Hello, some questions that are new for me but probably old for many of you...
I have read some posts here, but can't quite find what I am looking for, although many of you have similar experiences. I apologize for the redundancy of this post, if it has been asked before.
I'm in love with a woman who was my best friend for 4 years where we work (in the south west) and our relationship was platonic but emotionally connected. I think we would certainly meet the definition of an emotional affair. And she pursued me, told me that she was in love with me. Abridged version: she divorced her husband and we have been sexually active. It is wonderful and she tells me she loves me. But she has been distancing lately, saying that she loves me and loves the sex, but she married at 17 (now 37) and feels that she needs to be free, to have sex with others. But she doesn't want to hurt me or lose me. My favorite mixed message: "I love you, but if I had to chose between you and freedom, I would choose freedom."
A bit of a knife in the gut feeling (well, what I assume that would feel like). I intellectually understand her needs, but don't know how to respond. We don't have an established conventional relationship. That is part of the problem: she tells me she wants me to be in her life forever and she loves me, but yet she thinks she doesn't believe in monogamy. So for the past year she and I have delt with this; I am no longer jealous, well most of the time, but EXHAUSTED. When I tell her I accept this but I don't want other partners, she says she feels bad because she is taking advantage of me...I tell her I am making the choice, but she should be patient if I struggle. Then I ask for what I think are reasonable requests (that she not do this with someone I know or work with, that she uses protection, etc.) and she gets upset that I am constraining her. I then say that I am not telling her what to do, but what I am willing to take. Then she distances herself, and I get sad, but she eventually tells me she wants to be with me. Sigh. Then she tells me she wants to have relationships in theory, but she won't necessarily act on it.
And that is the crux of my concern. I really am not keen on doing this, but I am willing to try (truly), but I think if I am in a relationship with her, I deserve to know if she is acting on this or not...she tells me she doesn't know when she goes out, it will just "happen" or not, and that my requests of "safe sex" implies that she is doing something wrong. I just feel that I have no solid, or even semi-solid ground here. I love her and want what is best for her...it is the uncertainty that is killing me. How have some of you delt with the uncertainty?