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Married With Crush On Coworker

I am falling hard for a coworker but I’m married with two children. I can’t say that I love my wife and I’m not sure I did when I married her. Marrying her just felt like the comfortable thing to do. We had been together for so long, since we were teenagers. If we didn’t have two children we probably would have ended things within the past two years. My wife loves me but knows that my feelings for her are not there.

Enter my beautiful, charming, younger coworker. We have been very close since the day she started and I was instantly attracted to her. Over time we’ve gone from being close work friends to being close personal friends. We share personal stories with each other. We vent our frustrations about our respective relationships, we talk about life, love and happiness. I think she has shared more with me about her personal life than she has with anyone else, boyfriend included. I’ve certainly shared more with her than anyone else in my personal life, wife included. We sneak out of the office to take walks together in the park, we go to lunch together and we hang out after work together. We text each other over a hundred times per month. If she goes on vacation she’ll text me pictures every day she’s gone and bring gifts back for me. She texts me on every holiday to wish me a happy-whatever. Everything I post on Facebook is met with a comment from her. Everything she posts on Facebook is met with a comment from me. If we spend time alone together outside of work we are constantly taking pictures of one another together. If we go out in public to something like a sporting event we sit shoulder-to-shoulder, leaned in to one another resembling a happy couple. The two of us even get extremely nervous when asking the other to do something. Most of the time one of us will just drop a hint about doing something for lunch or after work and expect the other to respond in kind. Or we will make plans for something and then not follow through with the plans. We must sigh loudly 100 times per day at work. I’ve met almost her entire family. They’ve all known me by name even before being introduced to me and upon that introduction they always say, “I’ve heard a lot about you.” I could go on and on and on.

This is a full-fledged emotional affair. I think about her all of the time. I wake up every morning with an elevated heart-rate because either I had been dreaming about her or I’m anxious about going through another day having to see her while knowing that we cannot be together. I am undeniably in love with her more than I’ve ever been in love with anyone before but nothing has ever happened between us and it’s frustrating. Whenever one of us tries to walk through that door and over that threshold the other one slams it shut…me by way of avoidance and her by way of invoking either her boyfriend or my wife. I’m not even sure that she feels the same way about me because it’s something we’ve never dared to talk about. But if I found out she didn’t have the same feelings I would have to check to make sure I didn’t come from another planet yesterday. It’s all quite pathetic really.

I know… I’m scum for being married and carrying on this relationship. Right? But the fact of the matter is that I’m human. I work with this woman very closely. I cannot avoid these feelings and replace them with feelings for my wife that do not exist. I could avoid personal time with her but I don’t want to. I’ve done it before. It’s a form of pure torture and puts me into a depression. The only way I think this connection could be severed is if one of us were to find another job but even then I’m not sure whether the feelings would subside or get stronger from distance. We’ve both looked for other jobs and we’ve both even been offered other jobs but in each case it doesn’t work out and we are still stuck every day, fearful of the potential energy between us and fearful of each other. I don’t know what to do. For me this really is the best of times and the worst of times.
serendipity1998 serendipity1998 31-35, M 7 Responses Oct 3, 2012

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This is nice. I found this by googling "I think my married coworker has a crush on me". If she's remotely thinking the same thoughts you are, chances are she has stumbled upon this and either recognized it was you, or related to it strongly. My take is, monogamy is a system of control issued by us as a society. It's not always a bad thing, but combined with feelings of love, it's either there or it's not. In the case of your marriage and your wife, it isn't there. So my advice is to take a chance. Talk to your coworker, find out what the whole story is.

Take that risk, because if you don't, you will be confined to a lot of "what ifs", all the while slowly resenting your wife for your actions (those being that you are allowing yourself to remain in a loveless marriage). The kids? This is a hard one, but if "best" case scenario happens, and your coworker feels the same way you do, then you have to talk to your wife. If you think she's clueless about your feelings for another person, you are very wrong. Be open with her, and honest. Honesty will save you both from a lot of struggle with your children in the future. I definitely don't envy the task you have ahead of you, but if you approach with caution, respect, and honesty, this could very well not be as bad as how things in the movies, or on Springer (is that show even on still?) are portrayed.

I found this story interesting because another link I clicked (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130503170942AASrGmn) tells a similar, albeit "earlier" rendition of your experience, by a woman, and all responses are met with blaming her for feeling that her married coworker has a crush on her. Some even goes as so far to tell her that her thoughts are just a product of her own self esteem. When viewing your responses, you are met with a lot of support, including me. Best of luck to you, and remember: respect and honesty on both sides.

PS-- "worst" case she doesn't have those feelings (I don't see how that is true considering the experiences you have listed), then you should certainly take the next job offer that comes your way and deal with your marriage with the same honesty and respect.

Hi serendipity. Wanted to let u know that sometimes the rewards are worth the risk. I have been in the same boat as u. I had been best friends with him for 5 years before i had the courage to take the chance and tell him how i felt. We had very much the same situation very close told each other everything worked together. I was in love with him the whole time but was so scared it wouldnt be returned. He was married. And so was i. Not exactly proud of that but i got the nerve to tell him one day and found out he had felt the same all that time ago as well but was also scared to say. That was 5 years ago. Ive never been so blessed to be in love with my best friend and to have him love me too. I know its scary but youll never know without the risk. It doesnt always work out this way im not naive enough to believe that. But i do believe in love and it sounds like youve found it. Lifes too short. Tell her and good luck

it may be a "place" where the two of you can explore your feelings of course.

Thank you for the suggestion but that would require me telling her about how I feel in the first place wouldn't it?

By the way, we no longer work together but we still talk every day and we've drawn even closer but we still have not crossed the line. I'm very much confused about whether she views me as just her best friend or if she hopes for something more as I do.

does this woman visit EP as well ?

Not that I know of. Why?

Good relationships take nuturing. You have no real chance to restore your relationship with your wife until you cut off this emotional relationship with your co-worker. There is an expxression, "Stolen water is sweet, food eaten in secret is delicious.” But if you take the secrecy away, you will find that it was much the same water as you previously. If you're not willing to break off this emotional relationship, let you wife know because it not fair to her and there is no way your relationship can move forward with her while your chasing the wind with this co-worker.

I'm definitely not willing to break it off. Thanks for the suggestion. The time will come with the wife. I'm not sure my marriage could survive even if a void is created by unfulfilled affections for my (now former) coworker.

It's a normal thing, just like stopping at the Red Light,,we always admire other people's car,thought it looks nice then ours...it's part of life...

Yes, and once you have her..the thrill will be gone...and you will badly damage your marriage and hurt your wife....then when you lost it all..y9ou will wonder wtf you were thinking!