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I slept with a Brian who is going through a tough divorce,

and now I'm so angry...
I slept with a Brian who is going through a tough divorce, and now I'm so angry with myself. I'm a 45 year old professional woman who's been friends with the couple for eight years. They have no children and have been in and out of marriage counselling for years now. They also stopped sexual relations a couple of years ago. There was a lot of chemistry between me and Brian for years and I started avoiding the couple because I felt uncomfortable with his attentions as well as my feelings towards him. He has never cheated on his wife and the light flirtation with me was as bad as it got. I kept it to myself.
Now the wife has asked for a divorce. It's her third divorce and his first. She has had a history of cheating in a big way with past husbands.
After the separation I got together with Brian on one occasion and we slept together. He's very sweet towards me, but he warned me that he is still in love with his wife and
asked me to be patient. The divorce will be final next week.

We like each other but I'm afraid I messed up my chances with him because I allowed myself to rush into things. I'm back-pedalling now and I told him I cannot see him in person because of bad timing. I said I'll be his friend but only through e-mail. He agreed.

Have I blown my chances of dating him in the future because we slept together? Do I stay in contact with him through e-mail, or is that a mistake as well? Is it better to just leave him alone and not answer his e-mails ? I like him a lot and I don't want to get hurt. What is the best way for me to deal with this situation?
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Answered in 18 minutes by:
9/5/2011
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7,664
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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Dear XXXXX,

I would honor Brian's request and be patient. He does not want to lose contact with you. It will cost you nothing to keep the the thread connected through email. It seems that there is chemistry between you and you cannot undo what has already happened.

You don't want him to come to you on the rebound, but on the other hand, a relationship between you has been brewing for some time.

He will have to go through his own personal grieving period until he gets the ex-wife out of his system - and he will!

After a certain point you both may resume seeing each other in person.

Go slow, and see how he chemistry goes. I think that you will eventually get together. It seems that all of the pieces are in place and that this relationshiop is yours to lose.

Go slow, but don't go too slow. Timing is everything,. Honest communication is necessary and he seems like a very decent fellow. This may be what you have been waiting for - both of you.

Let is grow and certainly don't discourage it. If he wants to be with you, you will know it. I really think this will work for you, and you are intelligent and prudent enough to nurse it through the gestation period.

I wish you both great success.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7,664
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Verified
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
Mike was so distraught over the divorce that he tried to kill himself after a visit from his wife where she cried. I'm the only person he told. I wanted to go and see him but he won't let me. He said he doesn't want me to see him with the marks and that it's ok now. He's gone to see the doctor and then he'll go and stay with his brother on the East coast. Finally he's getting help.
Now he's backtracking telling me he was drunk and exaggerated the situation and trying to be sarcastic. I don't believe him. I think he's trying to look good in my eyes. I'm wondering what I should do. He wants for us to stay connected through e-mail and he tells me I'm immensely helpful and amazing. He considers me one of his closest friends at the very least. There is also the sexual chemistry I mentioned in the letter above. I still like him a lot but I want to do what's best for him. I don't know where do I go from here? '
Dear XXXXX,

You are in a very unfortunate position of being involved in a very volatile situation, even if marginally. Mike did not ask for this divorce, and it is obviously an ongoing process rather than a clean, open-and-shut legal action.

Mike does not seem to want this divorce, and his wife is perhaps unsure, because the divorce is dragging on and she is also distraught about it, Mike has send a message to his wife that he cannot live without her, but his attempt wasn't effective, which often means he was not serious about ending his life, but rather, in gaining her sympathy, and perhaps buying time. If he has marks, I assume he cut himself, which distraught people often do. The marks may show a serious attempt, or they may show less than an attempt. He wouldn't show them to you, but he told you about them, and left it to your imagination.

You are a support for Mike, and a distraction, but his goal is to be reunited with his wife, and that will put you out of the picture as a serious candidate for a one-on-one relationship with him. He is not ready for another woman in his life, and you probably don't want to get him on the rebound.

He cares about you and needs your support, and will use you (not consciously) for support. If he gets back with his wife, you will be out of the picture, unless you continue having your relationship on the side, which will not be in your best interest.

You can best help him by being there when and if he needs you. He is going to be in a different environment, away from his wife, and away from you as well. He will hopefully be getting counseling, and the support he needs from his brother.

You would do best not to speculate about the future, nor to get your hopes up. He is damaged, right now, and he is not a very strong person. You must first do what is best for you, which is not to have high expectations, and to see Mike as a person who will need to be supported in some way because he is not as self-sufficient as you.

What's best for him is for him to learn how to deal with adversity in a more positive way, and that you cannot help him with, but psychotherapy can. What you can do is to be available to him. He knows how much you care for him, he knows that he can approach you for support or love anytime that he wants. (You do not have that luxury from him). The best you can do for his well being is to continue to be available to him, to answer him, comfort him, and be his friend. Keep your email channel open and give him the cheer that he needs. There is not much more that you can do, and your only reward may be the satisfaction of helping a friend in need.

I wish you strength, courage, and perseverance, AND, good fortune.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC

Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7,664
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Verified
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and 87 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
There are a couple of things that will shed some more light on the situation.

First, no-one know about his suicide attempt. His wife doesn't know. I'm the only one, except he went to a doctor, so I guess he knows. As well as being distraught over the divorce, all Mike keeps talking about is needing a job. I know that he'll get one, just not now in the condition he's in. He is obsessed about not working.

He said he knows he was miserable in the marriage and doesn't want to go back, and wishes he could just switch off his feelings. He said that all he needs is a job so he can get himself out of the situation.
Having said that, I still agree that I should take a big step back with expectations, but definitely remain his friend, as I seem to be the only person he'll confide in. I'm in a tough spot, but his well being is at stake.
Dear XXXXX,
Thank you for getting back to me and filling in the details that were lacking and sheds new light on the situation for me, although it still doesn't prove that he really intended to do himself in.

He can best turn off his emotions by getting the divorce over with, ending all contact, and go throught he stages of grief that he is already in.

He must spend his down-time sending out resumes, and honing his skills if possible (online courses, conferences, symposius, etc.)..He must distract himself, but not with dating, and certainly not with drugs or alcohol (which are probably not a factor here, but should be mentioned).


You are a marvellous friend, but you are right to take that step back and keep your distance. He needs to find his own feet. The economic climate is not favourable to getting work, but he may have specialized niche skills that will see him through.

The best you can do is to remain in the background ready to send encouragement.

Warm regards,

Elliott
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7,664
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Verified
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and 87 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7,664
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Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.

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