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We work together on a couple of projects. Known each other for 2 years. We are in a sense best friends at work, where we have breakfast lunch and occasionally dinner together. Both of us are married. We acknowledged the existence of our partners and do talk about them in passing comments.

We talk a lot, work and personal, on both work chat and texting since we exchange numbers. Started out only during work hours and business days, but weekend we give each other space.

As we get to be more comfortable with each other’s presence, conversations increased… past work hours and on weekends. We talk about random things through out the days; some days, he became my ears when I’m frustrated with work, and vice versa; while some days we share things we found online that makes us laugh and discuss the plan for the day when it’s worth sharing.

We go out for drinks after work every chance we got, just the two of us. We are comfortable with each other where we prefer to just hangout without the others.

A few weeks ago before I took leave of absence for carer leave, I confessed to him that I am developing feelings for him. I explained in such a way that hopefully makes sense as to why it is what it is.

However, I don’t want to/ feel comfortable to discuss this with him beyond my confession but I figured it’s best if we talk and he agrees, with confusion written all over his face. I fear even acknowledging whether he dislike or like me. Just the thought of what may come of it scares me so I babbled my way out of this, and did not let him speak to the point where we both have to engage some other way to be coherent.

I told him that I am uncomfortable to even talk about this because this confession brings trouble to our friendship, but I am in a state where I want to share without expecting anything back. It is relieving, and I felt comfortable sharing given how transparent we are to a degree that felt safe.

I have not chatted him since, and he respected my privacy as per my request to not talk about it until we see each other… unsure when that will be given that my carer leave can be anywhere between 2-4 weeks, depending on situation.

What should I do, and what should he do? I am definitely in the wrong to confess, but I’m also looking for some affirmation that our relationship at work has surpassed what is normal, and in a sense want an escape hatch whenever things get stressful at work/home. 

I hope what I shared provide some perspective to have your help to either reason out of this mess or help me consider trialing fwb - if the latter, how should I approach?

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6 minutes ago, idks3lf said:

I am definitely in the wrong to confess, but I’m also looking for some affirmation that our relationship at work has surpassed what is normal, and in a sense want an escape hatch whenever things get stressful at work/home. 

Look inside yourself, and ask yourself why you want this. 

What will it change for you if he agrees with you? You are both married and cannot have each other. At some point, these things have a way of turning very sour when one person either feels guilty and cuts it off, or just slowly fades out. But you also need to be prepared to hear that he does not feel the same way and just sees you as a buddy. 

Next, you need to figure out what is going wrong in your marriage that you are seeking attention from another man - and giving yourself permission to indulge in that. Are you lonely? Unhappy? 

You already know you're skating on thin ice. I would stop the drinks after work, and stop communicating privately outside work. Focus instead on fixing what's broken in your marriage, and deciding what you want for your own future. This workplace flirting is a symptom of bigger problems. 

 

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36 minutes ago, idks3lf said:

. Both of us are married. 

Who do you have to care for?

What is wrong with your marriage/husband?

"Trailing FWB"? What exactly do you mean by that?  Going from an emotional affair to a physical one?

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2 hours ago, idks3lf said:

What should I do, and what should he do? I am definitely in the wrong to confess, but I’m also looking for some affirmation that our relationship at work has surpassed what is normal, and in a sense want an escape hatch whenever things get stressful at work/home. 

I think the best affirmation is one you give yourself-affirm that you have crossed the line, affirm that it's not fair to your husband, and affirm that either you are going to make the choice to uphold your marital commitment or let your husband be free to find someone who will (or find someone he can trust and who will show love and caring in all the ways that matter).  Rather than seeking more for you - because all of this is about you and your needs - you "need" affirmation that you can continue playing with fire - seek to be a person who is other centered -who is giving to the people you promised to give to -your husband.  Not your coworker.  

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2 hours ago, idks3lf said:

I hope what I shared provide some perspective to have your help to either reason out of this mess or help me consider trialing fwb - if the latter, how should I approach?

OP, I highly doubt any members here will encourage you to go ahead and cheat on your husband.  I'm actually both shocked/surprised you even ask this. A little selfish, don't you think?  Have you even thought about your husband at all?  Reverse the roles here:  How would YOU feel if your husband was emotionally cheating on you behind your back and contemplating having FWB with his colleague as if you don't even exist?

Time for self reflection, look within and maybe even go for marriage counselling (for yourself) to help you sort out all of your issues.  Also, a little bit of self-respect goes a long way.  I hope your coworker has enough self-respect not to follow through with an affair with you.

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3 hours ago, idks3lf said:

We work together on a couple of projects. Known each other for 2 years. We are in a sense best friends at work, where we have breakfast lunch and occasionally dinner together. Both of us are married. We acknowledged the existence of our partners and do talk about them in passing comments.

We talk a lot, work and personal, on both work chat and texting since we exchange numbers. Started out only during work hours and business days, but weekend we give each other space.

As we get to be more comfortable with each other’s presence, conversations increased… past work hours and on weekends. We talk about random things through out the days; some days, he became my ears when I’m frustrated with work, and vice versa; while some days we share things we found online that makes us laugh and discuss the plan for the day when it’s worth sharing.

We go out for drinks after work every chance we got, just the two of us. We are comfortable with each other where we prefer to just hangout without the others.

A few weeks ago before I took leave of absence for carer leave, I confessed to him that I am developing feelings for him. I explained in such a way that hopefully makes sense as to why it is what it is.

However, I don’t want to/ feel comfortable to discuss this with him beyond my confession but I figured it’s best if we talk and he agrees, with confusion written all over his face. I fear even acknowledging whether he dislike or like me. Just the thought of what may come of it scares me so I babbled my way out of this, and did not let him speak to the point where we both have to engage some other way to be coherent.

I told him that I am uncomfortable to even talk about this because this confession brings trouble to our friendship, but I am in a state where I want to share without expecting anything back. It is relieving, and I felt comfortable sharing given how transparent we are to a degree that felt safe.

I have not chatted him since, and he respected my privacy as per my request to not talk about it until we see each other… unsure when that will be given that my carer leave can be anywhere between 2-4 weeks, depending on situation.

What should I do, and what should he do? I am definitely in the wrong to confess, but I’m also looking for some affirmation that our relationship at work has surpassed what is normal, and in a sense want an escape hatch whenever things get stressful at work/home. 

I hope what I shared provide some perspective to have your help to either reason out of this mess or help me consider trialing fwb - if the latter, how should I approach?

Who are you carer to? Why not divorce your spouse and find a better job? 

 

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4 hours ago, idks3lf said:

 

I told him that I am uncomfortable to even talk about this because this confession brings trouble to our friendship, but I am in a state where I want to share without expecting anything back. It is relieving, and I felt comfortable sharing given how transparent we are to a degree that felt safe.

I have not chatted him since, and he respected my privacy as per my request to not talk about it until we see each other… unsure when that will be given that my carer leave can be anywhere between 2-4 weeks, depending on situation.

I hope what I shared provide some perspective to have your help to either reason out of this mess or help me consider trialing fwb - if the latter, how should I approach?

Why DID you "confess"?  You're both married.  He is doing the right thing by backing off.   If you really DO just want friendship then why did you want to start this trouble?  Why not just enjoy the friendship for what it was?  Even if you had a crush, why did you feel the need to share it?  You had to know that that was going to change things. But it sounds like you wanted it to take a romantic turn. 

IMVHO, it sounds like what you really want is for him to say that he likes you, too.  And it's frustrating you that he hasn't. 

You're both married, what did you expect him to say/do?  It sounds like you're disappointed that he's distancing from you and staying faithful to his wife.  

You need to do some serious thinking.  If you really don't want to be married, start thinking about divorce but stop it with this "friend".  I applaud him.  But stop approaching him, he's clearly uncomfortable with what happened.  Your husband doesn't deserve to be cheated on.  Why don't you ask HIM how he feels about an open marriage? 

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I dunno what you want from us or even from him? To tell you that having an affair is wrong? That is just common sense. 

Same thing for your behavior toward him. You spent time together and flirted but then you confessed and stopped him before anything even started? OK, that was at least reasonable by your side. However you still want affirmation and that you both want what is missing at home? I am pretty sure that you both want that "escape" from bad marriages(or just to get some excitment, some people do affairs for that too), but this is not the way. 

You cant play both sides. If things at home arent good then you try to fix them and not resort to afffairs. If you cant fix them, get divorce and then pursue whoever you want. And even after that, the person you have a crush for, is still a married man himself so you cant even pursue that.

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Even if you wanted to have an affair, it makes no sense to involve a coworker and latch onto someone else’s husband, OP. 

Talk about drama to the nth level and why would you do that to yourself or add to your stress? 

Don’t underestimate the effect of having an affair either as it’ll eat away at you over time. Would you look in the mirror each day knowing you do what you do? 

I think you’re caught up in the moment and feeling emotional. Distance yourself and don’t hang around or talk to him as often. Let this fade away and refer him to more appropriate means if he keeps approaching you at work. Say you’re busy and cut the conversations short, change the subject. He is an adult and he can handle himself. You are not his special woman to help him deal with his problems. He can figure it out on his own.

Also, this isn’t a friends with benefits situation. You have feelings for him and it’s already a full blown emotional affair. This is an affair, period. Don’t delude yourself. I think you’ll end up hurting yourself a lot more.

Edited by Rose Mosse
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It was wrong way before the confession.   You mentioned all the time together and personal conversations.  You were participated in a temptation rich environment long before.  That and confiding in someone with personal intimate information you are actively creating an emotional connection with someone outside of your marriage.  For most, that is considered cheating.

That's when you should have dialed it down, not now in an attempt to do damage control and after things crossed the line.

Edited by reinventmyself
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It’s time to be accountable for your own actions.

If you play with fire you will get burned.

Attraction doesn’t just happen overnight, you knew what was going on for a while.

I understand it’s difficult when you have feelings for someone, but that’s why it’s important to be accountable and set healthy boundaries, even with how you interact with others.

I had a terrible experience over a year ago with this “friend” from a language exchange that lied to me she was a single mother. She was drop dead gorgeous and I fell in love. I found out she was deceptive and living with another man and there is no way I would steal another man’s 5 month old child and woman from him.

So I have been ignoring her texts for over a year. She wrote two days ago she is getting married this Saturday and if I want her to let her know and she will cancel the wedding, but I will ignore her and not respond …and not ruin a family. 

So it’s best to walk away while you can and realize it’s normal to develop feelings for another person, but it’s how you respond that matters.

 

Edited by mical
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9 hours ago, idks3lf said:

We are in a sense best friends at work, where we have breakfast lunch and occasionally dinner together. Both of us are married. We acknowledged the existence of our partners and do talk about them in passing comments.

Can I ask why you two have done all of this?

Is there a reason your partners were never part of this?  I am assuming your partners are aware of all this time you two spend together?

 

9 hours ago, idks3lf said:

I’m also looking for some affirmation that our relationship at work has surpassed what is normal, and in a sense want an escape hatch whenever things get stressful at work/home. 

I hope what I shared provide some perspective to have your help to either reason out of this mess or help me consider trialing fwb -

Yeah, I'd say it has 😕 .

Is often the woman to come to have feelings first....not sure about his?

IMO< it would have best for YOU to reach out more & hang more with your true 'friends', like other women- rather than a 'male co worker'.

IF you are honestly considering FWB with this guy, it shows you have lacked feelings in regards to your own present relationship... It may just be the excitement.. the unknown.  And this is all wrong.

1) This is your co worker.  Most often, work romance does fail and causes a HUGE amount of stress and awkwardness in the workplace for you both!

Honestly, do take a look here at the BIG picture.. and your own relationship... Think wisely.

 

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I get it...things at home or whatever is going on in your personal life has taken a toll on you mentally and this co-worker is a slice of paradise to escape. It has built up and you needed to release is all. I suggest you put this aside for now, and focus on your troubles/stresses you have been experiencing. You don't need to handle more on your plate so to speak...take some time out for yourself. 

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Posted (edited)

Thank you so much everyone for your comments, be it criticisms/advices, to the situation at hand. I appreciate the thought provoking questions and shared stories as well, and I indeed need to self-introspect more on why I’m considering this behavior to be okay and justifying further given how out of norm this work relationship has become. 

Although we both reciprocated and aware of our closeness, I think I may be more in tune with my feelings and therefore realizing earlier regarding what I consider to be addicted.
 

Looks like marriage counselor is in the books, as well as therapy. 
 

I will also update this thread when I have anything worth updating. 
 

Edited by idks3lf
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3 hours ago, idks3lf said:

I indeed need to self-introspect more on why I’m considering this behavior to be okay and justifying further given how out of norm this work relationship has become. 

Nothing as fancy as that -decide to apply common sense and play nicely in the sandbox.  Your work relationship is not out of the norm for people who make bad choices like you and this other person -it's a typical interaction between two people choosing to cheat on their spouses.  It's impressive you're seeking therapy and counseling - even though it's common sense a professional outsider can help you make better choices.

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Splash cold water on your face, wake up and readjust yourself.  Pump the brakes.  Enforce new boundaries.  Both of you are getting too comfortable with each other and should both of you continue at this rate, dissolve relationships with both of your partners so you and your co-worker can do as much as both of you please. 

Respect and honor the partners who are blindsided but this cozy relationship you have with your co-worker.  Quit breakfasts, dinners, texting, excessive work chats, after hours chats, stop after work hours socializing and weekend socializing.  When do both of you spend time and energy with your partners?  Don't they deserve to be treated like a partner instead of a nobody?  It's cheating, very dishonorable and disrespectful to your partners.  They deserve to be with a partner; not be with a partner who is too busy with their co-worker. 

Treat your co-worker as a co-worker.  An occasional, brief lunch or with a group of co-workers out to lunch occasionally is ok.  After hours is your own time; not co-worker time together.  Superficial, brief, occasional chats are ok in person.  Cut everything else out.  Eliminate the rest.  Know where to draw the line.  Then devote more time, energy and resources on the partners who deserve to be top priority in your co-worker and your lives.  It's time to grow up.  Be mature and do the right thing.  Be honorable and trustful; not distrustful and deceitful.

Dial it back and do a reset.  Then both of you should be ok.

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