wife is best match for you, but if you want get back in track your life you have to face these things and very closely and other parties as well.

If this young woman is your destiny you will know that only after divorce not before. Do you love her or not? Are you willing to sacrifice everything what you had? That is what you have to do, if you want to know is she right for you.

If you are not ready to do that then she is not right for you. There is not such of way where can get rid of these feelings at easy way. There is only difficult and very much more difficult way and you have to choose which way you walk. Listen yourself and maybe your wife and then decide are you happy or not, be honest. If you cant forget her then you should get divorce and live with that knowledge that everything is not so clear to us as we wanted. Then you can find out that what this young woman really means to you and do you mean to her. With that choice you will lost everything what you have and you have to build everything again from scratch. Are you willing to do that?

Divorce is right if you dont become happy with your wife or you dont love each other. Everybody says themselves are they happy or not. You have to think where this leads and you have to be realistic in your thoughts. Love is something what you cant control there is or there isnt and it is always risk.

There is not perfect solution for everybody it is not possible. There is only solution which is best solution for everybody. You are main issue, not your wife not that woman not anyone else is just you, who has solution for this. But I really hope that you are honest to yourself and especially to your wife, then we have best results to your life. If you cant choose then you are very serious trouble at yourself and rest of family.

Because you have to choose. What you want?

I dont know is this help you at all, what is comes to me I have been very happy to my choices and my life it is not over yet, but I know it in my heart that I maded right choice and it was best for everybody.

I choose divorce, but I wasnt in love to my wife and we didnt understand each other at all or badly anyway.

So I dont know what is best for you, but I know that you know. You have to ask yourself what is best for you and live with that.

I can say that my ex wife is more happy without me and I am more happy without her so it was best for all of us.

I dont expect that it could be solution for you, but have to think these things out of your mind, because otherwise you cant never get rid of them.

What happened to me before I realized what is matter with me.

I was quite similar happen like you have, but I knew it that is never can come true with me and her. But it teached me to accepted that my life cant continue like it was before this.

I noticed that I can just bring unhappiness to my life and other parties and that was not what I wanted. I sacrificed

my marriage, but it was decision what just have to make.

Everybody has free will to make choice of they lives, but hopefully everybody still thinks carefully what choices they make.

That woman what I fall i love with is not anymore in my mind and this is very clear that she wasnt my destiny in this love matter but surely it showed to me something what I was forgot long time ago. It was necessary to me because otherwise only half of me could be showed to others.

I did make me very clear with this women and asked her about her feelings to me and I get my answers. Answer was no and I released from this feeling, but my heart was very empty in this moment. This was start of all of this what I have faced after that.

You might think that you can hide yourself, but dont even try it.

If you think that your feelings will disappear to somewhere then you can not more wrong. You have to think what kind of solution you want that results are best for you and hopefully for your wife. You dont have to think what is best result to this another woman if you are not serious with her. And it seems that you are not, you just wanting from her what you dont get from your married. Believe me there is not perfect marriage only happy marriage. Do you have happy marriage and dont fool yourself. If you are not happy can you do something what makes that happy if you cant then you have answer.

Ok I finished here but I wish you very good luck in your life whatever your decide to do.

Just try to remember that you dont get anything easily if it is your marriage or that another woman.

Very good beginning Year

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A male reader, Samutsen Poland +, writes (15 December 2007):

Samutsen agony auntI am glad you are coping by yourself. I am glad to hear the good news, congratulations to you that you have proved yourself a wise person to get out of this situation before ruining your marriage and career.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (15 December 2007):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I am currently trying very hard to not give this woman at work any special attention. I did not wish her a happy birthday until someone else in the group did. It is difficult, but I think it is slowly working, and I find myself spending a little less time thinking about her. The signs have also slowed down as well. A crush or love( whatever it is) affects your emotional state, and actually causes your brain to change (the hormone levels are affected), so dealing with it is not easy. One has to wait until the hormone levels go down to make progress (3-4 years). I am slowly making progress.

As I sort of mentioned earlier, I've channeled this heightened level of hormones in my brain towards my wife. Ironically, we have come closer as a result of this emotional affair.

With regards to your situation, I can only imagine the feelings of betrayal you are feeling. But remember, given that the hormone levels change in the brain, your husband is not attracted to this other woman because of something that you have done or not. It is a purely biological reaction that has taken hold of his brain and has focused it on this girl. If he feels like me, it is something that is very hard to control. I have never felt this way before, so that's why I am so confused. But I am learning to live with it slowly ...

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A female reader, KayKayKay Central African Republic +, writes (13 December 2007):

And how is this affecting the woman you've spent 20 years with? and your children? You are causing long term damage to them...and you know it...and they know it...if they don't they will.

I have been utterly devastated my husbands "emotional affair" which is what you are describing here. IT IS HARDER FOR A WIFE TO DEAL WITH (and get over) an Emotional Affair than it is if you had cheated on her physically.

If you get hit by a car tomorrow and become a paraplegic...is it your wife who will care for you or this woman?

You make me sick to my stomach. Or is it my husbands attraction to his "20 year younger" sweetheart that is tearing me up? I've lost 40 lbs.

Are you really selfish enough to think that this is onlyl affecting YOU?

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A male reader, Samutsen Poland +, writes (26 November 2007):

Samutsen agony auntPlease give it up.I am confident you can do it.

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A female reader, BadAsh6705 United States +, writes (26 November 2007):

BadAsh6705 agony auntIt sounds to me that you have painted an extremely romantic picture in your head of what it would be like to be with this girl which is what you are obsessed with. You must realize that this is a fantasy and treat it that way, not as a real possibility.

Being around the age of this girl, I would say that while it might seem that you have a lot in common, she is probably not looking for the same things you are looking for in a relationship and even if you were to finally get a chance to be with her, it would be very unlikely that it would amount to much.

You should focus on your family and be greatful for what you have and forget about this girl. Get a different job and tell the girl that while you enjoy her friendship, you will always want something more and it's not right to your wife, so you can't talk to her anymore. I'm sure she will understand. Then get on with your life! You need to get away from her so you can move on.

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A male reader, eddie Canada +, writes (26 November 2007):

eddie agony auntYour reply is further indication that you need some help. do not ruin the rest of your life for an imaginary relationship. She is not on the same page as you.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (25 November 2007):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you all for your help. I feel much better that I have talked about this situation I'm in. I've kept this to myself for three years and it really feels good to finally talk about it. I think you all have made very good points in your answers. I don't think she has ever given me a clear signal that she was interested in me other than as a friend. I agree with you all, that alot of this is in my head. My emotional state is currently one of obsession. I don't feel any other emotion as strong, and perhaps that's why I don't feel the guilt towards my wife and family yet. I suspect that after this is over, I will feel it. I know that the best thing for me is to stop thinking about her and get on with my life, but it is extremely difficult to do this when I see her every day. She is part of the group that I eat lunch with and not eating lunch with her would mean abandoning the colleagues I've know for years. That's why I've contemplated finding another job. I agree, that in my state of mind, I did everything possible to please her. And it was calculating, and designed to get her closer to me. I am not disputing that. Unfortunately, my obsession drives me in that direction. I also agree with the female reader that this girl is very friendly and extremely smart, and is very open around men. Perhaps that is what attracted her to me, she is so easy to talk to, and fun to listen to. I think I have mis-interpreted her signals, and I being her boss at the time she didn't really know how to deal with my obsession. I really need to stop this somehow. The one thing that bothers me is that everytime that I put in my head that I will start paying any attention to her, a song comes on the radio with her name, or someone talks about someone with the same name, or I am watching a sporting event with my dad (which I rarely do), and one team scores a goal and as they celebrate, one of the players has the same last name as her first name. I guess when you are obsessed you are extremely tuned to anything about that person, but these events happen so often that I am doubting that this is pure coincidence? Anyway, thank you all again. I've decided not to acknowledge her birthday. Perhaps that will give her some relief from me. I just hope I don't change my mind before then. Samutse asked if I would really leave my wife for this girl? The sad truth is that, in my current state of mind, if she asked me out on a date, I would risk everything for her. What's worse, is that I've known my wife for a very long time, and I do love her very much. The kind of comfortable love everyone wants when they get older, and deeply passionate love in the bedroom. I would actually give this up for this girl.

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A male reader, eddie Canada +, writes (25 November 2007):

eddie agony auntI disagree with some of the others here. I DO think you need to get some professional help. I can tell from your letter that you are obsessed by this woman. You've written this letter as if it was a movie script. I do not think you're seeing things clearly. You created this situation in yourhead and then nurtured it to this point. you set her up to fall into your traps, one by one. You baited her to stay around and at her age, she did. She tried to be polite but she hould have been offended. You're a married man.

The problem is that you've based all her actions on YOUR feelings. She told you she was uncomfortable with your attention. The red flag went up for her when you tried to get too close. She should have ran away and never looked back. You said you apologized for your behavior toward her. Unfortunately she believed you. If you were really sorry for your actions you would have meant what you said.

You continue to try and paint a picture of being her friend. Yo are NOT her friend. You are acting almost as if you're stalking her. You push her away, you bait her to return, you get her a job, you're nice in a calculating way.....It's not a pretty picture, all this stuff going on behind the scene. It's not very genuine of you.

Instead of doting on this young woman, you should be getting some help for your marriage. This woman should not be working with you. It almost sounds like you're trying to sabotage your marriage. I'm afraid you can not work this out on your own, you're in too deep. This will explode on you. You ask if you should try to live without her......you never really had her. You need to have this clarity. Get some help from a therapist to understand your obsession. It is impossible for the obsessed person to outrun their own mind. You always end up justifying your actions, even when you know it's wrong.

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A male reader, Samutsen Poland +, writes (25 November 2007):

Samutsen agony auntThank you for this very consistent, honest and sincere question. I full symptahize with your situation and I do understand you and your feelings also. Dont worry you do not need to see a thrapist. These are all human conditions. You will get over it or solve it.

My impression: She certainly likes and enjoys the fact that you care about her and further you love her. But she likes the feeling of it, she likes your help. She likes you as a person also. But she is not in love with you and she is not interested in you as a man.

You are older, mature, she is younger and has a boyfriend.

I also feel sorry for your marriage and your wife. You get happy and nice to your wife when you are closer to the other girl. How sad for you and your wife.

As a consolation, she might have had different feelings towards you if you were single. But you are married happily. You would never divorce your wife whom you love for the other girl would you?

I strongly advise against leaving you job because of this situation. Do not get to the point where you'd be another man ruining his successful career and marriage for a woman.

I am sorry but given the facts, you just have to forget about this girl and knock it off.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (25 November 2007):

Evidently this girl is one of those who likes to maintain friendships with everybody no matter what and you misinterpreted it. I had a friend who was like that and didn't care to give mixed signals to men. This kind of woman was brought up by their parents with lots of attention therefore is very secure of herself and craves

attention from everybody.

She is not as innocent as you think she is. I bet she feels pretty good about herself because of all the attention you've given her all this years. I think it was totally inapropriate to have let this 'frienship' grow in such an intimate manner. I believe a long time ago you 2 should've been mature enough and kept your distance.

I would never let a much older married man who was at sometime my boss to buy me gifts and or to keep in touch with me for such a long time. I've had the opportunity and called it quits.

This situation is something you and only you got yourself into. You let yourself to become obsessed with a girl that has attractive personality and that's all. By letting this happen you've already have cheated on your wife and throughout your question posting never saw a tiny bit of guilt and that's scary.

Snap out of this silly midlife obsession and fall in love all over again wiht your wife who is the innocent one who deserves all that loving, obsession and recognition from you for all that she has had to put up with without knowing for the past three years.

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A male reader, enjoimx United States +, writes (25 November 2007):

enjoimx agony auntHas the girl given you any signs she is interested in you? It seems your imagination might be making you feel she likes you, when in reality she just doesnt know how to deal with an older man developing an obsession for her in a work environment.

Of course it will seem very natural talking to her...you are 20 years older, have much more life experience, and know your business inside and out. OF COURSE your conversations will seem to flow, you will feel confident, she will respond to you positively. That doesnt mean you can create a fantasy that you are DESTINED to be together.

I think if she liked you more, she would give you clearer signals. You are underestimating her....women can easily express interest in a man if it is genuine.

I would advise to let this one go...its going to be hard...you may need to see a therapist.

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