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I apologise in advance for this epic, it's kinda complicated, please read if you have time.

My name's John, me and my long term girlfriend Emma are both about 30 and we've been in a relationship together for 5 years. We've lived together for most of this time. The first year was really good, and as things go, you get very comfortable together. We've always loved each other but the lust and passion slowed. Mostly because we let it, and life got in the way. Not because we ever wanted to end it. When we first got together she had low self esteem and I always did the right thing by her, looked after her, sometimes at my own expense, something I now know I should never have done to the extent I did and I should have had my own life within the relationship. Her job and life picked up and we basically switched ends, my self esteem has dropped, I put on weight, etc. And hers has risen, she lost weight.

Recently things with the relationship came to a boil and we agreed to spend time apart to reflect - she moved out of my house. This has done me personally the world of good, it gave me the kick up the backside I needed to sort my life out. And things in that respect are going great. However, at about year 4 during a particular rough period of our relationship, she came and told me that she had developed some feelings for a guy she works with - apparently he had been very supportive and was nice to her.

At the time our relationship was "odd", things weren't very good, the intimacy was completely gone, and in truth, I have no idea if the situation had been reversed I'd have acted differently if someone had shown me genuine affection at the time because things were not good at home. Anyway we dealt with this problem at the time (so I thought), and she said basically they were just friends and that she had realised this now once our own relationship picked back up.
For the record, I know nothing ever happened between the two of them, I think he knows she might have feelings for him due to the way she acts around him, but he's never expressed anything directly in return.

We talked today, it's been 2 and a half weeks since she moved out. She confessed that one of the reasons things were not getting better was because she still finds him very attractive and has feelings for him.

The girl has been my world for the last 5 years of my life, this isn't as simple to me as "just dump her and never look back", if it were I wouldn't be here asking this question. In my head, having had feelings for someone else is not the same kind of evil that having acted on it or having slept with someone is. Partly because I know if someone is nice enough to you in your times of need for long enough, this tends to happen,... I told her this today, but she still doesn't know how she feels and wants time to resolve it.

It's made me feel a little weak willed. A big part of me wants to just say, "screw you, I'll find someone else", but I still love her dearly, and I know she still loves me. And we've been together an awful long time and built a great life together... A part of her just doesn't want this to happen again and wonders whether we can fix things.

Has anyone ever been in a similar situation and made this work?
Any women have a perspective on this?
Should I just give her space? Or is it better to just bolt?





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