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Otto Maddox
Otto Maddox Dork
12/16/11 8:29 a.m.

I swear it isn't me.

Short version, the married couple has become more friends than lovers over the years. Both in their early 40s, one spouse still acts young and vibrant, the other acts like they have one foot in the grave. Due to health problems which came largely as a result of laziness, there has been no marital relations for a couple of years. The issues have been talked to death between them with no progress.

The young at heart spouse has found someone else that they are passionate about. I have listened but haven't judged the situation. There is a chance I could nip this in the bud if I tried hard enough. What would you guys do?

z31maniac
z31maniac SuperDork
12/16/11 8:33 a.m.

Honestly?

Not get involved. My best friend recently found his wife had an affair (granted a bit different and after the fact), but I basically told him "Whether you leave her or work it out, I'll back your decision."

Getting involved in someone else's marital affairs sounds like a TERRIBLE idea to me.

But I'm young and dumb.

cwh
cwh SuperDork
12/16/11 8:40 a.m.

Well, I'm old and dumb, but smart enough to know that it is a lose/ lose situation to get involved in that mess. There will be all kinds of heartache and pain, and those involved have to work it out by themselves. Otherwise, you will be blamed by somebody for what goes wrong. Stay away, far away.

aussiesmg
aussiesmg SuperDork
12/16/11 8:43 a.m.

I agree but with caveat that you should err on the conservative side.

scardeal
scardeal HalfDork
12/16/11 8:43 a.m.

I don't know whether their marriage is a civil ceremony for a church wedding, but there's always something to be said for keeping your word and being faithful, particularly when it is difficult.

Having an affair is living a lie.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic SuperDork
12/16/11 8:47 a.m.

Don't get involved.

pilotbraden
pilotbraden Dork
12/16/11 8:49 a.m.

Unless you are one of the three people leave it alone. If you are one of the three, do not hide it from the other spouse.

Otto Maddox
Otto Maddox Dork
12/16/11 8:51 a.m.

Everybody is saying not to get involved. Right now, I just keep saying - I understand your feelings, make sure you think through the long term effects, etc. That kind of stuff. I haven't agreed or disagreed. I am sure as hell not going to bless infidelity but I am not going to tell them to stick it out in a passionless marriage either.

Otto Maddox
Otto Maddox Dork
12/16/11 8:52 a.m.

I am not one of the three people but consider the married couple to both be very good friends of mine.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 SuperDork
12/16/11 8:53 a.m.

don't get involved and just let it work itself out. I tried that once with a buddy, saw his girlfriend at a downtown Orlando club with her tongue down someone's throat (not her boyfriend) and leaving the joint with that guy. Snapped a pic and sent it to my buddy and he flipped on me thinking I was trying to break his relationship up. He was in so much denial he believed that she was home sick that night and simply "sleeping" which is why she wouldn't answer her phone. It took him a couple weeks to even talk to me or any of my other friend's that saw it that night. It's a lose-lose man.

Graefin10
Graefin10 HalfDork
12/16/11 8:56 a.m.

Let's face it, for a guy in his early 40's to totally put aside his sexuality very difficult to do. Why men and women are geared so differently in that area I haven't a clue but it's a fact of life. The point is, I can empathize with his delimma.

My suggestion is that you ask him if he'd like to talk about it. Obviously he doesn't mind or you wouldn't know what you know. Ask him how willing he is to loose his current wife and face the consequences of a divorce with it known that he had an affair. That happens quite often. Ask him if he's quite sure he can deal with possible feelings of guilt and regret the remainder of his life. What is the woman's situation that he's attracted to? Is she married? Ask him how he feels about possibly having a hand in finishing off her marriage. If she's not married what is she really looking for in him and how far would she go to get it? Affairs can get so complicated that the rest of his life can be one nightmare after another. We've all seen it happen.

If he has hands, he'll survive. Not only will he survive but he can spend more time in the garage building his next 20XX project.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
12/16/11 8:57 a.m.

In reply to Otto Maddox:

Do we know each other?

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 SuperDork
12/16/11 9:11 a.m.

IMO, there's a right way and a wrong way. If the couple agrees that an affair by one of them is okay, then so be it. Otherwise, they should get a divorce or work it out some other way. No way should one spouse go behind the back of another.

So, short answer: Yes, talk him out of it.

N Sperlo
N Sperlo SuperDork
12/16/11 9:16 a.m.

I think Giant Purple Snorkelwackel may be thinking of cheating on me...

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
12/16/11 9:19 a.m.
N Sperlo wrote: I think Giant Purple Snorkelwackel may be thinking of cheating on me...

Would it kill you to pretend to be "in the mood" once in a while? And maybe you should exercise once in a while - gasping for air on an escalator is just pathetic.

N Sperlo
N Sperlo SuperDork
12/16/11 9:23 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote:
N Sperlo wrote: I think Giant Purple Snorkelwackel may be thinking of cheating on me...

Would it kill you to pretend to be "in the mood" once in a while? And maybe you should exercise once in a while - gasping for air on an escalator is just pathetic.

I have problems with altitudes. I thought we had discussed that already. Plus, its hard to get my Hover Round on that thing.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill SuperDork
12/16/11 9:24 a.m.

I don't recall the sex of the young at heart (hot to trot) one being identified. Makes no difference. This is up to the couple to decide.

N Sperlo
N Sperlo SuperDork
12/16/11 9:27 a.m.

It varies person to person, Otto. Mostly people don't like others stepping in. You're picking sides either way. Brain wading exercise? You'll never know.

Otto Maddox
Otto Maddox Dork
12/16/11 9:28 a.m.

In reply to spitfirebill:

I purposely didn't identify which spouse.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve SuperDork
12/16/11 9:29 a.m.

People who have an affair are looking for some sort of change in their relationship, or to get out. If they have already worked on the relationship without success, get divorced and then do whatever you want.

NotMe
NotMe
12/16/11 9:52 a.m.

Don't let the login name and post count fool you. I'm a long time member of this community and I am here under a different account to protect the innocent.

Why? Because for all intents and purposes you could be describing my life to a T. With one exception. I'm not looking to have an affair. But I can certainly understand the temptation of the situation.

I'm in my 40s, in a "comfortable" relationship with a woman I love but due to issues beyond my control there is no passion and there have not been "relations" in a few years.

I try to remain active and some might say I act younger than my age (some might just say I'm childish) while some days it seems my wife can't wait to be sitting on that rocking chair on a porch somewhere reminiscing about the good old days.

I have made the decision that I made a commitment and I will do everything I can to stick with it and work through it. We have been in counseling for over a year and I will continue to make every effort I can, with the understanding that I cannot control everything.

Have they talked, honestly and openly talked about their situation? It's some of the most difficult and painful discussion to have but its where they need to start.

At the end of it all though your friend needs to decide if they want to maintain their relationship for whatever good they do have in it, forgoing the "missing pieces" or are they ready to move on.

I always promised my wife that I'd at least have enough respect for her to divorce her before I'd cheat on her.

We're going to keep at it, life rarely turns out to be what you expect, but you find the good times and the happy times where you can and just keep holding on for those.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
12/16/11 9:53 a.m.
pinchvalve wrote: If they have already worked on the relationship without success, get divorced and then do whatever you want.

Easy to say - but when there are two other people whom you do enjoy seeing every day living with you - tough to just walk out on them. There are no absolute answers except that it sucks to have to maintain fidelity but not be able to expect the other person uphold one of the other main tenents of that agreement.

Duke
Duke SuperDork
12/16/11 10:03 a.m.
z31maniac wrote: Not get involved. My best friend recently found his wife had an affair (granted a bit different and after the fact), but I basically told him "Whether you leave her or work it out, I'll back your decision." Getting involved in someone else's marital affairs sounds like a TERRIBLE idea to me.

I would agree with this. I would tell the friend that the decision is his/hers and you will back him/her either way. BUT:

scardeal wrote: I don't know whether their marriage is a civil ceremony for a church wedding, but there's always something to be said for keeping your word and being faithful, particularly when it is difficult. Having an affair is living a lie.

THIS. It doesn't matter whether it is a civil ceremony or a church wedding, he/she gave his word to be married. To avoid violating the rights of the other spouse, he/she has three options:

1) Stick by the promise made.

2) End the marriage before having outside relations.

3) Secure permission from the spouse before having outside relations.

3 is not as oddball as it sounds. If the couple are happy living together, and friendly, just not physically involved any longer, it may be a perfectly valid arrangement (of course, this also requires buy-in from the outside person, as well).

I am not fool enough to believe that people don't change enough that marriages end. But if you are not in love to the point that you need to have an affair, then you need to be fair to the other spouse and make the decision on how to proceed together, not unilaterally by having a secret affair.

Otto Maddox
Otto Maddox Dork
12/16/11 10:04 a.m.

In reply to Giant Purple Snorklewacker:

You nailed it. In my mind, when one party quits the relationship but remains in it simply because they like the comfort of the structure, all bets are off. The spouse who wants to cheat is the main parent and a great parent.

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
12/16/11 10:05 a.m.

I've gotten involved in similar situations several times. It is very painful (to me too), but I don't regret it.

I think the reason you are asking is likely because you feel that not saying something is being a bit dishonest at some level. If that's the case, your friendship warrants honesty.

But it's gonna require an enormous amount of tact and non-judgementalism. It's gonna hurt. You.

Here's a BIG caveat- since you have avoided mentioning which spouse, I would add that if this is a woman, you need to be doubly careful. Triply careful. I have recently counseled a woman friend, but only along with (and/ or through) my wife. It's too easy to become emotionally attached- for both you and her. You can (unknowingly) contribute to her feelings of discontent and contribute to the failed relationship.

I have no memories of my parents being together. They've been divorced since I was 4. That's closing on 50 years. I was raised believing it was a reasonably good thing- their relationship was always amicable, I've never seen them fight. So, my thinking was that divorce can be a good thing.

I no longer believe that. I didn't realize how deep some of the scars were that I have. I understand there is such thing as irreconcilable differences, but its never Plan A.

So, tread lightly, but be honest. If you fail to share your true feelings, you are not being an honest friend.

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