Owing to the nature of his work, my husband is sometimes gone for months on end. His work is gruelling (he works on the high seas) and I can’t always reach him on phone with ease. We have four daughters and a lot of animosity from his family who see me as a waste of space because I have not birthed a son. I honestly believe my husband loves me and I love him too. I am a full-time housewife because his earnings fully cover our needs with enough left over for the extended family. In fact, it is at his insistence that I do not work but I am an architect. As a result of his constant absence, I chose not to have any house-help and to take absolute charge of the home front myself, primarily to keep myself busy so I don’t miss him too much.
It’s not working any more.
I don’t know if it’s the growing animosity from his side of the family, lack of male attention, lack of adult companionship but whatever it is, I am becoming demotivated and developing an unhealthy attraction to his best friend who drops in once in a while to find out how we are faring. He is a widower with no children and when he does drop in, he spends quite a bit of time. He has never made any passes at me, has never even said anything remotely near indecent and comes at regular hours, most times with someone else in tow. He is however always on hand if we need any assistance and my husband always pays him back for any financial assistance. However, the day road safety officials harassed me, it was his physical presence that helped. The day the mechanic tried to run off with my car, it was this man’s sole effort that sorted it out. When two of my children collapsed with malaria he was my back bone. These are things money can’t buy.
I am developing a deep attraction to this man though I know it is wrong. I love my husband but I am becoming emotionally attached to this man. I am at a loss. I need help please before I do something stupid. Anonymous
Your plight is common and almost always rears its ugly head in the absence of a spouse. We all need emotional support not just physical and financial, regardless of sex. What makes your situation more complex is that you have developed these feelings for the most taboo person ever: your husband’s best friend.
I strongly suggest you stop reaching out to this man. You said nothing about your religion but if you are a Christian see if you can get yourself involved in some group or society in church. They almost always have some kind of a support system for members such that when next you are in need, you can reach out to members of your group to assist rather than calling that man. Were it not that he is a widower, I would have suggested developing a relationship with the wife instead, and reaching out to her for help when you need assistance rather than the man.
If you have no link to any church or religious institution, try to make female friends who could equally assist.
Above all else, let your husband know that these long absences are hurting your marriage. Talk to him as earnestly as possible. I know some level of sexual frustration might equally be attending these feelings. Ask him to start looking for the kind of work where these absences can be fewer. Keep at it until he does something about it.
I strongly advise against you telling him or the man how you feel. If you tell your husband, he may form an unhealthy suspicion of you generally and might develop feelings of animosity toward his friend who has actually done nothing wrong. If you tell the friend, two things might happen: you might discover to your shock that he shares your feelings and is not just doing it for his friend or he might be so stunned that it will tarnish his image of you and cause him to tell his friend you made a pass at him. It would take an extremely mature and kind man to just understand and stay away without telling others and you don’t want to be hanged for something you are actually trying to avoid.
I wish you the best.
***Devaan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org