Need Your Insight
Brief back story: 2 1/2 years ago, I joined a couple. My initial relationship was with the wife (L) - she and I had known each other since we were children. The husband (E) and I quickly fell for each other. All was good until L did a 180 (after promoting that we all have our own marriage ceremony) and would not negotiate. After months of trying to coax her talk and getting nowhere, she finally asked me to leave.
We tried to be friends afterward, but... Anyway, although the marriage had seemed tight on the outside, there were issues - primarily L's incredible moodiness, depression, and unpredictable temper, which she primarily inflicted on E, and E alone. I was gone a year when they separated - after she refused to acknowledge how her behavior adversely affected E, much less take any steps to modify it. And they are now almost 8 months into the divorce process.
E and I have slowly resumed a relationship, but needless to say it is different, and we are trying to sort out the various aspects, still struggling with "us."
We describe our relationship like this:
We are VERY alike in our thinking and how we approach life. It was the first thing we noticed about one another (for point of reference, if you give credence to this sort thing, our OKCupid match % is 99%). At times I refer to him as my twin. We love each other immensely, but laugh at putting one another in the whole boyfriend / girlfriend category. That does not feel like "us." Using the bf/gf labels feels like trying to put the proverbial square peg in a round a hole. The closest description appears to be best friends. Yet we are very attracted to one another. We don't know how it all fits together. For now, we have settled on best friends - with benefits. (Although we both shun the "friends with benefits" label. Sounds like the friendship only exists for the benefits, and that simply isn't how it is with us. We would be friends regardless. So we call it benefits with friends. :D)
Lastly, we are both very logical people. This makes it is easy to get along, solve issues. We do not have heated disagreements. That said, we both suck at identifying our own emotions. We tend to think to ourselves that because something is logically understood, emotions should fall in line with the logic. Of course, it doesn't work like that.....
We have determined that we both feel that something is missing, but are not certain about the cause. Coming to you all who have a wide range of experience to help us sort out the relevant issues:
Here are our current hypotheses:
1. Too alike.
2. Missing the energy of the triad (it was fantastic while it lasted).
3. Both still shell-shocked at the break-up of the triad.
4. E still mourning the loss of his marriage. (I am fairly sure if I hadn't already been in the picture, he would not have pursued anything new at this time.)
5. Trust / vulnerability issues - not with each other per se, but just in general.
6. And to make matters worse, L told their children (ages 10 and 12 at the time) that the dissolution of their marriage was my fault. Not true. E did not leave L for me. He desperately wanted to keep his marriage. However, it proved impossible when L response to his entreaties to work on their marriage was: "I'm happy and I shouldn't have to change. If you're not, that's your problem." E will never disparage their mother, but feels that in time the children will probably come to understand as the mature, come to recognize their mother's volatility and tenuous grip on reality. E and I live in separate residences, in different towns, and the children never see me (a far cry from E moving from L's life into mine). While E and I see each other when we can, most of our relationship is conducted via phone, text, and email. Perhaps keeping our relationship at the "best friend" level is something we are doing emotionally because its safe until the childrens' perception is less of an issue?
7. Maybe not seeing each other frequently enough makes it hard for us to progress?
Thoughts, experiences, insight?
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