This is kind of a Dual problem situation that I am in. I have searched for anything even closely matching this in your Archives, but came up empty handed. So, I am HOPING for some advice with the this. . .I have been struggling with a problem (question) for a couple of weeks now. I have NOT been able to come up with an answer yet.I have a friend at work who has been having marriage problems for about 2 months now. Her husband has beat her twice and when they seperated after the last time he admitted to her that he has been seeing another woman for almost a year. She has started a divorce process with him. But, a few weeks ago they talked and have been trying to fix the problems.They have been married for 2 years and have a child together. She still has NOT decided (or at least she says she has not) if she is going to go through with the divorce. It seems that he is starting his same stuff again now. She has been talking with me about the problems and everything that has happened.We have known each other for 3 months now and I do think of her as a Close Friend. But, my problem is that I am having stronger feelings for her lately. This is a VERY rare thing for me. I have NOT had a relationship for almost 5 years now. The last one lasted for 3 years and it ended due to me spending too much time working and NOT enough time with her.I have not been able to find anyone who ‘Sparked’my interest until now. Normally, a married woman would flash a ‘NO GO’sign in my head. I have morals that would keep anything like this from happening. And, in the beginning it did.But, with her current situation I guess I let her get too close. When we talk I try to keep my feelings for her out of the conversation. I listen to her and try to offer some kind of support. I would try to NEVER let my feelings bias my advice or what I say. But, lately this has become more and more difficult.I would REALLY like to explain to her how I feel about her. But, do NOT want to add to her problems by putting her in a difficult situation. I care about her too much for that to happen.My question is, what do I do ??? Do I continue this way and risk my heart in the process. Or, do I somehow tell her without risking the friendship. If I do tell her, HOW ????
I can see why you are confused. You are obviously a very caring man who doesn’t want to make life any harder for a woman that he cares a great deal about. This being said, you need to keep in mind that you should not be taking care of her at your own expense.hat telling her your true feelings will be difficult for her to take. As a result of this assumption, you are contemplating not saying anything to her, in an effort to protect her. The problem with protecting or caren’taking another person is that you never can guess what the other person actually needs. For all we know she would be glad to hear that you care so much about her. The point being, caren’taking never actually takes care of the other person’s needs and it certainly leaves you out in the cold.Rule of thumb, take good care of yourself, and let the other person do the same for him or herself.In response to your other concern. It’s not clear why telling her about your feelings would risk the friendship. If you are willing to remain friends with her despite strong romantic feelings, why wouldn’t she be willing to continue? If she feels the need to end the friendship after your revealing strong feelings for her, then wouldn’t she be caren’taking you (figuring that it would be better not to stay friends with you when she cannot offer more).It sounds like both of you need to come clean. If you are such good friends, then you should be able to tell each other your true thoughts and feelings. If your friendship cannot sustain these truths, then what kind of friendship is it?As for how to tell her, just tell her what you told me. That you realize that you are developing strong feelings for her. That no matter what happens you don’t want anything to come between your friendship. That you don’t want her to feel pressured to be with you and if she decides to stay with her husband, you still want to be her friend.And speak from your heart. I also need to caution you both. In the event that she realizes that she, too, has romantic feelings for you, and she decides to leave her abusive partner, all problems are far from solved. She still needs to understand why she chose an abuser and why she has stayed with him. If she isn’t working on these issues in therapy, she may feel the need to return to him.Plus, if you are a nonabuser, which you clearly are, she may not be ready to handle a healthier relationship with you. So, take it slow with her. Meanwhile, it might be good for you to examine why you are so drawn to this woman. You clearly have rescue fantasies, and these urges to save another person can put you at risk, and ultimately jeopardize your relationships.So, look into your own motives as well. Let me know how you make out with this situation, and thanks for the thorough search of my Advice Archives, which revealed that I haven’t answered a question like yours before. Thanks to you, we have filled in a gap in the Archives, and hopefully helped you a bit in the process.