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Trying hard to avoid a crush at work as I'm married with kids! Any advice ?

Tagged as: Cheating, Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (4 November 2006) 20 Answers - (Newest, 11 November 2011)
A male , anonymous writes:

Hi there.

I'm A happily married man. I dearly love my wife and we have 2 beautiful children. We are together since we were 16 and have never had any other partners. However I have got this wee crush on another Woman in work. I know its a non runner.. and I am now avoiding her like the plague but I have to work very closly with this person and can't simply blank her indefinitly. A friend suggests that I should just discuss it with her but this seems to me to be like adding fuel to the fire. Has anyone any experience or advice they could offer?

View related questions: at work, crush, married man

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

Hello post,

Thank you, anonymous for the intitial post, and thank you everyone esle for their posts as well. I have been in a similar situation going on 3 years now, and it is somewhat of a comfort to read about other people in the same predicament. I have tried my best to channel my feelings into that of a good friend, or even a "big brother" type of role. Some days this works, other days I am overwhelmed by my emotions, and feel that I am right back at square one.

I genuinely feel that this would not be nearly as big of an issue, if life at home was not nearly so complacent. Unfortunately, being married with children, it is impossible to avoid the everyday complacency/task oriented life that comes along with being a responsible parent.

To me, this other woman represents a certain level of freedom that has been slowly diminished in my home life over the years. I associate her with no bills, no responsibilty, only good times, happy hour, nights out at the bar, etc... Of course if I were to do the unthinkable, ditch my wife and kids, make a life with this new girl, get married, again, I know I would end up in the EXACT SAME POSITION several years down the road.

My advice: try your best to channel the energy you feel towards this new relationship into your relationship with your wife. Find sitters for the weekend and go somewhere, out of the blue. Bring home flowers, jewelry, whatever it was that you did when you were dating. As far as the girl at work, I've narrowed it down to two choices: accept her as a friend, or find a new job, and if you do find a new job do not allow yourself to get in the same position again. Seriously, avoid attractive women (other than the one you're married to).

I am currently still working on the "accept her as a friend" bit. Not that any of this is easy. Hope this is helpful to somebody, looking forward to hearing new theories/solutions from other readers.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (10 August 2011):

I recently had a similar situation and having handled it the way I did, I felt like looking all over the internet to find a similar situation someone else had. So I am posting even though this thread is so old.

I had a crush on my secretary that started to swell in my mind to the point it was PAINFUL. And I never gave any indication of it at all until she came to pick up her paycheck before going out of town for a month. I started to cry because she would be gone so long and then I broke down and told her: "I would never do anything to break up my marriage, I love my wife, and I love my son, and I would never do anything immoral, but if I had not met my wife, you would be the one for me." She told me that what I was feeling was normal and that it will go away. She was very understanding and we talked it out a bit. I think I was lucky. But also I believe that I avoided her doing anything to "tempt" me by prefacing my statement with how I would never do anything to hurt my marriage. I did NOT ask her if she felt the same way, as it was my problem in my mind. I just put it out in the real world and the fantasy started to fade. For my situation, it was the right thing to do. I wanted to express my feelings and I wanted to stay married. By talking it out instead of acting it out, I was able to let her know how I feel without doing anything immoral.

I reflected on this later and realized that when I was younger and single, whenever I had a crush on someone and just told them about it, it never lead to anything. Women I ended up dating were a result of my taking action in an open pursuit of their affections, not some long-withheld fantasy such as a crush. I guess it’s true for me even in my married life. I am so glad I kept my hands to myself.

Lastly, I don't think that expressing your feelings qualifies as harassment, especially if one says that they don't intend to act out their fantasy. I was not attempting to coerce her into anything at all.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (19 May 2008):

If you're having these feelings, that means your marriage is over. Get divorced, go after the new girl, and find happiness. If the new girl gives you so much excitement, thrill and enjoyment in life, why deny it and attempt to convince yourself that you're not feeling those things? How do these people here know if the new girl is right for you or not. People make mistakes; sometimes, the mistake is getting married to the wrong person.

You only live ONCE. Do you want to regret not seeing where life could take you with this new, exciting girl for the rest of your life? I wouldn't.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (2 January 2008):

I had a crush on a coworker we'll call Jennifer and I told my other coworker about it first, she is somebody whom I know to be discreet, and she suggested talking to Jennifer about it sometime after work. To me, this seemed illogical and potentially bad, but I really liked Jennifer as a friend and I wanted to tell her why I had behaved so oddly to her in recent days when my crush had reached its zenith. It took a great deal of courage but since we were already friends it was easy to find some time outside of work to tell Jennifer that I was attracted to her as more than just friends. She listened to what I had to say and asked questions and generally took it way better than I had expected.

The good thing about this scenario is that if your crush is a kind person worthy of your affection, they won't make you suffer. In fact, she actually asked me what she could do to make working with her more comfortable for me and I said nothing, it's all in my mind and will fade away.

The thing is though, you have to really want it to go away. Because if she's got feelings for you as well and you get a green flag after clearing the air, you might end up doing something that you'd normally regret. But otherwise, I highly recommend talking about your crush to your crush and getting it out there so the sexual tension (in your mind, that is) begins to disappear. It only gets worse if you don't talk about it, like a good fantasy run amok.

Good luck!

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

I understand how you feel. What if the person you have a crush on starts seeing someone else at your workplace? Would that upset you a little? I would seek counseling if I were you to learn how to cope with your feelings. It is a difficult world we live in. I know that some women really can bring this on themselves by the way they talk and how they dress.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 October 2007):

I have a crush on a co-worker at the moment, and it seems like harmless fun, but also a nuisance. We are both in our mid-40s, both happily married about 20 years to our mates, and the man has a lot of similar qualities to my husband. The co-worker is something like the big brother I never had, making me feel protected in his presence. We flirt a bit and have mutual admiration for each other and a great working relationship. We are very compatible & I look forward to seeing him. I just wish that male-female friendships could stay platonic, without the sexual tensions that somehow start to creep in. I think this is human nature, and more likely to happen if you are bored or craving some kind of validation. I think it's best to say nothing... the other person has probably picked up your "vibes" in any case, and there is no need to explain. If this becomes too much to bear and doesn't subside over time, then you /I should probably talk to a therapist to determine why these feelings arose, what is lacking in our lives, etc.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (13 November 2006):

I am right there with you... Married for 3 years in a blended family with 4 children still at home. I have had intense feelings for a woman at work for over a year. My mind knows that this is wrong and irrational and my heart simply does not listen. It got overwhelming last year and I went waaay out on a limb and told her how I felt, and that I was struggling to honor appropriate boundaries, and that I did not want to act on this attraction but I could not help thinking about her. It was risky but I simply could not carry it anymore and I thought that by acknowledging it the feelings would dissipate or subside. Not yet. (She was kind and discrete and acts friendly toward me but in a very appropriate/aboveboard way)

My wife had an affair with a coworker last year--she came clean to me and I went through the urges for a "revenge" affair (did not act on them) and we have been working through the mistrust and rebuilding that go on in the aftermath of these things. I don't want to be party to any activity that will cause that kind of betrayal and heartache and abandonment and confusion in anyone else's life; but all the same, those feelings and the attraction I feel toward my coworker have not abated.

I do not want to act on them. I want to stop thinking about her so much!

Confusing and painful! I hope you arrive at a solution to your situation, and if you do I hope you share it here.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (7 November 2006):

I realise you've had a lot of replies already but I'd suggest this to you:

People make decisions in life based on what will bring them more pleasure and avoid most pain. If, being a great father, and faithful husband and family man means more to you, it will bring you more pain to act on the feelings you have for this other women. If though; you have any kind of desire to have more sexual experience with other women then you will feel compelled to pursue this crush.

I think you would do well to focus on your future, imagine the kind of person that you want to be. How do you want your wife to see you, how about your children? Would you be OK with them finding out you broke up your family for a fling with someone at work? Or does the feeling of waking up when your children have grown up knowing you never strayed and have a long, loving and secure relationship with your wife make you feel great?

I think you want to choose the marriage option, so I think if this thought experiment doesn't get rid of these feelings for her then you really must take more drastic action to get her out of your life; such as moving jobs. You have to ask yourself though; Why would a crush be affecting you so much. Perhaps you need to examine why you are experiencing this crush and having problems dealing with it. Good luck!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 November 2006):

hi, my name is angelica & i do understand where your coming from, although i've only been married going on three years been together five and sents were 15. i do wonna tell you i know what that feeling is like knowing what could come of the feeling your feeling but also keep in mind litterly the grass isn't always greener on the other side.temptations will always come, it's just the matter of taking them or letting them past you by. if you'd like to let it pass you by find something you dislike about that person and try to avoid the situation the best you can. :)

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (7 November 2006):

hi, my name is angelica & i do understand where your coming from, although i've only been married going on three years been together five and sents were 15. i do wonna tell you i know what that feeling is like knowing what could come of the feeling your feeling but also keep in mind litterly the grass isn't always greener on the other side.temptations will always come, it's just the matter of taking them or letting them past you by. if you'd like to let it pass you by find something you dislike about that person and try to avoid the situation the best you can. :)

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A female reader, msel2304 +, writes (5 November 2006):

msel2304 agony auntIs there anything bothering you between you and your wife? This crush will more the likely pass in time as all crushes tend to do. But, if it doesn't pass then you have a serious problem and I say try to transfer if you can or just lay it all out on the line to both women.

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (5 November 2006):

eyeswideopen agony auntKeep this to yourself. Crushes come and go so just stay the course and this one will disappear as well. Pay more attention to the wife and this will help get rid of it too. Good luck, buddy.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (5 November 2006):

Firstly I would not say anything to the woman at work because at the end of the day you have to be in her company regardless, consider also that women talk and i can guarentee that she will tell at least 3 of her collegues!

In these situatons i think it always helps to recognise and understand that having 'feelings' towards the opposite sex is natural and inevitable(if your a normal red blooded human being!)I can bet that at some point your wife has been in a simiilar predicament at some point or another (I suppose that depends how long you have been together?)What i am saying is dont stress out because you want to get jiggy with another woman. DO stress out if your not strong enough to handle the situation i.e going down the road of seeing if she actually would take her knickers off if you asked!

If your happy with your wife then be content with the little buzz it adds to your mundane time in work.Be confident that its ok to fancy her because at the end of the day your intentions are to go home to your wife and treat her like a queen.

Dont have an affair at work, it can only end in disaster! to be honest its inevitable that collegues will find out and you will be deemed as a cheating scumbag by every woman in the office.

The imagination is a powerful thing. Its always good to remember that the daydream is usually far better than the reality.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (5 November 2006):

I think it is "human" to develop crushes. Just don't let it go beyond that.

Crushes usually spring from an absence from what is in your relationship at the time; we humans tend to entertain that someone "new" will bring us the comfort, familiarity, love, attention, devotion, ect., that we are craving.

Very rare do we decide that if what is lacking in our marriages/relationships can be brought into to if I (you) do something about it.

I say now more than ever is the time to romance your wife. Think of her and what would make her go "woo, my man is HOT-I so lucky".

Make a list of all the good time you have had with your wife . Make a list of the many things to be grateful for. Carry a picture of her to look at. Display family pictures-FAMILY first.

If all men (and women) would put their marriages and family first; much of today's societal issues wouldn't be so widespread.

It all starts in the home.

If a thought of the other woman pops in the brain; think of your wife's and yours wedding song. Take out picture and think of wife. Replace the "temptation" with REALITY...with your love and commitment. In the long run; years down the road you will have more fulfillment from being a man of integrity than a man with a past full of cheating and heartache for you, wife, and children.

Best wishes.

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A male reader, eddie Canada +, writes (5 November 2006):

eddie agony auntYou've already cleared the biggest hurdle. You're facing the facts and palnning to deal with your feelings. Remember, they're just feelings. They mean nothing because you're already married. Feelings come and go. It's your job to realize that maybe it's time to focus a little more on your marriage. IT doesn't make you a bad guy for having the feelings or enjoying the attention. Perhaps it puts a little zip in your step and makes you feel young again. It's addictive though. If you're not careful you ca get sucked into the votex of this and get carried away. As I said, you've realized the potential danger that exists. Be thankful you've doen that.

Maybe she's sexy, nice etc but she's not for you. It doesn't make you wrong to notice her and attractions are something we all feel. It only makees you wrong if you act on your feelings, even walking in the gray areas and therefore disrespecting your marriage.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (5 November 2006):

Listen I think you should just keep it to yourself because whatif she has no idea that you even havethis crush now whatdo you think good would come from you lettting the other person know about yourt crush it mite just make her uncomfortable.. try to take your feelings an leave them at door before you enterthe work place focus on doing your job an your family.

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A female reader, Nay920 +, writes (5 November 2006):

listen let me just say that you shouldn't open that door first of all because you never have been with any other women an to just disrespect yourself and your wife will probably destroy your happy home. you should ask yourself do you love your wife and is a crush that crushing on you. i once made the mistake of missing up my happy home...

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A female reader, anon2907 Australia +, writes (4 November 2006):

anon2907 agony auntHey,

I would say it depends on what the girl at work is like. Would she be able to talk about it with you, be flattered and understand where you're coming from - or would she want to progress things - and how would you deal with that?

Avoidance isn't going to help - if you're spending time thinking about avoiding someone, you're thinking about them - end of story.

You could talk to her and ask her to give you some space - and explain why you've been avoiding her. She might wonder if she's done something wrong if it's that obvious you've been avoiding her. It could turn out that she's in a relationship anyway, and then the non-runner won't even get an outing to the track - I guess you'll never know if you leave it.

You could become firm friends and this could be something you'll laugh about in years to come.

Her: 'Hey remember when we first met you had a crush on me?'

You: 'Yeah, that was before I got my new glasses!'

Whatever you choose, I hope it works out.

Anon2907

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A female reader, DrPsych United Kingdom +, writes (4 November 2006):

DrPsych agony auntDont discuss it with her - it maybe construed by her as sexual harrassment in the workplace and trigger all sorts of trouble for you. You sound like a sensible person so you just have to remind yourself of the implications of acting on any feelings. If things get really bad why not ask for a transfer from your job or department?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (4 November 2006):

Yes. Try thinking of some terrible situation that could take place in your marriage (which has nothing to do with this girl at work), and realize that it could (or something else of this magnitude) could take place (and what a strain it could place on your marriage). Now think about having to survive such a challenge if you had actually started an affair with the office girl (and all the associated problems that the affair itself could have caused). In other words, over time, your marriage will likely be faced with some daunting challenges having nothing to do with other women, but even so, it will be difficult for your marriage to get through these challenges (without the added burden of your having sold out your wife for good sex with another woman). If that won't stop you, then go ahead and plung into the affair. What will it matter that others will think you to be a fool, a cad etc.

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