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Please help me to stop being such an idiot - married man

(147 Posts)
idiotme Sun 25-Aug-13 14:24:57

I work with him, for a long time I didn't think of him like 'that' at all as we were both married and I didn't find him particularly attractive anyway. Somehow though over a period of a couple of years of working closely together (during which I had a messy divorce) it got to the stage where we'd built up a friendship that was a bit too close, he quite obviously flirted and could be quite suggestive. I naively told myself that I'd although I liked him, I'd never let anything happen as I didn't want to get involved with someone who was married but I think I'd already allowed myself to get sucked in and started to rely on the contact and attention.

Eventually after a work event we slept together - I was very drunk, he didn't force himself on me and I could have (and obviously should have) stopped it but I feel he did take his chance and slightly take advantage of the situation. Afterwards I told him I regretted it, he said he didn't and since then he's carried on as before, continued the flirting and makes comments that suggest he'd like it to happen again.

I've told him it's not going to happen again but the problem is I keep getting sucked in. I can keep my distance and keep it professional for a while but then if I spend any period of time with him he seems to be able to win me around and it goes back to the overly familiar/flirty stage (although nothing else physical has happened).

I know I'm being a fool to let him use me like this and to be doing this to his wife - he doesn't even make any secret of the fact that he just wants something on the side, he doesn't really pretend to particularly care about me and has never suggested that he's not happy with or doesn't love his wife.

If I'm honest with myself I know it's probably a self esteem thing and I just don't want to let go of the attention but I know I need to for my own sanity. What can I do to stop getting sucked in and put a proper stop to this? There's no way I can get out of working with him although I have stopped attending any events where drink is involved and avoid being alone with him.

I know this isn't the place for sympathy, with all the horrible stories of people being hurt by their husbands and people like me but I just need a good talking to to snap out of it and put a proper stop to this.

meditrina Sun 25-Aug-13 14:44:10

I know the employment market is difficult, but you need to start looking for another job.

It is hard to go NC if you have to see someone at work. So you do need to change workplace. Chalk it up to the price of experience, and move forward to a new environment where you might meet new friends.

And well done for recognising that you need to get away from this mess.

ofmiceandmen Sun 25-Aug-13 14:55:19

You scare me OP. they say hurt people hurt.

Basically this chaps wife is paying the price for whatever anger/dissatisfaction/need that arose from the break up of your own relationship.

Did your exH cheat or did you ever suspect he did?
Is this your way of getting even in some way. the gratification that you could pull someone who is in a marriage.

I hope you can heal.

You're more valuable than that.

Laura Mvula Diamonds

rootypig Sun 25-Aug-13 14:58:49

I think you need to realise that if the chips are down, he will throw you under the bus to save his own skin - his job, and his marriage. I always worry about women who get into difficult situations in the workplace, because a combination of gender prejudice and men's sheer brass neck usually means it's the woman who suffers, professionally. For example, you've started avoiding events - a good decision in terms of the relationship, but what does it mean for you professionally?

Does that perspective help? You have to start putting yourself first.

I agree with meditrina that changing jobs will be easiest. But will that set you back? if so, I also think you have the strength to cut him dead. Be a very friendly, very professional ice queen. To avoid unpleasantness, I would have a quick chat with him to the effect of 'it's better this way', if possible leaving him with the sense that it's a decision he's made. To be frank he has been manipulating you, and I think you have to start manipulating him.

MexicanHat Sun 25-Aug-13 15:01:46

He took advantage of you while you were very drunk - what kind of man would do that?? I would hope that this in itself would make you see what a pig he is.

If you can't get another job anytime soon you do need to keep your distance and be professional but cool with. Btw people at work will 100% have noticed that some kind of affair has/is happening.

You don't mention much about your own marrige in the thread. Are happy with your H? Do you have DCs? You mention his wife, what about your husband?

MexicanHat Sun 25-Aug-13 15:04:07

sorry OP - don't know how I missed the divorced bit!!

LookingForwardToVino Sun 25-Aug-13 15:05:13

Your being an idiot op... STOP IT!


whitesugar Sun 25-Aug-13 15:10:08

Try to picture his wife and children crying with utter devastation when they find out. That should do the job.

MexicanHat Sun 25-Aug-13 15:12:52

Beautiful link ofmiceandmen Thanks for sharing.

MoreThanWords Sun 25-Aug-13 15:16:48

Whitesugar - I think it's HIM who needs to picture that now the OP has said she doesn't want to continue, and he is carrying on with the same behaviour.

whitesugar Sun 25-Aug-13 15:18:30

Well OP is the one who said she keeps getting sucked back in.

Mojavewonderer Sun 25-Aug-13 15:19:01

I am surprised the wife and child bit didn't put you off! Stop being an idiot and get a new job if you can't trust yourself around him!

Quityabitchen Sun 25-Aug-13 15:22:05

Find another job as soon as you can. This man isn't yours, his loyalty should be to his wife and children, and regardless of how flattering his attentions are, find another way to boost your self esteem.

Numberlock Sun 25-Aug-13 15:23:36

You sound very passive in it all, OP. I'm not convinced you want it to end though.

Am I wrong?

Mosman Sun 25-Aug-13 15:28:55

I'd have a word with your boss, this is basically harassment in the work place, make them rwsnsfervyou at the very least and deny you slept with him.
He deserves to lose his job tbh this predatory behaviour is disgusting.

yellowballoons Sun 25-Aug-13 15:38:00

As you have suggested, you need to build on your self esteem.

He is making your self esteem worse, not better.

If you can apply for another job, then do so.

Put your self esteem to a higher importance than attention and flattery.

Hassled Sun 25-Aug-13 15:41:13

He has no motivation to change jobs, so almost certainly won't.
So, massively unfair though it is, you're going to have to. Start looking tonight.

piratecat Sun 25-Aug-13 15:45:59

agree, he will drop you like a hot spud, and it will be nasty.

rootypig Sun 25-Aug-13 15:53:22

Agree that a quiet word with HR might avoid any future trouble and give you the jump on him. Be a bit clever here OP. Be a bit brutal.

WitchOfEndor Sun 25-Aug-13 16:02:05

It's clear to you that he has no real feelings for you, plus he is married. Why on earth are you attracted to him?

idiotme Sun 25-Aug-13 17:09:06

I know it can only end badly and I do want to end it (whatever 'it' is) I'm just finding it difficult to completely extract myself from it. I've done the 'it's best this way' chat and he'll be normal for a while but then it will gradually get to the stage where he's pushing things again and my problem is that I don't seem able to keep up the icequeen routine.

I was hoping it wouldn't get to the stage where I had to leave - I have been looking for a new job but for what I do and where I live it would be difficult and would probably mean taking a step backwards career wise.

yellowballoons - any suggestions on how?

yellowballoons Sun 25-Aug-13 17:28:20

If you type in "self esteem" into search on here, lots of threads talking about self esteem will come up.
I dont think there have been any recent ones in the last 2 months, but there have been several threads about it over the years.

Viviennemary Sun 25-Aug-13 17:40:52

This is a prime example of why never to get involved with somebody at work. But that doesn't help you. But he shouldn't be harassing you like this if you have now told him that's it. Of course you made a mistake but that should be the end of it. I don't really see why you should have to change jobs because he won't take no for an answer. But if you end up encouraging him then you've got to take some of the blame.

Have a sharp word and threaten him with telling the boss if he doesn't back off. Or ask for a transfer to another department if that's possible.

idiotme Sun 25-Aug-13 19:31:54

I don't feel I can tell his boss as it's not a big company and he's fairly high up so I don't think they'd want anyone making trouble and it would probably end up affecting me more than him if it came out.

yellowballoons Sun 25-Aug-13 19:45:17

You could try posting in legal to see what your position is.
If you want him to stop, and he doesnt, then I think he is in trouble legally.

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