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Sacraficing what my heart wants for what my instinct tells me is right to do

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
OK, I have already explained the recent episodes involving both of my ex-girlfriends plans to leave their husbands. Kathy (in S.C.) has because of his physical and emotional abuse. I have no interest in being with Kathy anymore anyway, for she is far too brainwashed by "religion" and I simply don't share her beliefs, per se, any longer, mostly because of the rigidity and conformity of the die hard, women aren't allowed to wear pants southern baptist views (I apologize if I offend anyone here, but if you were there to experience what I have you might think as I do presently). Now, don't get me wrong, I do believe in God and my faith is all my own, but...

OK, now there's Helen, who has become my best friend in that we can read one another SO well, that we can anticipate one another so completely that we can speak entire scentences to each other with just one look or a single word. When she and I first met I started to "fall for her" and she told me that she believed that was only possible if two people became friends first, because the love and passion of a friendship ran far deeper than with that of a lover. I thought she was crazy at the time, but since our break up in late 97', we have indeed become the best of friends and her point-of-view as such is now confirmed and I believe that she was and is right. Best friends do make the best lovers.

Well, in the interim that we weren't speaking after our break up (about a month or a little more), she met Allen and moved in with him and they became engaged and she and I started to become real friends, but deep inside me I still longed for more. I was and still am very attracted to her as is she with me, but, afterall, she did get married (though, only 6 months before they married, she was seriously considering leaving him until they, apparently, worked things out). So, I accepted our friendship for what it was and was very happy with it.

Now, I like Allen, but he is overly posessive and he doesn't "listen" to her when she talks and these were the primary reasons (of about 6 reasons) that she was putting the preperations in place to leave him as soon as she was ready. She even planned to give him half her paycheck so that, in conjunction with their roomates (one of which is her very own brother), he would be able to handle the bills, while she would take a part time job on top of her full time one and move in with a girl - friend of hers.

Of course she confided to her girl - friend Patty and me, her best friend, of her plans and Patty said "Yes, your doing the right thing", etc. It was two weeks ago that she confided her feelings and thoughts to me and, until this past Saturday, I simply lent my ear and listened. And, for the first time in years now, during this two week period, the thought of another window of opportunity opening for us to possibly take our relationship to the next level presented itself, albiet, it was, perhaps, a year - if not a little more - away, until things had played itself out with Allen, but still, after so long with that part of my life unfulfilled, even the slightest inclination at such was enormously uplifting. Now, I know that since we have achieved the level of deep friendship that she first spoke of wanting before a romantic commitment, that we could indeed make the perfect couple and a lifetime commitment (something which she has admitted as well).

But, after mulling over her predicament for several weeks, this past Saturday I sat her down and asked her to list me the problems that she had with Allen that made her plan on leaving him and she told me, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. She cited his difficulties, but none of her own.

So, my next logical, sound statement to her was "It takes two to tango" and the question "Have you even looked into the mirror to ask yourself of your own contributions to the problems in your marriage"?

Well, that did it. She hadn't taken this into consideration at all and no thought of her own mistakes had occoured to her until I posed this advice/statement/question.

Now, after 5 days of thinking about it she has wrestled with her own mistakes and decided to stay with him for an agreed upon trial to see if they could work things out and, tonight, they had a very long, indepth conversation concerning their problems and ways to overcome them. She is giving it 3 months instead of just packing up and leaving, because of my advice and suggestions.

So, I sacraficed the inkling of potential that my heart felt for what I thought would be best for her, because I knew how much turmoil she was feeling emotianally. How could I be her best friend and not voice sound thoughts and advice that could possibly save her marriage? By my own ethics I simply had to. I could not have lived with myself had I not.

So, I ask you: Was this the ultimate sacrafice or devotion of respect and love to her?

I'm unsure of why I am opening up this VERY intimate and emotional inner world at the moment, only that, perhaps, it is so that I can get the words out and SEE them. And, in that, I value all of your opinions.

[Edited by MeowMan on 05-03-2001 at 01:20 AM]
post #2 of 10
Well, you certainly are right in questioning what kind of friend you would be if you simply encouraged her to leave him just so you could persue your personal interests in Helen. It was an unselfish act...but sacrificial? It kind of seems like a no-brainer.

But I wonder...could your involvement with her have added to the turmoil in her marriage? It would be one thing if the two of you were "just friends", but there has obviously been much more fueling your friendship. And haven't our mothers told us that if you play with fire you'll get burned?

I wonder if maybe you could stand back now and let her do what she must to either save or dissolve her marriage. Given the feelings you have for each other, it may be difficult for her to work on her marriage and still use you as her confidant. It will probably be up to you to remove yourself from the situation. Not forever, but at least for the three months she has agreed to dedicate to her husband.

If you suggest to her that the two of you stop talking for a while so she can concentrate on her marriage, and she refuses to do so, then it would seem like she doesn't have much of a marriage to work on. Her committment should be to her husband, not to her friendship with you. If your friendship (and your mutual desires for each other) means more to her than her relationship with her husband, then she has nothing more to do than leave him. Her heart isn't in her marriage.

Gee, I'm not sure you asked for all this, but your post struck a chord with me. I had a similar situation of my own a year and a half ago. I can tell the story if you'd like to hear it. I wish you the best. This may not play out the way you want, even if she does dissolve her marriage. Be cautious. You seem like a very intelligent and kind person. Good luck.
post #3 of 10
I live by the rule that all you can do, is what you know is right. It's those moments when you are laying in bed right before you fall asleep & your mind is all a buzz that it's oh so important to know that no matter what, you did your best and you did the right thing. no matter what the circumstances are. I make mistakes all the time, but I can honestly say that I try my best to do the right thing.

as far as that goes, I think you did the right thing. this thing will play itself out, and whatever happens, happens for a reason.
post #4 of 10
Am I missing something? You say about 1 month after you broke up she met and moved in with Allen? What happened to the "importance of being good friends first"? Why was she so quick to move in with Allen but holding you at arm's length?

Makes me wonder - mmmmmm?

At any rate, you sound like a great guy and I wish you the best - whatever that may be!

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Helen was living with her ex-step-mother and things had blown up at home, so, at this point she was working full time and sleeping in her car.

She refused to come to me because we weren't, at the moment, on speaking terms (something I have regretted only slightly, because had we been, she probably would have come to me for help, but then we may not have been able to gain the friendship that we now have). It was during that month period of time.

She met Allen when she, with no home, was at an IHOP having coffee and he came in with some friends and they began talking. Wouldn't yo know it?, but his live-in girlfriend had JUST left him and moved out of his apartment and he needed a roomate to help pay the bills and Helen, in her situation, needed a home.

She moved in with him 3 days later and quickly became his uncommitted lover. Of course, this is one of the problems she see's in her marriage today: In her view they are nothing more than roommates who have sex and a piece of paper that says their married. He doesn't KNOW her...not as I do. And THAT is one of the problems.

Well, I hope that explains it a little better.
post #6 of 10
MeowMan: Helen must have been in a very vulnerable albeit confused place to, as you put it, "move in with him and become roommates that have sex. . . . " This bothers me, did she feel that the "piece of paper" would relieve her guilt? Not a good reason to get married! I can't see how someone who is as intelligent and caring as you say she is could be this confused. I believe that you have to do a lot more thinking about what a permanent love/lover relationship with this woman would cost you. Look how much heartache and sleeplessness just being her "best friend" has brought. I sense a severe case of immaturity in Helen. Either that or a strong need to have others to lean on; physically, emotionally and sexually. Feeding these needs; she has built for herself a false wall of what seems to be, for the time being, security. But, at the first signs of trouble, (or a hole in her fantasy), she looks for villafication from friends or past relationships. Just be CAREFUL, Chuck. TLK

[Edited by threeleggedkat on 05-03-2001 at 01:31 PM]
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
No, Three, she loves him, I know that. But, I also know that she rushed into the marriage and she wishes that she had waited a while longer. Now, there are so many emotional ties in their relationship, it is simply that (One of her reason/examples) she "feels like a caged mare who is taken out to be ridden on a rare occassion".

Her feelings for me are certainly strong, as are mine for her, BUT she's not going to sacrafice what love she has with him for that and it is something that we have never discussed, beyond "we'd make the perfect couple". I wouldn't want to get her that way, so I will continue to be her best friend and be fair and logical (and take it very slow).

Helen is a VERY independent young woman who is fairly self-suffecient. She hates having to rely on anyone and prefers doing things herself. I can't see her as being co-dependent at all.

But, I do know that she is simply very unhappy in her marriage for it seems as I said before, "like having sex with my roomate, w/o really knowing each other".

She trusts me as I do her, and I will continue to support her as her friend, but deep inside, my desires want more. I know, without a doubt, were she and I together now, we could make a lifetime commitment. But, until she can figure out if things are going to work with Allen and if they don't, I need to continue to simply be her friend for a while so that she can deal with the after-emotional burden, as not to get caught in a "rebound" situation.

I think that my best course of action at this point is to be what I have been: Her best friend.
post #8 of 10
Okay,Chuck, but just don't let "sticking by her as her best friend" stop you from being open to new or different relationships that might offer as much, or more, that what you are currently getting from Helen. You are noble to respect her position with Allen and their trying to mend the marriage. A lot of men would take advantage of this vulnerable situation. For that, I salute you. Darlene
post #9 of 10
WOW, what a month you have had!! I really think you did the right thing. If for no other reason than to make sure she was doing what she needed to do. You would have just gotten more hurt down the road if you were a rebound. I really never know what to say about love and lust. It is such a roller coaster and there are no right answers. I am sure when the time is right, you will be with that special someone.
post #10 of 10
I admire your self control, MM. Doing the right thing is not always easy. Helen will appreciate what you have done even if you don't see the happiness in it at this moment.
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