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I'll try to be as concise as possible. I've got a lot of opinions from my friends, but since they are friends they probably won't tell me what they really think (at least not 100%).

 

Here's my story. I've been in a relationship with a woman for 17 years. We have 5 y.o. boy. We've had serious relationship difficulties for the last 4 years or so. Two years ago I met another woman. Well, I'd known her before, but we hadn't have too many opportunities to see each other. It all started harmlessly but developed into something serious quickly. When we started I thought it was supposed to be only for sex and that's what I was telling that girl when asked about our future. However, I missed the exact moment when I truly fell in love with her (there's probably no such thing anyway - I mean moment, not love). When I realized what was happening I told the woman I have kid with the truth. We decided that I should find another place and move out and so I did. My new relationship lasted for about two years. During this time I was doing desperate attempts to end it. We didn't see each other for, say 3 months but then got back together. There was one more person who knew about my romance from it's very beginning - my best friend (and I really mean it - you can only have one best friend and it was him). He knew the girl I had romance with, we met together sometimes. He was my confidant, I was telling him almost everything. This summer I decided to end my affair hoping that the love I have for my little boy will make up for the loss. I still loved the girl but felt too guilty. It was very hard break-up. The girl was really into me and I wounded her badly - that's for sure. My best friend was there, so I wasn't alone. He literally witnessed our break-up, which was uncomfortable. The next days were really hard, but my friend supported me. I was telling him the real reasons behind my decision, he seemed to understand them. The girl attempted to contact me, but I didn't answer her calls. After two or three weeks she stopped. We were in NC for three months. However, soon after I returned to my 'old' woman I realized I didn't fully move on. I got depressed, started to think about the other girl a lot. I needed support so I decided to spend couple of days at my friends place - he's always been of great help. So I visited him. Long story short, the day I arrived I learnt he dates THE girl. He didn't really tell me, but I think he tried to lead me to realize it. When I asked him, he confirmed they've been dating for one month. I took off immediately. Since then I've been totally devastated. It's been two months and I can't eat, can't work, can't move on. I broke up with my woman totally, moved out. I had several conversations with the girl I had an affair with. Long two-hours long conversations. She seemed comfortable speaking to me, was saying we had time of our lives etc, but she decided to move on. She thinks (or at least says so) it's perfectly ok to be with my best friend now. So says my friend. Actually, other friends told me he doesn't understand why I'm feeling bad at all. He is sorry our friendship ended, but he doesn't feel guilty. When I was trying to explain the obvious thing (obvious to me) that it's not ok to date ex's best friend, they both got upset. Finally, I stopped contacting them. This Christmas I went to the club. Around midnight the girl I had an affair with showed up. I didn't expect her to come, but she might have known I was gonna be there (the party was announced on FB and I clicked 'going'). When she saw me she said she was gonna leave immediately, but did not. She was sitting there with me till 6AM talking, drinking and smoking cigarettes (even though she said she quit). We were talking about a lot of things. She told me she feels depressed. I lied to her I slept with another girl I met just to see her reaction (and to have my revenge, which was silly, but I couldn't help it). When asked whether she's happy with my best friend she answered: yes, I am... he's good for me, I finally have somebody to spend time with whenever I want (when we were together I wasn't always available). Anyway, it was clear to me she's still in love with me - looking straight into my eyes etc. When we left the club we took a taxi together. I didn't attempt to touch her or kiss - no such thing. When leaving she said we can't contact at all. I agreed, but on the next day sent her text message and then called trying to learn what she thinks. She said she spent time with me because she was curious about my life. When I said it was clear she still has feelings for me she initially denied, then agreed, but said it's normal - 'I have such feelings for every man I spent couple of years with'. She again said she's happy with my friend and that we would probably never be together again, because I wounded her so badly. I said I'd never call her again and since then (two weeks) haven't. I still feel devastated. I know they spend time together. Can't move on. I made some progress, but after that evening I have to start it all over again. I don't know what I want. One moment I wanna wait for her hoping her relationship with my friend will end, the other moment it gets obvious to me I can't be with a person who dated my best friend which forever ruined one of the most important relationships I've had in my life (with my best friend - we were like brothers) - too much damage has been done. My original relationship (with mother of my boy) seems to be dead, but we're still good friends and speak openly about everything, including the affair I had and how we're feeling right now. I know asking 'what should I do' sounds silly, so I won't do it. I'm interested on your opinions about the ethics of dating ex's friends. Also, I don't know what to think about their relationship - is it a rebound? It started two months after our break-up, maybe later. They've been together for two months (they live in different cities, so don't have many opportunities to see each other). My former best friend told me he treats her more like a friend... I'm so confused.

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I can think that yeah. She doesn't want to let u go, if she did then she wouldn't be looking for u or texting u and that would just mean she's not serious about her relationship with ur friend. But at least she's not looking for kisses or physical contact. If she does then it becomes serious. what would u like to happen?

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First let me thank you for your replies. What would I like to happen? I would love to get her back, but I'm not sure for what purpose - whether to spend life with her or have the opportunity to have my revenge on her for dating my best friends...

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By the way - she did not text me. She was answering my calls and spoke with me for hours, but never called me. Also, I can't be sure she was looking for me - she might have just bumped upon me. But she could expect me to be there, so if she didn't want to see me she wouldn't go there, I think.

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Dude ... I can't believe someone else hasn't said this already ...

 

By your own descriptions of your own behavior, you're a cheater and a liar and a player who has used other women at your convenience for your own gratification. I suspect both of these women (and your ex-friend) understand this now. Probably everyone understands it but you. (I mean, you tried to explain the "obvious thing that it's not ok to date an ex's best friend"? Really? This coming from you? Why would they care what you think about personal integrity?)

 

As for your current situation, this is how things tend to work out when you screw people over, so you're gonna have to live with it, as an adult would.

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Thank you Brownstone for beating me to it. When you yourself become a liar and a cheat and break the most sacred of vows ... people tend to look at you as you are ... someone with no personal integrity.

 

So your friends knew what a snake you were and did not think you would mind getting bitten. What goes around comes around.

 

Sent from my MB612 using Tapatalk 2

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Here's my opinion. You still like her, but you don't know whether to continue to pursue her or move on. I think the girl still likes you and is dating your best friend as a rebound, but she won't go back to you, not only because you've put her through so much pain but, also, you haven't tried to change yourself. I think she wants to see you change and mature as a man who knows what he wants. I think she really wants you to prove yourself to her that you've become a wiser, more mature, stable man. In addition, I'm sure that if you kept pursuing her and state your reasons as to why you want her back, if she still loves you, she'll hesitantly come back.

 

As for your best friend, I think he sounds really mature, and that's probably why your ex and your friend are dating. He's probably comforting her--maybe even likes her--and she is taking in the stability and comfort that he brings to her. He's her support system which is why he says "I treat her like a friend." He may feel sorry for her because he's seen you put her through all of the mess that you've created, and so, he feels like he should help or wants to help. I get the feeling he's kind of a warm, caring person who acts like a protector and advisor haha.

 

It sounds like you want to be friends with your best friend again (although it will be painful when he's dating your ex), and you want to be with the woman. But, in order for you to do this, you should take time away from them. Tell them first--say "Hey, I need some time to myself to get myself together and realize what I want"--and then do stuff for yourself. See if your emotions fade for the girl, and see if your resentment towards your friend fades too.

 

Do not--and I repeat--do NOT get a rebound. In addition, do NOT seek for revenge. You'll only get bitten in the arse again for that, and then new drama will arise.

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Dude ... I can't believe someone else hasn't said this already ...

 

By your own descriptions of your own behavior, you're a cheater and a liar and a player who has used other women at your convenience for your own gratification. I suspect both of these women (and your ex-friend) understand this now. Probably everyone understands it but you. (I mean, you tried to explain the "obvious thing that it's not ok to date an ex's best friend"? Really? This coming from you? Why would they care what you think about personal integrity?)

 

As for your current situation, this is how things tend to work out when you screw people over, so you're gonna have to live with it, as an adult would.

 

Thanks, what you say is actually true and, in contrast to what you suggest, I am aware of what I did. Even though this was the first time it happened to me (cheating) and I told the woman I cheated about it soon after it happened - I deserved the lesson. I don't think I am not allowed to have my opinion on dating ex's friend, though. Friendship is, in some way, bigger than love. My ex-friend is much more of a cheater than me. I've seen him doing worse things than I did and still respected him and his opinions. If you dump your friends just because they make mistakes then I don't think you know what friendship is all about.

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Here's my opinion. You still like her, but you don't know whether to continue to pursue her or move on.

 

Absolutely.

 

I think the girl still likes you and is dating your best friend as a rebound, but she won't go back to you, not only because you've put her through so much pain but, also, you haven't tried to change yourself.

 

Well, I did change a lot, but there's much more to be changed yet... She probably won't believe in my change anyway. Maybe she needs time.

 

I think she wants to see you change and mature as a man who knows what he wants. I think she really wants you to prove yourself to her that you've become a wiser, more mature, stable man. In addition, I'm sure that if you kept pursuing her and state your reasons as to why you want her back, if she still loves you, she'll hesitantly come back.

 

Thanks. Wise words. I definitely need to work on myself and that's what I'm doing these days. I think I totally lost self-respect as a result of my deeds. I probably needed to end up in such a complex emotional situation to be able to get out of impasse.

 

As for your best friend, I think he sounds really mature, and that's probably why your ex and your friend are dating. He's probably comforting her--maybe even likes her--and she is taking in the stability and comfort that he brings to her. He's her support system which is why he says "I treat her like a friend." He may feel sorry for her because he's seen you put her through all of the mess that you've created, and so, he feels like he should help or wants to help. I get the feeling he's kind of a warm, caring person who acts like a protector and advisor haha.

 

I think you're not far from the truth, which makes your other remarks even more valuable to me! Great intuition! Actually, he's not much more mature than me, but he's less neurotic for sure. And more stable.

 

It sounds like you want to be friends with your best friend again (although it will be painful when he's dating your ex), and you want to be with the woman.

 

You know more about me than I do

 

But, in order for you to do this, you should take time away from them. Tell them first--say "Hey, I need some time to myself to get myself together and realize what I want"--and then do stuff for yourself. See if your emotions fade for the girl, and see if your resentment towards your friend fades too.

Do not--and I repeat--do NOT get a rebound. In addition, do NOT seek for revenge. You'll only get bitten in the arse again for that, and then new drama will arise.

 

I've never been revengeful person so no, I won't seek for revenge. Even though sometimes I hate the fact that I forgive things so easily. Speaking about rebound - I'm fighting the temptation to have one. It's really hard, but I know it would only result in hurting other people and myself. I've done enough damage. Thanks a lot for your reply. I really appreciate.

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Friendship is, in some way, bigger than love.

 

That's a cheap way to treat love. What is love?

 

If you dump your friends just because they make mistakes then I don't think you know what friendship is all about.

 

And, IMO, if you dump one love (your wife) because you're attracted to by a new love-interest, then I don't think you know what love is all about. Different perspectives, I guess. I think all this is an opportunity to distance yourself from both of them, work on your personal growth, improve yourself, and you'll start surrounding yourself with better people.

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That's a cheap way to treat love. What is love?

 

And, IMO, if you dump one love (your wife) because you're attracted to by a new love-interest, then I don't think you know what love is all about.

 

Totally agree. What goes around comes around ... and unfortunately the OP is invested in making this guy out to be worse than him when in fact they are quite the same.

 

At least his wife knows what she's married to.

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That's a cheap way to treat love. What is love?

 

Sure we need the definition to be able to agree (or disagree). Many people would say love is a superset of friendship On the other hand, most people have had many 'loves' before finding THE one. With real friends it's different - they usually last for entire lifetime. This is what I meant by saying that friendship is greater than love. I wasn't speaking about THE love but just love.

 

And, IMO, if you dump one love (your wife) because you're attracted to by a new love-interest, then I don't think you know what love is all about.

 

Disagree. Sometimes you realize you are in relationship with somebody you don't really love (or it seems so, because you spend almost 20 years together and you lost your reference point). You try hard, but can't force yourself to feel the way you want. Sure, you should break up once you realize it, but trust me - things are not so easy if you have kids. You think - I'm the one who brought that little human being into existence and world is not perfect place, to say the least. How could I hurt him for selfish reasons? I don't really believe in those simplistic rules like 'always follow your heart'. Heart is more delusive than mind.

 

Different perspectives, I guess. I think all this is an opportunity to distance yourself from both of them, work on your personal growth, improve yourself, and you'll start surrounding yourself with better people.

 

True, definitely. I prefer to focus on making myself better man these days than thinking about with whom I surround myself... Thanks for your reply, Journeynow.

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Totally agree. What goes around comes around ... and unfortunately the OP is invested in making this guy out to be worse than him when in fact they are quite the same.

At least his wife knows what she's married to.

 

Oh no. With all due respect, this is so infantile. World is not Hollywood movie. People are not good, bad or worse, come on. They do good or bad things... even this is not always clear. I've never thought of my friend as worse than me. Actually, I'm trying to find a way to understand him. And trust me - I am angry. You think I don't have the right to be angry because I did something wrong in the past to somebody else? This is ridiculous. If you're friend with someone you don't really care if he's good or bad, because people are not that simple, at least not where I live. They wear different personas that help them to cope with outer world. Being friend usually means that you can see below this persona and see her/his real nature, often too fragile and sensitive to expose it to the world. This is exactly the case with my friend. He is difficult guy to commune with and people have been judging him to easily IMO. I was one of the few persons (if not the one) who has always been trying to convince people their opinions on him are precipitous. So don't tell me I'm trying to make a bad guy out of him. He did something wrong to me - that's everything I meant. And, by the way, I'm not married. It doesn't change anything IMO, but just wanted to clarify this. Saying 'what' when referring to people confirms my suspicion about you being evaluative person without a hint of humanism...

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No need to say no disrespect to me as you cannot fathom how you are disrespectful to the people closest to you.

 

What advice are you looking for? Neutral people give common sense and you want to disagree. That is fine ... some people are unable to accept full responsibility for their behavior as well as the consequences. You are one.

 

Not much else we can do for you. Nobody is going to give you what you want in saying anything bad about your ex friend in terms of your behavior.

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No need to say no disrespect to me as you cannot fathom how you are disrespectful to the people closest to you.

What advice are you looking for? Neutral people give common sense and you want to disagree. That is fine ... some people are unable to accept full responsibility for their behavior as well as the consequences. You are one.

 

You totally miss the reason behind my post, Ms Darcy. For some reason you focus on my friend and my (alleged) wish of being assured he's evil. I don't need it. I know what he did. By the way - I talked to him today and we had honest conversation without a trace of hatred or repulsion. We're trying to find a way to coexist in this difficult situation. Speaking about disrespect, wasn't that you who first showed disrespect to me? I accept criticism, but saying "At least his wife knows WHAT she's married to" is simply unceremonious. I would never say this to anyone I don't know well, sorry. I'd never say this to anyone at all. I'd never speak about anyone in third person in his presence, either and this is how your post is composed. Sorry, but you're not kind of person whose advice I need.

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