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-   -   how do I support him? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12900)

honeysuckle 08-01-2011 09:26 PM

how do I support him?
My bf is also my best friend. We have been friends for quite some time and devloped an attraction for each other that felt too natural to ignore. With the consent of our respective spouses; we began a relationship. Recently, bf's wife has stated that she isn't comfortable with a phsyical realtionship (we haven't had sex yet) and also is concerned about our friendship given that we have an attraction for each other. Bf and his wife are working through their differences with a counselor and I have committed to support bf through this. I've also done the same for his wife, but I don't think she understand my interest in helping her. How do I support them when it is our (bf & me) relationship is the object of the discord? I can't abandon my best firend in a time of need.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

FruitofAmbrosia 08-01-2011 09:53 PM

It is possible that you may not be able to provide any support to either of them. Not so much because you are part of the "problem" but simply because you are too close to the situation. You can not be the supportive friend to both of them at the same time. You may wish her well, but ultimately your priorities lies with your relationship with him, correct? Even if are able to fully support her and her feelings, you should consider her position. It might be possible that she doesn't want your support because she doesn't know how to handle it.

I think this is where I would choose my path. Would you be willing to wager your friendship over the possibilities of this romantic relationship? Where does it sit in terms of your relationship with your husband (also)? If you value the friendship more, perhaps you guys can put things on hold till they are through counseling. That way they can both work through it without any extra influences.

redpepper 08-02-2011 06:04 AM

I would just back right off and wait. Give them lots of time and space. Be kind, considerate, don't expect anything and don't assume anything... its their issue not yours. That is the only way I think you could be supportive.

honeysuckle 11-29-2011 11:15 PM

OK- here we are almost four months later. Best friend and wife are through counseling. His wife has completely abandoned the idea of extra-marital partners. Best friend is complying with his wife's wishes and we have ended all potential romantic interactions and agreed to nuture our friendship. She says that she supports us being friends, but her actions are much different.

Best friend and I have had very limited social contact in the last four months and when we do, she's either there with us in a group or when it is just the two of us (after her approval of us hanging out) she is texting him. When she is there, there are many possessive behaviors she does-- fawning (and fondling) on him, bragging about their sex life, controlling the conversation to be the center of attention, etc (I've excused myself when these behaviors come up). I've also been on the receiving end of some back-handed insults by her. Concerning to me is her belittling behavior to him in front of his friends and co-workers.

It breaks my heart to see a man I care about so much be treated like a pawn by her. I think her actions come from her knowledge that I am non-monogomous and at one point expressed an interest in a sexual relationship with her husband (while they were non-monogomous). I truly think she raised the non-monogomous status for herself never thinking that her husband would pursue it himself. I have very little respect for her, but am trying to maintain the friendship with him as it is quite important to me. I've told him that while I care about him deeply, I cannot be around his wife and that she and I will never be friends. It's like I can't un-ring the bell with her. Like she treats me as an active threat.

Best friend has asked me my opinion and I've kindly and lovingly let him know that I care about him and am concerned at the way he is treated, but that I fully realize that his choices are his own. I respect his commitment to his wife. He wants terribly to maintain our friendship but it is constantly under scrutiny by her.

Because of this guy, I know a capacity for love that I hadn't known before, and I am thankful for that. But the whole darned thing just effin' hurts sometimes.

ray 11-29-2011 11:28 PM

I understand that you must be feeling a good amount of pain but try to see this from her perspective. In her eyes, you ARE an active threat to her marriage. I don't know her, so I can't vouch for her being a bitch or manipulative. She does sound insecure but that doesn't necessarily mean that she's treating him poorly. How does she belittle him in front of people? I don't think it's unreasonable for her to want you and him to have less contact at this point. You two obviously have feelings for one another and perhaps she hopes that by limiting your contact, he can move on. And it also helps to eliminate temptation and the further growth of bonding and what not. This sounds like it's irrevocably lost in the short term. No friendship to be salvaged with her and it sounds like they're not trying to seek out much of one with you either way.

Have you ever experienced your husband falling in love with another? I think if you haven't, then it's pretty hard for you to really get where she's coming from. I dated a married man for some time who's wife was really hesitant. I never really got it until the next guy I dated essentially cheated on me all the while telling me it was just fucking and then is now in a relationship with her. After that happened, I began to better understand how she might have felt. Does that mean she should probably work on her issues? Yeah...insecurity is a problem but she also has no obligation to be polyamorous. It sounds like it's not that helpful for you to be in this equation right now. You're right, he does need to make his own choices and you have to let him.

nycindie 11-29-2011 11:39 PM

Hmm, you have nothing to lose by confronting her. That's what I would do (in a loving but straightforward manner). It sounds like she doesn't trust either of you and is very insecure. I would sit down with her and reassure her: "You know, your husband and I have both agreed not to pursue an intimate relationship. You can trust us, no matter what situation we're in. We are friends and that's where it's staying, so I hope you are not uncomfortable with our friendship. He's an important part of my life, and I care about him, and because of that, I am keeping my word not to go any further with him, and respect his commitment to you. I hope we can move forward and leave the past where it is, behind us."

AnotherConfused 11-29-2011 11:42 PM

If she says it's fine for the two of you to be friends, then can you do so just through emails and phone calls for a while? That way she can't get into the middle of your time with him, and she won't have to worry about things getting physical. You can still be close friends by sharing your thoughts and stories and advice back and forth. I have weekly phone calls with one man in my life (partly because he lives out of town, partly because I can do it when my husband isn't with me so he doesn't feel like I'm taking time away from him) and it has helped us maintain a loving closeness in spite of only seeing each other in person a few times a year (and rarely alone).

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