I think for quite a while now I haven't had very high expectations of this turning into anything more than a friendship. I had high hopes initially. Those first few months when we were chatting before he had disclosed anything to me. Him saying that he wanted to marry his best friend and have kids someday. We seemed to be completely on the same page; we both seemed to want the same things. We are both intelligent, career-driven people and seemed to have similar life goals. I remember one conversation when he told me that he thought most guys didn't compliment women enough and he knew a lot of women had insecurities about their looks so he planned to tell his future wife every day how beautiful she was - and his daughters too, because they should feel beautiful too. I remember thinking that he would be a wonderful husband and father. That was before I knew about his past.
I think that maybe there were some early signs that I might have missed. It's a little more difficult to pick up on things sometimes because all of our conversations have been via online chat or text messages so tone of voice and body language are completely missed. I do remember a few times early on that I noticed some insecurities. A few months after we started talking he asked me if I was interested in him as more than a friend and he seemed almost a little surprised that I was. Then there was a time shortly after we started texting that he said he missed me. I joked back something about how could he miss someone that he had never met in person. It was more a lighthearted comment on my part and I had never intended to make him feel bad, but I didn't hear from him for weeks after that. He felt like I was laughing at him and immediately jumped to the conclusion that I wasn't interested in him. I learned after that to be a little more careful what I said since jokes can easily be taken the wrong way when sent via text where tone of voice and facial expression are lost. This was all before I knew.
About 5 or 6 months or so after we met he brought up some things from his past. I was shocked and angry, but it didn't scare me away. I immediately started reading about CSA and wanted to do my best to be supportive. I understood better where some of his insecurities were coming from. He told me he didn't attach to people normally. I told him I understood, that we could work through it. He said he wasn't sure he would ever really be able to love someone, at least not the way I love. But I firmly believed that if all the things he had said in the past about telling his wife every day how beautiful she was were true then I would feel loved.
We had a lot of back and forth. It felt like every time we would start to really get close, he would push away. I know that some his past girlfriends reacted very negatively when he disclosed to them. They told him that they would never be able to trust him to be alone with their kids if they had them because they said he would abuse them. I know that really hurt him. I think I'm one of the first people who hasn't held his past against him like that and sometimes I wonder if he's afraid that I will turn into that or something. But I couldn't imagine saying something like that to him. He is a good man and I think he has a really big heart. I definitely don't think he would ever hurt his kids. If anything I would think he would err on the side of being overprotective.
I'm just not sure what he wants anymore. But I guess it's been that way for at least the past year. There are times that he really pushes me away and then times that he tells me how much he misses me and how he thinks his life would be so much easier if he knew he could be with me. I started to get a little frustrated with the back and forth and around this time last year I started actively dating other men, but we've still kept in touch. Despite all this, I've still always thought that he wanted to get married someday. I wasn't sure that he would necessarily marry me since I seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I did think that he saw himself married to someone in the future.
I know that for me it's a dealbreaker. I may care deeply about a person, but if marriage isn't an option it will never work. I absolutely want kids in the future and I don't want kids unless I'm married. I want that commitment.
I know that we both have feelings for each other and as long as we are still talking we will probably still harbor those feelings, so sometimes I wonder if maybe it would be better to stop talking. It feels like abandonment though. He's told me a lot of things that he hasn't even told his family and we have both been a support to each other in the challenges of medical school. I'd still like to be friends with him. If I were to abandon him, I would not expect him to chase after me. I would have destroyed his trust.
I'm not sure what the future will hold, but I thank both of you very much for the support!