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I really just need to talk to a bunch of strangers.

Hello, my name is Tori and I am going to get a divorce.

It all became clear very recently and I know what I have to do.

We talked divorce in the summer. He brought it up. He also brought up affairs, as in, he had been considering it. I basically said, well, if that's the new deal, I can do it it, too. no further discussion on that ;) I didn't ask, didn't want to know. I doubt he's had any. Doesn't really matter at this point. I didn't, haven't, don't plan to.

So, we're done, I have papers printed and ready and figuring assets and debts and basics of living and such.

But there is a complicating factor.

Back in the summer when we had our big watershed, I wasn't considering other men. And still I'm not. But I grew closer to a mutual friend over the summer to where he's my best friend. And I also realized that I'm probably falling in love with him.

I have no intention of going from one man to another. I make a good living, I can live on my own just fine. I'm reminding myself that emotions are out of check, don't label anything. I can say that I have developed powerful feelings. Altho I don't want to say that to anyone!!! But I can't quit thinking about him.

So me and my buddy have plans to do this n that over the next few weeks, months. Just stuff, you know? Go work out, do taxes, some stuff at his house I promised to help with, something at mine he's going to look at for me ... just, "stuff", nothing beyond buddyhood. I've always been one of the guys.

He is not part of my divorce, he is not to blame, I don't want him in the middle. There are already so many mutual friends that will be somewhat surprised or whatnot by our split. I don't want to make it worse for him.

It just all seems very much like something that happens to other people. Not me! Until, you know, it happens to you.

I am trying very hard to keep my silence with my friend until at least papers are filed. I won't feel too bad tipping my hand if I slip since my husband told a mutual friend that he can afford his own apartment. Whatever she thought of that piece of information, she said nothing.

But I do not want to tell our friend that I have developed powerful feelings for him. YES I DO.

Honestly, the marriage has been dead for a long time. Apart from having always loved this other man (as one does their close friends), I had never had attraction towards him. He's very smart and funny. He's his own man and he's strong, but he was family, not a potential suitor.

we both had a lot of free time this summer and hung out a lot. nothing happened. never. not even close. where was my husband, tho?

Something changed with us over the winter. On Election Day it kind of occurred to me while doing our errands together that I was kind of on a date with him. I liked it. we are a good team. it was easy and peaceful.

weeks later, he was having trees taken down and had agreed that he'd have it cut up and delivered to my house. I had such a great day with him. nothing happened. watched the cutters. hung out inside watching tube and drinking cocoa. went to lunch. normal stuff. comfortable and easy.

The next night, I took him cookies from a cookie party I had just been at - not enuf people showed up, we all agreed to divide the cookies and take cookies to as many people as we could - and he was on my way home, I called, he was available. Nothing unusual or weird happening, football on tv, I figure to go home at half time, and do. But something was different in our hug. A new awkward, and we couldn't look at each other.

Around Christmas, he came for dinner since my brother was in town. He did something that is probably pretty normal and not a big deal for him but that touched me to the extent that I had a physical response. and there have been more ways that he has surprised me with his kindness, generosity and general good-guyedness. not just towards me, towards others, sometimes not even people he knows!

On the one hand, I feel terrible. What a disservice to him and me! I've always been untouchable, as his friend's girlfriend then wife. We've always liked each other a lot. It has simply intensified for me and I think it has for him, also. I don't know. He's way too stand up to ever make a move on me. This isn't something I could easily bring up, best friend or not!

This is a sticky situation. If he knew neither my husband nor my other mutual friends, well, then, no big frickin deal! but as it is, it's all a little too close, you know?

if we have a real love match, the others would eventually be happy for us, I know it.

But I also feel wonderful, because thinking of leaving my husband is not new and I am at peace with the closure I now am going to achieve on it. I'm happy about that, the tortuous part of should we/when/how is nearly over! It was past time to call it a day. It's a big something in its own right.

Then, finding out that I am still capable of love is like finding an old toy I'd thought I'd lost! Life can be happy and fun vs dark and somber. My light hasn't gone out, it's just gone out for the man I'm with. I had told my husband that, that I wasn't in love with him anymore.

I just didn't expect that I might fall in love with someone else. ever. not so soon. not so damned close! holy crap. how did this happen?? to ME? and HIM? it makes sense and yet is a shocker.

But he is not the point - I can still find a man that actually appreciates ME. the one I have is selfish, left too many issues unaddressed, betrayed, disrespected, insult and hurt me. tame, I swear, very tame. but I found I cannot get over some of the things. I'm done, it's that simple.

And at least by having New Feelings, I know that I CAN be happy. whether with my friend or someone else. I don't have to have a man, either. I can be patient for the right one.

I have always been able to be friends with men. Because of my temperament (tomboy, laid back, not caring if I had boyfriends or not, and usually didn't, just living my life) and my chosen career that is male-dominated. I hang with the guys very well.

So I have had so many dozen platonic male friends that I am rather floored that this one is capturing more of my heart. This doesn't happen to me, they always stay in their Friend category.

what the hell am I going to do!??!?!?!?!

it is already so difficult! The divorce part, not so much, it's the feelings for my friend that are making me crazy.

What I really want to know is this:
would it be a monumental mistake to tell this gentleman friend of mine that I have developed feelings for him?

I think I should try to keep my fat trap shut on all of it for as long as possible. but if there is one person I want to talk to when going thru a divorce, it's my best friend. mine died a few years ago. never left her own unhappy marriage to hs sweetheart.

In the clarity I finally achieved, I had to acknowledge that my feelings for him were not trivial and were not mixed up in the divorce, they grew on their own.

my sane side says to wait. it can all wait. let the dust settle and appropriate time pass. but does that even apply? I have already let so much time pass. will it even matter except for appearances if no one but us knows??

we are both mature and trust each other deeply. That's how I started falling in love with him, he started letting me in, letting me see his heart and soul. There had always been a wall. If it's a rebound, then, I think we could both be ok with that. I'm coming out of this marriage a full grownup while he is emerging from his own crossroads.

I know that this man may not want to have anything to do with me. I have always been on the forbidden list. but I will be moving to a new list soon.

thanks for listening. I just can't go to boards I frequent with this. no one here knows me in the non-cyber world. ah, safety in anonymity!
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He's a rebound guy. I highly suggest keeping him as a friend. If you date him now and it doesn't work out, which it won't, you will lose him. Just chill out and get through the divorce. Maybe date a few other men. If you still feel the same way in a year or two, then tell him and see what he says. But I wouldn't do anything right now that would jeopardize the friendship since you are going to need them as you go through the divorce.
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Similar happened to me. The "guy friend" and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary next month. This might be rebound, or might be the real deal--you're not going to know that for a while-like maybe a year or so.

Thoughts: focus on your divorce, process your feelings about that first. The "new" feelings re; the guy friend could be a distraction from fully experiencing the feelings of loss, etc. that are (usually) part of divorce.

People will probably say:

IF you were having problems six months ago, did you go to counseling? If not, why not?

They will also probably say that you've been having an emotional affair with your friend and wonder what kind of impact that had on your marriage.

If you "come out" with this guy as a couple on down the road, there will be people (whether they tell you to your face or not) that will assume that you were having a torrid affair and he broke up your marriage.

Delaying a relationship with him may cut this down somewhat (or possibly not; people have long memories about this kind of thing).

If the guy friend has recently split up from anyone, people will probably assume that you had something to do with it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that, although it is *possible* for two friends' marriages/relationships to happen to end at about the same time (I'm assuming this may have been his "crossroads" you mentioned), and then for those two friends to discover after the fact that they have feelings for each other, very few people will believe that.

That will change the dynamics of a lot of your relationships.

I sincerely hope that you have other friends, because if you do move this man to the "more than friends" list, you will really need a non-romantic friend or two. And with the potential complications, seeing a professional counselor to work through this IRL might be a good idea.

Finally, if you are looking at a long term relationship with your buddy, how will your lack of honesty right now affect that? How will he look at your guy buddies after the fireworks of new romance are over? Five years from now, will he be wondering if you're delivering cookies to a new friend?

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Sign the divorce papers, bring them to your new boy's house wearing nothing but a trenchcoat, and hop on it.

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6 has it.

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awesome advice, thanks all!

I do know I need to keep distance for a while, thanks for pointing out all the reasons why. maybe a long while. yes, I do need him as a friend going thru this.

I've had plenty of extra crap this year also so already wasn't quite in a normal emotional zone for myself, but pretty much going with what life brings me.

Yes, there will always be some that will assume whatever they want to assume, regardless of the truth.

his divorce was 2 years ago, and then other life stuff like his dad dying, some health issues.

the trenchcoat and divorce papers idea is way too appealling, too.

sigh, self control self control self control ...

guess I will be getting a lot out of that gym membership. Prob'ly will need to buy stock in Duracell.
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Just bang him. He will lose interest and move on. Problem solved.
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retireewannabee, what a wonderful post. (Not that your situation is wonderful.)

Please come back and talk/rant/philosophise some more.

I'm trying to encourage more posts on this board (in my rambunctious way). Your further participation would be excellent.

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Well, Pete, the saga drags on.

Remains difficult, but, I have been silent on the whole mess except to a friend from hs that lives in another city, never met hubby, doesn't know other guy. More of an impartial observer that knows me from way back. He's on my side.

I'm not saying crap to the other guy. Too much downside. If it's meant to be, it shall be. A few months, a year, small price to pay to see if it happens naturally. Frightening him away is a bad idea, I'll need his friendship.

It's been fortuitous that we've both been busy so no real buddy chat time. Distance is good right now. I'll see him soon for taxes but I can handle that.

I keep being ready to have That Talk with hubby, then something comes up. Someone calls, something happens... don't want to do it right before we see friends. Mom is coming by. SH1T! I have concluded that there is NOT A GOOD TIME to tell someone you want out. All that you can do is make yourself crazy thinking that The Right Moment will appear. and maybe it has. a couple of times I have heard in my head "but I want a divorce" and have not been able to say it. so, will apologize for delay, and let him know I've felt like a heel.

Had wanted to wait for employment, but, that is taking dreadfully long and spring break is dragging on forever with slow employer response. For my own stress level, I need to have that discussion with him. he seems so happy right now, I hate to torpedo it! But, come on, would I rather kick him when he's down? no. I have to burst his current happy bubble. He'll be on the downswing way too soon.

Been working out a ton as it helps with stress. It used to clear my head but that doesn't seem to be happening quite enuf.

I have drafted what I consider a reasonable settlement, given the impossibility of selling the house or really buying him out. I'm the one with the lucrative job and fat retirement account that I will likely have to slice up.

As I've been working on our taxes, I'm educating myself on the divorce ramifications and will have to decide if we'll be better off divorcing this year or next. Without a job, hard to determine any of that and may incur big debt (doubt it, I'm getting interviews). Without a job, he can't move out as we can't support 2nd household. Separating would have to be in emotional terms only for months.

so why bring it up now?

I guess it is now all about me and I need to make my intentions known, whatever the impact on teh recipient of the news. We've maintained an uneasy alliance all these years, I think we can manage it a bit longer. We live on different sides of the clock, we barely share a bed now (part of the reason I don't want this relationship any longer).

I need to unburden myself. That's really teh bottom line, I cannot carry this longer. It will be easier to move forward if we are on the same page and agree to work together to move on. It will be easier to get the reactions out of the way and dealt with. It will be easier once we have that talk, and the ones that follow it. I keep telling myself that it will be easier. It will be, as time passes.

I do not know where my emotional reserves will come from, but come they must. If it gets bad, well, at least I have some Crown set back for special occasions.

He's not a danger to me, more a danger to himself. THis is why I've been careful in when I tell him.

A lot of people will be hurt. Like not knowing that we're not a great couple is some personal affront to them. The surprise nature. well, tough crap, I get to keep my personal life personal. Sorry for the surprise, what do you want?

I do not look forward to those Pity Looks or "if you need to talk" offers. I mean, it's nice, it's supportive, but I generally keep my own counsel. I don't want to give people details of our life. And I don't have to.

won't be getting drunk every night or whoring it up, either. I plan to work on my house and work on myself. and, spend lots of quality time with my dog. I don't expect to cry over pints of ice cream or any of that. I'm looking forward to my future freedom!

I don't know what job I will have or how much money I will make or how soon I can get this guy out of my house, but, in due course, I shall be a divorced woman.

and just need to muster up the courage to take that first step.
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Well, Tori, I can see you have put a lot of thought into your situation.

I generally keep my own counsel. I don't want to give people details of our life. And I don't have to.

So definitely use this board as a place to vent. Say as much or as little as you want to.

I trust you will get some useful feedback and not too much irritating feedback.

I'll probably have something more intelligent to say later.

Good to hear from you.

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Thanks, Peter.

I have thought about it a lot (too much?), as many aspects as occur to me, and I do need to periodically get it out of me. but not among those who know me. it's not helpful if I have to be diplomatic. I want to put it out there as I feel it, not wrapped in happy shiny paper or leaving out important details.

I will definitely be dropping in, I chose this place. seems like a quaint little bar with some friendly folks stopping thru. so far so good on that front! slow service on the drinks, however ...

One of the problems with unemployment: waaaaay too much time to think! I try to not drive myself crazy and when I feel it happening I grab the gym bag and get out of here. swimming laps has been good for my back (not sure I mentioned the car crash last June?) and stress level. I have been doing a lot of house/yard projects and so forth to get away from thinking! the job search is fairly intense so I need the stress relief. I am stuck in this status quo until I get employed. frustrating as hell.

But over the weekend, doing taxes for my friend, I did some spilling. To The Guy. I haven't seen him much the past few months, haven't chatted by phone more than a time or two but I do his taxes, I knew I'd see him soon. Distance is good while I figure out what the hell ... but it's not like I ever quit thinking about him. in ways that a married woman probably shouldn't (blush). I looked forward to being around him again to see how it really is between us. Would I have another powerful physical reaction on first getting there? (no, but one of hte last times I saw him, I felt his presence before I saw him and when I did lay eyes on him, I felt a jolt)

telling him that me and dh are probably splitting, finally telling someone that knows us, it was fine, it was cool, it was therapeutic. I feel so much better. A bit unburdened, you know? Lighter, happier. he was supportive, asking only a couple questions to see if I'd really thought about it and if I was ok emotionally. I think I passed ; )

he didn't pry, I knew he wouldn't; part of the reason I wanted to tell him vs any other friend. I wasn't a weeping mess so he didn't need to "render comfort" or whatever. he let me talk, did some talking, too. it was good, it was cool. he pointed out some things to think about and I appreciated it but he also thought I had put a great deal of thought into it. he seemed surprised how many aspects I had considered, that I really seemed OK, even at peace (true). he was also surprised to have not seen it coming. That will be a recurring theme among our friends I think.

We don't fight, not at home, not out. I can't imagine people picking up on my unhappiness since I am way happier with other people around.

I want to thank whichever poster above recommended that I may need this guy as a friend, don't do something stupid. You are right. he was my top choice for confidante, pretty much my best friend. And, uh, hey, I was helping him with his taxes (last minute, AGAIN), so, tough, he had to hear My Stuff. It roiled up, I couldn't take it any longer.

I didn't plan to tell anyone, not yet, not him, not anyone. but too many "If I don't tell him I will feel like a heel" moments piled up as we worked on taxes, took breaks, saw some stuff on tv... it was bothering me and I needed to get it out. I felt dishonest, pretending my life with my husband will just continue on as everyone expects it to .... nope, not the case.

since he knows both of us and is one of the least judgemental people I know, he was able to see the points I made about living with this man, how he is to be around. How it is for the person living with him, what the effect is over time. I didn't want to say much but I don't think I said more than I should, ya know? There are dots he can connect and probably already has and that's fine.

and while I remain attracted to the guy, I benefitted greatly from his friendship. and that's all that happened. I may be giving off a vibe something like "take me now" and felt it very strongly when I saw his bedroom door open and peeked in. looks warm and comfy. mmmm. uh oh. I did keep control of myself. It wasn't as hard to do as it's been at least one time in the past (late night, no one else around, sipping tequila and watching shooting stars, his bedroom a few feet behind us ... no one would ever know ... I chose instead to go to bed rather than risk my control slipping completely - it was going fast, I was ready to tell him that he had better start kissing me or dancing with me or Something; and I would have been quite fine with Or Something and could have justified it to myself that night. I cannot convey how disappointing it was to instead get in bed with sleeping hubby and hug a pillow)

He is a safe guy for me and I felt very safe at his place. didn't want to leave, in fact, but, had an interview to go to yesterday so I couldn't stay much past our midnight deadline. job crap is more important than his confiding in me whatever secret he has to tell. somehow we never got to that. but you can see that there is mutual trust and he doesn't let too many people "in". I am up to my elbows in his finances and have his username/passwords for everything. His trust in me is enormous. Over the summer, I made it past many of his "walls". But this weekend, I confided a major secret and he said that he also has a secret to tell. I think it's an old girlfriend stalking him, given the context of when he brought it up. I think I know the old girlfriend, too, and she is mighty troubled right now, desperately in need of a lifeboat. I can see him mentally peeling her hands off of him, getting out of her clutches as he does not want A Project for a girlfriend.

We have a tentative appt with Dr Phil today as topic is Divorce. Perhaps I get the secret out of him after that?

I know this guy pretty well. I also know how well I fit in his life. His mantra is "what does this mean To Me?" and I think if he applies that to what he just found out, it's either NOTHING or some plan to bide his time while waiting for me to be available and ready to move on. We like the same things and make great running buddies.

He is a decent man, a good man. He would not attempt to take advantage of my vulnerability. He has infinite self-control, he will not make a move on me prematurely. If he is interested in me, becomes interested in me, he will take his time. Quite likely, it will have to be me asking him out. Not something to even think about yet as it's months from now. But I well know that he will be damned careful about poaching a friend's ex. and so, my making the move is likely. However, I would really prefer there be Some Moment when it becomes clear. some accidental touch that sparks. some natural evolution.

I'm actually ready to date NOW but that would be unseemly. On the one hand, it's a sham marriage at this point anyway, but, the other hand has a ring: I am married. not yet separated. I figure once I'm separated and hubs is out of my house, only thing I can't do is get remarried. I wouldn't have much of a problem boinking someone else now, but I do not think my conscious has evolved enuf to handle that and so I will remain True Blue. not worth the risk to my well-being. sex is simply not my biggest problem right now.

I wonder if yesterday my guy friend was thinking about how nice it was to have me at his house. how easy and comfortable it is being together. how we sometimes think alike, and make a good team. Maybe he felt my absence and maybe he didn't. I do not know what is in his head nor his heart, but I can say that from the start of meeting each other 20 years ago, we got along really well, always have. we have never run out of things to say, have had some very long phone calls. some bond I can't describe but he has always had a special place in my heart. even silence is comfortable.

I try to not torture myself, but what if years ago I realized I was with the wrong man and never made this marriage mistake .... maybe it was supposed to be this guy all along? Or, come on, maybe there is ntohing there, and never will be. I can settle for Good Friends because he is a very close friend at this point and that is valuable. I have a lot of friends but few are This Close.

He was there for me when I became unemployed. We helped each other with our respective problems. I pointed out to him that if my husband really wanted to spend time with me, my enormous free time in unemployment would have been a great time to do it. instead, hubby did nothing of the kind. speaks volumes. I also reminded him about the little "diatribe" hubs sent to a small group of mutual friends. he declared that he would from now on only do what he wanted to do, there was some crap about me not understanding him or whatever. It was offensive to me and I chose to not respond to his ridiculous email. But Guy Friend remembered that, remembered finding it rather strange that my husband sent that email and wondering what I thought about it. but never asked.

Don't worry, I'm not making this guy out to be The Perfect Man because he isn't. I am trying to keep track of his flaws only to keep myself grounded. I cannot know if my feelings are real or just my internal safety system trying to find a lifeboat. But I do not need a lifeboat. I make good money (when employed!) and can take care of myself. the house, the cars, whatever. I am not weak. I am more independent than most women. I don't need a man, I simply want one. I want someone to spend time with. Doesn't have to be big fancy dates, even stupid crap like pulling weeds in the yard. Why do I have to do everything alone??

He agreed that spending time together is important. He sees my isolation now while he probably never gave it a thought during all those day time phone calls over the summer. Prob'ly I make like it's ok but it isn't. hasn't been ok for a very long time. I have merely protected my privacy.

But for now, I am happy to have someone to talk to about it. Should we evolve to something more, I am open to it. If we never move past close friends, then I will still be luckier than most people I know. Trust is a tricky thing and hard to find. easy to destroy, sometimes impossible to rebuild. I don't trust my husband. He continues to prove himself unworthy of it. I see no chance of rebuilding that. I barely even love him and whatever I do feel may be out of obligation. My husband needs me well more than I need him.

so, there's my latest installment! maybe at some point I should start a new thread but it was convenient to just add to my saga.

Thanks for listening!!
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Things have moved along.

Had The Discussion with the husband and he is of the same mind: it's over, let's end this. Very peaceful. Neither will get lawyers so we can be in charge of our own settlement and keep as many of our pennies as we can.

what a relief!

Oddly, hubs figured he'd move out and get along on his pension and SS, wasn't asking for/expecting any other money. I make a good living and do expect to pay him maint and will have to give him some of my 401k nest egg as it is very clearly A Marital Asset. we'll work it out as he understands I am not going to let him starve!

On the other front (Other Guy), that has also moved along. Accidentally, I might add!

Came to find out that he feels that he 'let me slip away' all those years ago when I married my husband.

That was a shock to me! But his finding out I was divorcing and was ready to date caused him to want to ask if he could be at the top of my Date List.

Nice revelation.

We kissed, nothing more, still a ring on my finder. It was enuf to find the chemistry we'd hoped to. I've not been a cheater to this point, and while it maybe wouldn't matter now, I'm not in a hurry to take up with someone. We love each other, want to be together, that's good enuf for now, time to be together later. I'm prepared to live alone without a special man in my life. I can wait. I'm not a big one on keeping up appearances, this is more about finishing my marriage without being an adulterer. I'm not sure my conscience would be ok with that.

It was quite something to have that discussion with The Other Guy. I could not believe that he'd felt he'd missed his chance so long ago, and he couldn't believe that I felt the same way about him. Lots of interesting revelations.

I didn't know he had those feelings for me. He's been nothing but a gentleman, and still was as we found out that we both have strong feelings. He also said it was hard at tax time to not touch me, hold me, Tell Me.

It will be difficult at first for the mutual friends, but, we don't actually care. We want to be together and the others will deal with it and hopefully come to be happy for us.

Passage of time has again helped my life Get Better.
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