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A sad and baffling relationship struggle.

Rags's picture

Not ours.

My DW reconnected with her childhood BFF after 25 years nearly 10 years ago.  Around the time we left Houston for our Expat adventure, her BFF (K-5) and her DH and their kids moved to Houston as we were heading overseas.  My DW found her on FB about a year later.  She made sure to visit them on periodic trips back to Texas and when we relo'd back to Houston in 2018 we became couples friends with them.

So... today my DW took a long luch and went to visit her childhood BFF at her small business.  A bit more than a year ago they sold a rental property that they had owned for about 28 years, it was their first marital home, interrestingly it is in SpermLand.  Anyway, he agreed to give her the money from the sale of the rental property to use to start a small business. She is into spiritual stuff (magic rocks, crystals, weeds, etc...) and her shop serves that market. It is really a nice place. Well done, classily set up, beautiful products, a training facility in the back where she teaches or hosts classes on meditation, calming and spiritual characteristics of different minerals and weeds/plants, ancient Druid practices, training on the Norse Gods, etc, etc, etc..... and where like minded people can gather, socialize, and share their "path" together.  Not my thing... but.... no skin off of my nose.

Though I do have some fun giving my wife crap about it.  Her friend is always giving or selling her special rocks, a candle, or weed that influences financial prosperity, empowers health, etc...  Today... she brought me a rock that regulates blood sugar.  I grinned and stuck it in my pocket. DW gave me an "Oh stop it! She is thinking about you."  I hope it works.      *wink*

Anyway, she and her DH have been married for a couple of years longer than my DW and I have been married.They have done okay, he has a decent career as a CAD designer  and she quit her job as a Unit Assistant Finance Mgr for a large restaurant group a year ago when they sold their rental and opened the store.  

Meanwhile 13-ish months later and back at the spiritual ranch... she is grossing as much as $50K/mo and her business is doing rather well.  Lots of people who are into that sort of thing get their supplies, mingle, do clases together there and generally have turned it into a gathering place for their shared way of life.  The closest shop that does what she does is about 40 miles away so she hit on the magic mix of location, location, location and serving an underserved market.  Most of her business is local clients though her on-line sales are picking up.

You would think this is all great. His career is going well, their small business investment is growing and seems to be thriving, they are nearly a year along the empty nester path with two adult kids who have launched, she is professionally happy and getting way into her passion/business.

But no... apparently he is extremely jellous and put out that she is succeeding. IMHO he supported the dream because it was important to her and he loves her.  During their hour or so together the childhood BFF shared with my DW that things have gotten weird between them and recently as they locked up the shop and were walking to their cars she was sharing with him that some new ritual she was practicing was not working.  His response... "Wow, finally even you have hit a wall and something is not working for you.".

DW and I talked quite a while about her visit and the struggles these friends are having.   The BFF thinks that they are likely heading for divorce and is hopeful that he can do the work to get right.  No indication that she is participating on "getting right".  He works M-F. She works Th - Sun and Tu.  They love C&W dancing and honky tonk bars and have taken lessons for years. Apparently the DH is now going once a week to lessons without her, though on her day off, and she is not going with him.  

DW and the BFF have dinner schedule in a couple of weeks after the current Tax crush is over.  That will no doubt be a deeper dive into BFF's marital challenges, etc, etc, etc....  

Here is what I smell.  He is jellous and never expected the spiritual shop to do much more than keep her busy while he was working and she would be much happier than when she was in a tradional job going down a traditional career path.  She has apparently left it to him to figure his shit out in order to salvage their long fairly happy marriage and is no longer participating in the things they historically enjoyed to do so much together.  He has been into the stuff she is into and has been a guide for her in that world.... in the past.  She has now exceeded his knowledge and interest level.  

I feel sorry for them.  However, this is not a mystery or rocket science IMHO.  Even when DW and I have been on opposite schedules, across the country from each other, half way around the world away on separate continents we have always communicated, or more accurately over communicated, and worked diligently towards maintaining our connection and getting back to living with each other ASAP.

She is a sweet lady. She is important to my bride, so she is important to me. She and my DW are two very beautiful cougar aged confident women, DW is tall and super model-esque, her BFF is shorter and more Pamela Anderson-esque.  It is a riot to watch all of the attention that they draw when we have been out at the country bar/dance halls that the BFF and her DH cycle through.  We have a great time together. He is a decent guy. I lke him. Though he is a person that I can handle only ocassionally.  He tends to have a rampant inferiority complex and a chip on his shoulder over college boys without his skills and experience who get promoted and out earn him.

I absolutely do not understand how any man can be jellous of his wife's success. I for one am proud of my wife's success and broadcast that pride energetically.  She often tells me that she knows that I am proud of her and that I push and inspire her to be her best self.  Wrong, she is amazing. She is the one that inspires me.  Heck, I am absolutely thrilled that my DW is far more than capable of providing comfortably for us and for herself in the event of my demise.  I do wish that I had been able to more quickly found a role and started earning a steady income so that I could have been spoiling her.   

Pardon

I hope that they can pull their heads out and work their relationship disconnect out.  Apparently, the Druid  and Norse Gods, rocks, crystals, weeds, candles, head wreaths, hemp robes, chants, rituals, magic smoke smudge pots sticks and bundles etc... are not working on their marital problems.

If it all goes wrong this will break my DW's heart and is bothering me far more than I  would have thought it would.

Comments

JRI's picture

It's weird when you see your longtime friend couples going down the breakup path.  I have gone thru this a couple times and, as an outsider, it might be more apparen't than it is to the couple.  We had one apparently happy couple we used to go out with.  When I heard her start talking about getting a car in her own name, I knew (this was in the 70's before female liberation and she was a sahm).  They split a few years later.  Another couple (I was their bridesmaid) - You could cut the tension with a knife the last time we went out with them.  Sigh.....the roller coaster of life....

I predict the next thing you hear will be he hooked up with somebody at tbe c&w dancing lessons.

Rags's picture

That is my forecast as well.  Though she is a very beautiful woman and has always gotten a lot of flattering attention from men of all ages.  Who strays first could go either way though DW thinks that her BFF would not do that.

It really does not compute for me.  Even after my nighmare first marriage to the cheat queen... I still don't get how anyone could do that to not only their mate but to themselves.

CajunMom's picture

Seems they are headed towards divorce. And I think if any straying happens, it's going to be the husband. He's already doing things that are putting him in a dangerous position.

My DH was an expat until his wife decided she wanted a divorce. He then came back stateside, went through all that and then we met and married. As a single woman of 7 years, I had a large friend base of SINGLE women. When DH was at work, he knew every place I went. And I mean, every place. Transparency and honesty were so crucial to his mental health....being half way around the world, working on a rig in the middle of the North Sea, I wanted to give him peace of mind. I love him and wanted him to be his best. I can't imagine being jealous of him or his success to the point of not caring for him anymore. He's the same with me. He completely supports my current business and helps where he can. 

Any success in our marriage is a shared success. One succeeds and one cheers. Those roles reverse all the time but never would we be jealous. I'm sorry your wife's friend has an unsupportive husband. Sad.

Rags's picture

Doing the bachelor status Expat thing and a number of other extended periods doing the road warrior thing my DW and I have actively practiced the model that you and your DH practice.

If anything we talk more when we are not together than we do when we are together.  She knows exactly what I am doing and shares exactly what she is doing with me.  Like you model, there are no surprises or secrets.  I have always made a concerted effort to motivate and support my DW to have non me time with her friends, to actively build close friendships that are hers rather than ours, and to support and celebrate her successes. As she does for me.

"Any success in our marriage is a shared success. One succeeds and one cheers. Those roles reverse all the time but never would we be jealous."

This is so true and I completely agree with you.  I will proudly steal and claim as my own the succeeds and cheers part of this.  Thanks.

I am sorry for her as well.  His insecurities are not all that surprising though no less disappointing.  Men who have to regularly be coddled, stroked, and propped up have no business being married to strong, confident, successful women.  So many men seem to get their man panties in a wad when their bride thrives and succeeds.  Not me, I am my DW's biggest cheer leader.  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate an occasional affirmation.  But... constant stroking is not a thing that I either need or want.  I much prefer pursuing adventure and opportunity together.

I have no problem with her taking the earnings and career lead.  Two years of only intermittent contributions on my part... that I do not like very much. Which has nothing to do with jealousy over her successes. I feel only pride in her, and regrets that I have been unable to contribute at my usual levels.