Quickie: “I Married a Man, but I’m Falling for a Woman”

I am 23-year-old married woman. My husband and I have been married for about a year and a half. Around September I started hanging out with a female coworker. She is my age and is currently dating a man, but when I first met her she was with a woman. I have found her physically attractive since I met her and recently my feelings have grown. She and I have kissed and made out several times (every time we have been intoxicated). She is all I think about and the only person I want to spend time with.

Her boyfriend questions us as if we are in love, but she always denies it and I laugh it off like it’s nothing. I can’t tell if I am just mentally and physically attracted to the person she is and the friend she has become or if there is more. I don’t want to ruin my marriage over this if it is nothing, but I don’t know how to find out if it’s more without ruining a friendship either. What should I do? — Crush on Her

Well, if you’re as concerned about ruining a friendship with someone you’ve been hanging out with for six months as you are about ruining your marriage, it’s probably safe to say the latter has already happened. My bet is the coworker is just a distraction — something to obsess over while you avoid dealing with whatever is lacking or going on in your marriage. But as long as you keep avoiding your marriage, no relationship that comes afterward — whether it’s with this coworker/friend or someone else down the line — is going to go smoothly because you’ll always have unfinished business.

You need to do some soul-searching and a lot of communicating with your husband and decide whether yours is a marriage worth fighting for — independent and regardless of whatever is or isn’t between you and coworker lady. If it is worth fighting for, then go to therapy together to get back on track. If it isn’t, take the steps you need to take to separate and then think about whom you want to date next. And until you figure out what’s up with you and your husband, stop getting drunk and making out with other people. That’s just scummy.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.


  1. I think Wendy assessed this correctly. I remember when I was about 26 and basically done with my marriage (but didn’t know it yet), I started to get crushes on other guys – a guy from my company who worked in another office, a friend of a friend… I never cheated or did anything physical except maybe dance close, but I would get kind of obsessive about these crushes. I agree with Wendy’s point about this “obsession” being a distraction from whatever the issues are with the marriage. NOT that getting crushes is always an indicator that something is wrong with your marriage, just speaking to this particular case.

    So, yes, in short, focus on your primary relationship, identify the issues, and figure out if it can be saved. If your company has an Employee Assistance Program, that 800-number s a great resource to start finding a therapist.

  2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    Ugh, sorry if this is rude, but I honestly can’t think of anything nice to say to you. You’re prioritizing a 6 month “friendship”/hook up over your husband? WTF. This is so childish and stupid. Please own up to your behavior to your husband so he can move on.

    1. Not rude enough if you ask me… you forget selfish in with the childish and stupid 😉

  3. I think it can be safely said that you should make your husband’s wildest fantasy come true. Bring your crush home and have a threesome 🙂 (disclaimer: I don’t think it would help the marriages or relationships though)

  4. kerrycontrary says:

    WWS. “I don’t want to ruin my marriage over this if it is nothing but I don’t know how to find out if it’s more without ruining a friendship either.”—This is not nothing. This is an affair. You are cheating on your husband, and just cause it’s a woman doesn’t mean you aren’t cheating. This is a BIG DEAL. If you want to save your marriage get yourself to counseling and stop spending time with this woman. But maybe you don’t want to save your marriage. You’ll have to figure that out.

    1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      Right?? FFS how can you convince yourself (LW) that this is not a BFD?! It’s a HUGE deal, you’ve cheated on your husband multiple times. ARGHSSSHUEFAFH.

      1. GG, I’m not familiar with your final anagram. I’m good with FFS and BFD, but what does ARGHSSSHUEFAFH stand for? (Feel free to make something up, you BMF!)

      2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        bahahaa. My cold meds are clouding my mind so much I can’t even come up with something clever. Where is AP, surely she can come up with something…

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        a real girl has sexy, sexy sex here under everyone’s feet at food hangouts.
        a round giraffe hears swishing sounds so high ugly elephants fart at first hear.

      4. ARGHSSSHUEFAFH = And Really Guys How Should She Simply Help Everything From Amazingly Falling H-apart? (Like ‘apart’ but with more force behind it.)

  5. what does your husband think of all this? you need to talk to him.
    i mean the easiest answer is that there is likely an insurmountable issue within the marriage and you are just deflecting and obsessing over this woman for that reason. thats probably it. BUT- if you never talk to your husband you wont even know that. you need to talk to him, and then either figure out if you guys are doomed or if a relationship with a woman while being married to him is cool with him- because you never know, right?
    bottom line though you need to talk to your husband.

    1. This was my other line of thought, yeah. Maybe just tell the husband— like, I had a crush on a woman at my old job that I talked about with Fabello all the time, & when it got super intense (she started paying more attention to me right before I left there), I told him everything, & basically was like, “hey, in the unlikely scenario that she asks me out for drinks, & I get a little tipsy & have to stay over her house, & she hits on me, I won’t be able to resist… okay?” & he kinda of weighed his feelings with the likelihood of any of that actually happening, & was like, “okay.” But that’s a little different than just doing whatever you want, & THEN telling? (as far as a “no bigz” reaction from the husband)

      1. oh yea, i dont mean so much like what you did, but more just like… you have to tell your husband about this. like regardless. whether you are divorcing him or going to work through this or pursue this new relationship or what, the LW is going to have to talk with her husband. and once she does that, there will be less of this weird limbo stuff going on

  6. I read this and all I could think of was my ex’s ex-wife who left my ex for another woman and caused him a LOT of pain. It doesn’t matter if the co-worker/friend/”lover” is a man or woman, or even if it’s “just a distraction” or more than that, I think you’re being incredibly selfish and unfair to your husband. 🙁

    1. Avatar photo suzyinthesky says:

      My partner’s ex also cheated on him with a female co-worker. I think it does matter that it’s a woman because the thought inevitably comes up if she was really into women the whole time? (14 years). I think for a lot of men, being left for a woman makes them question their manliness.

  7. If you don’t want to ruin your marriage, don’t ruin your marriage. Stop hooking up with this “friend”. Don’t use being drunk as an excuse, either. If you know you’re attracted to her and have no self control when you’re drunk, then don’t get drunk with her.

    But you said you don’t want to ruin your marriage over this if it’s nothing. Which to me means that if this lady likes you, you’d gladly ruin your marriage (Which you already have, btw). Which basically means you’re already over your marriage. If you KNOW you’d leave your husband for this woman, you should leave your husband either way.

    1. Yes. THIS: “If you KNOW you’d leave your husband for this woman, you should leave your husband either way.”

    2. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      Your answer is so composed. I love it. My reaction was so rage-y.

      1. Really? I thought I was all over the place and it didn’t make any sense. So, thank you 🙂

    3. @Bethany, I feel like standing up, shouting ‘AMEN!’ and waving a hanky at you right now.

  8. For starters, you should stop getting drunk and cheating on your husband.

    Then decide whether you want to be in your marriage or not. And WEES.


  9. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

    Cheating isn’t cool. I don’t think the LW should make herself feel better by telling herself this might actually be her husband’s wildest fantasy just because it involves two women.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      I once asked if mine would care if I cheated on him with a girl thinking (naively) that he wouldn’t care because of courssssse all guys have the exact same fantasy. His response was: are you asking if I’m ok with you cheating on me because I’m not.
      LW, wLPs. And don’t make yourself feel better because you were “drunk” either.

      1. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

        Seriously. I can’t imagine a guy saying “I’m totally cool with you being dishonest and manipulative and emotionally and physically unfaithful to me because it’s just so hot when two women are together!”. Cheating is cheating.

      2. Yeah, the threesome fantasy is just that – a fantasy. I’ve joked about it with M for many years, like lots of guys, but being cheated on would sting. It wouldn’t matter that it wasn’t another guy. And if she actually brought someone home for the purpose of a threesome, I would not actually be into it at all, because it would still be coming after longtime fidelity and would still be a sign that something had changed, that I was no longer enough. I’ve got nothing against open relationships or polyamory, but I doubt that it often works to open things up after having been exclusive for a long time.

      3. We joke that I’m cool cheating with a girl, but in reality, it wouldn’t fly (and, you know, I wouldn’t want to, because I love my husband).

    2. The older I get, the more cheating appalls me. Even “just” making out with someone several times icks me out now.

  10. Yeah LW, you’re trying to stay in this safe limbo zone of risking everything (by fucking around behind your husband’s back, which, no judgement, but that *is* the bare-bones description of what you’re doing) & not risking anything (by not actually addressing what you’re doing at all, really). You want to find out if your friendship-fling is going anywhere special before addressing your marriage—I get it, but that’s a shitty way to handle things. Look internally first—are you emotionally finished with the man you’re married to? Separate out the crush, separate out the normal feelings of aversion to change, & figure that out. If you realize you ARE emotionally done, then do the right thing & leave (whether or not your crush situations pans out into something more).

  11. findingtheearth says:

    I think it is easy to place feelings onto another women as women tend to be responsive the way a female wants.

    However, you need to discuss with your husband how your needs are not being met or whatever is going on. The grass is not greener on the other side, and eventually, if you did leave your husband for this woman, the new relationship will lose its pizzazz too.

  12. 21 or 22 is just too young to get married!!!! You don’t know yourself. You haven’t taken care of yourself, created a career and met and dated several different people that can help you determine what you really want.

    At this age, you are still experimenting with and trying on different personalities. I say break it off with your husband and find yourself. Then think about who might make a great life partner.

    What is the hurry? Why do so many people get married so young – still, in this day and age!!!

    1. For this LW, yeah it seems like maybe she was too young to get married, since she’s all sorts of confused about it. BUT- there are plenty of people who at 21 or 22 really are mature enough to get married. Lots of things contribute to someone’s maturity level other than age.

  13. Wendy, if this feature is called Morning Quickie, which I obviously like, then maybe you should call the afternoon version Afternoon Delight, to distinguish between them. My motto’s always been: When it’s right, it’s right.

    1. I rather enjoy both. Maybe in the same day. I don’t like to rule anything out.

    2. Also, a segment called the “Nooner.”

      1. For the Win! But then after all these quickies, we really need an evening feature called “The Long Version” or possibly “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.”

        I’m picturing Wendy reading all these helpful suggestions for new work she should do and thinking, “FML, i should have just folded the site…..sigh….”

  14. Both you and your coworker suck, and clearly have never heard of or understood the word fidelity. Just because it is with a woman as opposed to a man, or because you are drunk (weakest excuse ever BTW!!!) doesn’t make it ok… it makes you both shitty human beings. Divorce your husband, let your lady friend break up with her boyfriend and go for it – you deserve each other.

    $20 says after the “thrill” is gone one of you will just cheat on the other anyway.

  15. Bittergaymark says:

    Tell your husband EVERYTHING. Who knows, maybe he would be up for opening up your relationship? Hopefully he is as bored with your marriage as you are. If not — oh well. You obviously don’t give a shit about him…

  16. Curious — where were the husband/boyfriend during these drunk make-out sessions?

    1. Bittergaymark says:

      Blowing each other in the bathroom — one hopes.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        That was awesome Mark. Awesome.

  17. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

    Ha I love how people like to couch sexual attraction or drunken hookups in “friendship” because it makes it safe or okay or something in their minds. Cheating is cheating regardless of who you cheat with. Everyone else is right, tell your husband and then decide together whether your marriage is worth the effort it will take to get it back on track.

    1. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

      Just to be the one dissenting voice here—I guess not entirely dissenting—maybe her husband knows and is cool with the making out already? She was pretty nonchalant about mentioning it, so maybe it is not a thing. I kind of got the impression that “ruining her marriage” meant “leaving my husband for a woman” and not “making out with a girl while I’m drunk.” Maybe their marriage is already open-ish, or maybe they are 23. I know that my boyfriend when I was around that age was like “yes, I would love to watch you make out with other girls”
      But for the most part, WWS.
      Also, you guys–maybe we should try to give her some advice that isn’t YOU ARE SUCH A HORRIBLE SELFISH WORST FUCKING PERSON IN THE ENTIRE WORLD AND YOU SHOULD FEEL LIKE EVEN MORE SHIT THAN YOU ALREADY DO. Cheating is a bad thing to do, but there are so many factors that go into relationships and some people feel trapped and don’t know how to get out of relationships or have constructive tools for dealing with conflict (especially married 23 year olds…..). She doesn’t sound like a chronic cheater or someone who is completely incapable of being faithful. She sounds like she’s questioning her sexuality and that’s really confusing and hard to cope with. She might not be making the best choices, but she’s definitely not some evil slut.

      1. lets_be_honest says:

        I really don’t have any sympathy for cheaters.

      2. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        Well. I guess you all must think I’m the worst person in the world because I’ve cheated on a boyfriend before–not physically but definitely emotionally. Sure, I was being trapped and further isolated in a relationship that proved to be physically abusive, and was desperately scratching to the surface for some sort of lifeline–and haven’t cheated on anyone since, but since I’ve once been a “cheater,” I can go just go fuck myself, right?

      3. lets_be_honest says:

        I never said I think cheaters are the worst people in the world.
        And I meant I don’t have sympathy for physical cheaters since I don’t really know where I even stand on emotional cheating. I don’t even know what defines that. I think your comment is kinda extreme. You are making it sound like I said you deserved to be abused or something. I don”t even know what to say to that.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        The reason I have no sympathy for cheaters (physical ones) is because its really one of the easiest things not to do. If you find yourself needing to cheat, you should leave your partner. Its really that easy. A one time cheat is one thing (still not ok im my mind) but to keep cheating as though you can’t be stopped? Come on. You are making a choice to cheat on your partner. No one is forcing you to. Not cool.

      5. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        Yes. I totally totally get that—but I don’t necessarily think it’s that easy to leave a partner. Think about all the LWs who are conflicted about leaving people (and sometimes for crazy ass reasons). I guess I just generally see cheating as a “symptom” (albeit a really unfortunate one) of a bad relationship and not a “I can’t control myself out of having sex with someone else” kind of thing.

      6. lets_be_honest says:

        That’s true, I’m sure it usually is a symptom of something else and yea, people have trouble leaving, but I feel like that’s just an excuse. Idk.

        But who did you spend the weekend with that was so mean to you? I hope you stop hanging out with them.

      7. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        Blech. It was a (professional!) conference. And for the most part, I don’t have to spend time with those people—and I’m generally really good at happy facing rumors and drama and being nice to everyone, but after two years, I’m soooo tired of apologizing for being with Northernmerman. We live together, ffs.

      8. lets_be_honest says:

        I would try literally ignoring them when they discuss your personal life, or even say its not appropriate to discuss my personal life with my long term partner whom I live with at work! At the very least, stop apologizing.

      9. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I agree with this completely. Of course you should leave if you feel like you have to cheat, but like this LW, many cheaters or would-be cheaters are conflicted. They’re not sure if their feelings for the new person are fleeting, or if they’re a result of a problem they can fix, or if they really just need to pull the plug on the original relationship. Many people leave to learn that they should have stayed. That they left someone who really meant something to them just because they were going through a difficult time. People like the LW are trying to figure out which one of those situations it is, because any option they take could potentially change their lives for the extreme better or the extreme worse. You can’t necessarily get your husband back if you leave him. Of course, you can’t necessarily get him back if you cheat either.

        Just saying, it’s a confusing situation, and even though most people think cheaters are shitty people, it really is a hard situation to be in.

      10. lets_be_honest says:

        Many people leave to learn that they should have stayed. That they left someone who really meant something to them just because they were going through a difficult time.

        Shouldn’t it be on the person who is getting cheated on to decide that though?
        Sure, people who cheat and get dumped because of it or regret dumping the person they cheated on will end up regretting it sometimes. That’s life though. Risks are taken.

      11. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Well I was including both cheaters and people who are like secretly developing feelings for someone and wondering what they should do.
        You’re definitely right that in the case of someone who’s already cheated, the cheated-on partner should get to decide, but if the cheater hasn’t been caught, they’re still the person with the power to decide.

      12. lets_be_honest says:

        I would hope that if my partner ever gets to the point with another person that he wonders whether he should stick with me or not, that he just leaves.

      13. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Really? People have relationship problems all the time and aren’t sure whether they’ll be able to work them out. If it’s a relationship that has always worked well and the two people are otherwise a good match, it only makes sense for them to attempt to work through the problems first.

      14. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        wLBHs. If you are even considering leaving me for someone else then I’m already better than you and you’re not worth my time. And it’s pretty messed up to not give me the knowledge I need to make that decision.

      15. lets_be_honest says:

        Yes, really. I’m not talking about all relationship problems. I’m talking about the specific one I mentioned. And yea, if your feelings are so strong that you are thinking about leaving me for someone else, go right ahead and do me a favor and leave me.

      16. Avatar photo theattack says:

        I don’t really think I’m explaining myself well here. In my head, the feelings for someone else are a symptom of the relationship problem. So a person is trying to decide if it’s a problem they can fix, or if they really do have genuine feelings for someone else and should leave. You can either try to fix the underlying problem, or you can leave and potentially regret not trying to work through that because you realize that you didn’t actually care about the other person.

      17. Avatar photo theattack says:

        @IWTTS, You’re automatically better than someone because they want to break up with you? haha

      18. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Haha yeah I realize how that sounds but I kind of believe it? Who knows, I was hugged too much as a child and told I was cute and smart too often. I have just always had kind of obnoxiously high self esteem. And I really do assume if someone leaves me they’re doing me a favor and if they don’t know how great I am then it’s their loss.

        And I realize how all of that sounds, but meh, I stick by it.

      19. lets_be_honest says:

        I get what you’re saying ta, but for me, if the underlying problem has gotten so bad without my partner ever even trying to address it prior to considering cheating, then I don’t want that partner. And yea, if he’s gotten so attached to someone else that he is considering leaving me, then just leave. I don’t want you.

      20. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Boyfriend and husband really are different things. And a cheater isn’t a terrible person forever, but while actively participating in a cheating “episode” or what ever you want to call it “relationship” yeah, I think that they are a terrible person. I’ve carried on cheating for months on my college bf. heck GGuy cheated on me once before we got married. I don’t think either of us are terrible people now, but we sure where shitty when we where cheating.

      21. Blargh. I know I shouldn’t pick at this since I’ve done so on here before, but I haaaate the “boyfriend” vs. “husband” distinction in discussions like this.

      22. yea im with you on that. if cheating is cheating is cheating, it shouldnt matter who its on.. and wedding vows mean nothing, in the sense that agreeing to any committed relationship means nothing. like its all the same thing, when you really look at it. whether you just agree to be boyfriend/girlfriend or you agree to be together forever or you agree to only fuck that one person or whatever, in front of people or not, i mean its all just theoretical talk with no concrete way to back it up. legal status? eh, doesnt really play into anything for me either.

      23. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I get why it’s not different to y’all. And I think that’s just fine.
        But I do disagree Katie that bf and husband are basically the same thing. and that “wedding vows mean nothing”. My wedding vows mean a lot to me, and we wouldn’t have gone through with the formality of it if it wasn’t different (for us) than “just dating”. It is a different level of commitment for us, besides the “legal status”.

      24. you/people/society/anyone assigns those emotions and that level of importance to it, though. thats all. in reality you do the exact same thing whenever you agree to be “exclusive” or in a relationship with anyone- you say stuff. “i would like to only date you, would you like that? yes i would, lets be exclusive” and “for better for worse, richer or poorer” ect are all just words that everyone says in a theoretical sense. there is no concrete way to “enforce” any of it- evidenced by the fact you can leave the person you marry (legal marriage or otherwise) or you can leave your boyfriend. so from that, i dont think it matters whether you cheat on a boyfriend or a husband. cheating is cheating is cheating.

      25. lets_be_honest says:

        If what you’re saying is in both situations, you are agreeing to only have sex with your partner, then I agree. (presuming, obviously its not an open relationship)

      26. lets_be_honest says:

        But really, I think you can’t deny that dating exclusively and being married are not the same thing. Sure, certain aspects are (like committing to not cheat), but still they not the same thing across the board.

      27. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        This is just one of those things where we have completely opposing points of view on. Boyfriend and husband are not equal in my mind. End of story. I can respect that they are in yours. It’s pointless to debate.

      28. Avatar photo theattack says:

        “you/people/society/anyone assigns those emotions and that level of importance to it, though. thats all.”

        That doesn’t make it any less real. I would say that makes something more real to the people involved.

      29. lets_be_honest says:

        GG, I think katie is just saying their verbal agreement to not cheat is the same.

      30. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Eh I’m with GG here. Yes the agreement to cheat might not be the same, but the power behind those words is much, much different. Everyone is human and makes mistakes, so if you make that mistake while dating no biggie, you break-up. If you make that mistake while married you have to untangle assets, have a waiting period before you’re “allowed” to break-up, file court documents, etc. Being married essentially “ups the ante” so to speak and makes the agreement to not cheat much more important.

      31. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Honestly, I even think in terms of cheating it’s different. So that’s why I say it’s pointless to debate.
        Like before we had our wedding we had promised not to cheat to each other. Now we’ve made that vow in front of our family, friends, God (and I am not even religious). It’s just got so much more weight to it, for me. The vow is more final than a promise. It’s fine if others feel differently, it’s all just my opinion. There isn’t a right answer.

      32. lets_be_honest says:

        That makes a lot of sense Iwanna & GG.

      33. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        I mean for me the ick factor is even higher. Like I remember when I was 20 a married guy blatantly would flirt with me (we worked at a golf course) and at first I thought that was just his personality, but then he started to back that up with behavior and it was just so so icky. I always wondered what his wife thought or what she knew. (He was known to party and come home the next day). I’ve seen guys in relationships acting shady and although it was shady it never gave me the gut ick reaction it does with married men.

      34. I’m not generally disagreeing with you guys…? I don’t think that saying that cheating is cheating takes anything away from the seriousness of marriage (which is what I assume you guys think I’m saying? I’m not). Yes, of course divorcing is a bigger deal/hassle then a non legal breakup. Yes, of course saying vows in front of people makes one feel different about what is being said. But saying you will be faithful is just …. Saying you will be faithful.
        But ok- what is this cheating scale of appropriateness I have never heard of? Where does it go from? Boyfriend to husband, good to bad? Acceptable to not? What is the point at which it turns from good to neutral to bad? How many years does a non-married couple have to log before their cheating is as bad as a married couple? Do elopements/court weddings count as full marriages or are they treated as a more serious but not legal relationship?
        I mean that all sounds ridiculous to me. Cheating is cheating. There is no acceptable form. It doesn’t matter to me if you enter into the most serious marriage ever, legal with a big puffy white dress or non legal rain dance with body paint, or have known someone for 3 days. If you say you will be faithful, be faithful.

      35. Katie- I don’t think there’s some magic formula where suddenly cheating becomes worse. But I’ll tell you, from my own person experience, there’s a huge difference between when I cheated on one of my college boyfriends (ok, probably most of my college boyfriends), and if I were to cheat on my husband. The seriousness of those relationships was different.
        Sure I agreed to be faithful in all of those relationships, but they’re just different. If you think your relationship with your boyfriend is at the same level of seriousness as the relationship I have with my husband, and the ramifications of cheating would be the same, then that’s great, and I’m glad you have that serious of a relationship. But not everyone who has a boyfriend or girlfriend has attained that same level of seriousness, and it’s those situations in which I personally feel like it’s a way less serious offense.

      36. I cheated on boyfriends in the past, and I totally agree with you! I dont have any sympathy for this woman. If there were extreme circumstances that would “justify” the cheating or her husband was ok with it, I feel like she would have included that information in the letter.

      37. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        First off, if there marriage had any level of open-ness you would think one would include that in a letter to an advice columnist. It’s maybe more relevant than anything.
        Secondly, I don’t have a drop of sympathy for her. Sure, she may be questioning her sexuality but you don’t have to cheat to do so. What does “chronic cheater” even mean? Having done it multiple times? Well yes…she is one. No one (okay, I know I didn’t) said she was an “evil slut” but she is being a really shitty human being right now.
        LW, you need “constructive advice”…don’t cheat on your partner. Talk to them about your feelings.

      38. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        You’re right. I’m probably being a little extreme, because I’ve been having to deal with some of this stuff in my personal life. Nothing like spending a weekend hearing people tell you that your 2 year long relationship is invalid because it started on sketchy terms. Or being told that you’re a, and I quote “Homewrecking whore” by someone who I thought was a pretty good friend.

        I’m just saying that people do shitty things because they’re in shitty situations, not because they’re bad people and by chronic cheater I meant, “Is she making a pattern of being unfaithful? Does she lack guilt or remorse? Is she blaming only her husband and not being introspective about her behavior?”

        I agree that the good advice is, “Don’t cheat on your husband, and talk to him about your feelings,” but everyone piling on about how bad she is, doesn’t do anything.

        And sorry LBH–I didn’t mean to be a jackass at you.

      39. lets_be_honest says:

        NM, I had a feeling you took it so personally for a reason. Sorry you’re dealing with shit! Ftr, my dad was a big time cheater, which is why I suppose I sound like I take it personally.

      40. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Well, sorry your friends are being shitty. GGuy and I started on some “sketchy” terms and our relationship is pretty damn valid if you ask me. People do make shitty mistakes, but it is still shitty of them, you know? (And LW doesn’t seem to have any remorse, IMO, and is just concerned about her new fun lover, not the person she pledged her life/fidelity too.) But yeah, sorry this is a sore subject for you right now 🙁

      41. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        Sorry guys 🙁 Now I feel like a butthead.

        I guess I’m just trying to approach people’s sex and personal lives with the benefit of the doubt in favor of the speaker, because ffs, I wish more of my colleagues would do the same for me and my boyfriend.

        Pro tip: Never date someone in your field who used to date someone everyone really liked who was also in your field. No matter how nice you are and how much you consciously did not physically cheat before everyone broke up with their partners, you’re still going to be the bad guy.

      42. lets_be_honest says:

        You should tell them to fuck off. It sounds like you guys realized you wanted each other and broke up with your partners before hooking up. How is that a bad thing? Are people supposed to never break up ever?

      43. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        yeah, I have never been on the receiving end of this but have seen it in action against others, in the field you are in and it can be brutal. People just need to butt out and mind their own business. About so much in life, but especially this type of shit.

      44. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        I mean, muchahca, you get it. How absurd is it that a bunch of anthropologists, who are supposed to be the most objective, understanding group of academics (it’s what the whole discipline is based on!) can be such juvenile buttheads? I mean, what group of largely over 25 year old professionals can legitimately sit around and make up and spread rumors???

        The big one from this conference is that my boyfriend is cheating on me because he’s incapable of being faithful, with the subtext that I deserve it because of the way we started out.—hence the “homewrecking whore” comment.

        All of this is from adults too! Not teenagers! So weird. I’m pretty sure I know who started the rumor and part of me wants to just sit him down and be like “Sir. You were not at all involved in this situation, and I have been nothing but nice and collaborative with you. (I even cleared out half my lab space so he could use it!) So please stop. It’s getting old” but then the other part of me is like, “Ok–there’s no point. Don’t feed the fire, etc.”

      45. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

        Oh man, now I feel even worse for you! I went to grad school for anthro and it was one of the most soul crushing experiences of my life. The professors in my department were some of the least understanding and most hypocritical people I’ve ever met, which is why I left the school (and ultimately the field – now I’m a librarian) after just getting an MA. Ugh.

      46. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        Right? generally speaking, I LOVE archaeology, but the practitioners can be such jerks.

      47. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        Yeah I mean the thing is it doesn’t surprise me at all. Anthropology/Archaeology has such a level of incest and drama it is crazy. But yeah I can sympathize I think it was f’d up when I witnessed it in the past.

      48. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        When people want to gossip with me, I’m really quick to be like “You know what is none of my business? Any of that.” It’s at the point where I just don’t do it anymore. I try so hard to live by the “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” policy. Which is cool, because I can almost always find something nice to say about everyone.

      49. Hmm, I did not realize this was a theme in that field. I hope that’s not the case in mine. Sorry you’re having to deal with shitty people. It still blows my mind that adults can continue to act like stupid teenagers their entire lives.

      50. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        🙁 the same thing happened with us (almost). All of his friends and a lot of his family weren’t big fans of me because we got involved (but not physically) before him and his ex broke up. I think there is a big difference in that you guys where not physical. Physical cheating is one of the easiest to avoid and meanest things a person can do. Def sucks that people are being so shitty to you so much later.

      51. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        Am I the only one who finds emotional cheating just as hurtful or harmful as physical cheating? I mean it’s basically carrying on a relationship with someone else while simultaneously lying to the person you are with while it is happening. Just because you didn’t physically hook up before you got out of your respective relationships, it is still cheating. I think the majority of relationships where people leave their sig others because of someone else start out this way and idk I would prefer in those situations a one-off make out or bang sesh than weeks/months of prolonged falling in love with someone all the while telling the person you are supposed to be in love with nothing is going on. Obviously this has happened to me twice and is such a bigger fear or insecurity of mine than physical cheating. But yeah idk, I guess for me it sort of triggered something. I just find it more dishonest than a one time physical thing.

      52. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        No, no you are not. I would not be okay at all with emotional cheating. I know BGM is pulling out his hair right now, but yeah I would take a one time make out and then immediate break up over an emotional affair.

        Colin has a few close female friends and I like most of them, two in particular are becoming my friends too because they’re so awesome. But if I thought that they had a crush on him or vice versa I would not be cool about it. I would be like the opposite of cool. It would be a dealbreaker. You don’t get to fall in love with someone else. Not while we’re together.

      53. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        Yeah my boyfriend has tons of female friends but one in particular I think has a crush on him, and she just happens to be his only really pretty friend. Anyways, it is really hard for me because of my past to separate the truth from like the reality of the situation. But yeah if they did like one another or have secret crushes I would so much rather that they bang or hookup vs carry on a secret relationship and get to the point they *just can’t not be together* and then fill me in. I guess it is a pride thing for me, if you physically cheat I get the chance to be like F U you don’t get to be with me now, but emotional cheating the person being cheated on ends up looking like a fool/loses dignity in a different way.

      54. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Can I be nosy? Since you’ve had experience with boyfriends emotionally cheating in the past what do you do now that you think his friend has a crush on him? Do you check his phone? Are you just careful around her? Do they hang out one on one?

      55. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        Oh god no, I would never check his phone in fact I make it a personal thing to never even look at his screen when he gets a message like who it is from because that triggers irrational thoughts. Honestly I basically just trust him and I guess am sort of more cautious when she is around. They don’t hang out alone to my knowledge, she is just always at every.single.show his band throws or shows in general and will make it a point to pull him aside or seek him out like she came to see him and have intimate convos with him and they hug about 10x before they part. Like she hung around after his last show for a good 30 minutes to say goodbye then hugged, convo, hugged, convo hugged, whatever. When we see her out and they are together talking I sometimes will just go over and put my arm around him or something like that. Last time I saw her I was sitting down and she went up elbowed him and put her head on his shoulder and he like hugged her to him and I went up to him after that and put my hand in his back pocket. Idk I may be more sensitive to it due to my past and the fact she is pretty and just recently broke up with her boyfriend. The thing is if he wants to be with someone else, he is going to do if he started to tell me they were hanging out alone, or I noticed they were texting more (he tells me who messages if I ask) I would probably think about ending things or bring it up him.

      56. lets_be_honest says:

        Wow, you are PATIENT.

      57. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        LBH they really only see/communicate in that context and the majority of his friends are female. Another of his girlfriends that same night went over hugged him and put her head on his shoulder, but she has a boyfriend and is not as pretty and I like her more so I wasn’t really concerned. IDK I just know that if he didn’t want to be with me he wouldn’t and stressing about a girl that is his friend just wears me out. Now I am stressed I should be more concerned about this.

      58. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Haha yeah I gotta agree you are a saint. I mean I guess I acted that way with guy friends when I was in my early 20’s and didn’t think anything of it, but I think you sort of grow out of that touchy-feelyness after a certain age.

        Your examples are things I would not be okay with, haha.

      59. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        I guess it really only bothers me when she does it. He is just a really huggy person, he hugs everyone as greeting/good bye and he is also just the nicest guy in the world hence why he has so may girl friends. If I had more of an issue with it I would bring it up to him, but since it is really just this one person I don’t want to give their interactions more weight then they are worth. IDK I can’t really trust my gut because of my anxiety/insecurity issues and it is her that initiates those contacts. She is the type though that thinks she is the center of the universe, I have had conversations with her where she asked maybe 1 thing about me in 30 minutes. So my end take is-if my boyfriend did want to leave me for that type of person, who although pretty is not really anything compared to me then it is his prerogative and his loss. Which to bring back to the original idea is that lying is shitty and if you want to be with someone else break it off before it gets to that point.

      60. lets_be_honest says:

        I think its that its harder to define? Like physical cheating is cut and dry pretty much. Emotional isn’t really. I have no idea what specifically went down by you saying emotional cheating. It could be something minor or something really fucked up. Does that make any sense?

      61. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        Yeah I think it is hard to define. In my case it was weeks of hidden phone calls every night, non stop texting, hanging out a few times and then lying about the entire relationship. And the other time was similar in that it was months of this going on, texting calling, seeing on another and couching it all as “friendship” and in the second case a week after we broke up they were dating.

      62. @Muchacha – I’ve been in that exact situation before a couple times. It sucked. My gut has always been EXACTLY right in those situations, too. Like, I’ve had instances of absolutely HATING a friendship between an ex and a “platonic friend” for no reason. Which made me feel crazy. I once was with an (ex)boyfriend lying on his couch and he was stroking my hair, kissing me, telling me I’m beautiful, alluding to our future together. He got a text that made my heart sink because it was from a girl I didn’t like but had NO concrete reason to dislike. He responded to her, then went back to paying attention to me like it was no big deal. That weekend, he said he was busy with some kind of obligation crap. On a Sunday a photo that was definitely NOT meant for me to see of him on a date with Texting Girl I Hated popped up on Facebook. I was meant to be blocked from seeing it but sometimes technology fails liars. (Like, really? You didn’t notice your feelings were changing when your “obligation” was a date with another fucking person? REALLY?) Two days later it ended. A hot second later they were excusive.

        If this makes no sense what I just wrote it’s because I STILL feel kinda gross thinking about those events and knowing it had been going on for weeks and weeks before it ended, and only ended when he got caught, and it’s been a pretty long while since I was in that situation.

        I hate when people say emotional cheating doesn’t exist or hurt. Maybe it’s not concrete, but the lying and deceit is still there and THAT’s what hurts.

      63. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        @Copa- It took me therapy and a few years until I could trust someone again and even still my anxiety will flare up over the littlest thing and my gut is incredibly unreliable. It is about the lying and lack of agency. Lying to me is just such a terribly selfish thing to do.

      64. Yeah, I basically am on the BGM side of emotional cheating—or maybe I just hate the phrase? Because it’s so hard to define, I think it would be such a joke to accuse someone of it. If that makes sense. Like, if Fabello accused me of “emotional cheating”, I’d probably laugh at him & then we’d have an hour long conversation defining what the hell he means by “emotional cheating” (& vice-versa, I’m not the only asshole in my relationship 😉 ) BUT if he was like, “hey, I think the amount of your communication with x is weird, & the way you hide your phone is shady, & I think your friendship with x is becoming bad for our relationship” then I’d be like…. oh, alright. I seeeee. And we could have a productive conversation. Introducing the phrase “emotional cheating” sort of derails things, I think? Because it seems like it can describe something totally harmless, or something, yeah, actually sketch.

      65. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I agree it’s more dishonest than a one time physical thing (emotional cheating). LW appears to be having a prolonged emotional and physical affair, which is the worst of the worst IMO.
        All cheating is pretty shitty, but I think sometimes you can’t help that your feelings change? You definitely can not physically cheat, but sometimes the emotional stuff is really in the gray area? And it can take a while to figure out the emotional change, when a physical act is very black and white.

      66. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Hmmm I kind of get your point but at the same time you have to start noticing yourself slipping away from your current S/O and moving towards the new fling. Like it would be pretty obvious to me if I started relying on a new guy for my emotional support and not Colin. Like maybe it would happen gradually, but I would still know it was happening. I can imagine having an emotional affair would involve a lot of sneaky behavior. A S/O would feel you slipping away, you would start being more secretive about your phone, maybe picking fights, not confiding. I mean it would hurt my feelings a lot. Although when the time to break up with a current S/O for a new person – I’m not sure. But I think you owe it to your current relationship to end it as soon as you know you’re developing feelings for someone else.

      67. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        I agree IWTTS, I guess just in the beginning parts it can be really hard to define. Like for us, we worked together. We harmless flirted at work for like a month. Everyone flirts right? Then we would go to group co-worker stuff and hang out. Still pretty harmless…this was like 2 months into it. (and I broke up with my bf at this point) Once the texting behind the back started happening, that’s when we’d clearly crossed the line. But up until that it was hard to define. And emotional cheating is still shitty, IMO. More shitty than a one time hook up, ut less shitty than prolonged emotional and physical cheating? Like full blown affair stuff?
        IDK everyone gets to define it for themselves so I don’t see a point in debating it.

      68. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        Yeah I agree an it is a subjective thing dependent upon the situation and people involved. I guess since I have been cheated on and also was the person someone emotionally cheated with, I am firmly on the side of as soon as your start lying about communication or hiding it or prefer to be in contact/spending time with someone that is not your significant other.

      69. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Yeah I totally agree that everyone gets to determine what is and is not okay with them. What I would not be okay with some people would and probably vice versa. I love that Colin has friends that are girls because I think it makes him – I don’t know more in touch with his feelings? I like that he has that outlet. But if I thought one of them had a crush on him I would shut it down quick.

        Was it gguy that ended up breaking up with his g/f or did she find out and break up with him?

      70. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        IWTTS it was semi-mutual? They where both pulling away from each other (and she was getting a little shady on her side with the guy she started dating before we even “officially” started dating) and she called him on Thanksgiving (ha) and was like “what are we doing” and he was like “breaking up?”. We all kinda sucked then.
        Mucha I agree, once you lie you’re being shitty and should man up to the act.

      71. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Yikes yeah you need new friends. I’m not sure what field you’re in (everyone else seems to remember this, whoops) but it is not appropriate at all. And fuck two years later? I’m embarrassed for them that they care about anything that doesn’t involve them that happened two years ago. Are they still friends with his ex?

      72. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        I’m in anthropology/archaeology. And the person that is the main instigator behind all of this is definitely not friends with Nman’s ex. She actually really doesn’t care for him, which adds a level of weirdness to the whole situation. There’s some academic competition because Nman, the instigator, and I all share the same advisor, so maybe that’s fueling it? Who knows.

      73. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        It all sounds so incestuous. I don’t have any advice since it’s a career thing and you can’t really just avoid her. But yeah, wtf. I mean I get losing respect for someone in those situations. I would be lying if I said I don’t judge people (long after the fact) that I know they did shady shit. But I guess I don’t care enough about it to ever make it my business. Like I think less of them (obviously depending on the situation, I don’t feel that about everyone I’ve ever met that has cheated) but to call them out 2 years later is so crazy to me. Get over it. Really I wouldn’t even get it if she called you out when it happened. Not her business.

        Has she always harped on this issue or do you think she’s mad about the career stuff and this was just the one thing she has against you two?

      74. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        Sorry–I guess I didn’t make that clear. The instigator is a guy who Nman’s ex does not particularly care for. I think it’s the career stuff he has a problem with, and maybe because he asked me out when Nman and I were keeping our relationship kind of quiet because we wanted to avoid all this drama and I turned him down. But I can’t imagine anyone holding a grudge about that for over a year.

        It’s incredibly incestuous and exhausting. It’s such a small community up here and so frustrating knowing that you’re being judged for something where no one knows even a fraction of the whole story.

      75. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Oh weird that was not the situation I was thinking of. Now I almost judge him even more.

      76. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        Iwanna, yeah. It’s bizarre.

      77. Honestly, get new friends. Stop hanging out with those people. My relationship also started sketchily, & we did take some shit for it the first couple months-year from people close to us, but two years in? 1.) The friends should cut it down, or 2.) stop associating with you if they can’t get past your “immoral” beginnings. There’s nooo reason you need to spend a whole weekend listening to shit-talk from your friends about your relationship 🙁

        eta: just saw they’re your colleagues, so okay, not so easy to cut them off. But still, fuck them.

      78. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        Yeah, only one of the horribly offensive comments was from an actual friend–the others were from colleagues/other graduate students. The mean comment from an actual friend is something that really bears addressing. Since most of these people aren’t like, on my day to day life radar, I’ve usually just gone for the ignore tactic, though I might have to say something after this last conference, because really, things are just getting absurd.

      79. Avatar photo LlamaPajamas says:

        NM, I’m sorry about what you’re going through right now. That really sucks. I’ll echo what everyone else has said – my disgust with the LW comes not from the fact that she made a mistake or did something shitty, but that she’s not taking responsibility (“I was drunk!” is the worst excuse) for her actions and doesn’t seem to take her husband into consideration at all here. I would have been sympathetic if she had written that she was conflicted because she’s newly married but questioning her sexuality, but she’s asking for advice on how to tell if her friend is interested in a relationship so she can decide if she should leave her husband or not. Shitty.

        I’m sending you a llama hug (which is way better than a bear hug).

      80. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        Thanks LlamaPajamas.
        And thanks for everyone else for being nice to me after my super bitchy outburst!

        I guess I just kind of added the conflict in there for her when I read the letter, mainly because she sounds so young (and is so young) and got married so young. I know there are lots of excellent examples on DW of good, young marriages, but I guess I can just kind of read this whole letter in the voice of someone who got married at 21 and just had no idea what she was doing.

      81. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Yeah I kind of agree with you. I mean thank god I happened to not be in love at 21 or who knows what dumb things I would have done. I mean I made so many mistakes at that age, and I’m just lucky that none of my mistakes involved lifetime commitments, besides that tattoo I got while wasted at 19. But you know. Shit. She’s young and dumb. It happens. It sucks that her fuck up happens to be quite larger than one most people make, but still. She’s figuring shit out, and now hopefully she’ll know that it’s not okay to cheat, even if it is with a girl.

        She sounds like she needs to be alone (with neither the husband or the girl) to figure out her sexuality and what she wants for her life.

        LW – you get do-overs in life! Nothing that you’ve done is irreversible.

      82. lets_be_honest says:

        Except eating a box of oatmeal cream pies. You really can’t reverse that once you’ve digested it.

      83. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        I know of a few ways that I can’t share without issuing a trigger warning.

      84. lets_be_honest says:

        Note I said after digestion.

      85. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        Unless you throw it back up, which is what I think would happen to me, if I were to eat a box of oatmeal cream pies.

      86. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        Aw man. You guys, apparently I have my insensitive pants on today. That was another jackass comment.

      87. lets_be_honest says:

        Nm, come on over here so I can give you a hug and drink, ok?

      88. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Haha it’s fine apparently we’re all inappropriate and occasionally throw out bulimic jokes. We’re all insensitive today. We can just try harder tomorrow.

      89. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        Hugs for everyone. I really just meant because all that sugar and soy would probably make me sick to my stomach, but yeah. Totally an accidental douchebagy bulimia comment. ok. I’m going to costco to pick up glasses for NMan. Because our relationship is so illegitimate that I’m authorized to deal with his prescriptions.

      90. This is probably coming many hours too late, but being in academia and seeing the partnering musical chairs that can happen in my field too (and I swear, they’re all teenagers about it), I can understand how hurtful that must be to hear that, especially from a friend. I’m pretty sure academics in general have horrible marriage track records and really shouldn’t judge each other. I even have a friend who got involved with a professor at another school and she thought he was separated from his wife, but it’s possible he was just being shady, and now that means one less school she can work and one more person from her very tiny subdiscipline she has to avoid at conferences. Heck, my mentor has been married 3 times and still has her first husband’s name and he’s in the same field! I don’t even want to know what horrible rumors she had to deal with and she’s the sweetest person I know. But my friend is going to have a great academic career and my mentor was practically running the place 10-15 years ago.
        So, I guess my point is, don’t listen to the haters. And life goes on. And odds are everyone who’s talking smack about you now is going to have some rumor about them later on too.

      91. I get what you’re saying. I really do. What bothers me about this LW, from what she has written, is that she doesn’t much care about her husband. She only wants him if things don’t work with the girl. Like, hey, if things don’t work with her, then at least I still have my husband. And that’s super shitty for her husband. And you know what? This will happen again. Unless she talks to her husband and probably a therapist and works on their (or her) issues.

  18. snarkymarc says:

    Have all the women of the world just given up on men? Seems like all the ladies are either bi or lesbians these days. I mean it’s hot and all, but will there be anyone left for us straight guys (just in case my wife gets hit by a bus (not driven be me))?

    1. Snarkymarc, obviously the solution is to go gay yourself, duh

      1. snarkymarc says:

        Fabelle, That’s exactly what I was thinking. BGM has previously talked about the endless stream of bj’s, so there is that. But I’ll probably need to start pay more the $15 for a haircut and buy some new clothes. I’ll cogitate on it.

      2. bittergaymark says:

        Seriously. It’s ALL blow jobs ALL the time. And with such enthusiasm, too.

      3. Is society, in its blind zeal for tolerance and compassion, unwittingly inching toward some apocalyptic Gay Event Horizon, where we’ll all just finally have to toss out our Victorian sexual hangups and give this thing an honest test drive?
        Don’t you boys dare call my bluff….

      4. Bittergaymark says:

        Once man goes with man — it forever alters the plan.

  19. So you’ve been cheating on your husband for months?

    Yeah, this isn’t a crush. This is an affair.

    You need to come clean to your husband. Cut off ALL CONTACT with your mistress, and figure out if conselling is even an option for your marriage. As a bisexual woman it enrage me how women seem to think its okay to drunk make out and act like it’s it not cheating. IT IS!

    You should also consider AA for your drinking problem. Its not normal to drink so much you violate your wedding vows,and it indicates problem drinking. Abuse of alcohol doesn’t necessarily mean your full on addicted, but that is how it starts, with binge drinking episodes, resulting in damaging toxic episodes of cheating, and other problems.

  20. HeartsMum says:

    Amazing advice from Wendy, again! The LW needs to figure out what’s going on. Yes, stuff happens and you might need to leave your marriage to be authentic to your self, but stop with your co-worker at once. You don’t **** where you eat. Your experiences with her are new information, yet you shouldn’t act on it yet: to borrow a phrase from the 12-step movement, “Don’t just do something; sit there.” Find non-cheating ways to expose yourself to queer culture (books, films, TV shows, online groups). Look up a LGBT-friendly therapist. I’m not a fan of the going to a man-husband with, “gee honey, I think I’m a lesbian” approach. It’s not really fair on him to expect him to sort out your life for you if you don’t want it with him, and it risks degenerating into “let’s have 3somes or an open marriage” (poly is not what straight marriage is about, unlikely to end well). Cheating is often a symptom of things going wrong in a marriage; for me you started cheating so soon after that the marriage itself was probably the crisis of commitment that led you to act out your feelings. The answer is in you, not in this co-worker, not in your husband, friends or family, probably all of whom play a part in the heteronormative script that’s got you where you are now.

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