Ask Dr. V: Cheating With The Boss

Venus Nicolino, PhD of clinical psychology, answers your questions in this section. This week: Cheating with the boss
Dear Dr. V,
I am a 28-year-old female. I took on a new job about 6 months ago and am having an affair with my boss. He is 55 years old and has been married for 35 years. We have not had sexual relations aside from kissing numerous times. We both have made it very clear that this “thing” between us is to remain just that: a “thing.” When I tried to break it off, he started seeing another woman in the office and that made me mad and jealous so I started up the relationship again to have him all to myself. It’s not going anywhere. For example, divorce for him is not an option and yet he still wants to continue seeing me. Why?
We are having an affair and I feel badly about it, and it’s just a matter of time before our kissing becomes more, I am unsure of what to do? Even though I feel for him, I feel sick to my stomach everyday. This is really eating me up inside because I think I feel out of control or that I know what I’m doing is wrong. I’m ashamed of myself for having this affair and I don’t know how to end it! Should I tell his wife? Please help.
Dear Anonymous,
There are many forces at work in a relationship, many drives attracting people to other people. There is more than just physical attraction, more than personality, more than love.
One of the most common and influential of these forces is “power.” Your boss has power over you, as he is your “boss.” One of the ways he exercises his power is to attract “mates” to him. This may explain why when you attempted to break it off he immediately went out with another woman. He has so much power over you, you never stopped to consider you could lose your job over this “thing.” Or is losing your job the unconscious goal?
What was it that attracted you to your boss? Was it his looks or was it the fact he is in a position of power? Did you feel by being with him it would give you some of his power? Did you see being with him as a social advancement for you? Or did you just find his power a “turn on?”
You say he will never leave his wife. You ask, why does he continue to see you? The answer: because he has the power to do so.
The question you should be asking is why are you continuing to see him?
No amount of money is worth you being “eaten up” and feeling sick every single day. Life is too short to keep yourself in this type of environment. If I were you, I would find another job. As for telling his wife, she probably already knows but needs her own evidence in her own time. Believe me, if he’s spending time with another woman, he is not spending time with his wife and she is keenly aware of that. He is cheating her out of the relationship she deserves. I don’t think you should be the one who speeds up the process for her. But I also don’t think you should be cheating yourself out of a healthy relationship you deserve. Your energy should focus on getting out of an abusive environment.
The message for women everywhere is not to stay with a man who lies and cheats, whether it is on a professional or personal basis. Let that message begin with YOU. Think how great it would feel to get another job and when your boss asks you “Why?” you say, “Because I want to work in an environment that values me for my talent and creativity. I want to work in an environment where I can feel appreciated, respected and have a sense of fulfillment.”
You feel ashamed because you are not living your life within the boundaries of your own moral compass. You are dishonoring yourself day after day after day. Focus your energy on getting another job and a relationship worthy of your love.
Note: All information in the Ask Dr. V column is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnosis and treatment, please feel free to call or email Dr. V, or consult your doctor.
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