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Can you love two people?

(23 Posts)
amiaterribleperson Thu 19-Nov-15 12:41:16

I have nc for this and am i regular poster normally. I have such a long story that I will most probably get flamed for but I just need advice.

Is it possible to love two people at the same time? I don't believe I do love two people but at the same time I don't understand how I can be in this situation if I don't?

I abit of background. I have been with my husband since I was 16 and we have been together for 12 years. I moved a long way to be with him and left all my family and friends and home to be with him at 16.

I started a new job a few months after I moved here. I grew close to someone at work and we started sleeping together about a year later. Please bear in mind I was only 17 and the relationship with my husband (boyfriend then) was not great. However it went on and off over the next 5 years although sometimes with large gaps but I could never seem to just end it regardless of how hard I tried.

12 years later and although me and my husband are still together and now have 2 children I can not get this man out of my head. We haven't worked together for a long time and I haven't seen him for 5 years but we have spoke on and off over this time. I have recently begun talking to him again and he wants us to meet up but I don't want it all to start again.

Mine and my husbands relationship has never been great but I think as I left home and my parents told me it wouldn't work I was abit determined it would iykwim? Our relationship is more on an even keel now.

This other man makes me feel things no one ever has but then I have only known my husband really. I'm also conscious that it could be the situation that makes us feel like this. He says he loves me would marry me tomorrow doesn't want anyone else but me etc etc. But I'm not sure if it isn't a case of he wants what he technically can't have? Also the reality of life would change things I believe. I don't really think much with my heart and I don't believe love is all hearts and flowers and we would live happily ever after.

All I know is I can't keep going on like this. I'm too scared to leave my husband I don't have the confidence or self belief to believe I could make it work on my own but I also don't want to jump into a relationship with this other man as I've been in a relationship for 12 years and if I did leave my husband i'd rather be on my own at least for awhile.

Also i'm not sure I want to leave my husband? Things aren't great but things aren't terrible either. We are good friends and get on ok.

Such a long post but I hope someone can offer some advice??

cailindana Thu 19-Nov-15 12:56:06

You clearly don't love your husband so your question is a bit odd really.

You made a bad choice when you were 16 (who doesn't) and you're hanging onto that choice rather than moving your life on. How that helps anyone is beyond me.

The other man is irrelevant - you might get together with him, you might not.

But you have been unfaithful to your husband over a very long period and you feel little or nothing for him so it's best to end that relationship before doing anything else.

Headdesk Thu 19-Nov-15 12:56:25

If you have to pick between two people then always pick the second because if you really loved the first the second wouldn't be an option - something someone told me once.
Do you want to make it work with your husband? If not the only fair thing to do would be to leave. It's scary starting over but you can do it, I did it. But if you want to make it work then you need to forget the second person.

Confused2015xxx Thu 19-Nov-15 13:17:00

I believe you can.
I believe you can stop loving someone the same way and start loving someone the way you loved the first person ( if that makes any sense )

pocketsaviour Thu 19-Nov-15 13:22:28

Of course you can love two people at the same time.

However it sounds like you don't love your husband particularly, you're just used to life with him. Is he much older than you? You mentioned you'd be frightened to leave. What is it about that you find so scary?

MorrisZapp Thu 19-Nov-15 13:28:47

You'll never find satisfaction in life if you're too scared to be an independent adult. Life is great when you have autonomy, and freedom to make all your own decisions.

It's not scary, it's brilliant. Nobody is gaining from this present mess. Would you like your husband to stay with you out of fear and habit? Life should be better than this. You can do it.

TempusEedjit Thu 19-Nov-15 13:36:22

I think it's possible to be in love with two people but in your case I don't think you love either of them. You don't love your husband which is apparent by your actions and your grim determination to prove your parents wrong. You don't love the OM either - how could you when you've never been in the nitty gritty of an actual relationship with him? You long for him and the escapism that he provides but that's all.

Fratelli Thu 19-Nov-15 14:51:47

You don't love either of them. You clearly have no respect for your husband and you're a disgusting person for what you've done to him. Leave him, he deserves better than you. You should be single for a while and focus on your children rather than shagging other men.

Lovehandles Thu 19-Nov-15 14:58:59

You must be a little bit mad to post this on here... you know what responses you will get. I think you have to dig deep and decide which path to take, one or the other

MoriartyIsMyAngel Thu 19-Nov-15 15:31:52

You're not a terrible person, but you can't carry on like this. A poster here recently found out that her DH had been having an affair throughout their marriage and it devastated her. I'd hope you wouldn't want to put your husband through that.

If you have any respect/feelings for him, try and work on your marriage. If it doesn't get better, then end it for that reason, not because you have someone else lined up. And as you say, he may not be a viable option anyway.

noseynoras Thu 19-Nov-15 16:46:55

Yes but most people can only live with one. That's the dilemma.

amiaterribleperson Thu 19-Nov-15 22:16:02

Thank you for all your responses.

I know I have gone about things completely the wrong way. Looking at it from other peoples perspective I probably don't love my husband. Whether that is anymore or if I did to begin with I don't know. But he's the only relationship I've ever known so having nothing to compare it to iykwim? I love him as the father of my children and the person I've lived with for a long time but other than that I'm not sure? But things I don't think are bad enough to leave? No we don't have the best relationship and yes there have been lots of problems along the way.

I have threatened to leave on more than one occasion unless he changes and he has changed a lot. But then I feel the build up of resentment over the years is now too much if that makes sense? But again I don't feel things are bad enough to leave? I asked him to try counselling and we went to one session and he said he knew what he had to do and we didn't need to go again. I don't know how to explain why our marriage isn't good? Its probably lots of little things really? My friend was said he was ea but I'm not sure I see that.

I don't want to see this other man again and I stopped before I had my children but then I want to see him again too. But then in my head I know this is not a good idea.

I'm not happy in my marriage but not unhappy enough to leave. I sort of just think I'll bumble along the way I have been as it's easier than the upset of the alternative?

How do people find the courage to leave because I admire anyone who has? I am an independent person and don't really ask for help or support from him and look after everything regarding the house, finances, children, business etc and yet I don't believe I could manage on my own?

I didn't have the best childhood and wonder how much this impacts on people with regards to marriage and adulthood? I have posted on here many times regarding my marriage and how many times over the years I have tried to make things work. I feel we have reached a sort of stalemate as neither of us seem to even fight anymore as if we don't have the energy.

Sorry for the long post no idea if I'm making any sense just trying to explain really and hope anyone whos ever been in this situation can help me.


Fratelli Fri 20-Nov-15 09:43:54

So basically you want to have your cake and eat it. You're happy enough to stay but unhappy enough to cheat?

I think you need to stop making excuses for your behaviour and own your decisions because you chose to make them. Your childhood can impact you in many ways but at the end of the day you chose to cheat. You're also allowing your own children to witness a bad relationship.

You seem to be putting a lot of the blame onto him. If he won't try counselling you can't force him but it would be the best thing for your relationship. Does he know about the affair?

Neither of you should stay in an unhappy relationship, it's umhealthy. It sounds like you're both stuck in a rut and afraid of changing. But it is time to make some changes.

Jan45 Fri 20-Nov-15 16:34:00

Oh grow up, you need to leave your husband, you clearly don't love him and have done some shitty stuff to him, just leave, scared of what exactly? You weren't scared to sleep with two men at the same time so what's the big deal?

Sorry but you sound so childish, happy enough with one man but want the passion with the other - probably neither are right for you, you are with your husband out of habit and the other guy could have had you but didn't really make the effort so it was never meant to be anyway.

eloquent Fri 20-Nov-15 16:43:23

There's no point calling you all the names under the sun, what's done is done.
Maybe things aren't great with husband because he knows somewhat of what you have done?
This isn't an easy decision to make.
Personally, I think you should leave your husband, but not for this guy. Be alone and find you again.

pocketsaviour Fri 20-Nov-15 18:11:05

I am an independent person and don't really ask for help or support from him and look after everything regarding the house, finances, children, business etc and yet I don't believe I could manage on my own?

What is it you don't think you could manage? You seem to be doing most of the everyday life stuff with no problems. Does your H represent safety to you? When you left home, did you feel he was rescuing you? Did your mum stay with your dad (or other man) when she should have left, in hindsight?

anotherbloomingusername Fri 20-Nov-15 18:46:45

I do believe you can love more than one person (how else would anyone have more than one child, or stay married after having a child?), and it's also possible to love someone who isn't good for you. At times, it's even necessary to leave someone you love, in order to do what's best for yourself.

I don't think the problem here is your feelings-- more that you're living a life that's incompatible with your feelings. You may love and value certain things about your husband, but it doesn't sound like your feelings include a desire to continue living with him, or remain in a monogamous relationship.

Likewise, it doesn't sound like you desire committment and monogamy with the other guy.

It's not the case that you need to be living with and married to one or the other. Not everybody fits into that box. What you need to do is work out what you would like your life to look life and do it honestly. That may require some time alone.

amiaterribleperson Mon 23-Nov-15 10:03:32

Thank you for your responses.

I do think I'm with my husband out of habit and yes he does represent safety to me. I'm not really sure why I'm scared of being on my own tbh. I lived at home till I was 16 then moved in with my husband so I've never been on my own.

I'm also worried how I would cope alone and financially with 3 young children (put 2 children in previous post typing error!) and no family support around us.

My mother did stay with my father for a lot longer than she should have so maybe this does impact? My father was mentally,physically, emotionally and sexually abusive so I'm often guilty of comparing him to my husband and think things aren't that bad as he doesn't do xyz iykwim?

My children are fine and if I felt they weren't I would have left a long time ago. After we had my oldest I threatened him then and that he had to change or I would leave. The way he spoke to me and his aggressive side. The question though is if I'm that unhappy why didn't i just leave then?

Yes I slept with this other man but when I had my children I put a stop to it as my children have to come first. They are the most important thing in all this. That was 5 years ago and I haven't seen him since. I have spoken with him sound still classed as an emotional affair? Me and my husband get along fine now there's just something missing I think?? Ive no energy to argue anymore so just go along with life. I don't know if I'm expecting too much from him or if this is the way things should be? If that makes any sense!

Omg I just don't make any sense sad

isthismylifenow Mon 23-Nov-15 10:30:19


I am sort of in a similar situation to you. Except that there isnt a OM. I have been in a long marriage, bumbling through..... I havent been happily married for years, I can see this now. I thought i was though, as I met my stbxh when I was the same age as you were. I married my first boyfriend, so I really didnt get out and about and sleep around, get heartbroken at being dumped as a teenager, and all that normal stuff.

But getting to the point of realizing that the marriage is over and doing something about it is the hardest part. We talked about it, wondered if we could just bumble along like this for the rest of days. It would be better for the dc after all.... but then I really really thought about it. Do I really want to be miserable, unhappy and coming second best for the rest of my life. Basically, we are just friends now. Nothing more than that.

So, we are seperating now, in fact this week we are telling the dc (yip I feel permanently sick to the stomach, and am dreading it).

I need to find myself. My whole adult life I have been stbxh's wife. I havent been me and done the things I want to do. I have done the things that is best for everyone else, but not for me.

I am waffling now I know, but this isnt really about the OM is it? You already said that you dont know how that relationship would work out, he is just an outlet for you right now. Your marriage isnt happy, and to be frank, he is just confusing the issue more.

If you want to end your marriage, then do that. But dont do it because OM is sitting waiting there for you to jump into his arms. You need to do it for you and you only.

Or, you need to forget all about him, and work on your marriage. But can you life the rest of your life with dh when he really doesnt know the real situation?

lavenderhoney Mon 23-Nov-15 19:12:24

are your parents still around?

You haven't seen this man for 5 years. It was a fling. Possibly you have built up an escape in your head. You sound as though you do love your dh, but not in love with him. Is it the same for him?

And don't be too hard on yourself - at 16, you were very young - I guess you were escaping, only now you want to escape again. But hoping for this man to rescue you is too much. Talk to your dh. Are you both the same age? Is life oppressive?

amiaterribleperson Mon 30-Nov-15 23:09:40

Sorry for the late reply.

Lavendar my mum is still around although lives 200 miles away. I haven't seen my father for nearly 20 years.

I don't think it's the same for my oh. He doesn't treat me the best but I know he loves me and I don't he's ever cheated or anything. He works hard for us and he has gotten a lot easier to live with over the years.

My OH is 6 years older than me.

Isthismylife I know exactly what you mean. That is how I feel I think! I haven't really had much experience with relationships and my husband was my first serious boyfriend.

Hope things go ok for you and the dc's have taken it all ok?!

I often thought that my marriage wasn't working because of the OM which is why I cut contact and have tried with everything I have to make my marriage work. I now realise if all was ok with my marriage there wouldn't have been an OM in the first place iykwim?

I do the OM cares very much for me and he has never let me down if I needed him for anything. As for I relationship with him that could be a possibility but not for a few years until I sort myself out.

My dh doesn't have any idea as far as I can tell but who knows. I need to end my marriage but not sure where to start or even if I have the balls to do it. I love my children so much and this would hurt them?! How do I justify that? Thanks x

isthismylifenow Tue 01-Dec-15 07:20:27


Good luck with whatever you decide. It is not an easy road, if you do decided to seperate. I just do think that OM is confusing your issue. If I were in your position, I would break contact completely with OM and see if your marriage is worth saving. Only then will you know, as you do not want to go through the trauma of splitting, upsetting the dc, only to realize that you have been clouded all these years by what is could have been with OM.

This other man makes me feel things no one ever has but then I have only known my husband really. I'm also conscious that it could be the situation that makes us feel like this. He says he loves me would marry me tomorrow doesn't want anyone else but me etc etc. But I'm not sure if it isn't a case of he wants what he technically can't have? Also the reality of life would change things I believe. I don't really think much with my heart and I don't believe love is all hearts and flowers and we would live happily ever after.

Read this again OP which you posted.

Thank you for asking, we told the dc this weekend of our seperation. It was truly awful and when I see my dc crying and hurting, I sometimes think now that I should have just shut up and put up with the situation... it would have saved their heartache, and devastation. But then I went back and read some of my posts on here, and I know deep deep down that its really for the best. I am just not feeling so good about things now as its all raw and emotions are very high.

All the best to you OP.


amiaterribleperson Mon 07-Dec-15 21:58:49

Hi thanks for your reply :-)

Hope things are slowly getting better for you. Hope the DCs are doing ok.

I have this week suddenly had a switch go on in my head. I am ending my marriage. I am not happy, can not remember a time that I was happy and have decided enough is enough. I will be the best mum I can be and concentrate on me and my children and ensure they are my only priority.

I am scared and worried off what is to come but I need to start living again and be in this miserable life I am currently in.

The om I have cut contact with and who knows what the future may hold but for now it's about me and my children.

Thanks for you advice all :-)

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