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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?

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.

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?

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

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 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 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?

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.

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"

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.

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)

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?

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.

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.

VoiceofUnreason Thu 15-Nov-12 14:16:24

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.

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

History with too!

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.

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 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.

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

Sorry epic reply... confused

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.

Thisisaeuphemism Thu 15-Nov-12 12:10:05

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.

badtasteflump Thu 15-Nov-12 12:03:39

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?

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

equal, but different.

Thisisaeuphemism Thu 15-Nov-12 12:01:09

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 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.

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