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I'll share the Top 10 letters of the year on Monday. Happy almost 2023.
I fell in love with someone I shouldn't have – outside of my marriage – and it led me to get divorced. I haven't pursued a relationship with the man I fell for, despite having an open marriage prior to the divorce.
We work together and he's married. However, he has treated me far better than my ex ever did, and it opened my eyes to how toxic my marriage was. He is kind and supportive. He is protective of me and helps me set appropriate boundaries surrounding work. We have great banter and flirt. I also flirt with his wife when I see her, as she and I are both bisexual.
I'm certain he has feelings for me as well, but I'm wary of the situation, as he has expressed discomfort with the concept of polyamory in the past (though that was several months ago, and I'm under the impression that may be changing).
We work together, so getting involved could be messy. Also, I really do need his support as I navigate the aftermath of my marriage. That said, it's getting harder for me to hold back. I've had feelings for him for well over a year now, and it's been a very long time since I've felt this safe with someone.
I feel as if I'm at a standstill where I want nothing more than to be with him (and while I haven't talked much about his wife here, I would be more than open to a relationship with her, as well). I can't move forward with or meet anyone new because I am so emotionally unavailable as a result. My logical and emotional sides are at war, and I don't know where to go from here. Do you have any advice for a confused soul?
– Open to Mr. (and Mrs.) Right
It sounds like you need a better post-divorce support system. Find that before taking any next steps with this man.
You say you need him to help you navigate life after marriage, but I'm not sure he's the best person for the job. You need a network of platonic connections, even a small one, to help you adjust to this new chapter. If he's your first call, find someone else. Someone you're not hoping to kiss.
After you know you have others to lean on, you can consider what's appropriate – and what you really desire. It's all too blurry right now because he's so important. After all, he's the man who inspired you to think about a new kind of life. Even if he initiates the conversation and wants to try a relationship, I'm not sure you could begin something good with him (or his wife) just yet. Not until he's less powerful in your brain.
Remember that for whatever reason, polyamory has come up with him, and he wasn't thrilled about the idea. You say you're under the impression that's changing, but you don't know. Also, you have no idea how his wife feels, and she is a huge part of this.
You say you can't date others right now, but maybe that's a good thing. Again, this seems like the moment to focus on everything that isn't romantic love.
Maybe in a year you'll be in an incredible relationship with these two people, but it's also possible you'll change your mind about what you want. Give yourself time to find clarity. No big steps until you've found ways to make your world feel safe with or without him.
Readers? Is the now the time to pursue this? Is it worth a talk about boundaries?
What are your guesses for most popular letters of the year?