Married and emotionally attached to someone who is battling depression
I have a friend that I met about a year ago who lives several states away, but has reason to visit my area a few times a year. We interacted on social media here and there for six or seven months. Sometime in April, we began messaging almost everyday for hours. He shared some really intimate information about his past experiences and how they affected him including that he had several relationships with married women, which I also happen to be. He was very direct that he is not looking for love or sex because of his past heartbreaks and only wants friendship and conversation. He was up front about his struggles with depression and that he was trying to come off his medication after many years. At times, he was a bit over the top. At times, he was sensitive and charming. I wasn’t sure if he was sweet and wonderful, a big player, or if it was all signs of his depression. I was pulled in because I wanted to figure it out.
In May, he went on a trip with a friend to work on a project. He was excited that the project would propel him to the next level of his career. When he arrived, everything went bust, and he ended up walking away. At the same time, he was only off his depression medications for a few weeks. He was alone with no support, no place to stay, little money, and his most cherished friendship was damaged beyond repair. He would send me videos and pictures of things he saw and had for meals so that it was like I was there with him. He began to tell me that he appreciated that I cared about him, that I was special to him, that I made a positive impact in his life, and that I was a blessing to the world, especially to him. Although the frequency of our conversations became less intense through June and July, we still messaged every few days. He continued to tell me how much I meant to him and talked about seeing each other again. Our conversations were at times flirtatious or slightly inappropriate, but never about being more than really good friends.
About a month ago, he went silent on social media and stopped contacting me. After a few days, I sent him a quick note. Immediately, I could see he signed on probably because he got a notification, read my message and logged off with no acknowledgement. Other than that, he wasn’t signing on at all. Days went by and I started to get paranoid, but he was dark everywhere. I messaged him because I knew his mood was falling and he was out of his routine. I sent a message saying that I noticed he was totally off the grid and that I was there to help, if needed. A few days later, he responded to tell me he had a relapse and how wonderful I was to him for caring. Now, he is off the grid again. I’m confused and on an emotional roller coaster. I also know that we haven’t had a great deal of real personal contact and I probably care way more than he does. Besides, there are many reasons we shouldn’t even be friends. I have read that depression causes some people to isolate, and he seems to be ignoring everyone, not just me. It’s hard not to take it personally, but I understand that I don’t understand serious depression.
Questions: If he is back on his medications, should he still be totally isolated after a month? Should I wait for him to contact me or try to share something he would normally be interested in or send a message to check in about once a week? I’m also concerned that once he’s back on the medications, he won’t want me around any longer. Although he says, his heart is ruined, is it the truth or am I setting him up to be hurt again? Is it possible to put my feelings in check and remain friends? What am I getting out of this? If I consider myself to be happily married, why am I so infatuated with someone else?
Any thoughts on this situation would be appreciated.
Susiedqq is right. Move on
Thank you. I know you are right. I just needed someplace to unload.
I am loved and needed by my husband and daughter. I think this is about the feeling of being wanted. After all these years of marriage, I sometimes feel taken for granted and feel unattractive. Then, here comes a stranger telling me how wonderful I am. It doesn't even matter if he is sincere or playing me. I just enjoy hearing it. I really just want to know if he is trying to seduce me. I might feel some satisfaction in that. Yes, I am messed up, but this does seem like a good time to pull away.
My marriage is just really comfortable. I've told my husband that I think he only loves me because we go on vacations and eat out/drink beer. He reassures me, but it doesn't change.
I feel old and fat and ugly. I have a disability. He knows all this. He's a good man and kind. Regardless, I'm not leaving him. He knows about this, but trusts that I won't actually act on it. Otherwise, he doesn't seem to care. My daughter was more concerned about the mental illness piece and won't talk to me about it.
My friend hasn't asked for anything. He might just be looking for a sympathetic ear and someone to make him feel special, too. I know it can't and shouldn't be me. He's also not a good choice for me. I'm not sure what his angle is completely. I always assume there is no interest. Also, to your point earlier, I do often find myself pull in people that need me and talk them off their ledge. While this isn't about feeling needed, it is a factor.
To answer my own question from earlier, I won't reach out to him again and get myself under control. That sort of answers the other questions. I should probably get counseling for myself at very least.
Thank you for listening. This isn't something that I could talk to my family and friends about.