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Fatal attraction: Falling for the boss

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in Your Office Coach

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.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

soo March 28, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Office romance is about unreal lust that is founded on a lot of the musical scenes we see on hollywood shows. In realisty you love the one u live and struggle thru life with, the one there for u in thick and thin; following your desires to the point of leaving ur marriage based on a lust that is very likely to end with another affair is rather stupid!! Nothing is worth leacing behind ur morality, self respect and that of your spouse.


Mohan M Prasad March 27, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Most times we are tempted to indulge into these ‘easy come office affairs’.

In variably, this grows to dangerous proportion with both parties not pausing to think through.

I think it will do both of you and your family immense good if you decide to create the most logical situation.

Imagine that you both have been found to be guilty of indiscretion while at work at office and have been signed off from muster with immediate effect. This letter has been posted to your home address and your spouse have received and read it.

The children are now scared that the whole episode is going to create a crack in the family bonding

You both are just not ready for any of these, for you love your spouse and the kids too.

Please discuss over a cup of coffee, how you are going to manage the situation.

This real life animation of the situation should be a wakeup call for both.

At least, you must have these scenes written down on a piece of paper and read it before you commence the day’s work. Repetition creates reinforcement, they say

I am more than confident that the fatal attraction will fade out in favor of family and professional bonding and esteem.

Keep this story in front and the affair will automatically get put behind .

Worth trying

Mohan M Prasad


Deb March 24, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Rule of Thumb: “Thou shall not dip thy pen in the company’s ink.”
Office romances don’t work; they only complicate things to the point of disaster. Take off the rose colored glasses, and look at the boss with all of the warts. Infatuation is not love, *** is not love and don’t pooh where you eat. If your marriage is long term, you need to remember what attracted you to your spouse in the first place. Start dating again, talk to your spouse about how you feel about your relationship. You probably should look at marriage counseling. If you and your boss both look at your relationships with your spouse’s as disposable, how long can this new relationship last.


Des March 24, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Do you still love your husband? If she cannot work with her boss without putting herself in a situation that could become messy; she should find another job.


Gloria March 24, 2010 at 3:52 pm

It’s not worth it to be unfaithful. Find another job or move to another department far away from him. Someitmes women think men feel the same as women; but most of the time, it’s just lust. Do what Marie says and find enjoyment with your husband. Renew the romance and think of your children and not to mention, office scandall.


Jackeline March 24, 2010 at 3:39 pm

You forgot to mention that they are both married. She needs to end this relationship as her marriage and family should be more important than her job and this ‘fling’ with her boss.


Marty March 24, 2010 at 3:38 pm

I was the person married to the boss when there was a relationship issue that turned into an affair. The professional has given very good advice. Work (and I mean work) on your own marriage. Make time to do things together, anything and everything. And keep as much distance as possible from your so-called ‘fatal attraction’. The consequences of choosing to disrupt either of your marriages will be devastating – they have been in my family.


April March 24, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Bottom line – Ask yourself- Is this truly worth losing EVERYTHING???


Jane March 24, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Um, you seem to have glossed over the point about it being her BOSS. You didn’t mention anything at all about sexual harassment and personal liability.


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