How to talk to a friend who is considering leaving her husband
June 3, 2010 8:18 PM Subscribe
My friend has asked me to have a conversation with her about whether she should leave her husband for a new man. I have a strong view: should I tell her and can I do so in a way that is constructive? What else should I consider about the content and format of what I say?
posted by anonymous to human relations (27 answers total)
My friend has been married seven years and has three children. She has recently completed a professional qualification and fallen for a fellow student. He has told her he loves her and wants to be with her. They have not kissed or done anything else physical (I am told and believe).
My friend finds her husband boring - he doesn’t do much except work and watch television - and resents him sometimes being angry with the children. The new chap is better educated and seems much more exciting to her. He says he would be prepared to take the children on too. She accepts that it may partly be just the novelty of him that attracts her. Her husband doesn’t know about him.
My own views are that: it would be very sad for the children to lose their father; that my friend should try to improve things with her husband before giving up on him; and that someone who propositions someone who’s married is lacking in a degree of integrity.
Given that she wants to discuss what she should do, I would like to tell her my views if they are at all likely to help her. Are there better ways to do this than just telling her what I think? What haven’t I considered? What points or framings have been helpful to you in similar situations?
(I do know that people mostly do what they want to do in the end, regardless of advice!)