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 9 posts - 31 through 39 (of 39 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #372636
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Timepassages2070:

    I will be able to read and reply to you in about 17 hours from now.

    anita

    #372661
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Timepassages2070:

    I read y0ur post this Monday night, although not very focused, will reply a bit more tomorrow morning, but for now, just this point: what is in the core of your pre-occupation with this woman is your desire to be loved/ to be valued. This desire is so very strong in you. What a shame it is, that you don’t know that you are lovable and that you have been lovable all along.

    This is the missing part: that you are lovable, that you are worthy of love. I will re-read your recent post in about 12 hours and reply further then.

    anita

    #372670
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Timepassages2070:

    “I assume you think it would be a bad idea to press her for more information, correct?”- at this point, I think that it is a good idea for you to ask her specifically what you want to know. If you have the specific information that you need, maybe, just maybe..  you will stop obsessing about her.

    “after all I have shared with you, don’t you think there is a missing ‘piece’ on her end?… this is all just her way of not addressing the missing ‘piece'”. You suggested three possibilities of what the missing piece on her end might be: (1) she started dating someone, (2) she felt that you and her were getting too close, (3) a combination of 1 and 2.

    You are obsessed with the missing piece on her end. The missing piece on her end has no practical value in your life: you mentioned nothing about a plan to have an extra-marital affair with her, nothing about a plan to divorce your wife and marry her after she divorces, nothing of the kind.

    Your obsession with the missing piece on her end is about the missing piece on your end, which is, I believe, your deep and unfulfilled need to be worthy of a permanent bonding vs a temporary emotional placeholder (“what triggered me here with B is that while I was viewing us as bonding.. to her I was more of a temporary ‘Emotional Placeholder'”, Jan 5).

    There is a Wikipedia entry on Limerence that may interest you. The term limerence, coined by a psychologist in a book, is described as “a state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person and typically include..  intrusive and obsessive thoughts, feelings and behaviors from euphoria to despair, contingent on perceived emotional reciprocation… Limerence is characterized by internal experiences such as ruminative thinking, anxiety and depression, temporary fixation and the disintegration of the self..  these themes find relation to unresolved earlier experience… Limerence is characterized by intrusive thinking and pronounced sensitivity to external events that reflect the disposition of the limerent object towards the individual”.

    anita

    #372710
    Timepassages2070
    Participant

    Thanks Anita!

    It’s a good question.

    I know that there were certainly lots of childhood wounds opened here but I honestly have not experienced anything like this since I have been an adult. I have never had someone show me so much interest, say so many things that indicated how much they cared and how valuable I was to them and then just virtually overnight shut it all down as if it never happened. It was like she flipped a switch. I have never had this happen to me in any relationship I have ever had, friendship or otherwise.

    Here is what I think it really comes down to for me –  I know I basically got used, and manipulated, by someone who I have known for two decades and I thought was a good friend.

    It’s been very tough for me to reconcile everything she said, and did, as we got closer, to where we are now. It’s also tough because she has to know that all of the explanations, and things she has said, since this went down don’t add up but yet she keeps saying the same things.   And it’s hard because I know that I am probably not the only guy friend this happened with since she has  been this place with her marriage. I am about 90% sure that there is some other guy friend she is running through the same “dance” she did with me for that year period of time.

     

    So what I have decided to do is completely let it all go, stop engaging with her on social media, and just assume this friendship is over and focus on whether or not I can make my marriage work.  I just have to accept the fact that sometimes we never get answers and that is the answer.

     

     

    #372713
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Timepassages2070:

    I agree that “lost of childhood wounds opened here”. I think that the emotional shock you experienced when she unexpectedly withdrew from you after expressing so convincingly that she greatly valued you, opened those childhood wounds.

    You wrote that you decided to “completely let it all go”- reads like a good decision. Feel free to post any time about how it goes for you from here on.

    anita

    #372756
    Timepassages2070
    Participant

    Hey Anita,

    I realized I must have missed a response from you – not quite sure why.

    Anyway, I am very familiar with limerance and I do think there is definitely some of that here.

    But, you’re correct in your point as to why I need that “missing piece” because I have no intention of having an affair with her or marrying her after she divorces her husband.  Ultimately I don’t really “need” anything  but I would have liked to know why this person I have known twenty years, who I got really close to over the course of a year,  did everything but completely ghost me out of her life almost overnight.

    But the truth is I already know the answer and I don’t know that getting it from her will do anything other than verify what I know to be true –  she is not the person I thought her to be and she used me.  It sucks but that’s what it really comes down to and I have to learn to accept it and have better boundaries in the future.

    Anyway, thanks again Anita!

    #372758
    anita
    Participant

    You are very welcome, Timepassages2070. Post again when you need to.

    anita

    #376981
    anita
    Participant

    How are you, Timepassages2020?

    anita

    #377064
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Timepassages2070,

    I’ve just seen this thread, after Anita’s pinged it, and thought to add some thoughts, in case you’re still reading it. Your discussion with Anita was really enlightening and opened many important issues, including those related to your childhood. What I am noticing is that you seem to be blaming your friend for having used you, and then “dumped” or ghosted you without explaining what really made her change her behavior from being super close to you, even obsessive, to suddenly cutting contact and ignoring you for months on end.

    You’ve offered 3 possible explanations: 1) she’s dating someone and no longer needs your emotional support, 2) she feels the two of you got too close, 3) a combination of the previous two. Based on what you’ve shared here, I believe a fourth option is possible too: that she felt the two of you got very close, and she in fact wanted it to happen, but when she realized, after a while, that you don’t intend to leave your wife, she decided to withdraw. That might be the reason for her silence and suddenly cutting you off.

    I am saying this because based on what you’ve described here, it appears to me that for a while she was pursuing you rather openly, even in front of your wife: she sat in your lap at a theater rehearsal, she left flirtatious messages on your facebook, she called you and texted you frequently – without really taking into account your wife’s feelings. Perhaps she was encouraged by the fact that you told her about the problems in your marriage, so she started hoping that there could be something between you.

    She also expressed that she’s against extra-marital affairs, which means that she probably wouldn’t be the one initiating anything inappropriate, at least not openly. But she might have been hoping that you would make a move, or at least indicate that you’re interested. She did tell you how special and important you are to her, and overall, I think her behavior showed she was  quite interested in you, even though she didn’t openly say it. She even tried to arrange a private yoga class with you, which would enable the two of you to meet regularly once a week.

    What might have happened after a while is that she’s realized she’s not such a priority for you as you are for her. For example, you went 3 days without responding to her messages, or you made a comment that by sitting in your lap, she’d made it more difficult for the two of you to meet, because it will make your wife more suspicious, etc. With this, you’ve expressed that keeping your wife happy is more important to you – i.e. that your wife is more important to you than her. And that’s when she might have decided to withdraw.

    When you later casually asked her what’s up, she responded in an offended manner that she’s tired of “chasing friends around and people not being responsive to her texts”. This might have very well been a reference to you and your not being quick in replying to her messages, and in general, not responding to her “chasing”. But she didn’t want to admit that openly, so she made a general comment about “friends” and about “needing space from everyone”. She realized you’re not interested in more than a friendship, and she cut off contact.

    You now feel used by her, but she could be feeling equally used by you. And that’s because you never drew a line and never made it clear for her that you aren’t interested in her as a romantic partner. What the two of you had was an emotional affair, where you were complaining to each other about your respective marriages and sharing your deepest feelings with each other. You said you’ve felt good about getting “closer and closer” to her, and that inwardly, you’ve probably crossed the line. Outwardly you never said or did anything explicitly, but you were quite open to her advances (e.g. you allowed her to sit in your lap in front of your wife, to call you frequently etc) and haven’t clarified your feelings – and by doing that, you were probably feeding her hopes.

    As I see it, the missing piece – something that you haven’t admitted to each other – is that you were in an emotional affair, which muddied the waters of your previously honest and sincere friendship. This affair suited you (possibly because you miss emotional intimacy with your wife?), but it might have not been enough for her – she wanted more from you. When she realized it’s not possible, she called it quits.

    Even if that’s not what happened on her side (we don’t know her side of the story), I think it would be important that you reconsider your own role in this affair and how you were encouraging it, rather than putting all the blame on her. Probably your own unmet needs played a role in it, so the more aware you are of those, the easier it will also be to navigate your own marriage….

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by TeaK.
Viewing 9 posts - 31 through 39 (of 39 total)

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