Hi. I’ve been married since 1995,and we get along fine, but I met this lady “B” at work in 2004. Without meaning to, we became very close even though she was engaged to someone I knew. Nothing actually happened because she was my boss, but everyone in the office had an inkling something was going on in the way we acted together. When she left, she decided to tell me first, quite personally, before anyone else. At her leaving party she was drinking a bit and told a lot of my colleagues that, subconsciously, I was her ideal man (she appeared to have a rather mixed-up relationship with her fiancee). He then turned up, forcing her to leave a bit earlier than she intended, but not before we had an emotional hug and kiss farewell.
We kept in touch through social media. She married him, had children, and I had a child too.In late 2017 I landed a role in another firm. On my first day I met “B”s husband, who was working there. He informed me “B” was there too, but was not working that day! The next day she turned up, and headed for me. She was really pleased to see me. She hadn’t changed much, but she was head of an important team within the firm, and I had joined in a subordinate role. However, very soon we were “bumping” into each other a bit, but I actually became more friendly with her husband. Then he announced a couple of months ago he was leaving the firm, and confided to me that “B” wasn’t happy due to the conditions of his new job. For a while she did seem a bit depressed when I saw her, but once in a while I would catch her eye, and she would smile broadly, and laugh. She even giggled when I was in the shared kitchen area chatting to a lady about something I knew a lot about. Our firm is a bit strict on office relationships so nothing can really happen in the work place, but she seems to be happier now, especially when I’m around her.During her husband’s leaving party, in a pub, I am quite sure she kept an eye on me as she arrived to see what I was doing, even whilst she was being social with others, there seemed to be a furtive look in my direction. When we did get together, we all sat together, but her husband seemed to be more occupied with a different group that included a younger woman; this younger woman was the one that I had seen him work with and sometimes they went to lunch together, and they seemed to get on very well. “B” by now was sitting with me, almost in my lap as we talked in a smaller group. She really opened up. She asked me what I was drinking (I said diet coke, which she said was bad for me and promptly bought me a normal coke)and we carried on for ages, mirroring postures, and she talked and talked, more than I could ever remember. We discussed everything. We just relaxed. Even when she was talking to someone else who was standing away from me, her body was pointing at me. Then I got my phone out to do the normal checks and she took it from me and asked to see pictures of my wife and daughter. she was so complimentary about my daughter, saying how much she looked like me, but also was very impressed by how long I had been with my wife. She had to go home first to sort out their children. We had a ‘public’ hug and kiss , then she was gone. Her husband didn’t seem affected and we carried on chatting for a while before I departed, feeling quite good.A couple of weeks later it was my 50th Birthday, and she admitted she couldn’t make my party, but she gave me a personal card and a present, officially from her family, but definitely from her. She said something about helping to celebrate at some point, but she is always busy and I don’t mind. Then a couple of weeks back, we met up in the kitchen, she had had a haircut and was dressed immaculately. I complimented her on her hair, which made her smile.We talked about the firm’s Christmas party. I said I was going, and quick as a flash she said she was too; she had always been a bit reticent about such things, but this time she was straight in. I noted too how elegant she looked that day, but knowing others were there I had to keep my compliments brief.Only a few days ago, I jokingly said, in passing, how much better she looked than she had for a week or so. She went a bit red and gave me a big grin.I know she works hard, she doesn’t give herself much time, and she hardly wears make-up, but she is super intelligent. I know she has a home life with her husband and children (I know she dotes on her children as I do on my daughter). I also believe she might be Catholic as she went to an all girls school in the 1980’s when faith schools were not in vogue and a similar school operated in my own area. I was brought up CofE. There isn’t really a physical side to this thing, even though I’ve never made a secret of my interest in intellectual women.I don’t want to do anything rash or stupid, but I think we have feelings for each other that have never gone away. I know she sees me as a friend and colleague, but I also think she, perhaps, sees me as a “platonic” boyfriend. We have both got older and wiser, but I can’t quite get over that what we ‘had’ once may have lasted all this time.Can anyone offer a sympathetic view on this please?
View related questions: at work, christmas, depressed, engaged, fiance, my boss
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A female reader, mystiquek + ♥, writes (3 December 2018):
OP, I think you need a good hard dose of reality and that’s what you are going to get coming on here. Most of the aunts/uncles on here are not going to hold your hand and say”poor baby”. You are mooning around like you are 13-14 years old not a man in his 40-50!!! It sounds like a puppy love crush and sir you are not in a situation where you should be acting in such a manner. You have a wife, children and your responsibilities lie with THEM. This woman probably loves the attention but she is also married and that should scream out loudly “back off”!! I feel so sorry for your wife you never said anything nice or caring about her. How would you feel if the situation was reversed??? I doubt if you love each other and if you do..you shouldn’t. Put on your big boy pants and act like a MAN..not a teenager.
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A male reader, Code Warrior + ♥, writes (3 December 2018):
A sympathetic view? What does that even mean? Did you come here for advice, an echo chamber, or a pity party?The advice is simple, stop treating this woman special. She isn’t. Also, stop fantasizing about her and stop wondering if you’re her “platonic boyfriend”. Start treating your wife special because she is – she had your children!What you have is a teenage level crush on the woman at work. Behave like an adult and stop crushing. You can be cordial and friendly, but you need to stop interpreting every little thing she does as if it’s romantic in nature. Instead, whenever you wonder if she’s attracted to you, tell yourself that she’s only being friendly and repeat that mantra until you believe it.I can tell you this much, your wife doesn’t deserve to have her husband emotionally cheating on her. You need to squelch this before something bad happens. Start giving your wife more attention.
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A female reader, Anonymous 123 + ♥, writes (3 December 2018):
You haven’t said a single word about your wife. I wonder what she would have to say listening to you wax eloquent about another woman? You’ve practically written an entire essay on this other woman with not so much a word about the lady who’s taken care of your home, hearth and your child who you so love. You know, I have absolutely no sympathy married men who claim to love someone else dearly. What happened to your vows? Whatever happened to the sanctity of marriage? I don’t care how poignant or romantic your love story is, you’re MARRIED. If you so dearly want this “platonic” love which by the way is bullshit… Who are you kidding… Then leave your wife and go hold hands and “love” your intellectual colleague. I only wonder how you’d feel if your wife were up write this essay for her “platonic love”.
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A female reader, malvern + ♥, writes (3 December 2018):
This situation sounds very much like my situation that I had a long time ago with my now ex husband. He was going to work every day, he got on well with a woman in the office, they confided in each other, nothing physical went on (to my knowledge) and he would come home talking about her and what useful suggestions she had about how he and I should live our lives, where we should take our children etc etc and I cannot begin to tell you how much this upset me. Please think of your wife and your family. You are are having a very nice, confidence boosting flirtation with a woman at work with no strings attached. She flatters you, she makes you feel good about yourself and it’s all very exciting. The reality is that she’s just an ordinary woman and IF you had the opportunity to be free and be with her forever the chances are that things would very quickly turn sour. This is what happened to my ex husband because I could not cope with the situation any longer and we divorced. He now lives with the woman in the office and I can see how she has manipulated him for years. He’s lost everything and he’s not happy. Your wife and family are your priority, don’t get involved with another woman and her husband or you are going to end up with massive problems.
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A female reader, anonymous, writes (3 December 2018):
What you have had has lasted all this time ? Hmmm I’m a mental health nurse where people watching body language is important in my evaluation as much as the person says . Other than her saying 14 yrs ago you were her ideal man – I honestly don’t see what your seeing . I do see a female needing attention and ego stroking so she being lil bit flirty and friendly. I do think if you told her she run a mike though .
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