My wife and I have been married for 42 years and raised two great children together. In all that time, I’ve never cheated on her.
About eight years ago I started working at a new firm and at the same time they hired another manager.
We both learnt the job together and relied heavily on each other, becoming best friends. She is 10 years younger than I am and stunningly beautiful – at least in my eyes. Like me, she’s married and has one grown-up child and another who is nearly ready for college.
Over the years I’ve fallen deeply in love with her and I think she’s in love with me, too.
We have an emotional connection that transcends anything I’ve ever had with my wife. Despite that, we’ve never been physical and never had an honest discussion about how we feel about each other. I think we’re too afraid about where it would lead.
My wife and I have a comfortable but distant marriage. We seldom row but sex is rare and neither of us seems to have any desire to nurture that side of things.
My thoughts drift to my colleague – I want to be with her, hold her and spend time with her. I do have sexual fantasies about her but mostly I fantasise about her being the focus of my life.
She isn’t happy in her marriage – her husband is emotionally abusive and has cheated on her at least twice.
I think that she is only staying with him because of the child – who is still at home.
At this point, I’m living a miserable life. I constantly think about a woman I can’t have. I won’t cheat on my wife or divorce her and my colleague would still be married anyway. So is my only option to spend the rest of my life in a loveless marriage while I get whatever emotional solace I can from my friendship at work?
Whatever is happening in your marriage now, you and your wife are both to blame for that.
You’ve become too comfortable with each other and don’t feel you have to make that effort. But in all your time together there must have been amazing times. I don’t believe you stay with someone for 42 years if you don’t love them and there is absolutely nothing there.
I understand how romantic and appealing this other relationship is – a spark is there, but you’re both married so aren’t in a position to do anything about it. But while you have a great friendship at work, you don’t really know what she’s like at home and what it would be like to be in a relationship with her.
Things can be very different when they become reality. But she’s come along and reignited that spark you thought you’d lost. And you’re telling me you’re not going to act on it, so in that case you have to refocus your attention on your wife.
There is something wonderful about being so familiar with someone and it’s never too late to start making more of an effort with each other – whether that’s weekends away or simply doing stuff at home that you used to do.
You can still feel excited about each other but you have to work at it.
If you talked to your wife you might find she feels the same.