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.