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In Love with Our Friend

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  • In Love with Our Friend

    Hi there--

    I am creating this post because I have no where else to vent. I'm worried about being judged by mutual friends and with the overall thought that this could never happen. A little bit about the situation:

    For about four years now I have had feelings that are hard to push down towards our mutual friend. He was my husband's friend first, but since we met 11+ years ago, the friend and I have developed our own friendship. My husband is not great at maintaining his social connections, and thus me and the friend have become quite closer than he and my husband. The friend has many failed relationships under his belt, constantly giving reasons of why he and his current girlfriend aren't a great fit. He is always somewhat (though very very discreetly) flirty with me when we are together. He has always been a form of solace, as my relationship with my husband has been quite rocky through the years. The friend and I have so much in common, and there are many times that I've wished I had met him before I had met my husband. I love spending time with this friend, everything is easy and we just have fun. I also get butterflies every time i know I am about to see him-- as silly as that may sound. I want to make clear that NO lines have EVER been crossed.

    Recently, this past year, my husband has developed an alcohol addiction, going as far as being hospitalized for his condition. Since he has refused to get help (this is not his first time struggling with addiction) I have decided to leave him. I've moved out and am currently going through the first stages of divorce paperwork. I've really given all that I can, it is a toxic situation and I cannot live in such a state of unhappiness and worry. With all of this happening, I see our friend has not really reached out to my husband, having told mutual friends that he no longer feels close to my husband and that my husband never really worked at maintaining their friendship.

    Is it crazy that I think this could be me and the friend's time? If what was happening wasn't happening it would never even cross my mind to ever bring it up to our friend. I really feel as though I love him, even though I know there is so much against us. Besides the loyalty he may still have for my husband, add on the shock from our friend group and the wrongness of it. I just don't know. But I can't stop thinking about it. I don't know how to bring it up, and part of me just thinks I should move away and move on.

    Any help anyone can offer would be so appreciated. I am just very lost, confused and eager to do what I need to do. Thank you!

  • Hey! Welcome. :-)

    First....it's incredibly difficult and exhausting to deal with someone with addiction. I do not blame you for choosing to go.

    With that said.... I highly recommend that you wait until the waters are no longer muddy to proceed into a new relationship. Right now, your emotions are in an unhealthy place because you are going through a divorce, because you've been dealing with someone with alcohol addiction, AND because you've been struggling with unfaithful feelings for your friend. So think about it...is your mind in a good and healthy place? Not likely...right? Now isn't the time to embark on a new romance. Get this divorce final, focus on rebuilding YOUR life as a single woman, continue your friendship with your friend and see where that takes you down the road but I'm afraid you will regret terribly jumping into something with this guy.
    "Be what you're looking for."


    • Thank you for your response! Everything you write is correct and level headed. I think because I've been dealing with my husband's multiple addictions for years (3 years ago he had an opiate addiction) that I've been checked out of our relationship for a long time now. Obviously I still love him and will always care about him, but the "in love" feeling has long faded, maybe long enough ago that I shouldn't have gone through with the marriage (I suppose that is a whole other can of worms).

      But in the end you are absolutely right, I need to live as a single woman and remind myself. It's just hard when these feelings for my friend are so strong and really take up a lot of my time.


      • Let me add to what BD has said. This friend has had many failed relationships. His strong suit is attracting women but it seems he has a weak suit in keeping them. I would be cautious about getting into a relationship with him.
        I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
        Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

        From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia


        • I agree with both Beautiful Disaster and jns. This isn't the right time to jump into relationship with the friend. And, as jns has said, he has had many failed relationships. That isn't to say you wouldn't work together, but do be cautious. Go into another relationship with a clear mind. I also think you've made a brave decision to divorce your husband. You did try to make the marriage work, but there is only so much trying you can do. Once you've fully moved on, see where the waters lead you.


          • Thank you everyone. I so appreciate all of your input. Everything you all say is right. It just sucks when it is all I think about. I've tried some "online dating" sites and no one is the least bit appealing to me. Maybe I am just not in the right head state to move on yet, even though I do think it would be a positive thing for me to have some type of human connection/attention (it's bee a good five months since my husband and I have been physical or mentally connected).

            I will say the reason our friend's relationships haven't worked is because he always gets himself stuck. He finds a million things wrong with the person he is with, complains about them to his platonic friends, and then continues to stay in the relationship. Not good. However there is a sliver of irrational thought in my mind that this is because he has the feelings I do.

            UGH OK-- SORRY-- this type of babbling is even frustrating me.

            Anyway, thanks all!


            • Welcome to WH! So glad you chose us to share your story and seek advice!

              I have a feeling you're going to explore this relationship, regardless any feedback you get from us here. You're rebounding. You've been in a marriage that didn't fill your needs for a long time, and you've built a fantasy of what it would be like with this man. It's understandable. Your marriage relationship has been failing for some time, if not all the time. You needed something to look forward to, something to provide a solace from the pain of living through the neglect of your needs, his abuse and addiction.

              I do agree with BD and jns. I'll add that, your "sliver of irrational thought" is probably driven by your HOPE that that's the reason he's not maintaining relationships. And so, then, what was the reason he couldn't keep a relationship before you two developed this flirtation/secret admiration for each other? I think you're creating big things out of little shreds, and you'll likely be very disappointed in the long term.

              Maybe it will work out, and what you have there is genuine. Usually relationships borne out of strife and trauma, don't grow into healthy, balanced and happy relationships. The foundation is based too much on our own ideals and thoughts we've crafted out of wishes, rather than on the reality.

              My suggestion is to stay away from dating sites, stay away from this friend, and any other romantic inclination for a good long while. What is best now, is healing. Get some good counseling to work through the loss of your marriage. It's far too soon to be entertaining the idea of another romance with anyone. Right now, you're acting on impulses and a need to just not be alone. That's not a criticism, just a statement of what I see happening for you. It seems to be the natural course through/after divorce. At least wait until the divorce is finalized, maybe, to put yourself out there. You're in an unhealthy place, and in my experience, you just draw other unhealthy people when in that state of unrest.

              Keep us posted!


              • I agree 100% with atskitty2. You will do whatever you choose, no matter the advice you're given, but I'd heed the advice you've been given: we are wise old souls here.

                I do hope I've helped.



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