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Suzanne, Therapist, LCSW
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency
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Hi I am or was the other woman in an affair, I loved this

Resolved Question:

I am or 'was' the other woman in an affair, I loved this man totally and unconditionally for four years, he really did and says he still does love me, we had a very fulfilling and meaningful relationship on all levels based on friendship first. As our relationship grew and we both realised how important our partnership was, on many levels emotionally, spiritually, physically and was very importantly kind, loving, challenging, rewarding and respectful (this I beleive is possible in an 'illicit' affair). In his marriage they are divided emotionally and physically but a team for the children and good parents, and they remain civil for the childrens sake and are loving to the children but not each other. He has considered leaving many times, but simply cannot leave his children. My issue.. I have tried to give him up many times, I can no longer share him my self esteem has become very low, I cry at least once a day, and get extremely upset when I consider that I am letting him go. But he is my boss! and the contact is there and this is killing me and not helping me to move on, he says it is fine and we can and must work together, and I must stop being a victim, but I am distressed and tortured, and now I feel pathetic that I cant handle it better or get upset when I see an e-mail from him or don't, it's driving me crazy that the massive amount of contact has been reduced to work, I did start coping a little when he'd gone on holidays for two weeks, but then I saw him the first day of work and we ended up together, it wasnt bad it was as loving as ever, but the fact is how do I actually try and move on?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Suzanne replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for writing to Just Answer.


It is hard enough to give up someone you've loved for four years and send him back to his wife and family. To try to do that and work in the same place together will be nearly impossible.


He is your boss, and that makes your position precarious...especially since other people in the office know about the affair. He is asking you to do the impossible: work together as if nothing has happened.


if you are serious about getting yourself out of this affair, you will very likely have to quit your job. Other people know about it...sooner or later it will get back to his wife, and when that happens she will probably demand that he fires you. Better to leave of your own accord, with some dignity.


You noted that you were able to cope when he was away, and when you aren't working side by side anymore, your emotional strength will come back and you will start to mend.


Working elsewhere will also give you a chance to meet and date other men. That won't happen where you work now, since people know you were with the boss, it would be "job suicide" for some other man at work to ask you out.


I know it's a bad economy and jobs are scarce, but the chances of you getting over him while you work with him are almost zero. It would be like an alcoholic taking a job as a bartender the first day he's been sober...


Finding a therapist to support you through this time would be a good idea.

This is a tough situation, and the "cure" is going to be even tougher. I wish you all the best as you try to re-build your life. Suzanne

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for your answer and I agree with what you said about it being nearly impossible and keep telling him.. he says the same thing, he said that if I was 'locked in a metal box' he would still find a way if I was near him!!

However it is not as simple as you say to get another job, firstly I am 49 (9 years older than him) I have worked in this company longer than him, we are both senior I am extremely good at my job as is he, and in fact like you say everyone knows in the company, it is not news, the 'office talk' (except that we are both field based which helps, we live 200 miles away from each other so daily contact is phone e-mail, and face to face contact about once/twice a week or fortnight.) so my team and colleagues, and even HR have told me not to worry about my job at all, I am way too important to the company and truly the most experienced member in our industry in the UK! My guy/boss is also very good and if i'm honest we are an extremley effective team and we head sales in the UK, we are both valuable, but being a very modern company with strong values 'Honesty & Courage' being our core values! There is no way on this earth he could or would fire me, and he knows this if anything he would have to go. I have nearly bee n on the edge of a breakdown and fought back, my dad died two years ago, he was with me all through this. He has stood at the bar on may company occassions and told many how he feels for me and how he wants to leave but cant leave the children...

I really dont want to force him out either, he has a highly paid job and a many bills because his wife has never been able to stop spending money (one of the problems in their marriage which goes back a long way) I couldnt live with myself. If i'm honest if his wife did find out she would be evil (understantably) he has no guilt he says (I guess is his way of reconciling) because ultimately he provides and is a very good dad, they grew apart and she decided that 'physical contact' was a job, as she is not emotional just feels that houses holidays are more important, basically he is a wallet and child minder, when it suits. He told her that he does not love her, and the feeling is mutual, but as he is a very passionate and emotional man, he feels he couldnt help himself when he met me (it took 6 months for us to get physical).

So I have ended it (again) but this is for real, I am desperate but it is on a purely emotional level, and the fact that as the boss he does have a slight upper hand, if I had to find another job it would finish me I am highly paid in this company and not over paid, but this job is unique as is the company, I could get a job but at a great pay cut, financially I struggle now, why the heck should I take this road, it is only another negative thing labelled to the 'other woman' its not always black and white, and certainly his wife would have no power in making me lose my job whatsoever and he knows this... but he said he cant leave because of his bills and he feels we have gorwn a very successful team together, which we are but my team in the UK out sells every other tenfold!


I am doomed emotionally I guess, and find a way to get over this with having to face him, the 'no contact' rule is not always viable, and seems is always the only answer given, beleive me if I thought it was possible I would do it.


Apologies for the delay but there is a time lapse between us.







Expert:  Suzanne replied 7 years ago.



I didn't imply it would be simple to change I know full well it isn't.


From your original note, I had envisioned the two of you running into each other in an office all day. Since that isn't the case, it may be possible to get through this without giving up a good job.


You'll need a therapist: --someone whose only concern is your emotional well-being and has no other connection in your life. You have suffered the loss of the other important male in your life, your dad, which will make giving up this man even more difficult. It might even be a good idea to try a male therapist given your particular situation.


Some other thoughts: What kind of man chooses to live a sham life rather than be with the one he loves? Hiding behind his children is a cowardly move. (Unless one or more of the children are medically fragile) Children survive divorce--they often survive it healthier than they do growing up in a home where there is no affection. If he thinks his children don't know what's going on, he's wrong. Children can sense play-acting, false smiles,etc. quicker than adults.


A relationship begun on cheating--and he is, no matter what he says about the marriage--will suffer several handicaps even if he were to leave his wife. In my experience, the new relationship rarely survives. Because the woman knows full well how good the man is at hiding his activities, sooner or later, usually after about a year, suspicion creeps in. Look at how long the two of you have been together on the side. He knows he can get away with it, he knows how to hide his tracks. And before you protest that he would never do that to you...soon you would be the predictable one worrying about bills, fixing the house, etc., and he will be looking for a new fantasy woman.


I am actually amazed that you allow him to talk about your affair openly, standing at the bar at company get-togethers. This seems to me very disrespectful: In a way he is claiming you so no one else at the company dare approach you, but he doesn't have the courage of his convictions.


And think about it. If this is such a loveless match he has at home, why would his wife get vindictive? I think there is a very good chance that she has no idea he's unhappy, that they continue to live as man and wife in every sense of the word. He can spin his story to his full advantage, knowing that you have no possible way of fact-checking.


How many women do you know that would listen to a husband say he doesn't love you, and go on as before? And I will tell you that the "I have no money because the wife spends it all, she doesn't like sex anymore, and she doesn't care about anything but money, and if it weren't for the children, I'd leave" is such a classic script of the cheating married man, I'm convinced that somewhere on the internet is a site telling them what to say. If you lived in the US I could introduce you to no fewer than ten women who have believed what you believe, and lived to regret it.


If you think that being 49 makes it difficult in the job market, wait until you find out what the dating scene is like for women over 50. Please don't waste too many more years with this going nowhere situation, as the prospects for you finding a new, healthy relationship get fewer with each passing year.


The best indication of future behavior is past behavior. Think about what daily life with this man as your partner would be like. The physical attraction will fade with familiarity-- that is almost guaranteed.There will no longer be the aphrodisiac of clandestine meetings, and being ill-fated lovers. It sounds like you are both struggling financially--it will be worse when he's paying alimony and child support. It would be hard not to resent his continued ties to his ex as she calls when the children are acting up, she needs more money, the roof is leaking, etc. And then there will be the fear --is he really where he says he is when he's traveling?


What I have tried to do here is to give you negative things to dwell on to help support your decision to end this matter. The point is not if I got a few details wrong about your particular man...the point is that, like it or not, you are in a classic situation that many other women have found themselves in, and the scenario rarely changes. It is a win-win for the man: live goes on at home as always, and he has a woman who thinks he's wonderful waiting for him at work. If the affair ends, his life doesn't change a bit. The woman is left wondering why she squandered years of her life with nothing but a few memories to show for it. Of course he won't let you alone--why would he give up a good thing? He won't be the one with the devastated, lonely life when this ends. He is being selfish. If he truly loved you, he would encourage you to go live your life without him, as your happiness would be paramount to him. As it is, you've said you wanted to end it, and he has advised you he'll get at you no matter what. That's not love. That's selfishness. He has nothing to offer you for your future, but wants to keep it for himself.


Please get a good therapist that you feel comfortable with to support you through this transition.

I wish you all the best,


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