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NC Still Sad/Mad

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I had no choice but to initiate NC three months ago August 14 because I am married and was getting much too close to a co-worker. Please do not judge too harshly... I never thought it would happen to me and it can happen to nearly anyone under particular circumstances. I have learned to never say never after this. The embarrassment and anguish have at times been almost too much to take.


I never did find out whether what she was doing was flirting or subconsious interest due to her unsatisfactory marriage (she has 2 kids and is four years older than me). We are both in our 40's.


I was not and am not happy in mine either (I also have two kids). Anyway... I fell harder than I ever have before because frankly, noone, not even my wife ever flirted with me. Here are some of the things that just about killed me...


All of this happened in a three month period last winter...

1) She would always touch my hand when handing something to me. At one point I brushed her hand when I handed something to her and I could swear that not only did she not mind, she smiled.

2) She would always inquire as to whether I was going to attend some work function and she would wait for me so that we could go together.

3) She made it a point to sit by me, brushed my leg with her hand (apologizing afterword) while we were at a restaurant and reached to scratch her leg. I thought she was sitting kind of close to me. There were about 10 others at the table.

4) She made a comment about how much we have in common when I was talking about some of my interests.

5) She brought in a newspaper article about one of my hobbies.

6) She would visit my desk to talk or go out of her way to see where I was (at my desk or working with some computer equipment in a lab).

7) Around this time last year, she began asking me if she could pick up something for me to eat at lunch at a local cafeteria. I told her that I did not know what they were serving and if I could come along. She said sure and went on to invite me about once a week, always asking, "Can I pick something up for you at the cafeteria?"

8) She would ask for help with some of her projects. At one point, she sat with her knee about half an inch from mine and invaded what I would consider my personal space. We started talking about our kids when they were babies, and she touched my arm twice when I was using my arm as a measuring stick to describe my oldest child who was only about 4 lbs at birth and 7 weeks premature.

9) She would occasionally touch my forearm and at one point she playfully pushed me when she thought I had misunderstood something she had said.

10) She would pop her head up over her cube to see when she heard my voice. (I tower over cube city at work at 6'2", she is about 5'6")

11) We went to a company presentation in an auditorium, she made certain I was going and then sat right by me, seeming somewhat physically agitated throughout the presentation, fiddling with her hands and changing whether she was leaning forward or back in her seat. I watched her recently and she was not agitated at all in the same auditorium for a similar meeting seated next to another guy.

12) One day I was at her desk and I mentioned that I would just like to go out of town (to a particular town) and just watch people walking by in the town square. I didn't mention taking anybody but she said, "Let's Go" joking but without a smile, like she needed a vacation.

13) She saw my college ID and while the other guys were laughing she said, "I think he was cute." I asked her where she was 20 years ago and she said, "Getting married."


I finally told her that I was attracted to her one day last winter, just after lunch, halfway as a warning to protect my heart from further damage, because I was really feeling a bit uncomfortable. I also did not want to do anything stupid. She seemed shocked and also claimed that all she ever wanted to be was my firend. We talked the rest of the afternoon. She asked what she had done to cause this. I let her know what she had done (see above for abbreviated list.) I have since been told by people that she probably knew what she was doing.


Twice after that I attempted NC and failed to keep it up. The first time was for about a week, the second for two weeks.


The first time, she called me on the phone (she just sits two desks away) and started describing a computer problem and immediately transistioned into the statement, "Why are you ignoring me?" I told her it hurt. We went off for another hour long conversation where she was trying to convince me that she was a rotten person and undesireable.


The second time, she stopped by my desk and asked, "Why are you avoiding me?" I again tried to explain that I was just too hooked on her. Then came another hour long conversation.


I was betrayed by a confidant who told management of my attraction. That started the whispers. Fortunately I was not fired, but my boss forced me to apologize to the others for including others in what should have been left in "my own thoughts." None of the people I had involved expected an apology. I never asked her to do anything. Again, we talked for about an hour and a half.


I learned just a few weeks ago that she was seriously considering a divorce about the time she was asking if she could pick something up for me to eat at the cafeteria. I would catch her crying at her desk occasionally at this time.


So... I have been moved to a different department (I was told that my old position was eliminated) but we still sit just two desks away from each other. I had to help with a computer problem last August and she was flirting with another guy in my presense. That just about killed me and is driviing the current NC streak. I would also say hello and goodbye to her as I passed her desk everyday. The last flippant, "Oh... Hi" I received was the last straw. I had tried to be her friend but these two events, just mentioned pushed me to protect myself even further. I did not have the strength to tell her what I was doing.


For the first month and a half, I would wear headphones and as she passed my desk I would try not to appear to be looking. She would wave. She would still visit my desk but this became very annoying and I began glaring at her when she would talk to me. She continued to wave for a time even after that. I walked a different hallway to the restroom just to avoid her. Eventually, she figured it out and stopped waving every time she passed my desk, but it still happens occasionally.


As I have healed, I have started to walk the old hallway. This has resulted in some chance encounters where she would say, "Hi" without smiling. Now it has become, "Hi, " still without smiling. Today she waved at me in my care and smiled as I was leaving the parking lot.


However, in the past copule of weeks she has asked me a question about one of my old projects and then shared some news about a coworker's son who had surgery.


This entire year and a half has really worn me out. I am extremely sad, because I am still having trouble at home and I cannot stop thinking about her. My friends just think I am obsessing. I am mad at the entire situation and for letting my heart fall into this trap.


I don't know why, after three months of this hell, some of it she has witnessed, she would still be trying to maintain contact, to be a friend. She has been hurt at times over this as well. If I were in her shoes, I would avoid being seen with me for my own reputation.


I want to get over her so I can do my job in peace. Sometimes, I don't know if that will be possible. There is no way I could find another job without taking a major pay hit, and I am healing slowly but things are still rough at home.


Does anyone have any idea what might be going on in this woman's head? Why doesn't she recoil at the thought of being around me or talking to me, especially when about half of the people we work with know about this? Just how much longer do I have to wait with NC to declare myself free? On a scale of 1 - 10, how aggressive was her flirting (or was this something else?)


One thing is certain, NC hurts like hell but I can see some small improvement in my spirits. However, there are still other days when I wonder how I will live.

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Hi GH2001,


I have never been in a situation like yours but funnily enough, I am reading some books that deal precisely with your issue.


The issue of emotional infidelity or letting your male/female relationships become more than that is an increasing problem. Though I have always been good with boundaries, I have learned that one must be extra vigilant.


I'm not sure what one can do after letting your emotions spill over but I hope the articles and book links below can help you.


I think she was probably flirting with you. I think if you want to remain faithful to your wife, you made a mistake in admitting your attraction. You are correct in trying to curtail contact but I'm not so sure that NC is what's best. You should try to act normal, professional, and just keep a distance. Save your energy for trying to save your marriage (if that's what you want and value) and not some affair with a woman who is tormenting you and may not even be all that interested.


Online articles:

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Books that might be useful:

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GH2001 -


You can ask yourself the same question. Why would a man in his 40s with two kids develop a crush on another woman outside of his marriage?


Even the best relationships take work and vigilance. You have to be willing to protect your marriage and that means setting up emotional barriers so that you don't end up in a situation like you are in now.


When you expend emotional, physical, or sexual energies outside of your marriage, you are robbing your spouse. If the marriage already has issues, you are making things worse because you are robbing yourself of the energy required to work things out. This is why many good marriages start on a long, slow decline.


What are you posting for? What are your goals? Do you just want help interpreting this woman's actions? Do you want advice on how to save your marriage?

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I don't know what to say other than my wife kept my heart's doors open and a co-worker knowningly, or subconsiously stepped right in, at a time in my life where I was going through an extremely rough time, just for her own emotional uplift or other reasons I might not understand.


I am not shirking my own responsibility, but subconsiously when the other woman began the flirting, I was just wanting out of my marriage (and for those with flippant responses we have been to marriage counseling.)


This will sound kind of strange to some, but other than my wife, I never had another girlfriend. I lacked the relationship experience to understand what the other woman was doing. Some of the things metioned in my long message seem like flirting to me, but others seem like something else was going on. I posted all of that to try and get some better idea as to what and why women do what they do, and to protect my own heart so that it never happens again.


I was pretty miserable before this other woman came in. It was a surprise to me that my marriage was not good. It also was a surprise to me that a woman would flirt me because women always until now have run from me.


Those realizations have sunk in now. I am trying to deal with too many emotions. The persistent 5 month seige on my heart has done real damage. My firends do not call it a crush.


So there you are. That is how a 40 something year old man can wind up in deep trouble. Why do I post here? Maybe just to vent. To retell the story until I am tired of telling it so I can move on. To try and deal with the saddness and the anger. The saddness of broken relationships and the anger directed at someone who just flippantly and selfishly used my heart as a playtoy to ease her pain at home (at least that is how I see it.)


For those of you who think it is "ok" to flirt with married people... know that you are dealing with fire. You can break up marriages.

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