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I have been married for five years and I would say that we have been happy together for most of that time.
We have had ups and downs, but nothing that most couples don’t face. I started a new job a few months ago and have made friends with a lad at work. We just get on well and have a laugh together at work. I hadn’t thought about him as someone I would be attracted to. Then at a work night out a couple of weeks ago, we both had a bit too much to drink and ended up kissing.
Nothing else happened, but I felt really guilty as I never meant to be unfaithful to my husband. When we got back to work it was all a bit awkward. He told me he only wanted to stay friends as he has a girlfriend. I felt really upset when he said this and I can’t really understand why I felt like this. I’ve never wanted have an affair but I do really like him and feel drawn to being with him. Now I am finding it really hard to concentrate at work. I am thinking about him a lot and it feels painful to be around him.
My husband has noticed there is something up with me. I guess I have been quite distant and cold towards him because I’ve been thinking more about the lad at work. He keeps asking me what’s wrong and I don’t know what to say to him. I think it would really hurt him if he knew I had kissed someone else. I feel like my emotions are all over the place and I’m confused about what do. I don’t want my marriage to end. Should I tell my husband what is going on?
Get a grip, woman.
You will embarrass yourself, big time, if you continue to moon around over a workmate who clearly regrets that sneaky snog and doesn’t want a relationship with you.
Your infatuation has led you into fantasy-land and you could easily lose something so much more real and important - a marriage strong enough to have survived a fair few ups and downs over its five-year life. And for nothing more than a stupid, drunken kiss with a bloke from your office you clearly don’t have that much respect for, seeing as throughout your letter, you refer to him as “a lad” and state that you hadn’t even thought about him as attractive.
Get this in proportion. As the song in Casablanca said, a kiss is just a kiss.
Your workmate obviously realises this and he’s tried to put things right. He has told you he’s not interested in taking things further because he wants to stay loyal to his girlfriend - and that’s stoked your fire.
As a result, you’re acting like some love-thwarted teen. It’s “painful to be around him”? what Mills and Boon novel did you swallow? Stop this ridiculous fantasy trip right now. I strongly suspect you’ve still got no real interest in him. You just want what you can’t have.
Remember, at school, how much girls yearned for the boy who wouldn’t give you the time of day? And how, when you found out some callow youth you’d never even looked at twice fancied your best friend, he suddenly morphed into an irresistible Adonis? It’s precisely what you are doing now.
“The lad” is not someone you could have a serious relationship with. If he suddenly did an about-face, ditched his girlfriend and came on strong to you, i bet you’d run a mile.
You sound rather selfish. You don’t like being second-best and want to win him for yourself. You’re showing no regard for him, his girlfriend - or, more importantly, your poor husband.
You’ve been giving him the cold shoulder and he’s no idea why. He’s probably spent the last few weeks trying to fathom what on earth he’s done wrong. Fact us, he hasn’t done anything at all - you have. I’d like to know how you would be feeling if you discovered he’d developed a crush on a girl at work.
You made your marriage vows just five years ago; focus your energy on strengthening them. And don’t even think about telling your husband about that snog, or what has been going on in your head ever since. It will hurt him immeasurably. All you will be doing it for is to unburden yourself of the guilt - and that’s your burden to keep.
Gill Wier, relationship counsellor and co-owner of Sheffield Central Counselling, advises:
Your confusion is understandable. The boundaries of your friendship are now blurred. You felt rejected when your friend said he didn’t want more - and that has made you want him. Reflect on what’s most important to you and which of these men you really want to be with. Write down the potential consequences of telling your husband, or of not telling him, and the impact each might have on your well-being and your relationship - and find someone to talk to.