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Not sure how to help my friend ...

(10 Posts)
Weegiemum Thu 28-Aug-08 22:55:35

Earlier this evening I was talking to a friend who lives nearby.

Her husband works away 3 days a week, leaving on Monday morning, arriving back Thursday lunchtime, works form home on Friday.

Basically she thinks he is having an affair, as he has been claiming "overtime" to work away Thursday and Friday (the deal with work is if he has to work away from home on Thurs/Fri then he is paid as an independent consultant at approx double his normal salary for those days). But this has been going on for 2 months and there is no extra salary going into their joint account - she checked today.

He used to get home on a Thurs morning and there was always sex - now there is often none all weekend.

So - maybe he is depressed, staying away from the family as much as possible (they have 2 daughters and a son, dd1 has CP), or he is having an affair, or something else is going on.

She intends to ask him this weekend.

How do I help? I am ridiculously happily married, even 13 years on. How can I be a support to her and her kids? How do I do what I can to help her, if he is having an affair (which she thinks is the most likely option)?

missingtheaction Thu 28-Aug-08 23:07:17

listen without judgement. let her tell you the same boring stuff again and again until your ears bleed. do not expect her to take any advice you offer. expect slow progres if any. be honest if she asks you direct questions. be fair to both of them. encourage her to keep her self respect and self esteem and not do anything she will regret later.

urgh, long and hard road ahead

expatinscotland Thu 28-Aug-08 23:07:36

As someone whose marriage broke down (not due to affair, due to his not ever wanting children), the best thing you can do as a pal is be there for her.

Truly.

No judgements, just an ear, just someone who cares and makes that known, with no cliches (I got a lot of, 'It's for the best.' 'You'll find someone else'. I know people were only trying to help, but sometimes it's better just to be there, you know).

Wish her luck at the weekend. The build-up to a talk like this is hell.

Because you try really hard not to think of the worst-case scenario, but you can't not think of it, either.

You torture yourself thinking about how your life will change.

But you have no other choice but the clear the air and get it out there.

You're a good friend already or you wouldn't have posted this.

Weegiemum Thu 28-Aug-08 23:16:51

thanks.

I feel weirdly privileged - she chose to tell me what was going on (I know she is NOT MNetter or I would not have posted this).

I thought the listening thing would be best. I know (from experience) not to run him down - they might get back together and then all she will rmember is the bad things I said about him.

I may well post again for help - cos I have no experience of how to cope with this, but for my friends sake I need to be able to, if I am the person she has chosen to confide in!

expatinscotland Thu 28-Aug-08 23:23:33

AND he may be dealing with something other than an affair.

It could be anything. He could really hate his job, be depressed, etc.

Right now, she's in this horrible limbo.

I hope she gets some peace and finds out one way or another soon.

expatinscotland Thu 28-Aug-08 23:24:10

He may even be gambling, especially the money thing.

Weegiemum Thu 28-Aug-08 23:27:19

expat, you are always sucha voice of reason, esp this time of night!

hadn't thought about he gambling. might be an issue - I know he has gambled, though not compulsively, in the past.

I think it is more likely he is depressed. they have had a lot of health issues with their dd1 over the last year with her CP and moving to High School last year, and I wonder if that it part of it.

expatinscotland Thu 28-Aug-08 23:33:23

it could be. men can have a lot of problems admitting or getting help for depression.

they feel they have to carry the torch.

as you know, Scotsmen can be extra bad about getting help or seeing someone.

right now, she's in a state because she doesn't know and no matter what, the imagination runs away with you.

and divorce is very, very lame even when it's amicable and there are no children involved.

let's hope it's something they can sort out.

queenrollo Fri 29-Aug-08 08:17:15

i'd echo the advice to listen, listen, listen......

different circumstances for me, because my friend was in a violent relationship, but she said in a heart to heart years later that having me there as a constant was the greatest support anyone gave her. Just the fact that i was always there when she needed someone to talk at/to meant that she could slowly build the strength to leave.

Your friend is very lucky to have you there for her.

Weegiemum Fri 29-Aug-08 10:51:02

Awww thanks.

Can't claim any greatness - just my friend has talked to me (mainly cos her bf has breast cancer and can't take all this)

Deffo best thing to just LISTEN

She asked me to call this afternoon so she can ell me how it went last night.

I just feel sorry for her. No matter what, there is a huge issue with her and dh, and she needs to sort it out!

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