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Beware The Man That Uses You For Emotional Support

Little bit of a long back storey. We met in our early 20’s dated for 4 years on and off never exclusive. We both did some shitty things to each other along the way. He decided we’d be better off as friends. Became great friends. I always held onto feelings. Flash forward 20 years he dms me out of the blue saying he’s in town and wants to meet (we live 2000km apart) It’s like no time has passed pick up where we left off. He says he’s in a crappy relationship. I’m in a open marriage. I am polyamourous.

So We’ve been seeing each other about once every 4-6 weeks over the last 9 months. We talk often in text, but sometimes we go 10-14 days without talking. He breaks up with his long term GF a few months ago. We meet up in May. Have the best sex we’ve ever had. The next night he’s upset over some lawyer things with his ex wife about the kids. Doesn’t want to have sex. But we talk and cuddle all night. The next morning we talk about future things. Joking about where we’re gonna live vacations etc.

So since that last meeting he’s texted me every day (with maybe 3-4 exceptions) But he’s told me I’m his best friend. He’s asked me to go on vacation with him to meet his kids. He’s also asked me to come visit him (so far he only comes to see me because of work) I’m soooo confused. Did he friend zone me hard? Does he just need time to heal from his last break up? Is he upset I’m married and won’t be leaving my spouse?

He doesn’t ever talk about feelings and I’m terrible at it as well. He’ll say things like who knew we’d be here 20 years later. How did we become besties. But then he’ll tell me a pic is super sexy. That he love love loves it. He’s a bit of a mess. He lost both his parents in his teens. He’s a recovering alcoholic. I think he has narcissistic tendencies. He’s declared bankruptcy 2x. (Once just at the end of last year) I know I should just run. But despite all his shit. I genuinely care for him. I could see a life with him. Longest storey ever but I really just want to know if I’m friend zoned or if there’s hope for us?

I don’t think you’re friendzoned at all. I do, however, think you are a safety net for him as he works through the tumult in his life. The fact you’re not going to divorce your husband is probably the most appealing aspect of this relatioinship for him.

You are married. You are not going to leave your partner. He knows this. That means there’s less emotional investment for him. You have someone who can provide that for you. He doesn’t. You can talk about future plans because, well, they’re never going to happen. Not in any real sense, anyway. You might be able to flit off to The Cayman Islands one time but the rest of the time he’s going to be here, whining to you about his problems.

Nowhere in your letter do you mention what he does for you. This entire story revolves around his needs and what you provide in terms of emotional support for him. He doesn’t have to provide that for you because you already have someone who fulfills that need. This relationship requires zero emotional heavy lifting for him. Which is perfect because he’s incapable of it. Let’s not forget that he cheated on his girlfriend. The guy is devoid of accountability.

It wasn’t fate that brought you two crazy kids back together. You two have history. Toxic history apparently. He turned to you knowing you wouldn’t reject him.

Your role in this relationship is one of caregiver. Not partner. You said it yourself: He’s a train wreck. I think what might be really beneficial to you is to ask yourself what need this relationship meets for you. Why are you in it? You know on a conscious level this guy is going to drag you down. What are you getting from this and how can you sate whatever it is that’s driving you to keep him in your life?

The question you should be asking yourself isn’t if he’s grown disillusioned with you but rather do you want to be aboard this flaming hot mess on wheels when it finally crashes?

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