Crush on my married friend

Hi Meredith,

I have fallen in love with my best guy friend who is married. We have been friends for seven years. We were in relationships when we met. As time progressed, he introduced me to his girlfriend, now wife. She and I hit it off and became good friends as well. She is cool with him having female friends and never questions my friendship with him.

Over the past five years, we have gotten very close. I know he cares about me, we talk all the time, and he notices when I get distant. I definitely think there is a connection on his end as well. I am struggling with these feelings. I never had a problem hanging out with him and his wife until recently. I feel insanely jealous sometimes. Though the thought of him not being in my life also makes me very sad. I don't want to lose him – or her – as a friend. We also share the same social circle. If I try to be distant, he will want an explanation. What is your advice? Do I attempt to be distant with just him or try to ignore my feelings?

– Feelings

This man is married. His wife trusts you, and you want to keep her as a friend. You need to pull yourself out of this flirtation/fantasy, because that's all it is.

You don't have to hide away or drop them forever, but you must find other people to talk to when you need a close friend. He shouldn't be your first phone call. You need to depend on companions who don't inspire romantic jealousy.

Also, instead of focusing on what you should subtract from your life, pay more attention to what you should add. Your social circle might be limiting your ability to meet other people. It might make your world seem small, even though it isn't.

Find some social activities outside of the group. If he asks why you're branching out, tell him the truth – that the world is big, and you want to try something new.

– Meredith

Readers? How can she deal with these feelings? Does she have to drop them as friends?