Fatal attraction: Falling for the boss

Question: “I am a married woman who has fallen in love with my boss. He is also married with kids.  For about a year, we’ve been fighting a strong attraction for each other. Although we have tried to be professional and disregard these feelings, the mutual attraction is hard to ignore. We work together very closely, which makes things even more difficult. What can we do to put this behind us and move on with our lives?” — Lovesick

Marie’s Answer: An office romance can be incredibly tempting, but it also can be the biggest mistake of your life. As you struggle with your feelings, here are a few things to consider:

•    Workplace attractions often are intense, because co-workers operate in a self-contained little universe. In addition to sharing goals, successes, anxieties and frustrations, they have common acquaintances and sometimes socialize together.  

•    When you add physical chemistry to the mix, romantic fantasies are almost inevitable.  “Fantasy” is the operative word however, because office relationships evade real-world marital issues like children, in-laws, housework and money.  

•    In reality, most office affairs fizzle out, leaving behind hurt feelings and screwed-up relationships. The few lovers who do marry often find that their “perfect match” looks quite different in the cold, clear light of shared housing, family, and finances.  

•    To keep your daydreams from becoming reality, avoid situations where you can easily yield to temptation. If you routinely travel together, attend conferences, or join the gang for happy hour, eventually you will succumb. Surging hormones are hard to control.

Affairs seem more enticing when marriage has become predictable and routine. To counteract the magnetism of your attractive boss, try to find some fun and exciting activities to share with your husband.