I've been married for 15 years and have a child. My marriage hasn't been good, and now it's ending. My husband has been controlling since we got married. We've never spent much time together; it was just whenever he was drunk that he would force me to sleep with him. My life was hell with him.
A few years back, though, I met one of his friends, who was very helpful. He always told my husband to be nice to me. Sometimes it worked. Then this man and I started talking over phone. We became attracted to each other.
I just got a job that allows me to leave home and live in another city, but I am not yet divorced. My husband's friend wants us to get in a sexual relationship. I also have the same feelings for him, but I don't want to do this. Why? Because he is married.
But I can't stop talking to him. What should I do? He is asking for sex.
– Next step
It's wonderful that your husband's friend has been an advocate for you during your marriage. It's great he's been a source of support.
But that doesn't mean he's owed your attention. You have to prioritize yourself right now, and that means choosing the right company for the next chapter of your life.
All of this is a long way of saying: drop this man. Find new friends. There are people who will love and understand you without asking for too much. There are potential significant others (if you want one) who are single, available, and emotionally capable of a healthy relationship. If you're tied to a married man who is also (maybe?) connected to your ex, you don't get to explore these new opportunities.
The tough thing here is that you want to talk to this man, and if he were single, you'd be open to more. If you feel like you can't move on without him – that you're not ready at all to say goodbye – make your boundaries clear. You're not going to pursue romance with him, and you'd rather not talk about it.
Once you’re settled in your new city, join as many activities as you can. Meet parents of other kids. Let people know you're looking for community. You are a strong person who's worked hard to get yourself to a healthy place. Celebrate that by surrounding yourself with people who can give as much as they ask for.
Readers? How would you manage this complicated relationship?