What should I do?

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This topic contains 27 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Tallspicy 1 month ago.

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  • #790360 Reply


    Long story – I met this guy at work, about two years ago. We had to work very closely together for the first 1.5 years of meeting, and, slowly fell more and more for each other. We were unseperable at work, everybody jokingly called us a couple. After about 10 months, we started to get into a lot of fights. But we always fought fair, and it brought us somehow even much closer emotionally. Towards the end of the project, the fighting became less and less again. We started ago spend sometimes time privately, once at a small festival, which was magical. You could see and feel the whole weekend, how happy (but at the same time almost scared) he was to have me there with all his friends.
    BUT – when we met, we were both in committed relationships. I broke mine off 5 months after we met, it had issues, my ex was partially emotionally controlling, and the time at work with this guy showed me how constructive and positive communication can actually be. He stayed with his girlfriend, and never touched me (apart from a few very intense and long hugs). But there were numerous occasions where not only me, but everybody around would sense and see, that all his excitement & emotions are towards me, and she is basically sitting there like „his little sitter“ (literally what people said to me). There is a connection between us, that (in my opinion) is very deep and goes beyond just infatuation. I feel emotionally connected to him, and when we talk we almost immediately drift to very personal, private topics.
    He is 32, she is 38 now, and she really wants a baby, basically for the whole time they have been together (almost 5 years now). She moved countries for him after they met (they were long distance the first 3 years of their relationship), and he is basically the center of her life at this point. I truly believe he is a nice guy and believes in good morals and working things out, so I think he will not break up with her at this point. All his friends and families also would not accept that.
    Problem is, he recently proposed to her, but we still are in touch (outside of work), and from the way he talks (I know him very well) he is getting married for the wrong reasons, basically out of obligation to her. I know, it’s not my business, but I really love him at this point. I would let him go within a second, if I would feel he is truly happy about this. But, he just doesn’t seem to be whenever he talks about her or is with her, and he also has lost a lot of his positivity and energy in the past year. What should I do – should I really just not give a s**t, walk away and not look back? I feel so bad about it.

    Yes, I know, he basically had an emotional affair with me for the whole time. And is beeing a dick to me. But, I think he does not see it that way, he is very rational, and for him only something physical would count as „affair“. He truly believes he is doing the right thing by marrying her, also she is (and has been the whole time) pushing him because of her age. Their relationship is fine, no huge problems as far as I know, but very boring – they are basically like roommates who have sex sometimes. What should I do?
    Should I have a long talk with him about all of that, or is it better to just vanish, to protect myself from further hurt?

    #790367 Reply


    You only know what you’ve been told. You don’t know what their relationship is like — only what you’ve been told. And I’m guessing you probably have not been told the truth.

    You need to walk away. Imagine he broke up with her and got with you. You’ve seen what he’s capable of doing behind his love’s back. How would you like it if he did something like this to YOU?

    For everyone’s benefit, just walk away, ignore him, his friendship, his existence. I’m not even going to get into the moral implications of what you are doing/have become. The whole situation is very sad and pathetic. :(

    #790368 Reply


    Honestly i don’t see how he was having an emotional affair with you. Just seems like you got on well as friends!? If he wanted to be with you he would be. If your connection was as deep and special as it was for you, he would have broken up with her and be with you. No matter how “obligated” he felt to her.

    He would at least have made a move towards that direction but i don’t see that he did. I also don’t see how he is or was being a dick to you. Has he flat out told you he is unhappy in his relationship and seeks for a way out? Because it reads like projection on your part to me. Whatever the case I would let it go and move on. I

    #790369 Reply


    I agree with mama. People are inclined to say what they think you want to hear, so there is no way of knowing if there is any truth in it. Then: him having an emotional affair with you is baloney. He is nice, being friendly and never crossed a line. I also dont see a lot of proof he is interested in you beyond a normal level.
    Finally i think its over the top arrogant that you are sure he is marrying for the wrong reasons. Why do you even think its out of obligation? And why do you think you would be a better partner for him? You couldnt even work with him without having lots of arguments. If guys hate anything its arguments.
    I think you created a romance in your head here. And not a smart pick. Focus on single and emotionally healty guys and also do some research on yourself on why you picked mr already off the market. Usually thats also a form of being emotionally unavailable

    #790370 Reply


    @mama: Not sure, mabe I left out some details – I was not told ANYTHING. My knowledge about their relationship is mostly from all the time I spend with the two of them (including other friends). The thing is – he is not doing it behind her back. He is behaving like that in front of her to me (she hates me). A while ago I thought at some point he might do it on purpose, so that she would leave him. He also invited me sometimes to join them, when it was just the two of them. He also called her accidentally my name many times, and even told me about it. She was/is furious about it. If I would be in her position, I would have left him long ago. But, he never did anything wrong to me in my opinion? (I mean, he never promised me anything, he never hide anything from me, he never tried to touch me sexually or kiss me, even though he would have had the possibilities quite a few times,…)

    #790371 Reply


    Seems you’re living on Fantasy Island…

    #790373 Reply


    The more you explain the more this seems like its just in your head. He never made a move, he invited you along to spend time with the two of them, he never actually said anything negative about his relationship to you….he sees you as a friend. Try to move on

    #790374 Reply

    T from NY

    I dont think you’ve made up the emotional affair. This guy definitely sounds like he has been disrespectful to his wife if he has demeaned her, or their relationship in front of people and invited a third wheel to hang out. Calling her by your name! Gross.

    The part I don’t think you see is – this man’s low character. If he’s in a serious relationship with a woman he’s talking children with, their should not be a woman that office mates think is his work wife. Please don’t think you’re special. Men who allow this to happen – making a commitment to a woman – then allowing another woman to feel “he would only be with her if he wasn’t with his wife out of obligation” will never be satisfied with one woman. They collect their ego kibbles wherever they go, to avoid feelings of losing their freedom, fear of being a good father and provider, have restless hearts, or just generally struggle with having authentic intimacy with their partner. He would do the same to you if you were together because this is a HIM problem, not a THEM problem.

    The place I would wish you would get to is – being turned off by any burgeoning realization of interest a taken man has in you. Women who have a great amount of self-love and self-respect get turned off pretty quickly if they feel anything inappropriate developing with someone who is not available. Men do what they want to do, most of the time. If this man had any real interest in you, he will have weighed the options, even subconsciously, and end of the day – his wife gives him more reasons to stay than you do to go. Free yourself from emotionally unavailable men, so that you can be emotionally available for a real relationship.

    #790375 Reply


    Ok, thanks for your replies, I will try and I will..
    I just somehow still feel I haven’t fully understood this situation.
    I am not stupid normally with these things, and it’s not that I haven’s met any other guys in this time. I went on other dates, actually had sex and kissed other guys, but none of that really touched my heart in a way this did.
    I am still really not sure about the “friend” thing. It would mean that all my sensors of a guy beeing into me would be completelty off, although I normally tend to *underestimate* this, a lot. I felt was really persuing me, at least I thought so. I never initiated anything, or any contact, actually I tried to stay away and push him away, because he had his girlfriend. He constanly initated contact, he always finds reasons to text or to call me, sometimes multiple times a day. He was always around. Even after I sometimes stopped contacting him completely. Last night he texted me at 2 am. He was very touchy as well all the time, he is always staring at me, we always look in each others eyes when we talk. I don’t know, I am not 15, I had other relationships, longer ones, shorter ones, but something about this is different, and I can’t understand it. :(

    #790376 Reply


    @T from NY: Thanks for what you wrote, that actually helped! I will reread it whenever I need it! :) I also somehow feel this is more realistic then the “Fantasy Island” view.

    #790378 Reply

    T from NY

    Glad to be of help. Your update of texting you at 2am equals exactly what I said – a cheat. Good luck getting untangled in all the attention he gives you. Its not real. Long for real – and bat away all the other BS.

    #790379 Reply


    There is another part, I could need further explanation or thoughts about.
    @T from NY would love to hear your thought/opinion about this!

    The two of them met somewhere on an event, in neither of their hometowns. They stayed in touch afterwards, and he had some travels planned. As they were thinking of maybe meeting up at some point again, she planned to join him for his travels, and go separate ways if they would not get along. On the first night (this was the second time they ever met) there was a party where all his friends where, so she got to know all of the people close to them on their second date. After that, they travelled for a week, and then she would return home, and he would meet up with his parents to go to a wedding of friends. In the end, she just joined for the wedding after the week of travels, and everyone assumed this was his “girlfriend” – from that point on she was, also to his parents, even though the two of them had never even talked about it before. He wanted to call it off afterwards, and did not want to do long distance. But, she convinced him, to not give up, and planned on moving to his home country (what she did, it just took some time). After their long distance relationship, they both moved when they came to my city, and that was basically the first time they lived in the same country/city since they met. And this was exactly the same time when he ran into me. Who, at that point also was in a (not so great) relationship. And, between us, it was not like “love at first sight” or anything – we were really comfortable and connected around each other from day one, but, feelings only developed slowly after spending several weeks every day together. So, I somehow think things might not be as “black-and-white”, like he was super commited and just trying to have me on the side.
    Actually, to be honest (and with knowing the danger to run into the whole “fantasy island” dicussion again) I think he was crazy into me the whole time, more then into her, but I think I always pushed him away and pulled up very high boundries, because he had a girlfriend.

    Anyways, maybe I still can’t see it/understand it fully, I don’t know. :((
    I will move on, I know I have to. I just never felt as difficult, because I always felt with every relationship I had in the past, I could to some degree understand why things did not work out, what was my part and what was the other persons part, just this time, I feel like I can’t understand the situation, and don’t even know why it affects me so much.

    #790380 Reply


    Projection, projection that is all there is. He never made a move to be with you. He never made a move to even have you on the side. He sees you as a friend. People in relationships are allowed to have friends and be friendly with others. That does not constitute an emotional affair!

    And sorry, inviting you along with the two if them is not disrespectful to their relationship. it is absolutely not him being a dick. Its what FRIENDS do.

    There is nothing that indicates he wants something more. And sorry i am agreeing with Newbie here, you show incredible arrogance to think you know more about his feelings and his relationship as he does.

    If you as you say pretty much met at the same time that is even more indication that he is not interested in you as you would like. Their relationship not being “love at first sight” means nothing. He chose to pursue a relationship with her.

    If him contacting you makes it harder for you to move on then stop talking to him. if him being friendly with you clouds your judgement then cut him off. Stop deluding yourself and move on

    #790381 Reply


    I read T’s view and think that has merit too (although im still on the phantasy view) but than aknowledge also part 2 of her view that he is a bad man that flirts around.
    What bugs me is that you dont want this marriage not to happen to safe her but for you and him be together. And even if he flirted he never made any move that says he like you more than a friend. People obviously know you like him, Otherwise they wouldnt talk to you about her so he almost certain knows too. And still he never made the movie.
    Guys are not stupid. They dont stay in a relationship because the girl simply never left. They dont propose out of guilt (well a few might). You have done a lot of worl to prove to yourself this girl is not for him, even to the point where you point out her age and is probably on the fast track for finding a daddy. Its all useless speculation on your part. What were you hoping from the advice here? To go rescue this guy from making a big mistake? If youre really that sure, go tell him how you feel. At least in that case you can never wonder later what if…..

    #790390 Reply


    @T from NY – normally I am not so bad at this, at least I though so… :(
    Two weeks ago, I sent several tear-laughing smileys to a male “friend” of mine who asked me if I would come over to his place to have a drink at midnight, after he had a fight with his ex-girlfriend. I stopped hanging out as “friends” with him since then.
    But, this guy last night texted about some things we talked about, that are currently emotional stressfull to him, and also about us both crying at a movie I watched recently that he recommended to me. He was neither drunk nor partying, and his fiancee must have gone to bed hours before, I think he was in a videochat with a group of friends, thats why he did not reply to me earlier.

    @cupcake: To be honest, I don’t think he would ever make a move to have me on the side, he is not that type of a guy at all. If he would be, he would have done long ago, and I would have told him what the hell is wrong with him and that this is inappropriate.
    And, no, we did NOT meet at the same time. When I met him it was the first time they were actually in the same city and not in an LDR any more. But, at that point, she had already left behind basically her job and her whole old life just to be with him, and she was already arranging for their parents to meet each other, and wanted him to start a family, which he was hesistant to (as any sane person would be, at least in my opinion, at that point in time).

    Anyways. I agree that I can’t look into other people, and should be more careful of not interpretating too much. Although, some part of me just can’t believe the “just friends” thing. I have other male friends, and some of them have actually been into me at some point in the past (and have told me), but in any of these cases, it was NEVER as obvious to me that they were into me, then it was with this guy. If it would be projection (which i am not saying it isn’t – I don’t know), i just think I would feel very weird, and not able to understand anything about the world or people at all. :/
    I mean, maybe that’s the case :D Better figure that out now, then I can improve rom there :D
    But, then I would really have no clue, when a guy would be into me – for me, this was all the signs that had always indicated this to me as long as I can think back :(

    @Newbie: I am not saying he has to be with me. Actually, if I would have had one situation where I would be convinced that he is actually really happy with her, I don’t think I would be here. To “fast track to find a daddy” – not necessarily. But, even there, she just gives off a weird vibe to me. Whenever there is children around, she goes crazy in holding them, taking care of them, preferably in a kind of showing-off-way front of him. Once we were with another couple and their four-year-old. She was playing with the little guy a lot. At some point, he also wanted to play with me, which she was seemingly upset about. When serving dinner, the young guy shouted “I want to sit next to her” pointing at me, after which she made a passive-aggressive comment to the child, and never watched the child with a single view for the rest of the evening… So, yes, might still be “projection”, but I also have two eyes and can see all the situations happening in front of me.
    Actually, really considering what you said last, at least in parts. What am I hoping form here – just other views on the situation, I would really love to get a better understanding of the situation, because I really want to learn what things I could and should do differently. (Yes, I understand the part of not falling for someone in a relationship, actually I would normally not do that, it just somehow “creeped” up on me over time, and as I wasn’t in the best place after the end of another not-so-great relationship, I might have been a bit more vulnerable for this then I would normally be.)

    #790391 Reply


    Then take the leap and confess your feelings for him. Then you ll know for sure. Its quite clear you wont let this go until you have proof either way.

    #790392 Reply


    Ok, last post, I will stop then, sorry fo writing so much, but I feel it somehow helps me…
    @Newbie: To “why I think it might be out of obligation” – I know he has been hurt once really bad from a previous relationship. His current view on relationships is “you just need to stick with it, and never give up. Good relationships mean enduring relationships, and that just happens when you never trow the towel, no matter how difficult it get’s.”. I partly agree on this, but only partly. In my opinion, you have to have and healthy and emotionally available partner, that you are attracted to in some way. If you don’t have that, I think it’s the much better bet to walk away, instead of suffering under in an unhealty realationship for many years. (I was once in a committed relationship with a guy who turned out (after a while) to have more and more signs of beeing emotionally controlling, and leaving that relationship was the best gifts I could do to myself).
    Anyways. Back to the obligation topic – when he talked to me about the engagement two weeks ago, he just sounded so weird. I have NEVER heard someone talk to me like that about their engagements. ever. He was literally saing things like “Well, you have see it realisticly, these days 50% of marriages get divorced, so I think it’s important not to go into this too naive!” “My uncle got married for the 4th time recently, and my dad actually almost refused to go” (His parents are still together though, since over 40 years). “I don’t want her to take my name, even though she wants to. It somehow makes me feel weird, I feel it does not fit to her”. I mean, seriously?! Even if I just see him as a friend – what the hell would I tell a friend who talked to me like this about his engagement? Normally, I would expect something like – “I am so excited, I am so happy that I am going to marry her, she is awesome, but I am also somehow scared, I mean, this is a huge decision, I really feel nervous about it” or something like this?! Or am I so completely off here? No idea, never got married so far :D

    #790393 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    If everything you’re saying about his relationship with her is true, why would you want to be with a guy like this? Someone who is “negative about his engagement” (in your words), is only getting married out of “obligation”, is secretly in love with a friend on the side (you), but is still going ahead with the engagement/marriage? What does that say about his character?

    For the record, I agree with what the others have said and think you’re engaged in some major, major wishful thinking. So I won’t reiterate what’s already been said. But let’s assume you aren’t engaging in extreme wishful thinking — let’s say for the sake of argument everything you wrote is true. Why on earth would you want this guy? A guy like this is weak and has no integrity. If he’s secretly in love with you but choosing to marry another woman so as not to upset his or her families (as you said in one of your replies)– what a shell of a man.

    #790394 Reply


    Im not judging the fact you fall for a guy with a gf, now fiancee. It happens, it also can lead to people breaking up for the new crush. My main concern is that you are delusional. But im also a big fan of getting clearity. I have confessed my love to guys. All of them were stunned lol. But it did help me to move on. So i agree with cupcake, get clearity from him. He is about to be married so the future will be awkward anyway, so you might as well take your chance now. And say goodbye forever if its not what you want

    #790404 Reply


    I’ve been in your shoes. In my case, it took me 3 years to break free from the emotional mess. It doesn’t matter what he says or does, what you know or think you know. At the end of the day, you’ll only end up hurt badly. Get out while it’s still early

    #790413 Reply


    I just have to comment about what she has done- why do women do this to each other? Your involvement created a different trajectory for his relationship than if you had walked away from him once you found out he was in a committed relationship. Why do we do this damage to other women?? This is why we will never rise above- we just keep kicking each other down off the ladder

    #790731 Reply


    Anna, I hope you get/got the clarity you wanted.

    I’ve liked guys with girlfriends before – many of us have. Just because you feel chemistry doesn’t mean he does. And even if there is chemistry between you it doesn’t mean he is seriously interested in leaving his GF or being with you. He won’t leave her for you. You can confess your feelings if you need to, but it’s probably not going to be what you want to hear.

    Have you considered that maybe she dislikes you, even if he’s not acting inappropriate, because she can read you? It’s clear you’re besotted with him – plus no doubt there’s all sorts of snickering and rumours going on if friends or colleagues are saying things about her behind her back. She’s almost certainly heard it. Also, your colleagues don’t think you’re a dream couple – they call you a couple because people love drama and plenty of people would love to see colleagues embroiled in rough breakups over work affairs.

    He invites her along when he meets you to make it clear he’s with her, and cos couples often socialise together. He hasn’t made a physical move on you. I personally think he crosses the line with late texts and in other ways, but people can cross those lines by being overinvolved with friends, too. I’ve seen some pretty overinvolved codependent friendships – this doesn’t always have to be sexual to be way inappropriate.

    However I think that any interaction which jeopardises your relationship – like weirdly intense work friendships need to be curtailed Especially if they give the wrong impression to other people and make the GF uncomfrotable. It’s apalling that he lets people snicker about you guys dating, messages you at random times and disrespects his GF in other ways and puts it about that he doesn’t want to marry her and is doing it out of obligation. A man with a backbone would address that with his fiance, not act out by soothing his ego on the girl who is clearly infatuated with him. Honestly? If he wanted you, he could probably have you. So I don’t think he wants you, not in the sense of wanting a romantic relationship with you. But I think he appreciates the full-on attenion you give him. I think he likes having a ‘friend’ that he can talk to way too much, who will always hang on his word like a puppy. You’re an ego boost that takes away from whatever strain he reports in his relationship. I’m not saying this to hurt you – he’s clearly gotten inside your head til you don’t realise that engaged guys dn’t act like him. Their friendships with other women aren’t needy and intense and dont’ make everyone think something inappropriate is going on.

    Even if he does want you romantically – that makes him a cheat. Why would you want a man who disrespects his partner that he chose, and committed to) like that – would you like it if he did the same to you? Would you like having a BF who had an over-intense girl who was obsessed with him and . Honestly, you should have had as little to do with him as possible. You say he pursued you – but you absolutely don’t have to reply or engage. Personally, I think both camps are correct. I think you’re reading into things heavily. But I also agree that he’s been inappropriate and is sometimes fuelling your desires. However, I don’t think he seriously wants you – I think he enjoys the attention.

    I know it’s tough. I’ve fallen for guys who aren’t free, too. But I always stayed away because I could never trust a man who left his GF of years for a woman he barely knew. r who played women off against each other. Yeah it hurt, but it saved me friendzoning myself or tagging along hoping for more than scraps. You can’t maintain an appropriate distance if you’re crushing hard on someone. So I suspect your friendship has always been inappropriate and over-involved. And that’s mainly because of your feelings, though it sounds like he’s not innocent either. We can’t be close friends with someone we are pining over – we cant’ interpret things properly, and we’ll always try to turn anything into evidence we’re meant to be. He’s wrong to be using your feelings like this, too.

    You don’t know his relationship. Even if it’s a mistake, that’s his decision to make. He’s not a baby – he’s in his 30s. Move on and let him man up and take responsibility for his life.

    #821664 Reply


    I thought this topic would be over, and in some way it is, I am going on dates, and meeting people. BUT… The guy is still there, and keeps showing up. I might not have been exactly consequent in summer. On the other hand, the „fantasy island“ somehow still does not explain the situation fully to me – we went on vacation together, actually not once but three times (!) this summer. First time just the two of us, hiking from hut to hut in some mountains for several days (just the two of us, sharing rooms, but not beds) before going to a private music festival to party together (sleeping in the same tent, his suggestion). To make it clear, nothing physical ever happened. But, after these 5 days of basically spending 24/7 together and saying goodbye, HE was the one hugging me intensely and suggesting to plan the next vacation already. He then stayed super close for a few days, texting every few hours, even sending me pictures of his childhood, before he kind of faded away to texting only every few days. He was not spending time with his girlfriend, he actually didn‘t see her very rarely this sommer because she is working full time, and his job is on a break because of corona so he was out of town a lot. We went on two other vacations, the second one also just the two of us for several days, third one with a friend we both know. Anyways. I am ok at this point with this never working out, but I still would like to understand what’s going on there. I mean, am I so OFF to not be able to recognize this as a friendship? But, it just feels weird, or at least I never had a male „friend“ before that was that close. I mean, we were talking a lot, also about our past relationships, families,…, and at some point during traveling he was literally asking me things like if there are any things that would be a nogo for my parents when bringing home a guy. I don’t know, but none of my platonic friends would ever ask me that? :D If he would have tried to make a move on me (which he could have) I would also be able to understand his intentions (and would have rejected him because of his girlfriend). But at this point it just leaves me feeling a bit weird, because I wonder if i am really so off about how a „friendship“ could look for some man? As said in the beginning, I am at a very different point, would be fine to not see him again, don’t feel dependent on that situation. But, I am going to dinner with him in a few days, and that just made me wonder again – what the hell is this, and what is there that i don’t see or get about the situation…?

    #821685 Reply


    What does the girlfriend think about her boyfriend going on vacation alone with his female work buddy? What would you think if you were the girlfriend?

    #821793 Reply


    Anna, this is happening because you are allowing this to happen. Why are you going on 3 vacations with someone else’s boyfriend? Answer that honestly and actually put yourself in this guy’s girlfriend’s place. Imagine the man you love is hanging out with some girl all the time. I would not like you either and I would want him to stop, but I know he loves me so I’m trusting him. And- he’s not crossing the line physically so she’s going along with it. In a way, you look sad and desperate because you actually think there’s a possibility he will leave her.
    Understand how karma works- what you are doing to this girlfriend will be done to you in some way.

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