He's just about to hit 40, ostensibly happy home life, but I'd got the impression that he was going through a rough patch. So on pint 3, I finally worked up the courage to ask him how he was.
Turns out he is utterly, crushingly bored. Endless domesticity, folding clothes, a well paid job which has long since ceased to offer much intellectual stimulation, weekends occupied feigning interest in a bunch of 6 year olds running around badly playing football, or 4 year olds badly acting in a pantomime, making lunches every single morning day after day. All the usual stuff.
I guess this is a universal part of the human experience for people who have kids? Basically spending their 40s in a depressing, exhausting domestic grind.
I suggested a sportscar, but the mortgage gets in the way of that. Mentioned it was a common response (but I couldn't in good conscience recommend) to have an affair with his secretary. He assured me that wasn't on his agenda.
Sometimes I'm grateful for my peripatetic existence, m9s.