Our expert says:
Pshew ! A complex situation. Of course it's possible there's something emotional going on between them, and it's also possible that there's not. Both of them may be getting unfortunately too close emotionally without really realizing it. Some people, perhaps your wife is one, are nice, kind, folks who basically want to help other people. Some have a sort of rescue fantasy that they can sort out other people's problems if they try really hard and spend a lot of time with them : and this usually is not anywhere near as helpful or useful as they hope.
Often, for instance, the unhappy person really needs to take responsibility for their own situation, and this can be delayed or prevented by someone too kind blundering in and trying to do for them what they must do for themselves. This is one of the things a proper professional counsellor learns early on.
From what you say, this is a guy who grew fond of another woman, who then dumped him, whether for good or bad reasons. That's upsetting, but not a major tragedy. It should not cause lasting emotional turmoil or misery unless the person was already off balance, vulnerable and miserable : in which case they probably deserve the assistance of a professional counsellor or psychologist.
That is what your wife should have suggested at the start, and what she should be suggesting right now.
Apart from being an amateur struggling where a professional is needed, she's also too close personally, and too much a part of the original problem, to be able to be independently and neutrally helpful.
If he developed appendicitis, of course she'd be sympathetic, but she'd make sure he went to see a surgeon, rather than trying to remove the source of the problem on the kitchen table with a steak knife.
She's a friend, not a bandage. Yes, of course, it is probably not helpful for either of them to spend so much time together alone talking about how bad he feels. Yes, both are probably emotionally vulnerable at a time like this, and could become more emotionally involved with each other than would be wise for either of them.
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