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Thread: IN an LTR... but falling in love with an old friend...

  1. #1

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    IN an LTR... but falling in love with an old friend...

    Apologies for the long winded story, but here goes;

    I have been in a relationship with my partner for 4 years. I love him dearly, we do a lot together and I have honestly been at my best and my happiest with this man. I do not by any stretch feel any less feeling or love towards him! He can be a little cold and switched off at times, but that is just how he is. It does not make me love him any less.

    However, a situation with a very old male friend recently arose where we ended up in bed together. Don't judge me or lecture me on this, I know it was wrong and I don't need to be told further that it was wrong. I feel dreadful about it; from my perspective I stand to lose everything. A good friend, my partner and possibly my sanity.

    The friend has been in my life for a long time, and we have always had a very close relationship, and I truly enjoy the time we spend together. We have often been mistaken for a couple on outings due to the way we behave around each other. So, for years this guy has been mistaken for my partner, we have been alone around each other on so many occasions, we have shared a bed so, so many times and nothing has happened, he knows I am not single. And to clarify, I instigated everything that happened between us recently. Now that things have happened between my friend and I, he has confessed that he would love nothing more than to be with me but would absolutely never get in the way of my relationship - and I know that he wouldn't. But part of me is now thinking 'what if...'

    I feel like I am falling in love... whilst being in love with my partner. Is this even possible?! I'm tearing myself apart about this (so much so that I have booked in to see a therapist next week as I have managed to convince myself I am messed up in the head. Who does this in a loving, good relationship)

    I am at an emotional deadlock right now. This feels more like just a one night thing, or a slip of judgement. People often say that we cheat to try to fill in the blanks in our relationship or that we are missing something with the long term partner but this is absolutely not the case! I have a very happy relationship with my long term partner... I don't know what to do for the best!

  2. #2
    Silver Member MirrorKnight's Avatar
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    Are there any children involved? The therapy is a good idea. Something is wrong if you are subconsciously trying to sabotage your stable loving relationship.

    I think your partner deserves to know the truth. If he is willing to forgive you, then you might still have a future together. If he breaks up with you over the infidelity, you got a ready-made backup plan. But to be honest, if I were that man, I would not trust you, given you proactively cheated on a long term relationship to be with him. No easy answers here I am afraid.

  3. #3
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    It stood out to me that you mentioned your partner being cold and switched off at times. Perhaps this is affecting you more than you realized before, and your friend has been filling in those gaps.

    That doesnít give someone license to cheat, of course, but it (to me) reveals some cracks in your relationship that might have been glossed over until now. There is something not working for you, for whatever reason.

    How does your boyfriend feel about your very close friendship with this friend? How much time do you spend with him, and how did you wind up in bed together on the night you cheated?

  4. #4

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    No, no children thankfully. I have never so much as even thought of this friend in this way; he is attractive, he is kind hearted and lovely and has always been amazingly supportive of my relationship! He even once, during a rough period in my life when I was in a destructive mindset, convinced me to stay in my relationship.

    I think I am going to tell my partner and see what happens from there.

    BUT, I would absolutely not be happy to end this current relationship to jump into something else. It is not fair on either party to do that and I think I would end up in an even more messed up headspace...

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  6. #5

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    Originally Posted by MissCanuck
    It stood out to me that you mentioned your partner being cold and switched off at times. Perhaps this is affecting you more than you realized before, and your friend has been filling in those gaps.

    That doesnít give someone license to cheat, of course, but it (to me) reveals some cracks in your relationship that might have been glossed over until now. There is something not working for you, for whatever reason.

    How does your boyfriend feel about your very close friendship with this friend? How much time do you spend with him, and how did you wind up in bed together on the night you cheated?
    Hmm, I had not really thought about his coldness being an issue before. He is very, very work oriented and I am often taking a backseat to his career (last minute changes of plan due to work, long work trips away, and also on the flip side very limited spontaneity) but I don't feel as though it bothers me. I do have a very active social life, so I have a lot of friends to squeeze in anyhow. That said, perhaps when I am feeling a little lonely and abandoned I have used my friend as an emotional crutch.... Now I feel even more dreadful. Have I been using him as a pretend partner in the absence of my actual partner?!

    My partner and my friend get on just fine! Have been out for drinks without me (albeit not often but they work close to each other) and we have been on holidays together previously (not just the three of us - with other friends) I would say I probably see my friend a couple of nights a week, usually just for drinks. Sometimes more, sometimes less but frequently.

    On the night in question we were watching a movie at my flat, with a bottle of wine. We were not drunk, and I am not even gonna try and use alcohol as an excuse here. I think this is something far deeper than that. I was stone cold sober and can not use anything to justify my actions except whatever latent feelings were bubbling away underneath the surface. At one point we both leaned forward (wine and snacks on the coffee table; I was going for the wine. I assume he was going for wine or chocolate) at the same time and he more or less full on headbutted me, he hugged me (because it bloody hurt!) and... then I kissed him. The rest obviously went on from there; he was hesitant and he did ask me if I was sure multiple times. He has no real blame here I don't feel... this is all on me. It was all lame romcom stuff in real life basically.

  7. #6
    Silver Member MirrorKnight's Avatar
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    we have shared a bed so, so many times and nothing has happened, he knows I am not single
    Wait why? Did your partner know about this? If he did, how was he okay with this?! How did you think this was okay?!

    I can think of only two occasions where I shared a bed completely innocently with a girl who was not my girlfriend. On both occasions we were both single, otherwise that is just asking for trouble. Even so on one of those occasions our friends found out about it and rumours were spread, assumptions made... etc.

    We have often been mistaken for a couple on outings due to the way we behave around each other. So, for years this guy has been mistaken for my partner, we have been alone around each other on so many occasions.
    I would say I probably see my friend a couple of nights a week, usually just for drinks. Sometimes more, sometimes less but frequently.
    How did you think it was appropriate maintaining such a close friendship with another man if you are in a committed relationship? It's not so much about trust but just the appropriateness for a man or woman in a committed relationship to spend so much time alone with a friend of the opposite sex.

    Trust me I am not a possessive person, I was fine with my ex's having their own lives, I even encourage my current introverted and clingy girlfriend to go out more and hang out with her friends. But if she was hanging out so much with a male friend, and behaving in a way together that people constantly mistook them for a couple, something is probably up!

    I have had very close female friends. Hell my best friend at various stages of my life were girls for some reason... but as each of them met long term partners, got married etc... I distanced myself from them, and they from me. Not because we did not like each other anymore, but they moved on from the stage of life where it was appropriate for them to hang out with single guys, play cards or drink late into the night, and crash out on my bed or couch cos it was too late to go home!

  8. #7

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    Originally Posted by MirrorKnight
    Wait why? Did your partner know about this? If he did, how was he okay with this?! How did you think this was okay?!

    I can think of only two occasions where I shared a bed completely innocently with a girl who was not my girlfriend. On both occasions we were both single, otherwise that is just asking for trouble. Even so on one of those occasions our friends found out about it and rumours were spread, assumptions made... etc.





    How did you think it was appropriate maintaining such a close friendship with another man if you are in a committed relationship? It's not so much about trust but just the appropriateness for a man or woman in a committed relationship to spend so much time alone with a friend of the opposite sex.

    Trust me I am not a possessive person, I was fine with my ex's having their own lives, I even encourage my current introverted and clingy girlfriend to go out more and hang out with her friends. But if she was hanging out so much with a male friend, and behaving in a way together that people constantly mistook them for a couple, something is probably up!

    I have had very close female friends. Hell my best friend at various stages of my life were girls for some reason... but as each of them met long term partners, got married etc... I distanced myself from them, and they from me. Not because we did not like each other anymore, but they moved on from the stage of life where it was appropriate for them to hang out with single guys, play cards or drink late into the night, and crash out on my bed or couch cos it was too late to go home!
    Yes my partner knows we have shared a bed! More often than not that has been when we have been on holidays together sans partner, and not at home so much (we live in the same city - there is no need for us to share a bed here unless we have both been blackout drunk, which again has been few and far between)

    I don't think it is a question of appropriateness; yes, I have slipped up here. But should a woman cut off a close friendship due to a relationship? That is a very strange world view... I have a lot of guy mates. I'm not a girly girl, I like going out with the lads! Most of them are single, and I would say I am close to a lot of them... should I cut all of them off too? The friendship with him has survived past relationships, longer than this one, without so much as even a flirty word being uttered. We were close friends all through a five year relationship at one point; he was my confidante, the person I would cry to, and not once has he ever made any pass at me or confessed any attraction. And likewise he has had girlfriends and I became friends with some of them.

    This is nothing to do with the friendship, two people of the opposite sex CAN be close friends when one or the other meets someone and it is absurd to suggest that we should ditch people based on new romantic partners (after all, one should hope friends are for life whilst romances may come and go. And when love turns sour, it is the friends we rely on to get us through those dark times) this has everything to do with my own muddled up emotions.

    It has been a tough year, full of heartache and loss for me so there is a lot I am working through in my head. I guess, more than anything, I am terrified I have ruined the friendship more than anything else; a friendship that I value very, very highly. Do I value it more than my relationship...? probably, yes. He has been my best friend for all of my adult life.

  9. #8
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    I also believe women and men can have healthy and platonic friendships. I have a few great guy friends myself, with zero romantic undertones.

    The problem here is that you acknowledge you are falling in love with this friend, and still had a cozy night with a move and wine together. When you recognized that you had stronger feelings is when you should have taken a step back and put some better boundaries in place. Whatís done is done, I realize, but it seems that this wasnít a sudden awakening of lust and feelings. It was brewing over time but neither of you did much to mitigate the risk of something like this happening.

    So now, I think you are going to need to take a long, honest look at your relationship. Ask yourself if youíre truly all that happy, because scratching under the surface, it looks like you are craving more intimacy (physical and emotional) from your boyfriend and youíve turned outside the relationship to supply that it.

    I think you are going to need to be honest with your boyfriend. You donít want him to hear this from someone else. You donít want him
    to have to drag this out of you after suspecting something is up with you. He deserves to be informed, especially as this sounds like it runs a lot deeper than a mere one-night stand.

    As for your friend? Well, the dynamic between you will be different now. I wouldnít expect things to ever really go back to the way they were. You two have crossed a bridge that will change the landscape of your friendship, regardless of whether you two pursue something together or not. Inevitable collateral of hooking up with a friend, particularly under these circumstances.

  10. #9

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    Originally Posted by MissCanuck
    I also believe women and men can have healthy and platonic friendships. I have a few great guy friends myself, with zero romantic undertones.

    The problem here is that you acknowledge you are falling in love with this friend, and still had a cozy night with a move and wine together. When you recognized that you had stronger feelings is when you should have taken a step back and put some better boundaries in place. Whatís done is done, I realize, but it seems that this wasnít a sudden awakening of lust and feelings. It was brewing over time but neither of you did much to mitigate the risk of something like this happening.

    So now, I think you are going to need to take a long, honest look at your relationship. Ask yourself if youíre truly all that happy, because scratching under the surface, it looks like you are craving more intimacy (physical and emotional) from your boyfriend and youíve turned outside the relationship to supply that it.

    I think you are going to need to be honest with your boyfriend. You donít want him to hear this from someone else. You donít want him
    to have to drag this out of you after suspecting something is up with you. He deserves to be informed, especially as this sounds like it runs a lot deeper than a mere one-night stand.

    As for your friend? Well, the dynamic between you will be different now. I wouldnít expect things to ever really go back to the way they were. You two have crossed a bridge that will change the landscape of your friendship, regardless of whether you two pursue something together or not. Inevitable collateral of hooking up with a friend, particularly under these circumstances.
    I know... this is a difficult circumstance, I never quite expected to find myself in. I have been very happy (or so I thought!) with my partner more or less all the time... perhaps too happy. There has never been any conflict of any type between us in the entire time we have been together, and thus he does deserve to know. I need to pick the right timing so as to cause him as little hurt as possible. I am aware of whatever way it goes, I will be hurt so I can at least try to use some damage control and make sure that I don't damage him any further.

    I thought I was quite happy having this almost 'separate' social life from my partner but perhaps I have just been blindsiding myself all along, and that I do want to share these things with someone? Even down to the movie night; I often watch movies with my friend because my partner and I have wildly differing tastes (I love a horror, he loves a comedy... the two do not often work well together) and we have had similar movie nights so many times over the last 18 years; I did not expect this to turn out so different.

    I know things will possibly never be the same again with my friend, I would absolutely not expect them to. We all know that once one has these kind of encounters with someone it does have a tendency to change the way we see that person. I know that I have been slightly freaked out about how much I have been thinking about him (my friend). I think it would be massively unwise to pursue anything with him; I want him to be there as my best friend as he always has but I don't know now that this is possible. He has been a bit quiet on me the last few days, whereas we probably would usually message each other daily. I sense he is giving me a wide berth here... Oh what a pickle I have gotten myself into :(

  11. #10
    Silver Member MirrorKnight's Avatar
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    I don't think it is a question of appropriateness; yes, I have slipped up here. But should a woman cut off a close friendship due to a relationship? That is a very strange world view... I have a lot of guy mates. I'm not a girly girl, I like going out with the lads! Most of them are single, and I would say I am close to a lot of them... should I cut all of them off too?
    No you do not have to cut off close friendships due to a relationship... but it is about putting yourself in situations where feelings can develop, mistakes can be made. So yes if you had lots of guy-friends before a relationship, of course you can continue to go out with them when you are in a relationship, but it is probably not a good idea to go drinking with just one guy, to excess, or spend a comparable amount of time with that guy compared to your actual partner, and go on holiday with him, instead of your partner.

    I repeat, if people are regularly mistaking you two for being a couple because of how you behave around each other, something is up. Maybe I am old fashioned but even if nothing was happening, I would reassess my behaviour just because I do not want people to get the wrong idea, and how that would look for my partner, whether she trusted me or not.

    So yeah my personal rule is, "sure go out with your friends, but try to avoid spending too long alone with just one friend (of the opposite sex)".

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