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Cathy, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1436
Experience:  Ms, MS.Ed., thirty years clinical practice
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I became platonic friends with someone last year. He is separated

Customer Question

I became platonic friends with someone last year. He is separated and has not had sex with his wife for over 2 years. She is in a treatment program for Borderline Personality Disorder and they live in separate states. Several thousands of miles from each other, in fact. She attempted suicide last August and has been in treatment ever since. He has seen her twice since she has been in treatment. He and I live in different states but developed a close friendship. We ended up sleeping together on several occasions but agreed we should not date as he said he may go back to his wife and he would not want me to be hurt. He also said he loves me, I am his best friend and he never wants to lose me as a friend. He says he has feelings for me and does not date anyone. He said it will hurt his wife and if he has to sacrifice what he wants to keep her from being hurt, he will. He is afraid to divorce her because she may try to commit suicide again and he could not live with this guilt.

We agreed to stop sleeping together and just be friends. I go to his house in this other state about once a month and we hang out doing alot of fun things. No sex or any kind of physical contact anymore. He says he has a problem that when he cares about someone, he stops being able to have sex with them. He said a friendship is more important to him than risking losing his best friend. I have told him I want more but he says he will end up hurting me if we date since his current situation is so complicated. He says he loves both of us so he does not date me to keep from hurting her and he does not other women to keep from hurting me.

I am so confused as what to do, I can't think straight anymore. Does any of this make sense? Very sad. I have a great friend who I think loves me but says he is going to remain "static" for now. He says if he WERE to start dating again it would be me. Also, we have continued to see each other as friends. I travel to his house out of state and stay with him and even sleep in the same bed. He has not tried to touch me one time. He does not even old my hand or kiss me. I can be in my undies and a t-shirt and he makes no attempt whatsoever to try and have sex with me. He says I am his best friend and the only one he can be totally open with. He said that if he DOES get back with his wife there is no way she will come between our friendship. I will always be his best friend and if she tries to he will not allow it. However, she does not know about me yet. He said a "friend" relationship is one that is more permanent than a romantic relationship. He also said he had the same problem with his wife. He loves her and so he is unable to have sex with her. He says that was one of the issues in their marriage and that is why he can't have sex with me because he loves me and that is what happens to him in relationships. There is a ton more to this story but this is at least a start.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Cathy replied 5 years ago.

Hi jacustomer and thanks for writing JA


Yes, in a very sure way this makes sense. I think your friend is trying to tell you that he cares for you and appreciates you but also that he is waiting for his wife.


I call it this way and I so know you are not going to like my response but I have to offer you an expert answer based on years of clinical expertise.


I do not care if his wife has bpd or halitosis. He is staying with his wife and not sleeping with you because he is waiting for her. Labels are just labels and they do not define a human being. She may very well have a fragile psychiatric disorder,but frankly, most spouses of people with BPD go right out and file for divorce. Your friend has not and it does seem as if he will.


As for not having a sex life with her? Well, I do not care how nice and how wonderful and how honest this guy might be. If he is not intimate with you, he is intimate with her or someone else.


I think you are getting the "go round" and your friend is using his wifes illness to manipulate you.


I would say this, if you wish for more you are not going to get it from him.
If you want more, forget it.


As for friendships being more important or valued than marriages, do not believe this for one moment.


I think you are being manipulated. I think your friend is ambivalent and he wants it both ways and its up to you if you wish to play second fiddle for all your life. I know people who choose this, but its a tough life.

My recommendation: go out and find someone who loves you as a friend and as a lover. Find someone whose full dedication is to you and who cherishes and loves you without conditions.

Loving someone with conditions is not love at all, it is merely a contract.

I know you are not going to like my answer but I say leave this man alone and find yours and I do not care if he calls you for 15 hours straight and begs you no end. This is why phones have turn off buttons.

I promise you this is not a good situation for me.

Let me know what you think.

warmest regards, Cathy

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