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We're both attracted to each other, but we're both married. What should we do?

Tagged as: Cheating, Forbidden love, Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (12 October 2010) 15 Answers - (Newest, 17 January 2011)
A female United States age 51-59, anonymous writes:

About 15 years ago, R and I both started work at the same company. He was married, me not. There was instant attraction on both our parts. We don't work in the same dept, so only saw each other occasionally. No real conversation, just hi, how are you

I married A about 6 years ago. I love him, but I'm not in love with him.

About a year ago, R and my desk positions were moved so that we saw each other several times per day. The eye contact, the sudden intake of breath when we meet in the hall; the attraction is so strong that I'm becoming obsessed. I think of him first thing when I wake. I think he's still married, but he no longer wears his wedding ring. We still only briefly speak.

We work for a great company and both have highish level jobs there. I don't want to leave the company and I'm guessing he doesn't want to either. Do we just continue with this maddening attraction until one of us retires, or what?

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A female reader, Starz123 United States +, writes (17 January 2011):

First let me say this...my answer is going to piss a lot of people off...SO WHAT! To the woman who asked this question...You have chemestry with this man..WOW six years this is going on???? What's stopping you! Your not going to get over it...Get with this man..It might only be for one night or a life time...you will never know until you meet your destiny with him. Please let me know how it works out!

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

I know, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say you are a fool or an idiot. I came on pretty strongly and that was because of my own issues with an ex-bf being a flirt and the way women responded to him. We all make mistakes, and hopefully learn from them. But, some mistakes have huge consequences, and I was concerned about the possible, actually probable, consequences of your situation, particularly if this guy would have hit on you. But, chances are he's a player and he's probably trying to get you to make a move on him.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (16 October 2010):

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

You're right. I'm thinking of only the fantasy and not the reality. Btw, I know what empathy is; I'm a fool, not an idiot. Thanks for your feedback.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 October 2010):

The first thing it to get out or your FANTASY and into the REALITY of the situation. If this man is married, he's only looking for a fling, a thrill, and has no real respect for women, no respect for his wife and none for you. So, that makes him a jerk, and you a fairytale princess thinking this jerk is some handsome prince who is going to rescue you from your humdrum marriage. If you have a loving husband, and you love him, then figure out something to add some fun to your existing relationship. You have a choice to allow yourself to NOT be attracted to this man. You can change your thoughts and you can stop yourself from sending him welcoming signals. This man is charming you, and you're falling for him like a foolish girl. He's a player.

The second thing is to think about the consequences of your current flirting actions, and the consequences if you were to take it further. Think about the guy's wife, and his children (if he has any). If you keep up this flirting, and/or if you actually take it to the next step, you're not only cheating on just your husband, you're also cheating on his wife too (and his children, if he has any).

If you really want stop this flirting, then every time you flirt with him, imagine this fantasy: Imagine if your husband and the guy's wife were spirits floating up on the ceiling and watching the whole scene. Imagine these spirits seeing the guy charming you, and seeing your excitement over it. Try to imaging (it's called empathy) the 'hurt' and the betrayal these spirits are feeling, and feel the pain in your own heart. Is your selfish childish flirting worth that pain you just inflicted on those spirits? If you cannot imagine it, then just imagine yourself sticking a needle in your husband's and your coworker's wife's respective hearts. (If you cheat, then it's like knife wound to the heart instead of a needle.)

I believe there can be harmless flirting; kind of a jousting with one's coworkers. But that kind of flirting does not involve any sexual tension, just a little fun. Obviously the flirting you're doing is not harmless. It's the kind of flirting that can lead to the next step. I've seen it happen, and the consequences were truly devastating. It makes me sick to my stomach when I think about what happened, that I cannot even talk or write about it. Although, the woman in this devastating story was kind of like you, a married woman who was falling for another man, a player. The player was my boyfriend. A lot of people suffered. Although, the player just suppressed the whole thing, like nothing happened. Perhaps it's eating away at his soul. I realize that not all flirtations are as dramatic as this case, but, most of them lead to no good. Why bother?

So all that ranting above was me needing to get something off my chest. Because my ex-bf was a flirt, and got excited over other women. I saw how pathetically stupid these women were. These women were flattered by him and they adored him, and acted like I was invisible. That was painful and humiliating for me. To me, you're just one of those stupid women. So I guess, you and these other women, are probably not really stupid. You probably have blinders on and make mistakes. I'm just trying to show you the other side.

My god, if you have a good, loving, and faithful husband, and you love him, consider yourself truly blessed. It's up to you to bring some fun into your marriage. "In Love" is not real and it always fades with time. "Love" is real and lasting.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 October 2010):

Have you considered that perhaps YOU ARE!!! So cut the victim like attitude and use the same to get your marriage together, that is if you want to . You are wasting your hbs life and time. Hun, you are not committed to your marriage. You are now in your 50s and soon , at the rate you are carrying on, will end up with no one, not even your hb.

So take a critical look at your life. Remember loneliness kills!!!

-LoveGirl

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A male reader, Wild Thaing Canada + , writes (14 October 2010):

Wild Thaing agony auntI commend you for coming here and admitting your weakness but please do not for one minute try to persuade us that you are somehow the victim in this situation. You have conceded that you are attracted to this other guy and he must know this by now. So what are you doing to shut him down? It sounds to me that you have done nothing but encourage him to pursue you.

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A female reader, sweetpea99 United States +, writes (14 October 2010):

I am in the same boat as you are. I don't believe in cheating but it is so hard because the feelings are mutual.

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

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

I appreciate the feedback, but I don't understand why everyone assumes that I'm trying to get this man. My problem is how do I get over the attraction

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A male reader, Wild Thaing Canada + , writes (13 October 2010):

Wild Thaing agony auntCuriosity killed the cat. Are you so desperate for attention that you'll take sloppy seconds from a married man? Is the damage to others worth the selfish gratification associated with this flirtation?

Those who do not have self-respect will perform disrespectful deeds on those who least deserve such treatment. Are you going to be one of those people? This is the question you ought to ponder as you fantasize about running off with this guy.

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

Yes, the attraction is mutual, and he is probably looking for some action.

So, how do you resist?

Well, first you need to really educate yourself about what is going on in your own mind, as well as in your marriage.

I'd suggest buying a couple of books on affairs, because you are already in an emotional affair at some level, and you probably should be in counseling with your spouse as you are seriously contemplating cheating on him. Suggest this to your spouse, counseling that is, and work at it, don't take "no" for an answer. Tell him you are having problems and you want him to go to counseling for you, not because of him.

Cheating is just that "cheating", or "not playing by the rules", or more appropriately "being unfair" to the other person.

Think about that, treat your current spouse like you would like to be treated...and if being cheated on by your spouse is how you would like to be treated then by all means just go ahead and cheat because that is what you want, and cheating with a cheater is almost a sure fire means of making sure that you will be cheated on in your future relationships.

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

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

Thanks for your responses. So how do I get past this? The attraction is not only on my part; he goes out of his way to be near me. I'm not going to talk to him about it.

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A male reader, Wild Thaing Canada + , writes (12 October 2010):

Wild Thaing agony auntHoney, it sounds like you're enjoying a romantic fantasy. Never having reality ruin your fantasy (e.g. he leaves the toilet seat up, seeing him with his clothes off, watching him pick his zits) you are free to fill in the information gaps with whatever you desire.

You've got some unmet need(s) in your marriage requiring your attention - fantasizing about some guy that you can idealize will not meet the need(s). In fact this kind of behaviour only enables you to avoid dealing directly with your husband relative to your need(s).

Take stock of your marriage if you wish to save it. Good luck and take care.

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A female reader, Honeygirl South Africa +, writes (12 October 2010):

Honeygirl agony auntYou are contemplating an affair with a married man - so he doesnt wear his wedding ring - a lot of men dont wear wedding rings - that doesnt mean he is available!!

You are married to A - then put your energy into your marriage or else divorce your spouse and find a single guy to date.

Office affairs always lead to disaster with one or both parties either having to resign or be told to resign by management. Not worth a fumble in the stationery room is it??

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

It is always easier in the long run to work on the relationship you have, than to find out what a new relationship will be like.

The best way that I've ever heard it said is "different person, same set of problems".

Sex with a new partner is always exciting, at first. Reality and long term relationships are certainly not as exciting as the first blush of an affair.

But affairs, as exciting as they may be, usually die off after the partners realize they aren't what they seemed what they would be initially.

Read about affairs, how they happen, and how marriage relationships fall apart. Perhaps you could actually make it work at home.

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A female reader, LLindy87 United States +, writes (12 October 2010):

LLindy87 agony auntLeave him alone...he's married. Go find a single guy who is not married. It doesn't matter how you two feel...he made a commitment and I highly doubt you want to be the other women, the home wrecker, etc. If he wants to be with you, he'll get a divorce and be with you. But that's his choice...not yours.

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