I Love Someone, but She's Taken
Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
By chance I met a woman who has become my best friend. When we first met there was a LOT of chemistry...so I asked her to come over and hang out. Well naturally I was in a romantic frame of mind. She seemed to be as well - until she told me something she had missed pointing out for weeks - her total devotion to her live-in boyfriend. I felt cheated. Then she pointed out my situation. Suddenly I realized what I was doing and promised to deal with with my own relationship. I then did - via mutual, amicable divorce. My friend helped me through it all the way.
Now I'm single. I'm crazy about her personality, kindness, and open mind so I'm hangin' in there as a friend - better that than nothing...but you can only bury these feelings so far, and for only so long, I'm finding.
Since then we've been a sounding board for each other and I have discovered that her guy is not very mature. He yells when frustrated, threatens to quit his job before he has another after a bad day at work, and when they are at logger-heads he cuts her down personally should his intellect come up short. This causes quite a bit of trouble in their relationship to the point where she has told him that her main concerns are her child's and her own well being and financial security. But she's staying so far.
Meanwhile, we are together at lunch weekly and the connection keeps growing.
It kills me that this guy is such a loser, but yet he's in the house. I can't tell her how I feel again because that's just whining - I really don't know what to do.
What do you do when you love your best friend and she cares for you but you can't be together?
There was a song from Olivia Newton-John called I Honestly Love You about this exact situation. It's really common. When you have friends, you care about them, and that care can often become love. I have several guy friends who I "love" but I always know that I love my boyfriend far more than anyone else. That is what being in a relationship is about - it is about keeping your partner's interests before all others.
You two are in a difficult situation because you have already in essence "betrayed" your partner for her - put your partner aside in order to be with her. The expectation was that she would do the same for you, but instead she is showing loyalty to her partner. Which is really what people are *supposed* to do.
What would happen if you two did get together - and then she had another guy at work she started to be friends with? What if she decided this other guy was better than you were and just abandoned you for him? You woudln't like that much. You would want to be able to trust her - that she could have other guys for friends, but that you would always come first. That is exactly the situation she is in now. Her boyfriend *trusts* her, and she is honoring that trust.
Most people tend to complain about their partner's faults quite loudly, and not necessarily play up the good sides. Obviously there are many good sides in this guy she's with because she's staying with him even though she has an easy out right now. Yes, he has a temper, but many people do. Yes, he shouldn't cut her down in arguments, and that is something he should work on. But for her to say "Sorry I found a new fun guy, see ya" would be just as bad as any other betrayal.
She needs to focus on her relationship with this guy and either make it work or accept that it isn't. If she is giving a large portion of her time and affection and discussions to you then she is short-changing him. Things she talks about with you should be talked about with HIM since he is the one that can help her fix it. For her to discuss it all with you is in essence making things worse because now she doesn't bother to try to talk about it with him and really make it work.
I'd highly recommend she and he go to couples therapy and address the real issues. He shouldn't be putting her down, he needs to find some anger management, but she needs to talk with him more and focus on him. Together they can either make it work or not. If they can, then they will be happy and while you can always be a valued friend, you should not try to actively damage their relationship. If they don't work it out and really can't find any solutions, then they will split up - but she should NOT leave him "for you". She should stay with him or leave him for reasons of THEIR RELATIONSHIP alone. If she can't do that for him, there's no way she could do it for someone else either.
-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com