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Just connected the dots...


Jelina

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I’m a 35 year old married woman with a four year old. My 9 marriage isn’t great and it hasn’t been for a while although we are doing better this year. I also don’t have any friends... and no family around. Throughout the years I’ve noticed that for some reason I tend to develop feelings for my managers or anyone who I work very closely with to the point where in some cases I feel like I idolize them and go to great lengths work wise to win them over and we usually develop a strong connection.

 

It’s happened with a couple of male managers, two to be exact and one co worker. But now I have a female manager, she’s been my manager for 5 years now and I feel oddly close to her. For the most part we get along great and we have similar likes work wise. I feel odd because I wonder if she knows how important she is to me and if she’s just going along with it because maybe she knows I need that type of support. I feel like I trust her too much and feel personally disappointed when something doesn’t go well relating to her. I spend hours outside of work wondering what she thinks of me and if she cares about me as much as I care about her. I’ve done this with all my previous managers and all those feelings dwindle away as soon as I get a new job. One still reaches out to meet, the other one had feelings for me and we lost touch and the other I cut contact with.

 

I just realized today that the reason why I seem to idolize people who I report to is because in a sense they have to provide me support and take care of my needs. I cherish the praises and my career is the only place where I’ve ever been praised consistently and felt worthy. It makes me feel so accepted and valued. I’ve never had that since the honeymoon stage ended with my husband and it just hit me now. My mom never complimented me. It’s like searching for a strong connection with just about anyone who’s close at work.

 

Has anyone been through this?

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If you found friends of your own, you wouldn't be needing co-workers or managers support like you do. It's not healthy and you're confusing work with personal relationships.

 

You sound lonely, which is why you keep attaching yourself to people at work.

 

Even if your marriage was good or just okay, you still need friends. Why don't you get friends of your own? You sound like you're desperately needing them in your life.

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Even if your marriage was good or just okay, you still need friends. Why don't you get friends of your own? You sound like you're desperately needing them in your life.

 

That was my first thought, too.

 

OP, I would focus less on seeking value and praise from employers, and a lot more on building up your own social circle. You're seeing how a lack of friendships is leading you to attach your worth to your coworkers' opinions of you, which isn't good.

 

Can you join any community clubs, groups or organizations? There are a lot of online references for relevant groups, which may give you a starting point.

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Honestly , your manager likely doesn’t think about work colleagues outside of work because she has a life outside of work.

 

You are seeking praise and compliments due to a lack of self esteem I’m guessing?

 

You have a 4 yr old. That I assume means you do go to events whether it’s a kids birthday party etc but also plenty of adults present too. Do you make an effort to engage with other mums?

Even arrange a coffee or play date with your kids?

So you can create some friend connections?

 

Does your husband know of your emotional infidelity?

Does he have friends?

Do you even go out on dates with your husband?

Arrange babysitting so you can?

 

What’s going on? Where are your family?

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There are Meetup.com groups where mothers of young children get together for outings. When safe to do so, I recommend that. You're also obviously lacking an emotional connection with your husband, so read articles and books on how to reestablish that. You can also start a new hobby you can be passionate about, and meet new friends in the process.

 

At my work, we had a female manager who was seeking social connections, but mostly with male employees beneath her, and sexually harassing them. She was reported and the subject of gossip. Don't be that person at work.

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I sort of had this problem but my marriage is fine. I lived on a farm in the middle of nowhere and making friends was so very hard and yes I was very lonely. i'd talk to anyone who'd talk to me, but then I am a very sociable person.

 

15 yrs ago I decided to take guitar lessons and I joined the local music school, where I was the only adult student. My teacher was a nice guy and we got to be friends, nothing sexual or even close to it, just friends. I worked hard to learn to play as I did want some validation and praise from him for my efforts as it was very hard for me to learn guitar. Other teachers commented on how my skill level was improving so I kept practicing til my fingers hurt.

 

My need for a friend is what kept me at that school for 10 yrs and I made some friends as a result. I joined a band too which helped with the lack of friends issue. I am still friends with my former teacher even tho I moved several hours away and he and myself and my husband meet up in Mexico in the winter for holidays. Not this winter tho!

 

Anyway, what I am getting at is you are lonely like I was and it was by putting myself out there to take up a hobby that lead to a friend that I really needed. I think you need a friend too and you are trying to find one with your managers etc. who have to interact with you due to their and your jobs. Try harder to find a friend who is not someone who is your boss.

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Try different hobbies. With a four year old this is hard but not impossible. You can still find the time to pick up a hobby or two and start working on other projects outside of work. The risk of placing so much interest in your bosses is that changes inevitably come, as you've experienced. If you enjoy your work, have you thought of upgrading and taking courses? Get to know more of your peers and meet others in the industry. Volunteer etc.

 

I don't think there's anything bad about what you're doing especially if your career matters to you and you've worked hard to get there. Just round things out a little. Bring things more in balance by becoming closer to your husband and enjoying your time together. Find friends outside of work. Find independent hobbies that don't require your friends or your husband. Find other projects that are different from those hobbies. Advance your studies. There's lots to do and enjoy. Work isn't everything. It's a big part but it's not everything in life.

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I’m a 35 year old married woman with a four year old. My 9 marriage isn’t great and it hasn’t been for a while although we are doing better this year. I also don’t have any friends... and no family around. Throughout the years I’ve noticed that for some reason I tend to develop feelings for my managers or anyone who I work very closely with to the point where in some cases I feel like I idolize them and go to great lengths work wise to win them over and we usually develop a strong connection.

 

It’s happened with a couple of male managers, two to be exact and one co worker. But now I have a female manager, she’s been my manager for 5 years now and I feel oddly close to her. For the most part we get along great and we have similar likes work wise. I feel odd because I wonder if she knows how important she is to me and if she’s just going along with it because maybe she knows I need that type of support. I feel like I trust her too much and feel personally disappointed when something doesn’t go well relating to her. I spend hours outside of work wondering what she thinks of me and if she cares about me as much as I care about her. I’ve done this with all my previous managers and all those feelings dwindle away as soon as I get a new job. One still reaches out to meet, the other one had feelings for me and we lost touch and the other I cut contact with.

 

I just realized today that the reason why I seem to idolize people who I report to is because in a sense they have to provide me support and take care of my needs. I cherish the praises and my career is the only place where I’ve ever been praised consistently and felt worthy. It makes me feel so accepted and valued. I’ve never had that since the honeymoon stage ended with my husband and it just hit me now. My mom never complimented me. It’s like searching for a strong connection with just about anyone who’s close at work.

 

Has anyone been through this?

 

I think my sister is this way, too. She has an overblown sense of responsibility. It has helped her immensely in her career. She is very successful there. But most of her personal relationships are unbalanced.

 

For example, her relationship with me. I am her sister and in many ways am backseat to most things in her life.

 

Another example: her romantic attachments. Although she is a very attractive woman, she does not have any kind of domestic partner. No husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend, whatever. Not for years. God, maybe ten years, at this point!

 

She has had boyfriends in the past, but the relationships were unbalanced. She was extremely overprotective of them when they behaved badly--many a Friday night she spent alone. OR, she was extremely domineering when they were devoted to her.

 

Another example: she is overly protective of and devoted to our mother. They are both that way. It is a symbiotic, codependent relationship.

 

Have you looked into codependency?

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