Help for a mate.
Hi Dr Kim, I have a very dear friend who has recently had a two year relationship ended and it seems to have been the catalyst for some worrying behaviour. The woman he was in a relationship with is a very old friend of my partner (we have been together for over four years after both losing our marriages years ago) and they met through us. His marriage ended after his wife had an extramarital affair about 4 years ago which hit him very hard. They have three children and he has supported them all and had full custody of the youngest, who is now a 17yo girl, for the entire time. I suspect that he has never properly dealt with his marriage breakup and this latest relationship breakup is the straw that broke the camel's back. He was very committed to this relationship but the woman made it abundantly clear that she was only interested in a one day per week thing and that there was no chance of any more. He is an emotional Irishman who puts everything into a relationship but despite the above was devastated when she ended it.
He seems to have become very needy, constantly looking for sympathy, incessantly speaking of his resentment and contempt for her and taking on the opinions of anyone who will listen and give him advice then exaggerating or deliberately misquoting their words to sway other's opinions and generate more sympathy. I have been his best friend for about 16 years and along with my partner and another couple, we are his only really close friends. Unfortunately for him, we are a pragmatic group who have been supporting him through this. However, he has now crossed a line and is attempting to manipulate my partner in a brazen attempt to sway her support away from her dear friend and drive a wedge between this group and his ex partner. We have made it clear to him that he needs to get over his ex and move on with his life. We have had enough but simultaneously we are concerned for his mental health.
We socialise extensively with this group and have several trips away planned over the next month but his behaviour is troubling and our patience running out. I had a very frank exchange with him last week and he seems to have improved but then, after a dinner party last night, he communicated in a positive way with me but sent a very needy and depressed message to my partner.
What can we do to help ?