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Old 10-25-2006, 01:32 PM   #1
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In love with a married woman... Please help.

I only have a few minutes to post, so I'll have to post the short version, but I can elaborate later if anyone wants me to.

I've been with the same girl for 4 1/2 years now. We've had serious ups and downs during that time, but things have been progressively worse for a number of reasons this past year.

In April 2005, I got a new job and made very fast friends with one of my co-workers. We just clicked...hung out all the time...could talk about anything... All of this, despite the fact that she's 14 years older than me. Before I knew it, we were referring to each other as "best friends" and the like.

Anyway, a few months ago, out of nowhere, it hit me (really hard) that I have fallen in love with this woman. I wasn't looking for it - I've been totally commited to my current partner and trying to make things work for her - my feelings just sort of blind-sided me.

Given that we've teased each other about "running off together" and I seem to be able to talk to this woman about ANYTHING, I decided to confess to her how I was feeling - that I couldn't stop thinking about her, that I was in love with her, etc.

Turns out, the feelings are completely reciprocated, despite the fact that she's NOT bi. She's not into women (I'm female, if you didn't get that), just ME.

Here's the problem:

She's married. With a 13 year old daughter. Her kid is great - adores me. In fact, this woman has even made me the godmother of her child and, should anything happen to her and her husband (who is, incidently, NOT the father of her little girl), her daughter comes to me. Irrelevant, but....

We've talked extensively over the past few days about our feelings and how this is REALLY hard, and while she's admitted in several different ways that she's never felt this way about anyone before and that I make her really happy (and her husband does not), she doesn't think she can leave her husband, mostly because she doesn't want to disrupt her daughter's life again. Not that it's an easy decision for her. I know she's hurting, too.

Long story short, I had hope about a realtionship between the two of us until this morning, when she told me something that her daughter had said. Apparently, her daughter heard her and her husband fighting last night and was scared that they're headed for divorce. So my best friend promised her that they aren't...

I guess in the back of my mind, I knew she couldn't do it; but I am CRUSHED. She's all I can think about, and I know we'd be great together. Not to mention, if she'd just be honest with her daughter, I know her daughter would be thrilled to death.

It hurts really badly right now. I don't know what to do or say. Should I keep bringing it up? Should I let it go, figuring it will never happen? Please make suggestions.

 
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:48 PM   #2
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Re: In love with a married woman... Please help.

Hi

Me, too. I don't have much time left now to post here, but I will come back to you later, if adequate.

I am sorry for your pain, but your story sounds to me like something incredible. I am actually rather sceptical of rosy futures - that is, situations where everything fits in and there is no problem at all. I don't much believe in Heaven, but I see where you are coming from and I don't mean to act like a spoilsport.

Will talk to you later.

JC

 
Old 10-25-2006, 03:06 PM   #3
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Re: In love with a married woman... Please help.

Hello

I am back again for a just period of time.

Do you know the expression "Devil's Advocate"? That someone who points out the "bad" or less favourable aspects of any given situation either to unmask it or just for the sake of argument? I think I could play the role of the Devil's Advocate in order to try to help you.

First, I hesitate to say that your woman is married. I would say she is only half-married, if ever such a term would exist. She is married to a man that doesn't make her happy, with whom she fights, and then she is not married to the father of her daughter. I am sorry to say this, but I feel very sorry for this unfortunate woman (perhaps even more than for you) and I understand that she is eager to find a way-out of this.

However, we don't know why her husband fails to make her happy and if he ever did make her happy for that matter. Perhaps they were happy in their first moments, or perhaps she was grateful to him for having taken in her daughter. We don't know their previous history and what happened to lead them into misery. Could you elaborate on this perhaps?

You say that this woman is not interested in women in general, but in you particular. This tells a lot. Perhaps this would be her first experience with another woman. Sorry if this is too blunt a question: did you have sex yet? and how was it for both of you? For I suppose that you aren't aiming at a chaste life, are you? What about this little girl? How will you report to her? Will she be told all the truth? You say she adores you, but are you sure she would still welcome you as the girl-friend of her mother?

This is how I see the whole situation:

Your friend is afraid of taking the first step towards you. It simply appears to be overwhelming to her. It is an utterly new experience both for her and her daughter, and I am afraid she won't find support anywhere, except on you.
And there is also the question of her age. Being older, she is probably more of a conservative person than you. Changing must be a lot more difficult for her.

I think she will eventually separate from her husband. I don't know what is keeping her from leaving him and getting a divorce now. Maybe some financial trouble. I don't think you should force her to do anything. Allow her to make her own decisions, in her own time. Just be supportive. Apparently she trusts in you, because her daughter will be placed with you in case of her death, but this doesn't entitle you to talk her out of anything. Sorry to remind you of this, but she is older and she probably wants to have her own way, without anybody telling her what to do. I am not saying you do that. I understand you are a respectful person. But I am saying this for just in case. Even suggestions/hints from you can spoil your relationship, I am afraid.

If she leaves her husband, she may choose to live with you. No, let me write this again: she may choose to try to have this experience with you. It may last a few months or a few years, maybe your whole life, but you should attempt to savour every single minute of this life together, because the circumstances show that it is by nature unstable (although it can beautiful), temporary (although it can be intense) and powerful (although it can enriching). Like a summer storm.

Best to you.

JC

 
Old 10-25-2006, 03:23 PM   #4
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Re: In love with a married woman... Please help.

The genders involved do not change my advice one iota.

The person who is not married needs to back off.

The person who is married needs to decide what they are going to do about the marriage FIRST. And then only if the marriage is dissolved would the two parties get together to see if there is a possibility of a relationship between the two of them.

You need to back off TOTALLY until this person is no longer legally married.
Sorry. There's no right way for her to get around the marriage vows....

 
Old 10-25-2006, 06:49 PM   #5
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Re: In love with a married woman... Please help.

JC and Ruth... Thank you for the replies. I'm at home tonight (and thus don't have privacy for an adequate reply), but I definitely would like to elaborate on the situation and respond to your posts.

Again, thank you very much for the advice thus far. When I get to work in the morning, I will post again with answers to some of your questions, JC.

Look forward to hearing more of your opinion.

 
Old 10-26-2006, 04:50 AM   #6
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Re: In love with a married woman... Please help.

I personally think you are dealling with three major issues here.
1) The woman you're in love with is married. And married to a man.
2) You're already in another relationship
3) The woman you're in love with is not a lesbian or bisexual
First and foremost this woman needs to figure out her marriage situation FIRST before she thinks about another relationship. Even if she decides this marriage is not for her, she then needs to cross the other bridge of whether or not she can have another relationship with a woman. Not always an easy task. Some hetrosexual people are "curious" about being with someone of the same sex, but not interested in a complete life change. I don't know about your situation, but was it difficult for you when you "came out"?
Her entire family and circle of friends know her as a hetrosexual female. Changing her life may not be in her plans, and she has a daughter to think about.
On the second point, YOU have to figure out your own situation. It's not fair to you or your partner. If your not in love with her, let her go so she can find someone willing to give her the love she needs.
I think this woman is probably flattered and curious about you, but not interested in to the point of a complete life style change. I feel for you and hope your not heading for a broken heart.

 
Old 10-26-2006, 06:06 AM   #7
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Re: In love with a married woman... Please help.

Hi JC,

Yes, I am very familiar with the expression "Devil's Advocate" and, in a way, that's exactly what I was looking for on this board. I was looking for advice, too, but I was hoping that some other impartial people could help me to see a more complete picture of the situation. Perhaps bring up some points that I had not yet considered.

To elaborate on my friend and her husband, they met first in college. While they dated then, the majority of their time was spent partying, and my friend will be the first to admit that halucinogenic drugs may have had a lot to do with her attraction to him. They eventually broke up, however, and my friend married someone else - the father of her daughter. That relationship ended badly, as her husband turned out to be an alcoholic who was in and out of rehab. Feeling that the situation was unhealthy for her daughter, she left; and wisely so, as my goddaughter's biological father has even less to do with her than her step-father now does.

After several years, my friend decided to call her college flame again, and after dating for a bit, they were married. Why she decided to call him again out of the blue is unbeknownst to me. It's not something I've ever asked. They've been married for five years now, and while I did not know them for the first 3 1/2 years of their marriage, I have seen my best friend growing increasingly unhappy over the past year. Her husband is smart and funny and a hard-worker, to be honest; but he puts everything else in his life before his family, has very little patience with my goddaughter, and when they do manage to have time together as a family, he always manages to make "other" plans.

You are right in thinking that this would be my friend's first experience with a woman. I think she is a bit confused (perhaps?) about her feelings for me for that very reason and the fact that being with me would require a huge lifestyle change, as some of the other posters have mentioned. She's one of those people, though, that sees past race/gender/religion/etc, so I don't think it would be very difficult for her to overcome her fear of being with a woman when the time came. No, we have not been intimate - we haven't even kissed. While I - arguably the less moral of the two - would jump at the chance, I don't know that my friend could ever forgive herself for physically cheating on her husband. And I respect that about her immensely.

As for the little girl, yes, she would be told the truth. I was a bit concerned about that myself, but during one of her rants about how society should just leave homosexuals alone and how people should be able to love whoever they want, I managed to slip in a question about whether she would feel the same way if someone close to her (like her mom, for instance) was a homosexual. I wanted to know if she was just saying all of that because it wasn't directly affecting her or whether she really believed it. After a short pause, her reply was this, "It wouldn't matter, as long as she (her mom) was happy." She has been raised to be very open-minded and accepting.

I think you're right that it is all very overwhelming for her. I think she's scared of a lot of things, mostly the impact on her daughter and, as you said, her financial stability. She actually admitted to me yesterday that she no longer loves her husband, but rather she is staying with him because if she does, she can 1) afford to send her daughter to college and 2) her retirement is set, so if her daughter needs help after college, she'll be able to afford to help her.

I don't want our relationship, whatever level it may ultimately be taken to, to just be a summer storm (although your metaphor was quite beautiful in its own way). If it is...well, then I have to accept that. I have never developed such intense feelings for anyone in the way that I have for her - the circumstances surrounding our relationship have been completely different from anything I've ever experienced - and she has said that she, too, has never connected with anyone so quickly or so powerfully...not even her husband. I think that speaks volumes, especially since I'm a woman. I'm one of those people who believes that, as Erica Jong said, love is "worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more. " This could be the greatest love of our lives. We could be soul mates. Maybe we were together in a past life. Who knows? I'm not saying I believe in reincarnation or fate, necessarily. All I'm saying is that we don't know what it is that has drawn us together so powerfully, and I think it would be foolish to not take a chance. Could be the worst thing to ever happen, too, but I'd rather know than die wondering "what if". You know?

Thank you for your post and your opinion. I understand what you're saying about innuendos potentially ruining our relationship, so I will be sure to watch what I say and not put pressure on her. I recognize that, while I may also be her love interest, first and foremost, I am her best friend, her support, and her shoulder to cry on. The last thing I want to do is take that away from her.

Another question, though, while we're on the topic:

I obviously wear my heart on my sleeve because when my friend got home last night, her husband pulled her aside and told her that I obviously had a "thing" for her and that she should be careful not to lead me on or give me false hopes. Obviously, she didn't admit anything. However, I think I should stay away for a while. I'm not an actor, and if he already knows...well, he's going to really be watching how I interact with her. She doesn't think I should. What do I do? I'm scared that if I don't back away a bit, her husband will start making her life miserable when she spends time with me and she'll eventually begin to resent me for it.

Hopeless

 
Old 10-26-2006, 06:38 AM   #8
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Re: In love with a married woman... Please help.

Susieq,

It was difficult for me when I came out, yes. Very difficult. Somehow, I think it would be different for her, though. I can't really explain it - you just have to know her.

I agree with you that before she can figure out her feelings for me, she needs to sort out her marriage. You're right. As for my relationship, I've sorted all that out already. While I have not admitted to my partner that I'm in love with someone else, I have been very up front with her about my feelings. I tried to break it off with her a few weeks ago, but she made me promise to give her one more shot at getting some help for the problems she has. While I don't anticipate anything being different in a few months, if I really saw a change in her, I guess it would be worth it to me to try make an effort with her again. Sounds horrible, doesn't it?

I think her main concern is her daughter and the upheaval that this would cause in her life.

Thank you for the support and the advice.

 
Old 10-26-2006, 07:25 AM   #9
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Re: In love with a married woman... Please help.

I was wondering if you could think of this situation as a test of your moral fiber.
A marriage is still a marriage, and NO one, no matter their gender has the "right" to trespass.

If she wants to leave the marriage then she should do that for her own reasons - not to be with you. Or what would prevent her from leaving YOU doown the road for someone else?

You really truly need to tell her that you are backing off totally and that when & if she is divorced if she wants to look you up you'll be there.
Then, back off.
If you're strong enough to fight for love, are you strong enough to WAIT for it?

 
Old 10-26-2006, 07:41 AM   #10
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Re: In love with a married woman... Please help.

I agree with Ruth in the fact that you should back off. I know it will be hard because you sound alot like me - You fight for what you want.
But due to all the people involved, you really need to sit back and chill for the time being. Let things happen and take their course. If you push or rush things, all you will have is a mess.
Let her figure out her situation, and you take care of yours. As corny as it sounds, if you love her as much as you say you do, let her be for now. If it's meant to be, it's meant to be and she will come to you. If she doesn't, the two of you are not supposed to be together.

 
Old 10-26-2006, 09:33 AM   #11
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Re: In love with a married woman... Please help.

Ruth and Susie,

I understand and, in my heart, I know you're both right. I do need to let her have space and time to think on her own. I know how she feels about me - she made that very clear again this morning - and I also understand why this decision is very difficult for her and why she feels as though it would be detrimental to her little girl to cause so much upheaval right now.

I cannot back off ENTIRELY and do as you said, Ruth - say "look me up if you're ever divorced and think this is what you want". One of her biggest fears in all of this was that she would lose her best friend, whether we did or didn't take our relationship to another level. So I have promised her that she won't - that I'll always be right here for her and I'll never be any less to her or her daughter than I am now. While in retrospect, I realize I've made my life ten thousand times more difficult in telling her that, I cannot break a promise to this woman, even if it means infinitely more pain for me.

But I will step back, figuratively, and just let be what is meant to be. Thank you for the insight.

Looking forward to hearing from JC, too... Do you agree?

Hopeless

Last edited by hopelessinlove; 10-26-2006 at 09:36 AM.

 
Old 10-26-2006, 10:07 AM   #12
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Re: In love with a married woman... Please help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hopelessinlove
... While I don't anticipate anything being different in a few months, if I really saw a change in her, I guess it would be worth it to me to try make an effort with her again. Sounds horrible, doesn't it?

...
Dear Hopelessinlove:

I somehow had forgotten to take your present partner into consideration...

This additional information really compounds your problem. It almost seems as if you were being pulled between two poles! Or to mention it again: between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.

Well, there must be a third way for you...

My friend, I really donot envy you. You need to be strong and stay healthy - in your body. This is no digression: health foods and eight to ten hours of sleep, please! But here's what I think you could hear yourself speaking:

Now that her husband is in suspicion, what if he gets passional about it? What if someone gets physically hurt? I didn't say shot, but the very word crossed my mind. Maybe I am frightening you for no good reason, but you know, some men can really be violent when you least expect it. So I agree with the ladies above: you must back away until ... until the light turns green again.

High time you sorted out your affair with your partner. This seems the most urgent thing to do now.

Yes, love should be patient, but love can't be waiting too long, can't keep its arms folded like that, lest it weakens down and your attention is caught somewhere else. So please establish with yourself how long you can wait for the break-up of her marriage, if anything, and for her decision. Otherwise, if nothing happens, help yourself and move on. I don't think you should be hopeless, but it doesn't help you to have expectations, if you see the difference.

As for the little girl, are you sure she knows what she is talking about? She is so young. You are simply impressed by her forceful words, but children can really be that assertive. Reality is a very different thing.

I also think that you might be ... how can I put it? ... daydreaming about the "savoir-faire" (adroitness) of this woman and the "rosiness" of your future with her.

In fact there seems to be too many people in this plot for any happy end and I feel inclined to round off this by saying that you'd be better to stay only with yourself for the time being.

Please find as soon as possible another nickname for you. This one isnot really helping any more.

These are my feelings. I am sending them to you, along with my greetings, over the seas.

JC

 
Old 10-26-2006, 10:36 AM   #13
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Re: In love with a married woman... Please help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hopelessinlove
Ruth and Susie,

I understand and, in my heart, I know you're both right. I do need to let her have space and time to think on her own. I know how she feels about me - she made that very clear again this morning - and I also understand why this decision is very difficult for her and why she feels as though it would be detrimental to her little girl to cause so much upheaval right now.

I cannot back off ENTIRELY and do as you said, Ruth - say "look me up if you're ever divorced and think this is what you want". One of her biggest fears in all of this was that she would lose her best friend, whether we did or didn't take our relationship to another level. So I have promised her that she won't - that I'll always be right here for her and I'll never be any less to her or her daughter than I am now. While in retrospect, I realize I've made my life ten thousand times more difficult in telling her that, I cannot break a promise to this woman, even if it means infinitely more pain for me.

But I will step back, figuratively, and just let be what is meant to be. Thank you for the insight.

Looking forward to hearing from JC, too... Do you agree?

Hopeless
Well, do you know what? I am under the impression (correct me if I am wrong) that friendship is coming only one way, from you to her, but not (much) from her to you. That is, you are being her friend, you are ready to be with her, to give her support etc, but is she aware of your pain, of the things you are about to give up for her? Does she ever think of you as a human being? Or is she only concerned about her own welfare and her daughter's?

You are her best friend, but is she your best friend? Well, maybe she is not in the position to be your best friend now, but please think about this: you are giving more than taking. Will it always be like that?

On the other hand, maybe things are really messed up between you and her. Are you friends or lovers? Or simply potential lovers? I ask you to define to yourself what kind of relationship there actually is between you: friendship. love, support, what?

JC

 
Old 10-26-2006, 12:49 PM   #14
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Re: In love with a married woman... Please help.

Don't think I can change my username, but thanks for the suggestion. Made me laugh, at least!

Perhaps I am daydreaming about the perfection that, in my mind, would be our relationship. I won't argue with you there. Nothing is perfect in this world, least of all relationships, so it would be foolish of me to continue thinking it would be.

And I am concerned about how long I'll be able to sustain a healthy state of mind if her marriage does not dissolve. Waiting in the wings has proven to be extremely painful thus far, and while I don't want to give up, I also don't want to spend the rest of my life feeling this way. I very much liked this thought in your post:

"I don't think you should be hopeless, but it doesn't help you to have expectations, if you see the difference."

As for whether or not she is as good a friend to me as I am to her, there is absolutely no question in my mind. She has been as supportive as any human being possibly could be throughout this, and while she is probably putting her daughter's welfare before mine, as would be expected, she probably would not hesitate for a moment to put mine before hers. Here is an excerpt from a conversation we had this morning. Do you agree?

In response to her husband guessing my feelings:
Me: Guess I should stay away for a while.
Her: He said it's obvious cause I was like "What??"
Her: You don't have to stay away
Her: I don't wanna lose my best friend and I don't want anybody to get hurt
Me: I appreciate you saying that, but if he thinks it's obvious...
Me: I'm really not a very good actor.
Me: I was going to ask if I could come to [your daughter's] TKD class tonight since she didn't get to have one last night, but I probably shouldn't now.
Me: I'll just pick her up after her class tomorrow night if she's still allowed to go.
Her: You can come if you want to
Her: I just feel bad about the whole thing
Me: I lied to you last night.
Her: ???
Her: Dinner was that bad?
Me: I am very NOT okay.
Her: I kinda got that especially the look on your face when we left
Me: This (her husband guessing) just makes it a hundred times worse.
Her: I sorry
Her: :-(
Her: What can I do?
Her: Should we not hang out so much for awhile?
Her: That's not what I want but I don't wanna hurt you
Me: I'm torn because I want to spend every second that I can with you, but I know I can't hide my feelings for you anymore, and I'm scared that if I don't back off, Mark is going to give you grief about spending so much time with me and you're going to wind up hating me for making your life harder and more complicated (which I've already done).
Me: What can you do?
Me: Tell me you want to be with me.
Me: I know you can't.
Her: I'm sorry...I wish I could
Her: And it's not that I don't [want to be with you] it's that I can't
Me: I know it is.
Me: Have you thought at all about sitting down with [your daughter] and telling her what's really going on?
Me: Just asking.
Her: She'a a kid
Her: I can't dump all that on her
Her: Right now she needs status quo

So there, she's telling me that she wants to be with me...she hates that I'm hurting like this and wishes she could do something about it.

She says that all the time...that she hates that I'm in so much pain.

Of course, later in the same conversation:
Her: Well, [the night her husband goes out with his friends] has been switched back to Thursdays so if you have [daughter] overnite tomorrow, [husband] and I MAY go out
Her: I just may go out by myself too
Her: Haven't decided yet
Her: I REALLY need a nite off

And:
Me: I feel like I'm just going through the motions with [my partner]. "Good morning. ::kiss:: Talk to you later. ::work:: Hi. Are we eating dinner? Okay. ::kiss:: Goodnight. ::sleep:: Good morning..."
Me: Do you feel like that with [your husband] at all?
Her: Sometimes
Her: Not all the time
Her: Sometimes I want him OUT of my life and sometimes I think I'd be lost without him
Her: There are things he does that are so specific that I missed them for the 12 years we were apart
Her: Tried to duplicate them with other people but it never was quite right
Her: Stupid things too
Her: I don't know

Confused? Yes, she is very supportive of me, though, and if I had to define our relationship, I'd say intimate without being physical.


GirlWithInappropriateNickname

 
Old 10-26-2006, 02:19 PM   #15
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Re: In love with a married woman... Please help.

I know how it is to fall for somebody when it comes out of nowhere and feels like you've been hit with a ton of bricks. You can't help it when it happens. But...I think you are putting this woman in a very difficult position. She isn't sure that she wants to leave her husband, and she definetly doesn't want to shake up her daughter's life. Nor does she want to hurt you.

I don't think it is fair for her to be in the middle like this. Like she said, she doesn't want anybody to get hurt. But she's in a position where she has to choose between you and her husband. Clearly, she doesn't want to have to do that.

I think for you to be a true friend, you would leave her alone, and take all the pressure off of her. You may be willing to put her above everything else in your life, but she doesn't have that same luxury. She has a husband and a daughter, and even if she may want to, she knows logically that she can't just throw caution to the wind and run off with you. She has a lot to weigh and consider, and really...I don't think you are helping her much but hanging around like the serpent, waving an apple in her face.

I hope this all works out for you, but I think you need to take all of the pressure off of this woman. Let her know that she doesn't have to choose, and you'll be happy to just be friends. But if it is really too hard for you to be JUST her friend (which I can understand) then...maybe you two do need to part ways. It is obviously that this woman feels stuck and helpless. I think if you care about her, then you'll make her life easier. Even if that means not being in it anymore. See to me, THAT is romantic.
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