This relationship advice is for a reader who is involved with a married coworker. Her story may help you figure out how to work with a coworker you’re in love with.
“I’m emotionally involved with a married coworker,” says Rita on How to Prevent Problems When You’re Dating a Coworker. “We have been physical but never had sex. We totally get each other and deeply love each other.”
She adds that her affair at work recently ended because he said he has too much to lose. “His wife has known for a while and his parents stated that if he left the marriage that they would no longer be there for him,” says Rita. “He still seeks quiet time at work to see me, and I take part as I love him in a way I have never loved. He is also spending time with other females at work and this makes me so churned up. I am so hurt, confused, vulnerable. How do I move on when I am faced with this every day? We are not kids; we are 35 with very professional careers.”
When you’re blinded by “love” (I actually don’t think you’re in love, because love means mutual respect, honor, honest communication, and fidelity), you don’t think clearly. This married coworker doesn’t love you; he wants to get as much female companionship and ego stroking as he can. He’s destroying your workplace by turning it into a soap opera, and you’re reducing yourself to pining like a lovesick teenager.
How to Work With a Coworker You’re in Love With
You say you both have very professional careers, yet you’re taking time out of your busy workday to spend “quiet time” with this married coworker (and yes, I know what you mean by “quiet time”!). I think this is despicable. You’re allowing yourself to be used by him, and you’re betraying your fellow women (his wife) by cheating with him.
When I was in university, my roommate had an affair with her married coworker. In fact, he was her boss. They had sex in the office all the time, and she felt like crap about herself. His wife would call, and she lied for her boss almost every day (both literally and metaphorically). I understood my roommate’s actions because she was a young dumb 20 year old, entranced by her older sexy boss. But, as you said – you’re not a kid. You’re a 35 year old career woman who is acting like a lovesick teenager on Jersey Shore or Beverly Hills 90201.
Be strong enough to end the affair
You’re in so deep, you can’t see how offensive your situation is.
You’re hurting so many people by “loving” this married coworker: his wife, parents, kids, and yourself. You’re selfishly putting your own emotions ahead of everything else – even your career – and you’re letting yourself believe his lies. He’s sick, he’s hurting so many people, and you’re blindly following his foolish ways.
Tips for getting over an affair at work:
- Figure out what you’re getting from the relationship. Look deeper than the superficial “we totally get each other” and the “I love him so much.” Do you get a thrill from sticking it to his wife, or sneaking around your workplace? Are you so lonely and desperate that you’ll chase the first guy who shows a bit of interest in you?
- Look at your coworker with objective eyes. He’s lying to his wife, stringing on other women in your office, and using you for his “quiet time.” What is he getting from this relationship – and why is he telling his parents and wife about it? (What is WRONG with you people?!)
- Ask yourself if you respect who you are, what you stand for, and what you’ve been doing. Are you doing something you’re proud of, that you want to share with your mom, grandparents, kids, and colleagues?
- Consider quitting your job and starting fresh somewhere else. The best way to get over an affair with a coworker is to find a new job.
For specific tips on getting over an affair with a married coworker, read Do You Think About Your Ex All the Time? 6 Ways to Stop Obsessing.
I welcome your thoughts but I can’t offer advice. You may find it helpful to write about your experience, and express everything you’ve been keeping bottled up inside.