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sylvan33
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SIGNS OF A TOXIC BOSS | THERAPIST R...
SIGNS OF A TOXIC BOSS | THERAPIST REACTS TO RAISSA KENGNE

I want to first start by saying I have zero intentions of ruining a marriage, and that's why I would like to see what people think about this situation, in order to see if I need to distant myself from this.

I met this guy years ago and we were reunited in a class more recently. We've recently became fast friends and he's mentioned that he is glad we've become such good friends, as it's hard to make close friends the older we get. I am also friends with his wife, they are both great people and I am happy they are in my life!

However, sometimes I question whether his feelings are developing, but I don't know if I am overthinking things, as I often do. How can I tell if he's just being friendly or interested?

Here are just some things I've noticed:

He will text me a couple times a week to talk. Just random things; usually goofy things or ask me how I am doing. He said he's interested in getting to know more about me. If we are at social situations (we have mutual friends), he will text me funny questions in response to what's happening in the room -- but doesn't do that with anyone else. He'll give me compliments or do little acts of service when he can. I noticed he tries to be close; whether that's parking by me or sitting close so we can talk. He's mentioned that I am a safe space and also that I remind him of his wife in a way. Now writing this all out, it seems silly, but my friends have made comments before jokingly... I should also mention that he speaks very highly of his wife and seems to adore her. It's confusing?

What do you think?

Again, I am willing to distance myself if needed, but I don't want to act hastily if this is a normal friendship with a man that I am just not used to. He just might be a little more sensitive than what I am used to. Thank you for your input!

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26 minutes ago, kiirsttnae said:

I am also friends with his wife, they are both great people and I am happy they are in my life!

How long have you known him/them? How old is he? Are you in a relationship/dating?

It seems like you are smitten/have a crush and therefore view basically innocuous things as "signs". Your friends seem to be teasing you about it.

Make sure your own social/romantic life is intact and happy.

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34 minutes ago, kiirsttnae said:

He'll give me compliments or do little acts of service when he can. I noticed he tries to be close; whether that's parking by me or sitting close so we can talk. He's mentioned that I am a safe space and also that I remind him of his wife in a way.

I would say by this that he is interested in something more

- Tries to be close

- Gives compliments

- Performs acts of service(would assume brings you coffee or helps you for work because it seems like its work related)

Its hard to discern sometimes. For example, he is maybe just looking for a friend outside the marriage(in a non romantic way). But with that kind of attention you described, I wouldnt be surprised if he wants to start an affair. So yes, you should thread lighthly. And maybe limit the contact. There is no reason for a married man to contact you couple of times a week to talk about personal stuff. I am guessing you are old enough to know where those kind of stuff can lead and that you are experienced enough to just not indulge him in his desires and that you can just say that you are busy and cut him off when he tries that.

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One of my best friends years ago was a married man. I knew his wife and she and I were friendly, but he was my actual friend. We talked on the phone several times each week.

There was zero "monkey business" going on. I did not want to sleep with him or even kiss him. And he adores his wife and thinks (and says, in front of her, all the time) that she's beautiful and amazing and how lucky he is to have her. And she is all of those things.

We just happened to hit it off personality wise. We are interested in a lot of the same things and know a lot of the same people. 

We aren't close anymore because I moved out of state and a few years later so did they. His wife comments and likes my social media posts way more than he does lol.

So, are you hoping this man likes you romantically or is attracted to you? 

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Is his wife present at these gathering when he's texting you?

If so, how does she respond to you during the gatherings, is she warm?

I would not allow the friendship to cross into the kind of intimacy that discusses my love life or his, and I would cut short and opt for distance if he ever revealed anything to me that I believe his wife either doesn't know about or wouldn't approve of him telling me.

Otherwise, it's fun to have a good classmate in your corner.

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1 hour ago, Wiseman2 said:

How long have you known him/them? How old is he? Are you in a relationship/dating?

It seems like you are smitten/have a crush and therefore view basically innocuous things as "signs". Your friends seem to be teasing you about it.

Make sure your own social/romantic life is intact and happy.

True. I could definitely be projecting my feelings. I’ve known them for a couple years. Thank you for your thoughts.

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1 hour ago, Kwothe28 said:

There is no reason for a married man to contact you couple of times a week to talk about personal stuff. I am guessing you are old enough to know where those kind of stuff can lead and that you are experienced enough to just not indulge him in his desires and that you can just say that you are busy and cut him off when he tries that.

This is all a good point. I honestly can’t decide if he’s just super friendly or flirty!! Thank you for your thoughtful response. 

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52 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

So, are you hoping this man likes you romantically or is attracted to you? 

No… I value our friendship and don’t want to damage anything, which is why I wanted to make sure engaging isn’t going to hurt us or his relationship. I’m used to more superficial relationships with guys. It’s hard to tell his intentions.

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I think it's ok if his wife is ok with it.  I have always had close friendships with men -platonic - since teenage years.  Marriage didn't change that -moving away kind of did and getting busy with family, raising a child, etc.  I was close with a male classmate in grad school.   We were good friends for 7 years by the time he got married -and he met his future wife when we'd known each other for 5 years. 

I like his wife and don't consider her more than a friendly acquaintance - but when her husband was in a car accident around 15 years ago -I was one of the first friends she called for help -logistical help - getting something faxed to the hospital, etc.  So obviously she trusted me and knew I'd be a reliable friend in her time of need.  

We used to talk on the phone often and we used to meet for lunch once a month or so when we lived/worked in the same city and sometimes dinner.  We also got together with his wife, we also double dated.  A couple of years ago my son and I met him for lunch during the work day -his wife was at work and it was totally fine of course.  She would have been invited of course!

It's tricky - he did want to date me when he first met me.  I didn't want to date him.  I did think about potentially dating him on and off during our friendship -only when we were both single.  Never ever acted on it.  

I give you these details because there are so many individual factors -what the couple considers appropriate boundaries and your feelings for him -whether you want more factors in too.  I would err on the side of keeping things appropriate and being mindful of not texting anything you wouldn't want his wife to see.  

Good luck -you seem to have very honorable intentions. 

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9 hours ago, kiirsttnae said:

He's mentioned that I am a safe space and also that I remind him of his wife in a way.

This is what gives me pause. 

I would insert some space here. I have a couple of very close male friends, whom I've known a long time. We hang out together and I know their partners as well (and they know mine) So I am certainly not opposed to opposite-sex friendships, but this seems to be skating the line. 

I would be careful not to provide him too much of that sort of "safe space." That is best left for his wife. It's okay to be friends but I would watch the frequency of the messages (and obviously their content) and not get too cozy with him. If other people are noticing that he seems extra-friendly toward you, you can bet his wife will, too. That's where it stands to get messy and you might get hurt once he starts pulling back and not paying much attention to you anymore.  It's going to be better to keep some space between you and him. 

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9 hours ago, kiirsttnae said:

True. I could definitely be projecting my feelings. I’ve known them for a couple years. Thank you for your thoughts.

I know you said that you DON'T want him to be physically or romantically attracted to you, but this statement stood out to me, especially since it was in response to Wiseman saying that it seems like you are smitten/have a crush on this guy.

You didn't deny it and, in fact, seemed to confirm it. Am I reading that incorrectly, or is that what you meant?

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5 hours ago, Capricorn3 said:

Me thinks this dude has some very "over the line" ideas/intentions.  I would step back, way back. No flirting, no encouraging, and most definitely NOT be his "safe place".  Ugh.  His '"safe place" should be his wife.  He needs reminding he's married.

Thank you - I agree, I think, which is why I posted here in the first place. Something didn't sit right. 

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Just now, kiirsttnae said:

Thank you - I agree, I think, which is why I posted here in the first place. Something didn't sit right. 

Seems obvious to me unless you enjoy the attention/have feelings for him then it might be harder to have that perspective.  I've always had successful platonic male friendships since I was a little girl -so like over50 years now.  Including while I've been married/committed the last 17 years.

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1 minute ago, Batya33 said:

Seems obvious to me unless you enjoy the attention/have feelings for him then it might be harder to have that perspective.  I've always had successful platonic male friendships since I was a little girl -so like over50 years now.  Including while I've been married/committed the last 17 years.

I don't enjoy the attention or have feelings for him, he is just more friendly and attentive than my other male friends, in which I am not used to -- and wanted to double check that it IS in fact just friendly. 

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People don't stop making friends with people- including people of the opposite sex just because they get married. 

Every couple is different just like every person is different.  My husband and I have zero problems having friends of the opposite sex because we completely trust each other.  Besides, you don't need to have opposite gender friends in order to cheat. 

I personally think its awesome when a man is just friends with a woman.  To me, it shows he is evolved and views women as more than just sexual objects.   And as a wife you get the benefit of that female friend helping him pick out gifts/ plans things for you.  

Some couples don't want their spouse having ANY opposite gender friends.  I personally don't find this realistic as the odds of them being with friends with someone at work is extremely high.   Hanging out alone is a personal choice.  But IMHO, if you can't trust your spouse to not be able to spend a little time with another person without sleeping with them, why are you even with them?

From what you've said, I'm not seeing any flashing red lights of him showing romantic interest in you. 

^ Now that I've said that- what was your reaction to that last sentence?  If you were disappointed, then perhaps it's the other way around, and you are developing feelings for him.  If you are relieved, then I see no reason you can't keep continuing this friendship. 

The only reason to stop an opposite gender friendship is if someone crosses a line that you (or that you know your spouse would be) are uncomfortable with.  

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26 minutes ago, redswim30 said:

I personally think its awesome when a man is just friends with a woman.  To me, it shows he is evolved and views women as more than just sexual objects.   And as a wife you get the benefit of that female friend helping him pick out gifts/ plans things for you.  

I wouldn't have the friendships I have if I had this view of men. I don't think it shows anything other than one individual connects with another as friends.  I treat men and women as individuals. Some men and women act in superficial ways or treat other individuals as sex objects and those people and I likely wouldn't connect as friends if this was their attitude to any significant extent.   I don't think being good friends requires a person to evolve.  I wouldn't want a friendship where the person had to "evolve" to be my friend. 

I have a son.  He's 13 - I hope he never encounters people he has to deal with on any real basis who make that sort of assumption of how he regards women.  It's simply not true or fair.

Certainly developing a friendship and maintaining requires effort and work at times and increased maturity and personal growth -but evolving as a gender - assuming males are typically that shallow in how they regard women? Never ever felt that way and I would hate for any of my male friends to think I thought so poorly of their entire gender.  To each her own of course! I do help one of my male friends with gift ideas for his wife.  That is because I happen to be good at creative gift ideas generally and he knows that!  I suggested for one anniversary they do cooking classes together and they loved it!

I respect your view of men and your view of male friendships - people have all sorts of generalized opinions on gender and other groups -I get it. Just makes me sad.

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17 hours ago, kiirsttnae said:

I want to first start by saying I have zero intentions of ruining a marriage, and that's why I would like to see what people think about this situation, in order to see if I need to distant myself from this.

I met this guy years ago and we were reunited in a class more recently. We've recently became fast friends and he's mentioned that he is glad we've become such good friends, as it's hard to make close friends the older we get. I am also friends with his wife, they are both great people and I am happy they are in my life!

However, sometimes I question whether his feelings are developing, but I don't know if I am overthinking things, as I often do. How can I tell if he's just being friendly or interested?

Here are just some things I've noticed:

He will text me a couple times a week to talk. Just random things; usually goofy things or ask me how I am doing. He said he's interested in getting to know more about me. If we are at social situations (we have mutual friends), he will text me funny questions in response to what's happening in the room -- but doesn't do that with anyone else. He'll give me compliments or do little acts of service when he can. I noticed he tries to be close; whether that's parking by me or sitting close so we can talk. He's mentioned that I am a safe space and also that I remind him of his wife in a way. Now writing this all out, it seems silly, but my friends have made comments before jokingly... I should also mention that he speaks very highly of his wife and seems to adore her. It's confusing?

What do you think?

Again, I am willing to distance myself if needed, but I don't want to act hastily if this is a normal friendship with a man that I am just not used to. He just might be a little more sensitive than what I am used to. Thank you for your input!

Keep your distance. You reminding him of his wife is a bizarre and inappropriate comment. My respect for a man doing this would plummet so far a friendship is not likely to remain.  Don’t respond to the texts and just offhand say you didn’t see the texts and be disinterested. I agree that “safe space” or closeness should be with his wife regardless of the friendship. It doesn’t mean friendships aren’t allowed between men and women. 

Use your judgment here and distance yourself with tact.

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1 hour ago, Wiseman2 said:

Do you have a BF? Why are you wondering if he is attracted to you?

Sorry, I don't remember asking if he's attracted to me -- or rather I didn't mean for it to come across that way. I was inquiring to make sure our friendship was leading into something more, so I know if I should pull away a bit.

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If others see it then it is not all in your head is it?

Could be nothing but perception could ruin his marriage couldn't it?

It may not be an easy conversation to have with  him but you could say "Hey I really value my friendship with you and your wife but people have been talking like something is going on between us more than a friendship and I want to make sure this friendship in no way harms your marriage" 

 If he is just more sensitive or naive this will build a better boundary and if he was fantasizing about something more it will throw cold water on that right away.

  Tough convo to have but sometimes it is best to be direct instead of trying subtle cues hoping he picks up on them.

  Good luck

 Lost

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