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I am a 31 M in a 2 year relationship with a 27 F. We are together a year and a half. Everything was running smoothly until 4 months ago. We began arguing a lot and it came to light my gf was diagnosed with depression and having anger issues. The arguing was unbearable. We dont live together and many an evening I left her house as I couldn't stand being argued with, somewhat intimidated and manipulated. Some of the incidents to this day still play in my head and we took space for a week at one stage where I gained a sense of relief. I contemplated breaking up with her and decided against it as I was struggling so much. I felt her behaviours were changing me. I supported her as best as I could even though I found it extremely difficult.

 

When the worst of this was occurring 3 months ago I began chatting to a F work colleague one day. We hit off straight away, I had started a new job and never really noticed her before. She is in a long term relationship and is a few years younger than me.

We are in close proximity every day for a period of maybe 1 hour in work. Since, there is a big mutual attraction. We contact frequently during work and after work. At the start I thought it was in my head but she began complimenting my work, dress sense doing things like feeling the material of my tops. There was mutual flirting. During a work night out we agreed that we were mutually attracted to each other but that's all it was nothing could happen. A month later it's still going on. I ceased the contact for a period one week to try get my head straight and when the contact started again she claimed she had missed me and was thinking of me and shouldn't have been but couldn't help it. That whatever is going on we are in relationships and shes never felt like this before... She is very kind and helps me when needed at work. We have gone for coffees by ourselves on two occasions in the past few months and it's full of laughter, joking etc. Sometimes I feel I would like to get to know her more outside of work..Passing each other in work we can't help but smile at each other when we lock eyes.

 

The situation is messing with my head. I'm so used to the contact I almost miss it at times when there is none. I just want a friendship with my colleague like we said but I am attracted to her and worse she feels the same. I am going away for 5 days and intend on cutting the contact and try build myself up to do it. I know this must sound pathetic but my thoughts are being brought back to her a lot. My gf works long hours I and I see her twice a week max at the moment which leaves me with a lot of free time. My gf is improving every day and the arguing has stopped between us. We do so many fun things together and I have put to the back of my mind some of the bad incidents of the past few months.

 

How do I become a friend of my work colleague and ignore the attraction? Do I need to cease contact full stop? Has anyone been in this situation.

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I used to have a crush on this coworker, the attraction was mutual, he had a gf, then something happened, it was all messy.. So I think you should stay away from her, it's work, be professional, and focus on your job and girlfriend.

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Perhaps the arguing started when you started to date this coworker. Perhaps it's time to break up if you find the relationship unbearable. Problem is she has a BF.

4 months ago. We began arguing a lot and it came to light my gf was diagnosed with depression and having anger issues. The arguing was unbearable.

 

3 months ago I began chatting to a F work colleague one day. We contact frequently during work and after work. She is in a long term relationship

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The volatility that overcame my gf at the time led to these arguments. Most of the time it was one way traffic ending with me apologising just to diffuse the situation. When me and my gf would meet during this period I never knew what person I would meet and always walked on egg shells merely agreeing at times just to keep the peace. She wasn't like this for a year. And since she has sought help and we have got on much better in the past month.

 

The issue being my co worker occupies my find frequently still. I know far away hills are always greener. I'm trying to seek the balance of being friends with my co worker but the feelings I have towards her wont dissapate. Despite having a chat and saying straight out to each other it's a friendship we both are being drawn to each other.

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Stop playing with fire before you become a low life cheater. If you are that unhappy with your gf and her behavior, then do yourself a favor and end that relationship. Be free, heal, get your head screwed on straight and then date when you are ready. Do not try to get involved with and keep chatting away with a coworker who is also in a long term relationship. Cheating is not how healthy relationships begin.

 

Getting a crush on a person when you are feeling miserable is really quite common. Important to recognize what's driving that crush and clean up your life. Meanwhile, stop chatting with the coworker. No good will come of that either way.

 

Deal with the issues in your life first.

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Short answer: you don't.

 

Having a co-worker you get along with or are even mutually attracted to can add a nice spice to the daily grind so long as you can actually compartmentalize and appreciate it as just that. But if one or both of you are inappropriately expressing feelings and drawing physical and boundaries that should be strictly inherent and well understood, that's an emotional affair. Assuming you'd be able to casually and occasionally flirt without gaining or obsessing with feelings, you're definitely not happy enough in your relationship to fully appreciate that it's not worth jeopardizing. All of this is a recipe for disaster.

 

You're a grown man. It's not about how much you're "drawn to each other." It's about controlling your own actions. If you know you are and would be infatuated with her, you stop fueling the flames right then and there. Your story is a dime a dozen.

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Explain to your girlfriend that there's a woman at work who you're attracted to and who is attracted to you. Explain to her that you two are messaging one another outside of work. Explain to her that when you and this woman aren't in contact for a couple of days you "miss it". Explain that you two have gone on coffee dates.

 

See if your girlfriend wants to stay in a relationship with you after you are honest with her about your feelings for this work woman.

 

The decision might be made for you. Easy!

 

However, this work woman has also proven she is a cheater, so don't expect everything to be sunshine and roses after your girlfriend breaks up with you. Ending up alone might not be such a bad thing because it will give you the chance to get your head on straight so you don't ever cheat again.

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Short answer: you don't.

 

Having a co-worker you get along with or are even mutually attracted to can add a nice spice to the daily grind so long as you can actually compartmentalize and appreciate it as just that. But if one or both of you are inappropriately expressing feelings and drawing physical and boundaries that should be strictly inherent and well understood, that's an emotional affair. Assuming you'd be able to casually and occasionally flirt without gaining or obsessing with feelings, you're definitely not happy enough in your relationship to fully appreciate that it's not worth jeopardizing. All of this is a recipe for disaster.

 

You're a grown man. It's not about how much you're "drawn to each other." It's about controlling your own actions. If you know you are and would be infatuated with her, you stop fueling the flames right then and there. Your story is a dime a dozen.

 

I second this. It's fun to have minor crushes on people from work, say after a meeting went well and you feel inspired. But work is not a romantic environment, unless you're just a temp and want to rack up some contacts for fun after you leave the job, you'll consider your professional goals, and then walk THAT talk and act professionally. This leaves our flirting and trying to 'connect' on intimate levels with colleagues. Period.

 

As for the lousy relationship with GF, Pay Attention. There's nothing that obligates you to stay with anyone who is unstable or abusive. Walk away, and pursue a new love life outside of your workplace.

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You cannot maintain a friendship with this colleague, OP. It's totally unrealistic to expect your feelings for her to go away while still keeping her in your life. You need to cut all contact apart from what is required for work.

 

You have a big decision to make - do you really see a future with your girlfriend?

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Your colleague is in a long term relationship. Respect her significant other (SO) and respect her relationship with him.

 

You too, are in a relationship with your girlfriend. Since things are improving with your girlfriend, focus on your relationship with your girlfriend. Think clearly and be sensible.

 

You are the one who needs to set the ground rules here with your colleague. Tactfully remind your colleague that both of you are involved in personal relationships with your girlfriend and HER long term relationship. Make this crystal clear. It's time to grow up. Tell your colleague that it's time to behave professionally, respectfully and politely and keep it at that. And yes, cease all personal contact. Act like a gentleman and do the right thing. Concentrate on your girlfriend while your colleague concentrates on her long term relationship.

 

Also, I wouldn't trust your colleague if I were you. Since she's deceiving and betraying her "SO," she'll deceive and betray you, too.

 

I always judge people by how they treat others because it's only a matter of time when you become their next victim.

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Thanks for all the feedback. I agree that my own personal life and relationship with my gf needs a lot of attention. I feel her behaviour had pushed me away to a certain extent and this new friendship with more work colleague was a distraction that I didn't expect to take the turn it did.

 

The friendship has tethered on if not become an emotional affair. I am annoyed at myself for this. Should I have left my gf when all these problems started arising 4 months ago? I always felt oh it's just a period shes going through, it's work, it's the extra studies which she commenced then...

 

I'm afraid I to an extent am holding a grudge about how I was treated up to the last few weeks when things have improved with my gf. Befriending this work colleague was not a retaliation but somewhat a release from the aggression and darkness that arrived in the relationship with my gf. I contemplated breaking up with my gf twice over these incidents. My appetite for the relationship was seriously damaged. It is repairing slowly....... befriending my work colleague is anchoring it at times.

 

Would it be a good thing to perhaps take a break from my gf to assess our relationship? Reading what I have just wrote I feel quite muddled. I shouldn't be holding a grudge against my current gf if things are to work out in the future

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Taking a break is likely to do little but further damage the relationship, really.

 

I can understand why you want to clear your mind; I just don't think asking for a break from your relationship is going to bring you that clarity. It will definitely hurt your girlfriend and likely provoke even more hostility from her. It will rupture whatever foundation you two have rebuilt. And if you try to come back together, it's probably going to be even more difficult to reconcile your feelings for each other than it was before. If you decide to take a break, understand that you are taking a huge risk from which there might be no returning. Ask yourself if the risk is worth it, or if it is better to break up altogether.

 

What you really do need to take a break from? This emotional affair that is brewing with your colleague. That is complicating matters more than you realized and making it difficult for you to focus on the more pertinent question of whether or not your relationship is still viable.

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I doubt your girlfriend would agree that your emotional affair with your work colleague is "anchoring" your relationship with her. Quite the opposite.

 

You can't have them both and be a good, upstanding and moral human being. So, what do you choose? Continue to deceive or be honest?

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Thanks for all the feedback. I agree that my own personal life and relationship with my gf needs a lot of attention. I feel her behaviour had pushed me away to a certain extent and this new friendship with more work colleague was a distraction that I didn't expect to take the turn it did.

 

The friendship has tethered on if not become an emotional affair. I am annoyed at myself for this. Should I have left my gf when all these problems started arising 4 months ago? I always felt oh it's just a period shes going through, it's work, it's the extra studies which she commenced then...

 

I'm afraid I to an extent am holding a grudge about how I was treated up to the last few weeks when things have improved with my gf. Befriending this work colleague was not a retaliation but somewhat a release from the aggression and darkness that arrived in the relationship with my gf. I contemplated breaking up with my gf twice over these incidents. My appetite for the relationship was seriously damaged. It is repairing slowly....... befriending my work colleague is anchoring it at times.

 

Would it be a good thing to perhaps take a break from my gf to assess our relationship? Reading what I have just wrote I feel quite muddled. I shouldn't be holding a grudge against my current gf if things are to work out in the future

 

If you're unhappy and have since lost your desire to be with your girlfriend, then breakup instead of taking another break. Or, know that your current relationship is good with your girlfriend because she has ceased arguing with you and both of you are on good terms. Why not continue working on your current relationship with your girlfriend since your current situation is positive with her?

 

Don't hold grudges otherwise you'll never heal from how your girlfriend treated you in the past. The only time I hold grudges if the following happens: No conscientious effort by the perpetrator to improve and make amends. If the perpetrator never apologizes to me, I'm ok with that as long as the perpetrator improves and makes a sincere effort to be compatible with me. There are times when actions speak louder than words so I'm ok without apologies as long as perpetrators behave graciously from now on.

 

Learn to forgive. Forgive does not mean condone nor forget. Forgive means to move on including moving on with relationships which went sour in the past. Don't live in the past. You keep moving forward, heal, mend fences, start fresh and anew. Don't continue to stew backwards (hold grudges).

 

As for the colleague, you need to remind yourself that you need to remain loyal and devoted to your girlfriend who is trying to treat you with respect. You need to remind yourself that your colleague is currently in a long term relationship and respect her significant other by controlling YOUR behavior. Enforce healthy boundaries with your colleague. Both of you need to stop being deceitful and betraying your significant others. Behave graciously and honorably even when no one is looking over your shoulder. Be a trustworthy, decent human being.

 

Remain professional and polite toward your colleague. No more no less. If your colleague remains clueless then tell her that from now on, there will be good manners, professionalism, common courtesy, respect and politeness between you two and that's it. Work hard, earn your paycheck and focus on your girlfriend. There's no muddling here. Do what makes logical sense.

Edited by Cherylyn
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You sound, being completely honest, like someone who does not want to be in the relationship you're in. You want "take a break" to "assess" the relationship: what does that mean, really? I read that as: you want out, to assess your life and live it without her, and without the constant assessing of the relationship.

 

Breaking up is hard, and probably, on some level, you are still looking for some kind of reward from her for putting up with her during a hard time. That's the grudge, the edge of resentment, and a mentality that doesn't serve either of you positively. Creates a system where no amount of present or future improvement can make up for the past, because subconsciously one person has chosen to find comfort in anger. Throwing in a "break" to "fix things" is unlikely going to be a path toward together forever, happily.

 

I'd say you have to have a very hard and honest conversation with yourself right now. If you believe there is a chance for things to rebound, for this dark period together to be just that—a dark blip in an otherwise light story—then live that truth, and live it generously, not resentfully with a foot out the door. You could give yourself a time line—another 3 months, or 6, or whatever—and tell yourself that if this sour taste has not dissipated by then it means it's time to close the door. Or you can close it right now.

 

Thing is? You can't seek sweetness elsewhere, which is what you're doing with this friend. Forbidden fruit. Always sweet, but never healthy. Given that your resentment is connected to unhealthy habits in her own, and how that affected you, it's best to dig deep and not do the same to the other. Sometimes that means recognizing that you're incapable of behaving how you want, in treating another person, even someone who has mistreated you, in the way humans deserve.

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Interesting... It's your gf's fault she "pushed you away" and it's the coworkers fault "she distracted you". It sounds like you are simply a cheater who looks for the easy way.

 

String the gf along because you are afraid of being alone and harass the coworker because you need a crush. Interesting that most cheaters tell themselves it's the partners fault. And there you go. Again the problem is this coworker has a BF. You are wasting your time with both of them. One is taken and the other you simply disrespect and hang on to.

I feel her behaviour had pushed me away to a certain extent and this new friendship with more work colleague was a distraction that I didn't expect to take the turn it did. I'm afraid I to an extent am holding a grudge about how I was treated up to the last few weeks when things have improved with my gf. Befriending this work colleague was not a retaliation but somewhat a release from the aggression and darkness that arrived in the relationship with my gf.
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Interesting... It's your gf's fault she "pushed you away" and it's the coworkers fault "she distracted you".

 

Yep. Beyond a surprise assault, nothing occurs in our interactions with others without our participation or consent. Figure out your own behavior, and the answers will follow.

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You CAN'T just be friends with this colleague because you are both attracted to each other. But you are both not single. I would suggest don't stay with your girlfriend just because you can't have the other girl. If you're not happy, then leave. Can I also point out that her being attracted to you doesn't mean she would date you or you'd be a great match. I'm attracted to my male friend who was/is my FWB but I have no feelings for him at all beyond friendship. I just find him physically attractive only. There's a difference between having a crush and actually feeling seriously about someone.

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