I have been married approximately 11 years. I thought it was working out well, until the year 2000. My wife went out with a male friend she met at work. The initial pretense was to show her different things, such as jazz clubs, although she never had an interest in going with me.
The person whom she goes out with is a prominent attorney. I know that he is married, and I know where he resides.
They have made arrangements to meet on vacations that my wife has taken with our daughter. He spends more time on the phone with her than I do.
He has given her numerous gifts, but my wife always says that she bought them or there was a sale that she could not resist. I have questioned my wife on the situation, and she keeps on saying that there is nobody else.
I am at my wits' end with this. I don't know if I should approach him and/or his wife and tell him to back off. I really love my wife, but I can't take much more. I do not understand how she could do this. He has a couple of homes and a business, and I told her to go with him, but she will not.
My wife will always say that he is just a friend, but I don't think a friend will call you a couple of times a day, even when he and his wife are on vacation. My wife and he have gone to a couple of different hotels, but I do not have any pictures so it would not hold up in court.
I only wish I knew if his wife knows what he does when he says that he is working late or out of town on business.
At Wits' End
It's time to stop gathering evidence and do something. For almost half of your marriage, you have worried about this relationship. Stop being so passive. Present your wife with a non-negotiable ultimatum. For the sake of your marriage and your family, she must be willing to sever this relationship and enter marriage counseling.
You should also see a lawyer, who will educate you on your rights and responsibilities in the event that you choose to end your marriage. You'll gain strength when you become an active advocate for your family.
My best friend from college has said she has found the man she wants to marry. At first I listened and was supportive until I found out the details. She is 23; he is 37. He has an STD and even pressured her for sex the first time they went out. There are many red flags that point to his being a creep.
He is a longtime "family friend," so her parents have known him for years and approve. Everyone was so happy for them to be engaged, but they don't know everything I know.
I've slowly started to realize that I can't change her feelings about him, but I honestly don't want to hear anything about him. She plans to start on a master's degree in the fall, but she has said she would quit if it came between them.
I think that if she quits school and marries him it will be a huge mistake.
How can I try to be a good friend and listen when I feel this is so wrong, and how can I eventually muster up enough of a smile to be a bridesmaid?
A good friend manages to be both supportive and honest. You can tell your friend that you're happy that she's happy but that you're worried because of all of the red flags you see in her relationship (even though you don't seem to have actually met this guy).
Once you honestly convey how you feel, you need to back off and let her make her own choices, even if they are flawed and even if you suspect that she will pay for them in the end.
No one is tying you to the railroad tracks and forcing you to be a bridesmaid, though if you are asked and choose to participate, you should bite your lip and hope for the best. If your friend is aware that you disapprove of her marriage, she might not ask you to be in the wedding party, and if so, you'll have dodged having to witness something that you're convinced is terribly wrong.
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