Wedding Woes

Classic: All you can do is be there for Ted.

I’m very worried about my friend “Ted.” He works two full-time jobs at literally all hours—sometimes all day, sometimes all night, but always 12 to 16 hours per day. His wife does not work and stays home with their young son. She is a warm and friendly person when I am with her, but I have been shocked to hear her scream at Ted on the other end of his cellphone. When I saw Ted recently, he was a shadow of the gentle and funny person I have known since we were kids—exhausted, emaciated, and almost silent when his wife is around, which is all the time. He and his wife have fallen out with his family and the other friends he had before his marriage, and I don’t think he has anyone in his life right now other than his wife. Is there anything I can do for him?

Re: Classic: All you can do is be there for Ted.

  • Be there for him. Listen if he opens up. There are certainly red flags to his wife’s behavior but tread lightly and be supportive. Maybe he’s working two jobs so they can divorce, he can pay alimony and move one?
  • Some of these are signs of an abuser.  Like cutting one's spouse off from family and friends and never letting them be alone with those people.  It's not even necessarily as blatant as saying that, it can be even more successful but just as effective when it is done subtly.  It sounds like the LW has already witnessed emotional abuse.

    Whether it's a problem in the marriage or insane hours they are working or a combo of both, Ted is suffering.

    If Ted were my friend, I'd see if I could arrange to meet him for his lunch or dinner hour, during work.  When his wife isn't likely to be there.  I would tread lightly, but talk to him about the changes I've seen in him and my concerns about his work hours.  Segue that a little into some of the things I've overheard.

    Even if he doesn't say much, let him know that I can see he is under a lot of stress.  And if he ever wants to talk to me about it or anything else, that he can come to me.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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