My best friend's husband

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2003
My best friend's husband
4
Tue, 09-30-2003 - 1:35pm
After surfing the net for the last few weeks reading articles about affairs, I think I can finally define mine. I had an "emotional affair" with my best friend's husband. She introduced us about a year ago, encouraged us to spend time together and we built a very platonic friendship. The three of us hung out alot and were buddies.

But as she was gone for a few months, the two of us continued hanging out and he confided in me about their marital problems. We have a lot in common (more than I do with her) and having strikingly similar personalities. Neither of us even realized how deep we were until it was too late. We haven't had sex. But we have been physical and it's been exactly three weeks since that happened.

Since that, he has told his wife that he wants a divorce and has moved out. Today he is meeting with someone to begin the paperwork. She and I had a falling out three weeks ago and no longer speak. She suspects something but knows very little.

He has never asked me to lie. He has seen the pain I have gone through because of this and has told me he would confess it to his wife and take all of the blame if that's what I think will help me. She suspects something but does not know the extent. We have both confessed this before God and are seeking professional counseling.

I called him yesterday and told him I needed space and time. He said he would honor that if that's what I think I need. He said he is still going to be thinking about me, praying for me and that it doesn't change how he feels about me. And that his decision to leave her still stands.

He has told me he doesn't see me as a fling or as his mistress. He says he cares about me and wants to be there for me no matter what and if nothing else, my friend.

HELP! ADVICE!!!

Avatar for iamdelightful
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 09-30-2003 - 4:00pm
Interesting situation. How do you feel about him? Have you come to love him? Do you see yourself ending up with him? It sounds to me like there were problems in the marriage BEFORE you came along and that he has acted on that fact. In other words, he's not just leaving her to be with you. He's leaving because he's unhappy in his marriage.

It sounds to me like this is actually an honorable man, unlike a lot of the other men (and women) one hears about on this board. I wouldn't freak out if I were you. This may actually end up being a good thing, for everyone concerned.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2003
Wed, 10-01-2003 - 12:20am
How do you think this could be a good thing for everyone concerned? I feel like I have already hurt so many people with this mistake that everything from now on is damage control. I've had so much guilt I've gone back to being bulimic (something I struggled with in high school)as a way to punish myself and relieve stress.

Yes, I do care about him a great deal. I think I may even love him. Although, neither of us have ever said the "I love you"s. He has caught himself a few times when telling me how he feels about me because I know he doesn't want to take things too fast now that there are possibilities. He told me he doesn't want to tie me down (I'm 20 and he is 27) or make me feel like I have to be with him if I don't want to.

It's been almost two days since I told him I need space and it's been pretty rough. He has told me he doesn't feel like he has an unhealthy emotional dependency on me. That he doesn't depend on me for happiness. His tendency when he first starts a relationship with a girl has been to have to spend time with her all the time and talk to her at least everyday. He said he doesn't feel this way with me, but it doesn't mean he cares any less about me. We think it's probably because we were such good platonic friends before anything innapropriate happened and we are both very independent people.

He and his wife almost divorced about a year ago (they just had their 3 year anniversary), before I ever began hanging out with or developing a friendship with him. He also wanted to call off the wedding when they were engaged (they dated for less than a year), but he felt so much pressure he just stuffed his feelings and went through with it. The persisting reason he has for wanting a divorce is because he doesn't want to disregard his feelings anymore just to please other people. He doesn't think it's fair to him or to his wife to make decisions as a reaction to what other people want or expect. And so he sees this divorce as a step he has waited too long to take because he hasn't had the balls.

He sees he needs to work on a lot before he ever begins another relationship. So he has been attending individual counseling and trying to get closer to God by reading the Bible and praying everyday. He knows how much guilt I struggle with and has offered to come clean with his wife about it, if that's what I need. Also, during the few times we made out he would stop and ask me how I was feeling. He would call the day afterwards to see if I made myself throw up, and encouraged me to seek help for this.

I do see a future with him, I think we would be great together once we figure some of our individual issues out. But I know his wife would see it as the ultimate and final betrayal by both of us. Sometimes, I think the least I can do for her is to find someone else to share a life with, because we would just be rubbing her face in our sins if we ever started a serious relationship.

We both agreed not to even consider a romantic relationship until the end of my school year, which is May. This is to give us time to work through things and for my family to get used to the idea of "us" just being friends and as him as a single guy. (Since they still think of him as my best friend's husband.) But I don't know if it's the right thing.......

Our decisions have already affected so many people and caused so much pain, anger and bitterness that I wonder if there is even a right thing to do anymore.

Avatar for iamdelightful
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 10-01-2003 - 1:42am
Life isn't easy or simple, ever. Sometimes we hurt people and they hurt us. It's unfair to live your entire life trying not to hurt anyone at the expense of your own happiness.

Now that I know about your story I feel even more sure about what I initially told you. This sounds like an honorable man who had many reasons to leave his marriage BEFORE he met you. He's very young, and you're even younger. Better to divorce now than to go on in a marriage that is not right for him.

Have you considered counseling? I know he's seeing someone, but have you considered it? It might help to relieve your guilt. You are not an awful person. You haven't done anything wrong.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2003
Wed, 10-01-2003 - 11:04pm
Thank you for your responses and feedback. Although, I disagree with you on one point. I have done something wrong. And so has Dave. We crossed the boundaries of his marriage emotionally and physically while he was still in a situation where he had allegiance to his wife. If we were to do something now, it might be different.

I am beginning professional counseling and going back to a rehab program for this eating disorder.

We haven't had any contact for about four days now and it has not been as bad as I expected it to be. I'm sure a lot of that is because I know I will see him again and we are going to continue to be at least friends in spite of everything.

But the biggest reason I know this has not devastated me like it could have is because I have not been leaning on my own or Dave's strength. I have been in constant prayer for everyone involved in this situation for days. I have been crying out for God's power to be in me, because I have tried to do things myself and look where it's gotten me...

In the past, we have tried to do things by ourselves. Just read everyone else's post, they prove my point. We humans can't do things by sheer willpower. Very few people on this board WANTED to make choices that bring so much pain and suffering. But, very often, we are going to be unable to make our bodies and hearts do what we know is the right thing.

I've always known this in my head; but, obviously, it's a hard thing to do when you just depend on your own little reserve of willpower to do the honorable thing. Because desires are tricky and powerful things. That's why I have to fight in prayer for my desires to be brought in line with God's desires. It's been hard. I'm not there yet. In fact, I probably will never be completely there.

But, thankfully God is merciful. He knows we are just human. We make mistakes. We hurt people. We are selfish. We chase after things which will harm us. But God understands and he invites us to throw ourselves at His feet and to surrender ourselves to His power. Even then, things will never be perfect here on earth. We are still humans who make mistakes. But we can still be forgiven and have to move on.

I am no where near conquering this situation yet. But I know I have the tools for it. And I have a promise. "All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose." Good comes from all things: I will be much more understanding and compassionate now towards women in my situation who others readily shun, I understand what I am capable of when I depend on willpower to check my desires and emotions and I realize how dangerous it is to play with fire and not be honest early on about attractions and motives.