Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Like a man with complicated relationship...what to do?

(54 Posts)
mum2seren Fri 05-Apr-13 10:00:56

Name changed for this...I did have another post on this topic within the last month but I changed a lot of details so as not to 'out' myself...but it just got all confusing - so thought I'd start again with the real details of the situation, to try and get a bit of advice.

There is a man. Works as a teaching assistant at my daughter's school and we met through me being involved through the PTFA, he always made an effort to say hello and have a chat with me however busy he was, which was lovely as you feel a bit out of place/in the way as a parent ptfa member going into school.
I had an issue with the Headteacher a while ago regarding a complaint I'd made, and I felt a bit of an atmosphere around the school amongst the staff members, towards me (when I went in on ptfa business)...this man was the only one making the effort to still smile and chat, generally be a friendly face so one day after a particularly rough day at the school (tears etc, long story) I looked him up on facebook and sent a quick message - apologising if this wasn't 'allowed' but just saying thanks for being a friendly face in school when I needed it, it made me feel much more relaxed as a parent going into school and signing off just with a thank you, see you around school sometime - I didn't see it as anything other than a genuine thank you message; as I thought he may receive it before I saw him again in school.

Anyway - a couple of months later he replied, saying he'd only just seen my message as he didn't get on facebook much, said it was no hassle to talk to me and he thought I was lovely.

We chatted on Facebook about once a week after that, just about general life and he complimented me a lot - he did mention in one of the first few messages that he is in a relationship with a lady that lives in Australia, they went to school together but he hasn't seen her for 6 months and might not again for another 6 months, "so it's a bit strange really, lol".
He has a pic of them together on his profile too, so definitely wasn't hidden from me that he is attached, albeit in a very long distance relationship. The chat moved on and after a while, we exchanged phone numbers - as both of us only ever logged onto facebook to talk to each other; so texting seemed easier.

He started asking to meet up, and I know I should have said no but I was curious about the status of his relationship (was it fairly new, were there plans for one of them to move over to be with the other, etc) and one night, he came round after an evening sports class he had in my town. He came over at 10.30pm on his way home, and stayed until 4.30am - we sat on the sofa, talking about everything, a bit of a cuddle and a kiss which I quickly stopped and he apologised for.
I enjoyed his company and he said he enjoyed mine, we share a lot of similar interests (both been into spiritualism and wicca, are both in bands, that kind of thing) but obviously, he has a partner so things shouldn't have even gone as far as they did that night with the cuddle and kiss.

The next day, he said the night before had made him realise he really doesn't want an affair, he wants a happy, caring, loving 'proper' relationship. I said I understood, then over the course of the day a few more texts were exchanged, with him saying things like "if I was single, I would be more than happy to have tried for a relationship with you", "I like you a lot what more can I say"..."I know we need to leave each other alone but I don't want to", that kind of thing.

He came round again last night. We ended up falling asleep on the sofa together (fully clothed) after a long chat; I found out more about his relationship and the basics of it is:

They used to go to the same school as children, she moved to Australia with family aged 14 and they lost touch before finding each other agian on friends reunited...can't remember how long ago but a few years back/
She was visiting the UK one time and ended up staying with him, got on and they talked about making a go of things...can't remember the exact details of the visas but something like as she has a British passport (dual nationality) she was going to come over here from April this year for 6 months, he was going to apply for a temp 1 year (visitor?) australian visa and then go back to Aus with her after the 6 months, then he'd have 6 months left on his visa to sort out jobs etc.
Now, she isn't able to come over here due to family stuff/finances and he's saying he hasn't applied for his visa yet, but is due to...he's having problems applying as the online forms keep going down or something.
He's saying he can't leave before 1st Sept, even if his visa is sorted before then as he has to sell his house, leave work etc; I was quite black and white about it and said if he loved her then surely he'd want to go asap and told him to stop making excuses and just go for it...I also asked why he doesn't just marry her as it may make getting a partner visa more easy - he's 59 soon so is worried the age thing may not go in his favour.

So anyway. After all that, he was saying he wants to sleep with me basically, but not 'just sex' - he wants me to have feelings for him, and for those feelings to be reciprocated - I said that wasn't fair as he's in a relationship and seems sure he wants to be with her...he was saying he needs to give it a go but she 'challenges him' the way he likes to be challenged (he said he likes to use his brain and be made to think about things) but that I do too. Which confused me, esp as he kept saying if he was single, he'd want to be in a relationship with me.
He also said that they may not grant him a visa at all (although I can't see any reason why they wouldn't) and that at any rate, it's a risk as they haven't lived together before, have only physically been in the same space as each other for 5 weeks in total and he's selling up and going abroad "as it seemed like a good idea at the time, very romantic" and doesn't know if it will work.
She has apparently said she won't ever live in the UK, so that idea is totally out.

He seems to want me to basically have a relationship with him for the next 6 months - or less, depending on how long the visa takes, but without actually being in a relationship! He wants cuddles, watching tv, general 'couple stuff' as well as sex...but says he only wants the sex if the feelings are involved (I kept saying "yes, on my part!" and he said no, on his too).

I called him on the bull and told him to stop with any false flattery...that basically I'd end up getting feelings for him if we acted as though we were a couple for the next 3-6 months, possibly very strong feelings (and he replied "me too") and so it wasn't fair - on me or her - if he was sure that he wanted to be with her and not me, but strung me along for a few months until he moved to be with her. He went silent, then sort of nodded and asked if I wanted him to leave me alone.

Thats where the conversation ended, he'd been with me for a veerrry long time by this point, we fell asleep and woke at 5.30am when he went home (he had arrived at 9pm).

So - I KNOW he's in a relationship. But I can imagine it's difficult not having a 'proper' relationship being so far apart, not being able to touch and kiss your partner, must be frustrating. Maybe that's why he wanted cuddles and stuff from me too.

He doesn't seem sure it will work with her, if he gets the visa he said something about having to leave every 3 months then go back (not sure what that is about) and then after a year they may not even be together, but obviously I'm not willing to wait around to see if he ends up living back in the UK in 18 months time.

My head says that the sensible thing to do is cut all ties with him, but it's difficult as I have developed some feelings for him and will miss him. The thought of him leaving the country is really hard for me.

Would it be worth saying something like if he cares about me and wants to have any sort of friendship/relationship type behaviour he needs to be single so has to split up with her, do I try and convince him that it's not worth the hassle of selling up and moving over there if he's not deead sure that thy will work out (and she's not shown willing to move to be with him, if he can't get a visa), should I play it by ear and see how the visa thing goes, or something else entirely?

I know he need to be 100% single for me to have any sort of sexual contact with him (including kissing and cuddling) but any time I've said something about him loving her he says he's not sure what love is anymore, so I told him that it's clear he loves her because if some other woman asked him to stay and not go to Australia, he would still go - and he mumbled something about me not knowing that, nothing's certain, would I ask him etc.

Sorry that was an epic post.
Any advice appreciated, thanks.

mum2seren Fri 05-Apr-13 10:01:23

Oh God sorry, formatted badly as I was on my phone.

DameFanny Fri 05-Apr-13 10:08:38

I'd run a mile - he sounds like a dreamer to me. Planning on emigrating after being in the same physical space for 5 weeks?

And for something that important you'd find a way round an online form.

Does he have kids? Is he going to leave them too?

He just sounds to me like someone who's looking for thrills and while knowing the effect he has on others is enjoying it, rather than concerning himself with their feelings.

Run away. Sorry.

MushroomSoup Fri 05-Apr-13 10:13:57

^
That. Exactly. Don't let him suck you in! But remember, you started this so you can't complain now. I work in a school - if we get contacted on FB by a parent we never reply.

McBalls Fri 05-Apr-13 10:24:47

Honestly, just stop.
I don't intend to sound harsh but have posted many, many epic replies to your posts over the years so now I'll just condense it as will fall on deaf ears anyway.

You need some form of therapy.
You consistently, time and time and time again just seem to somehow find yourself in wildly complicated/inappropriate/exploitative situations.
This man is yet another head fucker.
But it's you choosing them, or letting yourself be chosen because its easier to fall into weird, awkward, teenageresque situations than actually exerting some kind of control and discernment over your own love life.

It's not normal and your kids will have a massively fucked up idea of what romantic relationships are about.

Roseflowers Fri 05-Apr-13 10:38:11

Bin him off. Seriously, he wants you two to have this 'relationship' to keep him busy until he buggers off to Australia to be with another woman! The best you can say is that in this period before he goes he'd be auditioning you to see if he likes you better. You deserve way better than this.

spottyparrot Fri 05-Apr-13 10:47:51

Just walk away now. There is no need to get involved in such a weird situation and it will only cause you problems.

nkf Fri 05-Apr-13 10:53:31

I remember this. The details haven't changed enough. And it's still the same old crap. My response is still the same. You are wasting your time and energy on a load of rubbish. Leave the man alone. Stop flirting with him. Don't have him to your house. Just stop it.

Fenton Fri 05-Apr-13 10:59:00

First of all - you typed all that out on your 'phone? wow!

Very simply put, he is clearly hedging his bets - all the 'there has to be feelings involved' is just a bullshit attempt to pretty up what is essentially a convenience shag until he knows what's going to happen with his partner.

Step away.

McBalls Fri 05-Apr-13 11:02:47

And this is at least the second male employed by your dc's school where serious boundaries have been crossed.

Can you not see how very bloody far from normal all this is??

TheSecondComing Fri 05-Apr-13 11:02:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nkf Fri 05-Apr-13 11:03:46

And it's not complicated at all. This man has a girlfriend and thinks you might be up for a shag. Very straightforward.

AnyFucker Fri 05-Apr-13 11:03:47

Erm, where shall I start...

Oh, never mind

Just copy and paste every single response you have ever had on this subject

meditrina Fri 05-Apr-13 11:09:17

Just stop.

He's in a relationship. If he wants to be with you, he needs to end it without the additional heartache of infidelity.

And someone who's telling you he d'oesn't know what love is' is a Mr Unavailable, and sounds pretty damned unappealing as relationship material anyhow.

Fuckitthatlldo Fri 05-Apr-13 11:13:21

You know what the right thing to do is op.

I know it's hard when you like someone but seriously, if this man really wanted to be with you, he would be.

This man is hedging his bets! All his humming and hawing is so dishonest. How easy would it be for him to cancel his (frankly crazy) plans to move to Australia for a woman he doesn't even really know, and commit to getting to know you exclusively? You're right there and available!

You're being used. It will end in tears.

Tell him no. Just no. You won't be someone to pass the time with until he can move to be with the woman he really wants. Who does he think you are?!

mum2seren Fri 05-Apr-13 11:20:49

Yes and that's what I told him pretty much - last night I kept saying that I'm not as naive as he thinks I am, that all he wants is a stop gap until he buggers off to be with the woman he loves (those were the exact words I used, in fact) and he said it wasn't just sex, he enjoys my company, wants/needs me in his life, I make him smile blah de blah.

It was sort of convincing at the time.

And I don't get the visa thing, at all. He seems to think you need to have proof of having lived together for 12 months before you apply, I think it's just 'being together' but I dont know how easy it would be for him to cancel...seeing as his family I think know they're together and all that kind of thing. They've been 'together' for a good while, just not spent much time actually physically in each other's company in the past 12 months. I think.

EternalRose Fri 05-Apr-13 11:24:09

I am confused, are you writing posts under a different name and changing the details?

confused

Where are the other threads?

McBalls Fri 05-Apr-13 11:24:51

Pointless.

Zilvernblue Fri 05-Apr-13 11:25:20

I felt a bit of an atmosphere around the school amongst the staff members, towards me

Possibly because they think you chase men/are a bit of a nutter/pest?

He started asking to meet up and one night, he came round after an evening sports class he had in my town. He came over at 10.30pm on his way home, and stayed until 4.30am - we sat on the sofa, talking about everything, a bit of a cuddle and a kiss

So he didn't even have to ask you out on a date to get some action?

he did mention in one of the first few messages that he is in a relationship with a lady that lives in Australia, they went to school together but he hasn't seen her for 6 months and might not again for another 6 months, "so it's a bit strange really, lol

he's 59 soon so is worried the age thing may not go in his favour

No kidding?!

My bet is that the relationship with the woman in Australia is just a cover to make him, a single, elderly man, seem respectable, while he can get as much no strings attached shagging around sex as he can manage, without a nutter latching onto him. You come across as desperate, and even to a 59 year old man, he doesn't see you as a long term bet for this or whatever reason, but will be up for NSA if you're gullible enough.

Have some self respect!

NameThatTuna Fri 05-Apr-13 11:26:12

Eh?

Are you serious OP?

TBH you sound desperate. Seems like you will fall for any man who shows the slightest bit of interest in you.

Come on now, you're a grown woman. Don't fall for this bullshit and get some therapy for your self esteem.

GreatUncleEddie Fri 05-Apr-13 11:30:11

Rose - yes, she said so in the OP.

This is total nonsense, you should have nothing more to do with him. If and when he finishes the Australian thing then you could rethink. But if he weren't complicated, would you still be interested?

NameThatTuna Fri 05-Apr-13 11:30:21

Oh and why are you knowingly chasing a man who told you he's in a relationship.

You've no one to blame but yourself for the shit storm approaching!

TheSecondComing Fri 05-Apr-13 11:30:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CajaDeLaMemoria Fri 05-Apr-13 11:31:08

Oh come on....

None of that is relevant. He's an established liar, and you desperately want to believe him, that's why you felt it was convincing.

His visa isn't tough. He'd do it, if he wanted too. Or he has done it, but he wants to string you along for a while longer.

Read this objectively. HE IS TAKEN. It doesn't matter if he lives in her pocket or five million miles away, he has a girlfriend. He has not broken up with her, because you don't mean that much to him. He's just spotted that you are vulnerable, and that he can probably get a good six months sex and looking after from you before he leaves England.

You're adding all his details in to water down the situation and try and make it seem complex. That's what he wants you to do. That's why he's having conversations that last hours, about situations which aren't changing.

At the very, very least, do not invite him into your home, text him or email him again until he has split with his girlfriend. And even then, I'd recommend therapy and extreme cautiousness. He's only out for himself. If he was a "lovely man", would he be doing this to his girlfriend? Or to you?

He's not lovely. He's spotted your vulnerability and naivety, and from what you've said, he probably things you are desperate enough for either love or sex that you won't take much convincing. Just a bit of confusing.

NameThatTuna Fri 05-Apr-13 11:36:00

I wonder how many other single parents this man is in contact with at the school?

Sounds a right catch hmm

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now