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Emotional Cheating

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EyeElle

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Hi All,

I recently met up with an old friend of mine that I haven''t seen since college. He was in town for 2 days and we decided to catch up over coffee. He told me that he recently proposed to his gf and we talked about that for a while.

But then he kept on bringing up this other girl all the time. She is a co-worker of his, they are the same age and they get along really well and everything. He went as far as to say that she is the only good thing about his job and he talks to her on a regular basis, and shares personal things with her.

He did mention that even though he loves his gf, he does have worries and some doubts, not about her, but just about the future together as a married man, and she is the person he goes to, to talk about about these things.

I was just wondering how you all see this??
To be honest, I would feel a bit uneasy if my fiance was so mentally and emotionally close with another woman. To the point that they have a strong bond and connection, that he trusts her and is so comfortable with her, to the point that he shares his lifes worries and dreams with this girl. .... something I feel should be reserved for the gf or fiance.

Does this sound like hes emotionally cheating???
How would you guys take this???

This whole thing just got me thinking about that stuff, and no I am not going to get on his case about it, but I am curious just to see when exactly does a friendship cross that line where it becoems more then that .... and when do you start to question and worry about your bf/fiance''s relationship with a "friend"??
There is nothing physical going on but I think emotional attachments are just as powerful.

Thanks you in advance for your insight.
 

BeachRunner

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EyeElle Unfortunetly, I can kind of relate to this situation. I will reference my post I started awhile back. My FI and his co-worker have a friendly relationship, but he by no means shares anything personal with her.

Does your friends new FI know about this other woman? I do think emotional relationships are powerful, and at times, stronger than just physical ones.
 

purrfectpear

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He just discussed it all with you too. Were you emotionally cheating with him?
 

fieryred33143

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Date: 2/19/2009 1:18:12 PM
Author:EyeElle


Does this sound like hes emotionally cheating???
How would you guys take this???
Yes this does sound like emotional cheating to me. I would not take it well LOL.

The issue though is that sometimes you don''t realize that you are in that kind of relationship with someone until someone else points it out.

I have a friend, Tom, who I adored. He and I were coworkers as well and would spend the entire day emailing each other back and forth and would volunteer for projects together. I loved working with him. Then we both went our separate ways (he moved to New Orleans) but the emails never stopped. I never spoke about problems that I was having with my fiance (then boyfriend) and the conversations were never inappropriate though. He also had a girlfriend that he had been dating for about a year. We would still talk every day.

Then I get engaged and of course I told him. The response from him:

You just shattered my heart into pieces.

I thought he was joking but I didn''t hear from him again until December when I received a "Merry Christmas" email as part of his mass distribution list.

My FI does not believe in friendships with the opposite sex for this same reason and I''m starting to feel the same way. So many lines can be crossed even if you are completely oblivious to them.

And if I were his fiance in the situation you described, I would be devastated to know that he was spending his time talking to her about issues. There should only be room for one important lady in your life (ok well including his mother and also if he has daughters...you get what I mean
)
 

tlh

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http://psychology.suite101.com/article.cfm/emotional_cheating

I used to be very guilty of being "the girl at work". I listen, and have aparantly the tell me your problems face. I am laid back, easy to talk to.... and I laugh about everything. I am always told that I give them the truth, and tell them what they need to hear... and they always respect me for that. I am the girl that will play TERRIBLE POOL and EVEN WORSE DARTS and drink beer with ya. It never even occured to me... this emotional cheating. (I was much younger.)

I am now aware of this and I always keep my distance. My closest friends, sure, I''ll hang with, and we''ll talk... but there is never any of that flirting stuff. (Yes, I used to be a MEGAWATT FLIRT!) I am very mindful of my DH and everything I do I see as a reflection of our relationship. I ask, "if he were here, would I act the same way with this person?" because I''ll be the first to admit, in those other cases, where I was the flirty co-worker, I would have behaved a little differently if my BF was around... not my DH though, no one even compares to him... and no, I don''t flirt anymore. I get the hotstuff at home!

The test is this... if something major happens, who is the first person you WANT to tell. If it isn''t your bf and it is someone else...ESP a COWORKER... you have a problem.

Now working ridiculous hours, it is natural to form close friendships when you are working 70-80 hrs a week with someone. That said, it is probably pretty hurtful to know that your BF isn''t coming to you with your problems- but is not only going to someone else...going to a woman (who is SOOOOOOO GOOD LOOKING, yeah, I threw that one in there just to stroke my own over-inflated ego a bit!
).

So what is my point? I was a guilty girl of emotionally cheating. It didn''t seem like cheating because I wasn''t getting nasty between the sheets or fogging up any car windows for that matter. However, that said, I know of several instances of where things were definately inapproptriate between me and a guy w/ a girlfriend. If there was a line, I definately tightroped it on a few occassions. Though to be honest, it wasn''t really co-workers, I don''t dig dating people I work with... one of my rules, but yeah baby, I could flirt a storm with some fratters. Ultimately, it comes down to the belly of the beast... I am a natural flirt, but I don''t flirty anymore. WHY? Because I don''t want to do anything that would ever make my DH FEEL uncomfortable.

SO I use the over the shoulder rule.... if your BF/GF were standing over your shoulder, would you behave any differently? If the answer is yes... then you are acting inappropriately.
 

trillionaire

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My philosophy tends to be this: You can probably have a true friendship with friends of the opposite sex that you met from childhood through college. After college, people of the opposite sex are looking for partners, not new BFF's.

I've only had two BF's, and they were both my closest friends and confidantes while I was dating them. I would feel really uncomfortable with the situation that you described, and I have made this clear to SO when a woman in his life was trying really hard to cultivate a friendship that I felt was inappropriate. I would probably feel less strongly about it, but I've only dated guys who started as 'just friends', and my current SO and I were friends for almost 3 years before we dated, but BFF's for a year where we talked on the phone daily, spent tons of time together, etc...

I guess what is strange about the original post is that HE said that he was worried about the relationship, but doesn't seem to want to DO anything about it. Every person and relationship will be subject to temptation, but part of honoring and respecting your partner is being mature enough to recognize and remove yourself from those situations. If you sit on the tracks and wait for the train to come, well, I don't really know what to tell you except that you should have moved.
 

tlh

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Date: 2/19/2009 2:00:32 PM
Author: trillionaire
My philosophy tends to be this: You can probably have a true friendship with friends of the opposite sex that you met from childhood through college. After college, people of the opposite sex are looking for partners, not new BFF''s. I''ve only had two BF''s, and they were both my closest friends and confidantes while I was dating them. I would feel really uncomfortable with the situation that you described, and I have made this clear to SO when a woman in his life was trying really hard to cultivate a friendship that I felt was inappropriate. I would probably feel less strongly about it, but I''ve only dated guys who started as ''just friends'', and my current SO and I were friends for almost 3 years before we dated, but BFF''s for a year where we talked on the phone daily, spent tons of time together, etc...

I guess what is strange is that HE said that he was worried about the relationship, but doesn''t seem to want to DO anything about it. Every person and relationship will be subject to temptation, but part of honoring and respecting your partner is being mature enough to recognize and remove yourself from those situations. If you sit on the tracks and wait for the train to come, well, I don''t really know what to tell you except that you should have moved.
SOOO TRUE! MY BFFs are from back in the day... and they are 100% NOT someone I would ever date. I guess it was always clear from the beginning that we weren''t attracted to one another... EVER. I don''t flirt with my guy friends... and my DH LOVES them all! One is following his bro''s footsteps and becoming a pro-wrestler!
 

Dreamgirl

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I honestly think this guy sounds like he doesn''t know what he wants at this point in his life. He shouldn''t get married to that girl if he thinks so highly of other girls and is able to relate to them better than his own fiance.....
 

anchor31

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That''s quite a can of worms you''ve just opened. You''ll most likely get a lot of varying opinions simply because different people and different couple view cheating in completely different ways. Some people see going to the strippers, or confiding in a friend of the opposite sex, or having a bit of a crush on someone as cheating, some people don''t.

Personally? I don''t view any of those things as cheating. For me (and DH), falling in love is cheating. Kissing, touching sexually and having sex is cheating. Otherwise... no problem. We pretty much summed it up in this one rule we have: "You can look, but you can''t touch."

From what you''ve told us I wouldn''t call what your friend is doing "cheating". If his friend was a man, then it wouldn''t be considered cheating, would it? Why is the fact that the friend is a woman a problem? Call me clueless or naive if you like, but I don''t get it. Good friends are too precious and few to start discriminating on their sex. I make friends more easily with men, and actually spent most of my time in college with one. There''s a clear line we never cross, it''s not something I even think about. So if we had issues with friends of the opposite sex, we''d be in deep trouble.
 

Bia

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Date: 2/19/2009 2:00:32 PM
Author: trillionaire
My philosophy tends to be this: You can probably have a true friendship with friends of the opposite sex that you met from childhood through college. After college, people of the opposite sex are looking for partners, not new BFF''s.
AMEN! All the rest need to get to walkin (and don''t look back)!!!!

I say this because I had an ''issue'' with some girl from my FIs past who was trying to pop up again and ''be friends.'' She couldn''t take a hint, so he changed his number and that was the END of that.
 

PrincessLily2009

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I was in this guy''s shoes awhile ago. I had a coworker who I hit it off with SO well-almost better than I did with my BF. We had a really strong connection. The coworker and I developed pretty strong feelings for each other-it was completely inappropiate. Things eventually crossed into the physical, and looking back, I can''t believe I stupidly thought I could spend time with this guy who I had such a connection with without getting into trouble.

Getting close to "friends" of the opposite gender is just asking for trouble.
 

tlh

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Date: 2/19/2009 2:40:34 PM
Author: Bia

Date: 2/19/2009 2:00:32 PM
Author: trillionaire
My philosophy tends to be this: You can probably have a true friendship with friends of the opposite sex that you met from childhood through college. After college, people of the opposite sex are looking for partners, not new BFF''s.
AMEN! All the rest need to get to walkin (and don''t look back)!!!!

I say this because I had an ''issue'' with some girl from my FIs past who was trying to pop up again and ''be friends.'' She couldn''t take a hint, so he changed his number and that was the END of that.
I have another rule... the naked rule. If we''ve INTENTIONALLY seen each naked... we''re no longer friends. I would hate it if my DH hung out with a girl he was biblical with, and I can only respect the same.
I have one kinda crossover... that realtionship ended because we were sooo much alike it was like masturbating. As my nowDH and I became closer, I let that friendship politely fade away... such a shame too. He was the male version of me... so he was a WAY COOL DUDE!
 

EyeElle

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Date: 2/19/2009 1:38:40 PM
Author: purrfectpear
He just discussed it all with you too. Were you emotionally cheating with him?
He actually didn''t discuss it with me. He didn''t ask my opinion or told me his troubles or anything like that. Whatever he said was in relation to her and I asked a question and it went from there.

How it started was that I said "you must be happy to be able to spend your whole life with someone you love" (after he told me they got engaged). And he said "I am happy, but you never really know the end result, years down the line ... but my friend at work talks about it all the time with me so I am not going crazy."
To which I replied "oh well its good you have someone to talk to" ... and then he pretty much started ...... "yes I am glad I have her to talk to, we are so alike and she understands me and its just so good to be able to talk to her about what is ahead for me and what I want out of life."

The way I found out about his worries etc was because he said "i can talk to her about my worries as a husband and she helps me sort out my feelings and I love hanging out with her she is one of my best friends, I feel I have someone here I can really talk to finally"

So he never actually brought up his issues with me or anything we didn''t actually discuss anything, it was more of him saying what he does with her and what he discusses with her.
 

Winks_Elf

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Unless he''s very physically attracted to her and having thoughts of wanting to be with her, the girl at work is what many call the "office spouse." It''s not unusual, but when it gets to the next level, there''s a problem. Does he go to lunch with her all the time, or a lot of the time?
 

sammyj

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Date: 2/19/2009 3:10:25 PM
Author: EyeElle

He actually didn't discuss it with me. He didn't ask my opinion or told me his troubles or anything like that. Whatever he said was in relation to her and I asked a question and it went from there.

How it started was that I said 'you must be happy to be able to spend your whole life with someone you love' (after he told me they got engaged). And he said 'I am happy, but you never really know the end result, years down the line ... but my friend at work talks about it all the time with me so I am not going crazy.'
To which I replied 'oh well its good you have someone to talk to' ... and then he pretty much started ...... 'yes I am glad I have her to talk to, we are so alike and she understands me and its just so good to be able to talk to her about what is ahead for me and what I want out of life.'

The way I found out about his worries etc was because he said 'i can talk to her about my worries as a husband and she helps me sort out my feelings and I love hanging out with her she is one of my best friends, I feel I have someone here I can really talk to finally'

So he never actually brought up his issues with me or anything we didn't actually discuss anything, it was more of him saying what he does with her and what he discusses with her.
It sounds innocent enough but if it were me in that situation, it would really depend on how much my fiance did or did not share with me, and if I even know about this girl at the office in the first place. I wouldn't go so far as to call it emotional cheating since it sounds like he really does just see her as a best friend, but that could easily lead into something more, especially if he keeps this 'friendship' a secret from his fiancee. I don't know...I guess I just don't have enough information to say anything constructive but I'll put it this way:

If I came on here and read this about my fiance, and I knew about this girl from work and his reservations about marriage, I would be ok with their relationship (edited).

If I came on here, read your post, didn't know anything about my fi's uncertainty and the fact that he's talking to some girl about it, I'd be pissed.
 

WistfulAurora

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Date: 2/19/2009 2:00:32 PM
Author: trillionaire
If you sit on the tracks and wait for the train to come, well, I don''t really know what to tell you except that you should have moved.
^That made me laugh!


I agree with a lot of the posters on here. I couldn''t have another best friend that was a guy. My best guy friend is my BF, and I would feel like I was cheating on him if I did have another best guy friend. I would be crushed to find out that my BF could talk to another girl more than me. I''m huge on communication, and if me and my BF can''t communicate everything, the relationship can''t work. But that''s just me, and who knows maybe he and his fiance feel differently..
 

tlh

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Date: 2/19/2009 4:17:15 PM
Author: Winks_Elf
Unless he''s very physically attracted to her and having thoughts of wanting to be with her, the girl at work is what many call the ''office spouse.'' It''s not unusual, but when it gets to the next level, there''s a problem. Does he go to lunch with her all the time, or a lot of the time?
That makes me think of something... I remember when my old "work boyfriend" told me that he had sex with one of the girls we worked with. We hung out, went to lunch together, but I wasn''t the one he was banging.
 

EyeElle

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Date: 2/19/2009 4:25:40 PM
Author: sammyj

It sounds innocent enough but if it were me in that situation, it would really depend on how much my fiance did or did not share with me, and if I even know about this girl at the office in the first place. I wouldn''t go so far as to call it emotional cheating since it sounds like he really does just see her as a best friend, but that could easily lead into something more, especially if he keeps this ''friendship'' a secret from his fiancee. I don''t know...I guess I just don''t have enough information to say anything constructive but I''ll put it this way:

If I came on here and read this about my fiance, and I knew about this girl from work and his reservations about marriage, I would be ok with their relationship (edited).

If I came on here, read your post, didn''t know anything about my fi''s uncertainty and the fact that he''s talking to some girl about it, I''d be pissed.
That is an interesting comment.

So would it be safe to say that if the fiance knew about the girl and knew he talked to her the way he does, then it should be innocent enough and she really is just a friend?

Its when its secretive that it becomes an issue??

To answer some questions, I really do not know if the fiance knows about this girl, and I don''t know if they go to lunch together or if they see each other outside of work, he didn''t mention anything. All I know is that he has been in this position for maybe 7-10 months so that was a very quick freindship to have developped, to that extent.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Date: 2/19/2009 2:00:32 PM
Author: trillionaire
My philosophy tends to be this: You can probably have a true friendship with friends of the opposite sex that you met from childhood through college. After college, people of the opposite sex are looking for partners, not new BFF''s.

I''ve only had two BF''s, and they were both my closest friends and confidantes while I was dating them. I would feel really uncomfortable with the situation that you described, and I have made this clear to SO when a woman in his life was trying really hard to cultivate a friendship that I felt was inappropriate. I would probably feel less strongly about it, but I''ve only dated guys who started as ''just friends'', and my current SO and I were friends for almost 3 years before we dated, but BFF''s for a year where we talked on the phone daily, spent tons of time together, etc...

I guess what is strange about the original post is that HE said that he was worried about the relationship, but doesn''t seem to want to DO anything about it. Every person and relationship will be subject to temptation, but part of honoring and respecting your partner is being mature enough to recognize and remove yourself from those situations. If you sit on the tracks and wait for the train to come, well, I don''t really know what to tell you except that you should have moved.
Definitely something wrong with this picture if he is sharing personal things with a female at work. Just his slight reservations about marriage are a HUGE red flag. I surely do feel for the poor fiance. If he was telling me all this, I''d politely tell him that I think it is totally inappropriate and he is headed for big trouble.
 

sammyj

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Date: 2/19/2009 5:34:56 PM
Author: EyeElle

Date: 2/19/2009 4:25:40 PM
Author: sammyj

It sounds innocent enough but if it were me in that situation, it would really depend on how much my fiance did or did not share with me, and if I even know about this girl at the office in the first place. I wouldn''t go so far as to call it emotional cheating since it sounds like he really does just see her as a best friend, but that could easily lead into something more, especially if he keeps this ''friendship'' a secret from his fiancee. I don''t know...I guess I just don''t have enough information to say anything constructive but I''ll put it this way:

If I came on here and read this about my fiance, and I knew about this girl from work and his reservations about marriage, I would be ok with their relationship (edited).

If I came on here, read your post, didn''t know anything about my fi''s uncertainty and the fact that he''s talking to some girl about it, I''d be pissed.
That is an interesting comment.

So would it be safe to say that if the fiance knew about the girl and knew he talked to her the way he does, then it should be innocent enough and she really is just a friend?

Its when its secretive that it becomes an issue??

To answer some questions, I really do not know if the fiance knows about this girl, and I don''t know if they go to lunch together or if they see each other outside of work, he didn''t mention anything. All I know is that he has been in this position for maybe 7-10 months so that was a very quick freindship to have developped, to that extent.
Hmmm...maybe I should rephrase my thoughts. I guess what I''m saying is that I wouldn''t be bothered if my BF was close friends with another woman...as long as I was part of that friendship, i.e. I didn''t just know OF this girl, but I know her and I''ve spent time with her and I know how she interacts with my BF. That would be the only way I would comfortable with this friendship. If I ever found out that he revealed more to her than he did to me, then we would have a serious talk. I should be my BF''s #1...there shouldn''t be anything that he can''t tell me but can tell others (unless it''s about my future proposal!
).

If you need to keep a secret from you SO, especially if it''s in regards to a relationship with anyone, then yes, it is an issue. IMO, it''s a sign that you''re in a dishonest relationship where I would seriously question a person''s loyalty and trustworthiness.
 

swingirl

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I hope he didn''t spend a lot on the engagement ring because it''s going to eventually end up on ebay. That is not the way an engaged man acts. I doubt his fiancée knows about his female confidante.
 

trillionaire

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LOL, this is not totally related, but made me think of this post.

SO called me today after work, like he usually does. We talked for a minute or two when he confessed that he had really meant to call his brother (who is going through some tough times), but instinctively dialed me. He said, "yeah, it''s just the first thing I think to do everyday when I leave work..." Which made me smile. Then I told him to call his brother, and kicked him off the phone! lol
 

JulieN

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Generally (instead of this specific case, obvs I have no idea of what he does) this is not emotional cheating.

I think this comes from the myth that one person should be all you need. And then, say his fiancee/wife is unavailable to support him emotionally at some p. Then, he''s just...floating around, lost? I think it''s ok for people to have a little more support. It is unfair to one''s spouse to expect that they can give you all the emotional support that one needs.
 

Circe

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Date: 2/19/2009 7:07:39 PM
Author: JulieN
Generally (instead of this specific case, obvs I have no idea of what he does) this is not emotional cheating.


I think this comes from the myth that one person should be all you need. And then, say his fiancee/wife is unavailable to support him emotionally at some p. Then, he''s just...floating around, lost? I think it''s ok for people to have a little more support. It is unfair to one''s spouse to expect that they can give you all the emotional support that one needs.
This.

Also, just to highlight/underscore the illogic behind the idea that men and women,i.e., people with the potential to be attracted to one another, can never be friends without complications arising ... I''m bi. By the standard that any emotional relationship with a person with whom physical attraction is even a distant possibility is cheating, I am out-of-bounds if I befriend anybody who isn''t a blood relative! And I''m the only child of only children, so ... it''d be a hell of a lonely life.

It doesn''t sound like your friend is doing anything wrong in having a female friend while being engaged to his fiancee. It does sound worrisome that he''s engaged and sharing his second thoughts with anybody before her: that strikes me as disloyal. So, not a cheater by my lights, but not acting like an honorable engaged person should be acting, either ....
 

idreamofcushions

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In my book, that''s definitely emotional cheating. Just the fact that he started talking about this chick without much preamble says a lot. Especially when you guys were talking about him and his fiance! Then top that with his saying that she understands him so well, plus he''s virtually complaining about his current relationship to this girl. I dunno, it just doesn''t seem like something a happily engaged (or married person for that matter) would do.
 

nail_polish

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Date: 2/19/2009 2:40:34 PM
Author: Bia
Date: 2/19/2009 2:00:32 PM

Author: trillionaire

My philosophy tends to be this: You can probably have a true friendship with friends of the opposite sex that you met from childhood through college. After college, people of the opposite sex are looking for partners, not new BFF''s.
AMEN! All the rest need to get to walkin (and don''t look back)!!!!


I say this because I had an ''issue'' with some girl from my FIs past who was trying to pop up again and ''be friends.'' She couldn''t take a hint, so he changed his number and that was the END of that.
DITTO.

I couldn''t have said it better myself. I definitely do think it is emotional cheating and in many regards this can be as hard, if not harder, than physical cheating.

How would I handle it? I would be devastated. Luckily *knock on wood* I have never faced this with my boyfriend; however, I have countless times in the past. I have the mind frame that if I want a boy to talk to or hang out with or get a male opinion or share my day with or ANYthing, my boyfriend is the boy! And he feels the same way about me and the rest of the female population.
 

Lauren8211

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Emotional cheating is a slippery slope... and I think if that''s not where it is, it''s where it is headed.

He should be going to his FI with relationship issues, period. Especially since this is not an old friend. This is a new female that seemingly he has introduced into his life because she''s filling a void.

I''ve been down this road before. My BF in my early 20s/late teens pulled this. I started hearing about this "new girl" in his classes. All. The. Time. "they''re just friends" he says.

He was cheating on me for THREE YEARS. I had no idea. I was being the "cool" girlfriend and letting it go on because I trusted him. Even when I sensed something was up, I said "No, he''d never cheat. I trust him!" You have to trust your instincts. If it seems a certain way, it *likely* is.

And for the record, no... i''m not a jealous/untrusting girlfriend in general. I just am a firm believer in following gut instincts.

FF and I actually discussed this last night. I brought up the point "What if it is platonic on your end, but she wants it to be more? Is it OK to be close with her?"

"Baby, no, and I''d know if she wanted more"

"You dont pick up on hints very well"

"WHAT? Yes I do!"

"OH yeah, because I wanted to
the other night, and you didn''t pick up AT ALL"

"Oh."

Case in point, FF. Case in point.
 

gwendolyn

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I don''t get why people think the sex of the person in which he confides makes any difference--the issue is that he doesn''t sound completely sure of what he wants in life and might be having cold feet about getting married. Do we know if this woman at work is single? Straight? Interested in him? Does he find her attractive? Does he have any other good friends who make time to talk to him? Does he have a history of cheating? Does he share these same thoughts with his future wife? Does she have a problem with him getting an outside opinion?

Just my opinion, but it seems like people are a bit quick to damn the guy when (as is expected on forums) we don''t have nearly enough information. All he''s done is talk to a friend about life, which is what friends tend to do. If he starts fantasizing that she''s the one he''ll be marrying, then there are issues, but they aren''t caused by his friendship with this woman--they go deeper than that.

I also think it''s completely wrong to say that all people of the opposite sex are looking for is a partner after they get out of college, not a friend. That implies to me that the only man I ever need in my life is James, and although I love him dearly and he''s without question the most important person in my life, he doesn''t cancel out my need for other people to socialize with. My best friends have always been guys, and although many of them are childhood friends, others I have met recently (since I now live in another country, I needed some new friends). Some of my new guy friends have partners, others don''t. One is gay. I''m always crystal clear from the beginning that I have someone and am looking for friends, and they are all fine with that. Some of them even refer to James as my husband, even though they know we aren''t married yet. James doesn''t feel threatened in any way by them.

So, no. Men and women can become friends and remain friends at any age, and I get my knickers in a bunch on this subject because it sometimes sounds to me like those who don''t believe men and women can be friends are just waiting for the day when I will betray James, and that will never, EVER happen.
 

Lauren8211

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 25, 2008
Messages
11,073
Date: 2/20/2009 9:22:24 AM
Author: gwendolyn
I don''t get why people think the sex of the person in which he confides makes any difference--the issue is that he doesn''t sound completely sure of what he wants in life and might be having cold feet about getting married. Do we know if this woman at work is single? Straight? Interested in him? Does he find her attractive? Does he have any other good friends who make time to talk to him? Does he have a history of cheating? Does he share these same thoughts with his future wife? Does she have a problem with him getting an outside opinion?

Just my opinion, but it seems like people are a bit quick to damn the guy when (as is expected on forums) we don''t have nearly enough information. All he''s done is talk to a friend about life, which is what friends tend to do. If he starts fantasizing that she''s the one he''ll be marrying, then there are issues, but they aren''t caused by his friendship with this woman--they go deeper than that.

I also think it''s completely wrong to say that all people of the opposite sex are looking for is a partner after they get out of college, not a friend. That implies to me that the only man I ever need in my life is James, and although I love him dearly and he''s without question the most important person in my life, he doesn''t cancel out my need for other people to socialize with. My best friends have always been guys, and although many of them are childhood friends, others I have met recently (since I now live in another country, I needed some new friends). Some of my new guy friends have partners, others don''t. One is gay. I''m always crystal clear from the beginning that I have someone and am looking for friends, and they are all fine with that. Some of them even refer to James as my husband, even though they know we aren''t married yet. James doesn''t feel threatened in any way by them.

So, no. Men and women can become friends and remain friends at any age, and I get my knickers in a bunch on this subject because it sometimes sounds to me like those who don''t believe men and women can be friends are just waiting for the day when I will betray James, and that will never, EVER happen.
I hear you, Gwen!

I absolutely feel that men and women can be friends post-college. I take issue when you''re confiding in the friend, and not the SO.

However, the fact of the matter is that for heterosexuals, male-male or female-female relationships ARE different than male-female. As much as everyone would like to think they''re not, they are. There is ZERO potential for me to fall in love with a person who is my sex. There is some potential, no matter how small, that a male in my future could spark feelings. Some people are not always so forthcoming with their true intentions, even when you are with yours. It''s not unheard of for a female to take a deep interest in a male colleague, and his girlfriend, to use it to their advantage. I''ve seen friends from my past get close and try to take those men away. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt.

"Oh, tell me all about your girlfriend!" when she really doesn''t care. I''ve seen it before. It''s annoying. She''s trying to compete.

I don''t feel that men and women can''t be friends... but they do need to acknowledge that the relationship is different than same sex, and just be aware.

Confiding in someone new that isn''t your FI about relationship problems is a red flag, IMO.

FWIW, if a guy at my work confided in me about troubles with his FI. I''d say "And you''re telling me this because...? Talk to your dang fiance!"
 
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