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Hello all, I think this is the right place in the forum for this thread, sorry if it's not. I am seeking for help on understanding a difficult situation, will tell my story here, hope it is not too long.

I am a 36 year old Brazilian man, married for 7 years, got 2 identical twin girls who are 3 and a half years old. In March 2012 I started working in a huge multinational appliances company here in Brazil, as a product development engineer. Position that I still hold currently. In May 2013 a woman was hired to work with our team, in the development lab. I will call her Monica. In spite of being in different teams (she is a lab engineer, I am product design engineer), she was located to seat right next to me. We became very close friends, she is also married, she had her daughter in 2015, nearly a year before I become a parent myself.

We were very supportive towards each other in every subject, work, marriage, parenting. Since she had her daughter a year before me becoming a parent, she gave me a lot of advice on parenting. We would do a lot of things together, go lunch, have dinner in our houses from time to time, with our families together, with or without other friends, go out on vacation with our families together, and so on. Till this day I still think this was the best friendship I ever had. She even told me I few times I was her favorite friend, she also told me she loved me (in the as a friend context), and I said the same thing to her a few times.

In October 2018 we had an external training, so we would spend a few weeks together having classes and doing exercises. By that time I started noticing I could not stop thinking about her, even when I was home with my family. I started felling really bad about this, at first I tried to deny any feelings about her to my self, because that was something I really didn't want to feel for her. It didn't work, so I decided to accept the fact that I was in love with my best friend.

I got really desperate, I didn't know how to handle the situation. I wasn't able to feel happiness when I was with my family, the only thing that made me happy was being with Monica. Weekends were very sad to me, as I was anxious to see Monica again on Monday. I was getting close to depression, living this life where I couldn't even think to tell my wife what was going on, or tell Monica risking our friendship, our marriages, etc. I tried to move away from Monica, to see if I was able to end with that feeling, it didn't work. I got very sensitive to anything Monica did or said, and that made me get in a few fights with her. I was getting very impatient with my kids, my wife, that feeling was compromising basically all my other relationships.

The hard thing is that I believed she could also have feelings for me. Since the beginning I noticed that sometimes she kept staring at me, when she thought I wasn't seeing her, and when I looked at her she would rapidly look away pretending she wasn't looking at me. Sometimes she would touch my arm, or hands, for far too long and just leave her hands there while we were talking, or seeing something in a computer screen. All of these signs made me believe she was also having feelings for me, and that made me my life even harder. When I started having these feeling for her, I thing she noticed I started acting strange with her, I think she also tried to move away from me, which made me mad because every time I asked her if things were fine with us, she would just lie and pretend she doesn't know what I was talking about. She would just say things were fine, "stop talking about this", "you are being crazy, things from your head only...." and so on. I noticed she started avoiding me when we were among other friends, she wouldn't talk to me, which was hurting me a lot.

Since I wasn't able to handle the situation by myself, I decided to seek for professional help. I started seeing a psychologist therapist. During my therapy we discovered that these feelings I was having for Monica was just a temporary passion. That made a lot o sense to me, since Monica is not the kind of woman I would be interested in. But the feeling I was having for here was making me miserable, and I didn't know for how long it would last. So my therapist indicated that the best way to end this problem was to tell Monica the true about what I was feeling for her. This way I could move on from whatever result I might get. I decided to just tell her what I was feeling about her, unburden about it, tell her why I was acting strange, why I was close to depression. I also had to end any questions about her feelings towards me, asking her how she felt, but I wasn't going to propose anything to her, or try to convince her of anything. At this point I was much more worried about our friendship, and in my mind the only way to move away from her, without hurting her, was to tell her the true about my feelings. I thought that if she understood that, we would still have a chance of being friends after this feelings went away.

Well, on October 3rd, I sent a message to her, telling her I needed to talk to her. We both went out of the company, walked a couple of blocks, to find a quiet spot where we could talk. And there I told her everything. She was very supportive, told me she didn't have this kind of feelings for me, told me she loved her husband and nothing would ever happen between us. She also told me she was very sorry to hear that, and that she hoped those feelings would go away, otherwise she would have to find a new job. At anytime she was mad at me, or told me I was crossing some sort of line. I don't think I gave her any reason for that anyway.

The problem is that a couple of days later I was called by my boss, to hear my version of this story. I was chocked, she went behind my back and told my boss about the conversation she and I had. So my boss had to go to HR to see what to do. Turns out now they are trying to move me to another department, but if they can't find a similar position, they will have to fire me. One week after that, they gave me a 2 week vacation, so they would gain time to move me. When I returned to work, I tried to talk to Monica about it, she was very rude to me, just telling me not to talk to her, not even looking at my face. After that she told my boss I tried to talk to her, and he called me in his office to give me a speech. I almost got fired right there. When Monica got home that day, she told her husband that I tried to talk to her, and he sent me a message telling me to move away from her, respect her wishes, otherwise he would kick my [censored].

It has been 2 months, they still couldn't find a position for me in other area. I'm still working with Monica but we don't interact with each other. We even avoid eye contact at this point. You guys can imagine how devastated I am. I really trusted Monica, I thought she was my friend. I keep thinking if she thought about my daughters before doing that, we've gone through so much with our families together, that it never passed by my mind that she would be capable of doing something so perverse. Something so perverse to a friend, her best friend, someone that she even claimed she loved. She never even had the decency to talk to me before doing that, to explain her reasons. I was so honest about this problem, and she was so low in my opinion.

In spite of my career being at risk, my marriage was saved after I told Monica what I was felling. I started feeling happiness again, when being with my kids, my wife. I started feeling love for my wife again, and that was a relief. Emotionally speaking, I'm a lot better than a couple of months ago. I'm just still deeply hurt by what Monica did. For my own piece of mind, I want to believe that she only did that because her husband made her do it. But there's still a chance she took this decision by her own, and that still hunts me.

So here is my question: Do any of you guys, specially you ladies, understand her action? Can you understand why she did that? I tried to understand the reasons why someone would do that, but I still couldn't figure it out. It's extremely hard for me to understand why Monica did that. And everyone I tell this story also can't understand why she did that. Any thoughts anyone?

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Monica sounds like a woman with a good moral compass. She did the right thing to protect her and your marriage.

A former good friend of mine told me he was in love with me the day before he broke his engagement to a wonderful woman. To this day I regret our (until then in my eyes innocent) contact and the pain I unwillingly caused his fiancee. I didn't contact him after that.

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Originally Posted by Fcrelux
In spite of my career being at risk, my marriage was saved after I told Monica what I was felling. I started feeling happiness again, when being with my kids, my wife. I started feeling love for my wife again, and that was a relief. Emotionally speaking, I'm a lot better than a couple of months ago. I'm just still deeply hurt by what Monica did. For my own piece of mind, I want to believe that she only did that because her husband made her do it. But there's still a chance she took this decision by her own, and that still hunts me.

So here is my question: Do any of you guys, specially you ladies, understand her action? Can you understand why she did that? I tried to understand the reasons why someone would do that, but I still couldn't figure it out. It's extremely hard for me to understand why Monica did that. And everyone I tell this story also can't understand why she did that. Any thoughts anyone?

She did that because she cares about her marriage.

It is obvious that you didn't care about your wife and daughters when you allowed yourself to fall in love with this woman, and even worse, when you decided to tell her how you feel.

And it's all very well to claim that you now feel love for your wife again, but does she know anything about this?

You betrayed her with another woman, and because you have been knocked back, you are grateful that there is someone to fall back on. That is hardly fair to your wife. You need to tell her about this, and work on Dr Harley's plan to restore your marriage after this affair. That plan involves your moving away from that workplace immediately (and not relying on your employer to find you a position), and having no contact with your co-worker ever again. It also involves giving Just Compensation to your wife, which means affair-proofing your marriage and giving your wife the happiness she deserves.


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Fsilva Offline OP
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Originally Posted by SugarCane
Originally Posted by Fcrelux
In spite of my career being at risk, my marriage was saved after I told Monica what I was felling. I started feeling happiness again, when being with my kids, my wife. I started feeling love for my wife again, and that was a relief. Emotionally speaking, I'm a lot better than a couple of months ago. I'm just still deeply hurt by what Monica did. For my own piece of mind, I want to believe that she only did that because her husband made her do it. But there's still a chance she took this decision by her own, and that still hunts me.

So here is my question: Do any of you guys, specially you ladies, understand her action? Can you understand why she did that? I tried to understand the reasons why someone would do that, but I still couldn't figure it out. It's extremely hard for me to understand why Monica did that. And everyone I tell this story also can't understand why she did that. Any thoughts anyone?

She did that because she cares about her marriage.

It is obvious that you didn't care about your wife and daughters when you allowed yourself to fall in love with this woman, and even worse, when you decided to tell her how you feel.

And it's all very well to claim that you now feel love for your wife again, but does she know anything about this?

You betrayed her with another woman, and because you have been knocked back, you are grateful that there is someone to fall back on. That is hardly fair to your wife. You need to tell her about this, and work on Dr Harley's plan to restore your marriage after this affair. That plan involves your moving away from that workplace immediately (and not relying on your employer to find you a position), and having no contact with your co-worker ever again. It also involves giving Just Compensation to your wife, which means affair-proofing your marriage and giving your wife the happiness she deserves.


I didn't "allow" myself to fall in love with another woman, I had absolutly no control over it. It's not something I planned, or realized right away.

I didnt cheat on my wife, nothing ever happened between me and Monica

And yes, my wife knows about this. In the same day I told Monica, I also told my wife when she got home. I decided enough hiding things from her.

At first she was very desappointed. She started therapy, we talked a lot, and now we are closer than ever. Things are much better between us now.

Of course I always thougt about my wife and kids, otherwise I wouldnt been suffering, I wouldnt have to do therapy to overcome it.

Thank you for the replies guys, it's really helpful.

Last edited by Fcrelux; 12/02/19 11:49 AM.
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How will you make sure it will not happen again? You can have control over that.

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I guess I will keep a good distance from friends of the opposite sex, phisically speaking. Be more carefull with emotional attachment too.

And make sure I work well on my merriage, so I have evrything I need there, and dont have to look for things outside it.

Does that make sense?

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It makes a lot of sense. If you read the articles on this site, you will discover a guide to just that. You don't need to figure out everything on your own, Dr Harley did his research and wrote the manual to a wonderful romantic marriage.

Just start reading and if you have questions, ask and learn.

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Thanks a lot, I opened the links you sent, and I will read them when I get home. Thanks again!

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Originally Posted by Fcrelux
[

I didn't "allow" myself to fall in love with another woman, I had absolutly no control over it. It's not something I planned, or realized right away.


Yes, you did allow it and yes you do have full control over this. If you don't, then your wife is not safe. What you did wrong was this:

Quote
We were very supportive towards each other in every subject, work, marriage, parenting. Since she had her daughter a year before me becoming a parent, she gave me a lot of advice on parenting. We would do a lot of things together, go lunch, have dinner in our houses from time to time, with our families together, with or without other friends, go out on vacation with our families together, and so on. Till this day I still think this was the best friendship I ever had. She even told me I few times I was her favorite friend, she also told me she loved me (in the as a friend context), and I said the same thing to her a few times.


You allowed this woman to meet your needs. You developed a very inappropriate personal relationship with a woman. This is how affairs start. Go over to the Surviving an Affair forum and look at the thousands of affairs - they all started this way. Most affairs start when people with poor boundaries allow someone outside of their marriage to meet their needs.

The problem is that your marriage can never recover being so close to Monica. You are in love with another woman and you can't fall out of love with her until all contact ends. You have an addiction so this is very much like a "recovering" alcoholic who goes to the bar every day. Eventually he drinks again. You will be perpetually triggered as long as you work there. Sadly, you went to a "therapist" who has no experience with infidelity and has given you bad advice.

Your "friend" did the right thing in telling her husband. You are threat to their marriage and he has a right to protect himself and his children from you. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to understand that his wife needs to leave that job.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted by Fcrelux
I guess I will keep a good distance from friends of the opposite sex, phisically speaking. Be more carefull with emotional attachment too.

And make sure I work well on my merriage, so I have evrything I need there, and dont have to look for things outside it.

Does that make sense?


No. It makes no sense at all. Your wife could meet your needs 100% but you will still have affairs if you have poor boundaries around women. As long as you behave inappropriately with women you will always be high risk of an affair. You had an affair because you have poor boundaries, not because your needs were being unmet.

You have been having an emotional affair with this woman and it could be resumed at any moment because you are not serious about protecting your marriage.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted by Fcrelux
I am a 36 year old Brazilian man,



You are old enough to know better than to behave with such gross unprofessionalism in the workplace. As a hiring manager at a Fortune 500 company for 27 years, we avoid people like you like the plague. People who have affairs in the workplace are walking legal liabilities; they are loose cannons that can't be trusted. You leave your company wide open for a lawsuit from this husband. [and yes, this happens!] I guarantee you the word is out amongst other managers in your company and none of them want to touch you with a 10' pole.

If I were your direct manager I would be building a case to manage you out. Your name is MUD at this company and if I were you, I would take a leave of absence and look for another job before you get a performance related termination on your record. I promise that is where you are headed! That is not fair to your family.

You can quietly leave this company and get another job somewhere else where your reputation is not ruined. You have escaped the bullet of getting fired for unprofessional workplace behavior, you should take advantage of that while you can!


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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One of the most famous workplace affairs that happened at my company was exposed by the wife of a manager at our company. She didn't know how to contact HR because they were in another city so she just called every office extension [she had the list] and told them "my husband, Joe Blow, is having an affair with Sally Slut. Can you please contact HR and have them call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX?" Well, someone in the office picked up the phone and called HR in our regional office. The HR Director flew over the next day, fired the manager and escorted him off the premises with an armed security guard. Since he was fired, and since the word was out in our industry, he couldn't get a good job. The last I knew he was selling security alarms door to door.

Many companies just fire employees who have workplace affairs. You are extremely lucky that hasn't happened...yet. If I were your manager, I would be breathing down your neck, making my case to get you on a 90 day "plan." Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Get the hell out of there so you can say you resigned on good terms.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted by Fcrelux
I didnt cheat on my wife, nothing ever happened between me and Monica

But a lot happened. You said these things happened:

Originally Posted by Fcrelux
By that time I started noticing I could not stop thinking about her, even when I was home with my family...

I got really desperate, I didn't know how to handle the situation. I wasn't able to feel happiness when I was with my family, the only thing that made me happy was being with Monica. Weekends were very sad to me, as I was anxious to see Monica again on Monday...

I was getting very impatient with my kids, my wife, that feeling was compromising basically all my other relationships...

By falling in love with this woman, you made your marriage and and your behaviour towards your wife and children very unpleasant. Don't you think your wife and children suffered because of your displeasure with being stuck with them and not being with the woman you really wanted to be with? Do you think that being in love with another woman is not a betrayal to your wife? When you took your marriage vows, didn't you promise to love her, forsaking all others? Or did you only promise not to have sex with anyone else? Does "something happen" with another person only when you have sex with them, in your mind? If so, you are sorely mistaken, and I feel sorry for your wife.

Originally Posted by Fcrelux
Of course I always thougt about my wife and kids, otherwise I wouldnt been suffering, I wouldnt have to do therapy to overcome it.

Whatever you thought about your wife and kids, you did not think that you should never do anything without considering what your wife's point of view would be. If you had been considering her feelings, you would not have allowed yourself to grow close to that woman.

If you do not take steps to understand that yes, indeed, you allowed yourself to fall in love by not establishing boundaries between you and any woman not your wife, by drawing close to her, by going to lunch with her, by spending time together while on the two week external training course, and ulitmately, by telling her of your feelings in the hope that she would reciprocate and your relationship could develop...

...if you do not take active steps to learn what you did wrong, you cannot every hope to avoid such a situation in the future, and your wife is not safe from you. If you really believe that falling in love is something "I had absolutly no control over", you are saying that you have no control over yourself. You should not be married, if this is true.

What really struck me about your initial post was that it was entirely about how "Monica" had let you down, and how you could not understand how she could have done such a thing after your deep friendship. It was all about trying to understand Monica, when in fact, by now, Monica should be a dot in your rear view mirror and you should be taking active steps to break all connection with her. Your post was about your continuing obsession with Monica, and not a single word was expressed about how you could repair your marriage and pay back the debt you owe your wife (and children).

This site is dedicated to building marriages. After an affair, if your wife has chosen to let you stay, and if you have chosen to stay (or at least, you got rejected so that you have nowhere else to go), all your energy should be focused on putting right the harm you did to your marriage, and into making sure that your wife is safe and into making sure that such a relationship can never happen again.

You haven't changed your mindset at all. You came here trying to get insight in to Monica. You still work with Monica. You haven't got over your hurt from Monica's behaviour, and you thought that it was entirely legitimate for you to come here and ask women, especially, to help you "understand" her - which is to say, to obsess about her even more.

You are still in your one-sided emotional affair. This forum, and Dr Harley's work, is dedicated to helping you end that affair and rebuild your marriage; but you can't do those things if you deny that there ever was an affair, and if you say "we are closer than ever. Things are much better between us now" while taking what must have been several minutes - if not, indeed, several hours inside your head - to construct a post that was all about Monica.


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Originally Posted by SugarCane
...taking what must have been several minutes - if not, indeed, several hours inside your head - to construct a post that was all about Monica.

Even the title you chose to give your thread shows where you focus your thinking.

For heaven's sake : she betrayed you? You didn't betray your wife, but Monica betrayed you? THAT is your focus?


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Your poor BW (betrayed wife). Would she come here and post to us? What What’s Just compensation? have you given your BW?


FWW/BW (me)
WH
2nd M for both
Blended Family with 7 kids between us
Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.




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