My boyfriend of 2 years the other night told me how he worries a lot about his best friend who struggles with degenerative health issues, and talked about how ideally would want all 3 of us to live together. Seems he at some point promised to support her and care for her when she has health issues. But he NEVER mentioned this EVER to me when we’ve discussed our future plans. I feel so blindsided. I didn’t want to come off as insensitive so I didn’t pry just that I was very surprised. Then he said “well of course your opinion matters. All I know is I am in love with you and want to grow old with you.” I just feel like no matter what I say, it will seem insensitive to Mary and her health issues and his commitment to help her. But at the same time, this is a big commitment on his part and doesn’t seem compatible with the relationship plans we’ve talked about. I know I need to have another talk but want to be delicate and not seem insensitive to Mary. Please see below for more context on the friendship and more details that may help/impact your feedback. Thank you in advance for your help and guidance!
I am 34 and have been dating my boyfriend Matt (42 years old) for 2 years. Before dating, we met in grad school in Boston and were best friends for 4 years. His other best friend was a young woman, Mary (31 years old), who he lived with in Kansas. She was the one that urged Matt for years to tell me how he felt, and was so happy when we finally started dating. I knew she struggled with some health issues and was on immune-suppressing medicine to deal with it (degenerative issues that affect her joints and some chronic pain issues). A couple years ago, Mary broke up with her boyfriend so she decided to take a travel work contract and move to the East Coast, a few hours away from Matt and I. Matt would visit about one weekend a month and often I’d tag along. For the 1.5 years of our relationship, Matt and I lived in Boston in our separate apartments and did usual relationship things like traveling, meeting each other’s families and planning our future together. Then COVID happened…our city announced there would be a lockdown. Mary had just broken up with her longterm boyfriend, so Matt left Boston to go stay with Mary (in case she got sick, this way she wouldn’t be by herself in case got COVID). After a few weeks, I left to join Mary and Matt and have been here ever since. It has been very difficult being a couple, and living with a third person (the apartment is small, and have little privacy). But I always felt very grateful to be here and to Mary for welcoming me. I also took a lot of comfort in the fact this was a temporary situation and Matt and I soon would get our own place.
The other night Matt got emotional about how scared he was about COVID because he knew if Mary contracted it she likely would get very sick and potentially could be fatal coupled with her other health issues. He said he wants to “always make sure she’s okay and not alone and struggling.” I probed to ask what he meant by that logistically, and he said he was happy with the current living situation with all 3 of us. And ideally we’d find a place with her, or at the least she’d live closeby. It seemed he had made a commitment to Mary and be her caretaker when her health gets bad.
But he’s NEVER mentioned this to me EVER, and we’ve had a lot of conversations about the future. And a surprise because before COVID, she seemed fine living independently, with only a 1x month visit from Matt. She also moved far away from her hometown, friends and family to this travel work position, so she only has Matt as potential support geographically close by.
It’s noble he’s made a promise to help a friend, but this feels like it goes WAY above and beyond the usual. And the type of living situation and caretaking he’s talking about with Mary is incompatible with what I want for us. I just don’t know what to do next. Thank you for your help