Permanent "third wheel" -- is this healthy?
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|Tue, 03-18-2014 - 1:20pm|
Hi, this my first post on iVillage so I hope it's the right place. I am having some confusing feelings and I can't afford a therapist so I thought I'd see what some peers think.
I am a single woman, never married, and 38. I used to work in the medical field, and even though we are very different I became best friends with a younger woman who worked alongside me. She is very very petite and I am a plus-sized woman and then some, but we became inseparable.
I unfortunately developed some alcohol problems a few years ago. I ended up leaving my job, and overall I had a really tough time. I stayed in close touch with my friend, who by then had moved in with her much older boyfriend (she's 29, he's 49). They were warm and welcoming and although they have a very small old house, they converted the living room into a bedroom for me. I've lived with them for about two years. They are a lovely couple, and don't drink at all and it has been easy for me to stay away from alcohol for two years. They definitely aren't rich, but are doing okay.
We have become more or less a family unit. We do everything together and they are super kind to me. They have never asked for a dime. They both work, and I don't currently work so I do keep the house clean, and cook for them, take the dogs for walks and so on -- they never asked me to, but domesticity really suits me. Outside of their jobs, we do almost everything together (except jogging which i'm terrible at), and I'm sure we look pretty strange: the bf is very tall, bald and conservatively dressed, the gf is flea-sized, gorgeous, and outside of work wears incredibly high heels, somewhat overly skimpy outfits and has tongue and belly rings (certainly tarty but at the same time cute), and I just wear normal clothes and flat shoes. People must think we are an odd spectacle.
I do feel like I'm a huge intrusion but they seem 100 percent okay with letting me live there as long as I want. They have more or less adopted me and I them. The bf even loans me his car most days if I just run him over to his office in the morning. They long ago gave me a charge card, saying vaguely, some day you can repay us, it's fine. They don't say a word about the cost (not that I'm at all extravagant). My room is lovely and would seem to really impinge on their lviing space. The only downside is that the house only has one full bathroom, which is off their bedroom, but at least has a separate loo in the hall.
They are quite into PDA and while it was awkward at first, I'm fine with it now. It is, after all, their home. Our bedrooms share a common wall and I hear everything -- including what clearly sound like her extensive oral performances. It makes me smile though, for the most part. Put it this way: she is genuinely excited for him to come home every day, and is very very welcoming when he walks in the door. Then he goes to the hall bathroom and takes the world's longest pee while she is standing in the door catching up on the day's events. I mean it's exactly like that almost every day!
I guess I'm starting to feel love for both of them, almost like family love. I find myself taking perhaps too much time to make the house perfect, the little yard perfect, their bedroom perfect, their clothes perfect, and their meals perfect. I don't have any strong interest in men, and vice-versa. All in all, it's perhaps too good a situation and I am becoming attached to it. It doesn't seem typical or healthy for an under-40 woman to live like this, but on the other hand if I lived by myself I think I would get lonely and go back to some not-good things. I don't think they are ever going to get married or have kids, and I think they are perfectly okay to let me live there as long as I want. There has never been a harsh word that I can recall.
Any thoughts about whether this situation is okay? Is it just a harmless modern version of a family unit? Or not healthy?