by Richard Bleil
She is beautiful, intelligent, caring, and I find myself very much attracted to her. And if I am reading things correctly, she is attracted to me as well. But there is a problem.
She’s with another man.
He doesn’t treat her the way she deserves to be treated. From my understanding (which is through her, so it is one-sided of course), he doesn’t show her respect, doesn’t listen to her, and frankly won’t do much for her.
Frankly, I don’t get that. I would like to think that I would be different, but the reality is that as lonely as I am, I’m probably seeing myself as I would hope I am. I am just a man, after all. But how can anybody blessed with such a partner not recognize the needs of such a partner, treat her like an equal, and pay attention?
To be honest, I’m very worried about her. I know she deserves better. Given the chance, I would be with her in a heartbeat.
Already, I can hear a reader screaming at the screen, “Isn’t that HER choice?!?”
Exactly. That’s kind of my point. See, if I am correct in her feelings about me, then I could have more sway over her than is appropriate. But should I?
Many years ago I hear an interesting term called “snaking”. The idea is that one person can “snake” their way in between two people in a relationship. The imagery is striking. A couple in a relationship, until a snake (and I love snakes but that defeats the point of the image) slithers between them to break them apart.
Maybe a snake can break them apart, but towards what end? A failed relationship hurts. If I manage to break them up, I will cause her a great deal of pain. How can I claim to actually care for her if I am going to cause such pain for her? In the end, wouldn’t she associate that pain with me? If so, would she even be interested in me if I successfully snaked my way into her relationship?
The reality is that she deserves to be happy, and because of that, they deserve every opportunity to succeed as a couple. Maybe someday she will make the choice to leave him, but until then, it falls to me to make her happy, and support that relationship as best I can. If I may be so bold, I feel like this is the role of everybody. Relationships should be held precious in a society, and it is up to all of us to protect them. If they are going to fail, they should not fail because of external influences.
That’s not to say that I shouldn’t share my concerns with her. There are reasons that I worry about their relationship, and I would be remiss in my duty as a friend if I didn’t point these concerns out, but, what she decides to do with this is up to her. If she leaves or if she stays, I will support her decision, because she deserves that, as they do.
I know so many couples that work so well together, couples with female friends that I adore and would be honored to be with, but I don’t want to interfere with these. A loving couple transcends either individual, and it’s clear that trying to come between them would be a crime. This couple is not one of them, but I still can’t come between them, not because of the couple, but because of her.
It’s not an easy path to walk, the path of protecting others. Despite rumors to the contrary, I am an actual man, replete with desires to be in a relationship, with sexual fantasies, and human emotions. But I also am willing to sacrifice for her, and if I’m being completely honest, I take it on myself to protect relationships. And with this attitude, here i am, blogging about protecting relationships for which I long, and she is with a man who does not deserve her.
So, what about me? Don’t I deserve to be happy? I wish I could say that seeing her happy is all I need, but, the reality is that it hurts, every day. But if I were responsible for her pain, I fear that would hurt more. It seems that either path leads to pain for me. I feel as if this has been my lot forever. I’ve been successful academically, and in my career, but not in my personal life. So if I”m going to know pain, let it be to protect others from it.