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Hello All, I am newbie here and have never posted on any message board- and never thought I would- especially about something so personal. Just to be clear, I am not looking for someone to tell me what I want to hear, I am searching for strength to do the right thing. I feel guilt and humiliation surrounding my situation and don't feel comfortable confiding in anyone I am close with. I realize we are all human and even when we promise not to pass judgment, we all do. I certainly welcome any comments, good or bad, but I am simply hoping to gain some clarity and the kick in the butt I so desperately need. I apologize for the long post, but I want to provide enough information for you to understand how I came to the point I am now. If you can spare a few minutes to read it and offer a response, I would be very appreciative.

I am a divorced woman in my mid-thirties. I have been employed with my company for ten years now. I am one of about 90 employees who all work out of the same office. I have made many friends through my job, probably some of the closest in my life. In fact, we are all a very tight knit group, along with everyone’s wives, husbands, and significant others.

Well, I have now found myself tangled up in a torrid office affair. He is a very handsome man and about 8 years younger that me. The day he was hired and introduced to everyone, all of the women's mouths dropped. He is, without a doubt, the kind of man every girl dreams of. We developed a friendship right away, but it never extended beyond the office. He had a fiancé and brought her to all of our company parties and gatherings and she would sometimes meet us for happy hours after work.

He and his fiancé got married two years ago. He and I continued to maintain our friendship and we would discuss all aspects of our lives. Many of our conversations consisted of office politics and gossip, but we would discuss our personal lives as well. He would talk to me about his marriage; I knew he was not happy, but he refrained from divulging too many details explaining why. He would ask me about my previous marriage and the problems I had experienced, and also how it had ended.

There had always been an undeniable attraction between us which sometimes led to a little sexual tension, but we never acted upon it... until one day about a year ago. We had gone for drinks at a local bar like we had done many times before. After talking and sipping on wine for a couple of hours we paid our tab and left to walk to the deck in which we were both parked. He would always walk me to my car first and I would then drive him around to his before going our separate ways. This particular night I realized I had left a few items in my office that I would be needing that evening. He offered to walk back to the office with me. Once we got there he followed me into my office. I grabbed my things and turned to leave but he had closed the door. I know I had a blank, dumb look on my face as he slowly walked up to me and caressed my hair. He grabbed my waist with one arm and pulled me close as I dropped everything I was holding. He moved his hands to hold my face close to his. Then he kissed me... and kissed me hard. I felt like I was living out pages in a Harlequin Romance Novel. It was hot- very hot- and I found myself kissing him back, which was my first huge mistake. After about 5 minutes of heavily making out I backed away and told him we should leave before we do something we both regret.

At work the next day he seemed somewhat stand-offish to me. I assumed he had gone home the night before feeling tremendous guilt. Plus, I believed he was scared I might confide in a co-worker, which would not only jeopardize his marriage, but also his career. Once he realized I had no intentions of hurting him that way, our friendship regained its strength over the next several weeks. We met for drinks again many more times without incident and never discussed what happened that night. By this point I thought he wanted to leave our lapse of judgment in the past.

Then late one Saturday night after a night out with my girlfriends, he shows up at my front door unannounced. I was shocked to see him and opened the door to let him in. He had obviously been out with some guys that night and was about as intoxicated as I was. He slowly backed me up to a wall, put his hands on my face, and attacked me. This time I completely gave in to the excitement of the moment. Neither of us felt any inhibition and it was extremely passionate, but also raw. We had sex that night-- more than once and the experience was nothing short of phenomenal. After he left I spent the rest of the night trying to grasp what had just happened.

I expected him to again be stand-offish toward me at work, but he was not. On Monday he came into my office late in the afternoon and told me how he had never wanted someone more. He said he had always “tried” to control himself around me but now was overcome with lust and desire and wanted me to feel the same. He grabbed my hand to lift me off my chair and kissed me again. I was still reeling from the weekend. With my attraction to him even greater now, I had butterflies in my stomach as I foolishly agreed to live out our fantasy.

Our affair just took off from there. We never called each other outside of work or made plans to discretely meet each other at another location. It, for the most part, consisted of sex at work. Honestly, the risk of knowing we could get caught only added to the excitement of it all.

We still have great conversations but he has completely backed away from discussing his marriage. And, since we have become physical he no longer brings his wife to company gatherings or will find a way to avoid them completely. I know he is not happy, but wonder if her absence is directly related to me or simply coincidental.

No one at work is aware of our relationship other than knowing we are friends. I recently reached a moment of clarity when a male co-worker divulged to me the details of a conversation they had had. They were talking about work issues and the amount of stress they are currently under. Apparently, my guy said he was going through a difficult time in his life and was concerned about how it was all going to play out. He talked about possibly accepting another job offer, the problems in his marriage and how they were heading towards divorce, and the fact he was having an affair and scared that he might be falling in love with the other woman.

I was raised in a conservative and strict environment and certainly know the difference between right and wrong. What I am doing is absolutely wrong! With adultery there is no gray area, it is all black and white. Yet, I have found myself trying to justify my actions by claiming it’s only physical and nothing emotional. I have felt much guilt over the past year, but now I am riddled with guilt and regret for what I have done. I need to break this off immediately, but don’t know how to do it. I am not in love with this man, but am still very much attracted to him and don’t know if I am strong enough to look him in the eye and hurt him like that. Not to mention that I would still have to see him each day at work. I do care about him and value his friendship, but he had never informed me that he was considering another job, that his marriage may be ending soon, or that he might be falling in love with me. I know he is under a lot of stress, but I don’t want to add to it. Does anyone have any thoughts about how I should go about handling this? I need help… please!

Wow, this post ended up being a lot longer than I thought it would be, so if I have been able to hold your attention long enough for you to make it down to here… I Thank You.
Amethyst, it could be your divorce has thrown you a bit off center, and that's to be expected, but I'm glad you can see it's time to get some clear thinking.

First of all you say you're not in love with this man. Look at it this way, why do you want to take his time and attention away from someone who is in love with him? You met this woman, socialized with her, I suggest you allow yourself to think about her and what part you are playing in hurting her. Yes, it's his marriage, yes, HE'S the one cheating on her, but he's doing it with YOU, and that does make you an accessory. That's not a judgment, just an unpleasant fact.

It may feel like a romance novel, but it isn't. You are in the middle of something very real that has the potential to be very very messy, and very dangerous to your career as well. There are no consequences to be paid in a romance novel and the good guys win, the cheated on wife is always a shrew who gets what she deserves, and the brave heroine lives happily ever after, but real life just ain't that way.

His marriage problems are not your concern, so don't feel you have to be there to support him or be his friend. You've actually crossed a line that now makes it pretty impossible for you to really be friends now anyway. I think you need to end it but you need to be very very careful. It's been my experience that people try all kinds of tricks to find out what they want to know, and it could be your lover actually sent this co-worker to say the things he did about their "confidential conversation" as kind of a trial balloon to see how you'd react. If he's leaving his job and his wife anyway, if he doesn't like the way you react, he now has the power to tell everyone at work, tell his wife, and have everyone think you helped wreck his marriage, and then he skips town and leaves you and his wife holding the bag. Don't think he would ever do such a thing? You'd be surprised.

I think if it were me, I'd tell him you just can't do this anymore, you feel guilty, scared of what would happen at work if anyone found out, and you can't be the reason he leaves his wife. Let him down easy, that you care for him and the time you had together was special, blah blah blah, but he's married and it has to end for both your sakes. But you really do need to end it before it gets any messier. Good luck.
[QUOTE=Larrylou'smom;3573536]Amethyst, it could be your divorce has thrown you a bit off center, and that's to be expected, but I'm glad you can see it's time to get some clear thinking.

First of all you say you're not in love with this man. Look at it this way, why do you want to take his time and attention away from someone who is in love with him? You met this woman, socialized with her, I suggest you allow yourself to think about her and what part you are playing in hurting her. Yes, it's his marriage, yes, HE'S the one cheating on her, but he's doing it with YOU, and that does make you an accessory. That's not a judgment, just an unpleasant fact.

It may feel like a romance novel, but it isn't. You are in the middle of something very real that has the potential to be very very messy, and very dangerous to your career as well. There are no consequences to be paid in a romance novel and the good guys win, the cheated on wife is always a shrew who gets what she deserves, and the brave heroine lives happily ever after, but real life just ain't that way.

His marriage problems are not your concern, so don't feel you have to be there to support him or be his friend. You've actually crossed a line that now makes it pretty impossible for you to really be friends now anyway. I think you need to end it but you need to be very very careful. It's been my experience that people try all kinds of tricks to find out what they want to know, and it could be your lover actually sent this co-worker to say the things he did about their "confidential conversation" as kind of a trial balloon to see how you'd react. If he's leaving his job and his wife anyway, if he doesn't like the way you react, he now has the power to tell everyone at work, tell his wife, and have everyone think you helped wreck his marriage, and then he skips town and leaves you and his wife holding the bag. Don't think he would ever do such a thing? You'd be surprised.

I think if it were me, I'd tell him you just can't do this anymore, you feel guilty, scared of what would happen at work if anyone found out, and you can't be the reason he leaves his wife. Let him down easy, that you care for him and the time you had together was special, blah blah blah, but he's married and it has to end for both your sakes. But you really do need to end it before it gets any messier. Good luck.[/QUOTE]

Hello LarryLou'sMom,
I had never considered that the "confidential conversation" might have been a set up. I would hate to think he would do that to me, but I'm sure there are a lot of things I don't know or realize about him. I feel there are so many what, why's, and how's that I want answered, but I have to be resigned to the fact they never will be. And, you're right, they don't need to be. They are not pertinent and don't matter. What does matter is his wife, bottom line.

I am uncertain if my divorce has influenced me in this situation. My marriage ended several years ago and I am well past it. As sad as it is that am using these words to describe my marriage... it was an incredible learning experience. I call it the best mistake I ever made. There are also many aspects of me that I'm sure would make a great psychological case study, but blame is not to be placed on any of them. As long as I know the difference between right and wrong, nothing else matters. I have never considered myself the type of person who would do this, ever. Before this happened, my only concern was that a boyfriend or husband would make a fool out of me by cheating. But here I am-- the other woman-- guilty and ashamed of my behaviour. I feel as though I should be shocked and enraged by this, but instead I feel numb. By nature, I have never been a confrontational person. I wish I could make myself so and use it to make a point that leaves him with no questions. Somehow I will have to muster up the strength to do this.

Thank you for your advice. I am not looking for someone to hold my hand through this, I need someone to slap the sense back into me and give me a swift kick in the butt. I'm getting there... but I still haven't gotten to the point can rip that bandaid right off. I'm still scared of the pain... and not just my own.
The problem here is not who is at fault. People are human and we all are attracted to the opposite sex, and sometimes, that person happens to be off limits!....and this guy is off limits because he is married!

He is a jerk for carrying on with a lover and a wife at the same time! I'm sure his marriage is unhappy....he's CHEATING for goodness sake! And even if he leaves his wife (which I seriously doubt), are you ready to have a relationship with a truely unfaithful man that would eventually do the same thing to you? As good as the sex is, you deserve better than this! You deserve to be with a man who can at least take you out to dinner without having to look over his shoulder all night! You are his mistress....nothing more! I'm sorry if that is harsh, but it's true! Leave this man alone and find a man who can make you feel like a real woman...instead of convenient booty call!
[QUOTE=kellis;3758688]The problem here is not who is at fault. People are human and we all are attracted to the opposite sex, and sometimes, that person happens to be off limits!....and this guy is off limits because he is married!

He is a jerk for carrying on with a lover and a wife at the same time! I'm sure his marriage is unhappy....he's CHEATING for goodness sake! And even if he leaves his wife (which I seriously doubt), are you ready to have a relationship with a truely unfaithful man that would eventually do the same thing to you? As good as the sex is, you deserve better than this! You deserve to be with a man who can at least take you out to dinner without having to look over his shoulder all night! You are his mistress....nothing more! I'm sorry if that is harsh, but it's true! Leave this man alone and find a man who can make you feel like a real woman...instead of convenient booty call![/QUOTE]

Never pass judgement on man if you don't know that man, if he has a problem with his infidelity maybe theres a reason, thats no excuse I know but just because he steps out of bounds in his marrige don't mean he will do it again to another altho the % are high they will...your saying once a cheat always a cheat and I disagree with that.





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