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Need help 911...How do I handle this gently?

I'm going to lunch today with a friend that I've known for 30 years, since I was 15 and when I was about 17 we dated for about 15 minutes but he never floated my boat and he's been a family friend ever since. Anyhow, last year when my husband cheated my friend called me one day out of the blue to see what's up in my life and I blubbered like a fool and he patiently and caringly listened. After I finished he said, "well...sweetie you deserve so much better. You deserve to be treated like a queen...(long pause) you know, I've never stopped loving you?"...I almost fell off my chair. Here's the thing...he's been married for 20some years with three kids. Very nice women but she treats him like one of the kids. Anyhow, that's neither here nor there because the bottom line is that he IS married and so am I and anyhow I'm still not interested in him THAT way even if we were single. So, last year and kinda touched on that lightly and he never mentioned it again. When we were making plans about getting together today he said something like "why not a nice picnic at sunset?"...I vetoed that idea for a loud, noisy, public sushi place. My dilema is this, I cherish his friendship and other than that comment he's never been out of line or gross in any way...but what if today he says something about "anything" on those lines...how do I handle this delicately so as not to bash him? And ladies...please don't bash me.

 
ShouldHaveLeft

Asked by ShouldHaveLeft at 11:35 AM on Dec. 2, 2010 in Relationships

Level 23 (16,621 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • Well, I think it speaks volumes that you did not "use"him, even when you were going through something traumatic in your life and he was showing some vulnerability too.

    Today, if the subject comes you you should meet it head on, I think you are a direct person and he probably would expect that from you. You can gently remind him that you have both made other choices in life and have partners and children now as a result of your choices. You can leave it at that. You don't need to hurt his feelings or make him feel sorry for sharing his feelings. You might also tell him the other truth, that is that you simply really appreciate his friendship and support, especially through the rough times. And that you want to also continue to offer support and friendship in return but you can't offer anything more at this time.

    Good luck...sounds like a good friend!
    spottedpony

    Answer by spottedpony at 11:56 AM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • I am not bashing, but I am going to be honest. If you go with this man today, you are cheating on your husband. That man has feelings for you, even if you do not have feelings for him. Continuing to engage in any kind of a relationship with him is cheating in my book. I would not go.

    dancinintherain

    Answer by dancinintherain at 11:40 AM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • I think your playing with fire honestly..and I think you know you are but won't admit it. Maybe your enjoying this attention since you still seem to be resentful of your husband cheating? Whatever it is, I would not go to lunch with a man that had openly told me he's never stopped loving me. Its asking for trouble.
    Ctink8189

    Answer by Ctink8189 at 11:53 AM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • love never dies for some people, but if you are not into the cheating.....don't be fooled by his romantic notions, that is if he tries to coherce you into seeing him on the side. If youre not happy with your husband, then you may want to rethink your situation
    HELP767

    Answer by HELP767 at 11:53 AM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • You may, today at lunch, like to suggest that if seeing you while neither of you is available is too hard on his heart, he needs to stop torturing himself, and you need to stop helping him torture himself.

    Maybe later, when all the spouses are dead, you can have a lovely, peaceful elderly marriage... but I wouldn't count on it.

    The fact that he enables anyone to treat him like one of the kids suggests that he doesn't, actually, treat the woman he married 'like a queen' which rather suggests that he is better at pursuit than maintenance.
    LindaClement

    Answer by LindaClement at 11:38 AM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • You can either try to make a joke out of it and say something like "you know that would never work because....(insert something here)", or you can tell him, "you are my friend, and I'll always love you as a friend, I know you would never really do anything to hurt your family, and you know that I wouldn't do anything to hurt mine. Thank you for always being there, you know I'll always be here for you too."
    ohwrite

    Answer by ohwrite at 11:38 AM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • Well, IF something happens or is said, just gently tell him that you are flattered but am not interested in more than friendship. I have a question, would it be so bad to date him and be treated like a queen? A lot of successful relationships begin with friendship.
    tyfry7496

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 11:39 AM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • Ughh..I've had a few friends like that and it is never easy, but no matter how badly you might want to protect his feelings, don't dance around it...at all...be very clear that you don't have "those" kinds of feelings for him, never have, never will. I can't handle that kind of dynamic in a relationship myself, it makes me feel too weird, so I have had to let those friendships go...I can't stand it when I look in their eyes and see this hope that I'll magicaly fall in love with them one day, or when they laugh too hard at my stupid jokes that really weren't that funny, or keep trying to read things into things that aren't there...it's just too uncomfortable and weird for me to continue the friendship. Sometimes it's nice to have someone like that in our corner, telling us we deserve better, and always knowing they will be there is a comfort..but it isn't fair to them to let them continue to foster their delusions.
    chocolatluver

    Answer by chocolatluver at 11:46 AM on Dec. 2, 2010

  • By having lunch with him you're taking your chances of him pursuing you. The sad think is your husband probably said the same things this man is saying to another women. You can take your chance and go to lunch but you have to expect the worst. Throw him out the water and say "Your married and my husband was married when he told someone the same thing." That'll keep him from saying things like that but also he'll respect you for it.

    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:47 AM on Dec. 2, 2010

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