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Sunday, January 29, 2023
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MARRIED SCHOOL PROFESSOR IN HIS 50S WITH KIDS, HAS A CRUSH ON 18 Y.O STUDENT

[51 M] professor, happily married, 2 teenage children, personal & professional satisfaction, financially secure, and I am extremely infatuated with [18F] student of mine

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I feel like I’m going crazy. And I feel like I can’t even tell friends because I’m afraid even they will (maybe with perfectly good reason) think badly of me. I think badly of myself when I think about it, sometimes. Obviously, I can’t tell my best friend, who is my wife. I think…No, I know that telling her would cause her as much pain as admitting I was actually having an affair. If I told her the whole, awful truth, it would be even more painful.

I have managed to hold it together so far…barely. I haven’t told this young woman that I have a massive crush on her, haven’t told her I am haunted by her everywhere I go. Haven’t told her that the reason I stopped making eye contact with her during class is because I am terrified that she will see how I feel. That everyone in the room will see. So in the last probably 2 + months I have avoided her mysterious, dark, beautiful, bewitching, and sometimes sort of sad eyes.

I want to tell her all this. Even though it would set off a chain reaction that would ruin the very lucky and blessed life I’ve led. Emotionally at least, I’m more afraid of either being rejected by her (which would be the only sane, responsible reaction on her part) or that I won’t see her any more.

The worst part of this secret is that I never felt anything with nearly this much intensity for my beautiful, passionately devoted wife, who is ten years my junior and the best thing that’s ever happened to me. At the time we met, I just thought my lack of puppy-dog emotionality was because I was older (I was 30 at the time). I thought that part of my life was over. I wasn’t a teenager anymore. I had become an adult and was experiencing the emotions of an adult and acting like an adult.

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I don’t need advice. I know how absurd and unethical and destructive acting on my emotions would be. I know what to do and what not to do. The consequences are well known to me. Catastrophic, but known. The prospect of not acting on them fills me with a heartbreaking sadness and weird, angsty, immature dread.

I’m not sure how it started. Is it because of the eye contact I typically use to determine how engaged they are and how well they understand the material? I should be able to look them in the eye without falling in love with them, and I have for many years before now. Am I disregarding boundaries that shouldn’t be disregarded in trying gain rapport with them? Do I forget how old I really am?

I have no idea if this girl knows, even with me not saying anything. I don’t have a very good poker face. I would describe her behavior as perhaps friendlier than average, but still well within the normal range of normal interaction.

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