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Jean
Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience:  Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
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Im in a complicated situation. Ive been dating this wonderful

Resolved Question:

I'm in a complicated situation. I've been dating this wonderful person for almost two years now & he's practically everything a girl could ask for. He's sweet, supportive, would do anything for me, & above everything else he wants me to be happy. He truly loves me, I have no question of that, this is where that huge "BUT" comes in. For some reason I don't feel like this "is it." I adore this guy (I mean, he seriously is wonderful) but I've been in love before & it just doesn't seem right all of the time. For a while I thought that it wasn't that same kind of feeling because people are different, so it would make sense for romantic relationships to be different as well, right?

To try & speed things up, I have this guy friend & have developed a serious crush on him. So not only am I dating my boyfriend, but the other guy is married... to my boyfriend's ex-girlfriend. (We sound like a great bunch, huh?) I hate admitting it but I feel like I'm becoming another one of those Juliets who just wants what she can't have. As much as I love being around this person & feel like I can relate to him, I'm sure there's some underlying motive for my attraction.

I guess my question is: what should I do? I feel like a jerk being with my boyfriend when I have these emotions and thoughts, 'cause he really is the most wonderful person & I don't want to hurt him. On the other hand, I can't see myself being with him forever. The idea of marrying him somewhat terrifies me, which I'm pretty sure is a huge red flag to break it off. I just feel so guilty. Also, this "other guy" isn't happy in his relationship with his wife, and we do talk about it... in fact it, comes up every time we're around each other alone; sometimes even when other people are around. He just keeps saying he doesn't think he can do the married life and that he's sure they're going to get a divorce sometime. I try hard to not give him ANY advice because I don't want to be that girl that tries to steal the one that's taken. And even though I try not to have any bias, I'm sure it's there, so I'm just trying to avoid it... I just feel guilty and bummed at the same time, cause here's this guy that I'm totally crazy about, but he's married & I'm dating someone. On top of it, I have someone who is absolutely mad about me, and shouldn't that be enough? Any girl would love to have what I have, so why am I feeling like this? I feel very ungrateful and ashamed, and I just have no idea what to do about it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Jean replied 1 year ago.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Hello, I can assist you- Welcome!!

Customer:

Hi! Thank you! I feel somewhat silly doing this but I thought it'd be better than asking any friends haha


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

I'm glad you posted- hope I can help a bit. Sounds like a very difficult place to be right now. There's lots to consider in a situation such as this- because so many people could be hurt- would shake things up quite a bit.

Customer:

My main feeling is guilt right now. I've been thinking of cutting it off with Jess (my boyfriend) for months now. I


just can't seem to bring myself to do it.

Customer:

He starts crying & gets so sad


 

Customer:

I really hate seeing that.


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

There's something to be said about the "Juliet" thing- the thing that is hard to get is most "prized". You do want to consider this carefully. Do you have a pattern of falling out of love/like when a guy is "too nice"? Maybe this relationship with married man gives you a reason to break it off- guilt- when he is a nice guy.

Customer:

I haven't really noticed a pattern with myself. I've been with Jess two years, and the guy before him was three years. I feel like there is attractions because of a lack of something in the relationship. For example, Jess & I really are total opposites. But this other guy & I have are almost identical.


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Is is going to hurt him more to maintain it as it is- and if and when he finds out- there may be a whole lot more hurt due to being deceived. Your boyfriend may sense something has changed- how long have you felt less attracted to your boyfriend?

Customer:

I'm not not-attracted to him, I just don't feel like it's "it." So many friends are married now & I'm thinking "How is it so easy to find that one person you want to spend the rest of your life with?" 'Cause when I think of it that way I don't think I want it. I should be in love with him, because he's absolutely wonderful, but I just can't say for certain that I am. I think he has sensed something has changed more recently. He's been overly OVERLY sweet. Calling me all the time when he's working, saying he misses me and that he just wants to cuddle. I mean, it's cute, but he wasn't like that two months ago.


 

Customer:

I don't know if he's getting signals from me or if it's just that I've been busy


 

Customer:

Maybe both.


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Something to consider is that you and other man take a time out from each other- to really think about this- does this "other" guy know how you feel about him? Leaving a committed relationship for you and a marriage for him brings a ton of challenges into a "new" relationship- not really closing one before starting anew. Jess being "sweeter" may be something that will cause you to drift. Boyfriend may be fearful of losing you- and may create what he most fears in "clinging to you".

Customer:

I do feel like Jess is clinging. & breaking time off from this guy (his name is XXXXX XXXXX to make it easier) is difficult 'cause we're in band together. I don't want to break up his marriage. That's why when he talk about it I don't really know what to say 'cause I don't want to be that person that gives bad advice because of personal motives. If we were both single, that would be one thing. I really don't want to be in an affair. Breakups are bad enough, & I don't want to make it any harder than it is. I haven't talked to Bobby about it because I don't really know what I'm thinking & what would really come out it? It would just complicate things.


 

Customer:

In a band* Sorry, I'm bad at typing & don't know why i'm so nervous.


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Sometimes these "secret" relationships are an escape, a numbing, form something else going on- may that something else be your uncertainty/doubts about current relationship- intense guilt when you consider the hurt it would cause. What if you asked Jess about a bit more space- would that crush him? It's okay for you to take time- not to commit if you are not ready- trust your gut too. I'm sensing your b.f. may not be the guy.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It's okay- you are anxious and worried- understandable

Customer:

I really do like Jess & I can even say that I love him. But am I "in love"? I don't know. I feel like if I am I shouldn't hesitate to respond. & if I am in love, why am I in this situation?


 

Customer:

I don't think I am & I really wish I was 'cause I just feel so bad about it.


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Put the focus more on making decisions about Jess- vs. leaving Jess for another guy. Same for Bobby- he first needs to make those big decisions about his marriage- break it off and then consider another relationship. You and Bobby are probably enjoying the less complicated relationship- flirting- having fun vs. the intensity of a committed relationship and being so uncertain about it.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You don't think you are what?

Customer:

I don't think Im in love with Jess


 

Customer:

& I think you're right about the relationship with Bobby. We've become like best friends over a short period of time & i think it's because, like you said, there's less stress & tensions, we can be ourselves, and laugh and have a good time.


 

Customer:

I'm not trying to make it out as though I want to leave Jess for Bobby


 

Customer:

It's just weird that it happened


 

Customer:

& I don't know what to do about it.


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Many things tell you- you "should" logically commit to Jess, but you are talking about heart and emotion. Careful of "shoulding" on yourself. It's good you are processing this- that's what you need to do.

Customer:

I really don't want to be the reason Bobby & his wife don't work out. That's mostly why I won't say anything to him about how I'm feeling. Also, if this is just a crush, I don't want to complicate our lives over something made up in my head.


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You do not need to make any decisions but do be careful of boundaries with Bobby- yes be friends- but for now you are with Jess. Wait and see what Jess decides- this may pass- it would be less complicated wouldn't it?? You have a lot to lose with Jess it sounds like. Love does settle down in a relationship- you may like the "high" with Bobby- energy.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

I mean- wait to see what Bobby decides- sorry

Customer:

You're right about that for sure. I really just want to hang out with Bobby over doing anything else. I do have a lot to lose with Jess but I don't want that to be my main reason for staying with him either. I know he loves me to the moon & back. I feel guilty because I can't say the same thing about him.


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

No you don't want to start a relationship with Bobby with him- "leaving his wife" in a sense for "you". What you feel may be a bit of sexual tension- two healthy normal people questioning your relationships- both are vulnerable for wandering.

Customer:

I'm also just stressed. In school, working 40 some hours a week. Thinking about going away to to another state for my masters & Jess doesn't know if he'd move with me for school, a job, etc. It's just a little stressful.


 

Customer:

I don't really expect him to know or have an answer, I just wasn't too pleased with him being so undecided. I


 

Customer:

I don't know. I'm pretty confused, obviously.


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Give it time- but, being really careful about the boundaries- sounds like you have good self control and are being really careful about this- that's good- you care about how it will effect others. With so much stress- can you see how "Bobby" may be an escape right now? It sounds a lot stressful- nice job with the success in your life with school.

Customer:

My brother tells me I need to be more selfish hahaha. Thanks on the school remarks, I'm not going for the masters just yet. About one more year so I'm looking into it. You're right on about Bobby. I think it is an escape. I just can't do things knowing that they hurt other people. At the same time, I'm not happy. & I don't want to spend my whole life being with someone out of sympathy.


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It's a lot to sort out- may want to consider journalling- really think about what you want in life- what your life would look like if you were "really happy". Who would be in your life, what would you be doing? It's too soon to place Bobby there. Might the separation with school be a good time to "think". Hey maybe you are fearful Jess would leave you- deep down- with you leaving for school. Have to consider- or think about -are you creating something you fear? You do deserve a "good" guy. That would be a lot to lose with Jess- he sounds like a "catch".

Customer:

Could you explain what you mean by "boundaries"


?

Customer:

Journals are a good idea


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Put more focus on you- be more selfish, yes- think more about what the unhappiness is about- may be separate from Jess. Boundaries- being aware of your unspoken messages, body language, being aware of how you are "coming across" and the message you are giving. Also can be space too.

Customer:

Yeah, I don't know anything about body language hahaha


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

A lack of boundaries can be flirting too-

Customer:

That's why I just decided to do this than google everything & go even more crazy hahaha


 

Customer:

See, I have a problem: I usually don't pick up signals. If a guy likes me but doesn't tell me, I have no idea. Sometimes I might think there's something there, but usually dismiss it as me reading into things.


 

Customer:

I don't know if I'm a flirt. I'm going to have to read up on classic flirting signs & be a little more aware if i'm doing that or not.


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Continue to talk this out with good friend, family member- it's good to think about you- vs. being self less. May want to leave well enough alone- and when you begin to question- ask yourself what's underlying all this- relationships are complicated right??

Jean N/20pluscounts :

What you are feeling is okay- does not make you a bad person-

Customer:

It shouldn't be this complicate hahaha


 

Customer:

Okay, so in a few months after I wait it out, give it space, try not to cross boundaries... then what? What if it's the same?


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Just need to get in touch with your emotions- they are tapping you on the shoulder for sure. That's where some journal writing may help a lot.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

If it gets stronger- and Bobby feels the same- you two have people to talk to - b.f. and wife-

Customer:

I don't really know why he's even talking to me about it


 

Customer:

I mean, I have to talk to a computer (no offense) just because all my friends are his friends and I don't want to make things a mess


 

Customer:

I know his wife & it's a little awkward, no?


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Maybe that's confusing you- he's having some "loose boundaries" talking to you about his personal marriage.

Customer:

I'm glad he feels like he can talk to me but I don't know why he does it. You're right, maybe he's the one crossing the boundaries hahaha. I'm glad anyone can feel like they can talk to me about things but I would just expect him to go talk to a dude or someone he's known a lot longer than myself.


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Have you considered counseling?? Go easy on yourself- these may just be fleeting thoughts- fantasy of sorts. Sharing too much personal stuff with a male/female friend can be an unclear boundary.

Customer:

Mom always said "time is your friend,"


& I think that's pretty true here

Customer:

Yeah, I probably should. I have no idea how to go about that.


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Yes- time- continue to think, feel, sort it out- write it down. Journal for a month and see what you get- it may tell you a lot.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

When you journal really pay attention to feelings- begin identifying and sorting them out.

Customer:

Am I able to save this conversation? Hahaha. You're really helping me :)


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Counseling- if you have insurance would need to check who insurance would pay for- if you have that benefit. Yes you can refer back to this post.

Customer:

I think I'm a little scared too. Scared of not having my life mapped out, then scared of what the current map looks like.


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

That's why I suggest counseling- or journal to start with- you sharing helps "you" process, clarify- no need to make a big decision- yes focus on YOU.

Customer:

I'll look into that. I don't have insurance but I think my school offers counseling.


 

Customer:

Thank you a bunch


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Yes life, for sure, is uncertain, but short- so it is important to follow your dream, seek what will make you happy. Yes your school would be great place to start for counseling- common thing they see- relationships I mean.

Customer:

I feel silly having this problem. Being unclear of what I want or identifying these things in myself.


 

Customer:

I'm going to look into it


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You are welcome a bunch- my pleasure. Best of wishes as you continue to sort t his out- no big decisions for now. It is one day at a time- that's all we have is "now". Careful of going to far into the future- present is a present.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It's not silly it's that thing called life and love.

Customer:

That's so true. I feel like a million pounds have come off my chest hahaha


 

Customer:

Thanks for helping me breathe today


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Good- that's where the counseling may help if it gets tough again. Just breath for sure- we do forget that sometimes- basics in life!!!

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Let me know if I can help again.

Customer:

Unfortunately I can't afford to talk to you everyday, hahaha but you've been a great help. I really appreciate it :) Yeah, we have to remind ourselves of the little things. I'm going to try to take some more time for myself. Maybe spend more alone time, away from Jess & everyone else, just to clear my thoughts.


 

Customer:

I like your journal idea.


 

Customer:

I'm defintely doing that.


 

Customer:

*definitely


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Yes- you and you- you deserve that:):)

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Take the best care of you!

Customer:

& I think i'm going to talk to Jesse about it a little bit. Just tell him I need some space, I'm confused, & need time. I think he will understand that.


 

Customer:

Thank you! You too!


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

yes- that's honest to share that with him.

Customer:

Well I'm a really bad liar so it's easier to just get it out there hahaha


 

Customer:

I don't want to deceive him, lie, or sneak around. I want to be open & honest. Friends first, that's my motto.


 

Customer:

Then all the lovey dovey stuff later


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You sound like a good and caring person- that will get you far in life- but sometimes hurt cuz you are sensitive. If you'd be so kind to rate my answer okay or above so I can get credit. It's good to be a bad liar- ha ha.

Customer:

I just want to treat him well becau


se he treats me well

Jean N/20pluscounts :

yes-

Customer:

I will! You've been great. Take care!


 

Jean N/20pluscounts :

you too!!

Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience: Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
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