sloopjohnc wrote:It seems that recently when friends are having trouble with their marriages, they contact me and want to have lunch. A friend I've known since elementary school emailed me last week and we had lunch at a local place near his house. A couple weeks ago it was another old friend.
It seems his 14 year-old daughter has become dismissive and contemptuous of him and his wife sides with her. He feels alone, doesn't like that his immediate family are treating him like crap and doesn't know what to do. But his family are the most important thing to him and doesn't want to lose them. He cried a few times at lunch over his situation and I felt badly he was in so much pain.
His daughter goes to a prestigious prep school on scholarship and both my buddy and his wife are really smart. He's a freelance writer who writes mainly for Stanford's departments of education and his wife is a digital media producer for a regional metro newspaper. He used to be the rock reviewer and tech columnist for the San Jose Mercury.
He's going over his situation with four best friends, which I didn't know I was even one, to get their take. The guy he consulted with before me was Joel Selvin, longtime rock critic for the SF Chronicle. I'm like the only regular guy of his friends - there's the retired rock critic and author, a media analyst and Harvard Business School guy, a famous food editor and author and me, who's known him the longest.
He tends to be a pretty intense guy and I told him to ease off the pedal. He is putting a lot of pressure on his daughter and talks about "wins," which makes me think he needs to have his way in some of these things. I told him he has to let his daughter, although she's really smart, fuck up. With such an expensive education for his daughter, he's kinda loathe to do that. I had to remind him if he would've listened to his dad and he laughed and said, "No." I feel for the guy.
My friends and I are all hitting our 40s, and this kind of stuff is happening all over the place.
Marriages are becoming tougher and tougher, and many people I know are extremely torn over whether to stay together primarily for the sake of the kids/family, or make a break. Most of them are sticking with it, but with a huge degree of sadness and regret.