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Can two people who are married to others have a chance together?

Published on September 9, 2009 by just_me

Sorry this is so long, but I want to explain as much as I can about my situation.

I am married and I developed a crush on a married co-worker. I didn't think much of it until he said something relatively harmless to make me think he may have some sort of attraction for me too.

After that day we started flirting with each other and then one particular night several months later we made the decision to spend the night together. It didn't work out because he had too much guilt to follow through all the way.

However, since that night we have spent a lot of time together and have still not had sex, but have kissed and touched, which mostly just ends up with both of us frustrated and him feeling guilty.

We get along super well and are completely open and honest with each other. He really is my best friend and everyone around us can clearly see that, but I don't think anyone truly suspects anything other than just the idle passing joke that comes with just about any co-workers of the opposite sex.

He told me he will never leave his wife, which I completely believed when he told me that and I also told him I was ok with that because at that time I had no intention of leaving my husband. However, I'm beginning to wonder if he's more unhappy at home that he cares to admit -- maybe even to himself. He told me that his active sex life at home hasn't been able to happen for several weeks now even though he's not had any problems getting aroused at the sight/thought of me.

He has recently taken to just want me around more - not for any sort of physical reason, but for example, when I am in his office regarding work stuff and I go to leave, he says things like "you can stick around for a while if you'd like."

I do know that I'm new and exciting to him and don't carry all the "honey take out the garbage" sort of baggage for him and that could be all this is for him. However, there are so many things about this relationship that feel real and right and no matter how much I try to push those thoughts away and stop the way I'm feeling, I can't help but have a little glimmer of hope that something could come out of this.

I have started the process of ending my marriage -- not for him, but certainly in large part because of him. I had been unhappy for a while and my relationship with this guy and the fact that I don't feel guilty for cheating made me realize just how much I need out.

I'm not sure what to do at this point. I've got a while before my divorce is all straightened out and I'm truly available. But I'm emotionally wrapped up in this other guy and even though I know I need to get over him, a part of me just doesn't want to right now. I just get so much pleasure and satisfaction out of just talking with and kissing him. Right now I don't even care if it ever goes further, although I know I will eventually feel different.

Is it possible that a relationship that starts out like this as an emotional affair could actually end up as something permanent?


It can and its possible, but any relationship based on deception is a little tougher to handle than normal. Also, you need to find out if you can handle just being the other woman, because it seems that no matter how unhappy his relationship with his wife is, he isn't leaving her. Is that what you want?

Also, to make a relationship work you both have to be committed to being open and honest and playing by the rules you set up. It seems pretty clear that if he is honest you are having a hard time believing that he is (e.g. you don't want to believe he won't leave his wife) and thus, you aren't playing by the rules, which seemed to be that you would both be each other's "secret affair".

It's best to assume that no matter how physical it gets between you two or no matter how much he "wants" you, he isn't leaving his wife.

Agree with Lyz but wanted to add a few other thoughts. I'm not chastising you or judging you by this next bit either.

You don't really say if you ever tried to make things work with your husband, but I can respect your decision to leave him.

However, you don't say if your co-worker has ever tried to make things work with his wife. Obviously he is not happy about something with his marriage, which is how this affair started, but that is a far cry from recognizing there is a problem and trying to resolve the problem. With you in the picture, odds are he won't ever try to fix his marriage. I understand that works for you, but how would you feel if you were in his wife's shoes? Also, he has already told you he is not leaving her. Sure, he may change his mind after a lengthy passage of time and a miserable marriage, but you may, and most likely, will get tired of that situation and go off to find someone that isn't married, leaving him up the creak without a paddle.

I'm not saying its impossible to make this work, but, to be slightly blunt, you are both acting like a couple of mooning teenagers with no experience to base your feelings or possible outcomes on. I know you both aren't teens, but that is the impression you give.

My actual advice would be to urge him to go and fix his marriage. If it can't be fixed then he can divorce his wife and then the two of you can resume your courtship and get to home base without any guilt what-so-ever.

Otherwise, who is to say that if you both do work out and things start to go south that either one of you will try to fix things before they get bad enough to have an affair with someone else?

Once again, not berating or judging you, but trying to give you some different perspectives.

Another case of the blind leading the blind. This guy just wants to sex you and thats all. I imagine that your both becoming would be sexual acquaintances but i doubt if you"ll ever reach the stage of being Best Friends as married people become. I have never been married but i will tell you this based on having received counseling on life issues. You both are disillusioned because i believe he already sees that your a cold blooded female to your man and by you even going half way with him says alot about your character and personality thats why he told you he's not leaving his wife. He's seeing just how far you would go with him and testing his skills as a homewreacker since he obviously doesnt respect his wife, your husband and doesnt respect you either. I would suggest you take your ignorant butt down and get some SELF counseling and tell your husband what you been doing becuz maybe he can do you a big favor and speed up the process for divorce to be done with you. This guy is helping you to make a total jackass out of yourself and your losing your right mind in discerning what values,morales and consideration you yourself would want if the shoe was on the other foot. Keep flirting with danger if you want, but get some counseling for why your marriage failed so you can renew your divine purpose in life as a chaste woman who had honor instead of being another womans man booty call. your too good for that. They have a saying that you can take some people out of the projects(ghetto) but cant take the projects out of some people. Get your mind right. and stop smoking that weed!

When a man tells you that he isn't leaving his wife for you generally he means exactly what he says. Even if you try to screw his marriage up by outting him to his wife chances are he will not thank you nor will this blossom into "love story", he will simply blame you and move on. He's been honest about his feelings and he's told you what his intentions are so the odds that he will suddenly change his mind and leave with you are astronomically low...besides if he does then you have the added baggage of knowing he is a cheater and he'll leave his commitments whenever the idea suits him.

You should really think long and hard about your life at this point, perhaps he was just the catalyst you needed to get out of a troubled and dysfunctional marriage, there may be someone else who IS emotionally and physically available waiting for you out there...just gotta give it a shot and have a look see!

Thank you all for your answers. I just thought I'd answer some of the points brought up.

My husband and I have been in counseling for a year and a half trying to work out our marriage. We've only been married 2 1/2 years. Our counselor agrees that our compatibility is questionable. We have been trying to make it work, but there are some fundamental differences in our personalities that have made it difficult -- things like our arguing style and such.

The other man has been married for 12 years and as far as he's ever told me, has never had any problems in his marriage. I don't believe he would outright lie to me about that, but me may be conveniently forgetting something.

About us acting like teens -- I know! The whole fear of going all the way and just the sneaking around has always made me feel like a teenager or something. And that part is not a good feeling. And for the record, I'm 36 and have a teenage daughter from my first marriage and he is 38 and has no children.

It's not that I don't believe him when he says he won't leave his wife. It's more that something has changed over the months that this has been going on and I wonder if that might also be one of them. He hasn't mentioned the subject in several months, but I am not holding out any real hope that will happen, but there is not a tiny crack where I thought it was a completely closed door. I do know that when I suggest he get what he's looking for from me from his wife instead, he has said things like "but she's not you."

Trust me on this, I have a lot of empathy for her. I feel worse about what she would go through if (when?) she finds out than anyone else in this picture. I don't want to be a home-wrecker and I have tried to end it, but we both have such strong feelings for each other that we end up right back where we were. My job is the best job I've ever had, but I've seriously been getting my resume updated and thinking about finding another job to get away from this temptation.

As for not being able to trust him if we were to end up together, I'm not worried about that. I know what's going on and I can see how torn up he is about doing this to his wife. I seriously doubt he'd put himself through this kind of torture again. Him being able to trust me is a different matter that would be up to him to decide. I honestly wouldn't blame him for not trusting me since this situation has been much easier for me than him.