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Messy situation at work need advice on what I do now


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10 months ago on a work away night, a colleague (J) and I ended up kissing. We are both married him happily, me not very but I can't leave the marriage. Since then we have talked every week day, gone for drinks every week when I visit London for work, sent hundreds of messages getting know one another. We have never slept together as whilst we know this is wrong we don't want to cross that line. I've told him I love him and he says he has feelings for me but again says love is a line he doesn't want to cross. Over the last few months, its become hard for me, we had two weeks due to holidays where I missed him as we couldn't talk. When he came back it was obvious he hadn't missed me. He can compartmentalise us from his home life. I've tried to say we should end it, that my feelings are too strong but he's says we can't as the feelings aren't just going to go away. 

Last week due to various reason we didn't talk much and it made me really sad. When I was in London I went out with two other colleagues, J couldn't come due to home commitments. We all got very drunk. And at the end of the night one of them D) kissed me and I didn't stop them, he ended up spending the night in my hotel. What makes it even worse is I think the other colleague A knows and he works for me and I'm so ashamed. And worried it will effect my credibility as his line manager. 

Now I have no idea what to do. D said the next day said we should go out together next time I'm in London, I didn't know what to say and honestly I think he was just being polite, I can't believe for one minute he would be interested in me. He's completely out of my league. I don't know whats worse if he used me because he was drunk or if he does actually like me. 

I can't tell J what happened, they work together and it would all be too awkward. If I end things now straight away with J he may suspect something?

I can't just stop going to London as its my job. 

Do I end things with J? but how do we just stop when we still have to work together and talk daily? What do I do if D does ask me out? What do I do about A just carry on and hope he doesn't know? 

I never meant to have an affair, my home life is very difficult and the romance with J made me feel worth something again. I know all affairs are wrong and I know I shouldn't be doing this to my husband but I've done it now and I need advice on how I move forward. Without ruining all my working relationships and my career. Please help.

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5 minutes ago, Messedup22 said:

  Without ruining all my working relationships and my career. Please help.

Sorry this is happening. There's a couple of things you could address. 

Excessive drinking leading to questionable behaviors and your unhappy marriage.

Get an evaluation of your physical and mental health from a physician. Discuss the problem drinking. Ask for a referral to a qualified therapist.

Privately and confidentiality consult an attorney to discuss your options in divorce, so you know what to do if/when your husband finds out or if/when you choose to divorce.

Drinking and hooking up/making out with colleagues is bad for your health, mental health,profession and of course your marriage.

Find out what is at the root of all this so you can address it without destroying yourself and others in the process.

 

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10 minutes ago, Messedup22 said:

What do I do if D does ask me out?

Say no, sorry, you are married. 

11 minutes ago, Messedup22 said:

I can't tell J what happened, they work together

You are being awfully naive if you think it won't come out (even inadvertently) between them. Nobody seems very discreet in your workplace so I would not expect all of this to stay a secret. That is especially true if A also knows. You can't put that cat back in the bag. 

12 minutes ago, Messedup22 said:

Without ruining all my working relationships and my career.

It might be a bit late for that, unfortunately. Your only option is to stop all cheating behaviour with everyone and focus on your work. Or find a new job. 

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23 minutes ago, Messedup22 said:

Do I end things with J? but how do we just stop when we still have to work together and talk daily? What do I do if D does ask me out? What do I do about A just carry on and hope he doesn't know? 

 

How about stop kissing and sleeping with colleagues and handle your marriage even if it means divorce? Is it somehow out of the question?

I get it from your perspective, you are maybe trapped in a loveless marriage so you seek validation through outside affairs. Since your job is probably the most closest you have in contact with opposite sex, you are doing it with your colleagues. Which is as you can see very wrong way to go as far as your job goes. Not to mention that you are still married. And you are acting like a single 20 year old college student that has a thing for one guy and sleped with another.

Snap out of it. Seeking validation and distraction from your bad marriage wont get you anything. As you can see, you are already in a mess as far as the job goes due to it. Get a divorce and handle that. After that you can sleep with A too, as far as anyone goes.

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End/discontinue things with everyone on the side and address the biggest problem - your marriage. You say it's difficult but that's not a reason to completely ignore it and start living in a fantasy world. You need to sit down and face reality. Otherwise you'll hurt yourself and other people (you already are).
And maybe you need to look for another job. You've compromised the current one a lot.

You leave us guessing about your marriage here, but:
If you like it overall but something has been missing recently - think about marriage and family therapy.
If it's an abusive or financially dependent situation - start planning an escape today.
If it's "because of the kids" - that's a nonsense.
If it's some kind of serious illness with your spouse and you don't want to ditch them - again, think about therapy - separately or together.
etc.

I don't know what's going on, I don't want to be judgy but you're walking on a very destructive path. You sound very unhappy. The mess you're creating is only a symptom, you need to address the cause. Good luck.

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1. Stop talking to J.

2. Tell D it was a one time thing, it won’t happen again and keep your relationship professional.

3. Decide whether or not you want to remain married and take the appropriate steps to make that happen. 

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I love your title because it's like when my son spills something etc he can be passive as in "I don't know what happened it spilled."  You created the mess. You created the mess, you clean it up whether it's spilled ice cream on a gaming keyboard or choosing to get drunk and choosing the consequences, or choosing to cheat on your husband and tell yourself you "can't" leave the marriage so it's ok to cheat. 

Of course you meant to cheat on your husband - no one forced you to take any of these actions -the drinking, the kissing, the meeting up, the flirting, etc.  What if your employer said "oh sorry I never meant to assign you to work on the dates of your vacation it just happened because I wanted to let your colleague go to the beach that week and I just happened to click on the signature button that authorized her leave.  Ooooppss." 

Take responsibility like you do professionally -you "can't" leave the marriage -would your husband wish to if he knew you cheated? Well -at least tell him that you wish to explore other relationships and if he wants an open marriage you two can figure that out (I'm not a fan of you unburdening your guilt especially since you haven't yet exposed him to STDs).  Also you might lose  your job now so he's entitled to know that you behaved unprofessionally and got fired, or that you may need to look for other work now, etc.  He's your partner.  You could have left the marriage if you wished to hook up with others and you chose not to. 

I also agree with a physical check up and mental health because your actions -including the excess drunk stuff -seem concerning.  I'm sorry if you are in pain and not feeling well -please don't take that out on innocent people.   

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3 hours ago, Messedup22 said:

Do I end things with J? but how do we just stop when we still have to work together and talk daily? What do I do if D does ask me out? What do I do about A just carry on and hope he doesn't know? 

I would think the emotional affair with J has already reached a natural end. It went nowhere, is going nowhere, will never go anywhere so it’s finished. You moved on to D whether intentionally or not (no pun intended, right?). 

Why live like this forever? Think of a more long term solution rather than drive yourself crazy leading a double life.

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Take a step back. You are asking the wrong questions. Reality: You can't keep this up any longer. As you can see there are consequences to your actions and it's only going to get worse for you. You will lose respect from everyone you work with, because I know people are going to talk. Also there is a possibly you will lose your job and your marriage. You think you are lonely now, just wait when this all starts coming out. You will be left with nothing.

I agree you should seek help and see a therapist, rather than using affairs as to escape your loneliness. Snap out of it.

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6 hours ago, Messedup22 said:

Do I end things with J? but how do we just stop when we still have to work together and talk daily? What do I do if D does ask me out? What do I do about A just carry on and hope he doesn't know? 

I'm a bit surprised that these would be the questions you'd shake out given the larger context of your marriage and your compromised career path with this company.

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Do I end things with J? but how do we just stop when we still have to work together and talk daily?

You just keep your convos limited to business and work your job. People do it every. single. day.

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What do I do if D does ask me out?

Are you kidding? People turn down dates every day, too. Does the guy even know that you're married? If not, there's no better time then turning down a date to tell him.

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What do I do about A just carry on and hope he doesn't know? 

It doesn't matter if he knows, because there's nothing you can do about it without getting yourself reported to HR for the harassment of inflicting the subject on him. So, yes, carry on with YOUR JOB, and stop drinking with these people. Start with that one boundary, and keep creating more private limits to stay focused on your work and develop interests and friendships beyond your work colleagues.

My heart goes out to you, and I mean this in the kindest way: decide whether you intend to stay in your marriage, or not. That's the thing you're trying to distract yourself away from addressing. Hopefully you've learned that no matter what you do, there you are. So stop making the messes--people do THAT every. single. day, too. If you don't own that degree of self control, hire a therapist to help you navigate the causes of your problems rather than creating more of them.

You're a smart woman, and you know that you CAN do better than this. It's a decision.

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4 hours ago, Batya33 said:

- no one forced you to take any of these actions -the drinking, t

I take complete responsibility for my actions, if it came across any other way then that was incorrect. I dont expect anyone to clear up my mess the reason for asking for advice is because ive made such terrible choices i dont trust myself to now deal with the situation correctly. It cant be undone but has to be dealt with in some way.

Hes not my partner, hes emtionally abusing and violent, he smashes our house up on a weekly basis, once throwing something at me and harming me. And yes i know that doesnt absolve me of responsibilty for what i have done.

4 hours ago, Batya33 said:

He's your partner.  You could have left the marriage if you wished to hook up with others and you chose not to

3 hours ago, Seraphim said:

Time to get a different job

 

 

That would always be the last resort, ive built my career for 17 years and yes ive made a complete hash of the last 10 months but i wont walk away unless i really have too. My notice period is 3 months so i would still have to deal with this in the short term. 

 

3 hours ago, Tinydance said:

Sorry but what do you mean by "I can't leave my marriage?" Could you explain why not? Are your feet glued to the floor? Lol

I cant leave currently. To do so safely i have to be able to be financially dependant, that needs time. I dont have the money to walk away, no support network around me and earn to much to qualify for help. 

 

12 minutes ago, catfeeder said:

I'm a bit surprised that these would be the questions you'd shake out given the larger context of your marriage and your compromised career path with this company.

I was asking for advice on the immediate short term issues. Long term yes i need to resolve my marriage issues. And yes im fully aware that my actions have made everything a million times worse. 

 

6 hours ago, Kwothe28 said:

sleeping with colleagues

Not that it matters, as everything else i have done is so bad but i havent slept with anyone. D stayed in my hotel room but we didnt sleep together.  

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1 minute ago, Messedup22 said:

Not that it matters, as everything else i have done is so bad but i havent slept with anyone. D stayed in my hotel room but we didnt sleep together.  

The problem with this is that workplace gossip generally doesn't distinguish between fact and fiction. People don't really care to know the truth when hot tea is swirling around. 

Once word gets out that he stayed the night with you, everyone is going to think what they want. Brace yourself for it, and for J finding out as well.

Whatever you do, you need to stop with this behaviour. Imagine what would happen if your violent husband finds out. You are being incredibly reckless here and it's putting a lot more than your professional reputation at risk.

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Just now, MissCanuck said:

The problem with this is that workplace gossip generally doesn't distinguish between fact and fiction. People don't really care to know the truth when hot tea is swirling around. 

Once word gets out that he stayed the night with you, everyone is going to think what they want. Brace yourself for it, and for J finding out as well.

Whatever you do, you need to stop with this behaviour. Imagine what would happen if your violent husband finds out. You are being incredibly reckless here and it's putting a lot more than your professional reputation at risk.

I agree with this...if your husband is as violent as you say he is, he may choose to harm or kill you and the men you got involved with...so you are jeopardizing their lives too.

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5 minutes ago, smackie9 said:

So your husband has totally isolated you from having any friends, and you lost contact with all your family?

 

My family all live over 2 hours away, they are not an option to go live with or for financial support.

I have one close friend nearby, who just got married and lives in a one bed flat with husband and 2 dogs so can not offer me a place to stay. 

Yes all my other social interactions are through work.

I pay for 75% of all our outgoings i can not stop paying them as then i would default and it doesnt leave me enough money to rent somewhere so can move out.

I could try and divorce him and stay in the home but i know what he would do. 

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2 minutes ago, Messedup22 said:

My family all live over 2 hours away, they are not an option to go live with or for financial support.

I have one close friend nearby, who just got married and lives in a one bed flat with husband and 2 dogs so can not offer me a place to stay. 

Yes all my other social interactions are through work.

I pay for 75% of all our outgoings i can not stop paying them as then i would default and it doesnt leave me enough money to rent somewhere so can move out.

I could try and divorce him and stay in the home but i know what he would do. 

Who cares what he can do...he has a history of violence/spousal abuse. You have every right to boot him to the curb.

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1 minute ago, Messedup22 said:

I said he was violent and smashes our house up. Hr has only physically harmed me once when i was in the way of an object he threw

Doesn't mean he won't take it to the next level. I have been in an abusive relationship, it escalates.

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30 minutes ago, Messedup22 said:

I said he was violent and smashes our house up. Hr has only physically harmed me once when i was in the way of an object he threw

Which is precisely why you should expect him to escalate if he finds out you've been cheating on him. 

That would be the very thing that would ignite his rage to a much higher level. 

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1 hour ago, Messedup22 said:

Not that it matters, as everything else i have done is so bad but i havent slept with anyone. D stayed in my hotel room but we didnt sleep together.  

In the grand order of things it really doesnt. I am sure others already pressumed you sleped together or D just told them himself. Yeah, those stuff travel fast at work even if its rumors. Even J probably knows. Hence why you dont mix up stuff like casual flings with it.

Also, for kind of stuff you have with your husband you involve police and social services. Get a restraining order or even move out. You cant push it under a rug while you seek validation through other men. Again, it just creates more mess. So, again, first solve marriage. 

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5 hours ago, Messedup22 said:

I cant leave currently. To do so safely i have to be able to be financially dependant, that needs time. I dont have the money to walk away, no support network around me and earn to much to qualify for help. 

I'm so sorry. Consider contacting one of the domestic violence hotlines on the Internet for a referral to a local network that can help you. These are not generally known to the public, but their goal is to get you out safely and without harm to your livelihood, and they have resources to help you, regardless of your earnings.

Another option is to visit your local hospital and ask to speak with a case worker from their social services department, who may also be able to connect you with local resources not advertised to the public.

The point is, once you can get out safely, you can work out the rest from a place of stability with the help of a support network to help keep you safe.

You do not need to have been physically assaulted in order to seek such help. The goal of these networks is PREVENTION, and so you don't need to be in a current state of physical harm in order to be considered 'in danger'.

Head high, and I hope you'll stay in touch and let us know how you are doing.

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