Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Trying to have both boss and husband is recipe for disaster
Might have mis-guessed my soul mate: A year and a half ago, I married a wonderful man who supports me, loves me and balances me in almost every possible way.
Then, this past winter, I took a new job in a different city where we both want to move (to be closer to family and have more job opportunities), and so we've lived apart for several months while he tries to find a job here. I've since developed some strong feelings for my boss — who is more like me in every aspect of my personality than I ever thought possible.
We're becoming best friends. My husband is great, but I have a stronger mental connection to this person than I've ever had with him.
How do I fight these feelings?
I've tried throwing myself more fully into my marriage, but every time I see this man at work, I just get so excited to be around someone I really play off so well, whereas with my husband, I constantly feel like I'm explaining why I want to do things, why I want to move, etc. I'm back in an urban area and thriving, and while he says he's looking forward to the atmosphere (our old area is rural), I really am unsure he will enjoy it.
My boss is married and has three kids. His wife is fine with our being friends, and my husband's really excited to meet my boss, but I know the infatuation is mutual and growing.
How on earth do I stop it? Switching jobs is not an option — leaving too soon would have a bad impact on my career. Plus, I really don't want to give up my new best friend!
Carolyn: Eh, that's really it, isn't it? You don't want to give this guy up.
Please recognize that everything you've presented here as an argument for your husband, against your husband, against your boss, for your boss, for your career, is all rationalized material around a core fact: You want your boss. Or at least think you do.
He's married and has kids. Even if you decide to end your marriage, you still can't have your boss. Whether you even want each other after the newness wears off is a whole other issue.
So, please tell yourself the truth you're trying to duck: You can't have your boss. Build every decision you make on this fundamental reality.
And, please be just as blunt about the choice you're approaching between your marriage and your career. Leaving this job might hurt your career, sure, but staying is already killing your marriage.
Please keep your eyes open about the choices you're making and their consequences.
Having all of it the way you want it? Not an option. The longer you talk yourself into believing you can pursue the career, honor the marriage and test out the "soul mate," the worse the mess will be when it all goes splat.
Re: Soul mate
Anonymous: Switching jobs is always an option.
I've known several people who found that a job wasn't a good fit and left for another one after only six months. Their careers were not destroyed.
Carolyn: Zackly. It screams rationalization there. Thanks.