DEAR NATALIE: My husband’s best friend’s wife has been cheating on him for months. My husband has told me to stay out of it. We found out through friends what was going on, but his best friend has no idea what his wife is doing. I know they’ve been unhappy for a while, and I care about both of them. Well, last night, Jack (my husband’s best friend) reached out to me about it. He called me and just asked me what I knew. I didn’t know what to say. He said, “People are talking and I’ve asked Susan (his wife). She denied it. Do you think she’s telling the truth?” He is clearly heartbroken, so I told him that I would talk to her and see if I could find anything out. Well, my husband flipped out and said there was no good ending to this mess. I should stay out of it. If Jack wants to discuss this with his wife, that’s on him. While I understand my husband’s perspective, I want to help. What do you think I should do? -CONFLICTED WIFE
DEAR CONFLICTED WIFE: I agree with your husband on this one. I don’t see any situation where the end result is positive with you meddling in the middle. I would call Jack back and tell him that after thinking things through, you really think he should discuss this with his wife. If she is lying to him about being faithful, eventually it will come out. If she tells him the truth about what she has been doing, then they have a choice to make: Do they want to stay and work on their marriage or is it beyond repair? Only they can decide this. I don’t know why she is cheating or what her motivation may be. She may not want to leave her husband. He may not want a divorce. They may stay together. Whatever you do, do not bad mouth either of them to each other. If they do stay together, then it could end up impacting your husband’s friendship with Jack and your friendship with them both. Stay out of it. It may seem like you are helping, but in the end, it may just make things even messier.
DEAR NATALIE: My best friend has been talking about wanting a baby for as long as I can remember. She even froze her eggs when she turned 30. Well, at 34, she is still single and has a good career. She told me recently that she is thinking of just going ahead with her plan — without a partner. I was shocked. I don’t think it makes any sense to do this on her own. Having four kids of my own, I don’t think she realizes what a change to her life this will be. I tried to talk her out of it. I told her to wait a little longer. Maybe she will meet someone? But, she became defensive and told me that I needed to be more supportive. That was two weeks ago. We haven’t really spoken. I don’t know what to say. I would like to mend this but I am also shocked that she would want to do something so drastic. Any advice? —SINGLE FRIEND, COMPLEX CHOICES
DEAR SINGLE FRIEND, COMPLEX CHOICES: This isn’t your decision to make. What she needs is a friend. She doesn’t need a therapist or a mother. She told you this because she probably looks to you as a source of understanding since you have a large family of your own. If this is something that she really wants to do — and she will do it with or without your support — wouldn’t it be better to be there for her? Families come in all forms. If she feels confident in her ability to raise a child on her own, and has the financial capability to handle it, why shouldn’t she? It may not be what you think is the best trajectory, but it is her life. I think having a friend who has children could be very helpful for her as she navigates these waters. Call her right now and just tell her you were taken aback by the conversation and needed time to process it. Now that you have, you want her to know that you plan on being there to support her. It may not be traditional, but that doesn’t mean she can’t provide a loving, nurturing home for a child. With people like you in her life that care about her, she has a better chance of succeeding, too.
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