“I have a very close female friend in my office. She is more comfortable with me than other staffs. She consults with me for each and every thing which is related to work and some personal problems also. She is not married but I am. She touches me quite often in my hands, shoulders and even sometime she touches me with her knees on my legs when she is talking to me. Sometime she plays with her hair, adjust her clothes, plays with her jewelery when she comes to my office cabin. At times we have some flirtatious or sexy talks and jokes . She is having a boy friend who is a close friend of mine. Whenever I call her when she is with her boy friend she doesn’t answer it or she is very formal and want to finish the call. But she calls me back immediately once she is away from him. I want to know she is just a friend or she is interested in me?”
Our Experts Responded:
There are many aspects of your questions that can be cleared, in one word- INTEGRITY.
If you are in fact in integrity with your thoughts, and feelings, which is important to understand where your relationship in your marriage stands, as well.
First, you are in fact, married. This is of up most importance, considering your attention, moreover love and integrity should lie within the context of a commitment to your wife.
We are all going to have others who have interest in us, or attempt to pursue some sort of intimate or sexual connection, even when we are committed to someone else. It is what we think about, and choose to do, with these somewhat indecent proposals that is what is important.
Your questions seem to gear toward wondering this woman’s feelings, however, in my opinion, this should not be a consideration.
The consideration falls in your feelings, and the feelings within your current relationship.
What are your feelings? What do you want to come of this ? What are you willing to risk within your marriage, to enjoy bouts of instant gratification.
I cannot understand where your relationship stands with your wife, however, I always like to put myself in the other person’s shoes, to make decisions, that may be more clear as to what is right, having done this.
If your wife was having the same instance at her office, or in her professional life, at what point would you expect her to seize the connection? How would you feel if she was experiencing not only the instances, but whatever thoughts you are experiencing? Do you feel that you could support this as casual and appropriate, and helping in your growth as a couple?
If this relationship with your professional co-worker is something that you wish to pursue, it is important that you make a decision to be in integrity within your relationship, first and foremost.
However, if your marriage is in your best interest, it is necessary that you communicate your boundaries with this woman, and you respect your wife, then it is important to clearly define what you feel is inappropriate, and speak it as such.
Coming back to the fact that her boyfriend is a good friend of yours, there are boundaries not only within your marriage, but within your friendship with her boyfriend.
No one can make your decisions for you, but rest assured that however you chose to deal with situation, is a personal lesson for you, as people and circumstances are brought into our lives, for us to learn more about “ourselves” through these people.
We mirror those in our lives, who come into our lives, and progress with or without these people, dependent upon how much we grow from the situation.
My last words of wisdom are:
Always treat others, as you would expect and want to be treated.
We always know what is right.
Whether you do what is right, is your right.
But please be prepared for there to always have a result from our decisions.
This the law of the universe, which is not in our hands.
Your co-worker’s motives aren’t the real issue, Phil. I think what you’re really asking is whether this workplace flirtation is OK. I can’t answer that because I don’t know the agreement you and your wife have pertaining to flirting. You could have an open marriage that allows flirtation or more. So I won’t judge the ethics here, but I will suggest you ask yourself this: would you allow the co-worker to touch you like that if your wife were present? Would you engage in sexually provocative talk with her if your wife were present? Would you flirt with your co-worker in front of her boyfriend? A side issue is whether your relationship is workplace appropriate–would you act the same way if your boss were present?
Assuming that you don’t have an open marriage, you may enjoy the workplace flirtation because it brings back the sexual excitement that may have faded from your marriage by now. Nothing’s wrong with wanting that need for sexual excitement filled, but suppose you took the energy you’re giving your co-working and invested it in your relationship with your wife, instead? Start by really focusing on her when you kiss her tonight after work. Give her a kiss filled with yearning and love, without any demands or suggestions that you take it further. Find time to talk with her about something other than dinner plans and kids, pets, or whatever else you normally talk about. Ask how she feels about something. Ask if there’s anything you can do for her. Tell her you’d like to take her on a date (even if it’s just a walk around the block). Court her. Consider this workplace liaison as a distraction from having a hot, healthy marriage. If that’s not your goal, then reconsider whether you want to be with your wife anymore. You can’t have it both ways unless both you and your wife agree to that kind of open relationship.
Not only is she interested in you, but you are so playing with fire that you should be smelling smoke!!! Dude, you’re married. If you’re trying to stay that way – you need to completely end this “friendship”. If you say, do, and think things around this woman that you would not do if your wife were with you (or if she knew about it), then my friend, you are already having an affair. That’s right. I know you haven’t touched her yet. That’s not relevant here. No affair begins physically. They all start as ideas that get tested to see how far they can be pushed before they meet any resistance. Soon you’ll be waking up with clothes all over the room wondering how the Hell you got there when “you were just friends”, or “it just happened”, or “one thing led to another”.
Come on, Phil. You’re old enough to know the drill. Here’s a news flash – the wife knows the drill, too, and she won’t be having it. And don’t delude yourself, Phil. She will find out. I’m willing to bet she already suspects something anyway because you’ve given yourself away so many times without even knowing it.
Here’s a challenge for you, that is, if you’re trying to keep your marriage. End this friendship, get as far away from this woman as you can, then tell your wife about it. Don’t tell her about looks and lumps and curves; tell her the only part that really matters – the real reason you respond to this woman the way you do. Tell her how much you enjoy how you feel around her and why – the admiration, the flirtation, the affirmation of your attractiveness and your manhood. Tell her all that stuff and then figure out together ways to bring those qualities back into your own marriage. After all, if you want your marriage, then you really want to feel this way from your wife – not some co-worker. Give your wife a chance to meet your needs. Take the chance to meet your wife’s needs. Make a concerted effort for one week then get back together to assess how it’s going. Tweak where necessary and go for another week. This simple exercise can bring about profound changes in your marriage.
Sex with your wife every night for seven days wouldn’t hurt either. All the best, Phil. Hope to hear good news from you soon.
Well Phil, I’m not sure how long you’ve been married or how much longer you plan to be but it’s obvious that you’re an outgoing person; at least easy to get along with. Establishing a personal relationship with a colleague can either hurt or improve your career. But what’s done is done. When you step over all the boundaries that come with a potential conflict of interest, it’s almost impossible to get back on track. Things are shady in terms of what she wants. She may have a great job or even be perceived as having a good head on her shoulders but the situation with her calling you without her boyfriend around is one that speaks volumes of her decision making. Right now, she could be talking to her friends about this same thing. “Well I don’t know…I really like my boyfriend though”. All the while she’s imagining the adventure of being with a married man. Or maybe it’s just your maturity that attracts her to you. The point is, you should know what you want and stick to it. You have to be a man in either case.
- Bill Willburn
Why does it matter to you if she is flirting with you? YOU ARE MARRIED!!! There will always be someone that thinks you’re attractive. Just like there are many men that think your wife is attractive. Your actions are borderline problematic.
How would you feel if your wife joked and flirted in the exact same manner that you do? Would you feel hurt? Would you be upset? Would you feel a bit betrayed? If your answer to any of these questions is YES, then stop doing what you’re doing right now. And stop paying so much attention to your co-worker and what she does and thinks. It’s none of your business. You are married!!!
- Blanca Marquez
Just a thought: If you’re married, why do you even CARE if she’s interested? The fact is, nothing good can come of this, whether she’s into you or not. You’re BOTH attached. Not to mention, her man is YOUR FRIEND. What type of friend would you be if you let this go further?
Now, for the sake of arguing, let’s say you two DO get involved (discreetly), ONE of you is going to catch feelings. What happens if the other one just wants “fun” and chooses to stay with your significant other? One of you gets hurt, and it will affect your CURRENT relationship as well.
On the OTHER hand: Let’s assume you AREN’T interested in her, and you’re only asking this question so you can decide whether or not to tell your FRIEND what’s going on. Then it would be easy to find out whether or not she’s interested in you. Flirt back, or ask certain questions to get her answers. If her answers seem a little more than “just answers”, she obviously has an interest there.
For example: If you talk to this girl about your wife and something you don’t like, or something sexual, see what type of response your co-worker gives you. If she tries to “talk herself up” to you so to speak (or about how she’d be better) then you obviously have your answer. When you two talk about her boyfriend, see how she acts/responds to you. See if she makes any comments that let you know how interested she is. Women won’t come out and SAY these things, so you have to keep your EARS open. Females are more SUBTLE than we are. They only give HINTS. So pay attention.
An easy way to find out would be to casually joke with her, about how “professional” she sounds (talking to you) when her boyfriend’s around. Then laugh & say “You don’t want him to know what’s REALLY going on, huh?” Make it sound like IT’S OK what she’s doing. If she gets offended like “What do you mean? Nothing’s going on.” Then back off & say “Oh, I just meant talking to a GUY & all. You afraid he’d be MAD?” But then if she GOES with it, and says something like “Yeah HE doesn’t need to know” or “He’d be PISSED if he knew I was talking to you/another guy like that” Then you can respond with something like “I know. Thats why we’ll always keep anything WE do, PRIVATE.” And see what her response is. If she likes it, she’ll think YOU do, TOO. And her WHEELS will start turning. Thinking that maybe more can HAPPEN.
If it turns out she’s into you, there’s a lot more to think about:
“Am I interested in HER?”
“Do I just want a FLING?”
“Do I wanna tell my friend?”
“Should I just let her flirt, and not do ANYTHING about it, since it’s HARMLESS?”
“Will I turn her DOWN if it gets to that point?”
“Should I just do it ONCE?”
“Is it WORTH risking my MARRIAGE for?”
All of these questions have to be answered before you make a move, or a decision. But if you just want to know, use the advice I gave in my last paragraph. “An easy way to find out would be…” and you should be good. The HARD part is deciding what to do AFTER that. Hope you make the right decision, man.
There’s no question that she is very much interested in you. But more importantly, are you willing to risk your marriage for her, and your friendship with her boyfriend?
Hopefully your marriage is strong enough that you can discuss this with your wife. That would be the best advice I can give you. Then, even if you need a marriage counselor, deal with the issues that come up.
- David Lerner
Well, it certainly sounds like your colleague is interested in you, but there’s just one tiny little detail: you’re *married*. Unless you have an open marriage, I’m pretty sure your wife would *not* be OK with you taking things to the next level with your flirtatious coworker.
If you value your marriage (and your job, for that matter) and don’t want attention from this woman, explain to her that you’re married and tell her firmly but gently please to stop her behavior. If she doesn’t stop, go to your supervisor or Human Resources — it’s called sexual harassment. (Yes, it happens to men, too.)
If you want this woman’s attention, take a cold shower, and then get a marriage counselor and/or a divorce lawyer; you’re going to need both. You might want to polish your resume, too, as dating coworkers is frowned upon, if not explicitly forbidden, in many workplaces. You both could end up filing for unemployment.
Finally, may I suggest therapy or a 12-Step or similar program, such as Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous? Your attitude about the situation seems to imply, at best, an extremely self-centered worldview focused only on your own pleasure, and at worst, a potential addiction to sex and fantasy.
To start, I believe you should ask yourself, “Why am I having an emotional affair with my close friend’s girlfriend?” Understandably, one of the primary components of the foundation of marriage is monogamy. Have no illusions that this type of behavior is leading you down a path towards a physical affair. You can say the words, “I love my wife” but your behavior and actions with this woman convey the message that you are available.
To answer your question, I believe she is interested in you, but more than likely she is interested simply because you are not available. If you were available, chances are you would not be appealing to her and vice-versa. I strongly encourage you to take a good look at what your life would be like if your wife found out that you are having an emotional affair- or if it escalated to a physical affair. Do you want to risk losing everything you value? Many marriages can be repaired after such a revelation, but I can assure you that there usually is lingering trust issues that may never be fully restored.
Many times we allow our minds to deceive us by rationalizing that this person is simply a “friend.” By opening the door to be her confidante, you are playing with emotional fire and allowing yourself to become more involved with her life than is appropriate for a married man. Breaking off this relationship won’t be easy because it is satisfying a need for emotional validation which you may not be receiving at home. However, looking at the core of what is driving this behavior will be one of the keys to create an emotionally healthy environment in your marriage.
In my opinion…It definitely sounds like she is interested in you. It also sounds like she is willing to compromise her own relationship, with your friend I might add, to be with you or even worse…compromise yours. My question to you is: why would you even entertain the thought of her apparent like or dislike of you if you are married? “Marriage is a holy institution and should be regarded with great reverence and a supreme commitment to keep your promise, until death do us part.” (this a quote from my book; Cipher of Life). In my opinion, you are entertaining her advances for sexual reasons. Sex is alluring, but once it is over the guilt will haunt you all your days. She may deny these accusations but you have apparently already read the signs.
Marriage is honorable in all. Keep you honor, please don’t destroy your marriage by following your obvious attraction to her. Don’t be naive, you already know she is into you, the real issue you’re having is whether or not to pursue your misguided affection toward her. Keep your integrity. Everything this woman seems to have, so does your wife but better. Your spouse may not be showing these things to you yet, but you must weather the storm to get to your destination…and you must navigate your ship after plotting the course. Cut this alien woman off if she is a distraction and a temptation. If you succumb you will regret it for the rest of your life. I hope I have helped. God bless you. Keep me posted.
Author: Cipher of Life
I see you have a mastery of using pronouns in your language skills. You used the pronouns “she” and “her” twenty-two times, Phil. Come on, I find that quite interesting. It is as if you have no power in this situation with her. You’re a 37-year-old man. It’s time to take responsibility for your part in this predicament and stop making yourself out to be the victim.
I know, one thing led to another and it was flattering…at first. But you do have a role in what has transpired because she’s gotten mixed messages from you. She believes that her behavior is okay and thus she continues. You mention that she only does this with you and no one else in the office. I wonder what makes you different from your colleagues where she knows her boundaries with them? What do you think that could be? Your work situation has obviously gotten out of hand and you’re in over your head. You have to take a stand and communicate with your gal pal your boundaries since her boundaries are limited.
There is obviously a level of intimacy you have reached with her. Even though you have not had a sexual relationship with this woman, you are skating on thin ice my friend. I am maintaining my boundary with you as a friend, which is a lesson you need to take into consideration and mimic with your female buddy! Please excuse my sarcasm, Phil.
Here is something I must say to you and many others in similar situations as yours. As I read your letter, I question how long this interaction with your friend has been going on? It did not happen overnight. While you may ask for help today, the relationship and interaction you have with her has served a purpose for you and her. Now take a deep breath and ask yourself what do you get out of this relationship? If you did not benefit from it in some way emotionally, you would have nipped this in the bud. So let’s just be real. Whatever you get out of your relationship with your friend, is probably something you need to work on with your wife and your inner self. If your friend made you feel like the center of the universe and like you’re on cloud nine, how else can you get this feeling for yourself and incorporate it into your marital relationship?
This goes into explaining the importance of boundaries and intimacy in our relationships. In A Guide to the Meaning of Intimacy, by A. Oden, there are twelve different dimensions to intimacy, which are:
1. sexual intimacy (erotic or orgasmic closeness)
2. emotional intimacy (being in tune with each other)
3. intellectual intimacy (closeness in idea sharing)
4. aesthetic intimacy (sharing experiences of beauty)
5. creativity intimacy (creating things together)
6. recreational intimacy (sports, fun and play)
7. work intimacy (closeness in sharing common work tasks)
8. crisis intimacy (enduring a crisis together)
9. conflict intimacy (struggling with differences together)
10. commitment intimacy (sharing a common investment)
11. spiritual intimacy (sharing of ultimate concerns)
12. communicational intimacy (the source of all true types of intimacy)
Take time to focus on strengthening your intimate relationship with your wife. Communicate with your wife about the twelve types of intimacy and how you want it to evolve in your couple relationship. Ideally, they are exclusively shared with our significant in an emotionally deep and lifelong relationship. Phil, you must reclaim the loyalty, boundaries, and respect you had with the people who matter the most to you…yourself and your wife.
- Tiffany Mosby, MS, MFT, CIS
What difference does it make if she likes you, you are married. And if she did like you and knows you are married, what kind of girl does that make her that she would flirt with you even if you initiated it. It all sounds like a headache. Deal with your marriage and if you are not happy then get out, but until then, all else is off limits.
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