Growing closer to married man at work - confused
I work for a large company , a man in his late 50’s who has absolutely no obligation to do so or management responsibility towards me has been acting as a mentor for around a year now.it started as a temporary thing but we have both agreed to continue it, to the point it just happens now. This started off innocently for me and over time I have developed some really deep feelings towards him. He is a very nice man who is well liked at work, he is married with 4 grown up children. The majority of our interactions have been him offering support and guidance to me on work projects as I am fairly junior in my role. He is a huge support, we would meet as and when something cropped up and grab few minutes to talk . This has now evolved in to us booking a meeting room and having 1-1 meeting as we both recognised it would be better to have uninterrupted catch ups. As well as that , I have been initiating texts a fair bit - he usually doesn’t text first unless something specific ti say , but he does always reply usually within a few minutes. The last time we met this week, our conversation was noticeably less about work and more about his parents , brother , what he does / doesn’t want to do when he retires / what hobbies he wants to try etc… it felt as if we were really starting to dig a bit deeper - when together we have a lot of eye contact , totally relaxed with one another and he teases / I tease etc. I text the other day saying I would like to know what makes him tick , he replied saying if you find out can you let me know as I haven’t worked that out yet. I said that sounds like a challenge … he also wasn’t feeling well and said he has manbola in a text, I said oh dear - hope uou have someone to look after you accordingly etc. our text messages aren’t necessary , he has never told me he wants to keep things more professional so just don’t know if he is happy with how things are. I just get a feeling that things are kind of not normal, I certainly don’t act this way with other people and almost certain he doesn’t either. The last time we met I had a low cut dress on and he was rubbing his face lots and o think taking glances without being obvious. We have never touched or said we find eachother attractive , what is happening here ? I am confused and just looking for some clarity or a way forward to stop me feeling this way. Thanks
If you want to stop feeling this way, stop acting like you're trolling for attention.
I know, that sounds backwards. I guaran-damn-tee, it's not.
When you act in a professional manner, *not* scheduling meetings in a room where you won't be interrupted, *Not* wearing low-cut dresses to chat with him, *not* talking about personal matters and flirting, the 'feelings' will dissipate.
The fact that he's not a direct supervisor doesn't prevent him from being fired if it's discovered he's acting unprofessionally.
If you're going to ask, "Shouldn't he be more moral and not flirt? Doesn't he have a responsibility for fidelity to his wife?" Yes. He does. He didn't post here. You did. You know he's married, don't present him with temptation. Just like if YOU were married or in a relationship: behave like you'd want your partner's colleagues to behave.
Thanks - yes that makes sense. I guess I wonder if there is a small chance he just sees this all as innocent, he is highly emotionally intelligent so I really think he knows what is going on here but somehow neither of us seem to mind. I appreciate what you say about me stopping the temptation, I was looking for him to put an end to the meetings and texts etc / we have even talked on the phone a few times and he just always seems to be there for me. It really did start off innocently mentoring about work in my new position. We have texted before about trust , I asked if he thought we could trust eachother and he said he thought we could - I said I wanted him to know we could…we had a work party a few months back and he totally blanked me infront of his wife , she was looking at me oddly but he made a point of not talking to me at all and staying a distance. I wonder if she has seen the texts and calls , he has usually always called me and is not happy. I’ve never spoken to her but her glances made me feel uncomfortable. When exactly do things merge in to an emotional affair ? I know we need to stop meeting up , I just find it difficult to cut ties as I’ve tried before and said we should stop as he must be busy etc and he just says happy to continue catch up at this time etc .:.
For this to continue on its present course, you'd have to agree. In other words, it stops when you decide it stops. Stop with the dresses and talking about 'trust.' (WTH???) You don't have to ask permission. Ending flirtation, intimate talk and sexy dresses isn't a joint project. It's a unilateral decision. You only need to do the right thing.
He may be unhappy in his marriage. You know what? If he is, he owes it to his wife, himself, and ANY future partner to bring a dignified end to his marriage BEFORE he starts something else. HE doesn't have to be busy. You can be busy, too.
You know what the right thing is. You can do it or not, but pul-leeze don't say it's complicated or difficult. It just isn't. If you WANT to continue, go right ahead. Don't be surprised if, after a while, HE calls it quits because you want too much time or some kind of commitment. He will say, "You knew I was married when we started." And you did.
I understand what you are saying. At the moment not much is happening , that was my original reason for posting. Does it sound like this is a ‘thing’ of some description or just friendly on his part and I’m reading too much in to it? I totally get that I can stop interacting and not allow any more meet ups or text him etc. it isn’t hard you are right, just feels that way but in reality I could and should stop the interaction. I feel like things have become more relaxed and we are now not just discussing work issues , he is talking about personal things like how his father died etc so it feels like we are becoming closer
It is maybe worth noting that he is 57 and I am 36 so a fairly large age gap
The time he is investing with you he should be growing closer to his wife - or seeing a therapist. You know where this is headed. If he needs a friend to talk that's what same-sex friends and grief groups are for. And if YOU need friends, there are women at work or hobby groups you can chat with. Scheduling time alone with someone you could be attracted to is asking for trouble.
He was avoiding you at a party, and his wife was giving you the side-eye. How many hints do you need? You seem pretty determined to go ahead anyway. It's your life.
I think Oldmainer's right. There's a whole load of people who could get hurt if you pursue this. Retreat.
At the end of the day, you well know what's down the track & what will happen if you guys step over the line. Some say it's morals, but it's just plain common sense. His marriage is his to sort & you don't need to involved in it. If he's any sort of a professional, he would well know how to conduct himself in the workplace, particularly at the age of 57.