So here's the situation. I love my wife. She's my best friend, we do as much as we can together as our schedules permit (which doesn't cause a lot of conflict). We cook together, clean house together, play together, take trips together, we celebrate our love twice a month with date night, make a big to-do about our anniversaries, you name it. We also share a tight group of friends, one of whom is our mutual best friend, call her F. I know, original, huh?
Backing up a little, just to better set the stage. My wife was cheated on in her first marriage. Her second marriage failed after she and he drifted apart mentally and emotionally. I had been friends with her and husband #2 for some years when I witnessed their disintegration and simultaneously discovered I have feelings for her. At the same time, she was also setting her sights on another mutual friend who had drifted apart from his wife, which I had no clue about when I told her about my feelings for her. For about a month, she went back and forth between myself and our other friend, trying to convince us both to share because she couldn't make a decision. I was doing well learning to share her when he, in a jealous rage, physically attacked my wife. That was the end of any contact with him. Also, I'm a good deal her junior and she's always afraid in the back of her mind that I'll stop finding her attractive and leave her for someone my age.
Back to today... F is married to a nice enough man who, due to medical complications, is unable to function sexually. He's let himself go pretty badly, he's become a complete homebody, and has all but alienated F. F has tried numerous times to get her husband to notice her, to take some sort of interest in her, and for a while, she gave up and started to look for a lover on the side.
Several months before F's decision, I came to the realization that I have very strong feelings for her. She's fun, witty and charming, she looks out for my wife and I, and she's a very open and honest person. Very much like my wife.
So, for about a year, I agonized over my feelings for F. I figured if I ignored them, or at least refused to act upon them, they'd go away. No such luck, obviously. So when the internal conflict threatened to drive me bonkers, I sat down and talked about my feelings with my wife. It wasn't pretty. She cried, she was angry, she felt betrayed, and I couldn't blame her. We promised to be each other's one and only, and I broke that promise. I told her I would try my hardest and even offered to seek counseling to align myself with her ideal.
After about two months of refusing to acknowledge my feelings again, I realized it was only making me focus on the feelings and intensifying the desire I feel for F, so I gave in and promised myself I would only indulge them as a fantasy. Which worked until F started being flirty with me. We'd flirt back and forth, nothing terribly serious, but did so out in the open. My wife either didn't notice, or wasn't bothered. This arrangement was working quite well, I thought, up until almost the anniversary of the disastrous first discussion. We three had gone on a trip together, and after some drinking, F told me that she finds me adorable, but that she wouldn't want to hurt either my wife or her husband (in that order). About a week later I had sent a flirty email to F, in which I told her I thought she was adorable, too. My little suggestion to her that what I percieved to be her feelings are mutual. She shared the email with my wife, and my wife confronted me. She was hurt that I still felt the same way and told me she couldn't handle going through this a third time. She said I would lose her if I couldn't get this under control. Later she told me she said a lot in anger that she didn't mean, but I am so afraid of losing her that I won't even ask her to clarify which points.
So, here it is over a year later. My feelings for my wife and for F are as strong as ever. I have stopped being nearly so flirty with F, and she with me. Now I have a great, big hole in my heart. Part of that hole is the layer of intimacy F and I have lost, and part is knowing there's a range of topics, flavored by my love for F, that I dare not discuss with my wife for fear of losing her. I feel terrible about not being completely open with her, but I know I have little choice. At least I haven't outright lied about anything. I've lost my sense of direction, though, and I don't know of anybody I can turn to for advice. Can somebody please help me? Is there a way for me to cope with my situation and not lose my darling wife?
In some cases, those feelings just wont go away. No matter how long you try to deny them or how much you want them to. Believe me. They tortured me for three years and guess where I ended up.
It is a bit of a sticky situation, but the way I see it you have two options. Keep going along trying to ignore your love for F, which doesn't seem to be working out too well for you, or talk to your wife about it again. Make sure she understands just how much you love and adore her, and that your loving F doesn't take away from that at all. Approach the subject calmly and hopefully she'll listen and take it in and consider it.
Does F want to have a relationship with you? Or is she just flirting? This would be something to defenately make sure of before speaking with your wife if you're that worried about it.
Unfortunately you seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. I think either you'll need to risk the conversation with your wife or keep being miserable denying your feelings.
I wish you well and hope it works out for you.
Hi AussieLover, and thanks for your response!
As for whether F wants a relationship, I just can't say. The flirting, calling me a golden god in front of all our friends, the comment she made about finding me adorable, and comments about her daughter calling herself, my wife and myself a triad all lead me to believe there is a good possibility she would. I had been planning to ask her if she would want to pursue a relationship, provided my wife and her husband could be convinced, when she shared the fateful email with my wife and knocked things off course. I can't tell whether it was an innocent mistake, an attempt to keep things above the board, or just plain telling on me. If the latter, then I suspect any attempt to broach the subject with F would result in being told on again.
The way I see it at the moment, if those are my only two options, suffering through a longing I can't fulfill is preferable to losing both of the ladies I so adore.
Thank you for your well-wishes and advice. I'm sorry to hear you suffered much the same as I do now. I hope you've found your peace. :)
think about how you will feel if you don't do anything about this and you spend the rest of your life longing for more,
will you regret it?
Wow-do I know how you feel.
Maca's ex cheated, they divorced.
I watched it fall apart.
We got together.
A lot of b.s. happened, I fell in love and I cheated.
He found out.
I promised not to let it happen.
I tried to block feelings.
I tried to stay away from C.
I tried to be what Maca wanted.
Suffice it to say I tried a lot of things and I failed at ALL of them.
5 weeks ago yesterday I just finally decided that even if it destroyed me (which I deemed HIGHLY probable-like 97%) I had to just be honest to me and to Maca.
I wrote him a letter (chicken shit I know) and let him know that yes I am still in love with c and that from here on out I wasn't pretending to be what I'm not-because it is killing me and that is hurting us all.
I told him I was from there on out acknowledging not only he as my husband but C as my boyfriend because I'd rather be hated for being honest and true then for being a liar and a cheat...
Anyway-I fully expected him to walk. He didn't.
BUT I was prepared when I wrote it to have 1/2 of my life and heart and my whole world destroyed, because I honest to God believed he would.
I don't have advice-beyond, if you aren't true to yourself-it will disinegrate your marriage even if you do it for her.
Bless your heart. :( I'm truly sorry for the predicament you're in, BrotherMan.
It seems to me that you absolutely NEED to find someone to talk this situation out with, whether that's your wife a/o F, a marriage or individual counselor, or someone else altogether. But many times troubles grow out of control in the dark and quiet, and die out when given plenty of light and air.
On a side note: it seems to me that your wife opened up the possibility of polyamory in your relationship years ago when she was dating you and the other friend and asked y'all to share her. Having worked then to open your heart to that possibility for her sake, is it all that remarkable that your heart opened itself again? I don't think it is. This may be something you wish to discuss with her/them when the time is right.
I wish for all of you much love, joy and peace. Be strong, BrotherMan.
Here is my take.
Mind you this is just my opinion( having been on the recieving end of lies and cheating) and IMO there is physical lies and cheating and emotional lies and cheating.
Your looking at this as a well I can be miserable and keep my mouth shut, or I can risk it all and talk to her/them and possibly lose one or the other or both.
I suggest that you take a look it from outside the box.
Is your wife happy with the level of her relationship? Is F? Are you?
Does honesty rank high enough on the list of qualities that you want in your life or the life of the loved ones around you, to endure the pain and commitment to working through it?
How long will this last before you inadvertantly do something( because its who you are) that hurts the others? (IE: the email thingy)
I know your scared to open this conversation up again. ( read back up to LR's post). I was the one that freaked out and went ape shit .I was the one that felt like I was the only one gettign fucked over.. The gods honest truth is once she was direct, honest, and still loving of me we soared to heights I never thought possible. LR stated she was ready to accept that I would walk. To be honest that still may happen but what wont happen is that I will never ever ever stop loving her cause of her honesty with herself and with me..
Good luck my friend, The good things in life are never easy:(
Peace and Love
Thank you everybody for your support, input and advice. I appreciate it so much, and it helps to know I'm not alone. Yea, I'm scared shitless and nowhere near ready to take another step with either my wife or F. But knowing I'm not alone has lifted me up enough to at least start rationalizing my situation.
Jools, yep, I'll regret not going further. I hope against hope that she doesn't leave.
Fidelia, absolutely I need to find myself someone to talk to. And I thought the same thing you did about the other friend way back when. Don't know how she'll take it, though.;)
Radiance and Maca, your story is very inspiring to me, and I hope that I can be as strong as you two are. Maca, I know you're right that someday I'll end up slipping again. I hope I have my head together by then.
And thank you all for not judging me the monster I have been feeling like. I'll be around here and there, but I still need to maintain a kind of low profile until I can sort through all my feelings, and indeed, try to reason out what my two loves are feeling.
Brightest blessings to you all and my many thanks,
you are def not a monster
And yes, I finally have found my peace.
You're defenately not a monster. Your feelings are what they are. I hope if you decide to speak to your wife she will listen and not freak out. It only has to be a discussion. Not something you're defenately going to do. A possibility. But honestly I would find out first if F would be willing to have a relationship, because otherwise the discussion with your wife may be pointless. If you speak to F about it, and she declines, at least you'll know and can maybe try to get past it. If she agrees, then you can try to speak with your wife.
Just my thoughts.
It's not necessary that you lose both of them. *HUGS* good luck
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