Let me start by saying that I hate myself for feeling this way, or even needing to ask about this... I've never been in this situation before.
I've been very happily married for two years, together for seven years. My husband is a wonderful man, not without his faults, but has made my life brilliant with his love, support and kindness. He's given me so much, and made my life better, but can be very difficult at times. I've had a tough past, and he really has helped me move on from what happened.
I've recently dramatically changed careers, and needed to do some intensive training as part of the new job, get some new qualifications, which the company pay for. As a group, you get an instructor, and s/he takes you through the training. So far so good.
My instructor had my mobile number, as he needed to contact us all about start times etc. but as we (as a group) got on so well, we would often exchange stupid photos or jokes within the group message. Still all fine.
One day towards the end of my training, my instructor and I witnessed someone try to commit suicide, by jumping off a bridge. We were both gutted, and I just sat with my arm around him for some time, not speaking. The experience bonded us, in my mind. It still haunts us to this day.
We started texting privately, as no one else really knew what it felt like to see that. Now, several months later, we are still texting daily, despite him no longer being my instructor. On the various occasions that I've seen him since I fully qualified, he's made an innocent comment about how "smart" I look in my work clothes, and given me silly, insignificant gifts with the work branding on (I love branded nonsense!) He also very gently engineered various occasions to "bump into me" at work, despite the fact he's based at another location - he has innocent and legitimate ways of tracking where I'm working, based on my vehicle...
The texts have grown to be flirty in nature, but more as banter than anything real. We make inappropriate comments about each other's appearances, but it always is intended as a joke. When we work together, it is completely professional. If I'm having a bad day learning my new job, he will listen to me be worried or complaining, and offer advice. And yes, because of this, I developed a crush on him, and there was a point where I start to think about him a lot, and still do, every day. We've joked about more intimate things happening between us - but quite honestly, they are very much jokes.
On one evening, after a row with my husband, my instructor randomly texted me when I was feeling totally fed up, and I told him that I had caught feelings for him, but that I hoped it wouldn't affect our friendship, which it hasn't. There was a point at work when there was a rumour going around that my instructor and I were having an affair, and we massively backed off talking to each other, out of respect for our partners and, in his case, his family, but after several weeks, we are back to joking and chatting with each other, and our friendship is stronger and more valuable than ever right now.
At the moment, things are a bit weird between my husband and I, whilst he adjusts from finishing a long self employed job away from home, and to me going out at random hours in the morning, or finishing late at night. We can't sleep in the same room, as it doesn't seem fair to be waking him up at 4am when I have to get up some days. And it's like walking on eggshells; I never know how or when I will piss him off and make him annoyed with me. It's only a passing phase, and I know I have to support him through the rough days of not having any work booked. He gets annoyed with me for the smallest things, and it really is hard.
The one lovely constant is knowing that at several points in the day , I will get a friendly text, and it will be supportive and kind.... It won't be romantic, or particularly personal... but someone is thinking of me kindly, and with warmth; that is a nice feeling to have... And it normally makes me laugh too!
I love my husband, but I also know that my instructor is hugely important to me too, as my best friend.
So, my questions -
Is the guy interested in me as more than friends?
If not, is it normal for a guy with a partner to text a married woman, multiple times, every day?
Finally, the biggie.... what should I do???
Yes, he is interested in you more than friends.
No, it is NOT normal for a guy to text a married woman the way he does. It's very inappropriate.
What should you do?? Cut this off now. It's inappropriate and it's making you pick at things with your husband. It's making you see negativity with your husband and the way you say it is like you are trying to find a justification for what you are doing. You are having an emotional affair and if you value your marriage you will stop this in its tracks.
Thank you for your responses and insight - really new viewpoints and given me a lot of food for thought.
I do enjoy the attention that my friend gives me, but had never seen that it was making me look at negativity with my husband, so I really appreciate hearing that.
Can I keep my friend in my life, without the emotional affair (which I now recognise that I’m in)?
By keeping your friend in your life what exactly do you think will change? Take out the emotional affair side of your conversations and you'll find that you wont have anything to actually talk about. If you keep this guy in your life the emotional affair will eventually creep back in. So, no, I don't think it's a good idea to keep talking to him, especially if it's affecting how you see things with your husband. Work on your marriage instead.