I have a friend who lives in Money Town. She has a situation going on in her marriage which has caused her a lot of frustration. We talked about it at length and she agreed to let me share the circumstances with you. She's curious to see what perspective my readers might have.
Her husband is a professional. For the purpose of today's post we will say he's a psychologist. He's really not a psychologist but this is my small attempt to disguise their identities. Please don't email me and say, "A shrink should know better." He's not a shrink. I'm just calling him one for today.
Mr. Shrink is very successful. He and his wife have been married "forever" and have a nice home in Money Town. They've raised two kids who are now in young adulthood. Mr. Shrink is older than Mrs. Shrink. I don't know if that's a significant detail or not. Mrs. Shrink is not a young twenty year old trophy wife, but Mr. Shrink does have at least ten years on his wife.
About eight years ago Mr. Shrink brought someone new into his business. He needed help and he hired a young professional to work with him. We will call her Ms. Intruder. At the time she was hired, Ms. Intruder was only in her late twenties. Ms. Intruder is not, and has never been, married. Over the last eight years, Ms. Intruder has gradually become more and more entrenched in Mr. Shrink's business. In fact, Ms. Intruder is now a full partner.
Yes, in only eight years Ms. Intruder has become a partner in the business Mr. Shrink spent his entire adult life building.
In the entire eight years she's worked with Mr. Shrink, Ms. Intruder has not had a romantic relationship to speak of with anyone of either sex. At least, that is what Ms. Intruder says publicly. Ms. Intruder is now well into her thirties.
Mrs. Shrink is disturbed by the friendship that has developed between Ms. Intruder and Mr. Shrink. The two business partners have become best friends. Mr. Shrink has also become friends with, and entrenched in, Ms. Intruder's family. He's even attended weddings of Intruder family members. Mr. Shrink doesn't take his wife, Mrs. Shrink, with him to these Intruder family events.
Mr. Shrink and Ms. Intruder regularly exclude Mrs. Shrink from the time they spend together.
As an example, whenever there is a birthday in the office, the entire office goes out to dinner together to celebrate. They don't do this right after work, but instead – they schedule the event on a Saturday night. Ms. Intruder often brings her sister or family members along to join in on the celebration but Mrs. Shrink is not invited. Ever. She spends her Saturday night alone at home, or makes plans with a girlfriend instead. She's, understandably, not happy about being excluded.
It's okay for Ms. Intruder to bring others (never a date) to these celebrations, but Mr. Shrink and Ms. Intruder always exclude Mrs. Shrink.
Mrs. Shrink is convinced Mr. Shrink and Ms. Intruder are not romantically involved.
Is Mr. Shrink just thoughtless? Clearly he's disrespectful of his wife's feelings because he's quite aware of her unhappiness over the situation. Is Mrs. Shrink kidding herself about a romance between her husband and Ms. Intruder?
As the years have progressed, these birthday dinners and celebrations have escalated. Now, they've turned into full day events. Mr. Shrink and Ms. Intruder will disappear on a Saturday and spend the entire day away at an event in Los Angeles or some other such thing. One time Mr. Shrink even booked a hotel room and spent the night saying he didn't want to drive home late at night after drinking.
Mr. Shrink tells his wife other people are with him and Ms. Intruder at these events. He also told her Ms. Intruder went home and did not spend the night at the same hotel on the one occasion he didn't come home until the next day.
Mrs. Shrink feels angry, resentful and hurt at her husband's behavior. He makes no indication of changing. In fact, he's not willing to even consider changing the situation at all. Mrs. Shrink is in her fifties and has spent her entire adult life married to Mr. Shrink, raised two children with him, and doesn't want the marriage to end.
© Twenty Four At Heart