Red Responds: He Fell In Love With His Partner’s Ex’s Partner

Brian in Waterbury writes:

A few years ago, my partner and I were out and ran into someone he used to be friends with, along with the old friend’s partner. We all hit it off and became fast friends. They’ve become our best friends, really. We’re all together for everything, whether it’s weekends, holidays, birthdays and even sometimes vacations. The problem is that I fell in love with the old friend’s partner, practically the day we met.

We’re very close (he’s described us as best friends) and, though we rarely talk about it, we’ve acknowledged that there’s an attraction. My relationship with my partner hasn’t been good for a long time (for reasons that were in place long before we met our friends). I know I could be happy if I was with my best friend and my heart tells me he feels the same way. Maybe it’s circumstantial evidence, maybe it’s me deluding myself, but it seems like so often when we really get close, he backs off a little, like he’s scared to let his guard down or he realizes we’re too close for platonic friends. Does he want to be with me? Is he in love with me? If so, will we ever be together?

Dear Brian,

There is definitely an attraction and a lot of chemistry between you and your old friend’s partner. I’d even go as far as to say that there is a level of love that exists between the two of you, but based on what I’m seeing, it will remain unrequited and unexplored.

The four of you are more than friends, you are like family. Even though you may not be thrilled with your current relationship, you continue to stay. Your best friend has challenges in his own relationship, but isn’t looking to sever his union, either. It doesn’t seem like either one of you want to risk the family dynamic that has been created by having an affair. So, there is much that will remain unspoken and unexperienced between the two of you, at least for the next several years. While each of you may wonder and fantasize, chances are slim that anything more will develop while each of you is with your respective partners.

I really hate to say this, but the best thing you can do is respect the boundaries that have been created. Wanting and hoping for more isn’t going to make anything different, it will only continue to cause you more unrest. If you had met this man under different circumstances, things may have evolved quite differently. For now, all you can do is to try and find contentment in the friendship, and not push for more – or you could lose everything.

Even though it stinks, I hope this helps you.
Ext. 9226

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