Your friend sounds completely immature, to be quite honest. To run to anyone else when he and his wife are experiencing problems is childish, I don’t care if he’s just “venting” or not. Why is it that he can’t work out his problems with his wife – actually WITH his wife – without running to you or another buddy?
I might be kinda on the old side (mid 40’s) in comparison but I don’t discuss any marital problems with my friends or family. In fact, we make a point of not doing it. 1) it’s almost inevitable the friend or family member won’t be unbiased. 2) long after the couple has gotten past whatever problem it is they shared, the friend or family member they shared with will still remember and may even hold it against the spouse they aren’t as close to. 3) ultimately, how much does it ever really solve?
A long time ago I used to vent to my mom about my marriage and I definitely regret it now. No offense to my mom but for one, she never really did give me any earth shattering advice that helped much and 2) I know she resents my DH a tiny bit because of things from way back I should have never shared with her. She doesn’t show it to my DH but I know my mom well and I can tell. My mom loves him but mistakenly holds to the belief many of our previous problems were more him than me, despite my efforts to explain otherwise. Blood almost always is thicker than water.
What it came down to was I was young, immature, stressed out easily, and had less than great coping skills. I, for sure, was not the greatest spouse during that time. I’m still ashamed to think back and realize just how much I ran to my “mommy” whenever shit got tough.
Another point of view, I cannot stand my BFF’s husband. She and I have been friends since we were 10yo and we’re both in our 40’s now. Truth be told, I’m not sure either of us can actually say we’re still really the best of friends. She used to vent to me about her husband (a lot) to the point where I eventually could not stand him. I selfishly fig’d – and hoped – they would end up divorced and she’d find someone better but I’ve been proven wrong so far. I’ve been married over 20 years and they’ve been married almost 20 years, still going strong. In fact, from what I can tell their marriage is better than ever and they seem quite happy.
Because the husband fig’d out a long time ago that I didn’t like him, he doesn’t like me (I mostly can’t blame him either) and my friendship with his wife has slowly been edged out of the picture. He’s great with some of her newer friends who didn’t know them back in the day when their marriage was a disaster (per my friend’s description) but most of her long time friends have been pushed out of their lives….yep, all the friends she used to vent to, male or female. And you know, I can’t lay the blame for that at his feet because if she didn’t want it this way or otherwise wasn’t ok with it, she would not allow it to happen. My friend is no wimp nor easily pushed around by her DH either.
And yes, my friend used to confide in us all the time she was “seriously considering divorce.” Just like your friend has done. If your friend’s marriage somehow improves or he otherwise has a change of heart about his wife, you may find yourself minus a friend. Or it’ll be so seriously scaled back you’ll rarely see or even hear from him. Not a given but a distinct possibility; that is, if they stay together.
Frankly, I feel bad for your friend’s wife because it sounds as though she’s married to a man-child who can’t solve his own problems. He also sounds like an attention seeker who purposely vilifies his own wife in the process. If HE doesn’t change his ways hopefully she will file for divorce and find someone better. I doubt it’d take much.