Oh, what a mess.
October 7, 2012 7:03 AM Subscribe
Supposed to be getting married to my long-term girlfriend, developing feelings for someone else, unsure of how to proceed.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (36 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I've been with my girlfriend for more than five years, we've lived together for about four, and we're set to get married in a few months (we're in our late 20s). The planning process has been stressful for me, in part because I am not particularly interested in having a wedding, and am not entirely sure that I am so into the idea of marriage as an institution. That said, I do love my girlfriend very much, and imagining a future together doesn't fill me with dread or anything like that. In fact, it feels very comfortable.
Having been together for so long, though, we've been in kind of a low-passion place for the last couple years, and the stress of wedding-planning has led to a lot of arguments (many about our future, i.e. whether or not we have one) and near-break-ups. A lot of these result from her sensitivity to my detachment about/disinterest in the whole event, which honestly comes more from a place of being overwhelmed by the idea of dealing with any of the logistics than anything else. There are times that going through with the wedding seems unthinkable, especially during the aforementioned fights, but then there are times when I feel like it'll all work out and it's the right choice to be making. We've recently started couples counseling to try to figure things out.
Also probably contributing to my confusion and ambivalence on whether or not to get married is the fact that I've developed feelings for one of my co-workers. I've only known her for about six months, and I developed a major crush on her fairly soon after meeting her. Being around her makes me feel happy, and I feel comfortable talking with her and being honest in a way that I don't really with my girlfriend, especially in this particularly fraught and stressful pre-wedding atmosphere where a lot of walking on eggshells seems to be the safest approach. There are times when I think that my co-worker might return these feelings, but then there are times when it seems patently obvious that this is not the case. She also has a long-term boyfriend, with whom she's been having problems lately. I'm really into her, which makes me feel like a scumbag, especially since I know it's detracting from my relationship with my girlfriend.
I recognize that this situation is largely one of my own making; I agreed to get married even though my heart wasn't fully in it because I felt like it was time to take the plunge, and because my girlfriend was pressuring me pretty much every day (and had been intermittently for probably about a year prior.) I also feel like a prize jerk for harboring this fairly intense crush on someone and probably acting with them in a way that my girlfriend wouldn't be very happy with if she knew (though mostly nothing that two fairly close platonic friends of opposite sexes wouldn't reasonably do, along with some light to moderate flirting.) If she did reciprocate, though, I would be sorely tempted to break it off with the woman I'm about to marry in order to see where it went with her, which I feel intensely guilty about at times. In spite of this, I feel like if I had simply never met her, I'd be more happily proceeding down the path to marriage with my girlfriend, and possibly filled with less doubt about the whole thing. But maybe there would have been someone else, or something else that caused me to doubt what I was doing.
I wonder if:
1) I'm just kind of not into the idea of getting married to, or possibly even being with my girlfriend, and am going along with this wedding thing even though I've checked out of the relationship.
2) I'm displacing my feelings of anxiety over the stress of planning the event and the commitment it's meant to symbolize into my feelings for my co-worker, but I actually do want to be with my girlfriend and getting married will ultimately prove to be something I'm happy about.
I realize that this question is kind of all over the place, as I'm having a lot of trouble processing the whole situation, but I'd really appreciate any insights and/or advice about where to go from here. Thank you in advance.