P.L. asked: “I am in my late 30s and happily married. My wife & I are best friends, and have been together for over a decade, since college. Our sex life is good, but there is a lot of stuff my wife isn’t interested in doing, and we are stuck in a bit of a rut. I work in an office, and my job is a bit dull. A new girl was hired several months ago and her desk is next to mine in a more private wing of the office. I was polite to her at first and tried to be professional, but she is fresh out of college, undeniably good looking, and very open.
Our conversations started off innocently enough about our lives, but she would always steer the conversation towards sex, and would talk about the wild sex she had over the weekend in great detail.
The office Christmas party came along last month and my wife insisted she wouldn’t have any fun and told me to go without her. I tried to encourage her to join me but she refused, citing a lot of work to do, so I attended without her.
Long story short, too many drinks later and I was having sex with my co-worker in a janitor’s closet, and the guilt is eating away at me.
The sex was good, but I don’t want to leave my wife or lose her. I don’t want to tell her, but I feel so guilty that it is becoming obvious. My co-worker wants to have more sex with me, and is promising me I can do anything I want, but I am too old for this shit, and what I want is just for my wife to be a little more adventurous in the bedroom.
Is it too late? Have I destroyed my marriage? How can I continue to work with this temptress next to me without it getting ugly at work, or without having more sex? My quiet, normal suburban life has become a nightmare, and I can’t decide whether that is a good thing or not.”
Liz says: The first thing that stands out about your letter, P.L., is your language. Your language tells me you’re not taking ownership of your feelings and actions enough. You mention your coworker would “always steer the conversation toward sex”, and “wants to have more sex with me”, and that you tried to be “polite and professional” in the beginning. It’s like you’re saying it wasn’t your fault, because who could resist? It’s more likely you sent signals her way too, especially since you clearly are attracted to her, but you don’t mention flirting with her at all.
I find myself questioning whether your wife is really your best friend, because a best friend is usually someone you can go to for the type of self-disclosure that could’ve changed your sex lives for the better. Have you ever told her in all seriousness how bored and disappointed you are in your sex life with her?
On the other hand, I often find that if the first way someone describes their mate is by labeling them as their “best friend” it’s usually an excellent indicator that the relationship is seriously lacking in the romance department and has devolved into more platonic territory. I notice it repeatedly. Remember when Jennifer Aniston told a reporter, who’d asked her how marriage to Brad Pitt was going, “It’s great! He’s my best bud.” We all know how that ended.
It isn’t too late to change things for the better, so if you want to stay married to your wife, you have to make a conscious decision to do everything possible to distance yourself from your coworker, even if that ultimately means finding another place of employment. I’m hoping you used protection when you slept with your coworker, because risking a pregnancy with her or possibly catching an STI is one of the most disrespectful things you can do to your spouse.
If you don’t open up to your wife about how you feel about your sex life with her or do some soul-searching about why you don’t want to own your part in what led to that janitor’s closet rendezvous, then simply cutting off any contact with the coworker won’t be enough, because there will just be another “temptress” around the corner.