I'm almost 100% sure this post will make a lot of people mad, but please I'm asking because I need advice.
I have a strange relationship with a married male co-worker. It started off right and has grown over the last three years.
I'm single and have been for a long time. My first boyfriend was abusive emotionally and I haven't been on a date since. I've never had close friends, I work all the time and am very successful at what I do. My growing up life was very cold and I've struggled with depression and anxiety since an incident when I was young. Both my brother and I have immense trouble creating relationships despite wanting to desperately. We are each single and approaching our thirties.
My co-worker is the first person I've let into my life. We started off as great work parterns and slowly opened up to each other. He has a similar background of depression and a rough adult life start and has made a huge impact in my life through relating to that alone. We're good for each other and adore each others company.
Here's the problem.
He's been flirting with me in a very sexual way. At first I thought it was my "one of the guys" vibe, but now it's growing more contstant. In person and over IM. It's all the time. He's married with what seems to be an amazing family life, but still spends at least a half hour each day talking about sex with me.
I'm so scared to tell him it makes me feel horrible about myself. I'm so scared to bring up his wife and kids. Sometimes on IM he'll start going into those sexual conversations when his kids are in the room. I end up making a weird joke to change the subject or if that doesnt work I just pretned I have to go.
I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place. I dont want to lose my only friend, but I dont want to feel like im just some person he can flirt with behind his wife's back. I've been alot after talking to him (I'm in a new town and dont know anyone0) and it makes me feel waves of negativity that involve hurting myself. But he's the only person I talk to about anything outside of work. I havent been able to bring it up in conversation without waves of panic.
Please help. Advice of how to end it...advice on why he's doing it. I'll take anything that will help me make sense.
Like I said, this has been happing over the last 6 months and it's only increasing. We have in no way been romantic and since we no longer work together (i moved 3 months ago for a promotion) we rarely will see each other.
thank you. i know it was a long read.