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Flags in close friends marriages?

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blakesteele posted 10/14/2013 21:47 PM

I have a wonderful friend who lives in another state...met in college and formed a solid friendship. He is my go-to guy since my DD.

Over this past year we have grown closer. As we have done this he has said things to me that are big yellow if not red flags regarding his marriage. At times he acts like he wants to engage then he pulls back.

I am concerned for his M as I think I see real risk there....but also concerned I am over projecting my experience onto his experience.

Anyone wrestle with and come to a peaceful spot on this type of thing?

[This message edited by blakesteele at 9:47 PM, October 14th (Monday)]

simplydevastated posted 10/14/2013 22:04 PM

I have a best friend since high school. She has issues in her marriage as well. At one point it looked like her husband was starting an EA with a co-worker. She came to me for advice because she knows my story. I gave her the best advice I could give. I even posted in JFO for her so she could read others advice if she wasn't comfortable posting. I told her to only confront after she had more information because she'll run the risk of him putting it back on her. Sadly, she didn't listen and he did exactly what I (and other SI'ers said) said would happen. He blamed her, said she was crazy, and that she had boundary issues. Now to my point... Since then whenever she has issues with him and she comes to me I listen to what she says, but I refrain from giving her advice. I tell her I'm sorry she's going through it and that if she ever needs anything to let me know, and I leave it at that.

Maybe your friend wants to open up to you but isn't sure what he can say. Maybe you can say something like what I said to my friend, that if he needs you you'll be there to listen.

I hope this helps.

[This message edited by simplydevastated at 10:04 PM, October 14th (Monday)]

blakesteele posted 10/15/2013 05:30 AM

Good advice simplydevastated....kinda what my wife has offered to me, kinda what I already knew.

Man, I just want to save them from this hurt and pain...looking back to our pre-A marriage, we missed such easy flags to see!

We know better, so we can do better. Is a motto I like.

Perhaps marital issues and figuring out how to resolve them is something people have to figure out on their own, the hard way. Like I did with how to handle money....I had to screw up on credit cards before I figured out how to NOT have them as part of my life. I heard people warn me but thought...yeah, but I am smarter then that, I wont get in over my head.

Thanks for the input...believe you and my wife are right on the mark.

My friend does and has opened up to me...just recently he admitted he doesn't ask his wife How Are You Feeling? in an open ended format....he half jokingly says he is afraid to hear her answer. Some of the same patterns they are experiencing are what we are experiencing. Not sure if it matters but he is a child of an alcoholic as is my wife. His wife is a very activity-oriented, busy am I.

There life is activity heavy and relationship light. So was ours until things in our life settled down....when this happened, my wife chose to have her A. I do think a person can busy themselves so much that they don't pause to really evaluate their relationships. In our case this pause came when our girls were both getting ready to go into school, a loved one passed that we had been caring for, and my wife and I are both entering middle-age (a time for a person to naturally pause and reevaluate their life).

Lots of factors at play within a its not possible to say any one pattern led us to this spot. This is what I remind myself of with regards to my friend and his marriage...there is much more going on then can be relayed over the phone.

Radical honesty. This seems to be one of the strongest keys to making a relationship work. This is something both my wife and I did not do throughout our relationship together....not just my wife lying during her A.

God be with us all.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 5:41 AM, October 15th (Tuesday)]

simplydevastated posted 10/15/2013 08:27 AM

Perhaps marital issues and figuring out how to resolve them is something people have to figure out on their own, the hard way.

This is it in a nutshell. It's hard to sit back and watch something fall apart when you know you could do something to help. I feel bad for my friend and want to help her. Sometimes I even want to grab her by the shoulders and scream "Wake up! I can see it why can't you!" But I don't.

Her husband's father is/was a serial cheater, her SIL cheated on her BIL, she was in a physically abusive relationship prior and he cheated on her as well. Sometimes I feel that she was in such a rush to be married again and have a child that she didn't take the time to truly heal from her prior relationship (as well as other issues in her past) and now she's just repeating her pattern. How do you tell that to someone?

It sounds like you and your friend walk very similar paths. Why would he be afraid to hear the answer? Does he have a strong feeling about what is going on and doesn't want to admit or face it?

There has to be a balance in there somewhere. They need to take time to try and reconnect. At one point in our marriage, before D-day, I had suggested date nights to my husband. He said his "go to" line that he'll look into it. Nothing ever happened. After D-day I suggested it again. He came up with more excuses about why we couldn't, money being on of them. I told him that I would be fine just walking through a park or having a picnic, just to do something for the two of us. None of it ever happened and things just spiraled downhill.

Not knowing your friend, but hearing that he doesn't want to ask her how she's feeling, I see this going downhill fast as I'm sure you see it as well. It's sad, really.

I hope that he opens up some more to you and that if you do feel like offering advice to him that he listens to it and knows that it comes from a place of caring and concern for him and his marriage.

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