- In her latest agony aunt column, best-selling author Jane Green gives advice to a woman who is stuck between a rock and a hard place
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Not too long ago, I discovered that my husband’s best friend – the best man at our wedding – has been cheating on his wife, who also just so happens to be a very good friend of mine.
I had heard rumors that he’d been having an affair but couldn’t bring myself to ever mention it to my husband, knowing how much he admires this man, who has essentially been a big brother to him since childhood.
However, I was forced to confront these rumors head-on when I caught him with the woman in question.
I immediately confronted him – hoping that he’d tell me I was wrong, that I’d completely misunderstood the situation. Heck I’d even have been happy if he’d told me that his wife was fully aware and that it was just how their marriage was.
But instead he just… shrugged? As if he didn’t really care. As if he wasn’t doing anything wrong.
I just flipped, to be honest with you. I was furious. I demanded that he tell his wife – or I’d have no choice but to tell her myself. Then I insisted that he come clean to my husband because I’ll be damned if I let his infidelity spread lies in my own marriage.
At that point, he just got really nasty. It was a side of him I’ve never seen. He said if I even dared to breathe a whisper of what had been going on, he’d tell my husband that it was actually me who’d been having an affair.
He said he’d urge my husband to leave me, make him see that he never should have married me. And even though I trust my husband, I know he loves me, something about the way he made these threats chilled me to my core.
He seemed so confident in what he was saying that it made me panic.
So now I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. Between my husband and his surrogate brother. And I just don’t know what to do. Do I risk destroying my marriage – while most certainly destroying someone else’s, as well as my husband’s most important friendship?
Would it not just be better for everyone if I stay quiet?
Dear Wifely Woes,
I’m sorry you’ve learned such a hard lesson, which is largely that other people’s behavior is really none of our business, and demanding that people behave in a certain way, even when we are absolutely sure that it is the right thing to do, does not usually lead to the results we are looking for.
That said, he sounds like a pretty nasty piece of work.
I can’t imagine it would destroy your marriage to tell your husband what you have discovered, and in fact, I think you do need to tell your husband, for I’m not sure how you can pretend that none of this happened – and there’s no way it’s not going to get in the way of your relationship.
Nor, I imagine, will you be able to look his wife in the eye.
So whilst I don’t suggest you tell his wife, I do suggest you tell your husband. As your partner in life, he needs to know that you are carrying this secret, and what his friend then said to you.
He may choose to do nothing about it, but the burden you are carrying alone needs to be shared with him. Together, you can decide how you then tackle it.
I wish you well.