I consider myself a spiritual person, with strong moral values. With my first love, I was a teenager. And although we never were sexually intimate, I kissed another person and broke it off with him. Since my biological father abandoned us, being faithful and upfront is a priority for me.
Anyway, I work at a mechanic shop with much testosterone in the work place. I never pursued any of the men or even entertained the thought in my mind. However, I have been there for five years, and find myself to have strong feelings for a co-worker. He is younger than my husband, has a young daughter, and lives with his baby’s mom.
I don’t have any children with my husband, but he has two grown daughters and a grand-baby from a previous relationship. He has a beautiful heart.
I flirt with my co-worker and HAVE NEVER done this before. He flirts back. I know it’s wrong. But I wake up and go to sleep with this co-worker on my mind.
My question is: Should I confess my true feelings regardless if I pursue this or not? I feel as though I should but: I NEED HELP. — Conflicted Over Feelings for Coworker
No, you should absolutely not confess your “true feelings” for this guy, either to him or to your husband. What you should do is first figure out what your true feelings actually are because, from the sound of your letter, you’re unsure. You say you love your husband whole-heartedly and have strong moral values but that lately you can’t stop thinking about this co-worker — who lives with his baby’s mother and so is presumably romantically involved with her — and have started flirting with him, too. And then you mention the number of kids your husband has. Are you feeling like YOU want children (and like your husband is too old for that now)? Are you feeling unfulfilled in your marriage? Are you feeling like this co-worker compliments your appearance, which you say you’re self-conscious about, more than your husband does?
What is it that you think you’re getting from the co-worker that you don’t feel like you’re getting from your husband, whom you say you love so much? Whatever THAT thing is — whatever is missing in your life/relationship right now — THAT is what is driving this crush, not actual feelings for this co-worker. Whether it’s the potential of being a mother figure, feeling appreciated for your appearance, feeling flirtatious, getting attention, or something else — THIS is what you need to “confess” to your husband. You need to sit down and talk to him about what you feel is missing and what he can do to meet your need(s).
And you also need to figure out what YOU can do to meet your needs. If you don’t feel good about your appearance, what are some steps you can take to get the validation you crave internally rather than externally? Self-love and self-acceptance are much more meaningful than random flirty comments from an unavailable co-worker. And without self-love and self-acceptance, even the love from a committed husband can only go so far.
So: Figure out what it is you need, and then talk with your husband about how both he AND you can work together to address those needs. Find your truth, not a distraction from your truth. THAT is the path that will lead to greatest fulfillment.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.