A close friend confided to me that he’s planning to leave his wife.
He has a good job, and often works late or travels for his job.
They have two kids with very different interests, so even when he’s available, the parents are often going in different directions with each taking one child to an activity.
A work colleague, who’s also married with children, pursued him. They’ve been having an affair for several months and have fallen in love.
She’d previously tried to leave her husband but he became depressed after being laid off so she stayed. She says she’ll leave him when he’s better.
Or, that’s what my friend believes.
He says he’s ready to separate now but is waiting till after his sister’s wedding in a couple of months, to avoid upsetting his whole family.
My wife and I go out with these friends and vacation together.
I now feel in a very awkward position knowing his wife’s life is about to be turned upside down.
She appears completely clueless about the affair and what’s going to happen.
How do I continue socializing with my friends without giving up his secret, or losing the friendship with my buddy, or both of them?
Between Rock and Hard Place
Your predicament reflects the larger question faced by many: Do you “out” a cheater?
In this situation, he’s your close pal, and you’ve accepted that he’s fallen in love.
It places you on the “keep mum” side about his behaviour, but how will your own wife react to his deceiving his wife?
Your friend shouldn’t have placed you in this awkward position.
Unless he values your opinion and subconsciously seeks a discussion with you.
Try it. Ask him how he sees events unfolding, how he’ll manage the children’s reactions, whether his wife’s anger at being betrayed will interfere with their ability to share joint custody.
If this gives him pause, urge him to get couples’ counselling with his wife, to see whether they can both make efforts and changes to stay together.
They should examine their marriage closely, with professional help.
After all, his lover may not leave her husband.
My partner of 17 years brought home this couple years ago. He’d said they were very poor so I prepared a good meal for them.
Now they’re visiting us. I see my partner goes to the kitchen and she follows.
When I go to get something, I’m shocked to see they’re locking lips.
My partner’s drunk, she goes to his bedroom while her husband calls her, till they left.
When I reported what I saw, my partner said it was nothing. I emailed her and she said it was he who was kissing her, they’re just friends.
My partner still visits them. They party, he fools around, and she lets him while they make a fool out of the husband.
My partner still insists it’s nothing. I don't believe him. Your thoughts?
“Locked lips” takes two sets, each kissing the other.
There’s more going on than fooling around when your husband gets drunk. He drinks often enough to keep repeating the scene, including being together in a bedroom.
The next move is up to you. Tell him you don’t believe him.
But know ahead what boundaries you intend to draw – e.g. insisting this woman’s off limits.
Know what you can and cannot accept in your relationship. Then get legal advice as backup.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose father-in-law has an on-off relationship with a girlfriend his family dislikes (July 7):
Reader – “Obviously, she just wants some work done around her house, because that’s when she takes him back.
“After awhile, she pays him with sex to make up for it, dropping him when she feels she's “paid up.”
“But I’d still tell everyone to MYOB after tipping the father off to what’s really going on.
“He's an adult and it's not his sons' place to tell him what to do.”
Ellie – Sadly, the sons and the father’s parents, have chosen to avoid this woman even when the couple are together.
The father says of her, “When it’s good, it’s good.” I agree, she’s his choice.
But the sons and family also have choices. They can try to help the man see how he’s being emotionally “used.”
But they can also maintain their relationship with him, rather than judge and isolate him.
Tip of the day:
You don’t have to reveal a friend’s affair, but you can help a friend re-think his/her behaviour and its consequences.