Feeling like a Third Wheel In My Own Relationship!

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Emma 1 year, 12 months ago.

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  • #695695 Reply


    Hi everyone. I really need advice. So I’ve been seeing this guy for a few years, going on three years total. He told me upfront that he was still very close to his ex, in that she is like a sister to him. I’m also friends with this ex, to a degree, and we talk a lot about various things that are on our mind. We were introduced through him a few years back and she seems really nice but struggles with depression.

    One thing I can not seem to get over is that she still relies so heavily on him to help with things. They had been married for over 15 years, divorced for a few years before he and I even met, and yet they text every day, and she even goes to visit him when she’s feeling down. They’ve both reassured me multiple times that they don’t feel romantic in any way towards each other, in fact, the very idea of it grosses them out as though they were siblings.

    But I can’t help but feel like a third wheel in my own relationship. I love both of them, one as a friend and one romantically, but I just get the feeling that the reason he doesn’t feel like he wants to really progress in our relationship (another thing he has told me), is because he still very much is playing the role of husband to his ex. I don’t know where I stand and I’m afraid to bring up the subject in case it leads to losing either of them. Help!

    #695703 Reply


    If he’s told you he doesn’t want to progress in the relationship, then it’s time to exit. Regardless of the reason. It may or may not be his relationship with his ex. I think a lot of people would have a hard time being with someone who was in daily touch with a former spouse. It doesn’t sound like this situation will change so you are better off disconnecting and being available to meet other men.

    #695705 Reply


    What reasons has he given for not wanting to progress the relationship? It may be her yes, but it may be he simply doesn’t have the right feelings for you or he has decided he doesn’t want to down the commitment and marriage route after a failed marriage.

    I know plenty of people who have decided they’re better off living alone and never want marriage. Many of them had one divorce and thought never again.

    Does the reason really matter anyway? If he’s clearly told you he doesn’t he doesn’t want to process the relationship and you do, you have a problem.

    #695710 Reply


    Believe a man when he says “no go” and act accordingly. You are trying to find gold in an oil well….walk away and look elsewhere.

    #695723 Reply


    To explain further, when I say he does not wish to progress in our relationship, he means get married. At this point in time, as I am divorced myself, I am ok with that. We haven’t revisited the discussion since we started discussing it years ago.

    #695725 Reply


    If you’re okay with no getting married, fair enough.

    As you mentioned the issue is with the closeness of these two.

    I’d address it the way you told us, you feel like a third wheel in your own relationship.

    If he truly cares for you, then his behavior will change to be mindful of your feelings.

    #695726 Reply


    You’ve allowed this dynamic so they think you totally cool with it and it’s not fair to make it issue years later when you should have nipped in the bud a long time ago.

    I believe it’s time to have an HONEST talk with both of her an your BF in that if it doesn’t change you will be forced to walk away, and WALK if it doesn’t. Just know ultimatums rarely work and people naturally regress to Thor safety/comfort zone so this will not be an overnight process but establishing Boundaries you can all work and live with may at least minimize the current dynamics.

    #695727 Reply


    Despite the obviously (it truly does seem legitimately to be the case) platonic nature of their relationship, this would bother me too. It’s like a person being overly enmeshed with any other person (mother for example)– that relationship starts to take away from yours, they have undue influence over that person’s opinion (including opinion of you, etc). I would feel uncomfortable.

    I think you need to have a talk and set some boundaries.

    Are you SURE you don’t want to get married? (I personally doubt I ever will again, so believe me I understand people who have no interest in that) but please make sure you are being HONEST with yourself. You mention him still playing “husband” to her as to why your relationship is not progressing. Assuming you don’t want marriage, how would you like your relationship to “progress” in ways it isn’t?

    Perhaps a few sessions with a therapist to help you work out exactly what it is you want before you talk to him would help. My therapist has been soooooo helpful with me regarding teaching me about how to set down boundaries with people in a way that is firm and kind. It’s a skill that most of us never learn growing up, but it will greatly improve your life!

    #695732 Reply


    You need to first of all work out what the problem is. You said you felt like their relationship was holding him back from commuting. Now you say you don’t mind if he doesn’t commit?

    Don’t even think of talking to him until you know what you want and how you feel.

    Does he make her seem more important than you? Do they spemd too much time together? Do you think there is something romantic going on?

    #695749 Reply


    What’s wrong with the 3rd wheel? LOL

    I am only partially joking..

    So you have an emotional three-some. You said you love them both, terrified of losing either of them, you don’t want to get married, he doesn’t want to get married again, then what is the real problem? Why can’t you have this type of a relationship for as long as it lasts?

    Not everything is black and white and there are situations where typical judgment does not apply. They feel like siblings, and this bond is very unique and nearly unbreakable. But they both can be in love with someone else, and I hope your BF is in love with you. LOL There is no real reason why all of you can’t get along except that you “think” it is not right.

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