Question by Anon: A Complicated Situation: Online Friendship, Divorce, Dating?
I met him gaming online 3yrs ago, we were instant friends and soon became inseparable (when online) as well as everyone’s favorite duo. There was always an unspoken attraction between us because we got along famously and worked so well together as a team, not to mention EVERYONE we met wanted to see us together, but we both resolved to remain platonic to keep from risking such a wonderful friendship. Besides he was seeing someone in real life, and honestly we didn’t REALLY know each other, no matter how much we would chat, talk on the phone or webcam. We had never met in real life, so we can’t truly know how someone else is… right?
We quickly got to be very close friends out of character. I had no qualms about talking about my personal life but he was a bit guarded at first; told me a few things about his troubled relationship with his girlfriend and about his wonderful 1yr old son. It wasn’t long before I was coaxing details. I tried to help him see things from his girl’s perspective so he could better understand her to troubleshoot and resolve their problems without a split, for their son’s sake. Eventually he felt guilty and wanted me to know the ‘real him’. “I haven’t been honest with you. It’s weird because I’ve never even met you but you’ve been a better friend than anyone I know in real life and well…” he started, “Let me guess,” I interjected, “You’re ten years older than you say you are, you’re married and have 3 children not one.” A stunned silence followed, “Damn you know me too well,” he says, “11yrs older, married and 2 children.” At this point in time I already knew I was in love with him, BUT because I loved him I knew where I stood and steeled myself to respecting and protecting his 10yr marriage.
Eventually I got with someone else and married him. I will honestly admit that I knew I was settling, I was certain the man I was marrying would be a good husband. Though I loved the man at the end of the aisle, all I could think about was the friend I had ‘never met’. I simply kept shoving those feelings deeper, telling myself he was a married man, and I was now a married woman.
My marriage was not what I had expected; the man I thought would make a great husband was abusive, often turned to alcohol instead of me for comfort and pleasure, shut me out emotionally, shunned me spiritually, and spent money like water. My online friend also continued to have similar problems within his own marriage, his wife ironically a near replica of my husband. Needless to say, we were able to counsel each other very well, sharing what worked and what didn’t, befriended each other spouses and trouble-shoot with them as well, praying together for our spouses, our marriages and each other. And of course, outside of our counseling sessions we now all still enjoyed each killing pixilated monsters together online.
I couldn’t take it anymore and made the decision to leave my husband. In my opinion I had already wasted enough time as it was, and tried every venue to reach my husband. I didn’t want to end up trying for 12yrs like my friend online to no avail, on top of everything have children to complicate things more. Mere months later, my online friend’s marriage suddenly took a turn for the worst as well. To an outsider it doesn’t look like the coincidence that it was, but this is where we are.
Both of us are separated now; 4 months myself, and 1.5 months for him. We have both made it blatantly clear to our spouses ‘it’s really over’ and are in the process of filing for divorces at different intervals and through different situations and means. Suddenly dating is an option, and our rapidly deepening feelings are no longer quite so secret between us. Since we have been so close for so long, the topic was broached in a discussion. We are both eager to actually meet for the very first time, but we want to do this right. We have considered the situation from many angles, and vantage points.
So the questions for you, dear reader are:
1.We have never met, but we have talked on an almost daily basis for 3yrs now via chat, im, phone calls, txts, webcam, etc. We have even met each other’s family members this way, parents, spouses, and children (his). We both feel we truly know the other, and trust each other completely, but we fear there is more to learn or that we are missing something because of the mere distance. Is this true? How well can you really know someone in an online friendship?
2.You know generally the circumstances, and the situation. He is 10yrs older than me, and has two children. Is it wrong to be seriously considering dating? What would/could constitute wrong in this situation? Would it be wrong or immoral of us to finally meet?
3.Based on his age and children, a few of my friends are telling me I will be ‘missing out’ on part of my life. They also say I would never have all of him b/c his past has taken pieces of his heart. BUT I know him. He is the type of person to put his relationship FIRST. He’s always told me, “If the husband and wife can’t get along and function well the whole family falls apart. And if the husband and wife take the time to care for and love each other, having a strong “team” relationship the children will automatically be that much easier to care for.” This statement leads me to believe that he would pour all of his efforts into the relationship itself as well as his children and any we would later conceive. If we really are as relationally compatible as we are online, what do I really have to loose here? Are my friends misguided in their concerns for a deficit on my part in our potential relationship?
4.I know in detail the extent of his “baggage” and he knows in detail the extent of my own. Lastly I would like to ask those of you who have dated/married into relationships with children and potentially vindictive ex-spouses in someone’s past; Can the potential for a wonderful relationship maybe eventually a wonderful marriage make all the “baggage” worth it?
Answer by Willa
You are seriously in fantasyland. It’s not a question of immorality. It’s a question of nonsense.
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