Feelings and desires are not a betrayal, they are part of life and in
this case can be a natural extension of trying to help and protect your friend. When one becomes closely involved in the
troubles of someone you like and try to protect them there is a tendency to become a lot closer to that
person, and even to feel the difficulties they have as almost as if it was you.
It is a short step from there to a fantasy where you and your friend are
way from these all too real problems. The boundaries between help and friendship
and affection for a friend have been blurred by becoming so involved.
You are not alone in this, it happens to many people, for example doctors
or psychs can become bound up in their client’s lives leading to overstepping the
mark with ill consequences for all.
I can point out from what you’ve
said that your friend loves her partner and
kids, and you love yours, and the idea of going away with her simply does not
fit, it is a great wish at the moment, but it is your wish, not your friends
and if it were to come about, how do you think you, and she, would feel once the
first flush of escape had passed.
It can be easy to take what we have for granted, and undervalue love, support and
the comfort of an existing relationship. You yourself realized there was a friendship line and are now in your
thoughts beyond it.
What to do? Well I can’t tell you that, I can suggest that perhaps paying
more attention to your partner and her needs may show you shortfalls in her
life you can help to give her ease with support and affection.
Consciously trying to do things together that you both enjoy, hopefully
sometimes with the kids, and at the same time giving your friend more room to
solve her own problems.
I’d think this last one is most important, for her to navigate the
downsides in her own life for herself can only do her good in the long term, your
taking over is doing her no favors, reasonable help, as you started out giving,
is of course fine and on which friendships prosper.
So what do you think?