I’ve just stepped out of an affair. He wasn't who I thought he was.
I’d met him through a friend and was immediately attracted. We had a year of email exchanges for his work advice.
I also asked him to do some charity work. He accepted graciously.
He started sending me messages with huge compliments.
I knew what he was doing, but let my head swim. Yes, I'm married, but the last seven to ten years haven’t been great.
I suspect that my spouse is bi-polar and finally got him in treatment/counseling, but no medication yet.
Well, the mutual flirting with the other man was fun, exciting, flattering, and dangerous.
We got together a couple of times, just kissing. He was holding back, saying I was special.
When I left the first time, he texted right away… like, leave your husband and be my girlfriend.
When we finally did get together, he dropped a bomb… saying that he had an addiction problem.
I was devastated. The grass was definitely not greener.
He cried in my arms. He then started a 12-step program. I sat with him while he cried on the phone to friends, family, etc. He said I was a part of this effort, and called me his girlfriend.
I wasn't buying into all of it. So, I decided to bring some food, say I’ll always be your friend, and that he needs to get clean.
He knows that I work in healthcare. He knows that it’s a big responsibility to put on my shoulders, someone going through detox alone. Having someone’s death on my conscience isn’t cool.
So, here I am, knowing I was lied to, and that he isn't the worst person in the world nor the best.
I've sent messages to check on his wellbeing, getting curt answer's back. His job is high-profile… if people found out it could ruin his career and life.
I talked to a counselor in our facility. She’s allowing him to call her since she’s 30 years sober and can assist with help.
I've decided to offer this for his wellbeing and future. Maybe he’ll apologize to me, maybe not.
But ladies, don't get played, it's not fun. I've cried pretty hard.
I may end up divorced in the next year or so. I’m trying to give the spouse a chance. There was no way to know he was bi-polar, even health care people get the wool pulled over our eyes.
Moving Forward Now
You write a cautionary tale for others, making one very good point: The grass is often not greener when you run from a problem at home, and fail to notice you’re dealing with another.
For a person in the healthcare field, it’s striking that it took over seven difficult years for you to suspect that your husband’s bi-polar.
And odd, too, that you’re so shocked that a man who obviously cared for you and wanted to lean on you, didn’t alert you immediately that he’s an addict.
It seems you fell into the same errors of judgement that cause so many extra-marital affairs.
Flirting and flattery were more compelling than working along with your husband’s counselling to see if the marriage could improve.
Then, hearing about another man’s potential dependency on you, you fled.
You’ve gone from an escapist affair, to feeling you were “played.”
Actually, you took a conscious risk with a man you didn’t know well. That happens a lot in affairs. It’s good that you’ve forewarned others.
I’m in love with one of my close friends.
There’s always been something between us, that's obvious. He's married now, but you can clearly see there are feelings still there.
Both of us and our significant others are close friends, which would make it 100 times messier if we got together. What do I do… push it under the rug or tell him?
If you start what you know will be a mess, you’ll end up in a bigger mess.
Straighten out the relationship you’re already in, by ending it. You’re not in love with that person and so long as you yearn for another, you’re unfair to your “less-significant other” and making yourself miserable.
When you’re on your own with a free conscience, your close friend will either divorce, or not. That’s his choice.
Better to be honest with your current partner, and still have a chance to eventually find reciprocated love.
Tip of the day:
Be aware that affairs used as an “escape” often have their own emotional traps.