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Old 10-08-2005, 11:13 AM   #1
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Wanting a friendship to continue

I have established a friendship with someone at work. It is very new, about 2 months - we really don't know each other that well, but for reasons beyond my ability to explain, I really want to be friends with this person. Let me add that this is strictly platonic, despite the fact that I am female and he is male. I am happily married and my husband knows of this man and he knows of my husband - there are no secrets and no inappropriate intentions. There are also religeous factors that assure me that this would never be anything other than a platonic relationship. I believe this man has enjoyed becoming my friend as much as I have his, but I really am not sure if it is as important to him as it has been to me. We have had lunch a few times (both agreeing that other people needed to join us to avoid workplace rumors) and he has sent me email afterwards telling me that he enjoyed my company. We are always talking on breaks etc... This person has touched me in a way that I can't explain and he has brought a smile to my face more times than he probably realizes (all at a time in my life when I really need that).

Now, I have just learned that my department will be moving to a new office location within a week or two. I am very upset that there is a chance that my friendship with this person will end because we won't see each other anymore. How can I let this person know that I want to continue being their friend without it seeming odd or inappropriate? It would require contact outside of the workplace (we still live near each other) which would be a fairly dramatic shift from what it has been to date. I am really burdened with this. I feel like I will seem too forward if I ask him to join me for coffee outside of the workplace - when actually my intentions are completely innocent - I just enjoy his company and his conversation. I have also considered burning him a CD with some music I know he likes and including a card with my phone# and home email address. But even that seems too forward. I have been crying over the thought that in a couple of weeks I may never see him again. If this were a woman I would have no problem asking her to go shopping or to dinner, but this is so different.

Any suggestions?

Last edited by stephiebabe; 10-08-2005 at 04:07 PM.

 
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Old 10-08-2005, 11:37 AM   #2
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Re: Wanting a friendship to continue

I don't mean to sound harsh here, but I think you need to reread your post and rethink what you are TRULY feeling. I don't believe you are being honest with yourself about what you feel for this man. You can call it friendship, but it sounds as if you have a crush.

Where crushes can be harmless and most people go thru this exact thing, they can also be very dangerous if allowed to get out of hand. Also religion cannot protect you, if it could then we wouldn't have seen some of the well known TV Evangalists fall.

Maybe you should let this office move allow your emotions to cool down and then take some time to examine your true feelings for this man. There is nothing wrong with having a male friend, but to cry over the prospect of not seeing him everyday speaks loudly of something more then friendship.

 
Old 10-08-2005, 12:25 PM   #3
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Re: Wanting a friendship to continue

I agree. Your extreme desire to remain in contact with this guy is not exactly a common thing in friendships among co-workers. I understand that he's more than just a co-worker to you, but you seem to have developed a deep emotional connection with him... and pursuing that is dangerous to your marriage. Do you talk to this man about your marriage? Do you share with him things that you don't share with your husband? Is that why you feel the need to remain in contact with him- because you can talk to him about things you can't talk to your husband about? If so, then this office move has come at the perfect time and you need to detatch yourself before you hurt someone. I've read several articles about emotional infidelity. Do an internet search on this subject and see if it fits with your situation.
Also, your husband may be holding a lot back regarding his feelings about your relationship with this man. He may be silently hurting inside and afraid to tell you. Reason being, when you are being emotionally unfaithful, the slightest thing your spouse does to upset you or question your marriage can actually push you closer to the other person. You confide in the other person, you see them as relating to you and understanding you. And the spouse becomes the bad guy. I'd encourage you to find out your husband's true feelings about this. He probably won't even tell you the half of it, out of fear.
Please take this opportunity to leave this friendship in the past, if you have any concern for your marriage. You're playing with fire, even if it doesn't seem like much to you right now. You say it's completely innocent- it might be right now in your mind. I'm sure it's not in your husband's mind! And there's a strong chance of it growing beyond that in your mind if you keep in touch with this man.

 
Old 10-08-2005, 12:31 PM   #4
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Re: Wanting a friendship to continue

Okay I have reread my post and I really DO think I am being honest. I do not have romantic feelings for this man. I do not imagine dating him or kissing him or sleeping with him. It is not like that at all. Maybe this is more a unique situation than I realized because I can see how at first glance others may interpret this as a crush.

Is it not possible to feel this strongly about someone in a platonic way? Let me clarify that I am not crying over the thought of not seeing my new friend everyday - I am crying over the thought of never seeing him again ever.

It just seems that if I take no action at all then I am throwing the friendship out the window. Does it really make sense to do that just because we are opposite sex?

I have been married for 20 years and my relationship with my husband is better than ever. Both of us have many friends together and individually, and we trust each other completely. I have been recovering from serious illness over the past couple of years and my perspective on many things has changed a lot. I feel like I do not want to let a good thing like friendship slip away because life is just too short. Perhaps my perspective is distorted considering what I have been through. I certainly would never want to make this man uncomfortable which is why I am confused about what to do.

Any other opinions?

Last edited by stephiebabe; 10-08-2005 at 01:03 PM.

 
Old 10-08-2005, 12:38 PM   #5
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Re: Wanting a friendship to continue

I have to echo what the other posters have said. It seems to me if it were really a perfectly innocent, platonic relationshipthere would be no problem with just telling him "hey, keep in touch, let's have lunch sometime." He has your work email and work number, so it's not like he will be out of your life forever. Just no longer on an everyday basis, which seems to be what's really bothering you.

Have you ever talked about things or touched him or said things to him that you would not do if your husband were standing right there? If so at all, then I think the other posters are right, you need to reexamine why you feel so strongly about this "friendship" and how happy your marriage really is.

 
Old 10-08-2005, 01:03 PM   #6
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Re: Wanting a friendship to continue

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRose1982
Do you talk to this man about your marriage?
Yes - he knows I am married and that we are happy. He knows what my husband and I do for fun on the weekends. We talk about family relationships (there are some loose ties between his family and my husband's, by coincidence). It never goes beyond that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRose1982
Do you share with him things that you don't share with your husband? Is that why you feel the need to remain in contact with him- because you can talk to him about things you can't talk to your husband about? ?
The things I can talk to him about that I can't talk to my husband about are primarily work related. And its not that I can't discuss with my husband, its just that he does not have the same perspective. We also talk about things we have in common or common interests. I would say though that in general it is more of a rapport thing - we just get along well in general and our conversations are always easy regardless of what we are talking about. On the other hand, I can and do talk to my husband about almost anything. Nobody knows me better and we are very close.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleRose1982
Also, your husband may be holding a lot back regarding his feelings about your relationship with this man. He may be silently hurting inside and afraid to tell you. Reason being, when you are being emotionally unfaithful, the slightest thing your spouse does to upset you or question your marriage can actually push you closer to the other person. You confide in the other person, you see them as relating to you and understanding you. And the spouse becomes the bad guy. I'd encourage you to find out your husband's true feelings about this. He probably won't even tell you the half of it, out of fear.
I don't think this is the case. We have become very close, especially since recovering from my illness. I know I would never do anything to hurt him and I think he knows that too. But I will definately do some searches on the web and read up on the emotional affairs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiya
I have to echo what the other posters have said. It seems to me if it were really a perfectly innocent, platonic relationshipthere would be no problem with just telling him "hey, keep in touch, let's have lunch sometime." He has your work email and work number, so it's not like he will be out of your life forever. Just no longer on an everyday basis, which seems to be what's really bothering you.
Actually I do like this idea but it does not work logistically. The liklihood is that I will not ever be able to just have lunch sometime because I will be working an hour away. Still, that may be how I leave things and then the ball is in his court.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiya
Have you ever talked about things or touched him or said things to him that you would not do if your husband were standing right there?
NEVER! My husband could be with us each and every time we have spoken. But more like with a girlfriend - hubby probably would not have wanted to be there because we talk about things that are not of interest to him.

I really do appreciate everyone's input. I will do some research on emotional affairs to see if that may be what I am experiencing.

 
Old 10-08-2005, 01:30 PM   #7
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Re: Wanting a friendship to continue

Well, you said that your friend lives close to you, why not invite him for dinner and let your hub decide if he likes him or not. Maybe hub will enjoy the conversation or maybe he won't and he will go do other things and that will be ok too. Then you and your friend can visit.

The other thing I thought about is this, put the shoe on the other foot. If your hub came home from work and told you he had met this really nice woman, he had lunches with her and really liked chatting with her, how would you react? Even a secure woman would probably stop and wonder for a moment......

 
Old 10-08-2005, 02:28 PM   #8
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Re: Wanting a friendship to continue

ibeeshell had my idea.
Invite him and a guest to dinner with you and your husband.
You don't have to be alone with him to continue the friendship, right?

 
Old 10-08-2005, 02:29 PM   #9
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Re: Wanting a friendship to continue

Stephie - I have to take your side here, although I can see where others may think you have a crush on this guy. I have MANY male platonic friends. Two of my best friends are male and there is nothing romantic going on. I have another male friend that I used to work with who played in a band. I was married at the time and my husband and I used to go watch the band. I know his wife and kids. I am since divorced and still keep in contact with my friend and his wife. Real friends are hard to find and if you find someone you connect with, does their gender really matter? I agree with the poster who suggested that you invite him to dinner with you and your husband, just so he knows where you stand, and your husband is included so he doesn't get his feelings hurt. If you have common interests you want to pursue at another time (sports event, museum, even lunch, etc) your husband could be invited, but not necessisarily have to tag along every time. You should be able to pursue a friendship where you might get together every so often for a few hours or whatever......of course with boundries.....no weekend trips together or anything like that.....
Good luck to you!

 
Old 10-09-2005, 05:52 AM   #10
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Re: Wanting a friendship to continue

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosequartz
Stephie - I have to take your side here, although I can see where others may think you have a crush on this guy. I have MANY male platonic friends. Two of my best friends are male and there is nothing romantic going on. I have another male friend that I used to work with who played in a band. I was married at the time and my husband and I used to go watch the band. I know his wife and kids. I am since divorced and still keep in contact with my friend and his wife. Real friends are hard to find and if you find someone you connect with, does their gender really matter? I agree with the poster who suggested that you invite him to dinner with you and your husband, just so he knows where you stand, and your husband is included so he doesn't get his feelings hurt. If you have common interests you want to pursue at another time (sports event, museum, even lunch, etc) your husband could be invited, but not necessisarily have to tag along every time. You should be able to pursue a friendship where you might get together every so often for a few hours or whatever......of course with boundries.....no weekend trips together or anything like that.....
Good luck to you!
Thank you for your perspective rosequartz. I really do feel friendship for this person. I feel like I connect with this person and I know I don't want to lose it. So back to my original question - I feel a little awkward extending an invitation to this person because our friendship to date has not extended outside of the workplace. Won't that seem too much of leap? (from casual lunches with other coworkers to a private dinner with me and hubby?) He does not have a wife of girlfriend. If it were reversed, I would definately feel uncomfortable and perhaps not accept the invitation. I wish I had some more ideas - something that would be a little less "severe."

 
Old 10-09-2005, 06:13 AM   #11
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Re: Wanting a friendship to continue

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibeeshell
The other thing I thought about is this, put the shoe on the other foot. If your hub came home from work and told you he had met this really nice woman, he had lunches with her and really liked chatting with her, how would you react? Even a secure woman would probably stop and wonder for a moment......
Hubby has lunch regularly with 3 other women - two of them I know and one I have never met but I have spoken with on the phone. These are friendships and nothing more. He does not hide anything from me and I trust him. I joke with him sometimes about what other people think when he is with them and he tells me that everyone knows how much in love with me he is and there is never a question in anyone's mind about who he can't wait to get home to at night.

 
Old 10-09-2005, 07:58 AM   #12
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Re: Wanting a friendship to continue

Ok.....I really think that you should think about what you are saying here! You have this friendship with this man, your husband is going to lunch with other women.....and it's not that there is anything wrong with that. EXCEPT.. you are feeling upset at the prospect of not seeing this guy everyday. Even the best of friends don't have to talk everyday, let alone see each other! Think about how you would feel if your husband was acting like this over another woman! I think you are being pretty naive about this whole thing because you think that religion will protect you from feeling anything for this man. WRONG!! Some of the most steamy affairs that I personally know of started right in the church! Don't kid yourself here. I think for the sake of your marriage, you had better hope that this guy does move on. If you and your husband want all of these friends of the opposite sex, perhaps you should go out with other couples instead of just being alone with a man or him with another woman. Things happen despite having the best of intentions and i'm not trying to be harsh on you either. I think you know deep down that there is a potential problem here. Otherwise, you would not be on here asking advice about it! I would think really hard about this before I even had lunch again with him. I wish you all the best and I hope that feelings have not already gone too far for you to cut ties with this guy. Give this attention to your husband and try to spend time with him.....otherwise, you may push him right into another woman's arms! Good luck!
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Old 10-09-2005, 12:21 PM   #13
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Re: Wanting a friendship to continue

So you know the other women that your hubby lunches with, but you said yourself that your hubby would be bored with what you and your male friend chat about. What I was suggesting was to LET your hub make that decision for himself. Because maybe he might like your male friend too.

See, you find it ok for hub to lunch with the women because you know two and have spoken to one. But you won't give your husband the same courtesy by giving him the chance to get to know your friend. It isn't about trust, it is about what you seem to be not facing within yourself. Having friends of the opposit sex is not a crime, having little crushes on others is perfectly normal as long as you understand what it is.

Stephie, it should not be hard at all or ackward for you to simply say to this friend who just happens to also be a man, if your feelings were TRULY platonic, "hey let's have lunch next Thursday". If you have been lunching before and enjoying each others company, why would he find it weird?

Tongues may wag at work, but if you are just friends why worry?

 
Old 10-09-2005, 01:56 PM   #14
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Re: Wanting a friendship to continue

Stephie - Maybe you could just say something like this to him.......hey, I've enjoyed working with you and maybe we could get together sometime and catch up. Or wait until you haven't seen him for a week or so and e-mail him and say.......I miss talking to you and wondered if you wanted to go out for pizza or something.
I think women and men can be friends, if they both know where the other person stands. You're not hiding anything from you husband, and he's not hiding anything from you.
Good luck.

 
Old 10-09-2005, 06:20 PM   #15
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Re: Wanting a friendship to continue

I see both sides of this discussion. I have a married friend I have lunch with once a week. We share the same social and political views and it is purely platonic. We can talk about almost anything and completely respect each other.
On the other hand, if he were to leave my location, I would be sad to miss our lunches, but it wouldn't upset me to the point it has our poster. If the idea of not seeing him, on a regular basis, upset me as much as it has her, I would be very, very, very concerned that I was growing too attached to a married man. At that point I would put a stop to it for my own emotional health and his marriage.

 
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