Recently in my office, I got attracted to one of my colleagues. I feel happy when he is around. He is a married man with a lovely wife and two kids. He too looks attracted towards me. I try to control my feelings, but the moment he talks to me, I again fall for him. I am feeling very guilty. It has never happened to me before and I don't want to have any kind of extramarital affair. I am thinking of changing my company now, but it is difficult to find a job that would suit the requirements of a working mom like me. Please help! - By Anonymous
Answer by Zankhana Joshi: Office romance is no longer confined to a powerful company executive and his single young secretary anymore. It has become a natural aftermath of long working hours and close interaction between colleagues. When you spend so much time in office with your colleague, it is natural to get attracted.
This can happen despite being happily married. However, you are more susceptible to the affair given the state of your marriage. If your internal moral compass believes it is wrong to have an affair, you should take steps to strengthen your relationship with your husband. Good intentions alone are not enough to protect a dysfunctional marriage. Having an affair may fill the void you experience in your marriage and may address the craving for being desired by your partner.
Some things that one needs to avoid to safeguard oneself from an affair are- don't allow yourself to think about being with another person, thoughts lead to actions. Secondly, don't flirt, as it tells others you are available and it becomes the starting point of crossing the lines. Set healthy boundaries, between your personal and professional space, and keep your workplace interaction professional.
While you strengthen your boundaries outside, bring down the walls in the marriage at home. One way to make sure that your boundaries are in the right place is to always be accountable to your partner. When couples observe proper boundaries, their marriages are secure, open and comforting.
In my experience, people who are experiencing temptations outside their marriage are actually looking for some external stimulation as they experience a lack of satisfaction in their own relationship. As a reaction, an affair becomes a mirage in the search for more significance. This temptation may be is an indicator to work on your marriage. Take this as an opportunity to learn your lessons. Heal, recover and rediscover your marriage!
Ms. Zankhana Joshi is a Mumbai based Counseling Psychologist and a Dance Movement Therapy Practitioner
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