Should I leave my husband for my best friend?

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Hi Meredith! I hope you had an amazing holiday celebration!

This is going to get semi-messy. This past September, my husband and I hit rock bottom and decided to take some time apart. Life just took a toll on us; both of our jobs, monotony, and not investing in our relationship. I became really close with my male best friend during these difficult months, only to realize that I'm now madly in love with him.

My husband and I recently had a conversation about giving our relationship a chance. I agreed to it, for one purpose only: financial stability. He recently landed a six-figure position, and my husband and I work extremely well together as a team and basically roommates. I can confidently say that I no longer have the same feelings I once had.

My best friend, on the other hand, would want to take things slowly, which I understand. He is aware that I'm still legally married, and he completely respects this. My mind tells me to give my husband a second shot, but my heart wants my best friend. My husband is the perfect partner on paper; he provides emotional and financial support, and he is my biggest cheerleader. He is such a good man, but no longer the man I once loved.

Side note; my best friend is also five years younger, and has yet to explore some of what life has to offer. I'm at the point in my life where I'm ready to settle down – but not with my husband. I want to listen to my mind. In my head I think, "I'm doing the right thing," but I'm not happy.

I would also like for my heart to be on the same page as my head, but the heart wants what it wants. What should I do? I also feel so gross on the inside for wanting to give what was once a perfect relationship an opportunity just because of financial stability.

– Messy

"I'm ready to settle down – but not with my husband."

I don't know if that's 100 percent true – the settling down part. It would be wonderful to jump from one safe and serious partner to another, but that's not an option – or what's best for you. If you leave this marriage, you'll have to figure out life on your own. Your entire routine will change, and it could be an exciting and freeing challenge. Accept that there is no way to line up a stable and familiar next chapter before you make the jump.

It does sound like you've already made your decision about this marriage. Financial stability is nice, but that's not why you got into the relationship. There was love there too, right? My advice is to get into therapy as a couple, not because I think it'll save the marriage, but because it might be a good place to have an honest talk about both of your needs. Does your husband want to be in a marriage based on finances? Does he think about finding love again? This could be an amicable and generous breakup. Be his biggest cheerleader and root for both of you to have the lives you want.

As for the best friend, think of him as someone new. He's been around for a long time, I'm sure, but we say this a lot here; when you date a person you've known as a friend, it's like a reboot. You're getting to know that person all over again. You might not like him as a partner. He might not be able to give you the support you had. You know what your heart wants right this second, but be open to change. Everything will change.

(Also, my holiday season was great and I got a Batman picture signed by Kevin Conroy, my favorite Batman. Thanks for asking.)

– Meredith

Readers? Try the marriage? If not, what's next with the friend?