I have a friends with benefits who, I admit, I really like, but couldn't see myself actually dating. He has a baby with an ex, who he calls an ex, but I'm pretty sure they still have some kind of relationship (one that might include sex). I used to feel really guilty about our relationship, because I felt like the other woman. It doesn't help that our relationship is kept secret, which was my choice (not for reasons relating to his situation), but he happily goes along with it.
Once he admitted to me that he only stayed "with" her so that she would not bring another man into his child's life. I thought that was a really manipulative thing to do, and I felt bad for her. I also know that she got pregnant after they already broke up. He told me this way before we even thought about hooking up, so I believe him. He also claims that she dates, but I have my suspicions that she is still in love with him. Why else would she put up with him, while knowing he's out with other women? Knowing all of this made me start to feel guilty about our hook ups, like I've been intruding on their relationship, even if it's an open one.
Recently, we made plans to hang out, which usually means lots of flirting, and probably hooking up. We planned way in advance, because he wouldn't have his kid (which he watches part time), and both of us were free (we both are really busy in general). At the last minute he claimed he might have to cancel, but didn't say why. We went out anyway, but he kept getting texts. Next thing I know, the night is cut short because he wanted to see his kid before his baby's mother took the child away for about a week. I understand, but it made me start thinking differently about this whole situation. Now that I think about it, I remember a bunch of situations where he was made to go, or felt guilty about not going, to meet with her for his kid's sake. Once she even kept calling/texting while a bunch of us (mutual friends) were having dinner because their kid broke something, and she was stressed. Kids break things. Why make him feel guilty for not dropping his plans, and running to meet you, to clean up glass?
He also has changed how he interacts with me when I'm around "their friends" and admitted it was to avoid hurting her feelings. When I asked if that meant that he was hiding the fact that he was dating from her, he said no but also said it's "complicated". He has also recently disappeared from social media, which I also suspect is related to her feelings about his posts.
I know this is their relationship, and it kinda isn't my business, but I'm curious. Do you think she really just wants him around just to help, or is she just using any excuse to keep him in her life? I always thought that was an unfair label put on women in these situations, but now I can see how it could be true. I know he's the kind of guy who would do anything for his kid, so is it crazy to suspect that she would use that to make him stay?
Most Helpful Girl
I mean...it's possible, but...who really knows.
I don't think that's the issue here.
You seem unhappy in this kind of relationship. A relationship should never make you feel badly about yourself or the relationship. The relationship will only get more complicated and cloudier as time goes on. I wish you the best.1