|12-13-2011, 10:36 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Oslo, Norway
Being in a stable relationship and having feelings for other women ...
Wanted to share a situation that I put myself into, searching for thoughts and feedback that might help me figure the best way to handle this.
I've been in a monogamous relationships with a women for 10 years now, it's been a good fun relationship with deep feelings and respect involved. Two years ago I took a big risk and fought hard to help her realize a business idea, even though all of my fibers of my body said no. It was not the time nor place, but in an ultimate act of love decided to go all out on a limb for her. Long story short it's been two hellish years with too much work and too much financial problems. The business is all falling apart and I have serious doubts as to what feelings I have for her now. Somehow in a big irony I feel that my act of love is in the end contributing to killing the love I feel for her.
Wind back three weeks I met another woman on facebook. Not the first woman I have met and I've had small innocents flirts, which I suspect she has had to. Which is ok in my book, I figure a little leeway in the relationship is good for both and the relationship in the end. Never been a problem to stop before it got serious.
With this last woman, she crept up under my skin and before I knew it I was having strong feelings for her. There are so many things we have in common and everything felt so right, she touched my heart in so many ways.
I wasn't looking for anyone nor was I trying to seduce her. Given my mixed cultural background I do have a very friendly, cheeky and outward personality which I have noticed some women misunderstand at times.
When I realized things were getting pretty serious and this was no longer just a friendly chat I told her I was unavailable, and that I was not in a position to start a relationship with her based on a lie or be a cheater on my partner. Two reasons for that. 1. I really care about this new woman, I would not want to spoil a possible future relationship with her by being a cheat. 2. Out of respect to my current partner and her feelings.
We both reacted quite emotionally when I came out with the news and it was clear there were a lot of feelings involved. We kind of agreed to keep it at a friendly level, lol, which seemed ok at first but I have realized the truth - what kind of friends can two emotionally involved people be. Basically we have been connecting almost daily since that, sharing things and chatting for hours, I'm struggling to keep a lid on my feelings.
Basically I am quite torn at the moment. On one side is my partner and the feelings I still have or had and lost at the moment, on the other side is this other woman.
So I'm left with a lot of questions in my head which I'm trying to figure out.
Did I really do the right thing to listen to my head and tell the other women we could not have a relationship now, or should I just have followed my heart, jumped into it and sort things out on the fly?
Sometimes I feel I am just a too decent guy and need to live some more ...
At times I just want to take some time break up with my current partner and then give it a shot on a relationship with the other woman.
At other times I feel I should try to work things out with my partner. On the other hand I am really unsure about my feelings for her now.
Anyways, will be interesting to hear your thoughts on this whole situation.
|12-13-2011, 12:46 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2011
You can't work "love" out. All you can do is grow to see what you do to block love in your life and your beloved can do the same.
And what blocks love is the mind trying to fix or possess love.
What fixes love is to let go, to set it free, including your own love.
Don't possess you beloved and don't let yourself be possessed. Have you ever felt loving when someone is possessing you?
Working on love is a logical pursuit for an illogical area of life. And the pursuit itself chokes love as the pressure on you and her becomes suffocating. Love isn't a decision or a negotiation.
You heart is speaking for you through your actions. Your mind is feeling guilty and you don't want to feel guilty so you stay with your girlfriend. But your heart is pulling you to the other woman.
Truly, you don't have a choice. Have you been happy "choosing" your life with your girlfriend? No. Are you happy flowing in your life with your facebook friend? Yes. Are you happy choosing to keep a distance with your facebook friend? No.
You already know the answer. You're a loving person and to dump your girlfriend feels horribly against your loving quality, but you can't decide to love her and you can't decide to not love your facebook friend. Love is like that...it's beyond logic, beyond your control.
It's better for you to live authentically and free your girlfriend from a loveless relating with you so that she can be free to find a better match. If you don't love her enough to be with her, then love her enough to set her free, as hard as that will be to do.
It's like you know you have a rotting tooth in your mouth but you just can't seem to get the courage to pull it, but you feel the discomfort all day every day. Pull it and it will feel worse for a short time then get healed.
Pull it, because you can't sacrifice your life for the "happiness" of another person. That isn't a gift, but a slow death.
|12-13-2011, 02:59 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Oslo, Norway
Thanks for the lengthy advice Ron.
There are wisdon in your words. I wish could say things were as easy as you put them.
Or maybe it's just me. You might be the better judge of that.
Fact is that still have feelings for my partner, but not as strong. I was away all last week, and when I came home I found I had not missed her at all, and my heart kinda sank a bit upon meeting her in the door.
At the same time we do have some good moments and give caresses. Out of love or custom, that I am not really sure ...
We are also in a difficult situation. Her father died 6 months ago, her business and life dream is out for sale, and the personal economy is going down the drain. I just don't feel I can add a breakup on top of that.
My instincts tells me to stick together until we can sell of the business and stabilize the economy before I decide we touch the emotional stuff.
On the other hand, the other woman I have come to love is torn. On one side she says she wants to commit on the other side she doesn't. Problem is her last relationship was with an abusive man who did some nasty things to her and she ended up being very afraid of men.
So she's having trust issues which is complicating a commitment. I don't feel at all secure that were I to leave my current relationship that I would be able to form a relationships with that other woman.
So here I am, got quite something of a situation to consider, lol
|12-13-2011, 04:01 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2011
I have been in a similar situation for some months now. Although I do not have an easy solution (otherwise I might have resolved my situation already ;-), I would disagree with the first response.
RonSouther seems to suggests (or I understand him in this way) that you should just follow your love-feelings. However, I think it is natural, that after a couple of years (and especially in such difficult times as you described it), the unconditional love that you felt in the beginning fades away. And it is natural that your feelings for the new person feel more intense -- it is always intense in the beginning. But I assume that if you leave your current partner and start a new relationship, the feelings of attraction will at one point get less intense, and maybe new problems arise which can weaken the love.
Ok, you probably have had these thoughts yourself already.
I can totally relate to your guilt feelings but I also agree to people who say that guilt cannot be the only reason to stay.
I think that you should not rush things and that you should give your old relationship a chance instead of just leaving. I mean, you had enough love for that person to be with her for 10 years... so maybe there is something that can be recovered. So I would suggest to try to work on it, (talking, couple's therapy...?), and after spending considerable effort, you could still leave.
I found Shirley Glass "Not 'just friends' " to be very helpful in explaining how long-term relationships become vulnerable to outside attractions.
Of course, just understanding the dynamics of this may probably not help you to influence your feelings.
As for me, I was torn between the attraction for the new person and responsibility for the old relationship, and I could not quite decide if I should follow my heart or my head. I still can't... or rather I am still in the process of trying to fix my old relationship... or getting my old feelings back and I have not yet surrendered to the the forces of the new attraction/love.
If you think about 3 or 5 or 10 years from now, with whom can you see yourself? Can you imagine that it is possible to feel the love for old partner again?
|12-13-2011, 04:48 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2009
I think your partner's business situation is a pretty good sign that you can follow your heart in something (as she presumably did - she must have been passionate about it for you to support it despite your doubt) and that it can all go to hell anyway.
Three weeks is a terrifically short time to be suddenly contemplating throwing over a relationship of 10 years for a relationship with a woman you - as far as I can tell - have never met in real life. At the moment, this woman is still in many ways a fantasy to you. She represents escape from your difficult situation. She is someone who does not have a messy business situation distracting her from paying attention to you, so of course she is attractive. But you don't really know the 'real her' at this stage.
My question is: Have you been truly open and honest with your partner about the strain the business situation is putting on your relationship? Have you told her that you feel the stress is killing your relationship, and why? Have you talked about fixing your relationship? Or is she going along under the impression that things are okay? Do you think if the business situation can be fixed or moved on from, that your relationship can be repaired?
I think that the very least you owe someone you've been with for 10 years is to be honest and open with her.
|12-13-2011, 06:46 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2011
Last edited by RonSouther; 12-13-2011 at 06:49 PM.
|12-13-2011, 07:05 PM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Oslo, Norway
Thanks for the input Kaofu and Indiana.
To answer Kaofus question, I could easily see me with both women down the line 3-5 years from now (not at the same time though ). They both have qualities I admire, although it would imply I could fix things with my partner.
My inner wisdowm also say that I should not rush this, although at times my heart flutters and wants to flap it's wings. So far I am choosing to go with my inner integrity.
Further to Indiana, those are some intriguing questions.
At first, no I never met her, so that is one of the first things I would want to do. I was contemplating suggesting that to her, to meet for the sake of tuning in to her real person to see if there really is something there for me (and for her). A bit undecided on that yet, so any thoughts are appreciated.
It is true that this lady is somewhat of an escape. In a way it has been both positive and it has been a distraction from my busy schedule.
I have clearly expressed the strain my partners business have put on our relationship, she is very aware of this. We have had several conversations about that over a period of time, and she sent me a lengthy email about a month ago.
Her way to communicate inner feelings - she has a bit of a hard time doing it during an conversation.
In the letter she stated she felt so ashamed of having put me into this situation, of all that stress and economic turmoil, watching how it affected my health and my time (With my own business and her business I am left with close to no spare time).
It was really a deep letter where she expressed how she wanted to show how she was someone who could do what she put her mind to, and she felt very egoistic for not complemplating my position and advice in the situation.
I still haven't processed that part emotionally, I do harbour a lot of anger after getting to know that part of her.
Something I should have thought I would know after 10 years.
She recently came to me and told me she would not blame me if I were to fall in love with another woman, and if that were to happen she would let me go.
In the end, I can't say now if the damage can be repaired. When we get out of the economic turmoil I think the time will come to do that soul searching. I have contemplated asking we take a small break once we are clear just to get a breather.
|12-13-2011, 07:09 PM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2011
|12-14-2011, 08:25 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2011
I'm also in a similar situation, so now it's starting to be a bit of a club I understand how agonizing it can be.
Let me pose a few questions to you:
Does your partner know about the new lady? I assume no.
Do you and your partner engage in open and honest communication frequently? It sounds like she is able to express herself in an open and vulnerable way through email. Are you able to reciprocate?
If you decide to "work on it" with your partner, are you willing to break up with the new lady, and go "no contact"?
If that happens, are you also willing to tell her the truth about the new lady? Do you think she has a right to know, and to make her own choices based on this very important piece of information?
Are you able to visualize, realistically, what life with this new lady might be like in a couple of years? After the honeymoon period (and that's what it is) ends?
I'm not going to say that the grass is never greener on the other side, because sometimes it is. But on the other hand, I believe we can always make choices that reduce the risk that we might be following our hearts to a place where regret is likely.
So I'm agreeing with what was asked about whether you'd be willing to give your relationship with your partner another chance. To do that effectively you'll need to eliminate the new lady as an outside influence, as difficult as that may be - and not to give her any illusions that she is "on hold" until you figure things out. And that is right and proper, because your decision to leave your partner should be about leaving her on the basis of what lies between you, and not about leaving her "for" someone else.
|12-14-2011, 09:11 PM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2011
i'm sure in the end even with all this advice, you'll do what your going to do. You've already made up your mind...its just the guilt and confusion that stand in your way.
This new relationship may turn out to be a life-long bliss, or it may not. Infatuation is around every corner when one gets bored in a monogamous relationship. I don't agree...the grass IS always greener on the other side until you get there.
Humans are like that. They love the 'new & exciting'...new adventure...mysterious...then once we've unraveled that one, its not exciting or mysterious anymore, so we go off in search of something else again.
It's easy to step out of a long-time relationship, but harder to put the work into it to keep it dynamic....too boring..can't be bothered...its all old hat and i know what i'm getting anyway.
A new person on the scene revs the motor and fluffs up the feathers..makes us feel all warm and fuzzy. Lets not forget about the 'warm and fuzzy' we once felt with the significant other.
It would be wise for you to take a step back from both relationships if your confused. Tell your missus if your game then make a pact with yourself to break for a while with both...no contact with either...and if the missus loves you enough to want to fight for you and have you come back then at least you'll know where you stand there.
Either way, only you can figure it out and all the advise in the world is not going to do that for you.
|12-15-2011, 12:18 AM||#11 (permalink)|
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Oslo, Norway
Let me just start by thanking for all input so far. Know that you all have contributed to affecting the outcome of this. I do feel less confused and more certain of the immediate path forward.
There are some tough questions here where my answer might be less of a 'person of virtue' than I might initially have thought myself to be, but I'm getting off my horse and facing myself in the door. What the heck I got only one life, why waste it pretending to be someone I'm not happy being in the end.
Based on the input and my mental processes, I've effectively decided to work on the situation in my current relationship. First to fix the economic situation, then I will open up the emotional part. I cannot find it in my heart to add a serious discussion about the future of my current relationship on top of all the external problems we currently are facing. And a 10 year long relationship does deserve some serious work to resolve before taking any decisive action. What comes after that ... I honestly got no clue right now.
My partner does not know about the other woman, nor would I tell her now. I think that would add too much to the current situation. I might tell her someday, when the time feels right. I am still undecided if it is the right thing to tell her when we open up the emotional part. Maybe some things are better left untold.
On the other side, I do enganged in open conversation about the relationship and emotional things that are vulnerable to my person. I feel that I more than anything have done that during these years, and I have had to wait for her to open up.
I do carry some guilt towards being emotionally involved with another woman, but it never being a physical relationship in my opinion is not something that has to be told. Not saying I'm going to repeat it, as I was really not looking. My consideration is that I think not telling might be best for my partner. I might be very wrong in that assumption. Would be nice to know all the answers
I am very aware of that if it should lead to a break up and forming a new relationship with the other woman, it will eventually mean that will also die down and boredom return with it's usual problems. Maybe not the same, but some different ones.
There is also the big question about kids, I feel I have been waiting too long for my partner to make up her mind about that. It's definitively something that will affect the final outcome, if she's not yet ready that will carry some weight in the final balance.
The other woman does seem quite ready for that, and none of us have had their first yet. Of course before that we would need to figure out if we are correct for each other.
Welcome to the club psion
|12-15-2011, 01:57 PM||#12 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2011
The other woman, the one your share your heart with, becomes a crutch for you to stay with your current lady. The fulfillment you receive from the other woman masks the unfulfillment from your current lady.
Your heart is one place and your logic is in the other place. I would not reproduce with any woman until both your head and your heart are in the same place.
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