The married man I’m in love with is in love with my ex.

The title says it all and yet probably not nearly enough. A year ago I met a man through mutual friends. He and I hit it off right away and I was immediately smitten. He’s in the process of divorcing his spouse, who he’s lived separately from for more than a year now.

From day one he and I spoke about damn near everything. I mean, deep dark secret stuff. And after a while we were flirting, going to dinner together, showing up places together. I told him I was falling for him and at first he seemed to reciprocate.

Here’s where things get complicated. Unbeknownst to me he had already been developing some kind of a relationship with my ex-boyfriend. My ex and I had been friends and only really dated a few times. He and I are still really close friends and I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize that.

They went on a trip together and became really close. It’s now obvious that the burgeoning love he and I had is out of his mind; he’s completely into my ex. They spend a lot of time together, have regular dates and such.

To the guy I’m still a close loyal friend, so I am the one who gets to listen to him freaking out about how he feels about the relationship, all his apprehension and his puppy love and guilt and everything.

I love both of my friends but my heart is broken. When guy came into my life it was like the sun had risen over the horizon. I was deliriously happy. Now I’m miserable any time I’m alone. I put on a brave, happy face and go out of my way to support them in every way I can but it’s killing me inside.

I don’t fall out of love easily. I know that if I’m going to get over him I’m going to have to cut him out of my life. I’m waiting until his divorce is finalized; I want to be there for him to help him get through all that trauma. But then I have to wall both of them off from my life. We travel heavily in the same circle of friends (we think of each other like family) so I may have to cut really deep to get away.

Again, I care a great deal about both of them. I want them to be happy and I want to be happy for them. I’m not happy for them, though, at least not the way I should be. I feel like a bad friend because I can’t support them the way they deserve to be supported. I don’t want to hurt them but at some point I have to worry about self-preservation.

I’ve told one other friend what I’m planning on doing. He thinks I’m being too extreme. I think I’ve hit a threshold in my relationship with the guy where turning back and limiting our contact (more than it has already been cut back due to the time he’s spending with my ex) would possibly be even more painful as we try to find the new balance.

I don’t know if I’m asking for advice; I pretty much know what I have to do to move on. It’s painful and I’m scared and I don’t think I have any other options. I’ve tried seeing other people but I’m too heartsick; every date is terrible, even with the nice guys. I don’t wan’t to see anyone else, I don’t think I’m in a good place emotionally for that.

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4 thoughts on “The married man I’m in love with is in love with my ex.

  1. Dennis Hong says:

    [Yeah, it doesn’t sound like you’re asking for advice. I get the impression you’re looking for support on what you know you need to do. And I for one support your decision 100%.

    You have to look out for yourself first. So what if another friend thinks you’re being too extreme? This has nothing to do with him. Only you know how deep your feelings are, and only you know what you need to do to move on from these feelings.

    Good luck. No, it won’t be easy, and I don’t think there’s anything anyone can say or do to make you feel better at this point. But hey, at least you know what you have to do.

    And hopefully, you also know that time will make this better….

  2. resullins says:

    [That’s a seriously effed up situation you’ve gotten yourself into. I am sorry you got your heart broken, that’s always tough to come back from. But if I may, let me give you one piece of advice. Run the other way NOW! Do not sit there and support this man through his divorce so that he can then be all healed and run into your ex’s arms! Seriously, I understand wanting to remain friends and all that, but not at the expense of your own mental health. You need to distance yourself from this situation now, and with authority.

  3. EricaSwagger says:

    [The healthiest thing for you to do is going to be the hardest, and I know you already know this but you came here so I’ll confirm it for you. Get these people out of your life. It may hurt to be without their friendship/companionship for a while, but it will hurt forever if you keep them around. Make a clean break from both, and do it now.

    You’re a hand, they’re a splinter. Get the splinter out. Don’t wait until the divorce is finalized. You owe him nothing. You owe yourself everything, so act like it. Don’t even try dating for a while. I know when I was hurting and lonely, I thought dating would help but it was so miserable. Nobody was good enough, and each one left me feeling more upset about what I’d missed out on. It was not a good pattern.

    You already know what to do. Move on, focus on yourself.

  4. Drew says:

    I am so very sorry to hear about all of this. It sounds awful, and you are right that you are going to need to cut them out to heal. If they are truly friends they will understand this. If they don’t understand this then they are not truly friends.
    Let me echo Resullins’ comment to get out NOW! This quote from your post “I know that if I’m going to get over him I’m going to have to cut him out of my life. I’m waiting until his divorce is finalized; I want to be there for him to help him get through all that trauma…” is not healthy. You do NOT need to be there to get him through the trauma. He should have other friends to do that or your ex can help him do that. Allow yourself to start healing now by cutting him out of your life ASAP.

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