Need Advice: Follow my head or heart?


  • Nov 21, 2011 7:19 PM GMT
    I'm 35 years old and have been in a monogamous relationship with my boyfriend Mark for 15 years. He and I met when we were practically kids and "greg up" together attending the same university, moving around the country chasing our dreams and ultimately settling down here. We have a house and successful business together.

    About a year ago, I met "Rene", in a very random way and we quickly become instantly bonded like we'd known each other forever. I think that time was the happiest that I've ever been. Rene and his long time partner hung out with Mark and I and the 4 of us got along so well - but Rene and I just clicked and clicked. Best friends ever.

    A few months ago, Rene confronted me privately and told me he had fallen in love with me and he told me he knew I'd fallen in love with him too. He told me he wanted us to be together. I was shocked at first and then realized that I'd been lying to myself and that I had fallen for him.

    I confessed to Mark about my feelings for Rene but since Mark and I have been together so long, I decided the best thing to do was to cut off all contact with Rene and try to move on. Rene agreed and we didn't speak for about 3 months. Secretly I've missed him every day but kept trying to forget him and focus on Mark.

    My brain says: stick with Mark. You know exactly what kind of a partner he is. Your business depends on you being together. You grew up together and share the same friends. Your family adores him. I'm just not sure if I'm still IN love with him.

    My heart says: go with Rene and take a chance. I've never felt anything like my connection for Rene. As a lifelong atheist, my feelings for him are the closest I've ever come to "spiritual" - the deepest I've ever felt for another human being. I have no idea if we would be compatible partners or not but I love him.

    Do I follow my heart or brain? Help!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 21, 2011 7:32 PM GMT
    You should ask yourself if you see yourself with Mark in for another 15 years or beyond. Your feelings with Rene will not go away, as you said you secretly missed him every single day the past 3 months when you have not even spoken to him during that period. The problem is not Rene, it's your feelings.

    In the end, you need to be fair with Mark. He sounds like a loving man but you have this urge. I'd say take a risk now because you are just hurting not just yourself, but Mark as well. He deserves someone who has no feelings toward another guy. If you don't, you will either live miserably and keep asking "what if" questions or worse cheat on him.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 21, 2011 8:01 PM GMT
    follow your brain.

    This whole instant connection stuff, that'll die in the cold of reality if you chase it.

    What you have now is a lot more important.

    If your going to leave a person leave because you are unsatisfied with the relationship and you have been trying hard to make it satisfying but failed.

    Not because some hot arse walked by, got you excited and you wanted to go taste the goods.

  • Nov 21, 2011 8:40 PM GMT
    surfrider28 saidIn the end, you need to be fair with Mark. He sounds like a loving man but you have this urge. I'd say take a risk now because you are just hurting not just yourself, but Mark as well.


    This is part of my dilemma. Since Mark and I have been together so long, I feel a sense of duty and obligation to him. I care for him and know that breaking up with him would hurt him so badly. It seems almost selfish in a way to hurt him when he's really done nothing wrong.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 21, 2011 9:20 PM GMT
    I think it's just an infatuation phase with Rene. Honestly, I would hate to be in Mark's shoes. yikes. And you need to be clear before you say anything to Mark This will definitely change the relationship even if you decided to stick with him. He might feel like he is a pity case and feel even worse, because he'll always wonder whether you are thinking about Rene whenever you are with him.

    Also, you need to be honest with yourself about whether you want Rene because he's in a relationship and you want something that you can't have, kind of like wanting a forbidden fruit.

    Personally, after 15 years, which means you guys decided to become a couple in your early 20s and now you are in your late 30s, kind of like on the downward slope, I get dumped for someone better, I would feel like shit and I would question sincerity of everything we had for the past 15 years.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 21, 2011 10:08 PM GMT
    Oh boy..this is a real dilemma. Ultimately this is about your happiness. Three months of thinking about another man is too long. This is the reason why I don't like to get involved in LTR. A similar thing happened to me long ago where after 8 years the sparks where no longer there and someone new came along. We had to end it and I'm glad we did as we're still friends. The new guy didn't work though.

    So in the end, it's up to you if you want to take a risk. I'm a risk taker. You have to face the consequences though. In the meantime, listen to the following, might help:


    [url][/url]


    RobertFriendly said
    surfrider28 saidIn the end, you need to be fair with Mark. He sounds like a loving man but you have this urge. I'd say take a risk now because you are just hurting not just yourself, but Mark as well.


    This is part of my dilemma. Since Mark and I have been together so long, I feel a sense of duty and obligation to him. I care for him and know that breaking up with him would hurt him so badly. It seems almost selfish in a way to hurt him when he's really done nothing wrong.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 21, 2011 10:42 PM GMT
    RobertFriendly saidI'm just not sure if I'm still IN love with him.


    Be very careful. I was in a similar situation once and I have spent a lot of time thinking about this. This kind of situation can go bad very quickly and leave behind a lot of permanent damage.

    From my profile, and several years of introspection:

    "Sometimes I wonder if people who want to be "in love" or who "fall out of love" do not know what it means -to love-."

    Remember, being "in love" is something you feel; it is something that happens TO you. ---->you, you, you<---- (or) ---->them, them, them<----

    To love, or -loving- is something you GIVE to someone else. you----->them (and) them------>you.

    The first tends to be very ephemeral, and dissipates quickly like the end of a dream or the return from a honeymoon. It is a fairly self-centered emotion.

    The second, if it is real, will never die. It is a fairly selfless emotion.

    Choose wisely.
  • mybud

    Posts: 11837

    Nov 21, 2011 10:46 PM GMT
    Ask yourself this...If put in the same position...Would Rene risk everything for you?
  • hdurdinr

    Posts: 699

    Nov 21, 2011 11:11 PM GMT
    It sounds very much like you have an idealized notion of who Rene is even if you think you know him quite well already. I think you are seeing what you want to see and projecting your fantasy relationship on to him. He may be doing the exact same thing. That is very dangerous because it is SO easy to believe that you'll live happily ever after. Listen, I'm a romantic who has always projected what I wanted on to people I fell in love or lust with but the thing is it will never be as you imagine. Life has moments of joy and happiness and when they come along you should celebrate them but life can also be sad, boring, stressful, unsatisfactory etc.... that won't change by changing your partner. Take a real hard close look at what your doing and thinking in the harshest light possible because that's the light you need to see it in to make the correct judgment on the situation. Your choice isn't easy for sure and I wish you the best of luck.

  • Nov 22, 2011 12:08 AM GMT
    mybud saidAsk yourself this...If put in the same position...Would Rene risk everything for you?


    Without question, yes. Rene's a professional artist and is totally ruled by his heart. His partner he's been with for 10 years so his risk and mine I guess is comparable. Even with all that, he looked me square in the eye and told me he knows...he KNOWS...with certainty that he and I should be together. That confidence is what has kept me thinking about him all this time.
  • metta

    Posts: 39133

    Nov 22, 2011 1:05 AM GMT
    It is human nature to be unsatisfied. It is one of the reasons why man has continually advanced throughout history. Constantly seeking something else.

    It sounds like what you have with Mark is very special and not to be taken lightly. Unless there is more to what you are saying regarding your relationship with Mark, why can't you just be mature about it by appreciating what you have and just be friends with Rene? Otherwise, you guys could be messing up 4 people.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 22, 2011 1:15 AM GMT
    hdurdinr saidIt sounds very much like you have an idealized notion of who Rene is even if you think you know him quite well already. I think you are seeing what you want to see and projecting your fantasy relationship on to him. He may be doing the exact same thing. That is very dangerous because it is SO easy to believe that you'll live happily ever after. Listen, I'm a romantic who has always projected what I wanted on to people I fell in love or lust with but the thing is it will never be as you imagine. Life has moments of joy and happiness and when they come along you should celebrate them but life can also be sad, boring, stressful, unsatisfactory etc.... that won't change by changing your partner. Take a real hard close look at what your doing and thinking in the harshest light possible because that's the light you need to see it in to make the correct judgment on the situation. Your choice isn't easy for sure and I wish you the best of luck.
    VERY well said!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 22, 2011 1:44 AM GMT
    follow your HEAD....the heart can play some cruel tricks on you....
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 22, 2011 2:05 AM GMT
    Did you make a commitment to Mark? If so, honor your commitment. 15 years is alot to throw away for a "possibility of another 15 years" starting over.

    There will be many Rene's in your life. If you followed your heart every time, you'd never settle. You'll just go where the wind blows and justify it with your feelings. If a similar situation came up 15 years from now after Rene, you gonna follow your feelings again?

    It's important to have commitments and to honor them.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 22, 2011 2:08 AM GMT
    TerraFirma saidDid you make a commitment to Mark? If so, honor your commitment. 15 years is alot to throw away for a "possibility of another 15 years" starting over.

    There will be many Rene's in your life. If you followed your heart every time, you'd never settle. You'll just go where the wind blows and justify it with your feelings. If a similar situation came up 15 years from now after Rene, you gonna follow your feelings again?


    +1
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 22, 2011 5:50 AM GMT
    Think with your brain and your heart...not your dick.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 22, 2011 6:04 AM GMT
    The heart can't think man, the heart can't think. The heart beats wild for GUY A but GUY A is just like "fuck you." icon_cry.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 22, 2011 6:29 AM GMT
    TerraFirma saidDid you make a commitment to Mark? If so, honor your commitment. 15 years is alot to throw away for a "possibility of another 15 years" starting over.

    There will be many Rene's in your life. If you followed your heart every time, you'd never settle. You'll just go where the wind blows and justify it with your feelings. If a similar situation came up 15 years from now after Rene, you gonna follow your feelings again?

    It's important to have commitments and to honor them.


    +2

    Renes come and go, but some people never find their Mark. I'd say you are very blessed and should count those blessings, but since you're atheist I'll just say you are really lucky. Count the ways: a supportive long term commitment, a business that allows you to be congruent with your partner as well as be your own boss, family and mutual friends that are on board with you and him.

    That sounds pretty good. #iamjelly

    The hot intensity of new love is intoxicating. When we're blinded by passion it's almost impossible to remember that this feeling almost always fades as routine and reality set in. And then what do you have left?

    With Mark, you still have friends, family, career, friendship, and someone who has watched you grow up and thus probably understands you deeply, and a love that has matured into stable companionship.

    When either your or Rene's hot new love cools down as it inevitably will, what will you have? Four broken hearts? Career uncertainty as you enter middle age? Is it worth the risk?

    The head has eyes and ears to see and hear clearly, and brain with which to think. The heart has none of the above. Unless Rene is REALLY worth the risk (possible), go with your head.

  • YJacket

    Posts: 146

    Nov 22, 2011 9:28 AM GMT
    Your ``heart'' takes its cues from your brain. The key is figuring out what your brain says about Rene--and then assessing the two, Rene vs. Mark. Always think with and follow your head, kid.
  • thisguy023

    Posts: 204

    Nov 22, 2011 10:05 AM GMT
    Head!

    Life, love and happiness are about commitment, sharing and taking care of each other. You found someone who is willing to do all that for you and who has been doing that for fifteen years. Count yourself extremely lucky.

    (And honestly, your description of this Rene creeps me out a bit: "he looked me square in the eye and told me he knows...he KNOWS...with certainty that he and I should be together". Brrr.)

    Good luck with your decision.
  • whatatrouble

    Posts: 12

    Nov 22, 2011 10:19 AM GMT
    lilTanker saidfollow your brain.

    This whole instant connection stuff, that'll die in the cold of reality if you chase it.

    What you have now is a lot more important.

    If your going to leave a person leave because you are unsatisfied with the relationship and you have been trying hard to make it satisfying but failed.

    Not because some hot arse walked by, got you excited and you wanted to go taste the goods.


    Strongly agree.
    A crush would soon fade away. We just sometimes could not distinguish it from love and mistakenly think it is love. Love is something more than just passion.
  • dragonbunny

    Posts: 57

    Nov 22, 2011 10:22 AM GMT
    'Rene and his long time partner hung out with Mark and I . . . '

    Change that to 'with Mark and me . . . ' and follow your heart.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 22, 2011 10:41 AM GMT
    My brother was in a very similar situation. He was with his ex wife for ten years. They hit a bump in the road and another woman came in who he knew. He decided to divorce her for this other woman because she was the greatest etc etc....She kind of played him as well.

    He is now learning she was not that different from his ex wife as he gets to know her. The only difference now is he has half as much money as he used too icon_smile.gif.

    Like I told my brother when this was all happening....cut this girl loose and in time it will pass. You need to forgot about this Rene......

    Also don't cheat on your boyfriend, that is the ultimate betrayal and as Nene says on the housewives "close your legs to married men" haha
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 22, 2011 10:46 AM GMT
    Work on your relationship with Mark .YOu have something good there.
  • masculumpedes

    Posts: 5549

    Nov 22, 2011 11:00 AM GMT
    Following your head is the right thing to do in most cases, however it often leads to very lonely times. Following your heart is an emotional response and not always well-thought out. Truthfully, I've mostly followed my heart and even though things didn't work out, I have many fond memories and photos to look back on. icon_wink.gif