Wedding Woes

Privacy =/= dishonesty and she really needs to keep private, for now.

Dear Prudence,
I have developed a close friendship with a married man whose wife is terminally ill. I’m attracted to him and think that the feeling is mutual, but we’ve never acknowledged our feelings and have never come anywhere close to crossing a line. My own marriage is now falling apart after years of emotional and verbal abuse from my husband, and I’m struggling with whether and how much to tell my friend. On the one hand, we are close enough that it seems dishonest not to share this information with him. On the other hand, I’m worried that telling him will add to his already high stress load and may amp up the intimacy and attraction between us. How can I share what I’m going through without these unintended consequences?

—Keeping Quiet

Re: Privacy =/= dishonesty and she really needs to keep private, for now.

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    LW should work to end her own marriage first.  Allow the other person to care for their terminally ill spouse without burdening them further with your problems.  There has to be someone else you can talk to or at the least a counselor of some kind.

    When LW's marriage has ended or is officially in the process (divorce has been filed), I think its fine to mention it to the other person, but it should be done in a more matter of fact way.  There should be no mention that LW hopes more will come between the two of them.  Even if the other person is attracted to LW, they may be staying true to their wedding vows and LW should not pressure for something more.  Even when the terminally ill spouse passes, I'm sure the other person will need some time for grieving the loss of their spouse.  LW should just stay in the friendship zone until the other person is ready.

  • LW might also have some "Grass is Greener" and needs to poop or get off the pot when it comes to her own.  That's what she needs to focus on.  Remission happens - just saying!

  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    Heffalump said:

    Sounds like the LW is using the anticipation of sexytime with the STB widower as the impetus to leave her marriage.  Not that it isn't a crappy marriage, but it sounds like it has been for a while.  Maybe focus on ending that, and less on your next step, especially when it involves a dying woman.

    Let the dust settle, and for god's sake, your friend is about to lose his spouse.  Maybe don't fixate on how you might benefit personally.

    I think you're right. It's easier to make a change that big when you know you don't have to do it alone. It's not right, but it's easier. In this case, she does need to slow her roll and take a step back to let this man grieve his wife. She may find that after the wife passes, his grieving has already been done (common in long-term terminal illnesses) and he may have those feelings for her.
  • If her H is abusive sounds like it's time for some counseling. I get wanting to share with a close friend, but he is not the right person to share this with right now. 
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