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Did he have feelings for me? How do I get over him?


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Hi, l an looking for insight or advice into my situation. Please bare with me, I am very long winded. I am a 35 year old female. I fell very hard for a guy I worked with even though I am married. I know I was wrong, but I am human and we make mistakes. I did not cheat on my husband. In fact, I came clean to him about my feelings for this man. He was surprisingly understanding and we decided to try work things through. However, our marriage was on very shaky ground prior to all this. Ultimately, we could not get passed this situation and are currently separated. We even tried an open marriage at one point to allow ourselves to see other people while remaining together for the kids, but he was too jealous for it to work. What made things even worse is that I lost my job three months ago and had to deal with the pain of not seeing this guy anymore. At this point, I am trying to figure out if there was anything even there between me and this guy in the first place or if I was imagining something in my head. We worked together for almost 3 years and grew to be close work friends. We did not have a relationship outside of work, but we did confide in each other about personal issues and he told me I was someone he could come to about anything. I did complain about my marriage to him at times, which I know was probably not appropriate. There were many signs of intense chemistry between us. We didn’t work in the same department, so we often had to go out of our way to create work together, which I feel like we did. He would always make up the dumbest excuses to come to my office to talk to me, often leaning his whole upper body entirely on my desk with his face close enough to kiss me.  We often were in a room together talking to clients, but our eyes would be focused on each other. If were together in a room with a bunch of coworkers, I was the one he would come stand next to. Our conversations were sometimes awkward. He would stumble over words, say stupid things, and blush all the time. One day he even brushed up against me accidentally and apologized but made no real effort to move out of the way. He was always doing nice things for me such as cleaning snow off my car and holding my hand in the parking lot so I didn’t fall on ice. He got me gifts for Christmas and hand wrote me very sentimental Christmas cards several years in a row. Keep in mind that he works very closely with about 60 women in his department,  more closely than me, yet he did not buy them anything for Christmas. He was always complimenting me my work ethic, dedication, friendliness, and even my wardrobe and sense of style. We actually had a client mistakenly believe us to be married. When I told him that he said I should have just went along with it, because he had been single for so long and he liked the idea of being married to me. This led to us joking around about getting married for weeks after that. I always felt like there was some truth to the joking around.
 

The day they furloughed me from my job, I first went to a female coworker who is one of my best friends and told her that I was being laid off effective immediately. Then I went to find him next to tell him. Turns out my friend was in his office talking him about work related things. The three of us had a tearful goodbye. Him and I exchanged phone numbers and promised to get together. My friend then started joking around and it seemed like she was trying to get us together. When he reached on a top shelf, she said I should grab his butt. Then when we hugged, she joked with him that he liked the feel of my boob against him. That night after work my friend called me and said he was very upset about me being laid off and talked about how upset he was after I left. He was also texting me heart emojis that night. My friend, even though she knows I was/am in a bad marriage, admitted that she was trying to get us together. She asked what was going on between us. I admitted my feelings for him then and she admitted that she felt there something between us. She felt like she was interrupting an intimate moment when the three of us were together earlier that day. 

Her and I went out drinking about a week later. Still in pain from losing my job, I acted Like an immature teenager and told her to tell him I wanted him. She did tell him, but his reaction was he did not believe her. He stated to her that nobody wants him. He does have terrible self image, I believe mainly due to his ex who hurt him badly after nine years together. I think his insecurities have gotten in the way of him even having so much as a date in the past four years. He always said that he got no attention from women. She did convince him that I did want him, which he questioned why and how I want him, being that I was married. She told him I was in an open marriage, which still technically was at that time. She said he seemed intrigued by that. She said she later reiterated to him about my open marriage and he said he felt like his simple life would break open. He did admit to her then that he missed me. Him and I did end up texting each other in the following weeks, and things were kind of heating up between us. Sometimes we would text later in the night and for 4-5 hours in a row. We even agreed to get together to hang out. Then the texts stopped all of a sudden. He wouldn’t respond to any of my messages. 

my friend intervened on my behalf. He told her he cared about me and wanted me in his life but just wanted to be friends. She told him he was being a coward and should at least have the decency to be honest with me and return my texts. He said he would. He did eventually text me to apologize for ignoring me, stating that he was it was tough for him to socialize right now and he stated that he didn’t feel able to Invest in anyone at the moment. At first I took that as he was going through a hard time in his life, then later felt like he was blowing me off in a nice way. I did end up texting him a few weeks ago when I was drunk and admitted my feelings to him and asked him to he honest about his. Of course I did not receive a response and didn’t really expect to. 

The whole situation has me questioning my sanity. Does it sound like he did have feelings for me? My friend believes he does or at least did have feelings for me and didn’t want to come between my marriage. My marriage was basically over anyway, but he didn’t really know that. To me, he would not be acting this way if there wasn’t feelings. Does anyone agree? By not responding to me he is totally disregarding my feelings which is contrary to how he treated me before. If we were/are friends, how could you do that to someone you supposedly care about? What reason would he have for avoiding me like the plague? If I was truly just a friend or even just a silly girl he worked with, he would simply shoot me quick texts to see how I was doing, and tell me he wasn’t interested, let’s keep things platonic, blah blah. But he seems to be making a very big deal out of all this. I know him and I aren’t going to be together, but I do feel like for the sake of closure I need to know how he felt about me. But how do I start to move on? It’s been three months since I have seen him. I’m still very much in love with him and very heartbroken. He still dominates my thoughts. How do I get over him? 

Edited by candy_kisses4987
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Well I think it's fairly obvious that regardless of this other guy, you're not into your husband anymore. Have you actually separated from your husband? What are your plans regarding your marriage/ending the marriage?

I think that yes there probably are signs that this guy maybe felt the same way about you (but no 100% proof). However it's difficult to know exactly how he felt, as he had never actually said anything to you about how he feels about you. In the end he did actually say that he actually just wants to be friends. So it's hard to know whether that's really how he feels or whether he just doesn't want to be in a relationship with a married woman.

I think the majority of people are not polyamorous or in open relationships. To my understanding statistically more people are monogamous. So as you can understand, even if this guy had feelings for you, he probably wants a monogamous relationship with someone who is actually single. Most people don't want to share their partner with someone else and they feel unhappy and jealous about sharing. As you saw, your husband ended up feeling the same way too.

 

 

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2 hours ago, candy_kisses4987 said:

  My marriage was basically over anyway, 

Sorry this is happening. Are you currently working? 

See a physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health. Ask for a referral to a qualified therapist for ongoing support.

Obviously you're trying to fill voids, but ironically can't because you're not divorced.

Why is your marriage so bad?  How old are the children? How long have you been married?

Unfortunately you're in the middle of nowhere. No decent guy is going to be interested in someone married.

A passing flirtation won't solve your problems, nor will using men for an escape with the classic cheater line about "my spouse doesn't understand me, we're only together for the kids".

Talk privately and confidentiality to a qualified therapist about your problems. 

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He is "damaged goods". You will need to understand that, whatever happened or did not happened, is because of him never wanting to initiate things. Guy was hurt by his ex and still never recovered from that. Thus making him very bad pairing for anybody.

Anyway, focus on yourself and resolving your marriage. Open marriage didnt worked so get a clean divorce and a fresh start. Also, you are without a job, so focus more on that.

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5 hours ago, candy_kisses4987 said:

. I did end up texting him a few weeks ago when I was drunk and admitted my feelings to him and asked him to he honest about his. Of course I did not receive a response and didn’t really expect to. 

Well, you have your answer. He's not that into you. He probably never was so into you from your description. It's Better to distance yourself from him.

He's a good distraction, I know. Add to that, you're not in the right state to date and so is he. So you need to focus on you now and on finalizing and grieving your marriage. That should be your priority. Turn to your other friends and family for support.

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No, he isn’t making a big deal about this. Unfortunately you are as you are hurt and feeling rejected. My read on this is that you both had a work romance while working together but your being laid off ended that and ended the fantasy. The convenience of a work romance ended quickly after that as he likely realized it was too much work and effort required to date you.

To be frank, you have more pressing concerns than him and you would do better focusing on finding employment  again and getting back on your feet. Your coping mechanism has been to fall into fantasy and romance when life gets hard. He might have seen this about you and also realized you’re not a woman he wants for the long haul or someone he wants on his team for real. It was part of that work romance and fantasy building when times were convenient. 

Your quickest way through healing past this is recognizing what you need to do for yourself and avoid living in fantasies or disillusion. Let go and focus on you and what’s happening in reality now with your work and filing for divorce if you are divorcing your husband.

Edited by Rose Mosse
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Hi, guys. Thanks for everyone’s input. I just want to add a couple things. Some people have mentioned about focusing on finding employment, but I am not unemployed. I did lose my job, but ended up find a new job right away. I couldn’t afford to be unemployed. However, transition to the new job has been complete hell. Not only because of missing him, but I loved my job. My job was a huge part of what made me happy and that was taken away from me. My new job makes me miserable. My mental health has deteriorated so badly, I am in a deep depression, cry nearly daily, have terrible anxiety and panic attacks regularly. I generally feel empty inside and get no joy out of anything. I have been a very difficult person to be around according to my friends and family. I have not been able to “get over” this job loss. It’s been three months. Yes, I have seen my doctor and has prescribed me anti depressants but they haven’t done much. I was seeing a therapist, but she was very dismissive of my problems, so I stopped going. I am trying to find a new one. I don’t know how to get over him or my job loss in general.

As far as my marriage, I don’t know. We are separated but not legally. My husband still loves me deeply but is understandably hurt and resentful over everything. I love him too, because he is the father of my children and the person I share my life with. The romantic love isn’t there anymore. We been married for 7 years and together for 10. He is very hard to be with. He’s mostly  not helpful with the kids. I cannot deal anymore with his anger and mental health issues. He also has terrible social issues due to what I believe is undiagnosed ASD. He came from a family who didn’t communicate and parents that hated each other, so he does not know how to show love to another person. I grew up in a close knit loving household. My husband is also an extremely emotionally damaged man. due to a traumatic childhood. I guess I have a type? I don’t know honestly if my marriage is worth saving or not, but how can I even begin to save my marriage when I am still so stuck on someone else? 


I guess I have work to do

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Give yourself a chance to let it fade and don’t pursue this previous romance anymore. If you’re upset about it turn your attention elsewhere and start looking for other employment. You may still be traumatized from being laid off suddenly as it was effective immediately.

I’d look into counselling in general to keep your thoughts in order and have a third party present. Journaling also helps if you’re tracking your thoughts and emotions. It also helps as an outlet up to a limit. Know when to stop ruminating and put the pen down. Stay busy with plans for yourself and your future and the future of your kids and what you want for them.

If you’re interested in more training or schooling look into what it takes. Be proactive and not reactive to what is going on around you. 

The only way the marriage works is for two to agree on putting in the effort. If he’s resentful of you having an affair reconciliation is unlikely. You may think you have options when you have none. I think your marriage is as good as over but then again I’ve also seen couples remain married albeit unhappily. Make choices that you can live with.

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I'm sorry you chose to react to your feelings for this person and chose to get drunk and then text him - you're kind of getting in your own way here as far as moving on because you keep ruminating about this man who is not interested in being with you in a relationship -perhaps as a mild flirtation, he enjoys feeling flattered by your obvious interest in him -but he's not that into you even if he had "feelings" at some point.  I think it's time to put the best interests of your children first. They deserve to be in a safe situation which involves two parents who love them co-parenting amicably.  So make that happen. 

I wouldn't try to reconcile with your husband -you think he was too "jealous" for an open marriage -from his perspective you were too "disloyal" to live up to your marriage vows, to be there for your family in the way you should. 

And the open marriage happened because you chose to let yourself get attached to your coworker, not because both of you without a third person already involved, decided to try out having sex with others.Most people do not want to be in an "open relationship" where that means settling for that instead of their partner pursuing his/her feelings for someone else.  It's probably not about jealousy just his realization that he didn't want to settle for scraps even for his kids.

I think your feelings will fade over time - imagine if you ended up with this guy and found out that he told a coworker he loved how another coworkers boobs felt pressed up against him during a friendly hug.  He was playing with fire too -would you really trust him to be loyal to you? Perhaps that might help your intense chemistry for him to fade. We're all human. 

There's a broad range of mistakes -you chose to keep interacting with this person even when you knew it wasn't in the best interests of your family and marriage - that's no longer just being a human who makes mistakes IMHO.  Show your children that you are human - that you do your utmost to be a good human and do the right thing even when you didn't feel like it. I have a 13 year old and I have to do that sort of thing almost daily.  

Start getting your ducks in a row from a practical perspective -your kids deserve no less, right?

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1 hour ago, candy_kisses4987 said:

We are separated but not legally.  he is the father of my children and the person I share my life with.

Are you living apart? What does not legally separated mean?

Continue to take care of your physical and mental health. At least talk to an attorney about your options in divorce. Particularly if you are in an abusive marriage.

All this is not about this flirtation, that is just a symptom of much bigger issues you prefer not to address and instead let your mind drift to this simpler issue of missing him.

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So you both really liked each other BUT you are married. He's steering way clear because of that. Some people don't  want to be responsible for a marriage breakup especially when kids are involved. I say get your stuff in order, get a divorce and then contact him again. I think by then you both will be more comfortable taking things to the next level. 

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On 4/14/2022 at 10:51 AM, smackie9 said:

So you both really liked each other BUT you are married. He's steering way clear because of that. Some people don't  want to be responsible for a marriage breakup especially when kids are involved. I say get your stuff in order, get a divorce and then contact him again. I think by then you both will be more comfortable taking things to the next level. 

Do you really think so? Is it so obvious that there was something there between us? Everyone else seems to think I’m delusional. 

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15 minutes ago, candy_kisses4987 said:

Do you really think so? Is it so obvious that there was something there between us? Everyone else seems to think I’m delusional. 

Is that what you're taking from all of this? You're excited to think he might be interested in an affair?

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18 minutes ago, candy_kisses4987 said:

Do you really think so? Is it so obvious that there was something there between us? Everyone else seems to think I’m delusional. 

I think it's telling that of all the advice here you are still focusing on this, as if knowing there "something" between you two would solve everything in your life. 

Being frank, it wouldn't, won't. The end of a marriage, even one that's "basically over," is a hard thing. Stir in kids and it's even harder. Stir in a new job that isn't working out and it's even harder. From where I sit, a lot of your focus on him is you not wanting to face all of that, yet all that is the "something" that needs your time and energy. 

Generally speaking, any time we're super obsessed with another person, especially someone we don't have any real history with, have not seen for months, and who stopped engaging with us, is a sign that there is something inside of us that needs care and attention. 

Edited by bluecastle
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15 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Is that what you're taking from all of this? You're excited to think he might be interested in an affair?

Not really wanting to pursue him at this time,  I guess I am just more wanting validation that I was not crazy. It would help with closure to know. 

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16 minutes ago, bluecastle said:

I think it's telling that of all the advice here you are still focusing on this, as if knowing there "something" between you two would solve everything in your life. 

Being frank, it wouldn't, won't. The end of a marriage, even one that's "basically over," is a hard thing. Stir in kids and it's even harder. Stir in a new job that isn't working out and it's even harder. From where I sit, a lot of your focus on him is you not wanting to face all of that, yet all that is the "something" that needs your time and energy. 

Generally speaking, any time we're super obsessed with another person, especially someone we don't have any real history with, have not seen for months, and who stopped engaging with us, is a sign that there is something inside of us that needs care and attention. 

Not expecting it to solve anything. Like I said, I think I am mostly seeking validation that I wasn’t crazy. I feel it will help me in the closure process. I now realize that I shouldn’t be asking strangers on the internet for their opinion on something they haven’t witnessed. I think the most important opinion is my friend who worked with us both together and she knows there was something between us. So, okay I wasn’t crazy. Time to start moving on, I know.

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No, you weren't crazy.

You had a flirtation at work that was mutual, though it sounds like he didn't put the same weight on it, or assign the same meaning to it, as you did. Is that because you're married? Because he's emotionally stunted from past experiences? Or because he just wasn't quite as into it all as you were, preferring it to be conceptual while you wanted it actualized? It's likely some combination of all of the above. 

But this road is not closure, I don't think. Kind of the opposite: it's trying to keep open something that has already closed, to say nothing of a can of worms that was always best unopened. I don't say that with any judgement, but just to encourage you to think about "closure" from a different angle, one that frees up emotional space to focus on what is most urgent.

Can't help but ask: How exactly was your therapist dismissive about your problems? Your writing here contains a whiff of frustration at those who, unlike your friend, don't tell you what you already wanted to hear. Therapy only works if you're willing to listen to perspectives that don't conform to your own.  

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1 hour ago, candy_kisses4987 said:

Do you really think so? Is it so obvious that there was something there between us? Everyone else seems to think I’m delusional. 

Hey I have worked with my company for over 30 years...I've seen enough of this type of thing. I get a sense of it even before anyone else does. It's quite normal, people get work crushes but don't act on them.

So I don't think your coworker is way off. It's bad timing for sure, and all you can do is carry on with getting your life sorted out. Maybe things can pick up where you left off in the future...if not at least you know someone appreciated you for you and that's a special thing you can carry with yourself when you are having a tough time.

Edited by smackie9
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29 minutes ago, bluecastle said:

No, you weren't crazy.

You had a flirtation at work that was mutual, though it sounds like he didn't put the same weight on it, or assign the same meaning to it, as you did. Is that because you're married? Because he's emotionally stunted from past experiences? Or because he just wasn't quite as into it all as you were, preferring it to be conceptual while you wanted it actualized? It's likely some combination of all of the above. 

But this road is not closure, I don't think. Kind of the opposite: it's trying to keep open something that has already closed, to say nothing of a can of worms that was always best unopened. I don't say that with any judgement, but just to encourage you to think about "closure" from a different angle, one that frees up emotional space to focus on what is most urgent.

Can't help but ask: How exactly was your therapist dismissive about your problems? Your writing here contains a whiff of frustration at those who, unlike your friend, don't tell you what you already wanted to hear. Therapy only works if you're willing to listen to perspectives that don't conform to your own.  

I agree with all above, and want to thank you, because what you said makes a lot of sense. I wasn’t necessarily frustrated at people telling me what I don’t want to hear, but more frustration at people thinking I am still trying to pursue him which I am not and that was not the point of my post. It helps to think I don’t need his emotional baggage. I guess my self esteem took a blow, and it’s not so much I cared that he rejected me but more why he rejected me. Was it because of how I look or that I’m married or another reason? Just asking rhetorically.  For my own self worth, I like to think my rejection wasn’t due to my looks but another reason.

as far as a therapist goes, I didn’t really get to dive into the nature of what went on with him with the therapist. I did however open up to her about my total devastation over my job loss and her exact words were “you need to get over it and be lucky were able to find another job so quickly. Maybe that was an appropriate response, but it did not feel helpful. 

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3 minutes ago, candy_kisses4987 said:

I agree with all above, and want to thank you, because what you said makes a lot of sense. I wasn’t necessarily frustrated at people telling me what I don’t want to hear, but more frustration at people thinking I am still trying to pursue him which I am not and that was not the point of my post. It helps to think I don’t need his emotional baggage. I guess my self esteem took a blow, and it’s not so much I cared that he rejected me but more why he rejected me. Was it because of how I look or that I’m married or another reason? Just asking rhetorically.  For my own self worth, I like to think my rejection wasn’t due to my looks but another reason.

as far as a therapist goes, I didn’t really get to dive into the nature of what went on with him with the therapist. I did however open up to her about my total devastation over my job loss and her exact words were “you need to get over it and be lucky were able to find another job so quickly. Maybe that was an appropriate response, but it did not feel helpful. 

wow I find your therapist a little harsh. Maybe you need to seek out someone else for therapy.

On the other hand, you never really revealed the true reason for your devastation. A therapist can't help you unless you tell them everything.

Edited by smackie9
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1 hour ago, candy_kisses4987 said:

I think the most important opinion is my friend who worked with us both together and she knows there was something between us. 

 Did your husband/bad marriage do number on your self esteem? It seems inordinately important to you that there was really "something there".

 Almost as if you have been gaslighted so long you doubt your own reality.

Edited by Wiseman2
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Oof.

Yeah, that's a pretty lousy therapist from what you've outlined. A better one would have asked you if there way anything else going on in your life that was devastating, or some such, to try to peel back to layers and get to the roots. Sorry you had that experience and hope it doesn't sour your to the whole thing. Think you'd find the right match really helpful. 

Per the self-esteem stuff: I'd encourage a different outlook. Seems to me your self-esteem wasn't in the strongest spot when you first met this dude; otherwise his pull over you wouldn't ever have been so strong. All of which is understandable. Curdled marriage, anger-prone husband: not exactly boosts to the confidence core, all that. Attention from this guy, and the possibility of him being a dip in warm lagoon after feeling out in the cold: can't help but think all that masked the places where your self-esteem was already hurting. When it went away? The hurt returned, more potent after a break from it.

From this angle, he loses all power and before you lies the real issue: a life that is not serving you, or your spirit, and needs to be sorted out. Daunting stuff, without question, but it's a process. One step. Then another. What feels purely uphill starts to level out. Think about how you'd want your kids to walk in the very human shoes you're presently walking in, and go from there. 

 

 

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I would rather know someone rejected me for my looks because that would prove to me they're shallow and I wouldn't have to waste anymore time pining over them.

Good riddance, I would say.

Are you insecure about your appearance?

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1 hour ago, candy_kisses4987 said:

I now realize that I shouldn’t be asking strangers on the internet for their opinion on something they haven’t witnessed.

Sometimes neutral fresh perspective helps. Often times we are blinded by our own perspective. For example at the start of relationship lots of people "wears rose colored glasses" so we dont see the situation clearly.

In your case you have self-doubts about you and are feeling rejected. However

On 4/14/2022 at 5:47 AM, candy_kisses4987 said:

He stated to her that nobody wants him. He does have terrible self image, I believe mainly due to his ex who hurt him badly after nine years together. I think his insecurities have gotten in the way of him even having so much as a date in the past four years. He always said that he got no attention from women.

in this case, I dont really think its you in a sense that he doesnt like you. Its just him. As Ive said, both of you are not ready for any kind of relationship, especially with each other.

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From what I've observed during my lifetime and have heard with others' experiences, men who pay inappropriate attention to a taken women never want a longterm exclusive relationship with her. He likes the fact she's taken because he just likes the titillation of flirtation without putting in the real efforts of what a serious relationship with a single woman entails. As soon as she's free, he books it out of there.

This is likely the case with this guy. He is not shy in the least, and you believe he's good-looking. If he really wanted a girlfriend, he very likely could get one.

You fell into this emotional affair, obviously, because your emotional connection is lacking in your marriage. There should only be two choices. Get couples counseling to see if there could be improvements, or get a divorce.

If you choose a divorce, your children have to adapt to a new way of life with the new situation. I highly suggest staying alone to concentrate on helping your children through this process, as well as learning about yourself--who you are as a person without a partner--for at least a full year before venturing into the dating world again.

Block your former co-worker's number from your phone for closure. He won't make a decent partner even though you believe he would at this point. When you get some distance from him, your vision will probably clear to this fact. Good luck.

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