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Married and can't stop thinking about someone else - advice please....(258 Posts)
I've been with my wife for over 15 years and we have a young family. I changed jobs in 2015 and a friendship grew with a colleague who works for another company. I have very regular work contact with her (meetings/emails/phone) and she's single.
We recently discussed that we fancy each other and we've had multiple conversations about it since. Nothing at all has happened physically.
The attraction has happened over a period of time - we get on really well, have plenty in common and it's clear there's a connection there. My wife knows somethings up and thinks it's work stress, but the truth is I'm finding it hard to think about anything else. I know it's something that will pass, but I'm struggling concentrating on anything other than thinking about her at the moment.
From the outside looking in I know I shouldn't go anywhere near a relationship with her, but that doesn't stop me wanting it so much. I know I need to concentrate on my family and try and forget about her.
So - my question is - nothings happened apart from us knowing that we like each other and probably some form of emotional affair in that we've discussed things with each other we probably shouldn't. I know we'll stay good friends for a long time. How do I stop the romantic attraction and constant thinking about her?
You can't be friends with her. If you are genuinely serious about your wife, you need to cut ties with this woman. That's really all there is to it. Cut ties, start concentrating on your wife.
Thank you. I've really tried concentrating on my wife, but I can't stop thinking that I'd be happier with the work colleague as we connect on so many different levels.
Firstly, don't kid yourself that you are not squarely in affair territory.
You have concealed both the extent and the nature of this additional relationship from your spouse - the person to whom you ought to owe loyalty above all others.
If you do, then you have to break off your emotional affair entirely. Ideally, move job again. If not, make sure you are never alone with her, do not accept any contact other than strictly professional.
If you cannot do that, then end your marriage.
And if that's going to be your choice, then I strongly recommend that you do so now as it will only get messier (and potentially nastier) the longer you leave it.
Another one saying you can't be friends with her. It won't work. It will just end in an affair anyway.
It will pass and you'll feel embarrassed looking back. Avoid taking on work where you'd be together and try cutting down on email exchanges.
You have asked for advice. Pp said cut all ties. You can't/don't want to. The other option is tell your wife you think you have met your soulmate who you connect with 'on so many levels' (like you probably did with your wife, which is why you married her). See what she says about your obsession.
I think it's very tough in that we don't have any control over who we're attracted to and also monogamy is just a social construct and the only thing we do have control over is what we choose to do about our feelings for someone else. A recent poster posted a TED talk on this relationships board called something like must see talk about affairs given by a relationship psychotherapist. You may find it helpful, you might need to scroll back but I think I saw the post and watched the TED talk only yesterday
You went out of your way to discuss your attraction with this colleague???
That speaks volumes really. If you wanted to keep your marriage intact and let your crush fizzle out you would have kept your big gob shut surely??
It sounds as if you're looking for an 'in' with this colleague. It certainly doesn't sound as if you want to protect your marriage.
You do still have wedding vows in common with your wife you know- just thought I'd mentioned it since you haven't.
Thank you, this is such useful advise. Absolutely makes sense but it's so hard for my to come to that conclusion as my head is all over the place and has been for weeks.
I know I'm in affair territory. My colleague really fancies me and is trying to get me out of her head by going on dates - which to be honest makes me hugely jealous. She's been really open with me and I guess we're trying to help each other do the right thing. I know this is massively dangerous territory.
I think the 'make sure we are never alone together' is such good advice.
Thank you very much for the advice.
If you really do feel so strongly for this woman perhaps it's worth looking at your relationship with your wife. Are things not going so well and that is why you have suddenly developed feelings for someone else?
We all have silly crushes at one time or another but this seems to be much more, especially if you want to take it further.
If you care for your wife you should cut ties with this woman and focus on your marriage. If you are serious about taking things further then at least have the decency to finish things with your wife.
Don't kid yourself that this doesn't already have the makings of an affair. How would you feel if it were your wife thinking this way?
Leave your wife and kids and sort out your head.
The only person who has any level of control over what you do, is YOU.
It is entirely up to you what you do and how you behave.
Don't kid yourself that what you are doing is not an affair - of course it is.
Married 15 years, young family - of course the interactions between your wife and you will not have the same frisson to them as they do with your colleague. Act on the excitement or don't; honour the longterm commitment you made to your wife and your DCs or don't - up to you.
'Grass' and 'greener' comes to mind - how do you think life will be like with your colleague in 15 years when you've had a couple of kids together? Or are you looking for some excitement and 'new' sex?? Ah, well….
Thank you everyone for the comments. I do have control over this although it feels a bit like I'm in freefall just now. I could see a long term future with the colleague - haven't felt this way about anyone in a very, very long time. Yes, it could be a crush but it honestly feels like more than that.
I agree with the comment to consider your existing relationship - I imagine if that was in a good place you wouldn't be thinking about your colleague in this way.
You need to consider which path you want to take - but if it's the colleague IMO you need to finish with your wife first - an affair will be a very messy way to end things and will be to the detriment of your children.
Stop indulging it. Honestly.
It's not star crossed lovers. She's not your soul mate. You think you have more in common because you see her edited highlights, at work, and you see your wife raw.
You've made it much harder for yourself with your conversations about finding each other attractive. Not only is this now an emotional affair that would likely destroy your marriage, but it's built up into something big in your head - you see it as a valid option now, a mutual attraction that you can fight for a while and then give in.
If you value your wife, cut down contact to an absolute minimum. Be prepared for your colleague to make every effort to make this difficult. Don't be alone with her, keep comms professional and only communicate more than you need too. If you catch yourself thinking about her, stop. Invest the energy back into your relationship.
If you don't, end things with your wife now, and let everything settle before you make any move with your colleague. If you don't, you'll taint the new relationship. If it's worth throwing away your marriage for, it's worth waiting until you've cleaned up.
You know what you need to do, really, you just don't want too.
It sounds as though on some level you've already decided you are in love with this other woman and you're doing the classic star-crossed lovers thing as a result. If you had respect for you wife, no way in hell would you be having conversations with another woman about how much you fancy each other. You just would not go there at all. So recognise that it is your own behaviour that was worsened the situation you now find yourself in. If you are committed to your wife you need to detach from this woman, of COURSE you can't be friends and you should even consider changing jobs. Work out what you want and then act accordingly. If you want to end your marriage then do so, but do not embark on a shitty deceptive affair. You can be better than that.
You are already in a "relationship" with the OW
You are already having an affair
Because your dick hasn't actually entered her vagina (yet) makes no difference
You will be devaluing your wife right now. You will be giving less to your marriage.
Al the shit storm that is currently coming your way will be entirely your fault.
Thank you again. Anchor - I do see the edited highlights. And it is something big in my head. I think I have to cut down contact. I find it very hard to stop thinking about her - and that's been really difficult recently. Phoenix, I know my behaviour has worsened the situation and I know I need to detach from the situation.
Don't "cut down" contact. Sever it entirely. Find a new job as soon as you can. Tell your wife what you have been doing so she can decide if she wishes to stay in marriage with a cheater.
"She's been really open with me and I guess we're trying to help each other do the right thing."
This is the immensely popular 'baby steps' route to an affair.
It's a tired story, as old as the hills and you seem to be following cliche after cliche.
Would I be right in thinking that your wife believes your marriage is monogamous?
Because if so, what you are doing is devastatingly wrong.
If you no longer want your marriage, that is heartbreaking all round.
But believe me, it'll be a thousand times worse if you continue on your affair path.
If you want to minimise the hurt to your children, then finish one or other relationship now.
And I also suggest that, whichever way you choose, you book for some counselling so you understand why you have chosen such disloyalty and decided to let yourself be vulnerable to such a trite and common failing.
You're already having an affair.
Grow the fuck up and admit it.
No way do you have more in common with a woman you've known less than a year than your wife who you've known 15 times longer.
You are not star-crossed lovers. You are a cheat and, even though she is single, she's got so few morals that she's willing to talk about her feelings to a married man with a young family. Nice, that!
Deal with it by severing all contact with her. Put the effort you're expending on this woman into your marriage instead.
Or don't. Carry on being a twat. Up to you.
You are having an emotional affair with a work colleague. You've already been unfaithful.
Be honest with your wife and let her choose.
Thank you - it's time to sever as much contact as possible with my colleague,
Grass is greener springs to mind.
Don't be an idiot. You are throwing a lot away on this woman who you have only seen in a work environment.
You married your wife. Concentrate on her and your relationship.
Id agree about you changing jobs.
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