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Forums / Sexuality and gender identity / Confused. I'm in love with him.

Topic: Confused. I'm in love with him.

11 posts, 0 answered
  1. Etho
    Etho avatar
    6 posts
    8 November 2018

    Hi. Thanks for having me here. My name is Ethan. I've been married for 3 years and I have 2 children. I am 29 years old. But I have a problem. I am also into men. Until now, this has never been an issue for me. I have kept it secret. I have no reason to tell a single soul about it. Why would I when I have a good relationship, great kids and a great job - Life is great. I don't believe my wife needs to know this as I've never seen why this is relevant for her or to anyone else to know that I also find males attractive. (I find females as as, possibly more attractive in some ways). I have continued to live my life and enjoyed it.

    However, life has thrown an epic curve ball at me. I have fell in love with a friend. A male friend. He is all I ever think about. It's been like this for the past 6 months or so. Not only is he very attractive, he has an amazing personality. To make things even more confusing, I have a feeling that he is also bixsexual, based on some of the things he has said to me in the past etc. I won't go into them all here, but some were sexual (just joking around, but some were out of context and I was like....why would he even say that?) and some were just lovely things he said about me. There's other mannerisms and things as well. I have also suspected. The makes the situation a whole lot worse because I know now, that if I happened to tell him the way I feel, I fear that something could happen between us if he also feels the same way. I don't really want that?

    I feel like just never telling him. Just leaving it at that. Somehow get over it perhaps? But I can't. How can you just "get over" love? How??

    A few weeks ago I decided that there was no point ever telling him.

    Since then though, it's got worse. I have serious anxiety problems. It's all I think about. If I receive a text message, I wonder if it's from him. I replay stuff in my head constantly about him. What he would say if I told him. Can I trust him NOT to tell anyone else? If he tells someone else and it gets around, my marriage is ruined. My life is ruined. I am happy with how my life is today, I don't want that to be ruined!

    I feel that urge to tell him. This urge is getting worse and worse to the point where I was out with him the other day and I felt like pulling him aside and just telling him.

    I feel as though I should just tell him how I feel. Just to "get it out there". I don't care if it's via text, I think I have to do it. But what if it turns out to be worse? Help!

    1 person found this helpful
  2. marcus_c
    marcus_c avatar
    92 posts
    8 November 2018 in reply to Etho
    Hi Ethan, what a tricky situation. I think it's really amplified in your mind because you've never told anyone that you're attracted to men as well as women, and you fear the consequences of that. So I'm going to put that bit to one side in replying to you, because the main issue you have is one that many people who are married or in long term relationships experience - you've developed feelings for someone else.

    Maybe just imagine for a second that your friend is a woman, so all of the potential 'coming out' anxiety is removed. What would you hope to gain by telling this person that you have feelings for them? If it's just to 'get it out there', then you have already done that by posting it here. If it's to find out if he feels the same way, then there are consequences for that. If he does, then there's the possibility you might end up having an affair. If he doesn't, then things could get awkward. Either way, things are not going to be the same between you.

    When you think about it like that, your anxiety makes a lot of sense. You know things can't stay the same as they are, and if you choose either of those two paths then you're venturing into unknown waters.

    I think the reason we can sometimes feel so anxious when we're faced with a big decision in life is because it's really frightening when we realise just how much choice we actually have. There are always consequences for our choices, but we are still free to make them.

    One of the choices you haven't talked about, and I'm not sure if you've thought about, is the choice to no longer be friends with him, or to stop hanging out with him so much. As a married man with 2 children and a good job, it would not be unusual at all for you to be spending less time with your friends and focusing on your other commitments. Right now, you are currently making the choice to spend (what sounds like) a lot of time with this guy, as we tend not to fall in love with people we dont' spend much time with. If you're not ready for the consequences of the other options (telling), distancing is an option worth considering. If it's not an option that appeals, then there are probably bigger questions you need to answer. What do you think?
  3. Etho
    Etho avatar
    6 posts
    8 November 2018

    Thanks for your reply Marcus.

    There is some anxiety that definitely comes from telling someone else, for the first time in my life, that I also like blokes. But I find that my anxiety comes more from just needing to tell him. I think if it was a female, I'd feel the same anxiety. I HATE holding things in. I remember I went through a similar thing when I was in my last year of high school. I fell madly in love with this girl. I didn't know whether she liked me or not. She gave no signs. But I loved her. Madly. It's that same feeling I have now. It got to the point where I eventually told her while I was at the easter show because I couldn't hold it in anymore. I felt so much better. We dated a few months down the track. But didn't last.

    It's just in my personality to just want to tell someone something. Burst a bubble. Get it out there. I do it fine with other things in life that aren't relationship related, you know what I mean?

    Then there's that other part of me, which is worried about him telling someone else. He's a good mate, I don't think he ever would. And if he doesn't then it's all fine, That is what I hope for. I tell him, he's cool with it, he keeps it secret and I move on.

    Problem is, I work with him, live near him. Bit hard to just stop seeing the guy. Also that would kill me to not be his friend anymore and distance myself from him.

    Thing is, I wish I never had feelings for him. Yes, I find him sexually attractive. But that's easy to manage!

    I just wish there was a way to just....fall out of love with him. And forget all this. But I think that is easier said than done. And how long would that take? How do I handle this anxiety of it all until I eventually just...don't have feelings for him anymore? Is that even possible? Who knows. I can't just get rid of a mate like him. That would burn me so hard.

    I feel like if I tell him, all my anxiety is removed. You know, if he does happen to tell someone and it gets out, that doesn't worry me as much. I am sure I can somehow work around that. As hard as it would be. I am pretty strong.

    I think it also comes down to just finally telling someone that I am into guys as well. That would make me feel a whole lot better. Because I've never done that before to anyone I know personally. Kill two birds with one stone perhaps?

    I just don't know.

    1 person found this helpful
  4. marcus_c
    marcus_c avatar
    92 posts
    8 November 2018

    Hi Ethan, it sounds like you're wanting a couple of different things at the same time: wishing it would go away, but also wishing you could get it out there.

    It definitely sounds like in your mind you’ve firmly linked your anxiety in your mind to a need to tell your friend how you feel about him, and if you were to do that, you would no longer feel anxious.

    I think there's a key difference between the girl you fell in love with at high school and the current scenario. You were single then, so the motivation for telling her was to find out if she felt the same, and you then ended up dating.

    It’s interesting that you say you find it easy to manage your sexual attraction to him. How are you managing to do that, and how is it different to how you manage your other feelings for him?

    Distancing yourself is not easy, for sure, especially if you're working together as well - it's also why the consequences of telling him need to be thought through carefully, because it will be hard to avoid him if this doesn't work out. But distancing isn't just physical, it's in your mind also. If you want to try staying friends and ‘ride out’ these feelings to see if they go away, then you’ll have to retrain the way you think about him moment to moment. You're making the choice to see him in a certain way, to anticipate his texts, to hang out with him when you could be spending your free time in other ways, to look for signs in conversations that he's into you. These are all individual opportunities for you to break the circuit, but you’re right, it’s hard work and there is no off switch.

    If you decide to tell, what is it that you are telling? That you find him sexually attractive? Or that you're in love with him? Two very different things that can cause two very different reactions, and will without a doubt change your friendship. You may feel like it lessens your anxiety, but what about the burden that puts on him if he doesn't feel the same way, or isn't in a position to reciprocate (from what you've said, he identifies as straight).

    I feel in your post that while you say you don't know, you're perhaps looking for permission to tell him. I can't make that decision for you, but maybe this has given you some food for thought.

  5. Johnny_11
    Johnny_11 avatar
    28 posts
    8 November 2018 in reply to Etho

    Hey Ethan

    I feel that you haven't considered your wife's feelings in all this. One of my biggest regrets is not telling my wife first that I was attracted to men. If she finds out that you have told your mate before her, she will be devastated, it will take a long time for her to forgive you and trust you again, if ever.

    Also, regardless of the signals you get, if your mate is not out to you about being gay/bi, then he's likely not comfortable about himself, and you telling him you're in love with him is probably going to freak him out.

    I'm a married bi guy, and before I was comfortable with my sexuality, I'd get all the mixed messages from my mate, and they were just in my head.

    Cheers
    John

  6. Etho
    Etho avatar
    6 posts
    8 November 2018

    I think the main reason I have not considering telling me wife at all is because quite frankly if I did, she'd divorce me. She wouldn't ever accept it. I know this. She'd be mortified if she found out. And she'd leave in a heart beat.

    Marcus - To answer your question, it's easy to manage my sexual attraction to him because I just look and admire the view! I do the same to other men that I find attractive. I don't feel the urge to do anything else. It's like window shopping.

    But when you fall in love - It's so much harder. It's like I can't resist him. And every day that goes by, the feelings get stronger. My urge to be with him gets stronger. But I know I can't do anything about it. Therefore, my anxiety kicks in.

    Now that I think about it, I actually don't see him often outside of work. Maybe 3-4 times in the past 6 months! Sometimes just us two, sometimes with our group of friends. I mainly see him at work. I can't exactly quit my job - While that would probably help with me trying to disconnect from him, that is not an option. Now that you mention it, I really have tried to just "ride it out". 6 months ago I remember telling myself "No need to ever tell him or anyone, just leave it as it is". And I have. And now I am here. Not knowing really which way to go.

    For some reason, my gut instinct is telling me to just tell him. Just to remove my anxiety from coming to someone and to just get it off my chest. At least then he can say "I don't feel the same way" OR "I do feel the same". Either way I don't actually care - I just want to get it out there and know where this will take me. Not knowing gives me this anxiety. Do I forever ride it out "never knowing"? That is definitely the "safest option".

    I have a lot to lose by telling him IF it goes wrong. Is it worth the risk? I have no idea. I won't know until I do.

    I also have a lot to lose by NOT telling him. What if he did feel the same? And that we were never able to connect in our own way because I was never brave enough to tell him? I'd hate for that to happen.

    Or even if he's straight - What if I don't tell him and I have to forever live with this anxiety of not knowing, or not being able to tell someone how I feel, or not being able to tell someone that I am also into guys? How long can I realistically do that for before I break down?

    Other option is to find a friend that I can tell about all this - To get it off my chest. Cure some anxiety. But who? I honestly cannot think of anyone. At all.

  7. Etho
    Etho avatar
    6 posts
    8 November 2018 in reply to Johnny_11
    Hi Jonny, interesting point you made about it being "in your mind" in relation to his signals. Are you able to give me an example of your situation and the signals he gave you which ended up being in your head?
  8. marcus_c
    marcus_c avatar
    92 posts
    8 November 2018 in reply to Etho
    Hi Ethan, you're putting a lot of thought into how you might manage this which is good, thinking about it from all sides. In your three posts I can see you working things through and getting some different perspectives, so I hope this is helping. It sucks that you haven't thought of any friends you might be able to talk this through with.

    I know what you mean about the feelings of love being so intense, I've been there too, and they're not very rational. For example, this is a guy that you only see at work, and have socialised with only a handful of times in six months, and often in groups not one on one. Do you think it might be possible that your feelings seem larger than they are, because they're tied up with a side of your sexuality that you're keeping secret?

    John's made some good points about how risky coming out to this guy might be, and I think you understand this too, otherwise you wouldn't be so anxious.

    I'm wondering whether it might be helpful to see your need to have someone to talk to about your feelings, and the feelings themselves, as two separate issues to deal with.
  9. Etho
    Etho avatar
    6 posts
    8 November 2018

    Thanks Marcus, this is definitely helpful. I don't have any friends that I know I can really tell. Except one - The guy I am in love with. Perhaps instead of telling him about my feelings towards him, I could just tell him that I am also into guys. At least then it would get that off my chest.

    If I do that, what do I even say? How do I say it? I have absolutely no idea.

    However, I am not totally sure if that is going to solve this problem? Will I still feel the urge to tell him that I have feelings for him? How do I get that off my chest? Because to answer your other question, I feel like my feelings are legitimate and not exaggerated due to my sexuality that I am keeping secret. I've been in similar situations before in my life where I have been sexuality attracted to another man, so it's nothing new. Except this time, it's more than that. The time we spend at work with each other is more than enough to develop those feelings unfortunately.

  10. marcus_c
    marcus_c avatar
    92 posts
    12 November 2018
    Hi Ethan, I hope you're still around, I haven't been looking in here for a couple of days.

    It sounds like you've got your heart set on telling this guy. You've thought through all the different things that might happen when you do this, including that your wife might find out, that it might make your friendship and working relationship awkward, or that you might end up having an affair, and it's still an option you keep coming back to.

    I guess at this point all I can say is that try and remember you have a choice in what happens here, and what happens next, even when it comes to your feelings. You have the choice as to whether this continues to intensify, or whether you start to keep your distance a bit.

    It definitely sounds like you're no longer able to keep your bisexuality a secret without it impacting on your mental health, and that's totally understandable. Whether out of all the people you have in your life, or could reach out to (like counsellors, psychologists, forums like this etc) that this guy is the best person for you to share this secret with and work this through with is a decision you'll need to come to yourself.

    Telling someone you have feelings for them when you're already married with kids opens a doorway of consequences that you need to be ready to deal with. There are a few people here in this forum who have been in your shoes before, I'd suggest you have a read through some of the other threads here to see how others have coped too. There will always be people here to chat and talk things through no matter what you decide to do.
    1 person found this helpful
  11. Etho
    Etho avatar
    6 posts
    16 November 2018

    Thank you Marcus for your kind reply and great advice. I have decided that I won't tell him. It'll probably burn me inside, but I just hate the thought of anyone finding out. It hurts that I can't tell someone I love as to how I feel. That really hurts. But that's life sometimes I suppose.

    Thanks everyone your advice.

    1 person found this helpful

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