I am a woman who had a sexual relationship with my best friend who is also married . She then decided that that same sex relationship was not for her . We also work together and things are a bit tense at work. She was the one. That started all this , but I feel she is blaming me for her guilt. Will we ever be friends again after what has happened between us .
Tried to tell her have no regrets and we can still be friends
Hello! Please remember that my responses are informational only, we are not establishing a therapeutic relationship.
The situation is mostly out of your control, which never feels good. Essentially, she needs to come to terms with her guilt somehow, and blaming you is not the answer for that. Blaming someone else is a bit easier than taking responsibility for our own actions.
Sex certainly complicates relationships (some single people cannot manage to be friends after sex even) and you have the added complication of being married and same sex (I only mean that she may have additional thoughts about what it means to her to have sex with another woman that add to her emotions).
So --while I never say that something is "impossible," just looking at the variables involved, I'd say it might be difficult to be friends. Probably the best thing you can do is be patient and give her some time and space to process what happened and figure out what she's going to do with it emotionally.
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How do I cope with it at work ? as I am her manager and she can seem a bit hostile ay times
That's an added variable that makes things complicated.
Here are some ideas:
1. Be polite, courteous, and professional try to avoid personal conversations at work. What you want to try to do is separate out or compartmentalize the two facets of your relationship. This is not always easy, but what you want to aim for "work is work," and "personal is different, happens outside of work."
2. You could as her manager, sit down with her and explain the mentality of #1. "When we are at work, I'm not going to be thinking about our friendship or other relationship. I'm going to be thinking about the job we have to do. I'm going to relate to you like any other employee --as a professional, manager. I will be polite and courteous, yet focus on what needs to be accomplished."
3. Outside of work -- you might want to sit down and talk through the friendship and sexual relationship. You can say --"this is where you can express all the emotions you have. I will listen --I'll do my best to respond without getting defensive."
4. Boundaries --At work be very clear about what is OK and what is not --"You can be angry at me, but you cannot speak disrespectfully XXXXX XXXXX" In other words, focus on what behaviors cause a problem at work, not necessarily feelings. If she is cold and distant --that is OK as long as it's not causing problems.
Please follow up -I can try to state these 4 ideas in other ways if you want/need.
In all of this problem she keeps coming back for more and I keep giving in but then the guilt for her gets bigger and bigger . What can I do to keep it at bay. All I can think about is leaving my job
I thought that she decided that the relationship is "not for her?" It sounds like she has not made that decision.
You have what we call a "dual relationship," (also known as a multiple relationship) which simply means a different type of relationship in at least two different settings -- in your case at work and personal. We all have dual relationships of one kind or another, but some kinds are harmful --which may be the case here.
Therapists, for example, are forbidden to have personal relationships with their clients because such relationships are most often harmful to clients (they don't have a safe place anymore to address their concerns).
Work/personal relationships are not so cut and dry as far as "you can't do this" (because in some situations work/personal relationships end up being OK) --but you have to decide if that's the case here. You have authority and power over her at work ( you are not equals there) and that can be a problem if you're having sex.
It makes sense to me that you think about leaving, and it might be a good idea --except if it's not of course (difficulty finding a comparable job, etc).
What do you think about cutting off the sex? It seems to be a problem for her.
20+ years of counseling experience, Wife & Mother