Yeah, and here we are, five days later, and I still haven't asked. I also did what may have been a "precipitating thing," if you will: as you know if you read my other thread, my crush and I work together. I will sometimes make excuses to chat with her at the end of the day, when most people have gone home and there's unlikely to be any rumors started. She takes an interest in how my family is doing, and asks after them, so it's something to talk about, plus I think it's nice.
After talking about how my wife is doing post-op, she asked me how things were between us, and that led to a somewhat awkward conversation in which I described that I had been attracted to others, yet didn't love my wife any less, but my wife struggled with that idea. We talked about the possibilities of what that could mean for my marriage and my relationship with my son, and I expressed how much I don't want to lose being part of his life. She listened to my brief explication that I have problems with the traditional view of marriage, and did not protest or judge me. At no point did I actually confess my feelings for my crush to my crush, but we did spend some long moments looking in each other's eyes, and she was giving me that smile that makes me melt right down into my shoes. She's very, very smart, and I don't doubt that she can see right through me.
We chatted Monday again, innocently about work topics, and she was smiling at me and playing with her hair. I'm given to understand that this kind of behavior is a pretty clear signal of "I like you. Take the next step." My crush knows I am married, knows I have agonized about my marriage and how I have tried to behave ethically, and seems (if I'm reading the signals right) to be interested anyway. I think she's also seeing someone else, but I know nothing about how that relationship works.
Clearly, I need to speak with my wife SOON. I wonder if, subconsciously, I had the above discussions to force me to do so. I have spent a lot of time over the last several months rehearsing what to say, and rehearsing how to answer objections. Just last night, I started rehearsing how to compassionately and lovingly let my wife go.
I have some questions:
1) Did I cross a line? I think, at the very least, that I was tiptoeing along it--I have avoided talking about this stuff to my crush for a long time, precisely because I don't believe I can be objective about the subject (and, if she's interested in me, neither can she).
2) Regarding non-verbal signaling, I have this overwhelming self-doubt that I'm seeing what I want to see, rather than what isn't actually there, if you get my meaning. I have never, ever wanted to be "the guy at the office who deludes himself and harasses a co-worker." I don't trust myself.
I love my wife and my son, and the thought of losing them is terribly painful. The thought of letting my crush slip away without ever at least telling her how I feel is also terribly painful--my heart breaks every single day, and the combination of these two thoughts (losing my marriage and deliberately letting my crush slip away) has been triggering panic attacks. I'm a damned mess, and I think that the route to pulling my shit together unavoidably runs through some incredibly painful territory.
I feel like I've completely fucked this up by being too scared to do anything for so long.