Am I being selfish?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2005
Am I being selfish?
8
Sat, 01-30-2010 - 9:50pm

Hello everyone,


Perhaps I can gain some insight on an issue that has been going on for the past couple of months.


I have been very close to a male coworker for the past year. He was extremely helpful with getting me through two deaths and a case of depression. I can not thank him enough for all that he has done for me; he has always been there when I needed him. I never intended for our relationship to grow, but once things became more intimate feelings came into play. He has already told me that he loves me and there is a level of comfort, understanding and enjoyment between us that we have not found with anyone else.


Over the past few months we have grown alot closer and this is the first time that I have ever been involved with someone that I feel dependent on emotionally because of all that we have gone through together. The problem is that this man has two children and baggage on top of that. He is separated from his wife and he takes on the majority of the responsibilities when it comes to the kids. At times when I am at my lowest and I need him around, he can not always be there for me due to the fact that his children may need him as well or he has promised to spend quality time with them, etc. Btw he hasnt introduced me to his children because they are at very formative ages ( 5 and 8) and they still have the concept of "mommy and daddy" in their minds.


I have become so distressed over this, because I am starting to feel that maybe I should just distance myself from him in order to become less emotionally dependent on him. At the same time I know that I will have to deal with the idea of being alone even more and dealing with hard times on my own. I feel very selfish because I get jealous of the fact that I can not "have him" especially when I need him to myself. I have not shared any of this with him because I do not want to hurt him.


Any advice would be helpful; I would like to figure out what the best way to deal with this would be.


Thanks.

Carmen

      

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 01-30-2010 - 10:33pm
Welcome to the board, Luvccrv612 ~

Being kept separate from his kids is a wise move on his part. Letting them get to know you at this point is very ill advised and not in their best interest at all.

I think what you're suggesting is absolutely right on. Being emotionally dependent on someone is not a good thing, it certainly puts you at a disadvantage in any kind of emotional relationship you might have with him. I would urge you to see a therapist to help you through your problems, a therapist is qualified to give you real help and will help you be independent, not dependent on anyone. In that respect, it will improve your life two fold.

Considering that he is still in the middle of his marriage issues, it is wise to tell him that until he's free you feel it's best to stay away from each other, only interacting at work as is necessary for your jobs. Once he's gotten trough the divorce process he'll still need a good block of time to himself without involving himself in a relationship with you or anyone else before he's truly clear and ready for a new relationship. He may disagree, but your therapist won't.

Bear in mind that even after the divorce he'll still have kids and those kids will still take the forefront; they'll continue to take him away at times that are quite inconvenient for you. If you don't want children getting in the way of a relationship, then any man with children isn't a guy you should date.









"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"

~ Author unknown


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"Ignoring the facts
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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2005
Sat, 01-30-2010 - 10:45pm

Thank you so much for your response.


What is funny is that I actually have spoken about this to my therapist who advised me that my feelings are "normal" and since this guy has offered me so much support during such rough times, I should continue to keep this part of my "support system" as a part of my life. This is one reason that I feel so afraid to lose him, because he has been one of the only people who has offered me consistent support and happiness throughout the past year. I also feel that if I do leave him to sort out his issues, he may become offended and hurt and thus a friendship and bond may be lost. Do you think this is something I would need to work out independently or should I discuss my feelings with him and work on a solution together?

Carmen

      

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 01-30-2010 - 11:10pm
Your therapist feels it's okay for you to feel emotionally dependent on this guy and encourages you to remain so? Is there a particular reason she encourages you in this way?

IMO, if he's truly got your best interest at heart, he'll understand your need to go it alone for a while. He should also understand the wisdom of him getting his life straightened out before being together with you. Since this is a decision you're making about your life, it's not really something that's appropriate to work on a solution together with him on. Certainly, you would want to tell him of your need to go it alone and do it in a manner that isn't harsh and final. You can present it in a "this is what I've been thinking about, this is what I feel I should do" manner, but the bottom line is, whether he agrees or not, you should do what you feel is best.

Being in a romantic relationship with someone who isn't really available due to marriage and who is someone you feel emotionally dependent on isn't a healthy situation. Not only because he isn't really available for a relationship, but also because you're at a disadvantage as the relationship isn't equal, he's "superior" to you as you feel dependent on him. Starting out a relationship with those dynamics is starting out in a dysfunctional/unhealthy way, and setting the tone for the relationship in that mode will likely set the tone for the entire relationship. Getting to a strong, independent self while he's getting through the divorce and "self time" necessary after before getting together gives your relationship a chance to be healthy and appropriate.











"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"

~ Author unknown


Photobucket











"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Sat, 01-30-2010 - 11:59pm

He is wise not to introduce you to the kids while he's still going through the divorce. Does he talk about when his divorce will be final and a plan for a future with him after that point? Or does he leave all that up in the air because he doesn't know?

I can see why you wouldn't want to lose him, but in general there is a big risk dating someone who is in the midst of a major life transition. Sometimes once they get to the other side of that transition they need something different than he needed while he was going through it. No doubt, he is getting some satisfaction helping you with your difficulties. Maybe it's a welcome distraction from his own troubles. Things might not be the same between you once his life is in order too.

It's not that you can't have a successful relationship with him, but it sounds like at this point you might not even be on the same page with him, and that it is not a committed relationship at this point. Do I have that right? I get that sense because in your first post you referred to him as a male coworker and not a boyfriend. Do your interactions occur mostly at work, or outside of work? How often do you see each other or talk outside of work?

I would hesitate to try and "work out a solution" with him right now. It's hard to establish a relationship with someone new when going through a divorce and dealing with all that comes with that. I think for you that might mean just being his co-worker until he is ready to have something more in his life. However, I'm curious what he says about your relationship and what he says he wants and needs right now. Can you share more about that? Is your desire to distance yourself partially based on the fact he is seeming unavailable in the first place?

"The last of human freedoms - the ability to choose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances." - Viktor Frankl.



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"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2005
Sun, 01-31-2010 - 11:35am

Thank you harmony, for your response.


At this point, he has told me that he does not know when his divorce will be finalized due to the financial cost of it all. He swears that he is completely done with the marriage, especially also because his wife is now in a very serious relationship with someone else. I know deep down though

Carmen

      

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Sun, 01-31-2010 - 11:49am
I agree with your assessment. It seems to me that if you try to stay where you are, the relationship will naturally progress to be something you don't want it to be yet. The only way to prevent the natural progression toward more intimacy and committment, you have to pull back at least a little. It's almost like a game of tug of war, staying in the same exact spot is not really an option, the only choices are to pull back or be pulled forward (or let go completely and walk away).

"The last of human freedoms - the ability to choose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances." - Viktor Frankl.



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Ten Rules for Being Human



Edited 1/31/2010 11:52 am ET by harmony08
"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2005
Sun, 01-31-2010 - 11:52am

Thank you again for your insight.


My therapist feels that since this guy has helped me through so much, I should hold on to this part of my "support system". He has told me to trust my instincts in whatever way I decide to relate to him. I should also add though that I am not completely emotionally dependent on him. I still have my independence and

Carmen

      

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 02-02-2010 - 2:16am
I think whenever you're confused about whether to move forward or not, moving forward isn't the right thing. If it's the right thing, there's no confusion, you're sure. But I think you know that too.

From what you've said, it sounds like you're very wise and have really known all along what the right way to proceed is. I think you're going to be just fine.












"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"

~ Author unknown


Photobucket











"Ignoring the facts
does not change the facts"