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Posted by: Desiderata | 2007/02/27

Torn between two

Hi there,

I am facing a huge predicament which admittedly I put myself into (unwittingly of course, not intentionally) and now many people can get hurt as a result.

What happened is that last year I got involved with a stunning man who is divorced although things didn't appear to be completely over between him and his wife. (i.e. she was still fighting to get him back, although my opinion of fighting to get your man back does not include emotional blackmail, etc.) We fell in love with each other but he still felt a huge responsibility towards his ex and his young child. I gave him all the time and space needed to make a decision but I let him know that ultimately I couldn't let my life hang on his decision on whether to move forward and give us a chance at a relationship ro whether to move back and return to his wife (ex).

Meantime beginning last year I came out of a rough 5-year longterm relationship - I am still friends with the guy (now a year later) but the break up was incredibly bad for him - I had been trying to split up with him for the last 2 years when I realized that we were definitely not suitable and it hurt him (and myself) but had to be done.
So now factors were compounded although I had already worked through my personal issues and baggage, and so had this guy who said that he made a mistake in ever gettng married in the first place. As time passed we went out (as friends, eg: coffee dates, etc - getting to know one another).
MEANwhile I hooked up with an old friend (acquaintance actually) of mine who I briefly saw at a friend's do. He asked me to meet him and I did (no harm I thought - nothing was really moving forward with the other guy and hey, it was just a harmless date - i wasn't committed to anybody at the time afterall).
So we went on a date and I immediately realized a strong connection between us. Over the 2 months or so (towards the end of last year) we saw each other more frequently - 2x a week or so and the strong feeling was mutually recognized.

HOWEVER.... I continued seeing the first guy and supporting him emotionally - he was struggling and having a tough time but determined to move forward in his life and let go. Then he came to a point where he did. He let go completely (of his wife) - please note he is a hard-working decent man who pays full maintenance for his ex and his child, more than what is required in fact - I could cite some examples but anyhow. He loves his llitte girl so much and the really sad part is that the mother of the child uses the little girl against him (manipulation). Anyway he got to the point where he said let's move on with our lives and he decided to just live with it. We went on holiday together end of last year and I contacted this other guy I had been seeing and (though it felt wrong) told him that I don't think we should be seeing each other anymore since I had fallen in love with the first guy already. PS I never lied to either of them from day one I told both of them about the other one - prior to any committment being made. Of course they weren't very happy to have "competition" but anyhow.

Basically the 2nd guy continued to stay in contact with me, saying that if friendship was all he would get then he would settle for that. We kept in touch and then I saw him again the beginning of this year (unexpectedly) we got to talking and I realized that that strong connection never went away. In fact it had just grown stronger. I started seeing him a bit more regularly but told him that I couldn't commit to anything but that I needed time to sort out my feelings and myself and make a decision.

It's now the end of Feb and I could go on forever about the struggle going on within me on a daily basis, the weighing of the factors, all the things inside my head that are driving me INSANE... Not even my gut feeling seems to be strong enough to break through the maelstrom of confusion I am experiencing.
I"m a decent hardworking educated person with a good social life and a good balance of most things.. (ok we all have our small issues but hey what the heck) point is this: WHY can I not bring myself to make this decision on who I want to be with and follow through with it? Everytime I THINK I've made a decision I find myself reverting back to sitting on the fence and having an inner debate...

Please somebody help?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Nice nic --- a word I haven't seen in print for years. Sounds like you're really undecided about what you want in life, as well as about who you want. WOuldn't this be the right time to see a counsellor and try to sort out yourself, so that you can be more fair to these guys ? In some ways, you've been trying to have your cake and eat it too.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Ola | 2007/03/02

To Paperback Writer. The accolades seem to suggest that your literary athleticism and obvious talent for writing nasty little penny horribles is not misplaced on this forum. As for your next title...mmm let's see...we need something more suitable than Gone with the Wind...how about Wendy the Windbag?

Reply to Ola
Posted by: Ola | 2007/03/01

Quite right Ole (could we be related?) Desi, I've seen that Notebook movie, a real snot-en-trane. But remember how she had to decide and did, against all odds? Anyway if its any consolation, the herion ended up losing her mind in her old age and couldn't remember either of them! Which was probably just as well as she would never have been happy forever knowing that she may have made the wrong choice. I agree that the counselling route is your best option at this point. I preferred Shirley Valentine myself...

Reply to Ola
Posted by: Ole | 2007/02/28

One would expect these cattish replies on the annex not here, grow up people. She asked for help not to be crucified!!

Reply to Ole
Posted by: Ole | 2007/02/28

Phew!!! After reading all the response Desi you received here, I actually feel sorry for you. By posting here you have opened yourself up to considerable criticism, but then of course it is finally up to you to decide how you pursue your relationships with these two men. Confused you are and you will feel even more confused trying to justify how you feel. You are entitled to feel everything you feel right now, its okay, no one is perfect but perhaps CS is the wisest of all suggesting you have some counselling. Believe you me, after that you will no longer be confused. Go well and hope you make wise decisions and choices in your future.

Reply to Ole
Posted by: :) | 2007/02/28

ouch poor DESIderata!

Wendy and paper Back have got you right where you ought to be!

I have absolutely no problem with you stringing along these two young fellows. i only have a concern over your chronic indecisiveness. It took you years to decide that you no longer love your ex. yet you are quick into establishing emotional connections with these two gentlemen. That is none of my concerns right now.

You just need to take a very good look at yourself. You need help girlfriend.

Reply to :)
Posted by: Shae | 2007/02/28

Hmmm, too obvious hey.

How about, Desi does,........Desi does not?

Reply to Shae
Posted by: Shae | 2007/02/28

Desi does Josie????

............or was it, Desi does Dallas?????

something like that.

Reply to Shae
Posted by: Paper Back Writer | 2007/02/28

Aw, gee, shucks, gawrsh, dunno what to say Shae. Thanks for that tribute. I feel like I'm an Oscar winner. And I'll definitely write you into my next novel with, to quote you, eloquent Wendy. How about a title? Maybe "Desi-whatever Does Delmas and Bronkhorstspruit and Rayton and the Whole of Brakpan"? Please, I need titles!

Reply to Paper Back Writer
Posted by: Shae | 2007/02/28

Wendy and Paper Back Writer

WOW! Eloquence, honesty, integrity and intellect. The world could do with more of you!

Desi........i would take serious congisance of their wisdom.

Reply to Shae
Posted by: Paper Back Writer | 2007/02/28

Well, well, well, Desiderata. You received an accolade from the CS man for your nom de guerre but that's about all. The rest of your prosaic (and irrelevant) narrative smacks of rather unhealthy egomania. You see yourself in some sort of Gone With the Wind epic playing a Florence Nightingale to all your infantile admirers who are unfortunately somewhat compromised in several areas of their intellects and personalities. I love it when individuals like you consider it effrontery when faced with honest advice, advice which you pretend to seek and then reject when it challenges the legend-type status you consider yourself entitled to. So Desi-whatever, you sure got a lot to learn! So why not start today!

Reply to Paper Back Writer
Posted by: Wendy | 2007/02/28

Hi Phil. Thank you.

Reply to Wendy
Posted by: Wendy | 2007/02/28

I wonder what else you are wrong about? I don't see everything in black or (not 'and' as you incorrectly put it) white but rather as right or wrong.

Being patronising and condescending are the pretensions of the arrogant. But it suits you well. The people around me - unlike the two men you are seeing - do not suffer as they are not confused and bewildered by the shallow affections and fleeting emotions you have.

And you don't qualify to be called a sociopath as you are not that complicated at all. There is a much simpler word, with one syllable, that rhymes with itch, and starts with a 'b', for a woman that entertains and encourages the attentions of more than one man at a time.

Finally, as trading insults with you is becoming boring since you are fighting way out of your weight class, did you consider, seriously, that you should not be with either one of them? You should be able to feel the need to be with one man only, to the total exclusion of all others, by simply loving him (even though it takes you mooooonths to say it).

The fact that you are able to 'love' them both suggests the opposite - that you do not love either one enough. You make them sound like good guys so leave them alone so that they can find someONE to love them back equally, instead of this unrequited, diluted and ambivalent warmth they accept from you in lieu of love.

Reply to Wendy
Posted by: Desiderata | 2007/02/28

Oh and by I would take it then that you,"goddess of the universe" -called by another name (Wendy) have never made a mistake. noooooo you are indeed perrrfect and beyond corruption.

Please. Get real.

The attitude you present reminds me of someone I know extremely well - You are one of those people in life who sees everything in black and white and more than likely everyone as a result suffers around you due to that. The irony is you will be forever blind to your own "perception" or "inability to do any wrong".
Shame you poor thing... tsk tsk.

Reply to Desiderata
Posted by: Phil | 2007/02/28

Hell Wendy, you should be on a debating team ! Have to say, I 2nd every single word you say. Only thing is that in my wildest dreams I would never have been able to give such a good answer...

Reply to Phil
Posted by: Wendy | 2007/02/28

And a word to the unwise: don't categorise advice (which you asked for) as judgemental simply because it's not what you wanted to hear.

You heard exactly what you should have heard and now you are a little miffed. Wrapping it up in a limp pseudo-plot, complete with confused heroine, doesn't make it any less unpalatable and distasteful. Its a triangle created by a less than skillful geometrist that's trying to look an accidental victim of a cosmic plot. Its an old story, long out fresh ideas and new twists.

You created this mess. You are not caught in any crossfire, you are not collateral damage, you are not living in a sub-plot of a Hollywood movie. Your attempt to liken your tawdry mess to a sentimental Hollywood melodrama says much about you.

So fix it by choosing ONE man only and try very hard to live with the consequences of the choices you make - its what adults do - and stop bleating about how complicated it really is because it is simplicity itself.

Assume the right? Why do I need to assume it? It accrues to me to automatically. And if I did make a mess like this, I will trust my moral compass and choose one of the two and not wring my hands in confusion and keep them both on a string.

Reply to Wendy
Posted by: Desiderata | 2007/02/28

Thanks all for the input. I guess if I really didn't care and had sociopathic tendencies I would never have come here in the first place and sought advice. I would just carry on regardless and end up hurting people left right and centre.
But I do care, and not just about myself, in fact it's been highlighted to me often that I'm always putting others before myself.

A word to the so-called wise: Don't assume the right to judge until you find yourself in the same position, and believe me, you might find yourselves in positions or situations you never thought possible.

Reply to Desiderata
Posted by: Wendy | 2007/02/28

There is no further advice, unless you want someone to tell you to have both men.

Choose one. You are cheating on them both and cheapening yourself at the same time. Don't intellectualise infidelity.

Reply to Wendy
Posted by: Desiderata | 2007/02/28

:) - thanks I think you are asking the right questions there... you have a point. there's not enough space to elaborate, and it's not a simple thing as the others that have responded seem to allude to.
Human beings are complex and though I agree that a decision needs to be made and that I need to make it, I am re-emphasizing that it is becoming increasingly difficult and complex..

Did anyone ever watch "the NOTEBOOK" (movie with Rachel McAdams & Ryan Gosling) - this is very similar but more complex...

The first guy and I love each other there is no doubt about it. It is a sure thing, we are very similar to each other in many respects and understand each other very well. I also told him some time ago that if he decided to move forward in life I would be there for him and would give him a definite chance or at least give a relationship between us a chance. Currently that's what I am doing (giving him a chance). It would devastate him if I decided to suddenly let go in order to give someone else a chance... then there would be unfinished business between us... if you get my meaning?

The second guy and I however... well we're as different as can be... but the connection between us I would go so far as to say that it is spiritual, we connect on all levels - mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically. the ironic thing is I see myself with him in the future. sharing a life together, and he feels the same way... there is no doubt as to our feelings for each other and the incredible potential we have together. I have gotten to know him more as a friend though and we have hardly engaged each other in a physical sense at all...

See the problem is that I am the kind of person who takes a long time to fall in love... I don't say "I love you" easily - to anybody.. it takes me moooooonths... and I made it clear to both of them that I need to get to know them better. (as friends, originally)... it's just now there is an emotional bond formed between myself and both of them, and I know it's wrong and I know it is going to hurt someone and cause harm... the problem is really who am I willing to hurt because in hurting either of them, I hurt myself and I don't know if I'll be able to pick up the pieces and carry on with either (or the other) one afterwards...this is an incredibly difficult situation to be in please udnerstand.

PS: I have woman friends but I am currently at this point not discussing this with any of them. I've briefly told my best friend and her response was "You choose someone you love and you make it work". - which is really what i"m trying to do !

further advice?

Reply to Desiderata
Posted by: :) | 2007/02/28

have you got male friends?

Reply to :)
Posted by: :) | 2007/02/28

though I know your narration is comprehensively broad, there are facts you are not sharing with us. Surely there must be reasons that you cannot finally decide on which of these men is the man for you. It is not only emotional connection.

maybe describe the connections you have with these guys?

what are these personal factors contributing to this difficulty?

what are you getting from the other guy and or what do you stand to lose if you let go of the other?

what happened to your previous relationship? why did you end it?

why did you struggle to end it? for 2 years?

have you got friends?

have you got women friends?

Reply to :)
Posted by: Rick | 2007/02/28

It is hard to legislate rationally over matters of the heart. However, it is impractical and hurtful to conduct separate but concurrent relationships. Not only are these relationships competing for your time, they need and demand the same internal resources: love, understanding, loyatly. Loyalty.

You can't have them both and neither can you vacillate any longer. Despite the fact that you may feel differently from one hour to the next hour, you HAVE to decide and then you HAVE to stick to your decision. It is unnessary to say which one you should choose, in fact it is impossible to do so, but you can have only one man at a time. Only one.

Ex-lovers, or even ex-potential-lovers, are an unneccessary luxury as friends in any relationship. They turn a loop into a triangle. Its a luxury you can't afford and, if you do pay the price for it, you will pay in heavy coin and regret it forever.

Reply to Rick
Posted by: RMC | 2007/02/28

I also think that if you were in love with one of them --- not just loving them -- you would be able to decide

Reply to RMC
Posted by: Ola | 2007/02/27

I wonder if you're a Gemini...? Anyway, you probably need to distance yourself from both of them because at the moment you're really confused! Chances are you don't love either of them. Love is different to that. When you're truly in love - you sure as nuts know whom you're in love with!

Reply to Ola

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