(Unedited) Question submitted via Facebook:
“It’s been wonderful to discover you … this is my problem and I’m afraid I’m so close to a breakdown… please help.
I fell in love with my boss and had a strange relationship with him for 3 years … he has now moved on with another prettier colleague. I am suffering so much …. but I don’t want to quit my job. I am good at it. He doesn’t want me to quit either and realizes that I am important for the firm and has given me lots of benefits.
I want to be superior to it all .. but I am so envious and jealous …. deep down I realize that I am a good person and people respect me more than him or her … I am really lucky and have a wonderful family….. how do I not get that terrible jealous feeling.”
Yes, this is a messy one.
This is Los Angeles, land of the ‘casting couch’, so workplace flings aren’t unheard of, but it can be a nightmare once real feelings get involved.
Although you didn’t say it directly, it looks like there is some infidelity there since you mention being ‘really lucky to have a wonderful family’, so I question how far you went with your boss. Just a crush? Flirting? More?
Whether or not you got physical with him, or just emotional, the answer is the same.
First, there are the general steps to follow in letting go of any relationship that has ended, which you can find here.
As we said before, if you are going to try to salvage a friendship (or functioning work relationship), ideally you have a significant amount of time apart; is it possible to transfer or change your schedule so that you don’t run into him so often?
The deeper question, however, is what is it in you that got you into this situation, and continues to be triggered by it?
For instance, what was it that the boss gave you that you weren’t getting at home? Inevitably it was attention that made you feel special, attention that appears to be lacking from your man. What can you do to talk to your husband to help him understand that you need something that he isn’t supplying?
And if he is totally unwilling, or unable to provide what you need, then maybe you should look towards exciting the relationship.
A common mistake people make is in trying to fill in a perceived hole or ‘find what’s missing’ in another person, and that can only lead to pain.
In the video that goes along with this article, you’ll find how to know what you are insecure about, why the world is out to make you feel bad about yourself; how to give up looking for other people as the solution to all your problems; how insecurity can damage your relationships, and how to beat it! (Technical issues made it impossible to embed the video, but click here to see it on Facebook)
As for this workplace romance, it’s normal to feel slighted by someone leaving you, especially if you have to sit and witness their interactions every single day, so transferring / switching schedules would again be advisable.
It will take a long, LONG time for the feelings to completely subside on their own, and if you are unwilling to get a new job, then daily dissatisfaction may be the price you pay. Avoiding situations like this are why so many companies have a ‘no workplace fraternization’ policy in the first place!
A couple of tools that will help, are a way to get rid of painful memories and build your confidence; and a way to change your responses, so that seeing him with her won’t upset you so much.
So to be clear: quit or rearrange your schedule. If you can’t do that, apply those tools to help you get over the past and stop being upset about the present. Focus your mind on performing your job to the best of your ability, and building up your current home life to the point that it is meeting all your needs. You will probably find that you care a lot less about this man when YOUR man is stepping up to the plate.
Keep us posted on how it turns out.
What do you think ? Feel free to comment down below!
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B. Dave Walters
Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host
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