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Feel like an idiot - married man

Tagged as: Age differences, Cheating<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (2 April 2024) 0 Answers - (Newest, )
A female United Kingdom age 30-35, *assemi writes:

Two years ago, I started seeing someone from work. He is 20 years my senior and we seemed to get on like a house on fire. Prior to us meeting for lunch, we had met at a work event months before and I seemed to recall him mentioning a fitness class that his wife attended - I didn't think much of it because I wasn't interested and we continued the conversation around fitness as I'd just opened a gym. He also mentioned a daughter/

Anyway, we got speaking more frequently in work - he asked for my whatsapp and we continued to talk although I cut it off out of working hours. Eventually, my boundary slipped and it became more frequent but we didn't meet in person because we lived quite a distance apart. He suggested we meet for lunch - I noticed he wasn't wearing his wedding ring so had assumed something had happened and they were separating, I didn;t pry as it wasn't my place.

We began to text constantly. He would initiate a lot of it and always message good morning and good night with hundreds of texts in between- I didn't mind it because we really got on. He would even text me on vacations, morning and night which suggested to me that he was alone. He also would tell me he was meeting friends or travelling alone and never mentioned his wife or child. He then began asking to meet up frequently and we'd do many wonderful things together - he is wealthy but we spent a lot of time walking around, sightseeing and enjoying eachothers company. About three months in he sat me down and asked me if we should just be friends - I shrugged because I didn't really have intense feelings at that point but told him I was after a committed relationship whether it was him or someone else. He then categorically said 'I wont sleep with you until I know I can commit' and we agreed to be friends.

The months continued and our relationship did indeed became physical - I still never had intercourse with him but we enjoyed intimate moments. After the initial intimate encounter, I felt bad, and spoke to him because I was worried I would get feelings - I called things off and he agreed would could be friends. He then said 'you know, I could have fallen in love with you' and I laughed. He claimed that he wasn't ready for a commitment and didn't want one given his busy work schedule (he is a CEO so travelled frequently). The next day he met me before I left town to check I was feeling ok and we continued to just 'be friends'. Only, we didn't. The texting resumed as normal and soon enough we were meeting for tripe together abroad and meet in various cities and he would be incredibly romantic - his messages would profess to 'adore' me and he even eluded to the fact that he loved me. He would make so many romantic gestures. He also started to push for sex - I told him 'we couldn't' and his response was 'yes we can' until I reaffirmed it was a no go.

Anyway, a year past further and I brought up the fact that I had feelings. He also agreed and told me that it had been a long time, if ever, that he'd ever felt this way about someone. I asked whether we could make a go of it and his response was the same 'I'm not sure what to do - this is new territory. But I do know that after the few years I have had, I don't want to commit right now but might in the future'. He was sad to see me leave and was concerned that I would cut him off - I didn't. He would reference what a difficult year 2022 was and told me it was 'a year of change'

The dynamic continued with me seeing him every two months or so, usually in cities where there was an office so he could combine it with work - we'd even spend Thurs - Sat together on some occasions and do some sightseeing, dinner, drinks. Lots of wonderful stuff. He would buy me Christmas presents but never birthday or valentines. On one occasion, and I feel ridiculous ignoring it, he turned up wearing a wedding ring. I'm usually an assertive and direct person but didn't want to bring it up with him - I watched as he slid his hand under the table and removed it stealthily. He would generate fantasy stories - suggest we go on extravagant holidays, describe us building a house together.

I began to notice that his texting was a bit hot and cold but generally he was reliable. Up until a couple of months ago he doted on me. Everytime I brought up the topic of 'us' he would entertain it a little over text but always ask if we can discuss in person. I got the impression he was getting tired of the same narrative even though I'd only raised it a couple of times - his reasoning was aways the same ' youre amazing, I feel a strong connection to you, I dont know what to do but I'm busy and I'm also much older and were not at the same points in our lives'. I began to get less and less from the realtionship emotionally and his texting would be less frequent and more cold - he also hasn't seen me for 3 months and when I tried to get him to commit to a date in advance, he couldn't stating he had to confirm with work. He had no issues planning trips and holidays with friends, in advance.

A few days ago, I had an epiphany and decided to search for his wife on instagram, based on the fact I knew she attended a fitness class. I found her - I've never managed to before. I then did some exploration and found her on facebook - interestingly there were pictures of her with two children. In all of the years she had posted, there wasn't a single one of her with them and him. I found that she was still wearing her wedding ring in 2023.

I decided I would message him and call it off. Something about seeing her face and his children and him not having disclosed any of that to me made me feel sick. I told him I had feelings for him and this wasn't heading in the direction I wanted and he said he understood but would be waiting for me when I hopefully decide that I can handle a 'situtaion that makes sense for both of us'

I've come away feeling idiotic. I dont know why I ignored the previous signs - I made excuses. Maybe he wears his wedding ring to work to save face or maybe its because his kids are still at home? I convinced myself he was separated given the fact he messaged me constantly, never spoke about his kids, and referred to the fact he was single.

I've never been in this situation before and i'm struggling with not messaging him and interacting with him :(

View related questions: christmas, facebook, married man, text, wedding

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