My best friend’s wife is intelligent, vivacious, very attractive, and successful, with a loving husband.
Yet, she needs daily reassurance from him that she’s beautiful. Their sex life’s very robust.
Her job requires regular travel. Two years ago, she met a professional man who was married. He became smitten and communicated through texts, emails, and cards.
She told her husband about him and insisted nothing was going on.
But she sees him whenever they’re in each other’s city. He’s since become divorced.
My buddy began monitoring his texts and emails to her.
The man’s in love with her. She still denies anything sexual is going on.
Her husband told her the guy has sexual intentions, and that it bothers him greatly. But nothing’s different, except she changed phones and passwords.
She and her husband continue their intense sex life. She’s told my wife that she stays with my buddy because of his sexual prowess and money.
She’s increasingly self-absorbed and critical of her husband. He says that she’ll ruin him financially if they split.
I’ve said her actions will put him in an early grave. I’ve considered confronting her myself.
Worried Best Friend
Stay close to your friend but don’t intervene. He’s chosen to not challenge her, for his own reasons…. maybe financial, maybe sex, maybe a deeper bond than you know about.
She’s been pathetically insecure about her looks and desirability, before she met this other man. Your friend seems committed to believing her, for now.
I’ve had a difficult relationship with my dad and his wife for years. His wife’s negative attitude, hostility, and drinking often cloud our visits.
After my partner and I married, my dad reported his wife’s account that my partner’s family was rude to her at the wedding. He asked us to deal with it.
We refused, having our own complaints about her drinking and bad behaviour at the event.
She never let it go. I sent an email to her questioning whether she had an alcohol dependence.
I know it hurt her, but I needed her to know about the impact of her bad behaviour on my relationship with my dad and my family. I’ve not spoken to her since.
My dad and I try to be in touch a little, but we both feel anxious.
He refuses to visit at my house, barely has a relationship with my young daughter. I know that he blames me.
I’ve invited his wife to work through this, but she doesn’t respond to my emails.
I feel a huge responsibility to fix this. She’s shown no interest or responsibility.
Even if I do call her and apologize, which is what I know my dad wants, I feel nothing will change. And the same behaviours will persist.
But I desperately want a relationship with my dad and to stay in touch.
Stumped for a Solution
To borrow from Dr. Phil’s best line, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?”
A potential relationship with your father is far more meaningful than being right about his wife. She’s unlikely to change.
Realize that your father is also unlikely to try and change her. Alcohol is the third party in their marriage, and unless she wants to shake it (unlikely) he’s shown he won’t risk their relationship.
If you want to see your dad, you’ll need to apologize to her in person. Your understandable reluctance so far isn’t getting you what you want most.
My sister-in-law (SIL) was initially a cardiologist’s receptionist who became the office manager.
She often gives family members advice about their illnesses, and says to call her if we have medical problems or questions.
I've had a small but burdensome heart problem since childhood. Finally, after seeing an electro-physiologist, I was given a heart ablation and placed on medication.
I'm happy and healthy, but my SIL told her whole family and called my husband, saying that this procedure was unnecessary and ridiculous.
She’s not a doctor or nurse. She handles paperwork and deals with insurance companies. Yet her entire family treats her as if she's an MD.
How do I continue to deal with this sort of personality?
Thank her for her interest and ignore her medical “advice.” Talk to your own doctor if you have any new symptoms. If there’s a confusing choice, seek a second opinion…. but only from a trained medical professional.
Tip of the day:
Support a friend through marital distress but don’t intervene unless asked.