On the fence

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2003
On the fence
Sat, 09-20-2003 - 12:37pm
I have spent time in the MA board for the past week or so and I drop by and browse the postings here. I have been in an A for - well I'm not sure how long...

Here's the story... I have known MM for over ten years, he was my XH's friend. We always got along extremely well and yes there was always a physical attraction. We never acted upon the attraction as I was involved with his friend and he was involved with my friend. I got married, he moved out of state, he got married, I got divorced. All these years we have been in constant contact - even after I got divorced, he called me and not my X, in fact they haven't talked in several years. Anyway, he has told me about the problems that he and his wife have had throughout their marriage and these are significant problems. I have encouraged him to continue with counseling - even if she does not go and he has seen a counselor pretty consistently. Things just haven't changed for them, in fact they are getting worse. She is physically and emotionally abusive to him, I have seen the effects this abuse has had on his spirit.

Anyway, about 7 months ago our discussions became more personal - about our feelings of one another. One day when he told me that he loved me (we have said this for years - platonically) I responded with I love you too. He said, no I mean I really love you. A few months later we met for a weekend, we had not seen eachother in years, but it was if we had just seen eachother the day before.

I came to the realization that I have been in love with him all this time but denied the depth of my feelings for him because of our respective situations. There is NO question in my mind that he loves me with the same depth. He was the one who declared his feelings for me first, he has been the one to talk about us together in the future, he is the one who has brought up divorcing his W, etc. I have not pressured him to do any of these things.

I have not been in an A before, neither has he. We live on opposite coasts, so we do not get to see eachother the only source of contact we have by phone and e-mail. Here of late, the phone calls have gone from at least two hours a day (even on weekends he would find a way to call or e-mail me) to a few minutes every few days and NC on the weekends.

I have been struggling with whether I should end the intimate part of our "relationship" and thinking that he is just having a difficult time right now and needs some space to sort things out. When we do talk, we have wonderful conversations about everything (his kids, my kids, work) and he always ends the conversation with I love you. He says that if it weren't for his kids (who are very young) he would have already divorced her and would be with me. He struggles with the guilt of the trauma his kids would feel going through a D and is fearful that he would not get custody of them. He is a very active father and it would kill him to not have custody, because of their ages, it is not very likely that he would get custody of them.

I am miserable, not because I am with him but because I am without him. I don't see myself carrying on an A for years, I also do not see my life without him in it. He is and has been my best friend so NC is not an option. I unequivically love him with all of my heart. I am sure that some of you have been in similiar circumstances - what did you do, how did you handle this?

Avatar for iamdelightful
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: saatty
Sat, 09-20-2003 - 4:39pm
I really feel for you saatty, but I'm afraid you're not going to like what I have to say. If the man really loves you he will be with you, no matter what. Plenty of children go through divorce, and although it's not the ideal, it's probably better for them not to witness their mother abusing their father.

This man is married and as long as he's married he has an obligation to nurture his relationship with his wife. If that relationship is intolerable he should end it, children or no children. By remaining in an untenable situation he is teaching his children that they should settle for whatever comes their way in life and not go after what they really want.

I realize you don't want to do this, but what I think you should do is cease all contact with him, otherwise your relationship will escalate and your feelings will become stronger and the pain will be stronger and the scars will be deeper.

Many women here have gotten involved with men they were in love with since high school, men they met after many years, men they were best friends with. In the end, every single one of them got hurt.

Until this man is free to truly be with you, I would stay away from him completely. In my mind, that's the only truly loving action for everyone concerned.

Love isn't really a feeling, it's an action. Real love is enacted every day. When a man is lying to his wife and having another relationship behind her back, I'm not sure this can properly be called love.

I'm sorry if I sound harsh. I loved a married man very much, with all my heart. He loved me too. He left his wife to be with him, but his guilt was so extreme that he wound up going back to her. The ties of marriage are strong. Sometimes they're even stronger in a bad marriage. Again, I'm sorry if I sound bitter or angry. I've been through a lot of pain and I'd like to help others avoid it if possible.