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Have always loved another man.

(94 Posts)
totallyloyal Wed 14-Nov-12 21:53:00

I noticed a post on fb today from a friend who had an affair, going on about how she felt about the other man etc.

I have loved another man to my dh for 16 years. I love my dh. But this guy is special. We had the weirdest connection and still do. He loves me too.

I would never leave or hurt my dh. Ever. I'm not stupid. There is no emotional affair. We are not geographically close either. Just a pure basic love, that I've never been able to properly identify and am struggling to articulate.

But something tonight has triggered me to actually think about it. Am I weird? Anyone else experienced this or can relate to his?

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 10:39:27

I don't think I could be married to someone and love someone else.

MamaGeekChic Thu 15-Nov-12 10:43:27

Me too. I do love my DP, I adore him, I would never leave him for OM- but, if by coincidence we both naturally became single at the same time we would definitely need to give 'us' a go. I too have completely compartmentalised him, he does not impact my relationship/day to day life, he is married and lives thousands of miles away.

Red admiral, Im with you, I think the soul- mate thing iis more about someone's personality (fantasist) than their situation. I could pretend to myself that I have soul mates but actually it's just various men I've fancied/fancy and get on well with.

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 10:47:13

Mama, how does it work? The compartmentalisation?

MamaGeekChic Thu 15-Nov-12 10:53:27

Hully- It's difficult to explain, I feel like I have him in a box in my brain, I let him out occassionally, allow myself to think about him. I do speak to him fairly regularly too, as I would any other friend. He doesn't encroach on my thoughts and day to day life though, as it would if I had a crush on a random guy at work or similar. It's been so long that I have more control now. My feelings for him did impact my relationship at first but I realised quickly that lack of control over that could very quickly leave me with neither of the men I love- not sure if that makes sense, quite hard to articulate.

HullyEastergully Thu 15-Nov-12 10:56:33

Are your feelings for him and your dh different? How do you know you love both of them? (I'm terribly interested because I can't imagine it!)

Genuinely OP, I just don't understand your opening post.

Why would you marry a man when you were in love with someone else?

Why didn't you marry the man you do love if he loves you too?

If he really was that special, and your connection was that strong, you would be together - you both would have made sure of that.

Sorry but to me it just sounds as if you married someone you just weren't that 'in to' for whatever reason; have been mildly bored & dissatisfied ever since, and have built up a 'love story' in your head to give you something you're not getting in real life sad

I dont think love is always exclusive, it's the choices you make with that other person that matters because relationships are all about making the choice to stay and not cheat on the person you have made a commitment too.

There are people that we meet through life we will always be connected to in one way or another. That girl that bullied you at school and you still hate for it 30 years later-it's still a connection. The same as the boy you saw in the pub who looked at you and you felt a connection but nothing ever came of it. A holiday romance that could have been more if only you hadn't lived in another country? The list of these potentials just goes on. You may have passing feelings you may have enduring feelings but unless you act on them then it's just part of life.

I just think I would honestly rather be single than spend every day of my life with somebody who I didn't love, above all others, no question. Life is too short to waste that way.

Which is probably why I stayed single for a good bit longer than many of my peers did. When I met my DH it wasn't a case of 'oh good now I don't have to be single anymore' - more like 'OMG this man is actually worth giving up my single life for!'.

totallyloyal Thu 15-Nov-12 11:05:09

Sorry if I am intermittent. I did not realise what a pita this name changing lark is.

I love dh. I would never betray him. Dh is aware of this man and knows I care very much for him.

I don't know if it's even compartmentalised I my case. I loved the OM before I met dh, throughout other relationships before dh.

Om and I's circumstances were unusual. Any relationship when we were younger would have been a huge upheaval for a lot of people.

I don't dwell on what if or buts. I am pragmatic and fairly cynical ad don't believe in soul mates. And I loathe the notion of chick lit

When I do stop and think I realise it is odd. Only when I had ds did I realise the weirdness. I love this guy like I do my children, unconditionally, from the first moment I saw him.

I love dh, sometimes a lot, sometimes a little, sometimes we like each other sometimes we don't .... in short a fairly healthy relationship. We are a family.

I have been quite content to live like this and will remain to be - but it's a standard notion that you should love only the one you are with. And I don't do that. I quietly love somebody else too.

I do feel better that there are others who appear to understand this though. Thank you thanks for you're honesty. I am amazed I even posted this at all tbh. So I get why others don't want to say a lot. I feel a damn fool for writing it down.

crunchernumber Thu 15-Nov-12 11:09:39

I do think that it is a slightly idealist notion to think we could meet someone, marry them, and then never feel another connection to another member of the opposite sex for the rest of our days. What if we never met our husbands? Would that have been our one chance missed?

In reality, relationships are as much about shared experiences, values etc than they are about love and chemistry. You can feel something for someone else but that something is not built on anything real.

When we get married we make a commitment to be faithful. If we were never supposed to find another person attractive ever again it wouldn't really be a commitment we needed to make would it?

There are several people I have met that I've thought - if things had been different I could have ended up married to you! Not in a wistful way, just a statement of fact. But they aren't different so I'm not.

I'm not saying you should stay in an unhappy marriage but I think daydreams are OK as long as you don't let them run away with you - and you don't inflate them into something that they are not.

MamaGeekChic Thu 15-Nov-12 11:16:30

Yes I think my feelings for them are different. My relationship with DP is built on friendship, initial teenage lust, growing up together really, knowing each other inside out, a shared history and a shared love of our daughter and our plans for the future. My relationship with OM is based on a more adult connection, the lightning bolt of meeting someone you barely know who just 'gets you' and vice versa, a relationship where you bring out the best in each other, are simulated and challenged by each other, a relationship where the first flush of attraction/chemistry just doesn't fade. They are very different men, it makes it very difficult to compare.

totallyloyal Thu 15-Nov-12 11:21:55

They are very different men, it makes it very difficult to compare.

^ That

Very different types of love. Equally strong. But dh means more as we have lived together so long and been through so much together.

There is no what ifs, or buts. No grass might be greener. But the love never fades or goes away. No building of an alternate scenario.

I am content and happy. But realised I might not be normal.

MamaGeekChic Thu 15-Nov-12 11:23:33

At least you're not 'not normal' on your own OP smile

totallyloyal Thu 15-Nov-12 11:27:27

smile

OP genuine question - if you imagine your DH telling you he loved someone else, but it's ok, he loves you too - how would you feel? Would it not be had to live with?

Personally I would be devastated!

Is your name a joke?

AboutToSelfDestruct Thu 15-Nov-12 11:54:19

I'm so glad you posted about this Op. This is a real eye opener and reading all your expariences is giving me lots to think about at a confusing time.

Who is to say what makes a marriage work? So many don't work for so many reasons, but those who have endured all seem to say to me that it was hard work at times and not been perfect. No one ever says to me that its been all hearts and flowers. I think openness and honesty are so important.

And actually, we have great capacity to love in our lives in so many different ways. Love between family members, close friends, and that intense love for any number of children we may have. The ideal is to only feel that 'special' love for your OH, but if we can love so widely, is that realistic? Maybe there are many other things that kaap the marriage sacred, as surely we can't avoid how we feel, but we can change what we do about it.

Maybe I'm just a bit too emotional to be making any sense right now, but in a world so full of hurt and upset, I'm wondering if we have just become a bit cynical and mistrusting where love is concerned.

totallyloyal Thu 15-Nov-12 11:55:40

dh knows.

totallyloyal Thu 15-Nov-12 11:57:17

but I wanted to know if anyone else is in a committed content relationship and loves someone else. My marriage is sacred to me, yes.

Dh knows that the love is 'equally strong?'
I can't help feeling that you have a romanticised version of this man that maybe a shag and a couple of years living together would have changed.
I've loved lots of different people at different times but loving an OM equally to DH would be very disloyal and he wouldn't put up with it.

totallyloyal Thu 15-Nov-12 12:02:25

equal, but different.

So why didn't you get together with this other man? How could he stand back and watch you marry somebody else if he love you and you loved him?

Openness and honesty is important - I know about Dhs most special gf and the one (s) who got away. I know which women he clicks with at work. I know which of my friends he'd like to console him if I die before him etc.

I certainly wouldn't want to know that he loved someone, now, equally to me and had done since we got together.

Offred Thu 15-Nov-12 12:57:36

Abouttoselfdestruct - it may be different for you but it certainly is that for me.

It is very complicated and I suspect very personal too. I'd count him as a close friend, he is dh's best friend, it is quite messy. I met dh and him around the same time but separately (met both through mutual friends). There was one night after I had just broken up with someone else where I considered sleeping with him but decided against it because it was too soon and then nothing romantic ever developed after that but there is a massive chemistry and our personalities compliment each other in a friendship. I never wanted him like i did want dh, I have confronted how I really feel about him I think and I think yes I'd have enjoyed a very casual fling with him but I wouldn't have ever at any stage wanted more than that with him and I knew from the first time I met dh that i did want a serious relationship with him.

It is difficult feeling attracted to someone in such a complicated situation, I think it conferred extra importance on the ordinary feelings of attraction because of the context. I tried a lot of things over it, to start I avoided him because the relationship with dh might have been threatened by the distraction at the beginning of it but he was best man at our wedding, his speech involved talking about the night I invited him in for coffee. At that point I thought he was a bit of a knob and another friend had, before I was seeing dh, warned me off him.

So there was a while when I'd actively avoid him and was pissed off but he is dh's best friend (although he lived hundreds of miles away). He would come to visit and sit and have a beer with us and started saying all this inappropriate stuff whenever dh would go out of the room "oh what if things had been different between you and I?" That kind of thing.

I told dh about it and i felt most affronted by it, although he wasn't particularly bothered himself because this inappropriateness is not unusual for this guy, but i was also affronted by the way it made me feel.

Dh and I had met, facebooked/called long distance for 6m then started seeing each other, got engaged 6m later, then he moved up here and in with me and my two children a month after that, we bought a house and moved there a month after that, we married 4 months after that and I found out days before the wedding I was pg (planned just quick). This turned out to be twins. So, things moved very quickly, there was a lot of difficulty with the twin pg (not complicated pg just difficult managing monitoring/appointments/incapacity) and his job and generally the amount of change but we were very happy. I went off sex (unusual) for 18m during pg and after birth and this incident where he was really inappropriate happened during this. When he went back home I though about it and realised it wasn't anything to do with him but the fact dh and I weren't having sex and I was angry and frustrated and that I hadn't realised I was ready but just afraid of it. It wasn't anything to do with the friend.

There were various time when he visited and there'd always be eye contact and flirting from him which I'd try to avoid and comments and little things and I'd feel ripped open inside and wracked with guilt and then he'd go away and things would be fine.

I realised after time that telling dh i was uncomfortable and trying to get dh to get him to stop with this stuff wasn't going to work and might just harm their friendship and I needed to tackle why it wasn't just something I could shrug off, which is what I would normally do.

I thought about it, I realised it is probably just that I had some stupid preconceptions about marriage that were making me feel guilty and paranoid about this situation, and obviously that he was dh's best friend, and that the reason behind it was not that this guy was a knob (as I believed) but because I felt attracted to him. Thinking about it made me able to unpick it because I had never actually believed that married people are never attracted to other people, I don't believe you can do much about the fact you will encounter people you are attracted to, what matters is how you handle that attraction as a committed person.

So I chose to tackle it head on. I thought about concepts like privacy and secrecy and what the difference is, what boundaries should be in my marriage, how I as an individual fit into it. So I made a choice that I am not going to feel bad about being attracted to anyone, that it is quite normal and that who you are attracted to (not just this guy) can be useful in determining what you are missing from your marriage and what needs working on, just like a dream is subconsciously dealing with feelings I think crushes/fixations can be your subconscious trying to show you what you are trying to deny you need not about another person you might want.

Several themes running through this for me are; freedom from domesticity/commitment, excitement, communication of feelings, sexual chemistry, shared interests, ease etc.

I have decided not to worry about some times when I become preoccupied by this guy because I am the kind of person who gets preoccupied by people and it isn't necessarily sexual, by being afraid of it and denying it it made it feel worse. So instead, because I noticed a connection between the theme of the preoccupation and something that was going on with me on my own or in my marriage, it alerted me to recognise that was what was happened and instead of feeling frustrated and fixated on this unreal thing I needed to understand why I was getting those feelings.

I confronted it with this bloke, discovered he feels the same (he is long term single but not really suited to a relationship), I've talked to my mum about it and dh although I haven't explained everything absolutely directly because I feel I'm entitled to some privacy and also because I feel I'm still sorting out some of the things in my mind.

Now, this bloke and I are quite close I'd say. I confronted it because he was moving back up here too and I knew something had to be done. Confronting it I do feel like was the right thing to do. This bloke and I both love dh and I'm not attributing more importance to it than there actually is - we have a mutual physical attraction and actually a fairly close friendship and nothing else is going on. I don't know what will happen but I think it will probably be the attraction will gradually fade (has a lot for me anyway) the more I see him as a real person and not treat him like a symbol. I'm no longer worried about it, we've been very drunk and alone and there has been no funny business. As a friend he has qualities which really add something to my life and that appears to be the way we both feel about each other. I have identified that in reality independent of dh I have never and would never want anything more to do with him intimately than as a close friend or casual relationship anyway and I'm prepared to abandon the friendship if he sees it as more than that. I also know that probably the feelings have always been more for me from him than for him from me and this is what I find attractive in a person - attraction to and interest in me so that's a bit stupid but how it is. I've learned absolutely loads about myself and my marriage and even dh through it.

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