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Do I put my needs first or my friends?

(49 Posts)
Malefriendproblem Fri 19-Feb-16 10:01:16

Long story so please bear with me. A little while after I divorced 15 years ago I became friends with a man and we started a friends with benefit relationship which was what we both wanted at the time. Over the course of the next few years my feelings deepened and his didn't. Tbf to him, he was always honest about not wanting more.

Over the last 15 years, I tried on numerous occasions to go NC but we always got back together. Two years ago, I finally found the strength to stop the benefit but we have remained friends and although we do not see each other much now, we do speak/text every other day and I do consider him to be one of my two best friends. This may be relevant as they are the only two friends I have.

For the last couple of weeks he has been distant so I have badgered him to find out what is up. It transpires that he has been seeing a lady who he feels he could have a proper relationship with (He would agree that he has been a player and had numerous 'lady friends' over the years) but this one is different. He has been honest with her about me and she is upset with him as he refuses to drop me as a friend. I don't think it helps that the community they are in is a small one so she may have heard rumours of his players reputation which could cause her not to trust him too.

I have just spoken to him and he is really down as he doesn't want to lose her but doesn't like her dictating to him who to be friends with either. I offered to meet her to put her mind at rest but he says that he offered that idea to her but she is refusing to meet me.

If I am being totally honest, I do still have feelings for him and the meeting would be difficult for me but I do understand that there will never be a proper relationship between us. I am really shy, am lacking in confidence and find it difficult to make friends. I have tried to move on from him in the last two years and have had one short term romance but didn't pursue it as I was always comparing him in my mind to my friend.

So, do I make the decision and tell him that I will go NC with him to make his life easier or should I be selfish and want to keep him in my life? A part of me thinks the NC would be beneficial for me long term as I will probably never move on with my life with him around but if I go NC I will be heartbroken. I'm so confused, please advise.

Malefriendproblem Fri 19-Feb-16 10:51:30

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DoreenLethal Fri 19-Feb-16 10:54:13

Do both of yourselves a favour and go no contact. This will only eat you up as you see them getting it on.

NewNameNotTheSame Fri 19-Feb-16 11:00:42

Go NC. You'll only torture yourself watching them be together. And your friendship will never be the same for as long as he is with her anyway, hes already getting grief and being distant, it'll only get worse as they get more serious.

Cut the ties and move on, you've wasted long enough on him.

Malefriendproblem Fri 19-Feb-16 12:15:31

I have just messaged him and offered to go NC but he replied that he will not throw the baby out with the bath water and will sort it. I don't know whether to insist on NC or not now.

DoreenLethal Fri 19-Feb-16 12:38:58

You don't offer to go no contact. You say 'In the interests of my feelings I need to go no contact as I can't sit by and watch you get with someone else right now'.

RealityCheque Fri 19-Feb-16 12:43:37

Your choice. Not his. And not strangers on the internet.

SoThatHappened Fri 19-Feb-16 12:50:36

How long have you spent apart before? You say you always got back together. How long were you apart and what did you do that kept you apart.

Malefriendproblem Fri 19-Feb-16 13:07:21

The longest previous NC was for about 4 months, most of the others were for a few weeks. Even when it was for 4 months, I still did not get him out my head. The silly thing is that in the last couple of years whilst we have been just friends, I have not felt jealous when he has mentioned other lady friends but now he has mentioned getting serious with someone it has knocked me for six.

He has just messaged again and insists that he still wants to be friends and that if the roles were reversed then he would expect me to tell any new man I got that he was a big part in my life.

tippytap Fri 19-Feb-16 13:10:40

This friendhip is stopping you forming your own relationships and moving on with your life.

Don't offer to go NC. DO IT.

Only a fool travels a road that leads no where. This half-life is wasting your own life.

SoThatHappened Fri 19-Feb-16 13:11:52

Well if you stay in touch with him...she will probably dump him. Doesnt sound as if she is happy with you being around.

Now if she dumps him, he will either drop you and run for her or he wont and you will get your friend back with the benefits.

Maybe that's what you want.

MyKingdomForBrie Fri 19-Feb-16 13:12:11

How can you even stay friends with a man who would judge you insufficient for a relationship but ok to shag, then happily tell you about some 'superior' woman he has found? Fine maybe he can't help his feelings but he's treated you like shit keeping you hanging all these years.

antimatter Fri 19-Feb-16 13:14:46

I think you both are addicted to the drama you created with your relationship. That's why you can't stop talking.

And that's why for both of you NC is the only way forward.

He wants to keep you as an option because you have feelings for him. He is using you and you are contributing towards it by responding.

remove him from social media, change phone if you have to. You've wasted too much time and energy on him and it's not going to be better.

sonjadog Fri 19-Feb-16 13:38:12

I also think no contact is the best here. For both of you. He needs to focus on his new relationship. You and he are not just friends, so I can see his new girlfriend's point that she is unhappy with the friendship continuing. This situation is also bad for you as you are not moving on with your own life either and watching him with another woman will be mental torture. Cut him loose and move on.

Four months is nothing. You are expecting to move on far too soon.

MatildaTheCat Fri 19-Feb-16 13:38:26

Do yourself a favour and go NC and do it permanently. You are hanging around hoping his feelings will change (they won't but he likes the attention) and it will be preventing you from moving on and perhaps meeting a man who does actually want a relationship with you. Don't settle for FWB as its not what you want after 15 years. That's way too long to hang around hoping.

Do it and mean it.

Duckdeamon Fri 19-Feb-16 13:39:46

He is not and never was your friend.

Malefriendproblem Fri 19-Feb-16 13:40:05

There is no way that I would go back to being FWB again. It took me way too long to build up my self esteem enough to stop it and I will not go back there.

In all the years, even when with the benefits, we have also been close friends, and he has been there for me in life changing situations, ie breast cancer and the death of my parents. I, too, have been there for him with health and work issues that he has had.

I do want to be the bigger person and wish him well with his new woman and thats why I offered to meet her or go NC but I will miss his friendship and part of me thinks that his new lady should accept it.

Jibberjabberjooo Fri 19-Feb-16 13:42:47

The relationship you want with this man is never going to happen. You need to go NC and move on.

Jibberjabberjooo Fri 19-Feb-16 13:45:49

But of course she's threatened by you. You're a previous shag who still holds a candle for him.

Duckdeamon Fri 19-Feb-16 13:49:26

The new gf is not being at all unreasonable.

Your ex was unfair to tell you about it.

sonjadog Fri 19-Feb-16 13:52:48

I am very relaxed about male/female friendships but even I would dislike it intensely if a new boyfriend was close friends with someone he used to have sex regularly with who still had feelings for him. In fact, I would say no thanks to being in a relationship with him. I actually don't think you are being fair in expecting her to just accept it.

ridemesideways Fri 19-Feb-16 13:53:59

I do still have feelings for him

He will likely never feel the same way about you. You need to take the bull by the horns and distance yourself. Work on your confidence and self-esteem to find some fresh new uncomplicated friendships. You are worth that.

SushiAndTheBanshees Fri 19-Feb-16 14:03:55

This is so many shades of messed up.

1. This woman is his problem, not yours.

2. Him being one of only two friends is no reason to hold onto him in circumstances which cause you this much drama. It all sounds pretty infantile (apart from the shagging part, of course. Remove that and it sounds like a playground turf war.)

3. You say you would never go back to FWB relations with him, and he has said he doesn't want a relationship with you. Bollocks to the friendship side of things. Sorry if that seems disrespectful to the part where he supported you through illness and bereavement, but ime whenever benefits are or have been involved, there's nearly always an ulterior motive to that kind of help. If the guy is nice, which he may well be, it'll be guilt and some fondness. If he's a dick, it'll be because he wants to keep his options open. Neither are the basis of true friendship.

4. He doesn't want to keep you as a friend as this is not how friends behave. He wants to keep you in reserve and (like you probably) likes the idea of something potentially happening again down the line.

I could go on. It always pays to be honest with yourself and see things for what they really are, and not just what you would like them to be.

DCITennison Fri 19-Feb-16 14:04:34

Go NC. But not as some self-sacrificing gesture that really just furthers the dramatic fairytale nonsense this has been allowed to become.

Go NC because the friendship is not conducive to you moving on and, almost certainly, up.

Telling him you're doing for him is pointless. If you must tell him anything tell him it's for you, and mean it.

He'll be fine and so will you.

GiveMyHeadPeaceffs Fri 19-Feb-16 14:27:55

Go NC...I've nothing new to add as I reckon all pp's have nailed it...this isn't a friendship, it's keeping you as first reserve...move onwards and upwards!

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