Anonymous wrote in because she has had a “friends with benefits” for four years. But now he said that he has a new girlfriend, and Anonymous is devastated. What should she do?
“For the past 4 years, I have been in a “friends with benefits” situation with a man, J. He’s been a good friend to me and my children. His kid, who is of similar age to mine, is also a good friend. We’ve helped each other a lot over the past 4 years, our lives becoming always more intertwined, but always refusing to label ourselves as a couple. Hardly anyone knew that in addition to being friends we were sleeping together, and certainly not our children. I was very happy with the situation, and I thought he was too. Neither of us was looking for commitment, so it seemed like the perfect deal.
In June of this year I left for a 2 months holiday to visit some family. On the evening before our return, as he and I were chatting to organise a pick up from the airport upon our arrival, he tells me that he has met a girl, that they’re together now and have been for 2 or 3 weeks, that his kid knows and is happy about it. Knowing our relationship was always supposed to stay casual, I tried my best to respond casually and to assure him that we were good and I was happy for him.
But then a wave of pain crushed upon me and I’ve had a hard time catching my breath between attacks. Tears sprout out of my eyes with no notice, seeing him is so painful. On Saturday I was meeting a friend (the only one who knew about us) and I completely broke down. I feel betrayed and let down. J knew for a whole 2 or 3 weeks that what we had was over but only let me know at the last possible minute, when the risk that I would hear it from somebody else became too great.
All this has been stressing me a great deal, and I am trying my best not to show my children how much I hurt, since they don’t know about J and I. Yesterday my kids and I were going to a concert and I had a panic attack over some trivial thing and couldn’t stop crying for a long time after that. My children know I have been feeling sick the past few days and put the attack on that and the fact I didn’t really want to go to the concert to begin with.
I have written to J about how much I hurt, I felt he needed to know. He assured me we would talk when his kid goes back to his mum. For now I am just hurting and I don’t know how to handle it. I have talked to another friend who made me realise I have probably been in love with J for a long time but in denial because I liked the situation. I genuinely didn’t know.” -Anonymous
@KimFriedmanNYC: YOU NEED TO TELL HIM EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL AND TO CHOOSE YOU. You’re not upset that he waited three weeks to tell you, you’re upset because you’re in love with the guy!
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Yeah, the relationship you describe sounds an awful lot like love. Trust, affection, intimacy, and comfort! I actually agree with my mother for once on the approach here. You’re adults. You have kids. You’ve been seeing each other for four years. There’s too much at stake to play games or dance around the issue.
@KimFriedmanNYC: When he gets back, sit him down and tell him what you want! He’s only been with the new girl for two weeks! That’s nothing!
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Well, I don’t actually totally agree with that; I think you need to prepare yourself for the possibility that this conversation might not go exactly how you want it to, and he might not want the same things you do out of the relationship. I hope from the bottom of my heart that he does and that the two of you live happily ever after in beautiful blended family bliss. HOWEVER, as with anything, there is a risk that he has successfully compartmentalized your relationship and hasn’t developed the same level of feelings. In either case, I think you still need to be honest about your feelings. Either you move forward together, or you can move away from the relationship and give yourself the space to heal. The worst thing I can imagine here is you swallowing your feelings and forcing yourself to be friends with him and his new girlfriend. Don’t do that to yourself. And even if he doesn’t want to move forward with you, if nothing else, perhaps this relationship has shown you that you are ready for love again after all!
@KimFriedmanNYC: Okay, calm down DEBBIE DOWNER.
@KateFriedmanSiegel: I’m just trying to prepare her for any outcome!
@KimFriedmanNYC: Fine, but we get it! Go tell this guy you love him and to forget the new girl!
Read Kate’s Book!
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