Can’t Forgive Myself for Making the Moves on My Boss

I was working at a job where my boss and I typically flirted. It was an innocent type of flirting, and he always seemed to say the right things. We would talk for lengthy periods at times about several different things that didn’t pertain to work and on several occasions during work hours as well as after. Although we have both been married for over 17yrs each, in one of our long conversations, we disclosed that we found each other attractive and admitted that if we had not been married we’d of probably messed around with one another, yet, we both agreed that we were faithful to our spouses and knew that wouldn’t be the case. So, we figured the flirting was out of fun and it made our workday go by fast. Yet, in the midst of it all, I developed a crush on him. He acted like he had too, but never admitted to it although I had. I tried to work through it and figured it that in due time, it would pass. I certainly didn’t know, as this had never happened to me in the past.

In any event, I found myself losing focus and decided I needed to get a grip. I was acting like I was back in HS again, and I was behaving like a teenager again. I tried shaking out if it, and therefore things calmed down. Yet, his smile, his chats, etc. all seemed to always grab my attention. Eventually I began to send him good morning texts with a picture of my smile attached, with which he’d respond, "beautiful". Then the day came when as a company of less than 20 employees we decided to get together at a local bar for a farewell party for a fellow co-worker. It was then I asked him if he was going and he assured me he was. I then explained that I’d go if he did. As the evening approached several employees, excluding my boss and I arrived with their spouse.

Again, I felt like a teenager who excitedly drank excessively as I pretended to have no worries in my life. Therefore I stayed close to him throughout the evening and shot several photos together like single mingling friends except I felt I was most certainly hanging over him. All in all, he never pushed me away; it was as if he too enjoyed my company. Many alcoholic shots later while quite intoxicated, it was time to leave. It we’d then that I was supposed to call my husband for a ride, but instead I caught a ride with my boss. I can’t recall if I asked for the ride or if he offered it, I just knew I was leaving with him. When I climbed onto his truck and shut the door, I suddenly recall we were giving each other a kiss without hesitation. It was quick and on the lips, without tongue. In that moment to follow, I was shocked, excited, and to say the least, there was a stream of emotions that ran through me quickly. We then drove off and what was normally a 10-minute drive home suddenly felt like a quick five-minute drive. Yet rather than driving me directly to my house, I told him to turn the other direction in the subdivision instead so we could talk, he didn’t disagree and so he pulled over.

I then did what I never ever thought I’d do and suddenly I tried kissing him again. This time he pushed me away and because I can’t stand rejection, I was stubborn and continued to push myself onto him as I tried kissing him again. He denied me repeatedly. And suddenly I felt like a fool. I thought, "what in the hell was I thinking", and so I began crying and babbling about this, that and the other like a drunken imbecile. He listened then took me home. Seemed we talked for an hour, but it was likely 30 minutes when finally he dropped me off. I acted stupid, and I’ve lived in regret ever since. I let my temptations get the best of me and allowed someone to reel me in when I never in my married lifetime asked another man to affect me in any way. That night, my husband was very upset to especially to find that my boss drove me home knowing all along what was happening at work.

It was not a good moment to say the least, but even then, knowing I was in a drunken state, my husband made sure I made it to bed where I fell to sleep rather quickly. The next day in the afternoon, when I awoke, I expressed myself openly to my husband as I had always done before. I told him I had always been honest with him and I didn’t expect to change that now. I then explained what exactly occurred. Keep in mind that over the course of these events, I was always open with my husband, I told him I was not sure what exactly I was going through, but that maybe it was just a phase, a mid-life crises, or that maybe I had fallen out of love with him, after all who in their right mind would act in such a terrible fashion. During this whole ORDEAL my husband felt he was losing me but thought to fight and hang on to what we had as opposed to just giving up and staying angry. Needless to say, in due time, he said he forgave me. In the upcoming days, I had to do what I felt was one of my most embarrassing moments in life, face my boss at work and pretend nothing happened.

The first encounter I had with him I said to him, "I’m sorry" with which he smiled and replied, "It’s okay", I then responded with, "how embarrassing", and he replied, "we’ll talk about it later", and due to the lack of time, we didn’t say more, until later. A couple of days later, my guilt began to build and I felt my boss was avoiding "the conversation" So, I desperately asked him if he was in fact avoiding me, he said no and that he hadn’t thought much about it as he was super busy doing other things that he hadn’t had a chance to talk. I thought well, maybe I was overreacting, as I was feeling guilty for my actions. Needless to say, the moment came, when my boss and I had our talk, but it wasn’t what I expected. I expected we’d excuse each other’s actions and that he’d let me pour my heart out.

Instead, he said that everything that happened to that point needed to come to a halt and he stated he had told his wife and the other boss what took place. I was so disappointed and embarrassed and I cried my eyes out. He accepted the fact that he flirted with me, but he acted as if he was denying having had kissed me. I almost felt as if it was all me and so I exclaimed that I knew I was wrong for trying to push myself on him afterwards, but that we both kissed each other on the lips willingly the first time. Personally, I strongly believe he initiated it and it was in the spur of the moment type of thing, I’m sure, but it happened. Although it felt as if he didn’t want to take blame I also told him that although I was intoxicated, I most certainly wasn’t wrong about that. I ended our conversion in tears and by apologizing once again fire my actions. I told him I’d apologize to his wife if he’d like, but he was against it and therefore, I asked that he apologize to her for me. I then said to him that I had respect for him in the sense that considering he was a man and I a woman, he resisted me and didn’t take advantage of the situation.

In the days to follow I wondered, what were his intentions? Did he kiss me and not expect me to react, or did I react too strongly and he realized how badly the situation could’ve ruined 2 marriages. Many things seemed unclear to me. I often blamed myself, but I know I didn’t act alone as it takes two to tango. Why is it though, when I stated, I had never acted that way towards another man did he respond with, "how do I know that". What kind of response is that if he wanted to maintain his innocence and act as if HE was not at fault and instead I was the crazy gal with a crush living in a fantasy world? I don’t know, I was being stupid and I have, to date, been unable to forgive myself for my actions. I continually ask my husband, who knows every detail, if he forgives me and it never fails, he stated that he does and has never thrown anything in my face nor disrespected me whatsoever.

How do I begin to forgive myself? I feel a huge sense of betrayal and deceitfulness that I constantly live with, over this. I refuse to blame the alcohol because I knew our flirtatious attitudes took place while being sober. I hurt in knowing I screwed up and sadly, although it wasn’t a French kiss, I feel I stripped myself from having the privilege and satisfaction of being able to tell the world that I have never cheated on my spouse. After all, a kiss is a kiss regardless of how big or small it may have been, right? :/

Response:

Most people develop feelings for someone other than their spouse over the course of a relationship. It’s not realistic to expect anyone to only have feelings for their partners for the rest of their lives. This is especially the case, now that people spend more time with co-workers than they do their spouses.

While it’s normal to develop feelings for other people, placing yourself in situations where you’re likely to act on those feelings is unwise. When you place yourself in social situations with alcohol and someone you have feelings for—you can expect your emotions to override the part of you that is more thoughtful and rational.

And it sounds like you felt that your boss led you on and now he blames you for what happened. Our best advice is to focus on your own feelings and actions and ignore your boss’s point of view. You have no idea what he’s really thinking or feeling and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. He’s made a decision not to be involved with you and that’s his right.

Try to focus on your feelings and actions. Again, it’s normal to be attracted to other people, especially when you have a lot of interaction with them. However, if you want to avoid hurting your husband, acknowledge that you have feelings for other people, but don’t place yourself in situations where you might act on your feelings.

And it’s ok to feel guilty or remorseful for what happened. Everyone makes mistakes. You’re not the problem—you’re human and you behaved in a way that was regrettable. Your actions weren’t wise, but that doesn’t make you a horrible person. It also helps to have some compassion for your self. Treat yourself with some kindness… you made a mistake, just like everyone else does. Learn from your mistake and try to avoid similar situations in the future.

 emotional affair | my infidelity

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