I'm crushing hard on a guy that my husband is currently flirting with, and I'm having trouble handling it

Question

It's very rare that I have a crush on someone. As such, it took me until 30 to realize that, for me at least, the "love makes you dumb" trope is fairly accurate. 

I'm the kind of person that doesn't friend people I don't know on Facebook. I rarely initiate a conversation with strangers. Hell, I rarely even say "hi" on dating apps on the off chance I might end up having to tell someone it turns out I'm not actually interested in them. Yet for some reason I decided it would be alright to friend a guy on Facebook (partly from the Hubby's suggestion) and, before he responds, initiate a conversation on Scruff. I can't remember most of the content, but I recall it being somewhat awkward and not the most positive interaction. I decided to pull back and not force anything. Within a couple weeks I realized the messages and his Scruff profile were gone. I canceled the Facebook request soon thereafter. Initially I thought he was just blocking/avoiding me, which was disappointing though understandable. But months later I found out he had a boyfriend briefly around the same time that may explain the disappearance from dating apps. That brings us to the present. Half a year later and I've mostly put the idea behind me when I noticed that my husband had started chatting with him, the two seemingly getting along fine. Since that point I've been dealing with a jealousy/envy that I'm not accustomed to. I"m happy that my husband's found a guy he likes, but I don't know if I'll be able to handle if their relationship progresses. It might be easier if I knew for sure that he wasn't interested in me, but since there was never any definite closure I'm just left wondering what if and what might be.

My main optimism for a friend/relationship is from the fact we mutually liked each other on OkCupid. Unfortunately my initial message was sent before I found this out. It was shortly after our brief communication that his profile came up and I starred it, since I was apparently still on my dumb kick. Of course I got the "Congratulations!" pop up. I recall perceiving it as a cruel irony. For all I know that may have hurt my position even more by making me seem stalkerish. 

The main issue is the brief conversation we had is gone thanks to (I assume) him deleting his app profiles. Though even if it were there, I know there wasn't any closure. Still, if I had the chats I would be in a better place to know how to proceed now, but since I'm not clear if I just came on too strong/creeper-like or possibly offended him it's hard to say what direction to take. ltimately I just want to know if there's a possibility. I would just ask, but if he does have a negative association with me, I don't want that to influence his thoughts on my mate. Though at the same rate, should they end up wanting to do more than just chat, I don't know if I'd be able to handle it.

We live in a small community, and I'm seemingly more selective (hesitant?) than most, so it's rare that someone comes along that I'm actually actively interested in. If I knew for sure that he wasn't interested for whatever reason, it would suck, but I could manage and move on. But if he was turned off by my being abnormally forward, or perceived me as stalkerish when my feelings were just giving me a case of the dumbs, I'd hate to pass up something that otherwise seems to have potential.

I could probably go on, but I think that's the gist of it. I appreciate any thoughts you may have. Let me know if clarification is needed.

Side notes: My husband is definitely the more outgoing of the two of us. He chats up a wide variety of guys, where I'm much more pragmatic in my relationships. He's also the type to just add a friend's friend on Facebook and see what happens, which is the advice he gave me when I was initially considering adding the guy myself.

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Answer

It sounds like all of the problems you're having boil down to poor communication. To solve the problem, you are going to have to communicate, both with your husband and with your crush.

From the way you describe the situation, it isn't entirely clear whether your husband even knows you have any history with this guy. If you haven't told your husband that you briefly chatted with him in an abortive way and have a lingering crush on him, you really need to do that, so that your husband doesn't accidentally put both of you in an awkward situation, or one that would hurt you.

Once you've communicated with your husband about your history with this guy, the two of you can discuss how to proceed. Since he is the one with an open line of communication right now, it might make sense for him to say something like, "I mentioned you to my husband, and he seems to think the two of you chatted briefly at some point. Would you be open to talking with him again?"

If he isn't willing to have this conversation, then it behooves you to say something to your crush directly, along the lines of "I noticed that you and my husband have struck up a conversation, but the two of us seem to have fallen out of touch. I'd love to chat with you again if you're up for it. What do you think?"

If this fellow isn't willing to talk to you, but is willing to talk to your husband, it would be reasonable for you to ask your husband not to invest heavily into this relationship, as it sounds like it would be a strain on your marriage. If he already is invested, then you likely will have to address some hurt feelings related to rejection, jealousy, and envy. Communicate your hurt feelings very clearly to your husband in a non-violent way so that he can be enlisted in helping you feel better and can be kind to you in how he proceeds with your crush. You might say something like, "I felt hurt and envious when he rejected me but was willing to communicate and develop a relationship with you. I wonder what we could do to help me feel better about the situation. Do you think we could arrange something that makes me feel special to you as a way of helping me cope with these feelings?"

If instead your crush is in fact willing to talk to you, you can work on developing a rapport with him again one-on-one, and perhaps have some three-way chats that also include your husband. It will likely be important for you to have both one-on-one and group discussions going forward in this case, so that you're all kept on the same page.

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Whatever happens, it is important to remember that no three people will ever care about each other in exactly the same way, or have exactly the same intellectual, emotional, spiritual, or sexual connection. The level of intimacy you and your husband each get with this guy will not be the same, and the level may change over time for each of you. Be prepared for these inequalities, and be careful not to shame or guilt your partner as these inequalities develop, if and when they do.

Hope that helps! If you have any additional questions, please get in touch with us again via our contact page (www.feralatttraction.com/contact).

Viro the Science Collie

Viro Science Collie is a PhD virologist and medical writer, experienced in teaching, technical communication, and writing for the public. He has been active in the furry community since 2012 and has been happily and ethically non-monogamous for much of that time. His interests include non-traditional relationship structures, technology, biological science, and tennis.