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Old friend expressed feelings for me. Need help as there are complications - marriage/divorce/children

(81 Posts)
NCforawhile Sun 03-Jan-16 18:40:41

I NC for added security of my other stuff I talk about. This - I can't talk to anyone about.

I have a dear friend I met in my teens. We worked together. He fancied me a lot. Me less so, I did but I just never wanted to try that road. We kissed maybe 4 times but often shared a bed crashed out. However I adore him, lots of memories, great fun, plenty of partying and drinking. Visiting each other at Uni.

We both met DP. We socialised a fair amount as a four. Then it kinda stopped. We went to each other's weddings. We did early kids Bday parties.

We message sporadically but always Christmas, Birthdays. Check in. But definitely drifted.

I realise this is long. So I'm going to post up what's bothering me and come back to fill in gaps. Not drip feeding I promise, just there's a lot.

He told me very recently that he still adores me and never got over me.
We spent a night together (no sex, lots of hugging, clothed I hasten to add).
He's married. I'm nearly divorced.

NCforawhile Sun 03-Jan-16 18:47:55

Now since he said that, I can't stop thinking about him.

He has been unhappy in his marriage because his DW has had two affairs. One immediately brushed away. The second much more distressing and after DC.

They stayed together, did minimal counselling. That was maybe two years ago now.

I read two other posts. One of Dad who's wife had an affair. And the one where she doesn't want to text the man for sex.
And both have me itching.
I have picked my phone up 100 times to text him. And put it down again.

So I'm here.

12purpleapples Sun 03-Jan-16 18:52:12

What do you see happening? An affair or do you think he plans to leave his wife if his marriage is unhappy?

NCforawhile Sun 03-Jan-16 18:56:39

I absolutely cannot have an affair. My stbxh did and it near destroyed me.

tribpot Sun 03-Jan-16 18:58:02

He's made the decision to stay with his wife despite her affairs, presumably because of the children. So he could suggest an open marriage to her, since both parties want to pursue other relationships.

Don't be the person he leaves his wife for. He needs to make that decision on his own. And you need space to work out why your feelings for him are so much stronger than they were when you were both single. I suspect divorce rebound.

NCforawhile Sun 03-Jan-16 18:58:47

I agree entirely tribot

NCforawhile Sun 03-Jan-16 18:59:51

I've had several boyfriends and some casual sex since being on my own. I'm not starved in that way. I've been starved of the more emotional connection I crave.

And he has it.

MuttonCadet Sun 03-Jan-16 19:01:26

I'd leave it, he needs to get out of his marriage if that's what he wants, you need to get over your divorce, which might take some time.

If in the future you are both available, then you are both free to pursue it, at the moment you aren't and it will add huge complications if you get together now.

NCforawhile Sun 03-Jan-16 19:06:41

the night he said he adored me, he told me as soon as he saw me that he needed to tell me something later. It was a party, he waited till 2am. He literally waited till everyone had gone to tell me.

We talked until 4 then crashed.

I was the one saying but this can't go anywhere. I really explained that just because I was lonely, he wasn't my answer.

He didn't say much.

tribpot Sun 03-Jan-16 19:07:16

Well, you've got your line in the sand. He needs to know that if he wants to pursue something with you, either he agrees an open relationship with his wife, or he leaves her. Either way you can't make any guarantees beyond a willingness to explore the relationship when he is free(er) to do so. Any contact you have in the meantime is just going to draw you closer and closer to at least an emotional affair, but more likely a physical one - the thing you really don't want. So it has to be no contact until he sorts his stuff out.

throwingpebbles Sun 03-Jan-16 19:08:06

He's already basically cheated on his wife with you. The fact you didn't have full sex is irrelevant. Just pointing that out as you seem to gloss over it

for your own sake and his families sake and for the sake of any potential future relationship with him, stay away from him and don't get in touch until he makes his own decision to leave

throwingpebbles Sun 03-Jan-16 19:09:23

Just think of the guilt you would feel at being part of the reason his kids parents had split

And the difficulties of you then building a good relationship with those kids in the future

NCforawhile Sun 03-Jan-16 19:09:45

I mean in answer to what I was saying.

But this is what's really bugging me.
He hadn't told me he's mad about me for 20 years. He had that under control for years without the need to tell me.

So I'm really worried about him now! Having been through my own marriage breakdown, he is clearly struggling.

NCforawhile Sun 03-Jan-16 19:14:40

Throwing you talk a lot of sense and as with Tribpot, I agree. With everything you say.

Hence the putting the phone down a lot.

He crossed the line in telling me. I hadn't considered it one iota. I hadn't considered him. He's a rock friend. I could have called him a hundred times in my life for support. I didn't when my ex left. I haven't in all this time.

I hadn't considered it.

And now he's said it, I can't forget it. Driving me batty.

IrenetheQuaint Sun 03-Jan-16 19:16:39

Unfortunately you are literally the last person in the world who can help him sort himself out. You need really clear boundaries here or you'll end up in an enormous mess.

throwingpebbles Sun 03-Jan-16 19:16:53

Don't try and be his "rescuer". He needs clarity right now. You need to back away

NCforawhile Sun 03-Jan-16 19:19:54

Thank you throwing.

I really need your stern clarity right now. I had it after the party at 2am, the clarity, the strength.

I don't have it now. I'm glad you're all here.

NCforawhile Sun 03-Jan-16 19:21:01

Irene yes. It would be an enormous mess. One I have experience of.

NCforawhile Sun 03-Jan-16 19:23:38

Why would he do that though. What motivates a chap to declare something like that?

Because I can put the fact he said it to me aside for one moment. If he told me he felt that way about someone else, I would, as his rock friend, be worried for him. He's been with his DW 18 odd years. And suffered terrible heartbreak.

12purpleapples Sun 03-Jan-16 19:27:17

It seems like he is maybe thinking about leaving and testing the waters?

NCforawhile Sun 03-Jan-16 19:29:23

Hadn't considered that.

Not sure.

All I have managed to cognitively put together is he is retreating to happy memories from his life. Which include me.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sun 03-Jan-16 19:32:59

He's thrown a huge responsibility onto your shoulders that you did not want and did not ask for. That is what is known as an "imposition".

You didn't suspect he had any feelings for you that were anything other than a sincere and longstanding friendship and now I suspect he's spoiled even that.

Was once in a slightly similar situation. I got quite cross with him and told him I didn't welcome his "revelation" and didn't want to discuss it ever again.

ColdWhiteWinePlease Sun 03-Jan-16 19:41:02

You're over thinking it. (why do us women do that?)

Tell him you feel the same.

If he wants to be with you, that will be his green light to leave his cheating wife.

Job done.

As Mr Parish (Meet Joe Black) said "And let the chips fall where they may"

tribpot Sun 03-Jan-16 19:41:26

You really cannot second-guess why he did it. It could be anything. Maybe his wife is having another affair and he wants to 'hit back'. It won't do you any good to wonder and again, it all just keeps your focus on him when you need to be detaching. He's the one who's risked the friendship over a declaration that can't go anywhere unless he acts. It doesn't have to be over but it does have to be over for now.

NCforawhile Sun 03-Jan-16 19:43:51

He has rather hasn't he Bitter.

I should channel a little anger.

He has retreated into I'm ok, I feel old and left me holding the grenade! Yes. Actually I am a little cross. !

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