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EA? What have i done.....?

(8 Posts)
sensitivesituation2 Fri 09-Jan-15 08:45:43

Am married 19 years, two teen dc. I have a married male friend who I have known for more than 25 years. They have been married 15 years with 3 dc. We have always been very close, but never in a sexual way. We lost contact for a number of year whilst I travelled, but after i returned we were in contact again.

My dh works away a lot. He was away for 5 months of last year so I am alone with dc very often. Friend is always the one that will call me to check up if I am doing okay whilst dh is away, and I know that if I needed help with anything, he would be there for me. We speak about once a week usually.

We talk about anything and everything, and I do think he chats to me about some things that he doesn't chat to his dw about. He is self employed and had some issues with finances recently, chatted to me about what I thought, discussed salaries that he paid his staff etc. I know he didn't speak to his dw about it, but because he didn't want to worry her about the finances as it was a temporary cash flow issue.

I love him to bits. But i don't love him in a way that I love dh, but I will be honest and say that if he wasn't in my life, I would miss him a lot, chatting to him and having a very close friend.

I was having a conversation with him via text message. We have a laugh and a joke, and I messaged him back about saying something along the lines that I think I should stay over at his for the night instead of driving home (he lives about an hour away from me). His response to me was that he would love that, he couldn't guarantee that he would be able to remain on the couch if i was there. A few messages went back and forth in a joking manner, and i then got a message to ask when i was coming and he would arrange to be alone.

Now i am also at fault here, as i suppose some of the messages involved a bit of light flirting, silly things like he says he needs to get to the gym to get fit and i tell him why, you already are, and that sort of thing. But its always been like this, so this sudden direct sleeping with him comment, has come as a shock tbh.

I cut the conversation short after that, and haven't spoken to him now for a few days since then. I want to message him today, just a normal type of message, but i don't actually know what to say. I don't know whether to just forget about the comment and chat like normal, or to bring it up and say something about it.

As an aside to this, dh and i have had some issues in the past. He had an affair and my friend was the one i confided in when i needed to chat etc. But that's what friends do.... he asked for my advice when he wanted to buy something for his dw as a present... just what any friends would do, even if you were same sex. The fact that he is male and married really has nothing to do with the friendship iyswim. DH and I did stay together and worked though things, and our relationship is good now. His marriage has also had some ups and downs, but like us, he worked through them and from what i know, things are fine with them now.

I don't want to lose a best friend over some comment that maybe i am reading too much into. If his feelings toward me have changed, i wouldn't be able to tell as things are just how they have always been.

Would you message today? Or wait for him to message me?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 09-Jan-15 08:58:02

It rather depends on what your priorities are and what your motivation is for this friendship. You now know that your friend fancies you and you can no longer kid yourself that this is a platonic arrangement. If you've been using the flirty friendship as a prop to your shaky marriage, providing intimacy and affection that may have been missing, I'm afraid it can no longer be available to you. It's not fair on the friend to give him false hopes, it's not fair on your DH (who I suppose doesn't know the full story?) and it's actually not fair on you either.

Meerka Fri 09-Jan-15 09:00:44

You can't just forget that comment. The friendship has shifted now.

A short term friendship with a comment like that when you are both married would mean the friendship is over.

A long term one - well, 25 years is a long time and there's been a great deal more to it than any attraction or it wouldnt have lasted. Maybe those good things can be salvaged. But this has really put some caltrops in the road.

I think that you need to text him and say 'look, your last text threw me. We've flirted in an it's-never-going-to-happen way but your last text took it into the realms of something different. Did you mean it?"

And then leave it there. Wait for him to respond. If he comes back with a sincere apology - let it go. it'll affect the friendship for some time, but seeing as you've been friends 25 years, in a couple of years' time it can be forgotten... ish.

If he says Yes I did or argues, anything other than an apology, then the only reasonable thing you can do is say "This isn't what I want" and then don't contact him or answer him again.

It'll hurt, but I'm afraid that the friendship has already changed and the old comfortable feeling has been lost. Unfortunately you now know he's the sort of man to cheat on his wife which isn't something you can just erase. But if he apologises you can maybe go on and salvage it.

I personally would also tell my husband to be honest. Something on the lines of "xxx sent a text too far, I'd rather avoid him at the moment". You know yoru husband best though, whether he trusts you and would just raise his eyebrows and let your handle it, or whether he would hit the ceiling.

FelicityGubbins Fri 09-Jan-15 09:17:29

I wouldn't send a leading text like "did you mean it?" I would text and say "I think wires got crossed somewhere!" and then plow on with the friendly but none flirty texts..

DrMorbius Fri 09-Jan-15 10:18:59

Why not just send a text saying "hey, I know we are just messing around, but we need to calm it down. If anyone reads our texts they may think we are being serious (god forbid)."

Then see how he comes back. If he agrees etc, just laugh it off and carry on as friends. If he says he was being serious, you will have to tell him that that would damage your friendship and it will never happen.

Theoldhag Fri 09-Jan-15 10:32:31

I think honesty is always the best policy, so tell him that you value his friendship but you will not put your marriage on the line and you do not feel for him in that way.

Sad thing is you now know that he is less than an honest person and that he would cheat on his dw, I could not condone that sort of behaviour.

Once Pandora's box is opened it is very difficult to put back the spilled contents.

Good luck op, I hope that you resolve this issue.

sensitivesituation2 Fri 09-Jan-15 12:34:28

Thanks everyone.

He called me this morning, but i was on my way out, so i had a brief chat with him and said i would call him back when i got in. I must admit that he sounded a bit sheepish, so i think that perhaps he is feeling the same as me.

DrMorbius i think that is what I will do. I did call him back but he didn't answer, i am not too worried, as that that is quite normal if he is busy, and i know he will call me back again later.

He has never cheated on his wife. He loves her dearly and is a great father. I know we need to iron this out. I would be devastated to lose him as a friend.

nauticant Fri 09-Jan-15 13:34:15

I'd suggest a friendship with more distance. If you assume you can have the same friendship so long as you don't talk about "you know, the THING" then you'll be at risk of the situation going out of control.

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