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What exactly is the dividing line?

(8 Posts)
Velvelette Thu 28-Mar-13 09:13:21

between friendship between a man and a woman, and an emotional affair? And how can I deal with the loss of the friendship?

I've NC.

We were work colleagues who had acknowledged an attraction, although we were both in a relationship at the time and never acted on it. Before he returned to his home country we agreed to stay in touch on a platonic basis. He lives on the other side of the world and the friendship has been conducted by email/text/phone for almost a decade. Our comms has never been sexual although sometimes we are a little flirty. During that time we've cut off contact quite a few times when one or other of us has felt that it was becoming more intense than it ought to be, especially when either of us was in a relationship. But we never really forgot about each other and one of us always got back in contact.

He met his current DP six months ago. He is very serious about her and is ready to build a future together. We have talked about their relationship, and he told her about ours. She isn't comfortable with our friendship and has asked him to end it. Which he's done. I respect her wish and his decision.

But my problem is that I'm sitting here feeling heartbroken - its been 5 days now, I miss him and I feel like shit. I'm also upset because I'm now fairly sure this has been an emotional affair that we've both continued while we've had partners and I feel bad about that.

onefewernow Thu 28-Mar-13 09:18:19

Oh that's easy. It is anything you are not happy for your husband tot see or know about.

Frank Pittman " if you want to know whether you are having an affair, the best person to ask is your spouse".

Why havnt you asked him first?

YoothaJoist Thu 28-Mar-13 09:21:37

I agree with onefew. When you meet this other bloke, imagine your DP sitting next to you, watching and listening. How do you feel? How would he feel?

It's really not hard.

Velvelette Thu 28-Mar-13 09:38:34

I'm not married.

I haven't seen my friend in person for nearly 10 years, since he relocated work back to his home country.

At times when either of us has been with a BF/GF who we hadn't told about our friendship, that's when we dropped off contact because we didn't want to go behind our partner's back. That said, we've also both been in relationships when our partner knew and was fine with it.
But I would say that as I'm only seeing blurred boundaries, then yes, perhaps it's been an emotional affair.

LessMissAbs Thu 28-Mar-13 09:40:59

Well, you've had all the hard work bits of a relationship, without the good bits of the physical. And the reason for that is that neither of you have had the motivation to take it any further. There seems to be a lot of people out there who think they are doing nothing wrong by getting involved emotionally but not physically - I would disagree. Why let yourself become so emotionally involved with another person if you aren't prepared to leave your current partner?

FWIW I think hes used you, to fill in a void, and now he has no qualms about discarding you when he no longer has any purpose for you. I'm wary of these sort of men who are looking for "penpals - can't see what the woman gets out of it. Interesting that he split up with his partner - why didn't you pursue the possibility of a relationship with him then?

Velvelette Thu 28-Mar-13 09:51:04

Abs he's on the other side of the world. He has a DC who is now 11. The only way would be for me to go there, and I was never motivated enough to uproot everything I have here to pursue a relationship. I've been a serial monogamist for the past 15 years or so and don't see myself being in a very long term relationship again.
So I don't think that's the issue, and I never felt used. He's been there for me - as an ear or for hand holding - for several years whenever I've needed him. The issue is that I'm really feeling the loss of friendship and I don't know how to deal with it. I know he's serious about his new DP and our friendship had to end because she's not happy with it. I understand that. I'm just feeling a bit raw knowing the friendship is over.

SanctuaryMoon Thu 28-Mar-13 10:46:02

Am I the only person who thinks it is weird that a new partner gets to say which friendships stay and which go? I took on my other half and all his friendships and existing relationships.

Despite this, and regardless of whether it was an "emotional affair" or not, you are experiencing loss and it's okay to be sad about that.

ConsiderablyBiggerBuns Thu 28-Mar-13 10:55:14

I think the fact that you are feeling 'Heartbroken' suggests that more than platonic feelings were invloved and so, yes, this was an emotional affair. You are absolutely entitled to be feeling like that, but if your friend has been honest about the status of your relationship with his new partner, then I can't blame her for wanting it to end. Do you think that your bond with this man has held you back in having a serious long term relationship during the last decade? Wishing you the best for the grief of your loss but hoping that you have freed up some emotional space to move forward with some one who lives in the same continent.

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