DEAR HARRIETTE: One of my oldest friends is going through a messy separation with his wife. My friend was caught having an affair, which resulted in his wife kicking him out of the house. He asked me if he would be able to stay with me and my wife for a few weeks. I wanted to let him stay with us so badly, but my wife was opposed to the idea. I hated to leave my friend when he needed me, but I could not force my wife to get involved in something so messy when she is good friends with his wife as well. I’m worried that our friendship will never be the same. Did I betray my friend by not helping him out? -- Out of My Control
DEAR OUT OF MY CONTROL: Your friend’s behavior is having negative repercussions throughout his life. Please know that this is not your fault. He is the one who cheated. He is the one who is now suffering due to his unethical behavior. Of course you wanted to throw him a lifeline. And it turned out to be too complicated for you to comply.
Something that people don’t think about marriage is that it touches many more people than the two people who are married. Extended family members and friends become interconnected. When the unit breaks, that break reverberates through all of the connected people.
Tell your friend how sorry you are that you cannot rescue him. Tell him you love him and will do what you can to support him. But stand by your wife. He has to sort through his own business.