How can I stop feeling these pointless feelings?
May 30, 2010 1:13 PM   Subscribe

How can I truly be happy for someone when they married someone I strongly dislike? (Oh, and I happened to have feelings for the married guy)

Married guy and I have never done anything physical, we have always just been good friends for a long time. After a lapse in communication, he contacts me and ends up getting together with a woman I thought was my friend at the time. Long story short, I stopped hanging out with them when she started being behind the scenes rude to me, (backhanded compliments, stuff like that) There was no dramatic blow up, I just did the fade out. I still think about him however. I know he's married obviously he loves her! They have a baby on the way and I am happy for them but I still think about him. It was hard to admit to myself that I am jealous because I don't think she deserves him but ultimately he chose her to marry and I am having a hard time not feeling sad about that. I know it's selfish and stupid. I have NEVER let on about how I feel to him or anyone else, and I would never ever ever tell him since he's married. Has anyone else been through a similar situation?
*we live in a small town and all that goes with it. Can't afford to move. :/
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
you don't have to be truly happy for them. you can feel sad about that. just don't let it keep you from moving on! :)
posted by 2003girl at 1:24 PM on May 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sometimes life takes you down path B when you were expecting or hoping for path A. For a time you can't help but try to peek through the trees over at path A, to see what things would be like for you by now if you'd ended up over there. Sometimes you catch a glimpse of the people on that path, and you judge them based on what you imagine you'd do if you weren't stuck over on path B.

But that's all it is -- imagining. And meanwhile, the path you're on is still rolling on ahead of you, and you're missing out on it. It's like trying to drive swiftly and safely while your attention is focused on what's going on six lanes over -- you can't do it, or at least not for very far or very long.

Ultimately you have to stop thinking of the path you're on as path B, as the lesser path. It's your primary route, and should be regarded with all the esteem and interest that status deserves. Eyes on the road ahead of you, kiddo.
posted by hermitosis at 1:26 PM on May 30, 2010 [209 favorites]

One technique I've often found comforting is to consider the fact that someone who could be happy with a woman so unlike you may not have been a good match, after all.
posted by Pomo at 1:27 PM on May 30, 2010 [34 favorites]

Reading between the lines, I get the feeling that although you sometimes felt you wanted more, he never did. It would have happened between the two of you by now if that weren't the case.

So put on your big girl panties and repeat the following, out loud: "He's married. He has a family with her. He and I will never happen."

His marriage has nothing to do with you, so stop thinking about it. If you can't be around him without getting the feelings of sadness or jealousy, distance yourself from him until you're over it.
posted by litnerd at 1:27 PM on May 30, 2010

A bit off topic, but I have to say that hermitosis response is exactly what I needed to read today. I recently went through a horrible breakup, and am still feeling the pain deeply. But those words are some of the best I've read in the past four months. AskeMeFi never ceases to amaze me. THANK YOU. My eyes are on the road ahead.
posted by rtodd at 1:50 PM on May 30, 2010 [3 favorites]

How can I truly be happy for someone when they married someone I strongly dislike?

You could make a start by not second-guessing his decision. You are not in his shoes, and therefore not in a position to know precisely what he's been looking for.

Try to accept that he made the best decision that he could see amongst his options at the time, and at least respect that decision, even if you can't bring yourself to like it.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:44 PM on May 30, 2010

She can probably sense that you don't like her and probably found out somehow that you had feelings for him or he had feelings for you.
posted by anniecat at 3:23 PM on May 30, 2010

I have NEVER let on about how I feel to him or anyone else, and I would never ever ever tell him since he's married.

And so you second guess yourself. That if you had let on, then everything might have been different.

Which is a load of crap. You did then what was right for you then for whatever reason.

When I think about similar "mistakes" I've made, I only see them as mistakes by the virtue of hindsight. If I could transport myself back in time - without any knowledge of the future - I know I would do EXACTLY the same thing again given my state of maturity and knowledge at the time.

Don't beat yourself up for not knowing in the past how your future self would feel. Trust that your instinct was correct.

Your future happy self will think "I'm so glad I didn't get involved with X because I would never have met Y."
posted by three blind mice at 3:28 PM on May 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

How can I truly be happy for someone when they married someone I strongly dislike?

Why bother? I'm not being snarky, I'm asking why that's a worthwhile goal. Your friend married a dud; it happens. You don't have to think that was a great decision and you don't have to like her. I think this question, however, is really "How do I get over a guy I'm still crushing on who won't ever be mine?"

And the answer is as crap as it ever was. You give it time, you create as much distance as you can, you date other people, and you find a new and better guy.

Sorry the answer isn't more elegant but it's a timeless problem with a time-tested solution.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:18 PM on May 30, 2010 [8 favorites]

Who says you need to be happy for them? I know it's a small town. But I think you might feel very freeing if you don't have to actually be happy for them. Again, small town, you can lie through your teeth when talking to folks about how happy you are for them, how lovely she is, and how adorable their child is. And then you can come home and jump up and down and make faces in the mirror and get it out of your system. Feel sad. You are allowed to feel your emotions. But feel it, and process it, and move on. Don't hang out with them. Don't socialize with them. If you know they're going to be somewhere, find a reason not to be there. If you can do all of this in six months or a year you can see them in the frozen food aisle and it'll be nothing.

However, that said, don't go down the path of "if only i had told him" because that can drive you batshit insane. I don't mean to trivialize your friendship but this is not someone you had carried a torch for forever and had to see them every day and deal with it - you say it yourself, it was "after a lapse in communication". I get that sometimes you can fall out with good friends and then fall back in as though nothing happened but it doesn't sound like it was that.
posted by micawber at 9:55 PM on May 30, 2010

Of course you don't like her, she's not you.

Get over the relationship. If you can't, you need to remain faded.
posted by stormpooper at 9:34 AM on June 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

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