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Background info: 

My husband Trevor and I started dating in May 2000. We moved in with each other that summer and stayed together until October 2001. He moved out, we broke up. He eventually joined the Navy and married some random girl moments after she turned 18. I started a friends with benefits sorta thing with one of his closest friends, Jason. Jason and I kept this up for years. Real feelings developed but we never upgraded our status beyond friends with benefits. Trevor eventually left the Navy and came home, wife in tow. They divorced. I balanced a friends with benefits thing with both Trevor and Jason for about a year, but it was tumultuous to say the least. Eventually, Jason was slowly replaced by Trevor, and in 2007 I got pregnant with Noah. Trevor and I married in 2011, and things have been pretty solid with us ever since. Trevor and Jason had a falling out not too long after, and we've only seen him a small handful of times since. Also of note, about 8ish years ago another mutual friend of all of ours told Trevor and I that Jason had told her that he regrets not taking things further with me back then and that he feels I'm "the one that got away". I had always assumed that my feelings were stronger than his, and if I had known this at the time, there's a very real chance that I never would have started things back up with Trevor. 

 

Ongoing issue:

About once every 2-3 months, I have a dream about Jason that brings back all the old feelings. They're insane. The dreams are never sexual but always very intimate, usually about reuniting or finally breaking down and admitting feelings or something along those lines. Now during the normal course of my life, I don't spend any time thinking about Jason at all. And under normal circumstances, I can admit that I miss him and our friendship (we had a very close bond beyond all the sleeping together), but I don't carry any lingering feels other than that. Trevor and I even talk about him every so often as he was a huge part of both of our lives for many years and so many of our good-ol'-days memories include him in some way.

However, when these dreams happen they seriously throw me off. You guys ever have dreams that feel so real that you keep the feelings with you for hours or even days after you wake up? This happens every time. For a day or so after these dreams, I basically float about in a daze of longing and heartache. Like I said, I don't really think about him normally, but for a good 24-48 hours these feelings are very real. And then I start thinking about reconnecting - I still have Jason's number (it hasn't changed in so long that I actually have it memorized from the early '00s) and know where he works (head of security at the outlet mall). So I start envisioning myself finding him and sparking up a friendship again. (I do actually miss his friendship. He helped me deal with my and Trevor's breakup in so many ways. I would have spiraled into a much deeper depression without him.)

So I don't know what to do with all of this. I had one of these dreams last night, so today I'm sitting here in my office trying to concentrate on work but instead keep thinking about what might have been, how much it feels like I have a hole in my life from the loss of his constant friendship, and fighting the urge to text him. Like I said...the feelings are very real right now despite everything I know about my normal feelings. 

Somebody tell me that I'm not crazy. 

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I think everyone has at some point thought about an ex that "got away" or wondered what it would have been like if you had done "x" instead of "y" in a relationship.   I think it is only natural to wonder how people in your past are doing in the present, especially when it is a relationship that was during your formative years (EG teens and twenties).  I admit that I have had such thoughts about exes.  Things like wondering what they are up to, did they get married, do they have kids. Etc.  I think the worst is when you have a crush on someone and don't act on it at all, and you still have a feeling about them all those years later.  In a couple cases, I friended girls on FB I had crushes on in high school years later but did nothing about at the time, only to be disappointed at finding out that I never really knew those women in the first place and just had an idealized concept of them.   I've also had a couple ex girlfriends (while I was in a relationship with my current one) contact me out of the blue on Facebook, asking how things are, etc., but I never replied, basically because that book was closed and I didn't want to reopen it. 

In your case, I have to admit it is hard for me to imagine reconnecting with someone who was your husband's friend that you also had a relationship with, in which they had a falling out, going well.  I just don't know how this can be done without someone getting hurt, unless it is done out in the open with full disclosure to all involved, and even then, someone might get hurt there.   Perhaps some of the appeal you have is that it is a fantasy, which there is nothing wrong with having, but in my experience the "wanting" of something  feels good, but as soon as you "have it,"  you might find it is not as satisfying.  Or maybe it is the "unfinished business" part of this that is bothering you, because like you said, had one of you made clear to the other how you really felt, you might not have gotten married to your husband.  

But no, I don't think you are crazy for thinking about this or having dreams about it.  I think a lot of people go through that.  

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If there's one thing I've learned being in a serious committed relationship with somebody I love, whilst also not being monogamous and actively dating other people, it's that it is very possible to have feelings for more than one person at a time. It is NOT a normalized concept, and still seen as very fringe to most of society. Some people are absolutely wired for monogamy, some are wired for the opposite. They are both totally acceptable ways of being.

There's also so many levels of what non-monogamy can look like, and how an individual person finds the most fulfillment from it. Some people want to live in a big ol group and share each other and be in each other's lives and that concept is abhorrent to me. I don't even like my kid around all the time.

If you read my stupid relationship thread, you'll recall I discovered I can't actually maintain more than one full fledged love relationship. I don't have the bandwidth for that. But I DO have the bandwidth to have my person, and also have one or two others with whom I am in close, fun, and somewhat emotional relationships with so long as we aren't putting too many DEEP emotional needs, (like beyond casual BFF level) on each other. 

I'm not trying to make this about me, I'm just using myself as an example to say that having strong feelings about somebody other than your partner is not abnormal, or even weird. As somebody who was clearly wired for FWB relationships to some degree, you should acknowledge that your feelings for Jason, whatever they may be, don't have to have anything to do with Trevor, sexual or otherwise.

Personally, my blood boils when I hear anyone talking about their S.O.'s not being allowed friendships or contacts with others of the opposite sex. It's so old school and Puritan and unnatural and is basically misogyny at its root level.

Now I'm not saying go strike up something with Jason-- obviously it's a sticky situation and may not be for the best. But there's nothing wrong with you for regularly having warm thoughts about somebody you had feelings for at some point. To say that's not natural or normal is something a Republican youth pastor would say.

 

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3 hours ago, Tank said:

Now I'm not saying go strike up something with Jason-- obviously it's a sticky situation and may not be for the best. But there's nothing wrong with you for regularly having warm thoughts about somebody you had feelings for at some point.

Warm + sticky = moist.

Sorry, I'm not helpful.

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Ok, in all seriousness... I probably wouldn't contact Jason. I think it has the very real ability to become an emotional connection and an easy out when/if things get hard with real life. It's an escape, and I'm wondering if that is when the dreams come up. Have things been OK with life? Not just Trevor, but life in general. Honestly I need a vacation from life in general and probably a girls weekend of not being a mom. You aren't alone if you don't want that sometimes. Just make sure your outlets are healthy.

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Trevor actually knows about my and Jason's entire history, and he also knows how much I miss him. Trevor doesn't know how often I dream about Jason or the depth of the feelings that they cause. 

Their falling out came apart when their other best friend was diagnosed with Huntington's Disease. Jason straight up told Trevor that he just couldn't handle it, and Trevor's response was "well how do you think Craig feels?" I was sorta caught in the middle there. Jason is a much more emotional person that Trevor, and they're quite unmatched in the ability to "power through" something like the slow death of a loved one. I spent years defending Jason there because I know that his initial reaction was a cry for support, and eventually he could have been supported enough to be as strong as Trevor was through the entire thing. But actually, Trevor did eventually reach a point where he couldn't handle it anymore either. Craig deteriorated rapidly for someone with HD, and it took a HUGE toll on Trevor every time we saw Craig. Trevor actually didn't see Craig the last year of his life, mostly because our own lives didn't provide much opportunity but also because it took such a toll. This also all happened about a year or so after we moved from Austin to Houston, so the physical distance also helped them along. 

All that to say, my friendship with Jason sorta fell by the wayside during all of this as well. We had no fights. Trevor never asked (and especially did not demand) that I stop being friends with Jason as well. We just drifted apart. And Trevor did apologize to him a few years ago, so they sorta made amends, but they'll never be as close again.

The last time I saw and spoke to Jason was at Craig's funeral. I'm the one who called Jason to tell him Craig had died. We actually spent nearly 2 hours on the phone that night just chatting and whatnot. And we all spent a lot of time reminiscing and catching up at the wake. This was back in September 2020. 

Back during the year or so after Trevor divorced and returned from the Navy, I was definitely deeply in love with both of them and sleeping with them both. I now know that they each felt the same, but at the time, neither one was ready to admit it to anyone (especially me) (or each other for that matter). I had a lot of resentment for each of them back then because neither relationship felt casual until they were pressed (usually not by me) then they would flip out and insist that they each were "definitely NOT dating" me. I still don't know if that was because of their relationship with each other or Trevor's recent bad marriage or Jason's twenty-something ideal of his "perfect woman" (which I was not...physically) (also...that might just be my own insecurities there because I don't recall that ever coming up...ever...). (Scratch that! The fourth member of their little boy group, Ramon, once told me that the 4 of them had all agreed that if I "lost a little weight, you'd be SUPER HOT". We don't talk to Ramon either, but in hindsight, I definitely think he had some delays and is likely on the spectrum because he would word-vomit shit like that all the time.)

Anyway, these relationships have been consuming half of my 40 year-old life, but I rarely get to talk about them in depth because I've grown apart from everyone in my life who knows the whole histories. And most of our family friends would be appalled if they knew I was sleeping with 2 guys during the same time period (though, it was more than that because those 2 stressed me out so much with their "do they or don't they" bullshit that I kept dating around...which might have also caused some of their issues since I wasn't so secretive about it...)

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On 10/4/2022 at 3:01 PM, Cerina said:

Background info: 

My husband Trevor and I started dating in May 2000. We moved in with each other that summer and stayed together until October 2001. He moved out, we broke up. He eventually joined the Navy and married some random girl moments after she turned 18. I started a friends with benefits sorta thing with one of his closest friends, Jason. Jason and I kept this up for years. Real feelings developed but we never upgraded our status beyond friends with benefits. Trevor eventually left the Navy and came home, wife in tow. They divorced. I balanced a friends with benefits thing with both Trevor and Jason for about a year, but it was tumultuous to say the least. Eventually, Jason was slowly replaced by Trevor, and in 2007 I got pregnant with Noah. Trevor and I married in 2011, and things have been pretty solid with us ever since. Trevor and Jason had a falling out not too long after, and we've only seen him a small handful of times since. Also of note, about 8ish years ago another mutual friend of all of ours told Trevor and I that Jason had told her that he regrets not taking things further with me back then and that he feels I'm "the one that got away". I had always assumed that my feelings were stronger than his, and if I had known this at the time, there's a very real chance that I never would have started things back up with Trevor. 

 

Ongoing issue:

About once every 2-3 months, I have a dream about Jason that brings back all the old feelings. They're insane. The dreams are never sexual but always very intimate, usually about reuniting or finally breaking down and admitting feelings or something along those lines. Now during the normal course of my life, I don't spend any time thinking about Jason at all. And under normal circumstances, I can admit that I miss him and our friendship (we had a very close bond beyond all the sleeping together), but I don't carry any lingering feels other than that. Trevor and I even talk about him every so often as he was a huge part of both of our lives for many years and so many of our good-ol'-days memories include him in some way.

However, when these dreams happen they seriously throw me off. You guys ever have dreams that feel so real that you keep the feelings with you for hours or even days after you wake up? This happens every time. For a day or so after these dreams, I basically float about in a daze of longing and heartache. Like I said, I don't really think about him normally, but for a good 24-48 hours these feelings are very real. And then I start thinking about reconnecting - I still have Jason's number (it hasn't changed in so long that I actually have it memorized from the early '00s) and know where he works (head of security at the outlet mall). So I start envisioning myself finding him and sparking up a friendship again. (I do actually miss his friendship. He helped me deal with my and Trevor's breakup in so many ways. I would have spiraled into a much deeper depression without him.)

So I don't know what to do with all of this. I had one of these dreams last night, so today I'm sitting here in my office trying to concentrate on work but instead keep thinking about what might have been, how much it feels like I have a hole in my life from the loss of his constant friendship, and fighting the urge to text him. Like I said...the feelings are very real right now despite everything I know about my normal feelings. 

Somebody tell me that I'm not crazy. 

Not crazy.

If you struck up the friendship, would you tell Trevor or keep it on the DL?  When, not if, the topic of sex comes up--what is your plan? 

You either have to keep that shit bottled up or be willing to engage in a side fling (no judgement) and accept the risks. 

 

 

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As the free sex non-monogamous one round here, I'd say side flings are never any good. If you have to keep something secret from Trevor, then you'll have TWO relationships with a level of dishonesty in them and that is something that only narcissists can maintain and justify long term.

 

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27 minutes ago, Hobbes said:

Not crazy.

If you struck up the friendship, would you tell Trevor or keep it on the DL?  When, not if, the topic of sex comes up--what is your plan? 

You either have to keep that shit bottled up or be willing to engage in a side fling (no judgement) and accept the risks. 

 

 

If I ever decided to reconnect, Trevor would absolutely 100% know about it first. 

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He'd likely be supportive but confused. Trevor still talks about Jason as Jason was 15ish years ago (which wasn't much different than Trevor himself was 15ish years ago tbh), so in his mind, Jason is still a single dufus who spends all of his time and money on video games and movies and works a dead end job.  

We just don't get jealous or police each other's relationships with other people. We don't really keep secrets from each other either. And not in a high and mighty, self-righteous sorta way - it's just that neither one of us has the bandwidth to bother. We have each other's emails on our phones, all of our social media stays logged in on the computer, we know the passcode to each other's phone, and we share our location with each other on Google maps, not because of any trust issues, just because it makes our lives easier to navigate. At this point, our lives are so intertwined because of our chosen lifestyle (work-from-home, stay-at-home, homeschool, scouting, etc.) that it would be nearly impossible to keep a secret anyway. We're just always together or with the kids. 

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14 hours ago, Cerina said:

He'd likely be supportive but confused. Trevor still talks about Jason as Jason was 15ish years ago (which wasn't much different than Trevor himself was 15ish years ago tbh), so in his mind, Jason is still a single dufus who spends all of his time and money on video games and movies and works a dead end job.  

We just don't get jealous or police each other's relationships with other people. We don't really keep secrets from each other either. And not in a high and mighty, self-righteous sorta way - it's just that neither one of us has the bandwidth to bother. We have each other's emails on our phones, all of our social media stays logged in on the computer, we know the passcode to each other's phone, and we share our location with each other on Google maps, not because of any trust issues, just because it makes our lives easier to navigate. At this point, our lives are so intertwined because of our chosen lifestyle (work-from-home, stay-at-home, homeschool, scouting, etc.) that it would be nearly impossible to keep a secret anyway. We're just always together or with the kids. 

I think there are four outcomes:

1. You realize that the two of you are now in two different places in life and that bond is no longer there.

2. He isn't interested in reconnecting. 

For these two, reaching out might be a good thing to be able to bring some sort of closure and possibly put an end to these feelings.

3. You do connect the friendship.  I am curious what this will look like.  You already have a full plate.  Would this friendship just bring one more thing to juggle?

4.  You rekindle a romantic connection.

IMHSO...is it worth the risk of rekindling romantic feelings (even if you don't act on them) in exchange for the benefits (and likely complications) of reintroducing a new friend in your life?

I would just keep that shit bottled up--but you are totally NOT crazy.

 

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What if it had happened the other way around, i.e. you broke up with Trevor and now had a permanent relationship with Jason? You might be having vivid dreams about Trevor, instead, and imagining what life would be like if you'd stuck with him. In other words, this could be just a matter of  the grass  appearing greener when you're looking at it from the other side of the fence. It's equally green on both sides. Don't know if that's helpful at all, but maybe it's something to think about.

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Tank has given some great insight and advice here but honestly? I don't think these dreams are any more than your brain playing "what if?"

I usually really enjoy the type of dream you're talking about; I like to say it's a dream that leaves a taste in your mouth. But I've never had one of any consequence, really. It's really possible that Jason and Trevor in your dreams are not really Jason and Trevor but representatives of others that come close to their general description.

 

That all said, you're not crazy. This is the brain's job to do while you're asleep-work shit out

 

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