When your best friend steals your husband

Best friends of all demographic groups can sometimes do sneaky things, like steal your dear husband right from under your nose.  It is one incentive for women to only keep guys as friends. Of course, you have to make sure he doesn’t steal your husband; and if he’s not “like that,” your husband will worry your guy friend will steal you. So much for a girl to think about!

There’s a woman living on Fifth Avenue in New York City. She’s married to an executive from NBC. This is the kind of set up where the family has a few nannies and other household staff. I guess you could call the woman a modern trophy wife. Because, yes, she’s fit, fabulous and phockerlicious, but she’s intelligent, well schooled, and employed by a major advertising firm in Midtown.  They possess quite a few of the trappings that comes with that executive life-style: beach house in New Jersey, condo in the Eastern Caribbean, condo on the Upper East Side and private school for the kids.  Their children skate in Wollman Rink in Central Park and take French classes at the French Institute, Alliance Francaise.  The six year old takes yoga. It’s a nice life. You could say they live in the city “properly.”

The woman made one fatal mistake. She invited over a good friend to her home for girly chit chats. One chit chat led to the other and the husband eventually met the friend. Next thing you know, while the woman and a couple of nannies were out on the Jersey Shore, the friend and the husband stayed back in Manhattan shagging like there’s no tomorrow in the woman’s bed. For months! Right under her nose!

The woman knew what was going on (she’s not stupid), but pretended not to know. With her husband, that is. But with the woman, she had many snarky little -itch fests as she implored the woman to find another boy toy and leave her poor, family-loving husband alone.  The woman really felt that she would be able to outlast the interloper and that her husband would tire of her former best friend.

But that hasn’t happened. Instead, the husband came home, about six months after the affair started and told his wife he is in love with her friend and wanted to move out so that he could “explore the relationship.”

The wife did not get emotional to her credit. However, she is devastated. Her husband keeps telling her that he will come back to her, that he needs to have this affair for his own reasons. It is unclear what the wife’s intentions are at this point. Will she leave him? Will she hang in there? I know she’s spoken with a couple of divorce lawyers. But I don’t think anyone is on retainer.

There is a lot at stake. Three kids (one is only six months old), and quite a bit of assets. Why should she let this smug “witch” take it all? Maybe she should hang in there.

The thing is, the woman may not have a choice. Her husband has already moved out of the marital residence and he and the former best friend have had a sit down with his kids (the ones he had with his wife). At the best friend’s insistence, he has told the kids that he and she are an item. (BTW the best friend has kids that are the same age as the woman’s kids and they all go to the same school on the Upper East Side!) Everybody in their circles know the whole sordid story.

I think the wife’s days are seriously numbered and she needs to take charge of this situation. But she may be in denial. If I were her, I would be trying to gather as much evidence and information as I can. This woman had her own credit card but her husband paid the bills so she has no idea what assets they really own. She does not know all that much about the bank accounts. She knows the real estate they have used, but she doesn’t really know if that is all they own.

She is wrongly assuming that if she can prove adultery it means she will get more equitable distribution. Not necessarily. In New York, “fault” does not usually affect equitable distribution. That means that even if a spouse has been proven to be a cheater, he or she will still get their “equitable share” and that usually does not take into account who did what.

So what is the conclusion? What would you do if this were your best friend? Is it easier to bear if your husband cheats with a total stranger? http://www.divorcesaloon.com/oprah-winfrey-interviews-elizabeth-edwards-question-was-john-edwards-a-married-predator-who-preyed-on-single-women-or-was-the-other-woman-to-blame-for-his-adulterous-acts

Originally published on 12/7/08

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