Following a night of indulgence, my closest friend admitted she has been entangled in an extramarital relationship for the past six months. Without question, I was beyond surprised.

I’ve known this friend since our adolescent days and such behaviour is uncharacteristic. It was unbeknownst to me that she’s been leading this double life.

She’s been in a marital bond with her spouse for 13 years, with me knowing him quite well too. They tried to have kids, but it never materialised. Now, she confesses her dissatisfaction in their marriage and wishes to break free, yet fears breaking her spouse’s heart.

Overwhelmed with emotions, she was in tears when she confided in me. She feels like a terrible person and acknowledges that her actions are unjust.

The man she’s been romantically involved with is unattached and significantly drawn to her, pressurising her to make a choice.

I feel helpless and honestly, I’m quite taken aback by her conduct, although I refrained from expressing my disappointment. I regard her husband as a brother and the revelation of this affair would devastate him.

I’m at a loss for words and unsure how I should advise my friend. I need guidance.

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The advisor comments,

This situation is indeed unsettling. It seems like the weight of their unsuccessful efforts to have a baby might be taking a toll on their relationship. Your situation is understandably complicated since you care deeply for both parties. However, your role at this point is to lend a listening ear and provide unconditional support.

Given her guilt and awareness of the potential harm the affair could cause, she seems to be in turmoil.

I would encourage her to end this extramarital relationship, at least until she figures out where her marriage stands. The affair is only distracting her from the real issue, which involves an uncomfortable conversation with her husband.

Bearing the news of being unhappy and wanting to exit a relationship is always challenging. Her spouse is bound to react with shock and sadness, but it is only fair that he’s informed. Betraying his trust in the interim is neither justified nor a solution.

I would also recommend counselling for her. Even if she has made up her mind to separate, it does help expedite the process, ensuring that both parties feel respected and acknowledged. I wish you the best.

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