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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?

AlienRefluxovermypoppy Wed 14-Nov-12 21:57:40

Sorry, I haven't experienced this myself,and it sounds a bit odd So it doesn't affect your marriage at all? do you speak to the OM?
How do you know he loves you too?
You seem quite content with it that's all, is there any part of you that would like to take it further?

Beaverfeaver Wed 14-Nov-12 22:00:14

I can relate to this.
But I don't think I can share too much more than that.

I too have recently started to think more about it, and I think that it's causing more damage by thinking about it, so need to stop.

sittinginthesun Wed 14-Nov-12 22:01:58

I understand. I put it in a box in my head many years ago, and it is fine.

Offred Wed 14-Nov-12 22:02:35

Not all of the things you have written in that op can actually be true I think.

totallyloyal Wed 14-Nov-12 22:04:56

Beaver I can relate.

If dh left me. Than yes, we would see it as a second chance I think. But I would never, ever betray dh.

I know it isn't entirely right as when I read threads on here about people who met "The One" and still feel the same about their partners years and years on, I am always envious that we did not get that chance.

addictedtojaffacakes Wed 14-Nov-12 22:13:32

Yes i can relate, I am so glad somebody posted this, i was thinking the same. Was also thinking maybe, as things aren't to great at the mo, its an escape to an easier/care free time?

totallyloyal Wed 14-Nov-12 22:26:33

I don't know, addicted. For me it's all ways there iyswim? Bad and good. I try when things are bad to not make comparisons.

DH and I have shared a life together. So no comparison.

Offred - It's hard to articulate what I mean in black and white. Do you mean I am lying to myself? Or not telling the truth here?

Offred Wed 14-Nov-12 22:29:08

Not either really just that objectively some of those things are in opposition to each other.

I would not call something like that a love but a fixation or an obsession and if it were a love really I think you ARE hurting your dh, he just doesn't know you are.

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Wed 14-Nov-12 22:32:28

I totally & completley understand what you mean. Don't want to say more than that though.

Offred Wed 14-Nov-12 22:32:34

And I can't understand why if you genuinely loved someone else you would try to repress it or keep it secret from your dh. I suspect probably you are fixating on something symbolic or not really real which represents something else. I highly doubt you could be married for 16 years and in love with someone else.

totallyloyal Wed 14-Nov-12 22:33:15

It doesn't feel like a fixation. It's just always been there and never gone away confused. Just never really properly thought about it before.

Brycie Wed 14-Nov-12 22:36:29

How much contact do you have with him? People are just people.

Offred Wed 14-Nov-12 22:38:54

I think you should confront it tbh and really think about it and what it means for you. A. You are married to the wrong man B. you aren't happy with monogamy C. It isn't really a love but represents something you need to think about which is why it won't go away. I think any of the things behind it would be better explored. I think sometimes it is easy if you are married to make things like crushes, attractions etc into fixations and to make them bigger than the original issue because of the guilt/other issue surrounding having a perfectly normal crush.

Athendof Wed 14-Nov-12 22:43:25

A guy friend of mine used to say there were 3 women in the life of a man: The one you love, the one who loves you, and the one you marry. I suppose the saying also apply to men.

I have friends with whom I have a very strong connection, which in a way feels like deep love, but we are so incompatible in so many other aspects that we are not together, will never be, and that doesn't mean it is an emotional affair, I just think that's what people were originally talking about when using the term "platonic love".

I really wish I could believe that every single man and woman are married to their perfect partner, the one that fulfills them truly and who is destined to make them stay inlove and happy with each other for the rest of their life. But I think that in reality, there are very few couples that are blessed with such a relationship or who could keep it alive for the rest of their lives.

So yes, I relate to what you say and I don't think you are "betraying" your husband, you are only a person strong enough to look at herself in the eye. I advise, however, not to think much about it because the more you do, the more imperfect you are going to find your husband no matter how much you love him and know he is the "one".

Beaverfeaver Wed 14-Nov-12 22:44:28

I have been thinking about it more recently and have started thinking about breaking up with DH.
But, I am scared if what my parents will think, I'm scared of what his family will think( I am very close to them)
I am scared of being Linley as all my friends are in relationships.
I am scared if regretting it later.
I am scared the grass won't be greener.
I am scared of so many things which are holding me back.
Probably all the wrong things.

singaporefling Wed 14-Nov-12 22:48:50

Understand totallyloyal..sympathise/empathise.. Lived in a painful (for me/dh/om) situation for many years. Not black and white, love dh, in love with om - very contrasting/disparate situations, no resolution in sight... And I guess we shouldn't judge anyone till we've walked a mile in their shoes. Not an excuse, no one is 'guilty' - just a set of conspiring circumstances.... Offred, i've been in love with om for 7 years, also deeply love dh but NOT the same...

gladiolus Wed 14-Nov-12 22:50:06

I had one of these. It was a teacher I had a very powerful crush on when I was very young. He was older, married, and thankfully not interested in the slightest.

I haven't seen him in over twenty years. I still think about him every now and again and wonder how he's doing. I saw his wife a few years ago at the funeral of a mutual friend and was incredibly excited at the thought of seeing him again, then crushed when she told me he wasn't there. Then told myself I was being very very silly and to pull myself together.

I understand the whole 'putting it in a box' thing. It's a little embarrassing actually.

HoolioHallio Wed 14-Nov-12 22:51:13

'We would see it as a second chance' ?

So you've had this conversation with him ? He feels the same as you do? Is he married?

singaporefling Wed 14-Nov-12 22:53:14

Beaverfeaver - sympathise totally... It IS all very scary and who's to say we're meant to actually LIVE/be with the om... Dh/i have family unit/elderly parents, we look after/nurture and care for each other and despite 'usual' ups and downs are mostly happy/stable... But any time spent with om is tranquil/soul-nurturing/joyous on different level. Wouldnt necessarily be so on a day-to- day basis and i dont want to 'experiment' whilst causing chaos all round...

Offred Wed 14-Nov-12 22:53:45

I never said it was betraying your dh, I said it is hurting him if you ARE really in love with someone else secretly and have been for 16 years. Obviously that's hurtful, how would you feel if it was reversed? The hurt is not removed by keeping it secret.

However I feel that is unlikely as I seriously doubt someone could maintain a marriage for 16 years whilst simultaneously secretly loving someone else without getting ill and if they were, yes they'd be hurting their dh, but most of all hurting themselves. I don't understand why you would do it?

It seems more likely to be a fixation and not really to do with the actual man.

BettyandDon Wed 14-Nov-12 22:55:35

Are we talking about 'the one that got away'? I think a lot of people have someone like that. It's partly why Adele's music is so popular, ie, the Someone Like You song.

I think circumstantial splits can lead to this (moving away eg) in particular.

Offred Wed 14-Nov-12 22:57:12

And yes people can be in love with more than one person at the same time but I think people have a responsibility to behave in an ethical way in relationships and I don't believe in "the one" bull shit.

Beaverfeaver Wed 14-Nov-12 22:59:01

I don't think I could ever live/be with OM.
Although the live is there I know he would not be a sensible choice for a partner, for many reasons.

But the more I think about it, the more I think I am just kidding myself by being with DH.
DH is a wonderful guy. Supportive and loving.
But I can't help feeling that its not meant to r now and that there is something out there that I might find one day in the future that will be wonderful and passionate.
Maybe this will be the OM in years to come. (In my dreams!)
But is definitley not for the short term.
Am I silly throwing away a 12 year relationship in the hope of something more/better suited to me in the future?

drizzlecake Wed 14-Nov-12 22:59:38

Gawd, I feel so sorry for all these not really loved spouses. Can't help wondering if they aren't thinking exactly the same thing eg'Spouse' has been true to me all these years and we have a good relationship but I just don't feel she was the one, but what can I do, it would break her heart if she knew how I felt etc

NewNames Wed 14-Nov-12 22:59:49

I completely understand this. sad

Offred Wed 14-Nov-12 23:00:38

I've got a "one that got away", the atmosphere of being married has made me on occasion attribute feelings, characteristics, opportunities etc to him which are not real, he becomes a focus for various things, if I feel swayed towards him I've learned to recognise those things as what I need to address with dh because they always are about my relationship with him and not the other fella. The fact he's my friend, there's a never explored history and an attraction actually is quite normal and I know I only attribute paranoid importance to it because I am married.

Offred Wed 14-Nov-12 23:01:25

I think if you feel you have to choose between two men, especially out of a fear of loneliness then it is a good time to be alone too.

Beaverfeaver Wed 14-Nov-12 23:01:28

I should add : OM loves me, but knowing I'm married he won't meet me. Sometimes I think I just love him as a friend and that I miss hanging out.

So I'm only now thinking about breaking my marriage up so I don't lose a special friend? Crazy yeah?!

Offred Wed 14-Nov-12 23:03:37

Yes crazy beaver. Neither situation sounds right for you. Would you not be on your own?

Beaverfeaver Wed 14-Nov-12 23:07:26

Yes, probably much better on my own.

Refer to precious post with all my fears written down.

One fear I didn't mention:
Am I just being hormonal?
I don't always feel like this.
Marriages arnt meant to e easy- do I just new to work on it and put more effort than I have been into it?

Offred Wed 14-Nov-12 23:13:10

You only get one life to live and you cannot waste it martyring yourself to some insignificant social construct. The only way through this is to make choices and not really know if they are the right ones so I don't really have an answer for you there! Being alone (temporarily or permanently) can help focus your mind on yourself and what you want which is sometimes uncomfortable and something people try to avoid but there is always a benefit to knowing yourself and to being unafraid of happiness. Happiness can lie in husbands, leaving a marriage, being alone, anything really, depends on you to find out what makes you happy.

drizzlecake Wed 14-Nov-12 23:16:50

I don't think 'putting more effort into a marriage', although that is the common phrase, sounds right. It sounds like you are constantly having to amuse and appease the other half.

I think the problem for many, including myself, is not knowing myself well enough and so not knowing what I really want or need from life. So putting more effort into yourself might be a better idea.

Dromedary Wed 14-Nov-12 23:19:54

There was a film on more or less this theme out this summer, starring Michelle Williams. She had a happy life with long term H, then met another, more exciting man, and became discontented with her H, and finally left him for the new man. A big risk. After a while the excitement was over and they didn't have much in common, but H would not take her back, as he had been too badly hurt. It was really depressing. If the grass is green, why risk all (including the happiness of H) in the hope that it will be even greener elsewhere?

Offred Wed 14-Nov-12 23:26:50

I suppose that's what I mean about thinking about it too, think about it from a perspective of yourself and not the mythical "one". What things does this OM represent to me? Why would i feel like that about him? Are those things missing from my life now? Why? Can I change that?

drizzlecake Wed 14-Nov-12 23:35:00

In 'The Bridges of Madison County' she stays with her husband.

Beaverfeaver Wed 14-Nov-12 23:40:38

I just read the synopsis of that film as not seen it.

But they all in love in 4 days? Now that is crazy!

tigerdriverII Wed 14-Nov-12 23:43:26

Can't say at all what you should do but I was in this situation a long time ago. Married but met OM a week before the wedding. That was it. Stayed married for 11 years. Have been w DH ( that is the original OM) for 19 official years and married for most of those, with a DC For the unofficial years we were very good friends and generally nothing more no DC or anything else lasting with first H. Sometimes you really have to do what you feel is right not what convention says is right.

Beaverfeaver Wed 14-Nov-12 23:49:42

Tigerdriver: how did you feel on your wedding day/honeymoon etc?
We're the 11 years with Xh happy?

Seems similar position to me

tigerdriverII Wed 14-Nov-12 23:59:51

Confused I think. A week is so short, no time to get your head round etc and then it's happening. 11 years mixed. Not happy really but masked by (the real) DH being around all the time and he and I hanging out platonically, so things were ok. I was young and ambitious and not thinking of DC at the time so that was never an issue. Btw, the honeymoon was two nights in a cheap hotel in the nastier bits of the Cotswolds so that wasn't an issue.

I think is is, really is, a case of 'the one that got away', I've been there, I know.

I know very well because it's happened to me three times. These ones that get away are pesky, & enduring. But they are boringly repetitive & that's exactly what they'd become.

They rear their heads in times of dissatisfaction & toil, they represent freedom & abandonment. A different life. A more exciting life.

But they're just men, as we are just women, they don't offer the answers, only distraction.

I'm absolutely sure you felt as heady & excited by your DH/P when you met them & if you hadn't settled down to a life of wet towels on the bathroom floor, children in the bed & hairs in the plug-hole, if they'd buggered off & left you for dust a year in, you'd feel a yearning for what could have been.

& what could have been?

Exactly what you have now I imagine, it's not all Liz & Dick out there you know.

Most enduring relationships are comfortable, personable & fun. Occasionally sexy, sometimes wild, but mostly comfortable, understanding, intimate & kind.

You'll never get there if you hanker after an impossible fantasy.

Beaverfeaver Thu 15-Nov-12 07:59:44

Tiger driver: why not leave sooner?

How did you bring it up with him when you decided to?

Whatnowffs Thu 15-Nov-12 08:04:10

I can't help but think that if you have feelings for someone else, then it is because you are not entirely happy where you are. I can relate, sadly, to that.

My first gf was killed in a car crash nearly 20 years ago. Do I still think about her occasionally? Yes. Have there been times I wonder 'what if?' Of course. Am I still in love with her? No. Was I still in love with her when I was with my ex? No.

Crushes are all very well. But the OP has said she has loved this guy for 16 years and that he is special. Your poor DH. He deserves to be the one who you think of as special.

fluffyraggies Thu 15-Nov-12 08:27:40

I'm quite interested to know if this man is an ex of the OP, or someone with whom she never actually got round to having a relationship with.

If there is no proper 'finish' to a crush/attraction (especially if there was no actual 'start' either) then it's easy for these feelings to hang around for ever years. With the object of desire becoming a fantasy figure almost. There will be no reason for these feelings to end as they exist in a bubble, unaffected by everyday life.

I'm speaking from experience here blush but thankfully i can now, these last 10 years or so (!) see it entirely for what it is. ie: a fantasy.

maleview70 Thu 15-Nov-12 08:37:05

When you think back to a lost love you only tend to remember the good bits. Comparing a long standing marriage to a much shorter love is like comparing a visit to the theatre to watch the new musical for the very first time to going back to watch it for the 22nd time. Some people in long standing marriages are lucky enough to enjoy the 22nd time as much as they enjoyed the first. Most are not that lucky. They might enjoy the odd song but most leave them feeling unfulfilled. The trick is to try to avoid becoming 'les miserables"and harping to the past and instead try to inject a bit of "dirty dancing" back into your current relationship!

gladiolus Thu 15-Nov-12 09:24:56

LOL - on the heels of this thread, I dreamed about my 'OM' last night, my crush from twenty years ago. I dreamed I met him again. He was still essentially the same, but greyer, with a goatee beard for some mad reason.

I have had the occasional very erotic dream about him, which always leaves me feeling very disturbed.

One time a long time ago I had a dream in which he remarried and I was so devastated it wasn't me, that I murdered his new wife.

I just wish he'd go away actually. In my head, I mean.

Lavenderhoney Thu 15-Nov-12 10:28:16

I think these things have the potiential to rage out of control vv fast and just thinking / waiting for contact is the thin end of the wedge and very disprutive. I try very hard not to think of mine at all which was working for a long time til I saw this threadsmile

AboutToSelfDestruct Thu 15-Nov-12 10:34:58

"I've got a "one that got away", the atmosphere of being married has made me on occasion attribute feelings, characteristics, opportunities etc to him which are not real, he becomes a focus for various things, if I feel swayed towards him I've learned to recognise those things as what I need to address with dh because they always are about my relationship with him and not the other fella. The fact he's my friend, there's a never explored history and an attraction actually is quite normal and I know I only attribute paranoid importance to it because I am married. "

Thank yo so much for those words Offred. I am going to keep hold of that right now. Can I just ask, are you still friends with your 'one that got away' and does your DH feel about it? I almost ended up in EA territory but have cut contact with OM for now and am doing everything possible to peice back together my marriage, but I really beleive what you said above and would love to think that in time when DH and I are strong, that OM and I could be friends of sorts as I care about him and he needs a friend right now. Maybe I ma being very niave?

redadmiralsinthegarden Thu 15-Nov-12 10:37:22

have skimmed through alot of these posts, so apologies if i am repeating someone else.
do you think the idea of 'the one that got away' is a symptom of our idealised society? chick flicks and chick lit are full of the idea of having one, true love, and even sleb stories perpetuate this.
surely there will never be a perfect couple? the grass is NEVER greener on the other side - it's just got different types of weeds mixed in!
and i am speaking as someone who had an EA; and initiated divorce (even though me and OM had finished), because I felt disloyal to dh continuing the marraige knowing how much i loved someone else.
OM and i would never have worked - i see that now. i was just carried away by the romance of it all. (But, yes, i think i still love OM very much)

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.

Offred Thu 15-Nov-12 13:04:09

Sorry epic reply... confused

Offred Thu 15-Nov-12 13:07:02

And caveat - I am extremely sure that I want to be married to dh and always have been sure of that fact. I don't believe in staying in a marriage at cost to yourself. If it were that I had fallen in love with someone else I would make a choice between them and dh as I know dh believes in monogamy (although I am not really that bothered) and if that meant leaving for my happiness I'd like to think I would be brave enough to do that.

Beaverfeaver Thu 15-Nov-12 14:03:27

Offered - I think I'm similar.
I want to be married to DH, but monogamy doesn't bother me.

We share so much history together that will never match up to OM.

Nothing will ever happen with OM. He is special, but hasn't yet grown up and wouldn't make a sensible choice of partner.

He is angry I got married. I'm upset I have lost a friend i loved. Need to start accepting that now.

Offred Thu 15-Nov-12 14:09:47

I don't see this guy I know as particularly special, he's just a guy who I happen to be attracted to, I'm also attracted to another guy who I have a history to, don't really see him as special either really. Think attractive is different to special.

Offred Thu 15-Nov-12 14:10:14

History with too!

I think there is a world of difference between "finding someone attractive" and "being attracted to" them. There is no 'danger' in the former. There can be (but not necessarily IS) 'danger' in the latter, I think.

I have a female best friend. We have occasionally been known to tell the other we love them. But it's a brother-sister type thing. It's not the love we have felt for ex-partners. We can tell the difference.

Conflugenglugen Thu 15-Nov-12 14:18:39

A very interesting thread, which I have read in parts but not exhaustively, so apologies if I repeat anything.

OP, what your post brings up for me are two things:

The first is that part of becoming independent-of-thought, -feeling, and -belief is learning to live with contradiction. As soon as we realise that things cannot be reconciled easily is the point where we start to grow up, imo.

The second is that 'compartmentalising' is damaging. It smacks of repression and suppression. Anything that is suppressed has the ability to spring uncontrolled into our experience, either through our own behaviours, or others', or apparently external events.

Both of these are connected. I think as soon as we stop adhering mindlessly to what we are taught to do, what we 'ought' to do, what avoids punishment, judgement and censure, the sooner we start to work with that sense of contradiction and compartmentalisation and integrate it. That is a path to health, no matter what the outcome.

Offred Thu 15-Nov-12 14:29:14

I've felt a lot of different kinds of love in a lot of different kinds of ways for friends and lovers, family, children... Being attracted to someone I think is often over thought, to me it means drawn to and there can be a variety of reasons for that, not all of the sexual, not all of the non-sexual unthreatening to a primary relationship. That relationship is threatened I think by secrecy and by the replacing of aspects that should be present in it (those that you feel are a necessary part of a relationship) with relationships with others secretly.

Lavenderhoney Thu 15-Nov-12 15:22:45

I think, from posts, that the om is unrequited love and what might have been for for various circumstances didn't happen. Or, a relationship where it did not finish satisfactorily, due to circumstances such as company move, being posted overseas and so on. The main factor is the om felt the same way.

I think grandmothers and before would really know this feeling. The war, people emigrating, just not knowing and getting on with life. No telecommunications etc and the ease we have now to keep in touch, often secretly.

It doesn't impact on day to day life, just a pang of rememberance at something. It is in no way comparable to having a crush or considering an affair IMO. It does not make a dh a lesser choice?

Beograde Thu 15-Nov-12 15:46:28

I can kind of sympathise - I've just gone through a break up with someone who I thought (and they seemed to think) we were perfect for each other - but we live on different sides of the Atlantic, and it was just too hard, given where we were with our careers. I'm sure I'll meet someone else and fall in love with them, but will I always be a little bit in love with this person who I can't be with? (It's more likely that we weren't right for each other, but it doesn't feel that way right now)

tallow Thu 15-Nov-12 19:28:10

I completely agree with others on this thread who say that you can love 2 men at the same time. It isn't a black and white issue.

I am very happily married, I love my husband totally and we have a great life together but for the past 3 years I have been seeing another man whom I also love. OM is married and I have recently discovered his wife has had a child. I wasn't aware that they had children and since discovering I have stopped all contact. OM is very upset about this and says he misses me terribly.

Bit of background, OM is an old boyfriend who I was very in love with and he had asked me to marry him in my 20s but I thought we were too young. Completely compatible, very passionate relationship, very happy but the wrong time of life. Then we carried on seeing each other intermittently but not serious any more. I felt like it was too hard to just be casual so finished relationship and we went our separate ways.

Later on after being married for several years he got in contact and we started messaging each other which eventually turned into meeting up for dinner initially as friends. I was very cautious but I was still incredibly attracted to him and he said he felt the same way. He said that his wife had been a friend initially and he loved her but his marriage lacked something. We sort of fell into meeting up once a month or so sometimes for coffee or lunch and then chatting and kissing etc. We have not had sex.

I stopped all contact several months ago and OM would still text message me and I found this incredibly difficult as my strong feelings for him and my love for my husband was making me miserable. And to be honest knowing that he had somehow compromised himself and had settled upset me a lot. I told him not to contact me again as it was breaking my heart. Since stopping contact I have tried to get on with my life but to be completely honest I am pretty miserable without him in some small part of my life. As somebody else said it is having somebody that isn't mixed up in the domesticity of life that you can have an adult conversation with and not talk about the in and outs and rudiments of everyday life.

Please don't judge me. I am a kind, sensitive person who has found themselves in love with 2 men. My husband is a fantastic thoughtful man, we have a good sex life and I am still very attracted to him.

yummymummytobe1 Thu 15-Nov-12 19:30:32

It might sound harsh OP but are you not living a lie if you do not love your DP? I feel for all the "they will do partners"

Wecanfixit Thu 15-Nov-12 20:33:29

I tell you all keep it as a fantasy in your head girls, trust me it is not worth giving up everything when you are not even sure it will be okay , I know there are no guarantees in life with any relationship , I think the reason it stays in our head this other person with whom we think we love is because we can not have them , simple really.

Marylene Fri 16-Nov-12 13:37:49

Yes what an interesting read... Still don't know what to do about my own situation though so keep on posting grin ; Since I met my One Who Got Away again a few years ago I have been thinking about him/separating from DP constantly, at the detriment of my DCs probably... Haven't seen him for a year now but I see what he's up to on FB. I am finding it very difficult to get a grip. Should I just accept the ambivalence towards DP, like some of you do, and get on with life? Currently I'm putting all my energy into working out if it's worth me leaving or not. Not to go with OM (I would not want to live with him - or any other man, ever: I think living together is overrated...) but just because I have been getting this strong feeling that DP doesn't care...

It's so hard to think rationally about your DP when there is somebody else in your mind isn't it ; (Even if I suspect my OM has a girlfriend atm and he has never let me know he liked me in that way the few times we have met up last year; ...well kind of. I did, last year, while under the influence, send him a dodgy text complete with x, because I'd been worried I had been a useless host and that I had made him uncomfortable after he'd been spending a w.end with us...<deeply ashamed> ( obviously that was my conscious reason at the time I wrote it; we all know I would not have felt the need to write that to, well, anybody else) I just shudder when I think back about that text : / then I had to apologise... but in return he sent me a mail ending with a x and this is when I kind of lost the plot a bit; Well, I did nothing, just did not know what to do or say. Still don't, really. In light of my experience I would say that conflugenglugen 's opinion that "Anything that is suppressed has the ability to spring uncontrolled into our experience, either through our own behaviours, or others', or apparently external events." rings very true grin blush )

In my search to find out if my dissatisfaction with DP dates back to my meeting OM or precedes it, I remembered that this time 3 years ago we nearly split up, because I was finding him useless with 1/household stuff 2/our SN child 3/the baby, (instead I got myself on antidepressants to try and work out if I was indeed just a nag in need of chilling out, and things got better, but mainly because then DP took a job that involves so much travelling that I barely see him... just one day a week) and that was before OM sprung back on the scene (I'm the one who contacted him again...)

I told my DP about the text incident by the way; He doesn't care; I don't think he'd mind me having FWBs, even. I suppose I should be happy with that - but instead I feel hollow, like we are together, but it's not because we really want to, more because splitting up would be too much hassle.

I'm writing all this and really don't know where I'm going, hopefully we can all make sense of our situations at some point.

Nowadays, it's in the OM that I see great qualities that I value, and I feel that DP and myself no longer have much to learn from each other; We have been together 18 years...

I think I'd be happier by myself, but who knows?

Offred Fri 16-Nov-12 13:47:40

Don't shudder! So you sent an inappropriate text, bet it wasn't even that bad! Lots of people do silly stuff like that! You did it, it is done, you are aware it was wrong, try to deal with what led to it happening and then move on. Guilt is just harmful in situations like this. Make an actual change, try to deal with it instead of feeling powerless and swept along!

Marylene Fri 16-Nov-12 14:48:50

No, it wasn't that bad, I don't feel too guilty, I just surprised myself as I am usually very controlled and not impulsive at all! I just shocked myself! : D

As for the actual change - we all know the default course for a relationship is for it to carry on, so it feels like i would have to be very determined to put an end to it after 18 years, a seemingly unconcerned DP and 2 DCs. Perhaps I am being swept along - perhaps I am recognising that i am being unrealistic in my expectations of a relationship. That's what DP says when we talk about it. I can't say i am mentally very stable (v.prone to up and downs and paranoia and a tendency to control, I know that.) It makes it very hard to think clearly; What is me being stupid, what is me being reasonable... We actually went on therapy 3 years ago when we nearly split up - he said all the right things, I just always had a feeling it wasn't right... God I could talk about this a while... It was because he entered counselling with the aim that i should stop bothering him by implying all the time that he doesn't love me. That's what he said he expected from the sessions. I always said, so if I think you don't love me and I shut up about it, you'll be ok? And he always said, well yes, because I know I can't reassure you, and that's your problem, not mine. And to this day he hasn't changed his mind. I have told him many time "you do know I think you don't love me don't you"... and he just says "what do you want me to do? you'll never believe it."

For the first time in my life, though, I am starting to look at a career I could possibly do - that would bring meaning to me... I mean a career that would have me problem-solve, which I have worked out is what I like to do when I interact with people, and what I think is currently missing? See that's what I thought my attraction to OM highlighted, a need to talk through new things and work them out, like we did in our chats... ? <vague >

Yet I should be revising maths to get my plan going, and instead I'm on the relationship board again... grin

Basically, I feel certain I want to leave, but am weary of it being mind trick brought on by OM. I do really like DP. When he is away I'm thinking I'm great without him, and we must really get round to splitting up, but when he comes back I like our conversations and... it gets complicated.

Sorry for the hijack.

Offred Fri 16-Nov-12 15:28:29

Maybe that's what needs to change - the perception that the default course for a relationship is for it to carry on? There's really no reason why that should be true, of course some people do believe in that but it doesn't have to be that way. That leads you into a horrible limbo where you aren't working on a relationship but you aren't leaving either. confused

Offred Fri 16-Nov-12 15:31:00

I think you can only make the choices you feel happy with as they present themselves and some of them will be wrong and you can learn from them and move forward. Leaving for a chance of a relationship with someone else is not something i think ever really works well, if it does it is inspite of this. Maybe you need space from both to think about what you want for you?

Marylene Fri 16-Nov-12 17:15:24

"Maybe you need space from both to think about what you want for you?" That's what I thought - hence the plan to focus on a career, and me not contacting OM.

As for leaving DP there's a "So how do you know it's time to leave" thread going on, and from reading it it's one thing wanting to leave, quite another to do it... I've read a few posts by women regretting their decisions, one from a poster who left 8 years ago and who is still not sure she did the right thing! It puts me off and the whole thing is driving me potty. Should join that thread... We are indeed in a horrible limbo. And yet we were so good together for so long... I never thought it would come to this. Thanks for the help.

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