Diary columnist on YNaija.
Office romance with married people: Recipe for disaster, sorrows and cascaded heart-break. Not worth the pain it causes at all.
Awww people, if I were speaking to you face to face now, you will notice a drag in my voice. I have been sad all day. I lost a friend. No he did not die, I have just decided that it’s time to let that ship sail. He was a very close friend of mine and was always my go-to counsellor.
Tola and I work in the same company, but different departments. I cannot remember how we got close, but we maintained our relationship mostly via an Instant Messaging tool we use at work. If you can recall, I am a consultant so I get to work at several client sites. This means that I don’t get to see Tola very often but believe me, we talked all the time.
Well, here is the problem. He is married and hasn’t been having a good relationship with his wife for the past eight years. I know people say we should always listen to both sides of the story but I don’t think I need to hear her side of the story to know that she’s uncaring and doesn’t send Tola anymore. He has completely lost hope in the restoration of his marriage, but has chosen not to get a divorce because of their eleven year-old son. He doesn’t want his son to grow up in a broken home.
For over five months, Tola and I bonded and it would be a lie to say I did not notice the chemistry going on between us. I convinced myself that I was not doing anything wrong, since we were ‘just friends’. Later, it became so serious that I was always the first person he spoke to in the morning and the last person before he went to bed, this is without counting the hours we spent talking and chatting during work hours. Times without number, I caught myself smiling when I woke up in the morning, and remembered that work would be fun just because Tola would be there to keep me company.
Me, Kiki the good Wazobian child, falling for a married man? I think I even indulged in it more because I felt he was ‘off limits’ and what we had would never become anything serious. I also thought I was helping him out by distracting him from the troubles he was facing in his marriage. I tried to counsel him, just like he does for me. I even went to the pastor in charge of couples in my church, to tell them about Tola’s problem and get possible solutions. In short, I started drinking panadol for his headache. Through all this, our bond grew stronger.
Later, I started getting uncomfortable with the closeness. We were falling for each other at an alarming rate and we knew it, yet never exercised caution. We were treading on dangerous ground. I started wondering how I would feel if someone got that close to my husband and I did not like the answers my head gave my heart.
Yesterday, my eyes cleared a bit. You see, Tola is 42 years old but he had just one picture on Facebook. He was about 25 years old in it; it was a picture of his master’s graduation. So, I told him to change the picture to more recent one, as he doesn’t really look like that anymore. In about 10 minutes, he changed the picture as I asked and even uploaded more recent pictures.
Later at night, I went to his Facebook page to check the comments his picture had attracted. Among the so many comments, was his wife’s. It read ‘finally, after several months of disturbing you to change this picture, you finally did it.’ To say that I was shocked was an understatement.
So this guy took my words more importantly than that of his wife. What she could not get him to do in over a year; I got him to do in 10 minutes. I know it’s just a picture, but the implications were not easy to accept. It meant just one thing to me; I had taken the emotional throne of his wife in his palace of his heart. He was cheating on his wife emotionally and the bitter pill to swallow was that I was THE OTHER WOMAN.
There and then, I decided to unfriend Tola on Facebook and completely sever the bond. Yeah, I know it is drastic painful but it is something I must do. There’s no need to sow a seed, in which the fruit will be to bitter to chew in future. I should not have let it go this far in the first place, I shouldn’t have waited till the bond got this strong, but it is better late than never. Kiki, you did not try this time around.
Yeah, I lost a friend. But I gained my peace back. I guess the saying that goes ‘don’t smell what you don’t intend to eat’ is true after all. I wonder what my mistress-hating mother would think of me if she ever reads this diary.
Office romance with married people: Recipe for disaster, sorrows and cascaded heart break. Not worth the pain it causes at all.
About the author: Atilola Moronfolu, is a Consultant, writer and editor who is currently working on her first book; ‘Antonyms of a Mirage’. Some of her works are showcased on atilola.blogspot.com.
Editor’s note: Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.