We’re three couples in our late-50s. We’ve all been friends for decades, attended each other’s weddings, had children around the same time, shared family holidays, vacations, etc.
Never in my wildest dreams could I have predicted what would happen this week! One of the moms has admitted to having an affair with the 17-year-old son of one of the other couples.
She thinks they’re in love and wants to split from her husband. She’s the godmother of this boy and I think she’s gone crazy!
I don’t know how to handle this situation with all the families involved. I don’t have any idea what to say to either set of friends. Need advice!!
That’s a situation that’s never previously been presented to me. If any readers have faced anything similar, it’ll be helpful to everyone involved or just interested.
It’s the son, 17, who needs the most immediate attention and guidance. His parents must focus on him, not on the woman.
They need to support their son by showing empathy for what he’s experiencing. They have to just accept that there’s been some need on his part for intense attention, adult flattery, and yes, passionate adult sex.
They’d be wise to talk to a therapist immediately and without their son, to learn from a professional perspective some of the inner needs and motivations for a teenager to risk this drama-filled relationship.
But they must tread carefully, and not immediately share with their son what the therapist said. Their visit is to help them. Their son can only benefit from therapy if and when he wants it.
As for the “godmother,” she should seek counselling immediately... but she’s enjoying herself too much. She’ll probably never be in the same friendship group again.
She’s in a personal crisis, and doesn’t care where the damage falls. A potential divorce wasn’t enough for her to start a new life. First, she needed attention through drama, and adoration. The latter was easy to find in an eager, horny teen.
As for the two other couples and their children, time will tell who remains close. The shock factor and potentially different reactions, are overwhelming right now. But there are other children involved and former good friends - eg. the husband who’s being discarded or will leave on his own, also needs some support.
And so do all the children, especially the boy involved who’ll inevitably have to re-integrate into his own friendship circle.
So, be yourself - avoid gossip sessions, but maintain contact through whatever you did before with the other couple.
I'm 83, grieving my husband’s recent passing. Yet, I'm also very, very angry with him.
My husband had affairs with other women during our marriage. I've never told that to anyone. It's not the kind of thing that people talked about in my generation.
As a result, I've suffered in silence while our friends and family thought that my late husband was a wonderful man.
Now, I’m left with the truth, which still hurts. I'm having a difficult time reconciling my mixed emotions.
Do you have any suggestions for me to deal with this?
Alone and Hurting
All grief is both painful and complicated. There’s the sad loss of someone known for almost all your life. Also, the loneliness of being left, and the hurt of still carrying inside anything that went wrong.
But, despite what you couldn’t do in the past, you now can grieve and move on. Do that, for your own life.
FEEDBACK Regarding useful “intimacy maintenance” tips (May 11):
Reader – “Thank you for the article based on Dr. Carmen Harra’s book Committed: Finding Love and Loyalty Through the Seven Archetypes, (May 11):
“I met a nice lady a year ago. We discuss our relationship every time we meet. We find ourselves in a relationship that Dr. Harra describes, e.g., “rekindling romance by finding the joy in engaging in different activities together.”
“We thought we have a special relationship at this point, in our 70's, after we both had experienced a loss.
“We’re both cautious, live independently, and my lady does not want a sexual relationship. To me, it’s the emotional intimacy that’s the most important aspect of our respectful relationship.
“The intimacy aspect may change some day, but it keeps the magic of our deep relationship, still magic. Perhaps it could become even more magic.
“It’s a very good article.”
Tip of the day:
If close people suddenly exhibit strange behaviour, focus on the most vulnerable ones to help/support.