Is this a friendship or something else
Please no judgement, I want to understand what is happening so that I can make the right choices.
I met a man at work....we spoke a handful of times and he supported me on one occasion when I was having some difficulty with my employer. On my last day at work, I found him to tell him I was leaving that day, and he asked to keep in touch so we exchanged numbers. I thought nothing more about it, I wasn't going to contact him and didn't expect to hear from him either. He subsequently messaged me and we met for coffee.
I have been married over 30 years. He is also married. He is significantly younger than me. He tells me his wife is unaware of our friendship. My husband knows we have coffee together and is unconcerned by this - I always let him know beforehand. Friendship is exactly how I viewed it. I'm beginning to think he maybe has different expectations, although he hasn't said as much. Normally I dress very casually but I met him recently unexpectedly when I was dressed up. He told me I am beautiful and sexy. He likes to hold my hand if we are alone - sometimes we have sat in his car to talk, but only ever in public places where we could easily be seen. Normally we meet in a coffee shop, or the supermarket cafe. Never anywhere private or secret. He has made a few comments which are vaguely sexual in nature. He has told me that he is keen to meet me whenever he can. He messages me but the messages are very bland, just checking how I am. No kisses or anything suggestive. We normally hug goodbye, and last time, it felt very much more than just a friendly hug.
I've always been faithful to my husband and assume he too has been faithful. I don't want to cheat, but I enjoy the company of this other man. I don't want to cut ties with him if his behaviour is innocent and I'm reading something into a situation which doesn't exist.
If you like what's happening then you will probably end up entangled in something you don't want or need if you don't want to cheat. Yeah, it's all good that your husband knows that you meet for coffee, but does he know that this guy wants to hold your hand, calls you sexy & messages you.
You can call it what you like, but if you willingly meet this guy & enjoy his company etc, then you need to sit back & ask yourself just where your marriage is at, because your actions are calling the shots here.
You aren't reading anything extra into the situation - it sounds very much like he's looking for something on the side and being careful about communication so if someone else found your phone, there'd be nothing to see.
A married man shouldn't be telling another man's wife she is beautiful and sexy. He wants to hold your hand. He wants to meet whenever possible. He has kept your existence a secret from his wife. He's getting ready to cheat.
I wouldn't even suggest getting to be friends as a couple with him and his wife; that would still provide opportunities for an affair, which you say you don't want.
Your post sounds as if you're going to move forward with this 'friendship' anyway. You have been warned.
You are sending the wrong messages to keep this relationship platonic. You should not be holding hands or sharing long conversations together in a car with any man that is not your husband.
Call this dudes wife, she needs to know he is keeping things from her.
Thank you for your responses, you have made my position very clear.
I have told him I'm having nothing further to do with him and blocked him. My marriage is the most important thing.
I am impressed with your dedication to your marriage. A lot of women nowadays do not behave in such a manner. Good for you!
Crikey - me too!
Well done, 9HEV!
For future ref., though:
"I'm beginning to think he maybe has different expectations, although he hasn't said as much."
Yeah, he has:
"He tells me his wife is unaware of our friendship. "
Not just the fact she wasn't aware. Not just the additional fact of his feeling this was your business and that you'd be interested. But the fact he went all the way and TOLD YOU.
(Multi-layered Narc hinty-hinty thus later-deniable talk, anyone?)
(The cheating barstool. Bleugh. Dodged a bullet, you have (lol - yours, Yoda))
THANK-YOU - sincerely - deeply! - for not having helped a disturbed man to slow-murder his poor (undoubtedly long-suffering) wife.
(More women like her, please, bartender!)
"Call this dudes wife, she needs to know he is keeping things from her."
I'm inclined to agree, actually. But I think it would be more effective AS WELL AS impossible to dismiss as sour grapes (oh, he'd spin a yarn that made you out to be the desperate but thwarted, now bitter, manhunter-mistress figure to his poor innocent wickle victim-target, alright!) if you got your husband to contact her.
And just to clarify my perspective, here: As Mira Kirschenbaum puts it in her outrageously good book "Too Good To Leave/Too Bad To Stay" (not verbatim): if they cheat on you, don't waste your time asking whether they love you - to do that to you, they don't even LIKE you!
That poor woman. Serially cheated-on, I'd say, going by his oh-so-subtle and polished style....lots of practise, clearly.
(Hell, give me her number and I'll call her!)
I view his admission that she's a secret *very* differently.
I see the continued marriage as a get-out-of-jail-free card. As soon as the mistress starts to agitate for time/commitment, he suddenly decides to give his marriage 'another honest try.' He'll tell her she can't claim she was misled because he was honest about being married in the beginning.
Oh, sure - there's that too - absolutely! Plus, creating right from the start a strong sense of competition between the mistress and wife to artificially increase keenness and insecurity, and create chaos. Plus, plus, plus...