I feel a little silly asking about this, and there is even a part of me that wonders if phrasing it makes it more real than I’d like it to be.
I’m very happily married, and have been for four years. We get along really well, I find my partner really beautiful and attractive, and I think they are basically the most precious person in my life, and possibly the most precious aspect of my life.
I have a friend who I’ve had a crush on for years. The crush started when the friend and I first met, when my partner and I were just dating, about eight years ago. I was in a relationship, but I really got on with this other person, and we share friends in common, so we just became friends, and it was lovely, although the crush really did persist while I quietly ignored it. About two years before I got married, there was a rocky time in my relationship when it seemed like we might split up and I was spending more time (particularly one-on-one) with this individual and probably being more explicitly flirtatious than I normally would be. My friend was kind of noncommittally dating someone else, and around the time that it became clear that I was trying to make it work with my partner, my friend started dating the person they were seeing more intensely and they now have been together for years.
We’ve never really spoken about it, so I’m not sure if the feelings were ever shared or all in my head. Since I got married we have fallen in and out of touch for months at a time, but I do find that when my friend and I start spending time together again, even in a group (as it now always is), the feelings are still there and can be very distracting. I know that I don’t want to split up with my spouse, and that cheating on them would not be an option, particularly not with our mutual friend of so many years. I’ve read other posts that said that these extra-marital crushes fade, but with this individual the truth is I have always felt something since we met, and that doesn’t seem to be changing, regardless of how well things are going in my marriage.
What do I do? I like this friend a lot and have tried spending less time together, but I find I just end up missing her when I do that, so I’d be sad to lose the friendship altogether.
Thanks for reading!