Post # 1
I’ve been volunteering for about 6 months now at the same place, and I have a “work” friend. He’s a guy and has been married for 5 years, he has 2 little girls and his wife my possibly be pregnant. He is having a rough time. From what I’ve gotten from a lot of conversations with him he’s just not happy with the marriage anymore and the wife will not go to counseling or really even speak to him. She is the only thing he talks to me abuot and while I am fine to listen, I honestly have no idea what to tell him. I don’t think he’s really looking for any actual advice but I would like to be able to give him some input on the matter (I can tell that he doesn’t talk to a lot of other people about it, there have been more than a few times where he gets a little teary-eyed). My personal feeling is that they need to talk to a counselor and if she is that against seeing one they need to at least take some time away from each other, but I don’t feel right telling him that. Our relationship is completely appropriate but I know from what he’s said that if she knew he was talking to me she would be livid. Am I breaking girl-code speaking to him? I’ve talk to my fiance about it and he wasn’t any help, other than to tell me that I should just keep listening and trying to help. Any advice ladies?
Post # 3
I’d suggest to him that he attend invidual counseling if she refuses to go to couples counseling.
Post # 4
I think that his choice of conversation topic is completely inappropriate. I think you should tell him, “I’m sorry, but this isn’t appropriate to discuss with me. Can we talk about something else?”
Post # 5
i dont think its inappropriate. i think he just needs someone to vent to… similar to how we vent on these boards. his wife wont talk to him, so he chose to talk to a friend. there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. while i do agree they should go to counseling, or at least he should go, i think you should continue supporting and listening to him (you dont have to say anything). but only continue if you feel comfortable with the situation, and it sounds like you are.
Post # 6
@snmcdowell I completely agree!!!!
I received some very good advice once about this type of subject.
Relationships have doors and windows. Windows are what the outside can see and hear about your relationship, and doors are solid and they are what you keep inside.
Once you start taking information that should be behind a door, and showing it through the window, you have crossed the line. If his wife knew that he was sharing this information with you, she would obviously feel extremely violated.
He has opened a window to you that should be kept between him and his wife. If he’s having problems, he should go to a professional, not a “work friend”.
For the sake of his relationship and yours, I would suggest that you tell him that he can not longer discuss his unhappy home life with you.
Post # 7
My advice would be “talk to your wife” but since she won’t do that….probably something like “I’m really worried about the toll this is taking on you. Maybe you should consider individual counseling to help you figure this out”.
Post # 8
I agree with SanDiegoAli. If his wife won’t speak to him or go to couples counseling, he should go on his own. I was friends with a couple in a similar situation who needed counseling badly. The wife refused to go, so the husband went without her. Through working with a therapist he realized that their relationship was unhealthy and that the wife clearly didn’t want to do anything to save their marriage and he was the only one interested in having one. They ended up getting a divorce, but they were both better off in the end .
Also, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that his confiding in you is “inappropriate” – given the fact that his wife won’t speak with him or go to couples counseling to work on their issues. He obviously feels comforable confiding in you b/c you’re female. Dudes generally don’t talk to their guy friends about stuff like this so that’s why he’s likely talking to you. However, you aren’t a licensed therapist, and that seems to be what he needs. A counselor should be able to help him sort things out.
Post # 9
Monkeygirl is totally correct. There is a line, “Let listening do the heavy lifting.” Your friend needs someone to listen and simply hear him. Obviously he isn’t getting that at home. I do understand the “windows and doors” analogy, but this man is reaching out for support, A friend would encourage him to get counseling. Sometimes we need someone to listen, tell us we are okay and suggest a strategy.
Post # 10
I like the idea of suggesting a counselor just for him. Honestly its not something that once crossed my mind but I think it could be helpful. We don’t work in a traditional work environment so we have a lot of downtime where we can just talk and this is obviously something that really hurts and bothers him so I don’t want to tell him sorry but stop talking to me about it.