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Friend might leave his wife and kids and I don't know what to do.

Discussion in 'Outreach Forum' started by Seeking Answers, May 3, 2009.

  1. Seeking Answers

    Seeking Answers New Member

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    I have a problem I really can't talk to anyone about, not even my wife.
    My oldest, closest friend is a contractor working in Iraq. He's been in a lot of dangerous situations in the months he's been there, but feels trapped in the job because he was forced into it by his economic situation.
    He's got a wife and two kids at home, one of them still a toddler. He wants to quit and leave, but his wife doesn't work and isn't qualified for anything but child care (she's worked that field in the past) and he doesn't have any other jobs available, because the economy sucks.
    A couple months ago, he came home for his regular two weeks back after six months over there and while he was in Europe on his return trip, he ran into a woman. She's his age---his wife is much younger than him---and very successful and wealthy. She's also married with kids, but her marriage is falling apart. They had a week-long fling and according to him, she's in love with him. He finds her intellectually more interesting than his wife, and, most significantly, if he left his wife and moved in with the new woman, she could support him and he could quit his job and leave Iraq.
    I've told him that I don't think it's right to leave his kids this way, but he says that at least this way he can support them financially and not be at risk of leaving them with a dead or maimed father.
    Frankly, I think both he and the woman are just infatuated and that it won't last, and I've told him this...but how can I tell him to NOT leave Iraq and keep himself in danger?
    I like his wife, but she is young and a bit vaccuous and they never seem to talk about anything, so I can see where they might be having problems. I also know, though, that I would never do that to my kids. I've told him that if he's that worried about his safety, he should just quit, come home and make do...it's better to live on welfare than to get killed just trying to get a paycheck. It's not like he's in the military or there because he's so patriotic, he just needs the money.
    I am really conflicted and confused and I can't even talk to my wife about it because she is friendly with his wife and I don't want to put her in that position.

    Does anyone have any advice? When he emails and sometimes is able to telephone, he keeps asking me what he should do and I don't know what to say to him anymore.
     
  2. anlgp

    anlgp ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → B A

    you've said what you can in my opinion.

    he's going to make his own decisions.
     
  3. Fin-Omenal

    Fin-Omenal Initiated

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    I agree with you about the infatuation, and honestly leaving his wife because she has no money making ability is a little selfish ecspecially when you have two kids already.

    As a friend I would just let him go in whatever path he chooses that way there is no "blame" on your part.
     
  4. Fin Fan In Cali

    Fin Fan In Cali Dolphin fan since 1970 Luxury Box

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    Brother he is blinded by the new hot woman in his life. Will it last probably not, and then he will be by himself. Sometimes in life it is the priceless things such as the love that we have for our family. To me it seems like he is looking at the money side, and providing money for his kids, rather then a daddy to share in there growing up. It is time to do some real soul searching as to what is important in his life. I would have him try to find work back here, and then quit his job, and be with his family here locally. I think what he is experiencing is pure lust. Best of luck!
     
    dolphindebby and alen1 like this.
  5. pennphinfan

    pennphinfan Stelin Canez Arcade Scorz

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    Regardless of what happens, tell him this: whatever he does, do NOT continue having this affair/fling without addressing the situation with his wife and kids. I think leaving his family because they can't support him is a BS reason, and if that truly is his reason, he's lying. If you love someone, you make it work.

    Now, assuming he isn't in love with his wife anymore, which is safe to say considering he wants to leave her for another woman, it's OK in that yeah, fine, he wants to change his life. That is fair in and of itself, but if he's going to leave his family behind, he needs to do it responsibly. However hard it is, he needs to talk to his wife about it first. That will both give her time to figure out what the heck she is going to do, and to avoid the horrific emotional consequences that will happen if he doesn't tell her.

    Obviously, I'm speaking from experience which is why i'm so passionate about it. When I was a junior in high school, my parents had been "happily" married for 21 years, and all of a sudden one night my dad walked out and shi* hit the fan. In the subsequent weeks, months, years, we learned that he had been having an affair for 7 years, and was now just 'leaving'. he had already found a new house and new car and got all of it immediately and essentially was gone. This left me, my mom (who wasn't unemployed but had a very low-income job at the time) and my brother in college to fend for ourselves essentially. Finances aside, it was by far the worst thing to happen to me in my life, and I can't even speak for my mom, but she took it waaay harder than me obviously.

    Point is, he needs to figure his sh** out now and if he really feels he wants to divorce and leave his wife, so be it, but just because you don't love someone doesn't mean you have to make it so much worse.

    /end rant

    p.s. my mom got engaged at christmas and is finally back on path to happiness, so you don't have to feel bad for my story or anything ;)
     
    Ohiophinphan and 2k5 like this.
  6. Seeking Answers

    Seeking Answers New Member

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    The thing that gets me is that he and his wife haven't like, argued a lot or anything. They never argue and they always seem to be getting along, but he is starting to find her boring because they don't share any interests.
    Frankly, I think being over there has changed him because he never would have considered this before.
     
  7. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    There are a lot of elements to this case so let me try and address a few of them, one at a time.

    First of all is the Iraq situation. He likely is afraid (who wouldn't be) and probably subconciously blames his wife. Even though he married her, he fathered two children, he made the choices...it sounds like he thinks its her fasult for not making enough to put him in this bind. While it is very selfish and immature, it is real. If he was in the reakl military he would have a chaplain and/or the VA to talk about PTSD but being a private contractor, I don't know what resources are available but he needs to find some professional to discuss this fear with and deal with that problem at its roots.

    Next comes the real wife. She is younger and a little vacous, OK. He wanted that. Maybe he didn't like being challenged and wanted someone who would be dependent. Be careful what you ask for, you may get it! As the rest have pointed out he has an obligation to her and even more so to his children to care for them. Living alone isn't easy either. While they may not be getting shot at, their lives are hard also. He needs to be honest and mature. That's what "in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad" means when you take your vows. It doesn't mean "until I decide to change things and dump you". If the age difference is as big as you suggest, it is likely that he was looking to hold onto his youth when he married her and now wants her to grow as he has. He will need to wait until she beocmes the age he is now and that going to be touigh.

    Third, the other woman. Great, he wants to make a life with some gal who cheats on her husband. Good luck. He wants to lay around and have her care for him. Understandable, who wouldn't, but it sounds tremendously selfish! How long before she resents him and looks again? What about her kids? She going to dump them? It sounds like he is thinking "with the little head" and not with his brains.

    His life is very hard, harder than I want to imagine. Destroying others lives is not the way to fix that. He needs to get to a compotent professional and start getting these issues worked out, fast!

    You have been a good friend. Be careful about giving him permission to do what he wants because when it blows up (note: I did not say if because unless he deals with the root issues it will) he will be unable to blame you for giving him bad advise. Since he is blaming his wife for being the person he married, he could certainly turn on you as well later on down the road.
     
    pennphinfan likes this.
  8. Muck

    Muck Throwback Uniform Crusader Retired Administrator

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    Not only will his kids likely grow up resenting him, so will this other woman's.

    That's assuming this new relationship worked out, which it likely wouldn't.
     
  9. Seeking Answers

    Seeking Answers New Member

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    That's the real problem I think. He doesn't have anyone to talk to over there. I am about it.

    To be honest, he married her because he got her pregnant. But she's been very devoted to him and he's never cheated on her, I had no clue this was on his mind until a week ago or so.
     
  10. TokyoFishFan

    TokyoFishFan New Member

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    Couple of things to point out in addition to what's been said:

    1. He expects her to leave her husband and support him? Is she insane? Or maybe she's just toying with him to keep their lust alive.

    2. He expects his new wife to provide monetary support for his kids? Somehow I think she's going to prioritize her kids over his and all that money will go up in smoke quickly. Where is all her money coming from? Is she making it or is her husband making it? She may not want to give up her bread winner. If she's making it, her ex will have a claim on some of it.

    3. Private contractor in Iraq. Most of the big companies have health benefits as part of the benny packages. Mental health care is usually a part of that. If he doesn't have it, he did a bad job of negotiating his package, especially since he's in Iraq. I'm thinking that having a good health care package MUST be a priority before anyone goes to Iraq.

    4. He's got no one to blame but himself. I think this point has already been made. He's looking for an escape and this woman is giving him the fantasy life he thinks he needs. It will evaporate quickly once the job of trying to support 2 sets of kids sets in.

    Bad juju all 'round.
     
  11. Seeking Answers

    Seeking Answers New Member

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    I don't know. From the sound of it, she's in the same boat he is, nothing in common with her husband and the flame died out long ago.

    Both she and her husband are professionals with lots of money...live in Boston, vacation house in New Hampshire type money.

    I guess there's a psychologist he could see, but he doesn't think he needs a shrink and I doubt I could talk him into seeing one. Really, he needs a friend to talk to, and he doesn't have anyone that close over there. Really what he needs is to come home, and I've tried to talk him into doing that, but he doesn't want to do it before he has another job lined up.

    Well yeah, but if I get too rough with him about it he'll just stop calling and emailing and do something stupid. I can't abandon him, we've known each other for 25 years.
     
  12. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    He may not need a "shrink" as such but a psychologist who could talk knowingly about the stresses of combat would help him line up the rest of his stuff.
     
  13. Bumrush

    Bumrush Stable Genius Club Member

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    I hate to be the first one to say this, but a guy that just spent a tour of duty working as a contractor that has the time to spend with a new woman does not seem like a trustworthy person. Think about it- 2 weeks of leave and he had time to spend a week with another women instead of with his wife and baby?

    He is going to do whatever he wants, you can not stop him. What you can choose is how much you value the friendship or what kind of impact this has on your views of him.

    Sometimes it is better to step away than to get involved in this type of situation.
     
    unluckyluciano likes this.
  14. Seeking Answers

    Seeking Answers New Member

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    Maybe I didn't make it clear, but he was stuck in Germany for a week waiting for a connecting flight to Iraq when he met her. He didn't just decide out of the blue to hang out there for a week, he was stuck there. I didn't post here so you or anyone else could tell me what a bad person my friend is, so don't bother if that's all you got.
     
  15. Bumrush

    Bumrush Stable Genius Club Member

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    I understand this is sensitive subject for you..

    But I can only go by my own experiences in life with close friends.

    Sometimes you either have to accept the actions of the people around you, or if you can't, you have to shed them. Even if they are your best friend. It is scale that only you can determine.

    Now as for you friend, I'm sure this has been a culmination of events that led to him cheating on his wife. I am not here to judge. But in order to fully comprehend the situation you have to look at back at his actions as a whole, and if this recent action is simply the latest in a sequence of events, then you have to take a step back and look at it from a much bigger perspective. That is hard to do when you are talking about close friends.. I've had to do it and the outcome was negative, but at the end of the day I don't feel bad about it. If someone doesn't want to help themselves and always has excuses, the last thing in the world you want to be is an enabler.
     
  16. Seeking Answers

    Seeking Answers New Member

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    Well, the good news is my friend just got a job offer that will take him out of Iraq, at least for a few months, and he's excited enough about it that he's at least temporarily shelved the idea of moving in with the other woman. We'll see what happens.
    Thanks to everyone for your advice and help.
     

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