I have met the person I love unconditionally but am unable to face it and be honest with it. I met a man years ago who has proved to be more than I had ever imagined could exist. We have become friends, we enjoy ourselves together but I cannot for some reason admit that to him, myself or to anyone. I was raised Catholic, was in the process of divorce when I met him and he was in a relationship, all social rules tell me to turn away from him and I have. I avoid him whenever I can, even a friendly wave on the street, the meeting of eyes, to do so causes deep regret.
This issue began 7 years ago, he tried very hard to communicate to me his feelings towards me, his feelings of emptiness in his relationship, his comfort with me, and I ignored it all. Convinced I was too vulnerable to believe such things even though I wanted to very much. The relationship I was in with my spouse was abusive, I craved support and safety, I found it with this new man but I would not allow myself to accept more than our business relationship (how we came to met one another in the first place). Over the years he has tried again and again to make his feelings known, I understand how hard it must have been for him to be so honest and open, yet I refused to acknowledge it, brushed it off as though I hadn’t heard. I am amazed he still comes around, amazed he still even cares, but he does. He has a family of his own now with the woman he was with when I met him and it gives me great joy to see that; their child is a lovely little thing.
I sometimes wonder if I am crazy to catch his eye and still imagine I see the same warmth and tenderness towards me I saw when we started out. I try to convince myself I imagine it as I did back then. I do not know why I turn him away and have so many times other than it is what I should do as set out by societies rules. I do know I would never do anything to harm his happiness. However, I am sad, depressed, and so guilty about never being honest with him about how I feel. What do I do now?
I appreciate you sending us your question. The fantasy, which is what this now is, serves to protect you from getting into another relationship. The one you were in was abusive and coming out of it, you would have wanted to protect yourself from getting into another bad one. Not expressing your feelings to him let you feel wanted — and yet safe. As long as you can want him and he is not available, you won’t have to move on.
Take the best qualities of what you see in him, and keep these as a GPS destination when you start dating. You want someone with his good qualities, but who is available for a relationship.
Wishing you patience and peace,