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Need advice: Follow my head or heart?
#11
Robert,

Having never been in a long-term relationship, it would be irresponsible for me to weigh in on your difficult decision. However, I would like to express my admiration for you.

In this volatile situation, you've confessed your feelings to your partner. You've taken the time to see the situation from everyone's perspective. You are exploring your options rationally, seeking advice from a counselor, and giving your relationship with Mark every chance to succeed. And you've made it clear that you will do the right thing by everyone; for you, there will be no lying and no infidelity.

You, sir, are the kind of man who earns his good fortune. I wish you the best.


TC
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#12
I know I'm new, but I really think you should stick with Mark.

For me, when I first meet someone new that I like I always get those sparks, but they wear off. I bet you felt the same when you first met Mark too. The sparks will fade, but if Mark is a great companion then that will be more everlasting. I say stick with Mark.
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#13
Hi, Robert.
Maybe sit down and define what "relationship" is for yourself? Then, think about what you want from the other person and then what you would expect from yourself. Then mentally compare this to what you presently have with Mark. How does it match up?

Maybe also define love for yourself? Define commitment. Define partnership. And, any other terms that come to mind about your situation and just reflect on what they mean to you.

The thing is, over the course of 15 years maybe your definition of what YOU ultimately want from a relationship, love, partnership, etc. have changed. It may be sad for you and Mark but it may be reality. In 15 years time, YOU have changed and grown into the man you are today. Your perspective is going to be different.

I think you should completely take Rene out of your analysis. My reasoning is that it could be nothing more than "the grass is greener" kind of lust. So, I would focus your soul-searching on your present relationship, because Rene and a possible relationship with him would be an unknown and you need to think of it as not being there. You should view yourself without Mark as single. What do you see? Is it scary without him? Or are you ok with what you see?

A few questions:
Did you feel your relationship with Mark was fulfilling before you met Rene? What was it about Mark that you fell in love with him in the beginning?

What about Rene's partner? Has Rene also discussed things with his long-term partner? How many years have they been together? How old is Rene? How many sexual partners has Rene had? Has he ever been unfaithful to his partner? What about health issues?

So, I think you should use your head as you reflect on your circumstances. Best wishes!
[COLOR="DarkSlateBlue"]Deep wells must be dug
If you want clear water
Rose-red oh Rose-red
deep waters don’t run still

~ Rammstein - Rosenrot[/COLOR]

Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next. ~ Jonas Salk

You don't shine by putting out someone else's light.
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#14
RobertFriendly Wrote:I have and we have agreed to go to a councilor together. It's hard because Mark doesn't see anything wrong with our relationship. I've also booked a romantic vacation for us over the holidays hoping it will spark something.

I think this is the smart way to go and by the sounds of it Mark is willing to hear you out with a councilor. Good luck with the vacation.
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#15
What's really unfortunate in your post is that as you and your partner became friends with Rene and his partner, you did NOT draw a line in the sand emotionally! It's unfortuante that you let your personal feelings, needs and desires to take priority over your LTR! I'm not throwing you under the bus, but after 15 years with Mark, you should have told Rene (once you recognized you were developing feelings for him), "You know Rene, if i had met you 16 years ago i bet we'd have turned out to be lovers ahahah, but i love Mark, he is my life-partner and while I value our friendship so please respect that."

You didn't say how strong Rene's LTR is!

Its good you're going to counseling, because there is SOMETHING in you that changed. I'm guessing that alot stems from the lack of intimacy over the past few years. So many couples (gay and str8) underestimate the power that physical touch has on keeping an LTR strong. Now, NO ONE can reasonably expect to have the same kind of sex you had in the first 3 years together - but going from having sex every day to having sex 5 or 6 times a year WILL have an impact on your LTR!

So, let's ask a few questions here:
1) How frequently did you 2 make love before you met Rene and his partner
2) Has your sexual attraction toward your partner changed due to physical changes? (did he gain weight, change his looks, etc)
3) Has Rene ended his LTR?
4) Have the four of you engaged in ANy form of sex? (watching, being watched, etc?)
5) Have you and rene kissed?
6) Have you and Rene exchanged emails and text messages behind your parters back?
7) Has your partner changed his behavour after you told him you fell in love with Rene?
8) Can you tell us a bit more about RENE'S PARTNER? I mean, he's the 4th wheel in this
9) Has Rene's partner and your partner spoken about this?

Bottom line, I think you should stay with mark. BUT, if you have fallen out of love with Mark and you're just going to "stay with him in a marriage of convenience" then eventually your LTR with him will end. YOu'll get bitter and angry for having compromised and it will get messy. So, you have to be honest during counseling and LISTEN to Mark as well.

And remember, the fact that Mark thought everything was OK is going to really have an impact on his level of trust towards you. There's nothing worse than thinking life is great, and you get blind-sided when you find out your life-partner has fallen for someone else!

Tread carefully on his heart - but you have to be honest with yourself and him.
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#16
Don't hurt Mark, he can be a valuable part of your life, but break up with him in a way that holds you even stronger. You can still consider him family without marrying him. Don't get stuck in a loveless marriage, yuet you two are really close and has been since small, but it seems it is just going down hill and who knows in 10 years your having regrets saying ''I should had try with Rene'', but then again ''I should never left mark''
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#17
BobInTampa Wrote:...after 15 years with Mark, you should have told Rene (once you recognized you were developing feelings for him), "You know Rene, if i had met you 16 years ago i bet we'd have turned out to be lovers ahahah, but i love Mark, he is my life-partner and while I value our friendship so please respect that."

After Rene confessed his feelings...and I realized I had developed them too Rene and I cut off all contact and have not spoken since. It was my choice but so far Rene has been respectful.

BobInTampa Wrote:You didn't say how strong Rene's LTR is!

Rene's been with his partner for 10 years and were more-or-less happy. I think these feeling sort of snuck up on both of us.

BobInTampa Wrote:So, let's ask a few questions here:
1) How frequently did you 2 make love before you met Rene and his partner

We'd kind of fallen into once-a-month mode. Not great I know. That hasn't changed.

BobInTampa Wrote:2) Has your sexual attraction toward your partner changed due to physical changes? (did he gain weight, change his looks, etc)

No. I mean, we're both 15 years older but we both take care of ourselves.

BobInTampa Wrote:3) Has Rene ended his LTR?

I don't know if how they're doing since Rene told his partner about he and I

BobInTampa Wrote:4) Have the four of you engaged in ANy form of sex? (watching, being watched, etc?)

Oh my gosh! No. Nada. Basic gay "flirting" but no sexual or even sensual stuff. Nothing I wouldn't do in front of my mama.

BobInTampa Wrote:5) Have you and rene kissed?

Nope.

BobInTampa Wrote:6) Have you and Rene exchanged emails and text messages behind your parters back?
Nope. I've tried to be as open and honest about everything as I could. I knew that by being open about it, Rene and I would not end up crossing a line.

BobInTampa Wrote:7) Has your partner changed his behavour after you told him you fell in love with Rene?
He's a bit spooked by it all but overall has been understanding. I don't think he's really grasped that we could ever split up for real.

BobInTampa Wrote:8) Can you tell us a bit more about RENE'S PARTNER? I mean, he's the 4th wheel in this
9) Has Rene's partner and your partner spoken about this?
Rene's partner is actually a terrific guy. He's sweet, intelligent, good-looking and rich. To be honest, he's quite the catch.

BobInTampa Wrote:And remember, the fact that Mark thought everything was OK is going to really have an impact on his level of trust towards you. There's nothing worse than thinking life is great, and you get blind-sided when you find out your life-partner has fallen for someone else!

Tread carefully on his heart - but you have to be honest with yourself and him.

Good advice. Thanks!
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#18
I dont have much expertise in these things being young and relatively inexperienced; however, I feel that for your happiness in the long run, stay in your current relationship because it seems like it is something steady and having someone being that stabilizing force in your life is always a great thing.

That is my 2 cents.
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#19
Q:What is the most important thing in our life?
A: Thing that we already lost and thing that we won't be able to get.

However, that answer is wrong.
The most important thing in our life is the happiness that we are having.
Some people just don't see that and they will regret later.
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#20
pellaz Wrote:it sounds like your mind is made up, for Rene. all good.

i distrust personal sparks, chemistry, spiritual anything, and anyone that clicks emotionally. i would stay with Mark and marry him Iowa or NY asap. Most relationships burn out after the 7year itch and i think this is un necessary.

4some?

I agree; 4some?
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