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Cathy
Cathy, Counselor
Category: Relationship
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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: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Cathy replied 4 years ago.
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Cathy
Cathy
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Ms, MS.Ed., thirty years clinical practice