Ask Amy: Friend might keep husband, lose friendship

April 18, 2014 

Dear Amy: My friend's husband had an affair with his much younger assistant. My friend found a couple of very racy messages from her to him.

This was going on for months and months. The assistant was also married at the time. He told my friend that they only slept together once, and that he can't fire her because he's not her boss and can't make that decision.

He also said that he told the assistant they had to stop communicating (other than about work). He later admitted he lied about that, but he claims it is over now.

My friend believes him and thinks her marriage is worth saving. She has decided to stay with him.

I say she needs to leave the marriage because she's worth more than what he's done (and what I believe he is still doing). I think he's a liar.

Should I tell her to face facts and leave the marriage, or should I just keep being an ear and shoulder for her to cry on?

— Concerned friend

Dear Friend: You should not try to convince someone who is clearly determined to stay with her husband that her marriage is not worth trying to save. The reason to keep your opinion to yourself is because your friend will stay in the marriage, and in the end you will pay for your candor, and this important friendship will be damaged.

Marriage is an intimate relationship between two people. It is a bad idea to involve a third party or to allow yourself to get drawn into someone else's marriage. This is a lesson both you and your friend need to learn.

Dear Amy: "Impatient" wanted to marry the father of her children. But she may already be a wife!

Depending on where she lives, she may have common-law status already. That status would assure property and other rights of a formal marriage. But regardless, she should be making sure her "boyfriend" fully supports their children. Are they covered by his insurance? Has she talked with him about college tuition? Are they heirs in his will?

— Hallie

Dear Hallie: Only a few states formally recognize common-law marriage, which is all the more reason to research this status and its ramifications.


You can contact Amy Dickinson via email at, follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.

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