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Should I continue with him as a friend?


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Old 17th September 2012, 5:59 AM   #1
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Should I continue with him as a friend?

I am happily married with a 6 year kid and a loving husband. I had a colleague in my office and we have known each other for 3 years. Though we don’t get much opportunity to talk to each other, whenever it happens for office duties we are made to spend hours in each other’s company for long hours. Most of the time, two of us were not alone, and there was my otherfriend in my office room. During these instances we found that we have so muchin common and like each other’s company.

He is also happily married with a kid. About one year ago I realized that I love him but I was so careful not to hint it to him in any manner. Inside I was yearning for his company more and more and this affected my routine work as well. He complemented and thanked me for the friendly advices I gave him which led himto ultimate success. He enjoys sharing his professional and personal achievements with me.

He never speaks more than a friend . I have noticed thatwhen it comes to his official duties I had the highest priority among others. He greets and smiles at me as usual, and in one or two instances when there was no one around absolutely, I have noticed ‘love’ in his eyes. (I’m not sure.). We have never dined together even.

I don’t entertain even a thought of cheating my husband or his wife.

Few weeks ago he got a transfer to another office, with more benefits. Actually he applied for it and he got it. As usual he thanked me for my guidance, though I couldn’t remember what I told him.

He left my office none of us asked for each other’s contact numbers or email address. However I invited him to visit ‘us’ back in the office (Of course, always my other colleague is in the room with me). He said ‘OK’. I’m desperately missing him now and I don’t know what he feels. I still want him as a friend.

He will be coming for the farewell function due to be held for him next week. Should I continue with him and his family as a friend? Or should I bid him farewell forever? This hurts me a lot. Please advice.

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Old 17th September 2012, 10:38 AM   #2
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Say goodbye. This so called 'friendship' is a dangerous one and is very damaging to your marriage and what you feel towards your husband. Also, how would you like it if your husband had an extremely close friendship and desired another woman? I'm sure you wouldn't like it and you'd feel hurt, jealous and wonder what was going on there.

This 'friendship' is a selfish one. Does your husband and your friends wife know you two have a friendship going? Have you all gone out as couples? My guess is no.

Keep your distance, and detach. Pursuing a friendship with him is asking for trouble (aka an affair!) to happen.
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Old 21st September 2012, 5:04 AM   #3
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Thank you very much. You made me see a side I never imagined.i.e. it's damaging to what I feel towards my husband.

Yours was the only reply I got. Thanks again.
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Old 21st September 2012, 11:20 AM   #4
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Ditto to everything WWIU said---and I'd like to recommend reading the book, "Not Just Friends" by Dr. Shirley Glass---she outlines how workplace friendships can begin to blur the boundary lines, and lead to affairs, both emotional, and physical.

Shore up your boundaries to protect what's most important to you, and try to avoid dangerous wishful thinking.........
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Old 8th October 2012, 6:07 AM   #5
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'Not just friends' - dealing with goodbye

Thank you very much Freestyle for your valuable advice. You helped me from the other end of the planet!

Though I couldn’t find the book in my country I could read some extracts of it online. Only then I realized that I was in the edge of the ‘slippery slope’ of an emotional affair, which leads to hell. I could potentially weaken 2 strong marriages, claiming 6 lives. Red flags were on one by one,(from my side). I was blind to them thinking that I am a special person who could maintain boundaries. Having read about ‘emotional affairs’ after that, I discovered that I was becoming the ‘cheating spouse’ displaying traditional characteristics of a woman with a potential emotional affair. Thank you very much again, I was directed to this forum accidently and found light.

The farewell ceremony was postponed day by day so I thought it would never be held and I won’t see him again. I have no intention to carry on a friendship with him and I have gone ‘no contact’ successfully more than one month.

I love my husband dearly and prepared a special dinner for his birthday, sent him a romantic birthday card and gave him a present he loves most. From the first day, throughout our marriage I loved him more than anybody else and I was always romantic and I am still the same. My friends have told me how they envy me for having such a wonderful husband and I believe my son is the happiest kid in the world.

According to available evidence so is my colleague’s marriage.

Please forgive me for talking too much, I have no body to talk to. I was steadily improving.
Then came this ‘farewell ceremony’ into stage again. The organizer says that it would be held this or next week definitely. It will be no ‘ceremony’ just a meeting like thing , maximum 20 minutes. There will be some thanksgivings, and he’ll be given a present.
So, again I would see him again for the last time. I’m 200% sure that nobody is interested in asking for contact numbers or email, as no one wants to be the other W or M. (This may be one sided emotional affair?). The worst I expect in this function is him seeing me emotional or cry! I try to be strong but I’m not sure. Please help.
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Old 8th October 2012, 6:00 PM   #6
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If you are sincere about having gained new perspective and giving up on pursuing any kind of relationship with this man, I'm sure you can easily find a good reason to explain your absence from the "farewell ceremony."
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Old 8th October 2012, 8:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kamani View Post
Thank you very much Freestyle for your valuable advice. You helped me from the other end of the planet!

Though I couldn’t find the book in my country I could read some extracts of it online. Only then I realized that I was in the edge of the ‘slippery slope’ of an emotional affair, which leads to hell. I could potentially weaken 2 strong marriages, claiming 6 lives. Red flags were on one by one,(from my side). I was blind to them thinking that I am a special person who could maintain boundaries. Having read about ‘emotional affairs’ after that, I discovered that I was becoming the ‘cheating spouse’ displaying traditional characteristics of a woman with a potential emotional affair. Thank you very much again, I was directed to this forum accidently and found light.

The farewell ceremony was postponed day by day so I thought it would never be held and I won’t see him again. I have no intention to carry on a friendship with him and I have gone ‘no contact’ successfully more than one month.

I love my husband dearly and prepared a special dinner for his birthday, sent him a romantic birthday card and gave him a present he loves most. From the first day, throughout our marriage I loved him more than anybody else and I was always romantic and I am still the same. My friends have told me how they envy me for having such a wonderful husband and I believe my son is the happiest kid in the world.

According to available evidence so is my colleague’s marriage.

Please forgive me for talking too much, I have no body to talk to. I was steadily improving.
Then came this ‘farewell ceremony’ into stage again. The organizer says that it would be held this or next week definitely. It will be no ‘ceremony’ just a meeting like thing , maximum 20 minutes. There will be some thanksgivings, and he’ll be given a present.
So, again I would see him again for the last time. I’m 200% sure that nobody is interested in asking for contact numbers or email, as no one wants to be the other W or M. (This may be one sided emotional affair?). The worst I expect in this function is him seeing me emotional or cry! I try to be strong but I’m not sure. Please help.
I'm glad I was able to help---so many people have blinders on when it comes to friendship boundaries. The truth is---anyone can become susceptible to the brain chemicals that are released when people begin to share intimately. It's not just the chemical reaction, of course, individual psychology is a big factor as well---but it does help to recognize all of the factors, IMO.

I'm very happy that you were able to observe your own behaviors, before things got out of hand.

It's possible that you'll get emotional when you see him for a final time--maybe it would help to let yourself cry it out in advance--kinda like purging it from your system.


Plus---as far as I'm concerned---no need to apologize for "writing too much"---that's what this forum is here for.
If it helps you to write things out, write to your heart's content. There's a lot of very insightful posters on this forum, who give very solid advice, when someone needs it.
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Old 9th October 2012, 2:39 PM   #8
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I would not attend. I would simply send a nice "goodbye and good luck" card - signed by you AND your husband.
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Old 15th October 2012, 5:47 AM   #9
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On the right track now

Sure, you helped a lot I’d never heard a term ‘emotional affair’ till you mentioned it which led me to do a full internet search on it. Nor has anybody in my country heard of it. Involved parties often consider them ‘harmless’ while the society frowns upon them and they are yet another source for the poets and lyrists!

This further reading as well as the extracts of ‘Not just friends’ made me feel like a fool making my head ruling over heart, alleviating the pain. I understand that my intention to carry on further friendship with him was another justification to let myself be emotionally engaged with him.

This had already started creating emotional distance between myself and my husband and I was beginning to compare the two, like the cheating party always does. So according to Dr.Glass ‘Happy marriage is not a vaccine against infidelity’.

Please believe me I love my husband as I always did, even in my next births I do not wish anybody else to be my spouse. (Yes, I’m a Buddhist)

Yes, you are correct, there is lot of good advice in this forum. I remember one poster (married) , having an emotional affair with his co-worker asking for advice said that his friend may not know even, that he loved her and she would be cross if she knew. He wanted to know whether continuing friendship is OK. Advices came not to pursue it at all but he refused. I was shocked to see his latter post, which came 9 months later. He said he’s gone physical with her and that she made the first move! So is the nature of human mind.

This was totally unexpected. At the beginning I even disliked my co-worker because I considered him not helpful. Within few years I got to know him better and discovered how helpful he was. I never knew that I was invading the exclusive territory of his wife, and providing him ‘emotional support’ when I helped him with instructions to sort out his official issues and encouraged him on further studies. Even at that time I’m sure my state of mind was ‘strictly platonic’ and I did was helping and being nice. It was one sudden glance from him which me led me to this confusion.

We never discussed family problems because we didn’t have any. If not for the male buddy in my office room I would undoubtedly open up more, with him. Looking backwards I understand that presence of a third person during the conversation, content marriage slowed down the journey towards hell, but not that sufficient to put a halt to it!
Now don’t reply my question ‘Should I continue with him as a friend’, my friends, I ‘m not going to be friends with him. Friendship can turn into love, but how can love be turned into friendship? It’s not possible. I don’t want to be the other W in his life, sure.
Regarding the farewell, I feel that I’m stronger now and can face it. Sure there won’t be any drinks and none of us drink at all! Brain has started ruling over my heart by now, the pain I felt is decreasing. I think my 3 posts gradually reflect it.

On the other hand I don’t want to hurt him on the last day, it’s yet the human heart of me wanting to see him for the last time. Please don’t jump on me, my friends, this desire is not strong enough to start contacts with him again and to risk my marriage. I just want to say goodbye.

However if you consider this a bad idea I’d reconsider my decision.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 15th October 2012, 6:11 AM   #10
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I feel you need to spend more time with your husband and kid to get rid of this kind of emtions.
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Old 19th October 2012, 5:26 AM   #11
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It was all over- but pain is there

Well, I don’t know why I’m writing again. Perhaps to relieve my heart.
I decided to participate in the farewell and to give him a Best of Wishes Card , written and signed by myself and my male buddy in my office room. The card was no secret, it was addressed to the whole ‘family’ and shown to my husband. He was a bit surprised but found it nice. The card thanked for his help, said good-bye with the date and office, and wished the whole family. My intentions were to,

1. Thank him first of all and make him happy (He liked thanks!)
2. To withdraw my earlier statements, and assure myself and himself ‘ no contact’.

Will he grab the inside message? After all, we all need peace in mind, I thought.

My buddy left without attending the farewell, calling my ex-colleague and saying that I’ll be giving him, our Good Luck card. I heavily protested as I had no idea how to gather courage, but he left.

The farewell scenario was a nightmare. He had arrived pretty early, and stayed upstairs (our office is in 2 floors) chatting to the co-workers, most of them he had nothing to do with. He entered the conference room, never looking at me, but stood beside my chair, very closely for a few seconds and then moved. I had no courage to look at him directly or talk to him as some of my friends did. He chose to stand backwards to myself and the vast majority of crowd, and made his speech!

After the meeting I rushed downstairs, without even looking at him. He didn’t show up, downstairs he was aware that there is a card. Finally I called upstairs and asked another colleague to give him a message to meet me. He came, again avoiding my eyes, continued to chat with those in the next section. I never called out his name, just observed whether he’d come, but he didn’t. He left for the other section. Finally I sent him the card with another colleague. Then he came with the card, had a friendly chat with me as usual land left.

I don’t think about him anymore or a friendship with him but the last day memory is painful. I’ve never flirted with him, though sometimes the way I used to talk to him over the office phone on subject matters was rather intimate than a friend. This is painful, do I deserve this sort of treatment on the last day?
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Old 30th October 2012, 3:34 AM   #12
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Survived

Are you all there, Freestyle and others?

I think you are not replying my comments as I’m stupidly lamenting on a co-worker.

Anyway, the GoodBye card meant closure for me.

The sense of relief, the peace of mind cannot be explained by words when you confirm ‘closure’. Yet it still hurts, still painful.

I feel so happy, when I look at my wedding photo. This marriage always, offered me more than what I expected on my wedding day and never less! I survived as the happy wife. I’m the proud mom of the kid appreciated by many other parents and teachers.

Now I avoid ‘Y chromosome’ like plague (other than my husband), specially at workplace. I cannot afford to this sort of heartache once again.
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Old 30th October 2012, 12:05 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by kamani View Post
Are you all there, Freestyle and others?

I think you are not replying my comments as I’m stupidly lamenting on a co-worker.

Anyway, the GoodBye card meant closure for me.

The sense of relief, the peace of mind cannot be explained by words when you confirm ‘closure’. Yet it still hurts, still painful.

I feel so happy, when I look at my wedding photo. This marriage always, offered me more than what I expected on my wedding day and never less! I survived as the happy wife. I’m the proud mom of the kid appreciated by many other parents and teachers.

Now I avoid ‘Y chromosome’ like plague (other than my husband), specially at workplace. I cannot afford to this sort of heartache once again.
I'm glad you got through that......

And I think you dodged a bullet.

More like a scatter bomb, the fallout would have reached far & wide.

It is possible to have opposite sex friendships, but boundaries must be absolutely engraved in stone, so that it never becomes a threat to a marriage.
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Old 31st October 2012, 2:30 AM   #14
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Protect your marriage

Thanks again. Without your reference about the book it would have been far harder for me. Please don’t stop helping others!

I’m so sorry he doesn’t know about a book or something like that. (sigh…)

These forums render some unappreciated service to those all over the world.

Who is far likely to threaten your relationship?

The attractive man, you feel a sudden crush, showing interest towards you on the first day itself, knowing that you are married……..?

Or, your educated and self deciplined co-worker, never intending to hurt anyone, speaking deep into your heart and values their marriage as well as yours……….?

Still, I can’t believe myself. My heart is numb.
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