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I've got a problem


Chantho
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Well, two problems, really.

I can't go into too much detail, just in case anyone on here would recognize the background story and put things together. I met a group of people 9 years ago. Most of them are great people. Through them, I met my husband a couple weeks later. One of them, though, caught my attention. I thought about asking him out, but he was difficult to read. When I met my now-husband, there was a powerful and obvious connection. There was no doubt he was interested. So, I pursued him. The first guy was my husband's closest friend. I found out down the road that he had, in fact, been interested. Interested enough that it nearly drove a wedge between them. Knowing more about him, I'm certain we wouldn't have been suited to each other in the long run, so I let it go even though I was (am) still attracted to him. But I always cared deeply for him. I've said some things that have made it obvious (to everyone but me) that there was more than friendship or attraction. I'm starting to see it, though. I'm not saying I'm in love with him or want to be with him, but there are feelings there.

He knows (long story) that I am attracted to him. He may have put it together. In case he hasn't, I now need to be careful in my interactions not to show too much concern for him. I don't know how long the romantic feelings have existed. I always just thought he was a close friend to whom I was attracted. But I opened a can of worms recently, and it's obvious to me, and I really don't know what to do about it.

It's especially hard, because my feelings for my husband aren't what they were. I've been trying to make it work, because up until recently, I was always happy despite the problems. I'm not so happy anymore. Unfortunately, I may be trapped. I don't have a good work history, especially as I've been unemployed for the past 4 years (excluding 3 weeks last summer). Even if I got a job, I'm not 100% certain, I'd be able to afford to take care of the boys mostly on my own.

I'm not saying I want to leave for him. That is a relationship that could never be even *if* it could conceivably work out (which it wouldn't). These two issues are connected, though. I really don't know what to do. I may not do anything.

Please don't judge me. I didn't seek romance outside of the relationship on purpose. I wasn't even aware that these feelings were forming/had formed. I never believed that was possible, but apparently it is for me. I feel like a horrible person.

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I don't have any advice, but here to listen. Is there any chance the feelings for your husbands friend have intensified because you are unhappy in your marriage? Sometimes when we're unhappy, if an opportunity presents itself, the feelings can be stronger than if we were just flat out not open to them in the first place (does that make sense?).

I am sorry though that you feel stuck in an unhappy relationship. Yes, it's scary like nothing else is scary to contemplate going it alone. Especially when we have other limitations (I have had to consider going it alone in the past and have not worked for a lot of years due to my physical and mental health problems so having to think about working for the first time in an eternity on top of suddenly being single after 15 odd years and having kids by myself was a very difficult decision to have to make).

Don't beat yourself up. You're not a horrible person. You are a person who isn't being treated right and emotions have gotten tangled up. You haven't acted on anything and from what you're saying, while you have feelings, you're not even engaging in an emotional affair with this man. We don't ask to feel the way we do, but what we do with those feelings counts towards who we are and what kind of person we are.

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I'm honestly not sure when they intensified. I know that I've always... watched him. Two years ago, I said something that made it obvious that there was something, but I told myself it didn't mean anything, while I still looked forward to every Facebook post, every chance to see him. I told myself it was just because he was a friend. I don't know if it was always more, and I was kidding myself until things shifted, or if these are new feelings that feel similar. 

I did the math a couple weeks ago to see if I could afford to be a single mom if I got a specific job and to see if he can afford child support. The numbers all worked. It's just... I can't even keep a stable home without a job. What would happen if I started working 40 hours a week? I really don't think it would be good. And I'm still attached to him. I'm used to him being in my bed. I'm used to calling him to talk while he's on the road, and I'm doing my thing. I'm used to having him to hug me when I need it. I don't know if I could deal with being alone.

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I can understand all those feelings. Sometimes people are no longer IN love with someone but it doesn't mean you don't love him. And when you're in a relationship, with children, and have been for a long time, there is no way to imagine things being any other way. I do wish you well in your decision making. It's definitely a huge life changing one. Sending you strength x

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Chantho,  I just wanted to add my two cents for whatever it's worth.  Please take it or leave it as you wish.

From my perspective, when they say "the grass is always greener..." it's so true so just be careful.  It's ok to have these feelings and you're so strong to acknowledge them and think them through as you have.  But we, as human beings, tend to create so much more in our heads than what's really there sometimes.  And it happens so often in those with mental challenges like us (I'm bipolar - lifelong). 

I've been there.  I have been married to the most wonderful person I could ever imagine.  Yet I took her for granted for many years always looking for something else in someone else only to have the supreme fortune to realize later on that she is my true soulmate and there is nobody else that could be.  I sense similar feeling when you so beautifully describe your attachment to your husband.

My story is mine, of course, and yours is yours so you must do as you see fit.  I just don't want to see anyone ruin something they might already have but just can't see clearly at this moment, for something that might not truly be real.  I don't know if I could have lived with myself if I ever lost my wife for something I thought was more when I had so much right in front of me.

Please proceed with caution. 

Edited by Distorted Me
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