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i think I'm having a midlife crisis(41 Posts)
Right I just need to vent a bit and get this off my chest.
Total cliche. Works do. Booze and colleague. Both married.
Big party to celebrate a huge milestone after months and months of absolute graft.. Very boozy, no holds barred, lots of dancing and hugging and general silliness and merriment amongst everyone. Things got a bit out of hand and weird with one colleague. Started fine, chatting and hanging out at the bar. Others joined us and came and went. I got really drunk and we had a really good laugh and I danced a lot of the night away.
I'm a bit of a social smoker but haven't done so in ages but headed off with this colleague for a smoke. A few others joined us but as we went outside he put his jacket round my shoulders (didn't ask for it) and sort of stood with his hand on my back. So far so good - he's quite a lot older than me and I thought perhaps it was a bit of a paternal thing. I had patched up one of the twenty somethings earlier in the night and given him a hug on one of the sofas so seemed innocent enough.
Then as the night progressed into the wee hours I became aware of quite intense eye contact from him. About ten of us ended up in a nightclub. I was really drunk by then and couldn't drink anything else and sat in a booth with a few of us. It ended up just the two of us and he came and sat next to me and I remember thinking yikes he's pressing his leg against mine. He asked me to go back to his suite with him. He basically said that I'd let loose already and it was up to me how bad I wanted to be but he wanted me to come back with him. Quite matter of fact really. We then had this quite frankly mental discussion where I reminded him that he was married etc. He's very senior in the business (I'm relatively senior too but not at board level). He's very matter of fact and steely - have seen him in action at work. He would need to be to get where he has. His 'position' on this was that he fancies me a lot and I must know that. It was really surreal - he basically said that I'm great at my job and funny and I can't say the rest - not crude but is just to cringey to write down.
Nothing happened BUT
I had to give myself a bit of a slap a few months ago when i realised that I was checking out the car park for his car when I got into work and was disappointed when he was travelling for business or when I was. He used to come by my desk for no real reason and if he saw me working elsewhere in the business he would always come and sit and have a chat. We've had a sensitive employment issue to deal with related to someone in the business and lately had a fair amount of face to face time on a one to one basis. We do get on great in a work context and get shit done. I really respect his decision making and drive.
Nothing happened and I went back to my hotel alone and he to his. A few things though - I'm worried that things will be different at work. I'm worried that other colleagues might have noticed something in the air on the work do. I have a big event with him in a week's time that I can't get out of. There will be 7 of us but usually we would travel together and I don't know how to deal with it. He would also usually be an ally. Is he going to ignore the entire thing/address it. How do we move on with dignities intact? I don't know if he will be different or cold now.
Also - I AM massively drawn to him and I think that perhaps I have caused the whole thing by being too open and friendly. Stupidly I thought the fact that there was a significant age gap kind of neutered it.. I so wanted to kiss him that night. I knew I couldn't but I feel guilty even thinking that way. I am also glad that I made sure we stayed with colleagues too as I think it could hhavve got out fo hand if we'd been alone. I need to deal with this feeling. I also feel that I was perhaps responsible - did he see that in me somehow??
Urgghhh. I have seen him briefly since - I was with another colleague and he popped his head in to see how we were feeling. My colleague took a call and he looked me straight in the eye and smiled so hopefully he won't be a dick about it all and we can forget it ever happened but I am in a spin about it all and this big upcoming event.
Forget what ever happened, because nothing did? Sorry, I don't understand what he has to be a dick about?
I turned him down? For good reason of course but could he be difficult about it? Perhaps I'm totally over thinking it. It's made me feel a bit vulnerable.
Try bonding a bit more with your own partner. The grass is not greener on Mr Romeo's side of the fence.....
Yep you're right flatbelly. I'm angsting over nothing really. I just feel a bit responsible and stupid about it all. Worried about my credibility at work too. Glass of wine and new day in the morning.
BTW, I think your bigger problem right now is the next event, it sounds like you fancy him rotten, a few drinks, get relaxed, he'll slid over to have a chat and the next thing you know, you'll take it a step further, it will only get worse! Be very careful, don't drink at all next time and keep a clear head, just for the record, he will definitely try it on again, he know you're interested!
Urghhh I didn't tell him I was interested but I am worried about next week. It's a celebration with key advisors- there will be booze. I will have to stop after one but there is a long journey back together too. Hopefully a couple of others will travel back up too.
Yep, seconding the 'don't drink' advice. Not even one - you need to stay sober and be aware of your actions.
You have free will, op.
Had that fact slipped your mind ?
Fair point Any Fucker. I just need to get a grip. Pretend the crossing of the line didn't happen and re-set the dynamic to a completely professional one. I guess if my hackles are up he won't bother. Just worried about spoiling what has been a great professional relationship so far.
You said both married. So, you're married too?
Was the do before you started fancying him and checking to see if his car was there etc or after?
It sounds like you find it flattering/have a bit of a crush on him. On his part, it's either something he's done before (chancing hid luck, hoping for a fling) or he's fallen for you. But I think it's the former. I wouldn't go there op. Forget it ever happened and from now on keep things strictly professional.
Yes I'm married too. The do was very recent. The car checking thing a few months back. I think you are likely right that it's the former. He is a man of the world and a fair bit older. I just need to pour some cold water on it and keep it business like in future.
Thanks all for the input everyone. I did need a small vent and appreciate it.
You didn't do anything wrong, other than perhaps not shutting him down soon enough. Take it as a wake up call to perhaps limit your drinking at work dos, and up your boundaries a notch - so that nothing you do leaves you open to gossip (fair or not).
Beyond that, forget it, pretend like it never happened, chances are he'll follow your lead and things will only be weird if you actively start avoiding him etc. Some people can be dicks when rejected because it hurts their ego - being as you're married though, he'll be able to rationalise it as not being about him IYSWIM, so its unlikely he'll be all butthurt about you saying no.
You need to stop drinking at work events if you can't think and act sensibly.
I'd act like you don't remember a thing about what happened, and act professionally with him from here on out if you think you can pull this off.
No drinking at work things - not even one drink. Hold one if the pressure is there, but never take a sip and then ditch it when you can. I do this all the time. To refuse a drink brings unwanted attention especially around clients, so just fake it. But don't drink it. (I have a coworkers I switch out glasses with once their glass is empty.)
Re - drunk flirting - you can always claim you don't remember all that was said and everything that happened. Kill the awkwardness that way.
How are you getting on with your husband ar the moment?
You could try telling your husband. Not to be flippant but it could work. Make the crush feel more silly than exciting and make it something for you two not something for you and exciting-other-bloke.
Flirting and having a crush don't have to equal a mid-life crisis or an affair. In the big scheme of things, nothing happened and you went home.
Is there a chance that you are revelling in the excitement of it all rather than actually wanting anything to happen? Don't go breaking your marriage vows for a bit of drama/flattery - it will be a hideous crash to earth and you will feel awful. So cheap.
That hasn't happened yet. I agree with everyone saying don't drink.
What age are you and what age is he? He sounds practiced.
You know what's in your head and what's in yours. You've got a crush. He wanted to have an affair
You have the choice now whether to create, or allow to be created, situation where there is intimacy, connection or even physical proximity between you.
You can choose what to do about this
I'd also think to myself - this is not romance or whatnot - he's probably had affairs before. Hopefully this nips the flirtation in the bud, since you know he's prepared to betray his wife so he's not that nice, is he?
Me, I'd be keeping half an eye out for whether he's prepared to be nasty to you.
Then you have to think : why did I allow it to go too far? Focus on you and your DH
To make it more explicit, do not be alone with him at social events.
Finally, the bit where your spidey senses should have been alerted is when he put his arm round you and gave you the jacket.
That's an act of intimacy. Now you know he's not feeling paternal towards you.
Woken up to more advice and questions- thank you Mumsnet. I am mid to late thirties but probably seem older due to my role - people assume I find that I'm 40 ish because I am pretty far on career wise, have been married a long time, got primary school aged kids. He is mid 50s at least.
Me and DH are ok. We don't have much spark these days. I try as does he - but we seem to have lost sexual chemistry. We are a great parenting team and as all working parents we balance a lot between us and that works. I am happiest doing stuff together as a family team. The sex is not great - has been terrible at times. We went through a period when our marriage fell into being basically a sexless marriage. We make an effort now (but it is just that ). Sometimes I initiate or go with it because it makes the atmosphere more pleasant but it often feels like flogging a dead horse. Once a week absolute max - can't remember last time I came (TMI). So perhaps I am vulnerable to any scraps of attention... I have really tried with it. I had got into a rut of not exercising a while ago but this last year I run and work out regularly and feel better for it.
Sorry don't know why I'm boring you with my entire bloody life story.
Notyoda - everything you say resonates for me. I know it's really silly but the jacket thing was a bit surprising- he didn't ask me or say you look cold here have this - we hadn't even stepped outside and I just felt him put it round me and place his hand on my back. It's nothing really but I wonder if it looked a bit off to colleagues.
Also I sort of liked it at that moment. My DH would never do that even if I was freezing he would just tell me I should have thought about it before I came out etc....
But yes I bet he is practiced and I will keep that at the forefront of my mind. I need to cut him off whilst being super professional. Not helped that we have just had a reshuffle at work and he now sits within my area where previously he was elsewhere. I am travelling for a few days so it should all have blown over before next week.
Bloody hell I haven't half gone on. Sorry everyone. Such a non problem to get hung up on. There was a tipping point and I tipped the right way rather than the stupid way despite the temptation. End of. New day. Off out for a run.
Glad you have come to the sensible conclusion.
Now don't be lulled by the "I bet he has done this before, he is a practiced cheat" etc. You don't know that and it let's you off the hook somewhat.
You have agency. Own your own behaviour. See this as a rather jarring blip. It happens...but more will happen if you cross those lines. Be very sure that if you do, the consequences will be all yours.
I certainly don't mean to let myself off the hook AF. Like you say I need to own it. I must have led him on one way or another but glad that when it mattered I was clear headed enough to put the brakes on. Time to be a grown up.
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