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Monday, June 24, 2024
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MAN JUST GOT MARRIED RECENTLY, THEN “FALLS IN LOVE” WITH MARRIED CO-WORKER

I (M31) recently got married last year to my wife (F29) and things have been overall pretty good. We have been together for 4 years and while we both have had struggles with our jobs, family/life stuff and drama, we have been overall happy. I was never head over heels dramatically in love, but I love her and want to grow old with her and share my life with her.

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I started a new job a few months ago around the same time as another coworker, let’s call her Jane (F44). Jane is married with two children and I immediately liked her but didn’t feel anything romantic. Over the past few months, I have felt myself slowly growing more attracted to her. We had the whole work wife/husband thing going on but it’s never been anything other than friendly banter, light flirting, jokes, pet names (she calls me “boyfriend”), etc. But over the past couple weeks, I started to feel it stronger and grow into a crush and now it’s an obsession. I just find it hard to believe how quickly and how strongly my feelings grew. And it’s not like “lust” feelings like “wow she is hot”, it’s romantic “love” type feeling in my gut attraction that I thought was something you only felt when you were a teenager hopped up on hormones. I find myself, pathetically enough, obsessing over her, fantasizing about us just holding hands, thinking about her, and even dreaming about her! It’s overriding my senses and I just wasn’t ready. I almost liken it to a virus; my entire being feels infected by it.

It just doesn’t make sense, I was otherwise happily married (though my wife has been going through a rough spot and yes I have been supportive) and she is, to my knowledge, also happily married. She’s also significantly older and just in a different stage of life. I find her attractive but not in like a “supermodel” way. I find her personality VERY attractive though and it’s the primary reason I like her (very positive, humorous, powerful, driven, determined, but also sensitive and feminine). But I don’t even really know Jane beyond work interactions and here I am constantly thinking about her! She may have inkling I like her (woman’s intuition) but if so she hasn’t changed her behavior and is continuing with the light flirting, banter, etc. She likely has no clue what’s going on, not to this extent. It’s driving me crazy.

I also feel absolutely terrible. I loathe myself for this becoming what it is. I feel tremendously guilty about my wife who is devoted to me totally. I feel like I’m betraying my wife. I would NEVER cheat, EVER regardless of how I feel. She is an amazing person who actually has many of the above qualities that Jane does. I didn’t want to feel this, didn’t seek this out (beyond very innocuous banter, compliments on dress/appearance, I have been nothing short of professional), and I don’t want to feel like this. I don’t want to be falling for another woman. Especially for someone who is completely unavailable and is likely not interested (why would she? happy marriage and kids). I feel trapped and it basically feels like self induced torture. I want it to end but at the same time I still find myself looking forward to seeing her, helping her with work, any interaction, etc.

Worst of all, now I’m wondering did I grow jaded and think “love” like this wasn’t a thing? I just never felt this quite this strongly with my wife, although she is an objectively better match for me as a life partner and as I said I do love her. Did I settle because I didn’t believe in strong romantic love that makes you physically ill?

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So I guess I’m looking for open ended advice and thoughts on how to resolve the situation. I strongly suspect this has much more to do with me than with either my wife or Jane. I’m definitely considering speaking to a therapist about all of this. I have always worn my heart on my sleeve and felt emotions very deeply despite my sometimes attitude toward romance so I suppose I might be extra susceptible to things like this. Thank you for listening and honestly it helped to write it all.

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