I wrote a letter to a friend and mailed it to her. This letter needed to be written and it needed to be mailed, not e-mailed. That’s right; I used that thing called an envelope that requires little postage stamps to be affixed to the top right corner before being placed into that large, blue, metal, doodad for retrieval and delivery by a post office employee. I know that my friend received the letter because she e-mailed me to tell me that she received it. That was 96 days ago and I have heard nothing, nada, and nil, from her since.
The contents of the letter would be a blow to the head and the heart of anyone reading it, let alone the person that was directly affected by it. It is for this reason that the 96 days of radio silence has not left me upset, disappointed or angry. After all, I had just mailed a friend to tell her that I witnessed her husband talking body with the person that delivers the mail to their house every day.
In true confession, I wanted to be the essence of Sting and the Police and watch every breadth she took and every move she made since reading that letter. I have always been fascinated by the human condition but in this case, my want stemmed from the ending that I want all victims of infidelity to get to: divorce. In my version of a happy ending, my friend would breathe a few words to her husband like ‘how dare you?’, ‘apology not accepted’ and ‘my lawyer will call your lawyer’. This did not occur.
Now, I mentioned earlier that I have heard nothing, nada, and nil, from her since. This is not to suggest that no lips were moving. The truth is that a lot of the neighborhood had a lot to say about my friend and her dilemma. This is the part of the story that I find the most interesting and the most troubling.
Neighbor number 1, let’s call her Darla, shared with me that my friend would not, could not, and should not leave her husband because they were just now getting their business off the ground and things were going to be looking up after that. Not only did Darla express this to me but she passed this along to my friend as a form of unsolicited advice.
Neighbor number 2, let’s call her Marla, told me that she’d like to see my friend leave her husband but not until she has found someone. After all, my friend has a fear of being alone and ‘it would not be pretty if she left and had to live by herself’. Marla also shared this with my friend while giving herself credit along the way for being able to ‘tell it like it is’.
Neighbor number 3, he being the husband of Marla, expressed that ‘people make mistakes’ and I had no business sharing the infidelity with my friend.
At this point, I was upset, disappointed and angry, though not surprised. In the relationship coaching business, I use a term called detached parties to describe the advice or counsel that people get from those who have no investment in the scenario or the person. Darla, Marla and Mr. Marla are all detached parties. What’s more, my friend, in her state of angst and fragility took their counsel and decided to stay pat.
I know this because my friend approached the person who delivered the mail to their house every day. They talked about the affair in brutal detail. The person who delivered the mail apologized for sleeping with my friend’s husband. They both cried. Ultimately, my friend forgave the person who delivered the mail.
If you’re still with me, I’ll walk you through the final details. The person who delivered the mail is the person who told me about the confrontation with my friend. That’s because they had no idea that I was the one who tipped my friend off. They likely confided in me for the exact same reason that Darla, Marla, and Mr. Marla did. I am the neighborhood relationship coach and thus I would have a fleeting interest and perhaps some thoughts. I sure as hell did.
To Darla and Marla I said: “You call yourself friends but you give advice as if love is a business transaction and being with a cheater is better than being alone”.
To Mr. Marla I said: “This is easy for you to say but if your wife was sleeping with the mailman I am quite sure you would be pissed if you found out that I knew and did not share it with you”.
To the person who delivers the mail, I said nothing. She has enough to think about every day that she delivers mail to house number 122.
To my friend and victim of infidelity, I hope to hear from you soon. If I do not, I truly hope that you can start seeking counsel from true friends and family instead of detached parties.
To readers, a question: How long should I give my friend before I try to approach and talk to her?