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I’ve become the other woman...advice please(136 Posts)
I feel horrible for posting on here but the truth is I have no other option and I feel distraught and trapped in a hell of my own making.
About 18months ago I started getting close to a colleague, he is 43 and I am 31. We started working closely so naturally became closer socially and over that period a nice friendship blossomed and that’s all it was as after all, he (C) was married and I was in a relationship. I was not physically attracted to him nor him me I think. A couple of months later he began to contact me at inappropriate times while he was drunk, saying very flirty things and sometimes quoting song lyrics. I spoke to him about it when he was sobered up and he was mortified so we moved on until it happens again. At this point, I was quite upset about it as believed he just saw me as a bit of skirt so I confronted him again and said that I hated to have to say this but I would need to speak to HR if it happens again. He was mortified again and apologised profusely.
At this point I questioned him on his marriage as I didn’t think it was normal for him to be behaving like this and he would just try to ignore the subject but drop hints that he wasn’t very happy. He told me that he felt bullied in his marriage and that they had lots of problems and that he didn’t think he was in love with her anymore. He also said he wishes it could be over but there is no way she would divorce him. I tried to comfort him as he was telling me this and I offered him honest advice as I would any other friend. At that period, I broke up with my boyfriend too. Things just weren’t working out so we decided to split. C was very kindduring this time and we got closer and closer as friends and ended up speaking and texting at all hours during the week and even weekends. I think I enjoyed the attention but mostly I enjoyed getting to know him. He was wonderful and charming and always seemed so wise about life and offering advice. I spoke to one of our mutual friends about this and mentioned how wonderful I thought C was but that I was concerned at how close we were getting.
Pretty soon after I started to develop feeling for C. It happened very slowly but then very quickly after that. It’s like I fell in love with him over the space of a week. During that week, I had spent a week down in the London office (where he is based) and we just connected and giggled lots. I was back down a week later and that’s when he took me out and told me how he felt about me. I played dumb and pretended to be shocked but I think he knew I felt the same. He told me his marriage was all but over and that he felt happy with me in the first time in years. He said he hadn’t felt that way about anyone since the start of his marriage.
Fast forward one year, there’s been only one drunken kiss and nothing else physical but a full blown emotional affair. I say that because we have talked and faught like a real couple. We’ve exchanged lots of flirty messages and sometimes quite steamy sexual ones but we’ve never done the deed. I think that was a line that neither of us were prepared to cross.
Now three months ago I took a sebattical from work because I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t continue being his little bit on the side while he went home to her. It massively impacted my mental well-being and I became depressed and sad all the time. I tried my best to move on and even started other relationships but C would always say he was jealous of my boyfriend and I someone was flattered by that.
Now I’m in an awful state because I have become that other woman and I don’t know what to do. We don’t talk because I think he knows he’s the reason I took the sabbatical but I miss him so much that it makes me sick. I truly believe I fell in love but he does not want to rock the boat at home.
We’ve recently had a massive fight and I threatened to tell HR and his wife because he is behaving like nothing really happened between us when we both know how close we were. I said it because I was hurt angry and upset and now I don’t know what to do. I just want to know if I am being irrational in feeling like this? And is he behaving in a rational way by thinking he can just carry on as normal with his ‘static’ wife as he calls her.
Please help. I am heartbroken and devasted. We shared so much and I told him all about my life and my experiences. I have a difficult time trusting men because I was sexually assaulted when I was 17yeats old but he was the first man I’ve ever openly spoken about that stuff too. It was just easy and he just seemed so supportive of me.
Part of me feels like he took advantage of me because I begged him numerous times just just keep it professional but he said he couldn’t keep away.
Right now I am in so much pain that it feels like my heart is breaking every single day but he seems to be okay. He has apologised for everything but his words just seems so hollow so I feel like I want to hurt him As he seems to have escaped this with his sanity and reputation in tact whilst I am hurt and devastated. It is purely punitive and I am ashamed to admit it. Please give me your honest advice. I know I have messed up but I need help desperately otherwise I may as well be dead.
always seemed so wise about life
Really? A man whose response to an unhappy marriage was to chase the nearest female colleague seemed wise?
Regardless. He used you. He’s still using you. And it’s not a grand passion, it’s all nonsense.
I know that’s harsh, but nevertheless.
I can’t tell you what to do. But personally in your situation I’d block all communication with him and find another job.
You haven’t behaved well here, try to learn from it.
I need help desperately otherwise I may as well be dead.
No, no, no. You are always better off alive. Don’t let this bastard destroy your life! Don’t give him that much power.
Fight for yourself. Step away, set it aside as a valuable lesson learned and move on
I know I haven’t behaved well but I honestly tried so hard. I begged him to keep away and I tried to limit our interactions to work only but he just kept pushing boundaries and I suppose I let him because he just seemed so sad. He made me feel like it was real.
I have threatened to tell his wife everything. I don’t know her but it would be pretty easy to find her on social media. I just really want him to be in pain but I can’t seems to actually go through with it!
Don't hurt any more people than you already have.
Change things and take time to recover. You walked into the trap step by step telling yourself it was not wrong knowing it was.
Stop and recover from the harm you did yourself.
Go no contact with the cheater.
You poor thing. Such things (not that I've knowingly ever been involved in an affair, but things of similar intensity) can be incredibly compelling, and the uncertainty, tension and drama is a big part of what helps create that. (Read about intermittent variable reward and such things if you are not already familiar.)
But then a year or so later you can look back on it all (sometimes sooner) and see how incredibly stressful it was, and think about other things you'd quite like to have done with the time if you had felt like more of a whole person within yourself and set tougher boundaries. You'll probably feel that you've learnt from it. .
The important thing to remember with cheaters is that the man who marries his mistress creates a vacancy. The thought of being in the same situation as his wife in a few years time isn't something you long for, I'm sure.
I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to get really serious about looking for other jobs
Also I think you know that men like this who refuse to take no for an answer are not safe to be around.
He used and abused you just like he uses and abuses his wife.
There is a book you can read that has a chapter with hm in it.
"Why Does He DO That" about controlling men. Read it. You need it.
Ahh lovely, the hurt will slowly go - hard to believe but it's true. He has manipulated and used you for an ego-boost. I imagine you feel ashamed of the fact you knew he was married and still chose to get too close - it was by the sounds of it pretty insidious. Now it's time you did the right thing do you can learn to hold your head up high again. It saddens me to think of his wife not knowing he is emotionally invested in another woman, I would personally feel she should know...wouldn't you want too if he was your husband?
Learn from this, don't ever let respectful work lines be crossed again and if you know somebody is married don't allow yourself to be caught up into being involved. I would advise you to look for a different job ASAP.
It can feel very weird to have shared a lot of very personal stuff with a person you have to push away because in some respects they are bad for you. Unfortunately you can't remove the bad bits from a person (and they seem less likely, and slower, to change as they get older; I would not be expecting a 43 year old to change soon) and just keep the good ones - people don't work like that. But the experience of having opened up about these things should in the long run be useful: you've broken that barrier of being able to talk in the first place, but are also starting to work out who and who not to tell.
As you are on sabbatical you probably have time to attend counselling or therapy appointments with greater freedom than during a full working day. Would suggest you find someone to talk to professionally about the stuff from your childhood so you have a safe place to process it that's not him.
Time will heal, but it does take time
No contact is best, delegate or numbers etc
Don’t think about having a relationship for now but find a few distraction, and physical exercise will help greatly with the emotional pain your feeling, strenuous exercise realise hormones that will make you feel better
Thank you so much for your advice everyone.
But should I tell his wife or am I being spiteful? I keep wondering how I would feel if I were here, would I want to know and the answer is always yes but I am questioning my own motives because part of me is very angry about the whole situation, even though it was entirely consensual on my part
Yes, you are angry and hurt and want company in your misery.
The only person who did not consent is the one you are considering hurting more than you already have.
Most of the time the only way that women can escape this type of predator is by changing jobs.
I hope it does not come to that for you if you like your job.
No, please don't tell his wife. Not only is it spiteful, it will make you feel even worse about your self. You've got to rise above it all.
Concentrate on yourself
Telling his wife what? You had an EA with her husband, how will that make you move on? It will make things worse as he’ll deny it, play it down etc etc get yourself out if thier marriage and out of his life and don’t look back
There is nothing to be achieved from telling his wife. He will either deny it or at least minimise it.
He could also say that you developed feelings for him that were never reciprocated and now you are out for revenge which will make you feel worse.
You need to concentrate on yourself and your own recovery and not create drama by further entwining yourself in his life.
You are grieving, heartbroken and hurt but you will recover because in the end we all recover.
Don't tell his wife.
He has simply been grooming you in a way.
A little bit of fluff to flirt with whilst he stays married
The most unhappy person here is you.
I hope you feel better and meet someone available and more deserving soon.
Take care OP.
Sorry OP he has really manipulated and taken advantage of you. I'm sure he liked you, but not as much as you like him. He was using you for an ego boost. Remember he hasn't left his wife because he doesn't want to. Even if she didn't want to divorce they could still separate.
Don't tell his wife. She may know he's a cheating toe rag already. The fact he's still with her means he would deny or minimise his affair with you, he would hate you and you would most likely feel worse.
Try to focus on some goals for yourself, like being healthy, fit or whatever. Distract yourself. Start online dating (I do this) - Although there are lots of undesirables on there you can also find some great people.
But move on from this loser, like he has from you.
I don’t think he is the sole one to blame here actually, you’re not some little girl that was groomed and manipulated. You’re old enough to know better really. Not only that but you only suddenly became interested in him and enjoyed the attention when you split with your BF so stopped getting attention there.
Don’t tell his wife, move on and treat this as a lesson learned.
Agree with pinkvoid here, you are not an little girl but a woman in her 30s. Take acceptance in your part in going along with this sham of an 'relationship' for the last year. You wasted an year of your life on this man and what is really laughable, is the fact he never crossed that physical boundary with you and he refused to do so.
You can tell his wife but its likely she may forgive him anyway considering he never had sex with you and seemed to be only using you as an emotional clutch.
Don't tell his wife. She is unlikely to leave him or a few texts and kiss. Even if you can prove that.
You are not this man's victim. You made active choices to be part of this. The situation you are in, is a result of your decisions as well as his. This may sound harsh, but I am telling you this so you stop feeling like he has done this to you and that you are helpless. You are not helpless and you have power in your own life.
Do not involve HR. Unless you nowtell him to leave you alone and he doesn't. They are unlikely to do something about some flirting and a kiss in the workplace and you will just look like you are out for revenge because he won't leave his wife.
He doesn't love you. He isn't a good man. You are not losing anything by not having him as a partner. I know it hurts, but he isn't worth losing your life over. He is worth nothing. You will get through this pain and in time you will look back and not be able to believe such a loser made you feel so bad.
Telling the wife and HR will just damage you further and cause you more pain. It will create more drama and is unlikely to make you feel better.
You will get through this but you need to stay away from him
It seems like this has crushed your self esteem because he wouldn't leave his wife for you. And even though you are trying to walk away, your comments about telling his wife to him seem like you are trying to goad him into doing that so that you can have the soul soothing resolution that this was a genuine passion.
But ultimately, either he is too weak to leave his wife, or he loves her more than he loves you. In neither case does this make him a suitable partner for you.
Stop all contact with him and look for other employment. This is obviously already affecting your career and you need to take action while on sabbatical to find somewhere you can work in peace.
In another year, you'll be looking on all this as a temporary madness.
Yep telling the wife to hurt him? If he had that degree of love for his wife he wouldn’t be in another relationship. So doubt it will affect him in the way you want. His wife must have an sense that something is amiss and is perhaps avoiding having to face up to his behaviour. So again, you’re unlikely to get the reaction you wish for. Or he is completely devious and she has no knowledge of what he’s really like. Do you really want to be the source of her pain? Tough time for you OP. Focus on taking care of yourself and removing yourself from this muddle. Put your energy into creating something good for yourself to help you heal rather than putting your energy into creating more pain for yourself. 🌈
No point in telling his wife about the EA and you'd only be doing it to be spiteful anyway
Wasted a year on this guy and for what?
You need to decide whether you'll go back to work or go somewhere else?make that a priority over wasting anymore time on him or on ways of how to ruin him
This guy has been flattered by your attention but he is not willing to take things any further . You didn't even sleep together ! Some people seem to think that this shows some kind of great "romantic love" when in reality it is a guy who is not prepared to even have a "proper affair ". I know that might sound ridiculous but what I am saying is that it is easy to have text affairs - very easy . You don't even work in the same office it seems so how often do you actually see him ...(however that is really irrelevant) . Move on and leave him to his wife - he stays in his sad marriage but you get to have a new life. Yes it is difficult but time does heal . There is no easy way to get over someone but it is by No Contact and getting out and about and doing other things with friends etc - not by planning revenge .
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