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When Harry Met Sally

May 3, 2005

Okay, here it is, as promised, my aforementioned rant in this post, on my marriage and the number one issue we had for three years: my close friendship with another man.

When Harry Met Sally is one of my all time favorite movies because it explores the question of “Can men and women truly be just friends?” I have always felt that the answer to this question is yes. In the movie, Billy Crystal (Harry), says no, because no matter what, the sex thing is always out there; that one or the other wants it, whether they make it known or not. My ex totally agreed with this, and that’s why it bothered him that I was friends with this other guy. Under NORMAL circumstances, I suppose I can see his point, but this is how it was:

I met my friend through work. We had just moved to Seattle, I didn’t know a lot of people, and we worked opposite hours, so we were rarely both home and conscious at the same time. I was looking to make some new friends, and I really wanted to have a guy friend again. I’d always had one and hadn’t for a while. My friend was a sales rep in our Denver branch, and I was a customer service rep (at the time), working out of our call center in Seattle. My territory was Denver, so I talked to him regularly. As we talked, we learned that we had a lot in common…Dodgers, beer, Seinfeld, Tool, you name it, we probably had it in common. So we always had plenty to talk about. We never talked outside of work, and I always looked forward to his calls because of all the shitty customers I had to put up with. I got transferred to the purchasing side of things and didn’t talk to him for a long time. I got married, all was well.

Then one day, someone had a question on an account of his that I had handled back in the day, and I couldn’t remember, so I called him. Then we started talking regularly, both in and out of work. He had a second job and always used to call me Friday afternoons as he was stuck in traffic on his way there. It was nice to have something to look forward to each week. I really didn’t see any harm in the relationship that we had, we talked about all kinds of things. We grew really close and over time, he started to be the ear that I went to when I needed to talk.

Now here is the thing…it’s not that I went to him instead of my ex, I went to him when I went to my ex and he a) wouldn’t listen, b) didn’t get it, or c) didn’t seem to care. Like when my little sister told me that she worried that she wouldn’t be able to have kids, so she was trying to get pregnant on purpose. I was a mess, I didn’t know what to do. I so strongly disagreed with her and I couldn’t even tell my parents about it. My ex was like, “wow, that sounds like her problem…” and got tired of me stressing about it. My friend, on the other hand, listened to me for days, hours, offered to talk to her, offered to loan her money to have her eggs frozen (which floored me), but basically, he was just there for me. This went on for four years, and he and I just grew closer through everything we went through.

And YES, I admit that we have had the “do you like me…in that way?” conversation (way too much), because, as I mentioned in that post, Laurie always thought that he did have feelings. But it was always, “no, stop talking like that.” So that was never an issue between the two of us. Now from the outside…that’s another story. One day, I heard a rumor that the two of us had been sleeping together. I about died laughing. What was funny about it was that at that point, we still had never met! He got a good laugh at that too and replied with, “so, are we meeting up in Salt Lake on the weekends or what?”

Now I can see where my ex would get ideas, especially being as insecure as he was…my friend was single, I was lonely, we talked all the time, but it was never like that. Ever. I explained that to my ex so many times, my speech kicked out the same every time. My ex never came to me and asked what it was about our friendship that made it so special, and he never asked that I cut him out of my life. He claims that I should have done it anyway, I still maintain that I should not have had to either way.

This whole deal was a fight that always came up, no matter what…I got soooo tired of it. I don’t know that my friend knew the extent of how much we fought about it, but I know that his friend did, since I used to vent to him all the time, looking for a somewhat “neutral” party to tell me that I wasn’t crazy to think that he was being irrational.

Some people will say that I’m crazy to have let something like that interfere with my relationship, that I had the power to end it, but didn’t. In my perspective, I never should have married someone so damn insecure that he would think I had a thing going with a friend I had never met (we finally met after four years of being friends…exactly one week after my ex told me he would take the chance to be with this other girl if he had it) who lived in a completely different state. To this day, he still blames our marriage failing on that, when really, we never should have been married to begin with. We both knew it and did nothing to make it any better than it was, so it just crumbled slowly until it fell apart. After we broke up, he told me that jealous that he couldn’t be close to me like my friend was, but truth is, he never tried!

I’ve been following the news on that runaway bride story, and all I gotta say is that two days before I got married, I had that same feeling–I wanted to run like hell. They say it’s just cold feet, but really…it’s a sign!

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