Your Dilemmas: Starting a relationship with a married woman is the last thing you need right now

In her weekly column, JOAN LONG, a Bishopstown psychologist and psychotherapist, answers readers’ queries
Your Dilemmas: Starting a relationship with a married woman is the last thing you need right now
woman touching mans knee. work harassment flirt and seduction.

Dear Joan,

I have recently separated from my wife of 17 years and my work colleagues have been very supportive. I have been in my present job for over ten years and I have a very good relationship with all of my colleagues.

We had a staff night out a few weeks back and all had a lot to drink. During the night I spoke to a female colleague about my situation and became upset. It was probably the alcohol but during the conversation she put her hand on my leg while listening to me. We ended up kissing, for a long time.

At the time it felt good to be intimate with a woman after what I had been through and I allowed it to carry on. We didn’t go any further though as she is married with three children.

The next morning I felt very regretful and texted her to apologise for my behaviour. She seemed OK about it and told me not to worry, it was something that happened in the moment. She said we should both forget about it and carry on as normal.

I was happy about this but she has since been texting me, saying she would like to take things further. I said I needed to be on my own until I sort out my feelings about my failed marriage.

Her behaviour in work has changed towards me. She seems resentful towards me and makes it very obvious in the workplace. Even my other colleagues have noticed and are beginning to ask me what is going on.

I feel very awkward around her now and whenever I try to talk to her she walks away angrily. I feel guilty that I kissed her and may have given her the wrong idea and I can’t seem to be able to talk to her about it. Can you please advise me what to do?

Dear Reader,

It sounds like you had a vulnerable moment and, with the addition of alcohol, found yourself in a situation that felt good at the time. This is completely understandable and I don’t feel you are guilty of anything.

It also sounds like the kiss was mutual and that you may have been receiving signals beforehand when she placed her hand on your leg. There is no blame here.

Alcohol blurs the senses and we often behave in a manner that is not our normality. For this reason I think you need to first of all forgive yourself for the whole thing.

The break-up of a relationship can be very difficult to deal with and it is easy to see how the attention of another female could ease your pain at the time. It seems your colleague is feeling rejected and this is something she will have to deal with herself. You are not responsible for her anger or resentment.

Starting a relationship with a married woman is the last thing you need right now and your colleague must realise this. For now, the best thing to do is to maintain distance between you both and if your colleagues continue to ask questions, maybe steer them in her direction. This might alert her to the fact her behaviour is making the whole thing obvious to others and in turn, encourage her to be less resentful.

More in this section

Sponsored Content