I Cheated, Now I Feel Cheated
Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
I started my job 6.5 years ago when I was going through a breakup from an abusive boyfriend of 2.5 years. My new boss made no secret of the fact that he really fancied me. 3 months later, we started "seeing" each other. I was single and in my own place. He was living with his girlfriend and had been for about 3 years. He told me that he wasn't happy with her and wanted to end it, but she'd been a great support to him the previous year when his father had died and he didn't want to hurt her. Ashamed as I am to admit it, I was happy just to have a "fling" with him, with no strings attached as it was great to feel attractive again, especially as my boss was SO handsome and charismatic - he made me feel like no man had ever done and I was walking on air. After 3 or 4 months of seeing each other, he started saying he wanted us to be together properly and pressing me to tell him how I saw our future together. I had fallen madly in love with him by then but didn't want to tell him as I didn't want to get hurt or scare him off. I finally admitted that I loved him and would marry him tomorrow if he asked. He said he felt the same.
To cut a long story short, we ended up "seeing" each other for almost 3 years! He made me so many promises and told me so many stories of how he imagined our future together and talked about the family we would have and the house we would live in and the holidays we would take together. Meanwhile I only saw him at work and during snatched moments together whilst he was still living with his girlfriend, going on holiday with her etc etc. He even moved her out of his house at one point, but carried on seeing her! (and me......) In the end, I'd had enough of his promises that he'd finish with her and one day told him I was fed up and asked him for an exact date when he was going to leave her otherwise I was ending it (as you can imagine, we'd had this conversation a million times over the years but he was very elusive) He then blurted out that he wasn't leaving her and that him and I were never set in stone. I was gobsmacked!
I'd met another man a few months before but we'd only been friends - he was kind, generous, good looking and cared for me deeply - he was also very patient. A week later, we became a couple. He made me feel good about myself, like I was worth something again. We shared so many happy times together. One year later we were engaged and a year after that we were married and have been married now for just over a year. I love him dearly, but the problem is that I cannot stop thinking about my boss. To add insult to injury, he's recently left his girlfriend after 10 years and set up home with a woman who is 2 years younger than me and 11 years his junior! Everyone who knows him is so surprised as she's not attractive at all compared to his ex, yet he seems besotted with her. He had her working in our office for a couple of months and I thought my heart was going to die of misery. I cannot believe he could do this to me. I feel dreadful for saying this as I have seen the misery this whole thing has caused his ex and in a way I am relieved that it was not me who put her through the pain as she truly is a lovely person. For some reason, I could deal with the fact that he stayed with her as she clearly had a lot to give, but I just cannot accept what he has done and who he is now with. It should have been me! My head is saying that I had a lucky escape but my heart is still pining for him. I would look for another job, but I love my job and am paid a fantastic salary (one of the benefits of seeing the boss I suppose) which I cannot get anywhere else. My husband was out of work following an illness for a while so we simply cannot afford for me to take a drop in salary by going elsewhere and it would look suspicious to my husband as he knows I love my job.
I seem to be obsessed about my boss and his new girlfriend. They've been together for about a year now (even though he only left his girlfriend 8 months ago) and I KNOW he'll marry her. Why do I feel so devastated? I dream about them, I think about them all the time and I am horrible to my boss at work because I feel this way. He was still trying it on with me until a few months ago (which made me feel both annoyed and elated - annoyed because he knows I am married and elated because I thought that in some bizarre way this meant that he wasn't happy with his new girlfriend!) when I told him that it was really hurting me and explained how I felt about him and his new girlfriend and asked him to leave me alone to get on with my marriage. He just told me to get over it, it was me who had gone and gotten married and I should just deal with it. I feel cheated - what does his new girlfriend have that I don't? Why could he leave his live in girlfriend of 10 years after 4 months of seeing this girl, yet he couldn't leave her for me after 3 years????
Another part of the problem is that my husband doesn't make me feel the way my boss did, in the bedroom or out of it. I know I'm very lucky to have him and I DO love him very much - he makes me want to be a better person, but he knows nothing about my affair with my boss and just thinks I talk about him and am nasty about him because he's a horrible boss. The truth would destroy him. I've had fleeting thoughts that I was wrong to marry him and maybe I should let him go but I honestly could not imagine life without him. I feel that I am going to ruin the rest of my life if I can't let this go. How do I concentrate on my husband and my marriage and forget about this man who has caused me so much pain over the last 6 years? I know I deserve everything I get for trying to steal someone else's boyfriend, but when will this misery end?
First off, seeing a boss is NEVER, EVER a good idea because it ties up all sorts of 'power' images in your brain with romance. A boss naturally has power over the underling. There are more than enough movies on this subject to show all the power struggles that are involved, even if you never openly talk about them. The boss feels he has control over his underling. The underling feels she is being "protected" by her surrogate "Daddy" (or mommy in the reverse case). Things get very twisted up and of course it can easily destroy your work environment.
This guy is obviously charismatic if he blatantly lied to you so much and you still were able to tolerate him. One of the KEY parts of any relationship is honesty! If you can't trust someone, how can you spend time with them? I.e. this guy obviously slept around. What if he gave you a sexually transmitted disease and seriously harmed your health, your guy's health and even the health of any kids you have? Read through some of the stories on the site to learn how devastating this can be. If you even think of kissing a guy that can lie to you, you take HUGE risks.
You somehow equate attractiveness with love. This isn't the MTV world - people fall in love with what a person IS and not something shallow as what they look like. I actually give your boss some credit for choosing a new girlfriend for the care she gives him and not just because she looks like a Playboy Bunny. You can get Playboy Bunnies on any streetcorner in the US - but a real woman who supports you and cares for you is very rare.
So now you are stuck in a situation where:
1) You are actively and constantly lying to the partner in your life
2) You are actively spending time and energy obsessed with a lying ex-cheat
3) You are actively working in an environment with someone who you used sexually to get work perks
These are all REALLY REALLY BAD things. You claim you can't afford to take a drop in salary. But it might be time to open your eyes. Right now your lifestyle is better than 99% of ALL HUMANS ON THE PLANET. Most people are grateful to have food, never mind a home with computers and different foods every night and other care. Given the number of people I know who live with sick relatives on very low income, I know that you COULD live on less money but you are CHOOSING not to. Your priority is cash over a good, healthy life. Which is a BAD CHOICE.
I would really and truly tell you to BE HONEST TO YOUR HUSBAND. You really have not learned the lesson of how critical honesty is in a relationship, and your constant lying to your husband is destroying your relationship. Believe me lies ALWAYS get known in the end. Can you guarantee that NOBODY at your office that knows about you will ever say ANYTHING to your husband? That you won't say something in your sleep? That you won't get drunk some night and blurt it out? If you say it yourself, rationally, when you can control the response, that's one thing. If he just learns about it in a wild situation it will destroy you. You owe it to him, a guy who swore his entire life to you, to give him the respect of honesty.
Then get a NEW JOB. People survive on $20k or less, with families! To deliberately stay in a situation like you describe can and easily could destroy your relationship with your husband, your relationship with any of your workmates, and your chance at any future jobs. One of the most critical things you can ever have is your own self respect and happiness. You can never find either of those by staying at your current job.
And finally, I would seriously talk with a therapist. You have been making many self-destructive choices here and are on the path apparently to make more, and to stay right in the situation that is actively damaging you. You really need to talk to someone about why you are doing these things and find a new way to view life where you are not just a tool that lying guys can use.
-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com