Q. For some months I have been helping a male colleague through his marital breakdown and the resulting depression and despair; he initially approached me for help and now we have become very close. I have always been attracted to him but as he was married I had never mentioned my feelings. He has been separated nearly 7 months now and I thought it was far too early to do anything about it yet so have remained on a friendly basis. However, on two occasions when I visited him and stayed overnight, we ended up sleeping together. He said he needed to take a step back and remain friends so I let it go at that. To my surprise, recently I found out that he had sent a romantic letter to another female colleague, saying that he had long admired her from afar, etc, and was there any hope? She only likes him as a work colleague and has gone to great pains to avoid him since he separated, and stay out of the whole thing, as she knows he is a “clingy”type. He has gone as far as to say that she is his “hero”, which I find offensive as it is I who has done all the helping. I feel very unappreciated and now am wary of him.
Do you think I should try to distance myself but remain friends, or give up on himEntirely? I have had a fair amount of pain in my life already. I feel so angry and inmy imagination I confront him angrily, but in real life I would not do this. What do you think I should do?
A. Obviously, he likes you only as a friend. This may be hard to accept but you have no reason to be angry with him. Were you really acting as a friend to him during the separation? If so I commend you. However, if you came into his life under the guise of “friends” but were secretly wanting more then it is you who owes him an apology. You are disappointed that the relationship did not turn out the way you wanted and that he did not reciprocate your feelings. He did not make you any promises, nor mislead you and thus has nothing to apologize for. If you can put aside your hurt feelings, then the two of you can remain friends, but you must decide if you really want to be “friends.”