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Monday, February 28, 2011

The Elephant in the Room

ML is involved in a relationship with a man in an "open" marriage. She was sure it was just what she wanted. She wasn't interested in a boyfriend (yeah,right! lies we tell ourselves to justify our choices) and would NEVER become attached. That is, until Thursday night rolled around.

After a week of her sending me texts wondering why he wasn't texting her or calling her as often as usual (well, sweetie, you told him you had a busy week ahead and he's respecting that-sometimes, we're our own worse enemies), she thought maybe his interest was returning to his wife and family (I was thinking: good, it should be!). I think the thought of losing something that we enjoy further molds feelings around that thing. We believe we feel more than we actually do because it's being taken from us without it being our choice. We hate that loss of control. That is one thing ML and I definitely have in common...our desire for controlling our situations. I have gotten much better with letting go in the last 9 months, but she's new to that. Right now, Xanax is her control for that...and it's our little joke..."get out the xany and get a grip!".

Thursday night her phone died while we were out. She made me message her man and tell him I knew and that she missed him and loves him. I so did NOT want to do it and tried to talk her out of using such language since she'd had a lot to drink. She insisted. When I told her about it on Saturday when she called me all crying and depressed to the point that she was about to call off work, I put my foot down. I gave her a verbal swift kick to the rear, told her to stop letting her mind spin out of control with the what ifs and that if she really wants answers she needs to talk about the elephant in the room. This person is married and however "open" his marriage is, it is still a marriage and there is a child involved. So, while it's good to "feel special" and you think "deserve it" and "it's perfect"...it's really not. Someone's going to get hurt and that someone is probably YOU!

She hasn't had the opportunity to have that discussion yet. She has to wait until he contacts her as he can't "plan" anything. After yesterday's message in church, though, I spoke Truth to her.

Me: ML, you have 2 choices.
ML: Only two? Oh boy. What are they?
Me: 1. You tell him it's over and you mean it because this is not just a game and this is about your forever...and no I am not talking the forever here on earth, I am talking the kind you have to answer to in front of God because you are knowingly making the choice to be involved with a man married to someone who is not you! And if he really wants what he has with you, he needs to make that decision and move on from his own lie.
ML: Oh, man. You're gonna throw the God card out. That's what I get for your going to church!
Me: Yep. That's what you get. I am your friend. Your real friend and I'm not going to lie to you anymore and pretend that what you're doing is ok. Now, 2. You keep doing what you're doing and know that in the end you're going to end up hurt and wanting and that you chose this path.
So choose.

And then, I took my own advice and addressed my own elephant in the room. I got a message from Bear saying he had a really great time and hopes we can do that again soon because he felt as if we could have talked all night and he hoped he hadn't made me late for meeting ML. I told him I enjoyed hanging out as well, but I had to say something and hoped he would not be offended if I was off-base. I told him that I really like him as a friend and enjoy spending time with him, but that it will never be more than friendship with him. I explained that while he sees how far I have come, he doesn't yet understand how far I still have to go. I am not ready to be in a relationship with anyone at this point because I am still figuring out me and dealing with the challenges of my children figuring out themselves, too. I didn't hear back from him last night before I went to bed and I was worried that I had hurt his feelings.

This morning I got a note back and he said that he was fine with just being friends and didn't expect anything more than that. Phew! Now, I can truly say that the male friends I have and communicate with are all on the same page. We enjoy each other's company and it is just what it is--companionship that works for us both. I can breathe more easily knowing I am not taking advantage of anyone else's kindness and just enjoy people who build me up as I build them up.

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