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psychlady, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 6893
Experience:  I have over 16 years experience in treating adults presenting with a variety of relationship issues
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I am seperated for 8 months, my friend of 8 years is also seperated

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I am seperated for 8 months, my friend of 8 years is also seperated for over 1 year now. I've been working through marriage issues and counseling, but have been feeling that I am headed for divorce. My friend's marriage is definitely over and he is filing as soon as some financial issues are resolved. We reconnected around the time my marriage was falling apart. We have been dating, seeing each other and have had an intimate relationship for the last 9 months. I'm very happy with this man, and he has said I make him feel the same. We enjoy each other's company and have many things in common. We feel like friends to each other's minds and hearts, and are intensely attracted to each other. Recently, we took a trip across the country to my hometown. The trip was amazing. We connected even more and both got to know each other on a much deeper level. We had fun together. After the trip, we both said it was hard to go back to being apart every day since we enjoyed the closeness and companionship of each other. Since then we have continued on our friendship/relationship, but I think I made the mistake of taking it too far and making him feel pressured that I want more. I know we can't be more than it is right now, due to our pending divorces being resolved, but down the road...yes, I would like a committed relationship. He says, and has said from the start, that he's not ready for a serious relationship since he's still healing from the loss of his marriage and he also has 2 kids, 10 and 6, that he needs to spend time with. I completely agree and understand this about him, and would expect nothing less than him putting his children and healing himself as a priority now. I'm not asking for him to make any commitments to me at this time. He and I recently had a text conversation, where he felt that I was pressuring him and he said he was ready to just move on and pull away because he feels he needs to go the direction of a "strong friendship" right now, not a relationship. I can understand this and agree, even though it's hard to hear as a woman because I tend to give too much of myself, too quickly. I also need to work through the rest of what I'm going through. I guess my questions are: What do I do in this situation to let him know that I'm here, I understand, and I don't want to drive him away? What does a "strong friendship" as opposed to a "relationship" mean to him, or to a man? I apologized to him for making him feel pressured and I stated that if he is still interested in seeing/being with me that I'm here. I told him I will work on not making him feel pressured because I wouldn't want him to to that to me either. He told me he appreciates me understanding and that he will try to be more clear about his feelings, how he is feeling. We both agreed that we still want to be in each other's lives, there's something there, but we just have to figure out the extent that we are able to be in each other's lives. That was another thing he mentioned - he apologized to me that he didn't have more to give me. I made him feel that way, at least I believe I did, and I feel so bad for doing that to him - I care about him very much. Is he just asking me to back off the "pressure" part (not texting all the time, not making serious statements, not asking him out to things all the time) by saying he wants a strong friendship (meaning he still wants everything else we've had but no pressure for a commitment)? It appears that way. We met at the gym for a workout last night, I wasn't sure how he felt since I hadn't seen him since the conversation, and he smiled as he walked up to me and planted a kiss on my mouth. He gave me little touches throughout the workout, talked with me. Afterwards when we left, he kissed me/hugged me multiple times and then we said goodnight and went our seperate ways. I am working on not reaching out until he does, so I haven't texted him at all today. Do I need to just not do anything and let him reach out? Sorry for such long email - have so many questions since this is all new to me again after a 23 year marriage.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  psychlady replied 5 years ago.

It sounds like you want two different things. You are very close to pushing him away He has told you to ease the pressure and used the word friendship. In either gender friendship is what it implies. It is not a relationship without a commitment. It is two people being friends and supporting each other. When a guy says any friendship he means nothing romantic. There may be some touching here and there but he is saying he is hurt and scared. If you push for more he will run. He has identified what is scaring him and that is the frequent contact for instance that is part of a relationship. I fear that you are trying to make a relationship out of something that it isn't. You need to let him heal. If you can do that as a friend great. You have to play by his rules. Just be close and put the romantic ideas away just for a little while.


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