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Married co-worker has feelings for me


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Old 2nd November 2016, 5:44 AM   #1
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Married co-worker has feelings for me

Hello,

So I've known my married co-worker with kids now for almost four years. We've worked together very closely on some projects and over the years have become very close. We both habe similar humor and we would play pranks and buy each other silly gifts to make each other laughs. We'd regularly go for walks together or eat lunch together or visit each other cubes for chit chats and laughter. We also would talk about work problems, life problems, and be each others ear or shoulder to cry on. There was some light flirting, 5th grade style flirting, but I always took it as a way to cheer the other person up and make them feel better. All in all, I would probably consider her to be one of my best friend. I'm also a single guy, and in some ways, in hindsight treated her as a fill in girlfriend to fill the emotional/loneliness void of single life. Well about a month ago, I was given the cold shoulder. I gave it a few days and then finally texted her asking what was going on. She told me that she was starting to like the idea of me in her life more then her husband and that she shouldn't be thinking like that. She asked for some space. I tried to give her some space, even though it was incredibly hard as she was very close to me. Also, I was feeling very confused. Did I do something wrong? Did I take things too far with her? Did I have similar feelings for her? Occasionally the thought crossed my mind the thought of "us" but I always pushed it out of my head because she was married. I can't be "that guy" and no way could I be reason their marriage ended. So I tried and give her space. We backed off, talked less, texted less, visited each other less, don't flirt at all. I thought we sorta found a safe level of communication. Small chit chat, maybe a phone call a day and that's about it. However, the other day, our office had a Halloween party that you could bring your kids too. She brought her kids to meet me for the first time. I bought them special treats as I have the last couple years, however normally I'd just give them to her to give to her kids as I normally don't go to the event. Well the kids loved me. I got along with them great. I'm kinda a big kid myself. After the event she asked if I wanted to go to dinner. I said sure. Hung out with her and the kids and it was a good time. I think I kinda got caught up with my go with the flow type personality as later that night I started to think, maybe that wasn't right. I texted her a bit, trying to feel her out and the text I got back was basically in a nut shell don't text me at home, my husband isn't comfortable with me talking or texting you. I'm guessing the kids went home and were talking about me and what happened. Now there's been nearly no communication with her since. I feel absolutely horrible and confused again. Why did I go out to dinner with them? Why did I like the feel of hanging out with her kids? Why did she invite me to dinner? I saw her in the halls at work the other day and she looked scared of me. I feel terrible and fills me with anxiety. I'm doing everything in my power right now to just give her space. But I also want to know what's going on. Should I try and talk to her? Or just give it some space for awhile and see what happens? I know long term I need to back off, and keep things professional first. But I don't know what to do right now... Any advice?
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Old 2nd November 2016, 2:21 PM   #2
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I think that your friend is trying to tell you that she got too close. She is married has a wonderful family and would like to keep it that way. Obviously, she was drawn to you. You are probably fun to be with, fun to talk to and bring a sense of calm. All good things. But the truth is, married women should not find those things in anyone other than their husband. She was wise to back off and wise to let you know. Your response should be one of grace and moving on. Make the choice to change your relationship from a close one to an acquaintance and then keep it there without expectations or demands on her. If you really respect her and value her, you will respect what she has asked of you. I am sure there are other women who would love your attention, single women. I know it is hard. I know it is unfair. There are a lot of things in life that are hard and unfair, you have encountered one of the most difficult.

If you continue to pursue her or demand from her more than she is willing to give, than you really don't care about her. Remember that caring for someone is not about meeting your needs, it is about letting them be what they were designed to be, even if that is apart from you.

Give her space. Set some really good intentional boundaries. Be kind, gracious, professional.
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Old 3rd November 2016, 5:00 PM   #3
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If you were married would you want your wife behaving like this with another man at work?
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Old 3rd November 2016, 5:02 PM   #4
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Dad on to that I don't know if your parents are still married but if they are would you want to find out that your mom's behaving like this with another man at work?
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Old 28th April 2017, 3:44 AM   #5
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Thank you Bee4Shine. I re-read your message multiple times for support over the past months and used your encouraging message to help with my situation.

Things with my friend have been better. We worked things through, and i'm trying to keep things friendly but professional... However... My co-worker I know is really trying to work out her marriage. I totally am trying to be a supportive friend because i care about her. However, she's starting to overshare about her and her husband. I'm just not comfortable with it. I don't care if she talks generally about him, but she'll say romantic stuff that really makes me feel uncomfortable. For years she either never talked about him ever and if she did, she would talk about how bad of husband he was. She didn't really paint him out to be a great guy. So between our history, and my view of him, I just don't want to hear certain stuff. The other day she said something and it really made me feel uncomfortable/awkward. So I tried ignoring her for a bit... but she called me out for it, because she called me and I didn't answer and then she called another co-worker to see if I was at my desk. Then got really pissed at me. She kept asking what was wrong and it was too uncomfortable for me to give her an answer. How do I tell her please don't talk about your husband? She's all family is first above all else, so i don't want to insult her. But I also don't want to hear it. Plus, it's all awkward now because she knows I was ignoring her. I don't know if I should explain why things got weird or just ignore the situation and just move on with things.
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Old 28th April 2017, 7:43 AM   #6
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Remind her that you are work colleagues first. You don't mind being friendly & supportive but her oversharing is making you uncomfortable. Suggest she keep the intimate details for her best girl friends.
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Old 29th April 2017, 10:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
She told me that she was starting to like the idea of me in her life more then her husband and that she shouldn't be thinking like that. She asked for some space. I tried to give her some space, even though it was incredibly hard as she was very close to me. Also, I was feeling very confused. Did I do something wrong? Did I take things too far with her?
You missed it and are assuming you did something wrong. LISTEN to what she's told you. Her honesty here - That she feels too close to you and it's wrong because she's married. What part of that don't you understand?

Respect her and give her space. Focus on other friends and work related issues instead of her. she wants her husband and knows it's totally inappropriate to be close with another man, it's not something a wife is supposed to do.

Good for her.

Have boundaries. Don't treat her like a fill in girlfriend. She's NOT that.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 7:45 AM   #8
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To be blunt, she has been very clear in communicating what she needs from you in this situation and you need to respect that. The only thing in your post that matters is the fact that she has done this. Everything else is romanticizing your relationship with her which has no bearing on the current situation.

And, now her husband has stated that he isn't comfortable with you. So, I STRONGLY suggest that you back off completely or you may be involved in an incredibly bad situation.

The last thing you need is her husband raising hell at work because you tried to keep in contact. It may hurt to lose that closeness but it'll hurt a whole helluva love more if you're in the HR office explaining to them why you've got a mess on your hands.
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Old 4th May 2017, 9:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaz47 View Post
Thank you Bee4Shine. I re-read your message multiple times for support over the past months and used your encouraging message to help with my situation.

Things with my friend have been better. We worked things through, and i'm trying to keep things friendly but professional... However... My co-worker I know is really trying to work out her marriage. I totally am trying to be a supportive friend because i care about her. However, she's starting to overshare about her and her husband. I'm just not comfortable with it. I don't care if she talks generally about him, but she'll say romantic stuff that really makes me feel uncomfortable. For years she either never talked about him ever and if she did, she would talk about how bad of husband he was. She didn't really paint him out to be a great guy. So between our history, and my view of him, I just don't want to hear certain stuff. The other day she said something and it really made me feel uncomfortable/awkward. So I tried ignoring her for a bit... but she called me out for it, because she called me and I didn't answer and then she called another co-worker to see if I was at my desk. Then got really pissed at me. She kept asking what was wrong and it was too uncomfortable for me to give her an answer. How do I tell her please don't talk about your husband? She's all family is first above all else, so i don't want to insult her. But I also don't want to hear it. Plus, it's all awkward now because she knows I was ignoring her. I don't know if I should explain why things got weird or just ignore the situation and just move on with things.
Sounds to me like she could use a bit of insulting. What she is doing is wrong. You know it. Her husband knows it. She is her husband's problem. You don't want to be her husband's problem. Or, do you?

When she gets all personal about things that's none of your business, and you don't want to hear (good for you), just tell her...."Wait. Let's get your husband on speaker phone for this. He needs to hear this. Not me".

That should cool her jets a bit.
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Last edited by whatnot; 4th May 2017 at 9:47 AM..
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Old 5th May 2017, 8:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaz47 View Post
Thank you Bee4Shine. I re-read your message multiple times for support over the past months and used your encouraging message to help with my situation.

Things with my friend have been better. We worked things through, and i'm trying to keep things friendly but professional... However... My co-worker I know is really trying to work out her marriage. I totally am trying to be a supportive friend because i care about her. However, she's starting to overshare about her and her husband. I'm just not comfortable with it. I don't care if she talks generally about him, but she'll say romantic stuff that really makes me feel uncomfortable. For years she either never talked about him ever and if she did, she would talk about how bad of husband he was. She didn't really paint him out to be a great guy. So between our history, and my view of him, I just don't want to hear certain stuff. The other day she said something and it really made me feel uncomfortable/awkward. So I tried ignoring her for a bit... but she called me out for it, because she called me and I didn't answer and then she called another co-worker to see if I was at my desk. Then got really pissed at me. She kept asking what was wrong and it was too uncomfortable for me to give her an answer. How do I tell her please don't talk about your husband? She's all family is first above all else, so i don't want to insult her. But I also don't want to hear it. Plus, it's all awkward now because she knows I was ignoring her. I don't know if I should explain why things got weird or just ignore the situation and just move on with things.
It doesn't sound like things have gotten better... In fact, it sounds like they have gotten much, much worse. She is drawing you further into a bad situation that will affect your personal and professional lives if you don't establish some serious boundaries and avoid her. Her husband knows that you two have contact and he is not a happy camper about it.

My best friend was very close to teacher; a female teacher. They had a solid, platonic friendship but a lot of gossip went floating around and his ex-wife ended up storming into the building and assaulting her. She had made it clear that she was not comfortable with him keeping contact with her, neither of them listened and it created a huge issue for everyone involved. They both almost lost their jobs over it. They probably would have if his ex-wife hadn't committed felony assault.
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Old 5th May 2017, 2:44 PM   #11
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Other folks you work with want to laugh and have fun too. This is a case of ignore it (her) and the problem will go away.
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