I got involved with a married man at my work. It started off as a friendship but progressed into romantic feelings. The relationship quickly turned into an unexpected emotional affair that didn’t last very long because I felt way too guilty. The ending of what we had absolutely devastated me.
It started as a friendship.
It began so innocently. We would text about work and then we started texting about other things, mostly simple memes and gifs. We made each other laugh. Then we started to talk more and more about deeper topics including how he felt about his wife and his marriage. It wasn’t so innocent anymore.
We worked together and did creative projects together.
We spent a decent amount of time together because we worked together. Outside of work, he helped me to launch my website, took photos of me, and helped me with the mechanics of running a blog. We also did an interview together. All of a sudden we were spending a good amount of time with one another outside of work.
His feelings were obvious first.
A coworker pointed out that she thought he had a crush on me because of several things he did, one being acting very weird when she told him I was going out with a guy. He would frequently text me first or initiate contact at work. I wasn’t really paying attention to him having feelings for me—he was married, after all—so I didn’t make much of what my coworker said.
At first, I wasn’t attracted to him in that way.
For a while, I just saw him as my coworker. I had no pressing attraction to him—he was just a friend. Plus, he was older than me and I don’t generally date people that are. All of this changed though. I started to have feelings for him emotionally and the physical feelings followed.
My feelings snuck up on me.
My feelings hit hard and fast. It wasn’t until we started doing creative projects together that I recognized the feelings I had for him. I consider myself a very self-aware person and I think I realized what was going on for me very quickly. Nonetheless, I let those feelings linger for a few weeks and I continued our relationship.
What got me to end things was when I started to think about sleeping with him.
The romantic feelings were manageable at first. I was able to tell myself I couldn’t act on them. It was when the physical feelings started to creep in that I got freaked out. I kept finding myself wanting to be closer to him and when the thought came into my mind that it’d be awesome to sleep with him, I knew it was time to end things. I couldn’t let it go any further. I ended it.
The split devastated me.
I was crushed on so many levels. For starters, I was so ashamed that I had let myself get to this point. I didn’t think of myself as a homewrecker—I thought of his poor wife at the end. Also, I was destroyed because I had feelings for this married man that I couldn’t do anything with. My feelings felt trapped under the surface. Lastly, I was also losing a friend when we parted ways.
I had to get serious help.
I found myself scurry into a 12-step program for sex and love. I desperately needed the extra help because this wasn’t my first time getting myself into an utterly unmanageable situation in romance. I had to get their help to cut him out and to move on. It wasn’t easy by any measure but the support really helped. I was also able to acknowledge some patterns of mine.
He never acknowledged anything happened.
I know there’s nothing I can do about it, but what bothered me the most is that he never even acknowledged what was happening. I know it wasn’t all in my head because others could see it crystal clear too. He just refused to acknowledge that he had feelings for me in any way. Maybe he needed that in order to keep his head in the sand and feel OK about his marriage but it still hurt.
I ultimately cut off all contact.
At the end of it all, when I felt like I was going to explode, I ended it. I cut him out of my life and I completely avoided him at work. I needed to do this in order to return to a state where I felt healthy and whole. I ran into him years later and attempted to have him in my life for a few days but it was just way too painful. That’s the end of that relationship.
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