My Best Friend’s Wife
They married young. Around 19. Had their first child at 21.
They’re approaching 30 now.
About a year ago she started dealing with heavy depression. Then started creating turmoil in their relationship, making innuendo to the idea that she didn’t love him anymore. They had 3 kids.
My best friend is probably the most principled man I know. Not in a stuffy, rigid kind of way. He’s not controlling at all. He’s just very admirable as a man. He could have most any woman he wanted (smart as hell, funny, physically attractive), and yet has been 100% faithful to his wife. And guys… he only eats meat when he kills and prepares it. You don’t make this shit up. He’s remarkable. (I know, I’m gushing my man crush here).
Earlier this year the two of them separated. She took off her wedding ring. He decided he was not in a hurry to go exploring and left his on (I’m telling you… he’s a better man than me).
After a week of separation, they ended up going to a week long couple’s therapy. It was determined that a lot of the problems were communication issues and negative behavioral patterns that had gotten ingrained in their relationship (easy to do when you get married young). They decided to get back together and try to work things out.
But she was still dealing with depression. Still cold and numb. Still just not “feeling it”
So she ran off and made out with her doctor. They didn’t have sex, but did get intimate. My best friend had no idea. But his wife came to him and confessed it. She’d crossed the line. Here’s the message he sent me the next day:
The first day of my new life
Sarah told me yesterday that she secretly went out with her doctor last week and that things got physical (but not sexual). She was fully aware of what she was doing and that it would change everything with respect to our marriage. And although she’s not planning on pursuing a relationship with this guy, she’s definitely done with me. So, that’s that. (Well, except for the minor details that we have 3 kids, a mortgage, and almost 12 years of shared intimacy together).
Then something crazy happened. I few weeks later I wrote to my friend asking “how are things going?” to which he responded:
Pretty unbelievable since the last message I sent you. It’s a long, long story, but Sarah and I are still together and trying to work through things. She realized some things about us and herself through all of this and decided she wanted to put her ring back on and be my wife for the rest of her life. I couldn’t say no, and so we’re in counseling together, and I confronted the guy who she had the affair with a couple of days ago (her “holistic health” doctor who also happens to be 20 years her senior and fully aware at the time that she was seriously depressed and going through significant marital difficulties). The confrontation was pretty amazing. I’ll have to tell you about it sometime. In addition to seriously reconsidering everything about who he thought he was, the guy sent me a reimbursement check for every penny I paid into his office and the gas money for the drive to the lake he took with my wife in our SUV. It helps that he knows I’ve done my research and is scared shitless I’m going to file an official complaint against his license to practice, which would likely be revoked. It helps me to know I’m not the only guy losing sleep over all this.
These are the balls of a guy who knows what he wants. The rare guy I can admire for integrity and strength of character. Some would criticize him and say that he should just leave her. Walk away for good. But these are the sort of guys who don’t know the value of a long term relationship. The value of a 12 year marriage. These are the guys who fuck and run. Or just jerk off to porn all day. Who have no intimacy. Who will look back on their lives and see nothing but a long series of nobody’s – girls they used for a quick fix.
You see, my friend is a man. He is not easily defeated. And yet he’s not going to put up with shit either. He’s telling his wife: we can do this, but we’ve got a lot of hard work to do, together. He’s being a leader. He’s setting expectations. He’s recognizing that the world is not perfect and that a strong man doesn’t give up when the going gets tough. He’s a guy who’s not too prideful to throw away a 12 year marriage, but not too weak to just let things be. He’s saying: of course, I love you baby, I hate what you’ve done, but I’m not throwing this out. Let’s fight for it.
He then proceeded to confront the motherfucker who manipulated his wife, without resorting to violence. That takes real balls. And a brilliant mind. I admire the man.