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What would you do in this situation?

Old 02-01-08, 12:54 PM
  #1  
qwertyasdf
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What would you do in this situation?

I have a schoolboy crush on a woman at work that I can't seem to shake. I can't act on it because I'm married, she's married, we have different and extreme personalities, and I'm 13 years older to boot. It's an incredibly strong sensation. I've felt this way only 2 or 3 times in my entire life. My feelings are almost comical down to butterflies in the stomach when I'm around her or think of her. This has been going on ever since I met her at least 6 months ago.

I can't avoid her because we are colleagues. Besides, even if I hated her guts, I'd still want to work with her. She has a lot of creative energy and inititative, knows her stuff, and does her homework as well as more than her fair share of sh*t work. We really work well together and draw off each others' energy and expertise. We socialize only within professional contexts.

For her part, the woman seems to like me. I can't trust my own perceptions, but she seems to light up when I approach and drops subtle clues that she looks forward to when we get to work together. I figured she'd perceive me to be a dirty old man, but this doesn't seem to be the case.

I feel like a moth drawn to a flame. This situation has a lot of ways to cause trouble, but one of the things I really like about her is that she reminds me of why I do what I do and what it's like to be jazzed every day. The fire in her eyes and enthusiasm makes my day.

I'm worried about what will happen over time. I thought my feelings would fade away naturally, but that has not been happening. I'm pretty sure I light up when I'm around this woman or talk about her. I think my wife knows what's going on because she's become much nicer to me lately (which I appreciate), asks questions about the woman, and seems to bristle just slightly when which is understandable. I suspect the situation is obvious to others as well because although they know we're dynamite together and everything is innocent, I'm detecting a bit of apprehension in their eyes.

Enough blubbering. What should I do? I don't want to screw things up either from a work or personal perspective for either of us.
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Old 02-01-08, 12:56 PM
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Our ability to control our emotions is what is supposed to separate us from the wild beasts. If you find this really starting to affect your work, I would try to find a way to get moved to another dept. etc.
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Old 02-01-08, 01:28 PM
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Hmmm maybe discuss these feelings with her and get it all out and that way everyone is aware. You both know you can't ACT upon said feelings, but maybe it will help clear the air some? Its a tough situation to be in. You could asked to be moved from one department to another but is that realistic?? In my situation NO, so just saying. Its good that you have have shared these feelings with your wife. Trust yourself to NOT act upon these feelings, maybe go run during lunch or something get those feelings out of your system
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Old 02-01-08, 01:35 PM
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I, qwertyasdf,
Take you, (your wife)
To be none other than yourself.
I promise to stand by your side;
To encourage you, and be open and honest with you;
To laugh with you, and cry with you;
To always love and honor you;
Both freed and bound by our love,
For as long as we both shall live."


Any questions?
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Old 02-01-08, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Portis View Post
I, qwertyasdf,
Take you, (your wife)
To be none other than yourself.
I promise to stand by your side;
To encourage you, and be open and honest with you;
To laugh with you, and cry with you;
To always love and honor you;
Both freed and bound by our love,
For as long as we both shall live."


Any questions?
APPLAUDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-01-08, 01:54 PM
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I wouldn't say anything to her. If she doesn't have the same feelings, then you might both be embarrassed. If she does have the same feelings, then are you prepared to act on them? It doesn't sound like it from your post, so then you might scare her away with that, too, especially if she was prepared to act on them.. If you are okay being friends, keep it that way. If it's too much to handle, and you are happy with your current situation, then you should do what jsharr says and change your work situation.
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Old 02-01-08, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by snowy View Post
Hmmm maybe discuss these feelings with her and get it all out and that way everyone is aware. You both know you can't ACT upon said feelings, but maybe it will help clear the air some? Its a tough situation to be in. You could asked to be moved from one department to another but is that realistic??
I thought about that, but the situation is screwed up enough that part of me still can't believe it's real.

I wouldn't consider dumping my wife. Vows aside, this woman and I are different enough that I think we'd drive each other nuts. Like many other people, my wife and I go through rocky periods, but no matter how I look at things, I know we are and always have been a good match.

I'm hardwired to do what I must to the point that my wife has said outright that she thinks that my sense of obligation to others is based on anachronistic pride based BS. It is not BS, and I think what you're willing to forego or endure defines who you are. There is no real risk of me sneaking off with this other woman.

Getting transferred is not an option. Part of the problem is I like to be around people that I admire and can learn from. I spend so much time with unmotivated, semicompentent, burned out drones that it is just a privilege to work people with who really put themselves into what they do and push those willing to extend a bit of effort into being their best.

I guess I'm just thinking out loud. I don't know what to do or even if I can do anything other than just accept the situation. Much easier said than done.
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Old 02-01-08, 02:20 PM
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Do nothing. Go to work, go home.
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Old 02-01-08, 02:52 PM
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rub one out now and then to release that stress
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Old 02-01-08, 03:00 PM
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Be really careful. There's a thin line between "a little spark" and "sexual harassment".
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Old 02-01-08, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by qwertyasdf View Post
What should I do?
Anything other than ignoring it will result in heartbreak and misery.
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Old 02-01-08, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
Anything other than ignoring it will result in heartbreak and misery.
That's pretty much my sense. The only reason I'm whining at all is I'd forgotten how strong those kinds of feelings can be. Also, I thought they were only for teenagers and romantics.

However, I do have an outlet. Riding is always therapeutic, but this is one of those situations that calls for a bit more than the regular road ride where you have a chance to think.

I took an extended lunch break to see what Coach Troy thought I should do. He thought my body and mind would be purified through pain and said I should listen to nothing but his voice on the DVD, look at nothing but my HRM, and feel nothing but my legs screaming for mercy.

There's nothing like a set of hard intervals to get your head screwed back on, even if only temporarily. Sure beats the hell out of a cold shower in any case.
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Old 02-01-08, 03:56 PM
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Just because a feeling is strong doesn't mean it is good. Ask any crack addict. Of course it feels good to have that infatuation feeling. It feels awesome. That's why most people act on it.
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Old 02-01-08, 03:57 PM
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I'm going to sound like a jackass but my first piece of advice is stop thinking of yourself as a school boy and grow up so that you can make an adult decision.

Got kids? Back off. You now owe them the rest of your life. Don't read past this line.

Want to do something that leads to a divorce? That's fine as long as you can accept the consequences of the worst case scenerio.

Sometimes it's better to cut your losses, take your lumps and get out of a lifeless marriage that is doing nothing for you. Honestly, I wish several of my friends would escape their miserable marriages and make off with one of their co-workers. This woman might be worth it and, at the end of the day, you'd be doing your wife a favor by allowing her to move on as well.

But don't think it's going to be easy, and realize that if you take this risk, everything might come out lose/lose/lose for you at the end of the day. (See Donnamb's post.) She better be worth it.
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Old 02-01-08, 04:31 PM
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I'd say go ahead and go for it, make sure you trash your life as thoroughly as possible and make everyone around you miserable while destroying your family......or not
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Old 02-01-08, 04:33 PM
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Ignore it. If it does not go away, then transfer to another department.
I have done that. It would have been insane to let something at work destroy what my wife and I had worked so hard to build.
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Old 02-01-08, 04:34 PM
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I say its FRIDAY, GO GET A BEER AND ENJOY THE WEEKEND!!! WITH YOUR WIFE!!
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Old 02-01-08, 04:55 PM
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Plus, these little crushes can sometimes result in fantasies that can go a long way to spicing up one's existing intimate life. (Just don't tell your wife where the ideas originated. )
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Old 02-01-08, 05:06 PM
  #19  
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Putting aside the fact that you are both married for a minute...

I recommend that you simply enjoy the fact that you look forward to going to work every day now. Enjoy having a coworker who you can rely on and can trust to do their job. Be very, very glad that you have that and take it for what it is....nothing more, nothing less. All the feelings you have seem genuine, except for the one where you think there may be more between you than a great working relationship between two co workers who have good chemistry in the workplace. It's very rare...which is why you are not sure how to cope with it. I had a very similar situation with a slightly younger coworker in my last job. When I left the company..I realized how good I had it working with someone that was so awesome to be around every day. But that's all it was...nothing more.

Now remember that you have a wife at home and be happy that you are married and have a commitment to your wife. Enjoy the fact that you like what you do again thanks to this new coworker and do nothing more than that.

That's my advise. For what it's worth.
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Old 02-01-08, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
Ignore it. If it does not go away, then transfer to another department.
I have done that. It would have been insane to let something at work destroy what my wife and I had worked so hard to build.
I can't transfer, but I have walked away from great jobs in the past. Fortunately, I have a much higher risk tolerance than most people, can accept consequences, and have skill set that makes it easy to find good work.

Doing something crazy in this case would be a bad idea because too many things don't line up. The only things I really have in common with this woman are complimentary professional interests, a workaholic personality, a love for nature and physical activity, and a high energy level. Despite working really well together, our views and values are pretty different.

BTW, I have no kids or responsibilities. This is actually a sore point between me and my wife. I believe that only people with medical issues, those who are completely dedicated to an appropriately worthy cause, and screwballs don't have them well before they reach our age. We fall into the last category. My wife sees kids as a trap and does not like any path that reduces options down the road.

I'm actually pissed off about it because I purposely chose a career that would allow me to take care of some heavy responsibilities. Had I known I'd never have any, I would have taken a much riskier career trajectory in a much more competitive field. On the positive side, I'm a much stronger cyclist than I ever dreamed I'd be because I have plenty of time and money. My wife encourages my cycling and has no problems with me dropping thousands of dollars each year on gear and events. But as much as I enjoy cycling, I always wanted it to be secondary to other interests.

I know I have it easier than the vast majority of people. Thanks for listening. I'll behave and return to reality.
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Old 02-01-08, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by cycle17 View Post
I recommend that you simply enjoy the fact that you look forward to going to work every day now. Enjoy having a coworker who you can rely on and can trust to do their job. Be very, very glad that you have that and take it for what it is....nothing more, nothing less....

...Now remember that you have a wife at home and be happy that you are married and have a commitment to your wife. Enjoy the fact that you like what you do again thanks to this new coworker and do nothing more than that.
I'll run with this. Few people enjoy their work and like their coworkers as much as I do. I'm not just talking about this woman. I simply have a great work situation. Despite my moaning, home life is much better than lots of people I know. Maintaining status quo is sometimes a good thing.
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Old 02-01-08, 05:52 PM
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qwertyasdf, you're putting your wife through agony. She might be acting more friendly towards you, and yes it's partly out of love, however it's also out of fear. I would never do this to my wife. You must choose to either be with your wife or decide that your marriage is not what you had wanted and move on. When I say move on I'm not suggesting you do something stupid like break up another marriage by convincing your "teenage crush" to leave her husband. If you were a friend of mine I'd cuff you upside the head. I think someone needs to do this to you to wake you up so you can see what you are doing to the people around you.

BTW, my guess is that you are completely misunderstanding her "lighting up" as innocent flirting. Some people just flirt naturally.
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Old 02-01-08, 06:09 PM
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The attraction doesn't come from how she looks or how she acts. It comes from a state of mind. What are you not getting out of your relationship?

Originally Posted by qwertyasdf
BTW, I have no kids or responsibilities. This is actually a sore point between me and my wife. I believe that only people with medical issues, those who are completely dedicated to an appropriately worthy cause, and screwballs don't have them well before they reach our age. We fall into the last category. My wife sees kids as a trap and does not like any path that reduces options down the road.

I'm actually pissed off about it because I purposely chose a career that would allow me to take care of some heavy responsibilities. Had I known I'd never have any, I would have taken a much riskier career trajectory in a much more competitive field. On the positive side, I'm a much stronger cyclist than I ever dreamed I'd be because I have plenty of time and money. My wife encourages my cycling and has no problems with me dropping thousands of dollars each year on gear and events. But as much as I enjoy cycling, I always wanted it to be secondary to other interests.
My bet is that this attraction at work (your career) is really stemming from your anger. Resolve that and you'll have a much easier time at work and home.
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Old 02-01-08, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Air View Post
The attraction doesn't come from how she looks or how she acts. It comes from a state of mind. What are you not getting out of your relationship?



My bet is that this attraction at work (your career) is really stemming from your anger. Resolve that and you'll have a much easier time at work and home.
Excellent advice Air!
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Old 02-01-08, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
qwertyasdf, you're putting your wife through agony. She might be acting more friendly towards you, and yes it's partly out of love, however it's also out of fear. I would never do this to my wife. You must choose to either be with your wife or decide that your marriage is not what you had wanted and move on. When I say move on I'm not suggesting you do something stupid like break up another marriage by convincing your "teenage crush" to leave her husband. If you were a friend of mine I'd cuff you upside the head. I think someone needs to do this to you to wake you up so you can see what you are doing to the people around you.
Amen.
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