advice?

Discussion in 'Sex and Relationships' started by PhX_AZ_SWM_1972, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. PhX_AZ_SWM_1972

    PhX_AZ_SWM_1972 New Member

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    I just found out a female friend from my younger days has thyroid cancer. Apparently it is serious enough where she has been receiving RAI treatments and is in fact going into surgery to remove her thyroid this week. I found out just the other day and it has been weighing heavily on my mind since. I am so worried about her, and even though we are both older, we are both far too young to be getting health issues like this. Now, I haven't seen this friend of mine in about 17 years (yes, I am that old), and we have lived our lives separately with a lot of stuff happening in those years, until I reconnected with her online in 2005, and we have sporadically been in contact via email, the occasional phone call, and later facebook, since. She is married. I am not, and I never have married. I have had serious relationships, but currently I think I am broken up with someone. That's a whole other mess best left alone.



    Anyway, here is the background. We met when we both joined the military, and were in training together for the same job: I joined right out of high school. She being a couple years older than me, joined after having been in college for a couple years. We became friends and we both hung out in a circle of friends. We did things together when off duty, going to the enlisted club together, hiking, riding horses, and whatever else. Back in those days, it was very much like attending college during the day and living a co-ed dorm life when off duty, I suppose. In some ways, back in those days, I was the same as I am now, but in others, I was quite a different. I was very shy and awkward around women then (I still can be, but I have mostly gotten past that now), so I never was able to bring myself to tell this friend of mine that, in my mind, that I was in love with her. I almost had worked up enough courage to tell her once, but I never did. As a result of my inaction, someone else asked her out, and that someone turned out to be a mutual friend, and they hit it off.


    Figuring nothing good would come of it, and not wanting to disrespect my other friend, I never told this lady friend of mine. Towards the end of our 18 week training course, she had some emotional problems (she had problems that at that point, were undiagnosed), and in combination with that, the stress of the course work, and the fact we were doing this during war time (Gulf War 1 era to be exact, and some people can handle the idea of possibly going to a live action deployment after training is complete, and others not so much, I suppose), by friend attempted to take her own life. As a result, the military treated her, then discharged her, as if you do something like that, they basically can't have you in (you could be a danger to yourself or other personnel). While this was going on, my other friend and I graduated. As fate would have it, we were stationed in the US, and in fact, at the same base we did our training. When she was discharged, my lady friend stayed in the same state, and ultimately married my other friend, and they went on to have 2 kids.


    During the rest of my enlistment, we all stayed at the same base, though the unit I was in, did travel quite a bit. When we were back in garrison though, we all, along with several other friends, still hung out and went to clubs and did other stuff when off duty. While we were all friends, I still had these unrequited and suppressed feelings for my female friend, but I never once made a move or anything like that, nor did I tell anyone. Ever. But these feelings faded, and they became those of genuine friendship, but I suppose it was in the back of my mind to some extent. As far as everyone was concerned, though, we were all platonic friends. Unfortunately, towards the end of my enlistment, my lady friend and my other friend were having serious marriage problems. When I was out processing to go back to civilian life, the rest of my unit including my one friend deployed to an exercise for a the last month I was in the military. My female friend was living on base and we still would hang out that last month I was in the military. In fact, she was taking the marital problems pretty hard, and I ended up being the one to lend her an ear. She even made an advance or two towards me (which surprised me), but I did the right thing, and didn't take advantage of that situation. I figured she wasn't in her right state of mind and, well, she was married to my friend. But I would be lying if I said I didn't want to. I was so damned tempted, actually, and even to this day, I wonder "what if?" But that all became water under the bridge, because I got out of the military and moved back home, and she ended up divorcing my friend, and marrying someone else, whom she is married to, to this day.


    This leads to my question, though. After hearing about my friend having cancer, I have been thinking about the past quite a bit. The last thing in the world I want to do is cause any trouble for my friend. I know she has enough on her mind right now, and enough stress in her life. I have been wondering if I should tell her how I felt about her all those years ago. I mean she has her life, and I have mine, and that is the way it is. But considering there is a possibility she could succumb to cancer, never knowing how I felt...I mean, isn't this something that she would want to know? Or am I being selfish? I don't expect anything nor do I want anything from her (I mean we live in other states, and she is happily married), I just want to say "hey, all these years, I have this thing I never told you, and if I don't tell you, you might never know."


    So, what should I do? Keep my fat mouth shut, or should I say something? I just need some perspective on this.
     
  2. hornyscot

    hornyscot New Member

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    if you can, go visit your friend, and judge it for yourself when you see her, tell her the truth but make it light hearted enough where you can both laugh about it.
     
  3. pbs

    pbs
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    Put yourself in her shoes. Her life has become complicated enough with the cancer, no need for any more, and don't forget she's happily married. Make no mention of your past feelings.
     
  4. lbushwalker

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    I totally disagree with not telling her your true feelings; she will need all the love and support she can get.
    Tell her that you will always be there if she needs you.
    Phx you are a gallant man!
     
  5. Untamed

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    Let her know how you have felt and be respectful enough to walk away but like Bush said let her know that you will always be there for her .. as I am sure you would have anyway. *hugs*

    Reminded me of this:

    10th grade

    As I sat there in English class, I stared at the girl next to me. She was my so called "best friend". I stared at her long, silky hair, and wished she was mine. But she didn't notice me like that, and I knew it. After class, she walked up to me and asked me for the notes she had missed the day before and handed them to her. She said "thanks" and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I wanted to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

    11th grade

    The phone rang. On the other end, it was her. She was in tears, mumbling on and on about how her love had broke her heart. She asked me to come over because she didn't want to be alone, so I did. As I sat next to her on the sofa, I stared at her soft eyes, wishing she was mine. After 2 hours, one Drew Barrymore movie, and three bags of chips, she decided to go to sleep. She looked at me, said "thanks" and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

    Senior year

    The day before prom she walked to my locker. My date is sick" she said; he's not going to go well, I didn't have a date, and in 7th grade, we made a promise that if neither of us had dates, we would go together just as "best friends". So we did. Prom night, after everything was over, I was standing at her front door step. I stared at her as she smiled at me and stared at me with her crystal eyes. I want her to be mine, but she isn't think of me like that, and I know it. Then she said "I had the best time, thanks!" and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

    Graduation Day

    A day passed, then a week, then a month. Before I could blink, it was graduation day. I watched as her perfect body floated like an angel up on stage to get her diploma. I wanted her to be mine, but she didn't notice me like that, and I knew it. Before everyone went home, she came to me in her smock and hat, and cried as I hugged her. Then she lifted her head from my shoulder and said, "you're my best friend, thanks" and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

    A Few Years Later

    Now I sit in the pews of the church. That girl is getting married now. I watched her say "I do" and drive off to her new life, married to another man. I wanted her to be mine, but she didn't see me like that, and I knew it. But before she drove away, she came to me and said "you came!". She said "thanks" and kissed me on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

    Funeral

    Years passed, I looked down at the coffin of a girl who used to be my "best friend". At the service, they read a diary entry she had wrote in her high school years. This is what it read: I stare at him wishing he was mine, but he doesn't notice me like that, and I know it. I want to tell him, I want him to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love him but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why. I wish he would tell me he loved me! `I wish I did too...` I thought to my self, and I cried.
     
  6. PhX_AZ_SWM_1972

    PhX_AZ_SWM_1972 New Member

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    Well, I called my friend and she is trying to stay positive, though she understandably is nervous. I did not bring up how I felt about her in the past. I didn't want her to be bogged down with that, nor did I want her to mistake it for me trying to make a play for her (which it wasn't). We just chatted or about 45 minutes about mundane stuff.
     
  7. lbushwalker

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    Quote Untamed
    "I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why".
     
  8. RideNaked2

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    I am sitting here trying to put myself in her shoes, I believe that I would want to know if someone has loved me for so many years. I believe that you should tell her. You have to be true to yourself as well as her. BUT also make sure that you explain to her that you are in NO way trying to intrude into her life but that you need her to know how you feel as well as making sure that all parties involved understand why you are doing what you are and how you feel about her. (hope that makes sense..)
     
  9. hubbywubby

    hubbywubby New Member

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    Okay first I respect everyones answer. So I hope I do not offend anyone. My idea of life is to go for yours. Okay your friend is out of the picture and I know she is sick, but you kept your mouth closed so long that this could have been your wife. I know its a long shot but she hit on you first. Even though It was a while back. You have to tell her. For more then one reason. First you own it to yourself. Second if you don't you will always wonder. I think at the worst it will flatter her and you can explain you would still like to be friends. If she says she did not know and she likes you also well then things may change. I think your living only if you pursuing your dreams. Now to some that means money but to others its love. I prefer love. That letter untamed wrote says it all. It quite beautiful and it is kind of up your alley... Good luck and please follow up. My vote is to tell her and let her know if she does not feel the same you understand but still love her as a friend. Tell her you did not act on her advances because she was vulnerable. Which is quite admirable if I may say...
     
  10. shortylikesitrough

    shortylikesitrough New Member

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    I think you should tell her. But do it in a subtle way. Don't make any moves, just lay it out as simply as you can. Tell her exactly how you feel. That you don't want any problems to arise, but feel the need to tell her, in case it would be the last time you see her. You've obviously been through a lot together, and I think she would appreciate it. Just be cautious, and make sure she knows you expect nothing from it.
     
  11. PhX_AZ_SWM_1972

    PhX_AZ_SWM_1972 New Member

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    Thank you all for the advice guys. I think that some day, I may indeed tell my friend how I felt about her way back when. After talking to her over the phone again, I just get the sense that this is definitely not the time. Too much on her plate. Plus, my aim was not to take her away from her husband at all. She is very happily married, and I have my own life too. This was more like about full disclosure. I was freaked out when I first hear the news, and it was like "Wow, I never told her, and it could be she never knows." But having more time to process, as well as talking to her, whatever feelings I had, its definitely clear they are of friendship now, and they have been for a long time. Perhaps when it is clear she is well on the road to recovery, or just plain well, I will just mention it in passing, more in the way of a compliment, because I don't:
    1. want to freak her out or make her feel awkward towards me, or have this news otherwise backfire on me
    2. I don't want her to feel like I gave her news that she has to hide from her husband.

    I mean, I know her current husband, and I think he is a douche, but I gotta say he's been good to her, she really loves him, and that they have been married since 1995, and they strike me as the type that won't ever get divorced.
     
  12. cgh

    cgh New Member

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    I admire your chivalry. I think you did the right thing. The important thing is that you are staying true to your values. When and if you ever feel that the time is right, you can tell her you've loved her from a distance for years and that you didn't take advantage of her vulnerability that time years ago, but you DID find it awfully tempting. Let her know you don't want to pursue her and jeopardize her marriage, but you appreciate the friendship you have and will always be there for her. Let her know that you just wanted her to know - thought it might give her a little lift. :)
     
  13. PhX_AZ_SWM_1972

    PhX_AZ_SWM_1972 New Member

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    Thanks CGH. I might put it that way, or something similar. :)