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Think carefully before diving into a work affair

Stop for a moment and think before diving headlong into that workplace affair. There are some serious ramifications.

I have a married colleague whom I adore, and he feels the same about me. We crossed the line the other day to the point of intimacy. It feels amazing, but I know it is wrong. I’m really confused. Please help.

Of course you’re confused, because you have a conscience and a libido. Affairs are an everyday occurrence, and the workplace is fertile ground for them. People spend eight hours a day with someone — and in many cases have more contact with him/her than with their significant other. Throw in a bad relationship at home, good looks and hormones and there’s an affair waiting to happen. While a workplace romance might seem exciting, his spouse and your boss will definitely see it as wrong. Think about the powerful position you’re now in to make a change and save your career, dignity and possibly his marriage. Step back and look at this objectively, separating your genuine feelings from fantasy.

Things to consider

» If the situation were cleaner — if he were available full-time, you weren’t colleagues and there were no wedding rings — would that change your feelings? Remember that interactions at work don’t truly represent the conditions of a real relationship.

» Is he looking for you to fulfill certain needs that aren’t met at home? If so, what about your needs? You deserve much better than being the “other” woman or being his marriage therapist.

» Are you willing to share this pseudo-relationship with his wife, or does that compromise your values? Think about how you would feel right now if you were in his wife’s position.

» Think about how the affair might affect your livelihood and personal life. Job performance will likely decline as you grow distracted by this affair. Remember, your current lover may someday be your ex, and you may still see him at work.

 
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