Dear E. Jean: Can office romances still happen in the world after Harvey Weinstein, Russell Simmons, and Matt Lauer? I started a new job several months ago, and I’m attracted to my new manager. We are close to the same age, we’re both married, and both of us have kids. On a good day, my marriage is meh. A few years ago, my husband had a thing with one of his coworkers, and it’s been rough. Our marriage has never fully recovered. Normally, I wouldn’t have an affair (I’ve passed up several opportunities). I know the trouble they cause from having been on the other side.
But my boss is sexy! Such a nice, sweet guy-funny, smart, and optimistic. In addition to work, we have lots of common interests. He is naturally outgoing, and I could be misinterpreting his general enthusiasm as interest in me. It’s also possible this guy is a chronic flirt. Nevertheless, thinking about him keeps me awake at night. In this age of awareness of workplace sexual harassment, there’s very little chance my boss is going to make a move. How can I give him the green light? I am also happy to hear any practical advice about why I shouldn’t pursue this. But shouldn’t I view this guy as a gift from the universe that I would be foolish to refuse?-Hot and Bothered
Miss Hot, My Heliotrope: No. No. No. No. No, my luv. This dilemma is not about your boss. It’s about your husband and the affair he had with his coworker-and the chance you see for settling the score.
Revenge is enticing, but consider: You were once deeply attached to your husband; you probably remember days when your appetite for each other was so ferocious, you wouldn’t even go to work but would stay home in bed making love. You have kids. Don’t throw it away. Let your anger at your husband’s infidelity spark a change. Divorce your old marriage. Go to couples counseling. I believe with generous intentions and valiant hearts, you can create a stronger, sexier, more rousing union with your husband, and leave your boss to enjoy the pleasures and torments of his own marriage.
A crush on the (married) boss, a great love lost, and a mea culpa, too. Auntie E. dishes out the tough love (even on herself) so we can all sleep pretty tonight.
This article originally appeared in the May 2018 issue of ELLE.
('You Might Also Like',)