Dear Thelma: I’m in love with my soulmate but we’re both married


  • Family
  • Sunday, 19 Jul 2020

My life has been like a book. I met a guy with all the qualities I love – he’s good, handsome, funny, a bit childish. He’s 14 years older than me. We eventually got married. We have been together now for 11 years and I have no regrets being with him.

We have a daughter aged four. My life is a fairytale. My husband is my prince. I never thought I’d feel like this towards anyone ever again.

Two years ago, I started working in this company. I got to know this co-worker, who is the son of the company’s owner. He is three years older than me. He has been in a long relationship of 10 years. We became good friends. We’ve exchanged notes on music and games, and have similar tastes.

Sometimes we’re stuck in the office for hours, and if there’s no one else around, we’d chat a lot and act goofy while listening to music. He would climb on a table and start dancing.

All I saw in him was a good friend even though he is the exact type of man that I like. He has thick, black hair, dark eyes, a small beard, and a great smile. I see him as a co-worker and friend. Let’s call him Al.

I share a lot with my husband about my work and how my days are going. We have complete trust in each other. We don’t hide anything from each other. He knows about this co-worker. My husband and I have this agreement – that if he is jealous, he will tell me.

After four or five months working there, one rainy day I fell off my bike and hurt my arm. Al ran and picked me up and helped me inside. Other co-workers brought towels. I felt terribly cold and started shaking.

Al moved closer to me and started rubbing my shoulders to warm me up. I looked into his eyes. He gave a small smile. We instantly got paralysed for a few minutes just looking into each other’s eyes. That moment seemed like hours.

Then I came to my senses and moved and went to make coffee while waiting for the rain to stop. Since that moment, I’ve started seeing him differently. I have such a desire to kiss and hug him but I won’t do it.

On my birthday, I found a present on my desk when I came to work. I looked at Al – he pretended not to see me but I could see him smiling. I asked him what was in the small box wrapped in pink paper, with a pink bow. He said Santa came a bit early. We laughed.

When I opened the box, I was shocked. It was a golden necklace with a heart-shaped pendant. I was speechless. I looked at him and stood up and went closer. He kissed me on the cheek, saying I deserved it, and he wished me a happy birthday.

I have met his girlfriend and she is a lovely, young lady. We spoke a lot. As time passed, there were many situations where I wished to be near him to hug him but I didn’t allow my feelings to jeopardise my marriage and his relationship, and I could see he was thinking the same.

I love my husband and Al loves his girlfriend. But this feeling between us – I don’t know what that is. I couldn’t take it anymore; it became painful.

His girlfriend would come to the office, and when they kissed, I would just excuse myself or go to the bathroom. And he’d do the same when my husband came to the workplace. When he kissed me, Al would turn his back and pretend to do something or leave the room in hurry.

I couldn’t take it. I wasn’t strong enough to push those feelings away but I would never leave my husband nor allow myself to be the reason for his girlfriend’s pain.

I realised that I loved Al on the day I was leaving the company. I left because of him and I think he knew that.

After our co-workers had said their good-byes and Al and I were alone, he took my hands and placed a package in them. He told me not to open it in front of my husband. He smiled and pinched my cheek, saying he would miss me. And we hugged.

I waited a few days before I opened the gift. Inside was a notebook, a note and four CDs of my favourite band. The notebook contained the lyrics of many love songs which he had written. And in his note, he confessed his love for me. He wrote that if I just gave one sign that I accepted it, he would burn bridges for me.

I felt he is my soulmate and true love but not possible love.It’s been a year now since I last saw him. My feelings for him haven’t disappeared. I dream about him a lot.

On my birthday recently, he texted me to wish me. He also said he didn’t know if it was a good idea to write.I heard he got married finally and is expecting a baby.

I haven’t replied him even though I wished to, from the bottom of my heart.

Should I write back, as a friend? And how do I deal with these feelings?


Alenna

If you were in a miserable marriage, and did not have a child, I might suggest you take this as a sign you need to get out of your relationship. But you’ve got a husband you love, and a child you adore, so why are you thinking about another man?

It can be quite disconcerting to realise that a happy marriage doesn’t prevent us from having crushes. Usually, these feelings are fleeting. Although it’s a strong attraction to another person, I suggest that it’s often not personal.

I say this because crushes are fantasies. We imagine ourselves swept off our feet like in a romance story. It’s an emotion driven by FOMO (fear of missing out). The anxiety based fear that whispers, “Maybe I settled. Maybe I’m missing out on passion, excitement and adventure.” is what drives these infatuations.

If we’re lucky, we look at what we have and the sheer thought of losing all that wonderful deep love for a good partner and sweet child are enough to kill the fear of missing out, and the crush quietly vanishes.

Where it went wrong is that the two of you didn’t handle it well. If you had a good talk with yourself, you could have consciously stopped the crush.

Also, as he knew you were married and with a kid, he could have acted with kindness and selflessness and backed off. But as neither of you took those steps, this crush has carried on well beyond its sell-by date.

I suggest you do this: sit yourself down and be very stern with yourself. Stop seeing this in terms of a romance. This is not a tragedy where twin souls are kept apart due to circumstances.

This is an ordinary story of a women with a lovely husband and a child who has a bit of a crush on a co-worker - who has his own spouse and child on the way.

Then tell yourself that if they act like fools, they hurt both their families and devastate their kids. All that unhappiness is going to weigh on them.

Also, as life can be very ironic, that silly crush story is most likely to end with the two realising they’re not twin souls at all.

When you’ve had that bracing self-talk, go and spend time doing happy things with your husband and child. Refreshing the foundation of your marriage will bring your joy back. Also, as FOMO is driven by anxiety, keep an eye on your stress levels.


Is something bothering you? Do you need a listening ear or a shoulder to lean on? Thelma is here to help. Email lifestyle@thestar.com.my or write to Dear Thelma, c/o StarLifestyle, Menara Star, 15, Jalan 16/11,46350 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Please include your full name, address and a pseudonym. No private correspondence will be entertained. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, usefulness, fitness for any particular purpose or other assurances as to the opinions and views expressed in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses suffered directly or indirectly arising from reliance on such opinions and views.

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