A lonesome wife has become disenchanted by her jealous, infertile husband, so she’s contemplating leaving him for her GBF. But before she does, she wants to get the opinion of professional advice columnist Dear Prudence.
“Nearly a decade ago, I met my best friend, L,” the woman’s letter begins. “He’s male, I’m female, and we have been the closest of friends ever since.”
The woman explains that she and L talk on the phone almost every day, share their deepest, darkest secrets with one another, spend holidays together, yada, yada, yada.
“At first, we both thought something more might come of this friendship,” she explains, “but instead we remained friends and he came out as gay.”
“Four years ago, I married a wonderful man with an unfortunate jealous streak who has been wary of L from Day 1,” the woman continues. “L and I have both struggled with mental health issues, but we are both doing well now. We speak very openly about these struggles with one another, which is also something that bothers my husband.”
The situation recently turned dire when L moved across the country and asked the woman to join him.
“He wants to settle down and have a family and long-term relationship while carrying on an open sexual relationship,” she says. “L is the man of my dreams, and I already struggle in my marriage in a variety of ways, including with infertility, which L has supported me through all along. The problem is—I’m actually considering it.”
“Help?” she asks.
Wow. That’s a lot to take in. Luckily, Prudence is a pro.
“Oh, dear,” her response begins. “I think there are two rather distinct questions here that need to be sorted out. One is whether or not you should leave your husband. The other is, should you leave him, whether or not you should do a full Madonna in The Next Best Thing.”
She continues, “I don’t know if your fertility issues (or any of your other problems) would be magically fixed once you left your husband and tried having a baby with someone else.”
But, she adds, “if you genuinely believe you and your husband are fundamentally incompatible beyond hope of reconciliation … by all means, file for divorce, and start considering what accepting L’s offer might look like and what you’d want your life as platonic partners and co-parents to look like.”
Prudence cautions the woman, however, that “if you’re just looking to escape the mundane problems of any long-term relationship by fantasizing about running away and having a baby with someone you think will always understand you and never display human flaws, consider staying in your marriage.”
Other options: “See a therapist, tell your partner, cry; don’t upend your entire life just to avoid feeling pain.”
What do you think of this woman’s situation? And what advice would you offer? Share your thoughts in the comments section below…