Update: “Missed an Opportunity for an Affair” Responds

updatesIt’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “Missed an Opportunity for an Affair” who… missed an opportunity to have an affair and regretted it. “I kind of knew in my heart that she would turn me down as time had passed by. Now I feel embarrassed as I feel our friendship is over. Even though I look back at the opportunities I passed up, at the time I was happy with my decision. Why, all this time later, do I regret it?” he asks. An update from him below.

First, I realized after you posted my letter that I left out a lot of details and I think that left you in doubt as to whether my colleague wanted an affair or not. What I failed to tell you was my colleague had said to me later: “I gave you a chance to come over to my place and you did not take it.” And now here’s an update: Up until recently I still mourned the loss of the friendhip. I did not enjoy Christmas the way I normally would. I had difficulty dragging myself out of bed, getting up around 11 am, which is not like me. I felt cold and lonely even though I have a family. It felt like I was experiencing the death of a friend.

When I think about it, I met her daily for lunch in the office over a 9-month period. At the beginning I was wary of us getting too close; I tried to keep my distance, but over time I got sucked in and before I knew it, I had fallen for her. I stayed away from the office for five weeks to help myself forget the places we sat for lunch and the places we met, which certainly helped me feel like my normal self. But when we all meet in the office now for monthly meetings, she avoids me. She used to come over to my desk for a chat and she no longer does that now. She will talk to colleagues close by me and I feel she is acting like I don’t exist. I fully understand why she has to do that as I am sure she must feel as awkward as I do.

It’s been three months now since I told her how I felt, and I am sad we are no longer friends. I would like to be friends again in a platonic way. I would like my friend back, and feel I might try to break the ice next time if it feels right.

By the way, while I was going through all this I made more effort with my own wife. At the end of the day I am human and I have needs that I felt were not being addressed in my own marriage. I am trying to work on this with my wife. She has no idea what I have been through and I can never tell her. I feel really sorry for anyone who this happens to as when it happened to me, it took me by surprise.

If it’s ok, I can send you another update in a few months. Many thanks for the advice.

If you want to save your marriage, you need to work harder on it. You say you are working harder at addressing your needs with your wife, but what about her needs? What about communication? What about actually forsaking the temptation of other women and prioritizing your marriage above a platonic friendship with a female colleague? You fell for your colleague as you spent time together and you’ve been moving past your feelings for her as you maintain distance. What on earth makes you think you can go back to spending time with her and not feel the more-than-platonic feelings you had before? What makes you think you can continue resisting those feelings? Why would you want to risk it when you’re trying to keep your marriage intact? Or do you not care about your marriage as much as you say or think you do?

If you’re committed to your marriage, you have to maintain a healthy distance from your colleague, which shouldn’t be hard to do since she seems to want distance from you and you likely only see her at your monthly office meeting. You would have to put effort into spending time her and talking with her. Put the effort into your marriage instead. And if that isn’t what you want, at least admit it to yourself and get out of your marriage so your wife doesn’t waste more time with someone who prioritizes other women over her.

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at wendy@dearwendy.com with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.
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  1. Mrs. Danvers says:

    Yep, husbands always have “needs” that they expect other people to take care of. Sounds like this guy needs to learn how to be responsible for himself.

  2. Prognosti-gator says:

    I’m putting the energy into trying to fix my marriage … except for the energy I’m expending on trying to be friends with my (almost) affair partner. But that doesn’t count, because “needs.”

  3. anonymousse says:

    Wow. Your “needs.”

    Your wife has “no idea what I’ve been through.”

    You are a selfish coward. You haven’t been through anything, other than being rejected by YOUR HAPPILY MARRIED COWORKER.

    At least she has the good sense to avoid you. You need help. All I see in each of your posts is your pathetic excuses for your own bad behavior. I feel sorry for your wife, not you.

  4. You want a platonic friendship? Please. Nobody’s buying that. You’re still (obviously, plainly) infatuated with her and you’re hoping that if you can spend time with her, she’ll give you another shot.

    You can’t fix this or your marriage until you’re honest with yourself.

  5. Oh, woe is me! My wife has no idea what an emotional travesty I’ve suffered in not being able have an affair!

    Ugh. I just can’t with this garbage today.

    Buck up, LW. If the most traumatic thing that ever happens to you is that you can’t cheat on your wife with your married co-worker, well, then, count yourself lucky.

  6. Howdywiley says:

    I feel so badly for this mans wife. Having to deal with an emotionally distant husband thatsleeps till 11 and can’t enjoy Christmas with his family because the woman he’s been having lunch with doesn’t want to be friends anymore. YUCK!

  7. So, clearly you’re not actually looking for “platonic friendship” with this woman who’s every single move and breath and conversation while unfortunately in the same room as you, you obsess over and analyze to death. Do her aa massive favor (if you care about her as much as you claim you “used to”, you should want to do what’s best for her, right?) and LEAVE HER ALONE. She has made her disinterest in any sort of connection with you very, very clear. Leave her alone.

    And while you’re at it – maybe try being honest with your wife about “what [you’ve] been through”! Because then she can leave you, and that would certainly be the best thing for her.

  8. dirtorsoil says:

    Agree with everyone. There’s one more reason to avoid your co-worker- its called sexual harassment. Because this is a place of work and not your own personal hunting ground. You may feel like you are doing nothing inappropriate, but from how you describe her behavior she sounds like someone who is scared and trying to avoid the office creep. I wouldn’t be surprised if she is documenting your behavior for HR. Polish up the old resume b/c you are going to need it when you get fired. FYI harassers never think they are harassing, but everyone else knows it.

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