Biblitz delivers advise

ASK Biblitz about Marriage.

'The advice I give to every young man starting out to seek a life partner is to find a girl whom he can tickle.' - P.G. Wodehouse

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My husband had an affair. What do I do?

My husband had an affair with this woman. She's a friend of my husband's from college and her brother and my husband are close friends. I've always accused my husband of being overtly interested in this girl's life pretty much from day one, and he always said that it "wasn't like that," that her brother was his best friend and she was more like family. The thing that infuriates me the most is that now when I look back, she is the common cause of the majority of our biggest fights.

I met my husband at a get-together at a mutual friend's house and, ironically, she was right there with him. He couldn't stay because he was her ride home and she claimed she was sick. One of our biggest pre-married fights was over his decision to go with their family on vacation and, of course, she was there, too. I didn't want him to go, but he went anyway accusing me of being unreasonable and controlling, pointing out that she was taken and that if they had wanted to hop into bed together, they would have already done so.

She was always taken and I'm now realizing that was the problem. She dated the same guy since high school, someone my husband hated vehemently, a view I shared. The guy was a creep who eventually put her in hospital, which led to a nasty divorce and her decision to move back here.

When her husband beat her up, mine was on the first flight out to make sure she was OK, as if she didn't have her own family to look after her. "That's what friends are for," he said. Ho.
Recently, an acquaintance told me that my husband asked her husband about divorce lawyers. Things hadn't been perfect, but I didn't think they were that bad. When I asked my husband about it, he didn't admit to an affair, but it turned into this awful argument about how unhappy he is, how nothing he does ever makes me happy,( which isn't true) and how I always seem to be miserable. We agreed to work things out, try marriage counseling, but last week he told me he's been having an affair for about 5 months with none other than this same woman whom he claimed was nothing more than a friend, a part of his family.

My first thought was to kick him out and tell him to go, but I felt like that would be too easy for him and that it was exactly what he wanted. We are still talking through things. He tells me how sorry he is, that he never meant to hurt me or fall in love with her, yet he spent months sleeping with her and playing dad to her kid while his own family was here. It also annoys me because this woman is the type people just love. She can do no harm in anyone's eyes. I can see everyone patting her on the back and telling her that it wasn't her fault. I am not sure what to do at this point. We have a four-your-old daughter, and he is the perfect father to her and even after everything, I love him.
Last night, the girl's brother came over. I don't know if he knows or not, but I told my husband that I didn't want him talking to him right now. He said the brother has nothing to do with the situation and that I was being ridiculous telling him not to talk to him. Half of me wants to hold on to him and tell him not to go and the other half of me wants to just slap him senseless or slap some sense into him. Can we possibly move forward from here?

Biblitz replies:

Alas, the only way for you to move forward is to kiss this one good-bye. You have had the great misfortune of being married to someone who was clearly and for a long, long time in love with someone else and a someone else who has unfortunately remained very much in the picture. Neither may have even been aware of it! Both of them have suffered because of this inconvenient love. Now it's time to be a grown-up and set him free. He wants to be with her and there is already a place for him in her family. Be happy for him. Your day will come.
Few of us marry our One Big Love. So what? Most often, it works out fine. Trouble happens when Big Love remains within such easy reach.

Face it. You never had a chance with this guy despite what were probably his very best intentions when you married. Set him free. Your turn next time around.


One may expect to have to throw one's weight about with a comepetitor or two in the early days of mating for the sake of romantic bliss, but in the case of a literally poisonous love affair like that of history's ancient lovers, Tristan and Isolde, one must accept defeat in the hope of living to fight another day. Mercifully, we are not all similarly cursed. As P.G. Wodehouse famously assures us, most men are, in fact, friendly coffee-caddies looking for a girl to tickle.

The Capilano Review

Tristram's Book

No. 19 (1981)
By Brian Fawcett

More of the ancient love story Tristan and Isolde on which these quiet, reflective poems are based.

A lousy bargain I was given
Tristram sad in exile

in return for an eternal love.
Sadness takes the comfort from home

no love is possible
to have and hold

without home. Taken
from me, given

in return
this eternal return

looking for you where no love
can thrive. This

is the first forest
I lost you in.

(-- p. 13)

Only a fool believes a single fire
can burn down a whole forest.

Yet in the face of ordinary logic, love
is a torch in the hand

of a pyromaniac. Or is it ordinary logic
in the face of love.

Between these, ordinary lovers hold hands
and build small fires to keep their love alive

believing in small fires and the existence
of the whole forest.

In the face of which
despite love and logic

it begins to rain.

(-- p. 28)

A far cozier arrangement:

Uncle Dynamite


By P.G. Wodehouse

"Well, I'll tell you," said Lord Ickenham, feeling his way carefully. "I can see she's a remarkable girl, but I wouldn't say she was the wife for you."

"Why not?"

"In my opinion you will be giving away too much weight. Have you studied those features? That chin is a determined chin. Those eyes are flashing eyes."

"What's the matter with flashing eyes?"

"Dashed unpleasant things to have about the home. To cope with flashing eyes, you have to be a man of steel and ginger. Are you a man of steel and ginger? No. You're like me, a gentle coffee-caddie."

"A how much?"

"By a coffee-caddie I mean a man - and there is no higher type - whose instinct it is to carry his wife's breakfast up to her room on a tray each morning and bill and coo with her as she wades into it. And what the coffee-caddie needs is not a female novelist with a firm chin and flashing eyes, but a jolly little soul who, when he bills, will herself bill like billy-o, and who will be right there with bells on when he starts to coo. The advice I give to every young man starting out to seek a life partner is to find a girl whom he can tickle. Can you see yourself tickling Hermione Bostock? She would draw herself to her full height and say 'Sir!' The ideal wife for you, of course, would have been Sally Painter." (--p. 23)