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Married man attraction


Catsclaws00
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Since last year, a much older (55) man at work has been supporting me in a new role that I have as a senior manager at work. I am in my mid 30’s - this person is not my boss or directly related to the job I do at all, he is simply really experienced and has said he is happy to support me and meet up to discuss issues. Over the last 3-4 months, this has become more and more - It will work like this - I will message saying can we meet, he will say where he is or tell me a time and place and that’s it. Quite often it will be an office alone , or he will find somewhere quiet we can talk. It has become quite a charged situation, I am really attracted to him and up until now I have tried to remain professional. The eye contact when we are together has become much more , and he will lean in or face me with his body language. The other day our arms were touching and we both just stayed still - We actually worked together in a wider team  (rare occasion ) last week and he was extremely sarcastic / full of banter and saying things like ‘are you cold’ when I had a coat on, saying he thought of me on international womens day but only sent a text to his family WhatsApp group etc etc..we have been texting and meeting up at least 1-2 times a week for the last few weeks and we have sent over 100 messages in total (most of this is work related and always within work hours - it is always initiated by me but he will respond immediately and has never ever said he can’t meet or made any excuse not to - rather he says yes and the time- place etc or asks when I’m free. On Monday I was feeling really charged after we meet and I sent him a text saying you know how to cheer me up , he replied with a beaming smiley. We then discussed how a particular work issue was becoming a big problem and agreed that we should keep our discussions totally private as to not tell anybody else at work we are talking / meeting often etc. he said he wouldn’t tell anybody and I agreed also. After that I replied and said ‘any chance that litter sarcastic thing you do can stay just between us also as it makes me chuckle every single time (I often tease him that he sounds a little sarcastic when he is saying something genuine, it is a bit of a running joke- he says things like - did that sound genuine and he will say thank you to me in a few different ways and we laugh) he didn’t respond which is not usual so I said I was being playful, didn’t mean to offend - he just replied with beaming smiley face. I know he is married and this is wrong of me, please no bashing and genuine advice - what do you think all this means ? I’m really confused and can’t help but think why hasn’t he made excuses to stay away by now -is part of him wanting something / enjoying it. We had a wider work party a few months ago, on this evening he was very distant and did not even directly say hello to me at all - it was like he did not want me to say hi to his wife or have any interaction - I was feeling like she was looking at me a little strangely and I was worried that she could tell I like him by how I look at him - it was really awkward. Any advice welcome so long as kind. Thanks . After my most recent text it feels like I’ve crossed a bit of a line , I am wondering if next time I see him I should apologise or just leave it - should I say I will keep it strictly professional from now on - we have banter so that would seem a bit odd. Or should I just stop allowing him to support and listen and just never contact him again…that would also be really hard and think he might wonder why I’m doing that eventually. Is this a type of emotional affair or not really - I’m guessing he doesn’t show his wife the many many texts and she wouldn’t be happy if she saw how often we were meeting up and how he is so quick to say yes and give me a place / time etc…we have even said things like let’s use x’s office as they aren’t in so we can get some privacy…

Edited by Catsclaws00
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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

Would you like to take part in his extramarital affair?

I would like something to happen between us yes . I am just not sure If I have made that really obvious to him now or whether he guessed a while back that I feel that way . I feel like he is reciprocating in a ‘safe’ way. He isn’t not meeting up or messaging, and is happy for banter / flirty in person , but is playing things pretty safe . 

Edited by Catsclaws00
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So this is what I would do if this person is the person you eventually want to be with.  Get ready to leave your job.  Start looking now.  Once you give notice, tell him how you feel. Tell him when he is divorced for one year to call you so you can date properly. Then, if that comes to pass make sure you have really good stomach meds or meds for wherever you feel your stress so that when you find yourself wondering if he is chatting up some younger woman at work or responding enthusiastically to her messages -by then he'll be closer to 60 of course but many older men are very attractive to younger women -right??

If it's not worth all this effort to be with him then I wouldn't throw away all you will throw away plus hurt his wife and family for just some fling. 

In answer to your question -yes, you're making it extremely obvious.

 

Edited by Batya33
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3 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

So this is what I would do if this person is the person you eventually want to be with.  Get ready to leave your job.  Start looking now.  Once you give notice, tell him how you feel. Tell him when he is divorced for one year to call you so you can date properly. Then, if that comes to pass make sure you have really good stomach meds or meds for wherever you feel your stress so that when you find yourself wondering if he is chatting up some younger woman at work or responding enthusiastically to her messages -by then he'll be closer to 60 of course but many older men are very attractive to younger women -right??

If it's not worth all this effort to be with him then I wouldn't throw away all you will throw away plus hurt his wife and family for just some fling. 

In answer to your question -yes, you're making it extremely obvious.

Making what extremely obvious - the fact I like him ? I don’t know how he is feeling but he hasn’t tried to push things back to a more professional level - I feel like the smiley face reply is a bit like he is joining in - he could have said let’s keep things professional etc 

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Just now, Catsclaws00 said:

Making what extremely obvious - the fact I like him ? I don’t know how he is feeling but he hasn’t tried to push things back to a more professional level - I feel like the smiley face reply is a bit like he is joining in - he could have said let’s keep things professional etc 

Oh yes he's probably really flattered at your hot pursuit.  Of course he could have stopped it any time he wanted.  He's a person who justifies playing with fire (for reference my husband and I are 55!) - and you're up for playing.  He's content to keep it in this gray area.  Married men can't date so this way he gets his thrills and can tell himself he's (technically) not cheating on his wife who he goes home to every night.

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1 minute ago, Batya33 said:

Oh yes he's probably really flattered at your hot pursuit.  Of course he could have stopped it any time he wanted.  He's a person who justifies playing with fire (for reference my husband and I are 55!) - and you're up for playing.  He's content to keep it in this gray area.  Married men can't date so this way he gets his thrills and can tell himself he's (technically) not cheating on his wife who he goes home to every night.

From what I have detailed , would you say it sounds like he is enjoying this on some level also ? I wonder if I should just not contact him now and allow things to settle down (as much as I want to do the opposite I realise it is wrong ) I guess I felt it was safe as he wouldn’t ever accept my advances 

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I also wondered if there is a possibility he tells his wife we meet /shows her our messages etc and perhaps he thinks it is perfectly innocent . I can’t help but think if this was the case she would be furious as she would wonder why he was allowing it and encouraging us meeting up etc 

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12 minutes ago, Catsclaws00 said:

I also wondered if there is a possibility he tells his wife we meet /shows her our messages etc and perhaps he thinks it is perfectly innocent . I can’t help but think if this was the case she would be furious as she would wonder why he was allowing it and encouraging us meeting up etc 

Yes, you can spend lots of time on analyzing and all the what ifs -because you do not know his wife at all.  So you can make up all sorts of stories in your head about whether he tells her, what she thinks -for all you know they play this sort of game and it turns them on in the bedroom. And then they can laugh their heads off about how this woman at work is coming on to him.  You don't know and you likely will not know because this is his private life.  As a married man. With his wife.

Here are the facts:  He is a married man.  You are flirting with a married man.  You are flirtig with a married man at your place of work, where you recently were promoted.  You are interested in taking it further than flirty texts.  So far he has not shown he is and it could be a million reasons or no reason at all . I gave one suggestion of what he could be doing but who knows.  

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Posted (edited)

Thanks - I think him telling her is probably unlikely to be honest , but as you say who knows what happens in private. I say this because just looked back and quite a few of his messages are asking when I am free, what time - or saying he is free if I want to meet… I should probably just try to cut ties now then and not message him, realise he can’t be there to meet up / talk as I have feelings for him which I shouldn’t have. If I don’t contact him again then maybe that will be the end of it and he won’t bother contacting me either . Our paths will cross at work again eventually, but I could just be distant and professional I guess. 

Edited by Catsclaws00
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Whatever happened to showing respect for other people's relationships? What happened to SELF-respect?  Morals? Values? Integrity?

OP, the man is married. That's your cue to NOT go there. NOT get involved. He's taken.  It doesn't matter that his shows zero respect to his marriage and his wife - in essence, he shows you his true character, which is NOT exactly impressive. The fact is, he is married. What part of that don't you understand.  You have no place there, messing in other people's marriage. 

At the very least, show a little self-respect and back off with your dignity (if any), in tact.

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I understand you caught feelings for this guy, and it’s not like you can snap your finger for them to magically go away. I think a lot of us have developed inappropriate crushes at some point in life. The thing is how you deal with them though. You know he’s married and hasn’t indicated wanting to leave his marriage. I’m sure he’s flattered by your attention, and maybe even finds it thrilling to meet up in empty offices. You’ve both crossed the line, and while he’s the one in a relationship and should’ve cut out the games sooner, he’s apparently not the most moral man. That’s not Someone you want to get involved with. People leave relationships, they divorce, they even sometimes do it for other people and end up in happy long lasting relationships afterwards, but if that’s the end goal, he’d be separating from his wife first and minimize contact with you until his divorce is settled. While speaking openly and honestly with you both. It doesn’t sound like that’s his plan though. Just some dude who’s enjoying a younger woman’s attention for the time being, hence the vague smileys he responds with, that take about a second to send. Most likely when his wife happens to not be around him. He’s playing games, except you caught real feelings and will need to remove yourself from the situation for your own sake. And of course, his wife’s. 

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Thanks for your reply and for understanding. I think you are totally correct about the fact I need to detach from the situation now. From what I have detailed in original post, would you say he has crossed any lines and isn’t behaving well ? I agree with you, in person he is quite flirty etc but obviously in message he is being quite guarded and the smiley face is his way of saying yes without actually feeling like he is cheating or doing something wrong. This is because if someone sends a message you don’t want or makes you feel odd, you would politely say let’s keep it professional or I don’t want to go there etc. what do you think his actual thinking is - is there any way he doesn’t realise that how we have been behaving isn’t turning in to something it shouldn’t ? Sorry for the questions just confused 

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1 hour ago, Capricorn3 said:

Whatever happened to showing respect for other people's relationships? What happened to SELF-respect?  Morals? Values? Integrity?

OP, the man is married. That's your cue to NOT go there. NOT get involved. He's taken.  It doesn't matter that his shows zero respect to his marriage and his wife - in essence, he shows you his true character, which is NOT exactly impressive. The fact is, he is married. What part of that don't you understand.  You have no place there, messing in other people's marriage. 

At the very least, show a little self-respect and back off with your dignity (if any), in tact.

I am not proud of myself and understand I haven’t behaved well. I guess I was thinking it was harmless and nothing was really going on , he was just being friendly etc so I just didn’t think it was putting his marriage in any danger 

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just back off move on to a nice young single man who can be a better partner for you. Plan something with your friends outside work, take some leadership courses for your personal growth.

If you cannot avoid him, move out of this company, block him from all your phones and social media. Any contact will only create issues with your future relationships.

You are encouraging all this behaviour from his side, so just stop doing that. 

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4 hours ago, Catsclaws00 said:

I am not proud of myself and understand I haven’t behaved well. I guess I was thinking it was harmless and nothing was really going on , he was just being friendly etc so I just didn’t think it was putting his marriage in any danger 

If this is true, why did you say this?

9 hours ago, Catsclaws00 said:

I would like something to happen between us yes .

 

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He is not being inappropriate. You have a crush. 

Get a good profile and pics on quality dating apps and start talking to and meeting single men your own age.

If you had a BF you wouldn't be fantasizing about this.

 

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Please stop trying to analyze his behavior.  You can only control your own. If you believe he is harassing you take it to HR and let them analyze it.  That's their job.  I mean I don't suggest this as then they will see your unprofessional texts to him. 

When I was single I had a crush on a married man I directly worked with. 

He never, ever knew, and he still doesn't (this is over 20 years ago -we were both in our 30s - it's possible he's one of my many Linkedin connections).  What I did when I felt those feelings -I doubled down on avoiding interactions other than essential professional ones.  There was one day I actually kept my office door closed (as I had had a dream about him!) - and e-mailed him -all professional -to avoid interacting lol.   

The thing is when you work with someone of course some of your convo is personal -what you did over the weekend, he was a new dad so he had plenty of baby-related stories, and yes he seemed happily married.  But I kept it all in.  I also very much admired him professionally and learned a lot from him and we worked well together.  I was able to do this by making appropriate choices.

You know how well this worked- over time my feelings faded - kind of fake it till you make it - by avoiding personal chit chat beyond professional-personal and keeping my distance -the feelings faded.  

Oh and I met my husband at work.  We were both single when we met.  And we did not work together.  Just at the same big company.  I think work can be a great place for singles to meet other singles within appropriate boundaries.  Appropriate boundaries being the mantra - I think a mantra you may want to keep repeating to yourself each time you try to analyze "why" he is doing what he does and how he feels, how his wife feels, etc -none of your business.

What is your business is doing your job, contributing to your employer in a productive way.  If you meet someone at work who is single who you don't work with no problem (unless your employer forbids dating, etc) in going on dates outside the office.  And you'll feel better about yourself and you can remove your fake therapists hat and stop telling yourself you're "confused."  That will help you with clarity and being a person of integrity.  Good luck.  

Edited by Batya33
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Some older dude who strokes his ego by giving some young woman just enough attention to get her to continue to look at him all gooey eyed.  Of course he doesn't want you to tell anyone.  Not because this is something private and sacred, but because he likes this source of attention that gives him a little skip in his step and makes him feel young again.  

He's careful enough to never initiate the interaction, but rather do just enough to encourage to do it.  Ultimately you are his dirty little secret and he won't even acknowledge you as a work colleague in the company of others.  Doesn't that feel insulting to you?  It should.

You didn't mention your age, but one can assume you are young.  You can't understand the seriousness or the consequences of playing around with this.  Someday when you are married, assuming with a family, you might understand.

t

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Back off.  Find a single guy to focus on. 

You're at a crossroads here. Choose wisely, your life path, career path, emotional. mental and financial states are all at risk. 

Nothing good or healthy can come from what you're doing.  And it will be a long road back, if you pursue this. 

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10 hours ago, Catsclaws00 said:

 A former colleague from my previous role who is around 20 years older than me 

Ok, you don't work together, he's a mentor and married and you're 35?

This is a 'crush on the teacher' type of situation.

If you had a BF/relationship all these "signs" you are reading into wouldn't mean anything.

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