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20 Sep 2007

Tug of war
Hi Everyone,

I hope that you are all doing well. I'm in desperate need of advice and I know I'll find some objective and constructive advice here. All my friends have been incredibly judgemental of my situation and that's left me feeling doubtful and with a tug of war between my head & my heart. More like between logic and instant gratification. See, I told you I was confused! Anyways, here goes:

I have been very good friends with a guy for 6 years. We've experienced many good times together, and have been there for each other through the difficult times too. I've seen him go through a few relationships, and he's seen me go through mine.
Over the years he's always joked that maybe we should just forget everyone else and just get together. Our friendship has also caused suspicion and led to accusations from our previous partners and some of our friends (they've always thought we are an item, though this was not the case).

I've experieced a particularly difficult year this year and he's been very supportive. I also broke up with my boyfriend in February and have been single since. In July/August I went through a tough time at work and my friend was my rock. I've since left and started a new job in September. During this same period, he's been going through some difficulties with his partner, so much so that ultimatums were bandied about - with the partner saying that they should take a break, and my friend saying he's giving the relationship until the end of the year to resolve things, if they were still at loggerheads, he would walk away.
Through all this I've been as supportive as I can because I know my friend's partner too. I offer a listening ear whenever my friend wants to vent (the partner doesn't confide in me that much), and offer my 2c worth of advice.

It's safe to say that all these adversities have brought my friend and I even closer than ever before. For the first time in 6 years I'm starting to develop romantic feelings towards him. I've told him this and he would like us to give it a go. I'm really tempted, but at the same time I don't want to be seen as the person who broke up his relationship with his partner. And I also don't know how this step will affect our friendship because I really value it and wouldn't want to see all these years go down the drain should our relationship go sour.

But that's not all, my friend is married. He's been married for 10 years, no children, but he lives with his wife. He tells everyone that they are separated, and at some stage he moved out to go and live with his partner, but now he has moved back home. His reasons for continuing to stay in the marriage and live under the same roof as his wife are not too convincing. And to be honest that has never bothered me too much because we've always been just friends - but now I find this situation worisome.

All of my friends and family say that I'm playing with fire by considering a relationship with this guy. They say I should just keep the friendship the way it has always been because he's bound to hurt me just as much as he's about to hurt his partner, and the same way he's been hurting his wife.
But I'm in love with him, I trust him, I like the way I feel when I'm around him - plus I'm lonely (I've been single for most of this year).
What should I do?

Answer 372 views
Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert
gay, lesbian and bisexual expert

01 Jan 0001

Hi Just That, thanks for your post and thanks guys for your great responses.

I don't think your friend is available to you as anything more than a friend - forming a deeper, or intimate relationship with him would be forming an alliance with him against his wife and his current partner. You'd simply become another aspect of his complicated network of relationships.

He sounds kinda emotionally immature? He may have a pattern of not resolving any of his relationships and not assuming any responsibility for his relationships. He should be adult and divorce his wife, somehow resolve his relationship with his current partner and be alone for a while, at least for a few months, before he could even consider entering another relationship.

Be aware of your own vulnerability and back off from him.
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