Hello aunts. I am almost 35 and married, but deeply in love with someone else who does not feel the same way about me. For the long story, please read below.
Year 1: A few years ago, halfway through a master’s degree, I had to quit school and work because I came down with panic and anxiety attacks. Some time after leaving school, a friend of mine told me about a seminar she attended. You just needed to apply and, if selected, they would give you an all-expenses paid trip to the US to attend. I applied and got it.That’s where I first saw her. She was from Japan and her name was Manami. She gave me stomach butterflies from the very start and was very nice and fun to talk to. She did tell me that she had a boyfriend, but she did not seem too happy about that.At some point I told her that I intended to spend one day at Disneyland and she agreed to come with me. When we went, she asked to hold my arm while we went through one of the rides and did a couple more things that I thought might be flirting. So at the end of the first night, I told her I wanted to show her some of my music (I’m an amateur musician) and she came to my room. We had a very deep conversation that night and finished at like 3 AM. However, I did not try anything, because she had a boyfriend.We said good-bye to each other a couple days after that. She promised me we would be long-term friends. I realized I was in love with her. And she gave me the spark I needed to retake control of my life.She and I exchanged some emails through the rest of the year. In one of them she told me about her breakup. The spark grew into a flame.Year 2: One day, in February, I saw her online and I said hi. This led into an awesome phone conversation. This happened a couple more times, always resulting in an awesome talk into the late hours of the night. I still felt in love and I had to do something.I formulated a plan: I would spend the summer learning her favorite song (a K-Pop tune she showed me in California) and recording a cover version in a professional studio. Then I would give it to her as a gift and confess my feelings over a video call.This actually happened and I could tell she was really excited and touched. Then I told her about my feelings for her and, believe it or not, I asked if she wanted to be my girlfriend (I know, way too aggressive). She replied, that if I lived in the US it’d be an immediate yes, but since I didn’t, she asked for a few days to think about it.That’s where it all went downhill. After a few days I asked if she had a decision, and she gave me a vague answer of not being sure yet. Later, she stopped responding. Then I realized it: I had alienated her and I had probably lost her trust and friendship.I prepared some gifts for her and sent them along with a letter to her college mailbox. It was basically me apologizing for what had happened and asking if friendship was still available. She sent me a brief message on FB thanking me for the gifts and saying that friendship was still on. However, my next email went unreplied. I seriously thought chances were that, despite her assurances to the contrary, the friendship was done.Year 3: One day, a massive earthquake hit my city. I received a message from her. She seemed really scared and was asking me to please give her a sign that I was well. I was very happy to know that she still cared enough for me to ask about my well-being. This was how we resumed contact.Some time after that, she broke some very impactful news: she had been accepted at a graduate program at Harvard. I was happy for her but also a little troubled. I felt jealous of the super smart and accomplished men that would surely pursue her.In October, I wrote saying I was going to visit NYC for the first time on Thanksgiving and asked her if she wanted to hang out with me during those days. She came back saying yes, she would love to spend that evening with me!Seeing her again was like a dream come true. After dinner we went back to my hotel room: I told her I had a surprise: I wrote my first English language song inspired by her. She was so touched that she was actually in tears. Then I asked her if I could kiss her. She said yes, so I did. We spoke some more and then she went back to her hotel room.We’d agreed to meet the next day (before she took her train back to Boston). It took 2 or 3 calls before she picked up the phone. She told me she was going out with friends to sightsee and that I was welcome to join. I did, but something had changed. I felt that she was not too happy to see me. Maybe she just wanted to hang out with a friend the night before. Instead, I just treated her to an overwhelming display of emotion and drama. Again, I felt I’d blown it. I sent her a few emails after that. Most went unreplied.Year 4: In April, I received a call from an international business school in Boston that saw the results of my GRE test and were interested in interviewing me. After the process, they made their offer: 40% scholarship to join that September. I took it and started fantasizing of the day I’d break the news to Manami…in person.The meeting was disappointing to say the least. She did not seem to care much for the fact that we were living in the same city. However, we later had a follow up meeting for dinner and drinks and it was loads of fun.Towards the end of December, I asked her out for dinner and she did not reply. I went back to being all depressed about it and thought again that things had not quite been the same after New York. I beat myself up over this to no end.Year 5: I saw Manami only a couple of times before the end of my one-year MBA. Both times, she was polite, but somewhat distant.Then, I met my now wife. We met during a networking event and started dating. When I could see the moment to start a relationship getting closer, I thought that it might make sense to get closure with Manami before moving on. I contacted her again and she told me she was in Texas finishing an internship. I offered to visit. At first she seemed excited at the prospect. But then I started receiving weird messages. First she said that she would not have the whole weekend to spend with me. The third time she sent a message along those lines, I just let it go. I would just move on to my new relationship. Later, I got married.Year 6: I was browsing facebook one night and looking at people’s comments on the wedding photos. Soon enough I saw one from her. Weeks later, for the first time in her life, she sent me a message without me contacting her first, congratulating me. Some time later, she asked me out for drinks. This was too tempting so I said yes.The conversation was weird. She started telling me about a married boss of hers that tried to take her to bed and she resisted. Then she said things like “I’m very liberal, I don’t care for that ring in your hand”. At some point, after too much drinking, I tried to kiss her. I know, despicable, but please don’t judge me. She kissed back for a second, but then she pulled back. I tried a couple of times more, but she would not let me. She even made fun of me saying “if I resisted my boss, what makes you think I’d let you do it?”. I apologized for insisting and we kept on talking as if nothing happened.I felt really bad the following morning and did not tell my wife. I decided it would be unwise and unethical to call Manami again and made a very sincere commitment to myself to not do it again.Years 7, 8 and 9: The following year, towards the end of the winter, I again was tempted and I called her. Maybe I just missed the adrenaline rush she usually gave me, I don’t know. The first time, she seemed pretty distrustful. However, we met a few more times over the next couple of years and they went well. It think I managed to regain some of her trust, but not all. After a couple years, she moved to NYC to take a job offer.A few weeks ago, when I texted, she told me that she ran into some visa problems that may or may not be resolved. I offered to go see her in NYC to take her out for dinner to help her forget her problems for a while. Although the situation ended up being resolved, we still kept the dinner appointment.The evening started out very well. We had a pretty nice conversation but I realized at some point that this could not continue. I realized that this was going absolutely nowhere. I reminded myself of how unethical and unfair to my wife this was. But most importantly I understood that was still pretty much in love with her.So I told her that I felt this was the second to last time we would see each other because there was just one more thing that I wanted to do with her (taking her to a concert, but I didn’t say that). I also told her that, unfortunately, I still loved her and that I didn’t quite know why.I expected her to be surprised, but she wasn’t. She told me about this guy she’d been in love with for many years, in silence, for fear she would be rejected. She told me she knew exactly what it felt like. She said she had recently decided it was in her best interest to let that fixation go and maybe I should do the same with regard to her. She also said that she felt guilty, because maybe she had let this story go on for too long and that the reason she had is that I have a special place in her heart, just like I told her she had a special place in mine. And she said that if I needed one last meeting to get proper closure, she would be glad to give it to me. She said that day she’d give me all the time I needed to make sure I got closure and moved on. We agreed to meet one last time, in a few months. Then we parted ways.Trying to end it as soon as possible, I sent her an email telling her that I would like to have that last conversation before the year ends and I proposed a few dates. She says she’ll respond today, but I’m dreading now that she may have said it just to evade the situation and that maybe her intention is to just disappear like she did a couple times in the past.But I do feel I need this conversation. There’s so many things I’d like to ask her. I’d like to know why I tried my best for years, but failed miserably. And many, many other things.My problem / questionHow do I get rid of my feelings?? This is unfair to everyone involved, most importantly my wife. I keep reading stories online of men and women who love someone who is not their spouse (many times, unrequitedly). I thought I had matured but here I am, where I was in my early 20’s, begging her to spend time with me and fearful to even look at my phone or email for fear of not seeing her reply. I should just move on, but I really feel I need that last conversation just to be able to tell her everything I need to say. I feel like a freaking teenager. It’s shameful.So please, aunts, tell me, how can I deal with this situation and just let her go and move on? Could it be the case that I’ll never get over it and be in the ridiculous situation of being lovesick even though I am married to a wonderful wife?Thank you very much in advance for any advice that you think would be useful.
View related questions: depressed, facebook, flirt, jealous, move on, my boss, spark, text, wedding
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A female reader, janniepeg + ♥, writes (13 November 2018):
You want someone one you can’t have. It’s not that Manami has some endearing quality or that Asian mystique. In fact I feel she is a woman who is able to attract any man but doesn’t actually want a real relationship. Perhaps based on the fact that she doesn’t know where she is going to live next or her boyfriend lives someplace else. What does she really get with a closure? Nothing. Your revelation, your adoration does not tell her you wish her well and would never see her again. Rather, it is a welcome for her to contact you again. As a single guy doing this, it could be either flattering or creepy. For a married man, it is not honourable and just creepy. A person who is sucked into fantasy and can not appreciate a simple, honest life with a companion is not suitable for marriage. I believe you got attracted to her at the first place because she herself is also a fantasist, and your energies matched. A wonderful wife who plays the role perfectly would do nothing for you, if you can’t respect what a marriage is about. You would think unloading some heavy emotions would help you find closure. For her it is an ego boost. She failed to keep the promise of long term friend, being hot and cold. Then suddenly the friendship is on again. You may also think because these feelings lingered for 8 years, so something has got to be real. Fact is, if you just stopped contact long time ago, you wouldn’t have wasted so much time. The friendship is on whenever her relationship ended and she is lonely and then it’s off again when she wanted to hook up with someone else. You love what you imagined her to be, unattainable and mysterious. That you could solve her problems and touch her emotionally with your poems. You love the adrenaline rush. What she really is, is a flaky personality and that your contact with her is based on whether she is lonely or not.
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A male reader, N91 + ♥, writes (13 November 2018):
It’s quite simple. Block her contact.You aren’t getting over her because you don’t want to, you’re hoping that she will contact you. You would cheat on your wife with her, she would tell you to jump and you’d ask how high. You are an ego boost for her, nothing more. She probably only replies in between guys because she knows you will be there at the drop of a hat. It’s pretty sad to think you’d screw your ‘wonderful’ wife over for someone who has fucked you around for 10 years, are you a horny teenager or a grown man?If you need advice that much why not ask your wife for help? She’s there for you right? until death do you part? Get a grip, stop the pity party and concentrate on your marriage or leave this woman, she doesn’t deserve to have such a deceitful husband. You don’t need another meeting with Manami, you need to grow up and remember you’re married. This will go on for as long as you let it. If you truly wanted to move on you’d of blocked her years ago.
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