Menu

How would you handle this situation with a long time platonic friend?

HomeForumsRelationshipsHow would you handle this situation with a long time platonic friend?

New Reply
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 37 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #371893
    Timepassages2070
    Participant

    I have been in a platonic friendship with  a woman for the past twenty years. For most of our friendship we were what I would call good, but casual, friends. We would usually get together a few times a year for coffee. A few years ago she informed me that she had decided to ask her husband for a divorce and they have been living as roommates for the past couple of years and this is evidently their plan until their daughter finishes school in a couple of years.

    About a 18 months ago we became a lot closer  I became one of her main confidantes and she became one of mine. I also started to share with her my situation at home because my marriage had been in a decline for a long time as well.  But most of our communication was just normal friend stuff. For over a year we literally never went more than a week without talking, or texting, and we were getting together more frequently. We even got together several times this past Summer with Coronavirus raging. But about four months it felt like she was starting to distance from our friendship.

    It was nothing major but it was just something I was picking up because we had just come off of a couple of months of pretty heavy contact with each other and I felt like we were starting to get even closer. I ended up emailing her asking if everything was okay, being really low-key about it, and all I expected was her to just give me some short response about her business, kids, or something else, but that’s not what I got.

    I ended up getting this whole explanation about how she was tired of chasing friends around and people not being responsive to her texts. She mentioned there was someone in particular that she was really unhappy with but didn’t want to get into it. She then proceeded to say she needed space from everyone (evidently including me). It really felt like she just wanted to push us back to being super casual friends like we had been before and she thought I wouldn’t notice.

    Keep in mind this was a woman who literally could not go more than a few days without texting or calling me for over a year. A woman who would go on social media if I didn’t respond to a text, or voicemail, fast enough and comment on one of my posts making it clear she wanted me to reach out. A woman who had told me she had not had a friend who was as expressive, and supportive, as me but now  I was in a “pile” of people she needed space from – it didn’t really add-up.

    I, of course didn’t take it well and instead of thinking first I sent her an email which can only be categorized as a bit of a “freak out” because I had become pretty dependent on her over the past year and I just didn’t “buy” what she had said in her email. Anyway, in response she said a lot of things which I felt, and still feel, were her just avoiding telling me what was really up and asked for a break in our friendship. So for the past four months  I have only heard from her a couple of times in responses to emails I have sent. She has not once texted, or called, me.

    The last email exchange involved her telling me that she had not reconciled with her husband and that nothing had changed.  But she did say she didn’t want tick my wife off and wanted to go back to being casual, and relaxed, friends again which I was cool with but when I reached out a couple of weeks later with an email to check in and tell her I was going to need her business services, “crickets”. I then reached again last week just being as clear as I could that I wanted to resume being casual friends again and I even asked her really innocuous questions about her life but instead of a direct response to my email I get a couple of Facebooks posts which I know were her way of letting me know she read my email

    Honestly, I am really baffled as to what do here because my gut feeling tells me she still wants me in her life and doesn’t want to lose our friendship. But at the same time it almost feels like she is trying to keep me, and our friendship, at bay for some reason she doesn’t want to say.  I am 90% sure it’s not because she is reconciling with her husband given what I know about that situation and I even thought perhaps she had started dating someone on the down low but didn’t want me to know for some reason. But my problem with this explanation is that she could have very easily chosen to keep that hidden from me without changing much in our friendship.

    But ultimately I truly miss having her in my life and this whole situation just seems silly. Part of me wonders is if the issue is that she had feelings and just felt we had nowhere else to go without crossing a line. Or maybe she is afraid she is going to make my marriage worse if she continues to engage with me at the same level. I have thought about just shooting her a casual text like I used to about some random thing but I know if I don’t get a response  I will be even more irritated

    Any advice and/or thoughts will be much appreciated. Tx!

    #371945
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Timepasseges:

    I will read and reply to you in about 12 hours from now.

    anita

    #371956
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Timepasseges2070:

    You shared that you’ve been “good, but casual” friends with a woman for twenty years, getting together for coffee a few times a year. A few years ago, she informed you that she has been living with her husband as roommates for a couple of years by that time, and that she decided to ask him for a divorce. Later, you shared with her about your marriage that has been declining for years.

    A year and a half ago, and for over a year, the two of you became “a lot closer”, being each other’s “main confidantes”, “never went more than a week without talking, or texting”, she “literally could not go more than a few days without texting or calling me for over a year.. would go on social media if I didn’t respond to a text, or voicemail, fast enough”, and the two of you got together more frequently than before. You became “pretty dependent on her over the past year”.

    About four months ago, she “was starting to distance” from the friendship. You emailed her asking if everything was okay, with a low-key attitude, and her response was that “she was tired of chasing friends around and people not being responsive to her texts… she needed space from everyone”. You responded with a “freak out” email, and in response, she “asked for a break in our friendship”. You reached out to her, but “crickets”.

    You wrote: “The last email exchange involved her telling me that he had not reconciled with her husband and that nothing had changed. But she did say she didn’t want to tick my wife off… I am really baffled.. my gut feeling tells me she still wants me in her life… but at the same time it almost feels like she is trying to keep me, and our friendship, at bay for some reason she doesn’t want to say. I am 90% sure it’s not because she is reconciling with her husband… But ultimately I truly miss having her in my life… part of me wonders if the issue is that she had feelings and just felt we had nowhere else to go without crossing a line. Or maybe she is afraid she is going to make my marriage worse”-

    – My thoughts:

    1. You came up with a few possibilities to explain the change in her behavior about 4 months ago. Here is a possibility that crossed my mind when I read: “The last email exchange involved her telling me… she didn’t want to tick my wife off”- maybe your wife approached her and confronted her, and that is why she backed off from you. I imagine you don’t think it possible, because you would have listed this as a possibility otherwise (?)

    2. Another possibility that crossed my mind when I read that the two of you “never went more than a week without texting”, and that she “literally could not go more than a few days without texting or calling me for over a year… would go on social media if I didn’t respond to a text or voicemail, fast enough”- is that what you considered not fast enough, she considered too long: for a lot of people (maybe more so for women), going more than a day without texting with a close friend is too long, but for other people going three days without texting is not a big deal. The fact that she went on social media so to get your attention when you didn’t respond to her text or voicemail, indicates to me that she waited and waited for your response, getting distressed waiting. Eventually, she got tired or repeatedly waiting and distanced herself from you. This possibility fits with what she told you, that “she was tired of chasing friends around and people not being responsive to her texts”.

    3. Regarding “part of me wonders if the issue is that she had feelings and just felt we had nowhere else to go without crossing the line”- a possibility crossed my mind that maybe she wanted to cross the line and was waiting for you to initiate such crossing. After some time that you didn’t cross the line, she withdrew (?)

    You asked for advice regarding “just shooting her a casual text like I used to about some random thing”- I don’t know if this is a good idea, but if you offer me your thoughts about the possibilities I brought up, I will have more information and may be able to advise you.

    anita

    #371981
    Timepassages2070
    Participant

    Thanks so much for your well thought out response.

    As for my wife, I think she probably would have told me if she had approached her- it’s not really her style. And I suspect my friend would have said something at some point so while it’s a possibility I doubt it. But I will say communication has always been an issue and I think there were “mixed signals” from both sides.

    As we got closer there was this constant pattern of hot-cold/push-pull. Our communication pattern tended to go something like this: one week she was sending me full paragraph text messages, responding immediately and the next week she would become what I would call “half-ass aloof.”  We would come to what would be a “natural” end of a great week of communicating and then one more text, or voicemail, would come from her. I would respond and she either wouldn’t respond for several days or she would act like I was the one who reached out to her. I once literally said to her “are you just testing to make sure I am still available?”  She didn’t answer the question but she called me like five minutes later.

    But I do also have to be honest in that the more my wife cracked down the more difficult it did become for me to be as responsive as I wanted to be to her so I am sure that confused her as well.  But with that said what was really strange about this 180 with her is that before it started to happen things were getting a lot more consistent with communication and seeing each other. We saw each other several times over June and July and our last conversation in August (which makes me sad) was great.

    In terms of her wanting to cross the line  I have considered that but I was pretty expressive in telling her how I felt about her. Not in a romantic way but I am sure it would have been enough to make her feel comfortable in directly expressing something to me if she wanted to do that. But, with that said,  my friend is a bit of enigma because she is an excruciatingly beautiful woman who is also an introvert that clearly has some major intimacy issues when it comes to getting close to people.

    Looking back there were times she did, and said, things that after the fact were probably her way of flirting. The one thing she did which really set my wife on the “war path”  is that we belong to same theatre company and last year when were doing some improv exercises for an audience, which my wife was apart of, my friend sat in my lap. This was extremely out of character for her to do this because she is not what I would call “touchy feely” and to do it when my wife was there just blew mind. I really wanted to say to her “you realize you just made it that much more difficult for us to hang out?” And the “funny” thing is that afterwards she knew my wife would probably be pissed and told me to apologize on her behalf. But in terms of me “crossing” any line that would have been a “lose lose.”

    For one thing, and not to be “Captain Obvious”, no matter how troubled our respective marriages are we are both married. She still lives with her husband and they our holding themselves out as still being in stable marriage. So regardless of the moral implications this would be throwing gasoline on a couple of small fires and turning them into raging infernos that would devastate all kinds of people.

    Secondly, since she was not giving what I would call “clear” signals if I made any type of move she could have said I completely misread things. She would have thought I was a complete scum bag and I would have ended up losing a twenty year friendship with someone I really care about. So yeah, maybe she did want me to cross the line but her behavior was so all over the place.

    My take here is that she perhaps didn’t know what the heck she wanted but she liked the emotional support, validation and encouragement she would normally get from a significant other. I also know she probably liked all of the nice things I said to her which gave her quite the ego boost at times. In addition while I am not saying she thinks I am all that I am sure she finds me attractive so getting all of this attention from me probably felt nice. That’s why my initial theory as to what happened, which she did not take very well, was that there may have been another male “friend” that was more available to her, or maybe she even flat out started dating someone, and no longer needed the same level of attention she was getting from me.

    I thought her “plan” may have been to try and downgrade our friendship back to it’s prior casual level and maybe at some point she would have let it drop she had something else going on.  But I think when I picked up on something being amiss  it gave her “permission” to ask for a full on  “break”. Maybe she just felt if she kept me at bay long enough by the time we connected again I wouldn’t care what she had going on or maybe it would have run it’s course.

    But honestly, I couldn’t care less if she is seeing someone or if she has, or had, feelings for me because I truly just want her friendship back in my life. I just wish there was a way to get her to just communicate with me like an emotionally intelligent adult. I mean we have never had any major arguments and the one misunderstanding we had over a year ago we talked through in like five minutes. I truly feel like she has made whatever is going on with her a much bigger deal than it needs to be because she thinks I am going to have some crazy reaction.

     

    #371983
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Timepassages2070:

    You wrote: “I truly just want her friendship back in my life. I just wish there was a way to get her to just communicate with me like an emotionally intelligent adult… I truly feel like she has made whatever is going on with her a much bigger deal than it needs to be because she thinks I am going to have some crazy reaction”.

    You wrote about her: “She is an excruciatingly beautiful woman who is also an introvert that clearly has some major intimacy issues when it comes to getting close to people”.

    Earlier you asked for advice regarding “just shooting her a casual text like I used to about some random thing”.

    My current thoughts/ advice: seems to me that she is often on edge, excitable, over-reactive (?)- therefore, I imagine that sending her a casual, soft text about some random thing is your best bet. Anything deeper/ longer/ stronger than that may overwhelm/ over-excite her in a negative way. Does this make sense to you?

    anita

    #371995
    Timepassages2070
    Participant

    Thanks and I tend to think this may be the best bet after we get into the New Year.

    When I look back at this whole year of getting close to her all the way until now is that she is the one who really made stuff “weird” the whole time. From all of the hot-cold/push-pull stuff even up until the last email she sent me where she had to tell me how she compartmentalizes friendships and I was the only male friend she had told about her situation.

    Like I said above, I have never felt it was that big of a deal if there were underlying feelings in a platonic friendship and that it’s just kind of a “don’t ask don’ t tell” situation but for some reason I think she just got too heady about it which kind of made everything get weird and come to the surface.

     

     

     

     

    #371996
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Timepasseges2070:

    You are welcome. I read your recent post. I want to re-read all that you posted so far (and anything you may want to add to help me understand her and the situation better)  tomorrow morning when I am more focused than I am now. I will be back to you in about 14 hours from now.

    anita

    #372017
    Brandy
    Participant

    Hi Timepassages2070,

    When a woman whose marriage is rocky finds herself emotionally attached to an attractive man with marriage troubles of his own, it’s only a matter of time before her unfulfilled expectations become major disappointments. This is why she wants a break.

    B

    #372020
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Timepassages2070:

    I will be spending a few hours re-telling your story, combining what you shared in your three posts, and my suggestions and interpretations (with evidence to these in the form of quotes).

    You described “a platonic friendship”  with “an excruciatingly beautiful woman” (I will refer to this woman as B) for the past twenty  years. You are married and she is married to other people. For most of these 20 years it was a  “good, but casual” friendship where the two of you got together a few times a year for coffee.

    A few years ago, B, an excruciatingly beautiful woman,  informed you that she decided to ask her husband for a divorce and that they have been living as roommates for a couple of years.

    A year and a half ago, you and B, an excruciatingly beautiful woman,  “became a lot closer”. You became her confidante and she became yours. You shared with her that your marriage too that has been “in a decline for a long time”.

    For over a year, the two of you “were getting together more frequently”, getting together several times during the summer in spite of Coronavirus raging, and  “literally never went more than a week without talking, or texting”. For a couple of months, it was a “pretty heavy contact with each other”, and you felt that the two of you “were starting to get even closer”.

    But the communication between the two  of you “has always been an issue.. there were ‘mixed signals’ from both sides”. On your side: your wife cracked down on the closer friendship more and more, making it difficult for you to be as responsive to B as you wanted to be (“I do also have to be honest in that the more my wife cracked down the more difficult it did become for me to be as responsive as I wanted to be to her so I am sure that confused her as well”).

    When your wife saw B sitting on your lap one time, during a theatre improv exercise, your wife was “really set.. on the ‘war path'”. You were angry at B for making it “much more difficult for us to hang out”.

    On B’s side: “there was this constant pattern of hot-cold/ push-pull… one week she was sending me full paragraph text messages, responding immediately and the next week she would become what I would call ‘half-ass aloof'”. Sometimes “she wouldn’t respond for several days or she would act like I was the one who reached out to her”.

    At one point, around last summer, “things were getting a lot more consistent with communication and seeing each other”, but then something changed again: “it felt like she was starting to distance” herself from you, “It was nothing major”.

    You emailed her, asking her: is everything okay? You expected her to tell you about her business, kids, but “that’s not what I got”, you wrote- angry that she didn’t answer your question the way you expected her to answer it. Instead of sharing about her life (that which you expected), she told you that “she was tired of chasing friends around and people not being responsive to her texts. She mentioned there was someone in particular that she was really unhappy with but didn’t want to get into it”, and that “she needed space from everyone”, not indicating that you are not one of the “everyone”.

    “It felt like she just wanted to push us back to being super casual friends like we had been before and she thought I wouldn’t notice”, you wrote angrily, suggesting she was trying to trick you back into a casual friendship.

    “Keep in mind this was a woman who literally could not go more than a few days without texting or calling me for over a year. A woman who would go on social media if I didn’t respond to a text, or voicemail, fast enough and comment on one of my posts making it clear she wanted me to reach out. A woman who had told me she had not had a friend who was as expressive, and supportive”- angry at that woman who did you wrong.

    Anger continues: “but now I was in a ‘pile’ of people she needed space from- it didn’t really add up.. I just didn’t ‘buy’ what she had said in her email”- you are angry at a woman who used to want you, but no longer wants you, having dumped you in a pile of  ****, so to speak.

    Angry for so long, you want her still, and you are thinking about sending her a casual text so to reconnect, but you know that if you don’t get a response, you will get angrier than you are already (“I know if I don’t get a response, I will be even more irritated”).

    After she dumped you in that pile, you sent her a “freak out” message: overly-emotional, angry, desperately not wanting to lose her, and her response was that although “she had not reconciled with her husband and nothing has changed”, she “didn’t want to “tick my wife off and wanted to go back to being casual, and relaxed, friends again”.

    Once again, her response was not what you expected or wanted: you did not want to be casual friends with her, you wanted closer and getting-closer relationship. So, you rejected what she told you, suggesting that she did not tell you what was really happening (“her avoiding telling me what was really up”).

    More anger on your part, and she “asked for a break”, and the break is four months old at this point. You figure that she is keeping her distance from you because she is “clearly has some major intimacy issues when it comes to getting close to people.. her behavior was so all over the place”- her intimacy issues, her emotional instability issues.

    You feel that what you gave her a lot, that you invested in her a lot giving her emotional support, validation, encouragement and saying nice things to her,  and you feel cheated for not getting a good return on your investment: “she liked the emotional support, validation and encouragement… she probably liked all of the nice things I said to her... she finds me attractive so getting all this attention from me probably felt nice”.

    You suspect her of dishonesty, of devising a plan: “I thought her ‘plan’ may have been to try and downgrade our friendship back to it’s prior casual level and maybe at some point she would have let it drop”. But you interrupted her plan, and she broke up with you sooner than she planned: “when I picked up on something being amiss it gave her ‘permission’ to ask for a full on ‘break'”.

    “she perhaps didn’t know what the heck she wanted… I truly just want her friendship back in my life.. to get her to just communicate with me like an emotionally intelligent adult.. I truly feel like she has made whatever is going on with her a much bigger deal than it needs to be because she thinks I am going  to have some crazy reaction… she is the one who really made stuff ‘weird’ the whole time… I have never felt it was that big of a deal if there were underlying feelings in a platonic friendship and that it’s just kind of a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ situation, but for some reason I think she just got too heady about it which kind of made everything get weird and come to the surface”-

    – the rest of my post will be my commentary on the quote above, the last of your share:

    “she.. didn’t know what the heck she wanted”- Let’s look at what you wanted from B, from one point on: you wanted a “don’t ask don’t tell” close and getting-closer relationship with her, a relationship that will appear casual to others.. and to yourselves.

    You wanted a relationship where she will answer your questions the way you think she should.

    When she no longer needed you- you got angry, blaming her for not being emotionally intelligent, for not behaving like an adult (“to get her to.. like an emotionally intelligent adult”), for “making stuff ‘weird’ the whole time”, for “getting too heady”, and mostly for making “everything get weird and come to the surface”-

    – You didn’t want the weirdness to come to the surface, you wanted it hidden in a “don’t ask, don’t tell” relationship. The Weirdness, as I see it, is not that you are an emotional man who needs a woman’s love; the weirdness is in your expectations of what a love relationship should be. What you expected in regard to a relationship with B is not sustainable:

    * When you ask a woman a question, you need to be open to her answering your question her way, instead of expecting a particular answer and then getting angry that she didn’t answer your question your way.

    * When you called the relationship with her a “platonic friendship”, you apply the “don’t ask, don’t tell” principle to you and you, meaning, you don’t ask yourself (ex., is this a friendship or something else?), and you don’t tell yourself (ex., I am physically attracted to her, I want her physically!).

    You apply this principle to you-and-you, and to you and her. You can’t have an intimate, getting-closer relationship with this principle at its center.

    This don’t-ask-don’t-tell principle does not change the reality that you don’t want to “come to the surface”. That reality exists nonetheless, and it will not be hidden just because you want it hidden.

    * You are too angry with her. From one point on, you freaked out, got to be too emotional, this is why she wanted you relaxed (“wanted to go back to being casual, and relaxed, friends again”). The weirdness is that you don’t seem to be aware of how emotional you are, denying your own emotions and blaming her for the fact that the emotions you deny come to the surface from time to time, more frequently since B broke up with you.

    anita

    #372059
    Timepassages2070
    Participant

    Thanks so much for your insights because they have caused me to do a bit more reflection and come to some conclusions.

    First, I think, for the time being at least, I need to let go, back away, and let The Universe take control for a while. The fact is that my friend is not going anywhere and I don’t believe our journey together is over.  We have been in each other’s lives for twenty years and I believe there is a reason for that. I just think that perhaps some actual “emotional distance” on my part in which I truly let go of this situation will help me. Secondly, I think that I should have been honest with myself, and with her, about my true feelings.

    While I didn’t intend for things to go this direction as I got closer to her, and let my guard down, I started to have feelings for her that were much stronger that friendship. I can’t say that I started to fall in love with her but I do know that my internal feelings were crossing boundaries. I think perhaps she had some feelings too but regardless it probably would have been helpful when I felt things  starting to go in a certain direction to just stop, reflect, and have an honest discussion with each other. If she had chosen to walk away from me, or we had mutually chosen to back away from the friend for a time, that would have been better than  months of limbo. And finally, I need to forgive her.

    Yes, I know there are issues on my side, and I certainly could have handled things better, but my anger, which you picked up on, comes from the fact that instead of just having an honest conversation with me as to what was really going on with her she chose to “gas light”  me by pretending we hadn’t gotten close and all of things that she said, and did, over the past year never happened.

    This was extremely hurtful and it made me feel like she used me like an appliance of some sort she  until she got bored, or a better situation came along,  and she decided to just put me back up on the shelf until she needed me again.  And this is not how friendships work unless you’re someone with some pretty severe narcissistic tendencies.  In addition, if she viewed me as a bit more than a friend so when something else started happening in her life she felt compelled to change the dynamic of our friendship she should have been willing to just openly discuss so I am not sitting out here feeling like I got broken up with when I wasn’t even aware I was in that type of relationship.

    The fact is she had no problem telling me intimate details of not only what happened in her marriage but what was currently happening on a day to day basis so she should have had no problem discussing other things she may have had going on. The only reason she would  have withheld information from me is if she wasn’t viewing me 100% as a friend and she thought if she disclosed certain things to she wouldn’t have gotten the same level of attention from me which would not have been the case. I told her dozens of times I just wanted her to find happiness in her life which I sincerely meant.

    But, regardless of what’s going on with her, and what her reasons were, the best thing I can do is find peace within myself. I need to assume she is doing the best she can and that she never intended to hurt me, and ultimately forgive her. I think the time for me to reach out to her will be when I have reached true peace with this situation and I have let go of any anger, resentment and hurt, surrounding this situation.

    #372067
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Timepassages2070:

    You are very welcome. I think that emotional distance from her, at this point, is a good idea.

    About honesty, you wrote: “I should have been honest with myself, and with her, about my true feelings… I think perhaps she had some feelings too… it probably would have been helpful.. to just stop, reflect, and have an honest discussion with each other… that would have been better than months of limbo… my anger.. comes from the fact that instead of just having an honest conversation with me.. she chose to.. pretend.. we hadn’t gotten close and all of the things that she said, and did, over the past year never happened… she should have been willing to just openly discuss so I am not sitting out here feeling like I got broken up with”-

    – Keep in mind that the lack of honesty was both ways, and therefore, you are responsible, no less than her, for those months of limbo. For your part of lack of honesty- you are responsible 100%.

    About her placing you “in a ‘pile’ of people she needed space from”, and in so doing, pretending (the verb you used) that the closeness that you felt to her, the closeness you believed she experienced too- did not happen and was never there-

    – Such pretending, or re-interpreting/ re-classifying of past reality, is very common; people and repeatedly do this. The reality of what was happening distressed her too much, so she took that reality and placed it, so to speak, in a  drawer, and closed that drawer. That made the content of that drawer (the past reality) no longer visible to her, and therefore no longer distressing. (Earlier, you used the verb to compartmentalize, to suggest that she did what I am describing here).

    It is a retroactive mental processing of an original, real-life, distressing experience, for the purpose of making it less distressing. (People often do that regarding their childhoods).

    “This was extremely hurtful and it made me feel like she used me.. until she got bored.. she decided to just put me back up on the shelf until she needed me again”- I don’t see it being an issue of boredom on her part. I see it as an issue of her re-classifying/ compartmentalizing the relationship so to lower her distress.

    “this is not how friendships work”- a workable, healthy relationship, overall, has to result in less distress for each individual, not more distress. When any one individual experiences too much distress, for too long (too long can be minutes, hours, months or years, depending on the context), the individual withdraws from the relationship in one way or another.

    “The fact is she had no problem telling me intimate details of not only what happened in her marriage but what currently happening on a day to day basis, so she should have had no problem discussing other things she may have had going on”-

    – Not necessarily so. First, some people feel comfortable telling just anyone/ strangers intimate details about their lives. Second, people have various levels of comfort/ discomfort depending on the topic. It may be difficult for you to talk to others about topic X, so when a person talks to you about X, you think that it means that it was difficult for her too, and that she trusted you/ felt close to you. But for her, it may not mean that. For her, talking about topic Y is difficult while for you, Y is not difficult to talk about.

    anita

    #372078
    Timepassages2070
    Participant

    Thanks again and I think I should point out a couple of additional factors in relationship to your comments. And, by the way, this has been very helpful to me because it is helping me to perhaps not look at things a negatively as I had been.

    Anyway, in terms of people sharing certain intimate details of their life with complete strangers and not being willing to share other things I don’t believe this was, or is, the case here. I was one of the first people she chose to tell about divorcing her husband and, in fact, many people in their lives still think they are a normal married couple. And in her last email to me she flat out told me I was one of the only male friend s she had told about her situation (which I don’t believe is true but I’ll get to that)

    In addition, one the reasons I have experienced so much cognitive dissonance with this situation is she made a point several times over the course of the past year of letting me know how close she had come to consider me. In fact, she had flat out told me I was one of the top people on her “list” (I believe she said top 3) of people. She had also made it pretty clear to me that getting close to people, and opening up, was something she really struggled with in relationships. The last couple of times we met for coffee she literally called me afterwards to tell me how much she appreciated me and my friendship and multiple times she said she had never had a friend like me.  She felt so comfortable with our friendship that literally a few weeks before the shift she had wanted me to do a private yoga session at the house of another mutual female friend who teaches yoga. I think the reason she reached out about this is because this mutual friend had been pushing to do a session with me a alone and I am pretty sure that my friend inserted herself because she probably wasn’t totally okay with me doing this session alone.

    But also, when I look back at the way things went down with her I think she may have been giving me the information she needed to give me and telling me the things she believed I wanted to hear in order to get the attention and support she needed at that time. She mentioned in her last email that I was “one of the only male friends he told about her situation” but I don’t think this was accurate in the way she meant it in her email.

    When we initially started getting close there seemed to have been two other male friends where things had gotten a bit weird. One she mentioned she had almost crossed a line with and there was another friend who was trying to get together with her but she seemed to indicate he was looking for something more with her. Keep in mind my friend has been with her husband for over twenty years, is in her mid-forties and has kids. So for both of these men to believe they had any chance with her they must have known about her situation and they must have believed they had a shot with her. For example, one of these guys has a super successful career in which he literally meets hundreds of young beautiful women as part of his job. The idea that this guy would be going after my friend, who he has know for decades as well, is absurd unless he had reason to believe he had a shot with her. And the final “red flag” was that she did mention she has a hard time maintaining friendships which I thought was odd given that we had been friends for twenty years.

    So why I don’t think my friend is running around trying to leave a path of destruction and broken hearts I do think the situation she is currently in is perhaps causing her to cross, and perhaps, push boundaries in her friendships with men. She made a point of mentioning several times that she could never imagine dating, or trusting, anyone again but she is a human being and human beings have needs. I don’t necessarily see her engaging in a full on relationship with another man right now because I think she does consider herself married still but I could see her “using” male friends as a way to get some of those “emotional needs” met until her and her husband ultimately separate. And if she has done this multiple time since she has been in this situation I could see how it has ended friendships and resulted in a lot of confusion.

    #372079
    Timepassages2070
    Participant

    In terms of people sharing certain intimate details of their life with complete strangers and not being willing to share other things I don’t believe this was, or is, the case here. I was one of the first people she chose to tell about divorcing her husband and, in fact, many people in their lives still think they are a normal married couple. And in her last email to me she flat out told me I was one of the only male friend s she had told about her situation (which I don’t believe is true but I’ll get to that)

    In addition, one the reasons I have experienced so much cognitive dissonance with this situation is she made a point several times over the course of the past year of letting me know how close she had come to consider me. In fact, she had flat out told me I was one of the top people on her “list” (I believe she said top 3) of people. She had also made it pretty clear to me that getting close to people, and opening up, was something she really struggled with in relationships. The last couple of times we met for coffee she literally called me afterwards to tell me how much she appreciated me and my friendship and multiple times she said she had never had a friend like me.  She felt so comfortable with our friendship that literally a few weeks before the shift she had wanted me to do a private yoga session at the house of another mutual female friend who teaches yoga. I think the reason she reached out about this is because this mutual friend had been pushing to do a session with me a alone and I am pretty sure that my friend inserted herself because she probably wasn’t totally okay with me doing this session alone.

    But also, when I look back at the way things went down with her I think she may have been giving me the information she needed to give me and telling me the things she believed I wanted to hear in order to get the attention and support she needed at that time. She mentioned in her last email that I was “one of the only male friends he told about her situation” but I don’t think this was accurate in the way she meant it in her email.

    When we had initially started  getting close she had mentioned that when stuff was  initially going bad in her marriage she had almost crossed a line with another male friend but chose not to which at the time I admired and kind of understood given her situation. But in retrospect that probably should have been a “red flag”. My friend has been with her husband for well over twenty years and I don’t know many people who have been with their spouse that length of time who would have anyone still in their life where “crossing a line” would be possible. So it made me suspect that she may have had one or two male friends who had constantly been circling her that she perhaps reached out to when stuff was going bad at home.

    The other “red flag”, and it may have been the same friend, is that I recall there being another male friend who was trying to meet up with her when he was in town and she mentioned that he had become annoying and was sending her emails, and even songs, expressing his feelings for her. This “friend” is a guy in his mid-forties, has known her for decades like me, is single and has a career in which he is constantly meeting hundreds of beautiful young attractive women. No disrespect to my friend but I don’t see a guy like this wasting his time on a married woman in her mid-forties with kids unless she had told him about her situation and had given him the idea that maybe there was a possibility for something more.  And one final “red flag” is that she did mention a couple of times that she has a hard time keeping friends. I was not sure what to make of this comment at the time but it was an odd comment to make especially since we had been friends for so many years – but not close friends.

    So why I don’t think my friend is running around trying to leave a path of destruction and broken hearts I do think the situation she is currently in is perhaps causing her to cross, and perhaps, push boundaries in her friendships with men. She made a point of mentioning several times that she could never imagine dating, or trusting, anyone again but she is a human being and human beings have needs. I don’t necessarily see her engaging in a full on relationship with another man right now because I think she does consider herself married still but I could see her “using” male friends as a way to get some of those “emotional needs” met until her and her husband ultimately separate. And if she has done this multiple time since she has been in this situation I could see how it has ended friendships and resulted in a lot of confusion.

    #372085
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Timepassages2070:

    I will need to be rested and focused before I can read and reply to you, and that will be in about 12 hours from now.

    anita

    #372109
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Timepassages2070:

    “I was one of the first people she chose to tell about divorcing her husband… she flat out told me I was one of the only male friends she had told about her situation… she made a point several times over the course of the past year of letting me know how close she had come to consider me.. she had flat out told me I was one of the top people on her ‘list’… She had also made it pretty clear to me that getting close to people, and opening up, was something she really struggled with… she literally called me afterwards to tell me how much she appreciated me… and multiple times she said she never had a friend like me… she had wanted me to do a private yoga session at the house of.. female friend… because she probably wasn’t totally okay with me doing this session alone”.

    This is what I see here regarding you: you have a deep desire to be someone’s first, someone’s # 1, a desire that has been there likely since childhood-  an unfulfilled desire to be noticed, to be appreciated, to be important, to be chosen over others, to be values, to be Special in a parent’s mind and heart. Your anger at this woman is the same anger you had decades ago, anger for having been rejected or neglected (not noticed, not appreciated, etc.) by a parent.

    Your interest in this woman has been primarily emotional, not sexual.

    When you felt that she had You in her mind and heart as Special, you were thrilled, and you were and still are invested in interpreting her words and behaviors to mean that you are indeed special to her. When she took that Special away from you, you were and are devastated. And angry.

    This is what I see regarding her: she told you that “she could never imagine dating, or trusting, anyone again but she is a human being and human beings have needs“. You interpreted that to mean that she used you and other men to “get some of those ‘emotional needs‘ met until her and her husband ultimately separate”.

    But she may have referred to her sexual needs, not emotional needs otherwise. I don’t think that the other men in her life, the men you mentioned, are likely to have had the emotional needs that you have for this woman. Likely, they were interested in her sexually. It may be that she has had a series of sexual affairs with other men while married.

    Therefore, I don’t think that “the situation she is currently in is perhaps causing her to cross, and perhaps, push boundaries in her friendships with men”- I think that her friendship with you really was special/ unique,  just like she told you (“multiple times she said she never had a friend like me”). Other men were interested in her sexually, you were interested in her otherwise; with other men she had sexual affairs, with you- she had a friendship… until that friendship became to stressful for her, and she ended it.

    anita

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 37 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Please log in OR register.