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Is this friendship with another man fair on my DP?

(69 Posts)
kerstina Wed 16-Nov-16 10:52:58

Background is I have been with my DP for 23 years . We have a good relationship . He is a nice guy who I always felt was good for me . He makes me laugh ,is reliable and is always there for me . I am a people pleaser and I think I am a good partner in that I try to make him happy . I am emotional in that I am prone to anxiety and he is more cool and stable so it has seemed to work .
However I lost my dad three years ago ago at the same time I had struck up a friendship with a man as we both had puppies . He made no secret that he seemed to think I was the nicest girl he had ever met and because I was pretty low at the time he was like a breath of fresh air . He lifted my spirits we seemed to become each other's therapist as we both suffered from low self esteem and him with depression.I felt sorry for him as he was homeless and living in a caravan . I have found him work and generally nurtured him so that he says he has never felt happier . I feel I have found a soul mate and he has finally realised we will only ever be friends after a bit of a roller coaster ! . He smokes cannabis and I don't want to lose my DP . I just know we are better as friends . Am I being completely unfair to both of them by wanting them both in my life ? DP has been tolerant up to now as he saw how attached I got to him but said you are not going to replace your dad with a man you met in the park . He now wants me to not see him. I can see all round all the arguments which is as usual making it hard for me to know what to do . I know they both love me .

Ladyformation Wed 16-Nov-16 11:00:20

I'll start by saying that I'm very much on what MN seems to term the "cool girlfriend" side of these debates in that I think you're perfectly entitled to be friends with whoever you like, male or female, as long as you're not leading them on.

But I'm not totally sure it's that straightforward here. Does your DP object because this other guy loves you and he doesn't think your relationship is as platonic as you do? Or is he worried that you've formed an attachment to this guy because of the circumstances (losing you Dad flowers ) making you a bit vulnerable and perhaps you're being taken advantage of?

BeautyGoesToBenidorm Wed 16-Nov-16 11:03:58

I know they both love me .

Is there a tiny bit of ego massage in this for you, OP? Genuine question.

AuntieStella Wed 16-Nov-16 11:06:33

There are levels of intimacy that are problematic in a relationship.

Your DH knows enough about this relationship to feel that it now constitutes a problem - and as it's taken 2 years of consideration then he's hardly shooting from the hip,

And as the OM held his romantic thoughts for so long, it suggests you are squarely in emotional affair territory. And that is a betrayal, from the POV of the non-involved spouse. Because you were really not just friends.

If you want to see a future with your spouse, then you need to cut back on the extent you see this other man, ensure that all communication is totally open (if you wouldn't want your DH to know about it, don't do it) and pay for a counsellor if you need help with this or anything else in future.

Happybunny19 Wed 16-Nov-16 11:07:05

It's not entirely clear from your post what romantic connection you or this man feel, if any, but how would you feel if your husband had a similar relationship with another woman? If you think this other man loves you it's unwise to continue such a close relationship when he wants more than you're able to give him. You have helped him enough and should probably put some distance between you now. Your husband may also feel pretty shut out if you're seeking support elsewhere.

kerstina Wed 16-Nov-16 11:07:41

Yes he objects because my friend is in love with me and kept walking away from the friendship as he found it hard at times . I understood but I do miss him when that happens . I think if my DP can accept he is not a threat and my friend can accept that I am never going to leave my DP for him it will be ok . I got cross last night and said I wanted to be free to be able to have friends but I saw for the first time how much I have hurt him as he was so upset .

mrssapphirebright Wed 16-Nov-16 11:11:41

I'm not sure how I would feel if my dh was so desperate to be friends with a woman who was clearly in love with him.....

I also don't think it is a healthy friendship if one person has romantic feelings for the other.

noego Wed 16-Nov-16 11:13:11

There seems to be a lot of insecurity here. Yours, your husbands and this other guys. Yours is because you are in a place where you are not confident enough to do as you please and keep within the boundaries. Your husband because he feels threatened and his ego is taking a knock. The other guy because he has come to rely upon you for friendship. Until these securities are taken care of there is always going to be a problem. What do you want? You should be confident enough to be able to conduct your self in a grown up way, do what you want without threatening anyone else's vulnerabilities and if you can't then seek help through therapy

Ladyformation Wed 16-Nov-16 11:28:28

Sorry OP, when you said "he has finally realised we will only ever be friends after a bit of a roller coaster" I assumed that he'd got over his romantic feelings for you. No way would I stay friends with someone who had been openly in love with me for three years. I don't think it's fair on any of you.

LondonHuffyPuffy Wed 16-Nov-16 11:44:13

Put yourself in your DP's shoes...

Imagine that your DP of 23 years met another woman when he was feeling emotionally vulnerable. They bonded over a shared interest. She fell in love with him. He wants to see her as a friend, knowing that she has strong feelings for him. This excludes you from the relationship.

Honestly, how would you feel?

Offred Wed 16-Nov-16 11:48:59

Absolutely think friendships between men and women are fine.

However it is not a friendship when one person/both people have feelings.

I think you are being very disloyal and unfair on your DP (and pretty cruel to the OM actually) and TBH if I was him I would have left a while ago. Your DP is only really being so understanding because of your bereavement but I don't think that excuses this behaviour TBH.

Trifleorbust Wed 16-Nov-16 11:58:50

Wouldn't be happy with this at all. If my DP told me he had found his 'soulmate' but it was completely platonic, I would call bullshit. Sorry.

kerstina Wed 16-Nov-16 12:05:08

Ok thank you all for your honest replies . I don't think I have been cruel to the OM I have been totally honest with him from the start . Why is it cruel to want to be friends with and actually help somebody ? My personality is The INFP so I think I like helping people and don't often feel completely comfortable with people . OM is a lot like me which is why I feel a connection to him .
I think you are right it's my DP who I am being unfair too and the reason I feel resentful to let the friendship go is because I don't feel he has ever loved me in the same way the other man does although I know it that's not his fault .

TheNaze73 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:06:27

You see whoever you like OP. If your DH doesn't like it or trust you on this, he knows what he can do

WilliamHerschel Wed 16-Nov-16 12:07:18

If my dp had a new female friend and she was in love with him and he called her his soulmate I would be questioning our relationship. I don't think I could live with that. It's the soulmate part that would upset me.

I had a good male friend a few years ago, after being friends for a few years he told me he loved me. Dp was fine with me being friends with him because he knew it was a one way thing, but the friendship naturally fizzled out because things got awkward after that. If I'd have decided the friend was my soulmate I don't think dp would have been so understanding - rightly so imo!

Happybunny19 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:07:46

Your last post is even worse. Honestly read the comments above and try to have some empathy for your incredibly tolerant husband. It's amazing he's still with you. You are being unfair to both men and need to stop this. You are having an emotional affair essentially and wonder why your husband is upset, unbelievable!

Trifleorbust Wed 16-Nov-16 12:11:24

You talk about your DH like he is a friend, not the person you are married to. What do you mean, you don't feel he has ever loved you the way this other man does? And if that is true, how can you not see that not taking a step back from the other man is the only fair thing to do?

sonjadog Wed 16-Nov-16 12:11:45

I have male friends whoa re just friends and was thinking initially of posting here that of course you can be friends with this man, but after reading your responses, I think your DP is right in asking you to stop this now. This friendship has crossed boundaries that I would never cross with my male friends, as to me those aspects of my life are for a partner only.

But even if you disagree with the above, then I think you should drop this friendship because this man is in love with you. That`s nice for you of course, but it is painful for him and you are protracting the pain by staying in contact. It is extremely hard to move on from someone you are in love with while being friends with them. If it is possible at all, it is going to take much, much longer. In the meantime, he is losing out on the possibility of meeting someone with whom he could form a real, loving relationship. To me, that is the foremost reason why you should end this now.

Branleuse Wed 16-Nov-16 12:12:00

I think your husband is being perfectly reasonable. Im sure you feel very loved and wanted and like youve got all the power in this situation, but youre being very unfair on both men, and very much taking your husband for granted.

Offred Wed 16-Nov-16 12:14:13

You are being cruel to the OM because you are leading him on.

It is not a friendship. You are making yourself feel good at his expense.

Bluntness100 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:15:40

I think the question of whether uou would be fine with uour husband having a very close friendship with a woman who was in love with him is a good one,

In addition, the man you are friends with has some problems. People do often become homeless with no mental health problems, but often they are the route that leads to it. He is also a pot head. Being in work now doesn't mean he will stay that way.

I'd examine my self quite carefully. Are you sure this isn't an ego boost for uou? That you don't enjoy the attention from the other man, don't like the thought that you are some form of saviour? To feel that your husband doesn't love you the same way maybe indicates a lack of realism in the relationship with the other man.

I think uou are having an emotional affair, I don't know if uou ever took it to the physical, but uou know uou don't want a life with him. I wouldn't dump him, but I would start to extracate myself gently so he doesn't feel let down and can maybe move on and find a woman who will be free to be with him.

alphabook Wed 16-Nov-16 12:17:40

I would be devastated if DH had a female friend who he considered his soul mate and felt loved him more than I do or better than I do. This is definitely emotional affair territory, and I don't believe you and this other man will ever have a purely platonic friendship after him being in love with you for years.

If you feel there is something missing in your relationship with your husband you need to address that with him. But it's not just friendship if you see this other man as a substitute for the emotional needs your husband isn't fulfilling.

Offred Wed 16-Nov-16 12:17:48

I mean dress it up any way you like but the reality is you are actively preventing OM being able to be happy by keeping him wanting you and depending on you to sort him out.

You are abusing your DP's love and trust in order to massage your own ego.

Highly self-centred and shitty behaviour towards two other ppl IMO.

kerstina Wed 16-Nov-16 12:19:19

I suppose it's because DP is not emotional where as the OM was very open and honest . I think my DP will admit himself he is emotionally distant and yes it is more like a friendship where we love each other find each other attractive and get on really well but some how with my dad not boing here it isn't enough . I guess I just have to grow up realise I can't have them both in my life and make a choice .

adora1 Wed 16-Nov-16 12:20:27

The OM is your ego boost, you should be getting this from your husband, not seeking thrills with another man, sorry but I don't care how much of a connection you have, you say he loves you in a romantic way so you must know this is wrong, what's difficult, you either love your husband or you are willing to risk it for a guy in a caravan that smokes weed.

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