I’m falling for a man at work
Looking for practical advice, relationship help or emotional support? As a mum-of-four, grandmother-of-eight and dear friend to many, Margaret’s years of experience make her the ideal person to turn to with your worries
I am 54 and my husband is 53. Our children are in their 20s and have left home. I work in an office and feel increasingly attracted to a man I work with. He’s slightly older than my husband but he’s everything my husband isn’t – funny, chatty and charming.
He’s still living life to the full, too, with nights out, holidays and new experiences. My husband comes home from work and falls asleep after tea. If I suggest going out for a meal or to see a film, he can’t be bothered.
I was and am a good mum. I gave up a lot for my kids and have no regrets. But I feel this is my time and part of me wants to take things further with this man. I think he feels the same way.
There are many women who experience the same emotions in midlife. The family are raised and sometimes you look at the man you’ve shared a large part of your life with – as he sits there slumped in front of the TV – and you wonder, is this it?
Then you go into work and someone who has a lot of energy and wit actually notices you and makes you laugh.
You start to feel like a woman again. The attention is subtle and flattering. It’s heady stuff. But desperately dangerous.
Everything you and your husband have worked for together could be lost if you respond to your colleague. How well do you really know him? Can you trust him? What would your husband’s reaction be if he found out?
By all means enjoy the good working relationship you have with your colleague. The French flirt at work and both sexes feel happier because of it. But the French are pragmatic, too, so keep a cool head.
If he asks you out for lunch, why not accept? Men and women can enjoy a good friendship without it leading to romance. Listen to how he chats about his wife and family. Get to know him slowly.
At the same time I suggest you switch off the TV one night at home and talk honestly with your husband. Suggest you have a “date night” once a week – a meal, a film, a walk in the park.
Explain to him that now the family are off your hands, you want a bit more out of life.
Bring home some holiday brochures and ask him where he’d like to go.
You’ve brought up a family, you have time now to get to know each other again. Don’t settle for a boring middle age. But don’t cut your colleague out of the picture. Be proud of yourself that an interesting man enjoys your company.
A mature friendship between a man and a woman is possible and life enriching. But pay attention to your own emotions at all times – don’t let things go further than you want.