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It is very difficult to watch someone you love go through the pain of a divorce. There really isn’t much you can do to help them, especially when they are in denial and are making poor choices.

He’s my best friend in the world. I love him dearly. His marriage was never anything extra special, in fact, it was almost always rocky. A few years ago, he was pretty sure his wife was cheating on him. They talked it out, and were working on their marriage. The only resolution I could see as an outside observer was that suddenly, all of HIS phone calls were being monitored. Including with me, his best friend. But since I’m a girl, I was under suspicion. Which I found quite ironic since SHE was the one suspected of cheating, not him.

So it really wasn’t a surprise to me when everything came crashing down this winter. She had been planning ahead: getting her own bank account and transferring her direct deposit into that account, packing up little things here and there. He was knocked completely sideways when she announced she was moving out. Not surprising, he tried very hard to get her to stay.

For a while.

Until he found out she was, indeed, cheating on him.

He isn’t an alcoholic, but he has always been a heavy drinker when he was in the right mood. Her leaving pushed him to the point of drinking all the time. He called me one night, more drunk than I’d ever heard him, and told me he was puking up blood and was suicidal. It scared me to death. I seriously considered driving the hundreds of miles between us to check on him.

Instead, I made him check in with me all the time. He was angry with her and took it out on me, saying I was smothering him. I know now that I probably did push too hard, but it was out of love and concern for him. He became angry enough that he quit talking to me altogether.

Months passed.

I needed to deal with some things in our hometown, so I went to see him. As I already knew, he was – mostly – ready to forgive me. Our friendship is still a little unstable, so for now, I need to be very gentle on him and give him some space.

In talking to him, I did discover that he is still very damaged. It’s not the loss of the marriage that has hurt him so much as it is the loss of the dream of what he thought their marriage was going to be. Even though he has “moved on” and has a new girlfriend, he couldn’t stop talking about his ex and everything she did. His pain is still very raw, although he’s too stubborn to admit it. I know a new relationship is probably not the best thing for him right now, but I know that, like the alcohol, he is using the new girlfriend as a crutch. She’s not his type at all, and from what I can tell is a walking train wreck. I hope she’s not going to end up making everything worse.

So I’m going to love him and pray for him from a distance. I’m hoping that once he heals more, he will cut back on the drinking, and hopefully see this other girl for who she really is.

This really hurts me to watch, but I’m glad he’s at least allowing me to do that much again.