Monday, April 30, 2012

Forbidden Love: Friend Edition

Dear Eve,

I have a friend I'll call "Lisa."  She is the light of my life.  We've been best friends for more than half of our lives, have been through teen angst, addictions, marriages, divorces, and for what seems to be a very serene time in both our lives.  I've been divorced now for quite a number of years but she was married for the second time a few years ago.  We love each other a lot and have had off and on feelings for each other.  The problem is that now I know that I am madly in love with her and probably always have been.  Luckily she lives 3 hours from me because I don't think I could stay away from her.  She accepts me more than anyone has ever, and I know that I am better for her then her jerk-off husband.  I'm sure he cheats on her too and she tells me when we talk on the phone that she's miserable and confused.

Can I tell her that I'm in love with her and ask her to leave her husband for me?  I know she's miserable with him and I know that she's had feelings for me in the past.  I don't want to damage what we have platonically.

Dear Reluctant Casanova,

No, you can't.  You can't get into the middle of your friend's marriage unless (and maybe not even then) she asks your opinion.  The only caveat to this is if she is being abused, which she's not.

You can't because you wouldn't know what to do with her if you ever got her. Both of you have successfully avoided getting romantic for decades and I don't think it's a coincidence that you've never been single at the same time.  If there was a true romantic pull, then one of you would have jumped ship and hopped into the other's dinghy by now and been done with it, making way for some future hot geriatric snurgling sessions and eventual reminiscing (with a bit of ha-ha-ha-ing) about how long it took you two crazy kids to finally get together.

But she didn't and you didn't and now you've got to get it together and leave her alone.  She's a big girl.  If she's miserable enough she can do something about it and extricate herself from the clutches of the cad. She can lean on her best friend for moral support and for whatever other kind of help she needs and she knows that, right?  Let her make her own life in her own time; if you're madly in love and it is meant to be, then be her friend when she needs a friend and, if you're lucky, when the day comes for her to take a new lover, you can be that, too.

Then again, you could take a more cavalier approach (oh, wouldn't you love that!) and do what you want to when you want to and show up at her house (or any locale or, hell, on the phone) with your heart in your sweaty little hands.  It wouldn't be awkward at all to put her on the spot, even though she already has a husband she's committed to and hasn't expressed any desire to leave.  And I'm sure it wouldn't hurt her at all that her closest friend (you :)) whom she depends on to be there for her when freaky shit happens, is crumbling away before her eyes. On top of all of that, she has to consider breaking up with you because you've irrevocably changed the friendship you two have had for half a lifetime.  Nice going, guy.

Don't be selfish.  Be pitiful and lonely--throw in a dash of bitter-- while you wait for her marriage to die; be a little self-destructive, maybe date a drug addict or something similar to keep you busy and wait for the day when she's a free woman.  Or don't wait and jump into another relationship like you usually do.  Then when you're single and she's with another guy, write back to me.  You'll be in a nursing home by then but, hey, true love never dies, right?

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