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I have romantic feelings for my married male friend

(48 Posts)
Worriedsingle Thu 10-Sep-15 15:18:28

Please please please don't flame me! I'm posting because I need some advice.

For the past year or so I've been a member of a local group which meets every few weeks. I don't want to say what the group is, but it is a hobby group.

From the start, me and this married man hit it off (let's call him Tom). We have lots in common, the same sense of humour, etc. So, we are pretty good friends. We text a lot about our hobby, and other things related, but it's all innocent.

He is married with one child. I am single, no children. I haven't met his wife and don't know anything about her. He never mentions her.

In the past month, I have realised that I like him as more than a friend. I fancy him, a lot. I can't stop thinking about him in a romantic way. My heart flutters every time he texts me.

I know that this is dangerous and that no good can come of it. I have (with a heavy heart) decided that I need to stop being friends with him for both our sakes.

How can I end our friendship without telling him why? Or do you think I should tell him why? sad

Princerocks Thu 10-Sep-15 15:20:41

I do not think you should declare your love for a married man with a child. No. That is the same as asking if he would like to start a relationship with you.

Lj8893 Thu 10-Sep-15 15:21:20

Your doing the right thing, I don't think telling him the truth is the right thing to do though. Not to sure what excuse you can give as to why your ending the friendship though, hopefully someone has a good idea.

rouxlebandit Thu 10-Sep-15 15:34:29

We married men can be easily flattered by the attentions of attractive young women. It boosts our ego, making us feel that we can still pull! However, the kindest thing you can do in this situation is to remain friends but just cut out any flirting. Try to find a single man on whom to focus your romantic feelings.

Shodan Thu 10-Sep-15 15:35:53

Are you sure it's not just a crush? It seems a shame to completely end a friendship when your romantic feelings might just disappear.

However. What I would do in this situation is distance yourself a bit- take your time answering texts and don't send any chatty ones. Limit your exposure to him to the times you see him for your hobby. Try to find something that repels you romantically- food between his teeth/large earlobes/sloping shoulders/dirty fingernails- anything, so long as it's off-putting. Try and make sure conversations are only in a group.

If he asks why you're being weird/distant, just reply that you've got a lot going on at the moment.

Hopefully you'll readjust and see him only as a friend or even just someone with whom you share your hobby.

Worriedsingle Thu 10-Sep-15 15:38:28

Princerocks I agree Prince. I don't want to make him feel awkward.

Rouxlebandit There is no flirting going on, at least I don't think so. We do talk a lot, but it is mainly about our shared interests.

StormCoat Thu 10-Sep-15 15:39:05

It's happened to most people at some point, OP. It was mutual in my case, and we were both happily married and but spending long periods away from our spouses for work (we were colleagues). We just never acted on it, and it calmed down into a strong, mutually-supportive friendship, plus his wife gas also become a friend. These things do pass. Don't make any operatic declarations, though!

StormCoat Thu 10-Sep-15 15:39:49

His wife HAS.

rouxlebandit Thu 10-Sep-15 15:40:15

Sometimes I choose the wrong words but i think you know what I mean.

AndDeepBreath Thu 10-Sep-15 15:41:54

Honestly? Just consciously begin to ignore him. Leave it longer and longer before responding then don't reply to texts.

Be light and breezy if you meet up accidentally and try to not be alone together. Talk about boring things. There are a million and one ways to cut someone off but mostly it just comes down to self-control.

If he "demands" answers, either ignore or be friendly, say you're busy and hope he and wife/baby are well.

DON'T tell him you have a crush on him for gods sake. There's a 99% chance it'll just be mortifyingly embarrassing and you'll imagine him, wife, friends etc mocking/suspecting you forever more. Then there's that tiny 1% chance he could turn out to be willing to cheat on his wife - at which point a whole other can of worms would be opened, and he wouldn't be the amazing guy you thought he was anyway!

Incidentally a bit intrigued by the hobby, so many people refer in oblique ways on Mumsnet to hobbies they dare not mention for some reason!

AndDeepBreath Thu 10-Sep-15 15:43:19

Re-reading that, I didn't mean that last sentence to sound snarky by the way, it just keeps happening. Is there a secret awesome club out there I know nothing about? smile

DrMorbius Thu 10-Sep-15 15:49:14

AndDeepBreath there naked "life" models.

rosieliveson1 Thu 10-Sep-15 15:56:33

I agree with distancing rather than cutting off. You need to cool your own feelings rather than break the friendship. So long as it is a truly innocent, no flirting, no emotional affair type thing. Text less, give yourself a 30miniute cool off before you reply to messages, then make that longer and longer. Begin to restrict conversation to your hobby.
For what it's worth, I'm married with a toddler and one on the way.

AndDeepBreath Thu 10-Sep-15 16:00:00

DrMorbius I knew it!

LeonC Thu 10-Sep-15 17:49:36

Can I join?

Narp Thu 10-Sep-15 18:09:19

Hmm. I feel sorry for you, I do.

But it's not innocent from him - he is being really unfair on you, and of course, on his wife.

I think this because of the fact that he never mentions his wife - he is distancing himself from her in your presence and so he is flirting. And that's not fair.

TheDowagerCuntess Thu 10-Sep-15 19:11:19

The single, easiest, most effective thing you both can do, but you'll clearly need to instigate it is: stop the texting.

It's not good. Why is he spending all this time texting you, anyway? Say you did get together, would you be happy with him texting another woman as much as you and he text?

Dial that right down, and take it back to the level of 'acquaintance you know from your hobby'.

TheDowagerCuntess Thu 10-Sep-15 19:13:40

To clarify - the texts might be 'innocent', but the texting isn't.

ShebaShimmyShake Thu 10-Sep-15 19:18:47

What would you do if he was a horrible, smelly, unattractive, antisocial loser who kept texting and talking to you? Whatever it is, do that.

Worriedsingle Thu 10-Sep-15 21:07:55

Thanks everyone.

Just to clarify, I really don't think that he is doing anything wrong. He is just a really nice, sweet man. It upsets me that some people think he is being a bad guy in this situation. He is a nice man.

I don't want to say what the hobby is just in case his wife is reading this blush

The distancing thing sounds good in theory, but in realtiy my feelings for him are getting stronger each time I see him. I really think I need to go cold turkey and get him out of my thoughts completely.

AndDeepBreath Thu 10-Sep-15 21:23:22

Well the odds are very slim, but yes, if you can't bear the thought of his wife potentially suspecting then imagine how much worse it would be if she actually KNEW.

Nice guys make mistakes too sadly (as do nice women) - no one starts off life as a cheat or a liar or meaning to mess things up.

Remember that this is a fantasy for you and sadly he's not available. Even if in some daydream world he left his wife and baby for you, your butterfly feelings would almost definitely fade as they always do especially in the tedium of everyday life with a stepchild who blamed you, and you'd be left trying to form a relationship with someone you couldn't fully trust - so yes, please do distance yourself - for your own sake as well as his family's.

Also good for you for being proactive about this. It must be horrid but you're taking good steps to protect yourself and I'm glad for you!

IrenetheQuaint Thu 10-Sep-15 21:27:55

Distance yourself! And force yourself to mention his wife in conversation with him (just lightly 'Oh does X like going to the theatre too?'). If you can meet her casually that would be even better. Basically you need to start thinking of his wife and child as real people.

Also, imagine him on the loo.

lunar1 Thu 10-Sep-15 21:34:29

The cold turkey thing is not much better than just telling him though. It creates drama ant the potential for him to ask what happened. Gradually backing off, replying late to texts etc would be the option that draws the least attention.

goddessofsmallthings Thu 10-Sep-15 21:40:55

Do get a grip, honey. The world's full of married men and just because you get on well with one, doesn't mean you have to lust after him.

Start sharing your thoughts with another member of your life modelling hobby group, reduce the amount of time you spend chatting/texting Mr Married with DC, and make sure your life is full of other activities other than this particular leisure pursuit.

AnyFucker Thu 10-Sep-15 21:46:17

oh give over

it's easy to distance yourself

you are a grown up, sort yourself out

quit with the "I just can't help myself"

yes, you can

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