‘I’ve fallen in love with my best friend’s wife’– Dr Louise answers your burning questions

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I am in a predicament – I’ve fallen head over heels in love with my best friend’s wife. We were all childhood friends but after completing high school we all went our separate ways. I went overseas to study and only recently met up with my friend again and renewed our friendship. He told me he’d married our childhood friend and I looked forward to seeing her again.

When we met however, it was as if my eyes suddenly opened and I realised what a gem she is – and to top it off she has grown into a stunningly beautiful woman. I fell in love with her, and to be honest, I think I must have been a little in love with her at school.

I have tried to keep my distance from them but my friend insists on a lot of contact and wants me to visit them at home. He has no idea how I feel about her and is simply glad that we have renewed our friendship again. I’m not married so I’m free as a bird but I do not want to mess up my friend’s marriage. What should I do?

Patrick, email


Dr Louise advice

You need to be very careful as this is a tricky situation – a potentially dangerous one if your friend’s wife has feelings for you too. There is already an emotional connection since you were all childhood friends.

It is definitely best for you to avoid spending too much time with your friend and his wife. When you do visit them, try to take a female friend with you so that it changes the dynamic a bit. It will also make it more likely that you spend more time with your friend and less time with his wife exclusively.

Don’t entertain fantasies about your friend’s wife. The bottom line is that she is forbidden fruit and you don’t want to be responsible for breaking up their marriage. You may think you’re in love, but it is rarely worthwhile to cause that kind of upheaval and usually only leaves broken hearts in its wake.

You need to make a concerted effort to meet other women and go on dates so you stop thinking about your friend’s wife. There are many women you can find love and happiness with.


Last year was a very difficult one for me. I lost two family members to Covid and got divorced from my husband as we discovered during the lockdown in 2020 that we actually don’t have anything in common and that love has drifted out of the window.

I am usually an optimistic and happy person but now find myself in a slump and am aware of the fact that I’ve become very serious and tend to withdraw from people. What can I do to get back to my normal, optimistic self?

Diane, email


Dr Louise advice

You have experienced two of the most stressful life experiences – the death of a loved one and divorce. The latter also entails losing someone in your life, but in another way. So it’s hardly surprising that you’re feeling down at the moment.

Try to spend time in nature – either at the sea or in the bush or the mountains. Nature has a way of reminding us of the ebb and flow of life. It also gives us quiet time away from the things that usually keep us busy and so offers a chance for equilibrium to be restored. It reminds us of the beauty of life and how worthwhile it is to live regardless of the painful experiences we go through.

If you find you’re still struggling to get out of the slump regardless of some time out, consult with a psychologist so he or she can ascertain if you are depressed and decide what the best treatment would be. You will either need help you to work through your feelings, or if need be, you can be referred to a psychiatrist for medication that can help you through this time.


I’m in my mid-fifties and am afraid I might be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. I used to have an excellent memory, but I find I’m starting to forget things. I feel very anxious every time I have to get started on a new task at work, whereas before I used to find it challenging and exhilarating. I’m also irritable and not as kind and accommodating as I used to be. I’m not sure what is happening to me.

I was retrenched last year due to the pandemic and have just managed to survive and to provide for my family. We used to enjoy a fairly luxurious lifestyle, but now we must think twice before we buy something or do something for fun.

I had no option but to tell my eldest son he couldn’t continue his studies as I can no longer afford the tuition fees and the cost of keeping him at university. This was a terrible thing for me as I believe education is vital and wanted to give my son a good start in life.

Benjamin, email


Dr Louise advice

The psychological effects of the pandemic are being felt by so many people. The symptoms of what I call lockdown syndrome are a measure of depression, loss of confidence in one’s abilities, lack of self-worth and withdrawal from other people.

It may be that you are depressed, and that this is affecting your memory and self-confidence. Irritability is also one of the symptoms of depression. It would be beneficial for you to consult with a psychiatrist, who can assess if you’re experiencing a neuropsychological problem and what sort of treatment would be best. You can see a psychiatrist at a state hospital.

'The love that lasts longest is the love that is never returned'

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