Matt Parish: in a relationship with Ray Hadley's estranged wife Suzanne. Photo: Supplied
If schadenfreude has a sound, it might be the surprised chuckle that leaked out a middle-aged man at my local newsagency this morning when he picked up a paper headlining Ray Hadley's current nightmare.
I won't say the man was delighting in the 2GB radio host's presumed misery, but he was certainly delighting in reading about Hadley's wife, Suzanne, dating NSW Origin assistant coach Matt Parish.
"The problem with too many men is they're unwilling to deal with emotional pain and this is what causes so much of the devastating violence in relationships."
It's an important distinction. Hadley polarises people with his aggressive, opinion-driven style of radio and it is a market reaction for which he has banked millions. Nonetheless, I do not think there are many of us, given the opportunity to share a beer with Hadley, who would not sympathise with what he is going through.
Suzanne and Ray Hadley. Photo: Supplied
If you actually cheer when another human being suffers, I pity you, not Ray Hadley.
We've all been where he is. To love someone and for them not to want you is one of the worst experiences you can have in life short of a death in the family. To have it played out on the front pages of newspapers must be horrendous.
Whether Hadley realises it or not, he is just about to have one of life's biggest growth experiences forced on to him – hearing "no". From what is whispered of Hadley's influence and power in the Sydney media, I'd wager it's not a word he encounters too often.
Being told "no" by someone you love, that "it's over, I'm not coming back, I don't want you in my life anymore" – jeez, it's never pretty. It then becomes "no, I will not stop seeing them", "no, I don't have to do what you say", "no, I don't care what you think about my personal life".
In his book The Way of the Superior Man, author David Deida writes: "If a man wants a woman who doesn't want him, he cannot win."
"His neediness will undermine any possible relationship and his woman will never be able to trust him," says Deida. "A man must determine whether a woman really wants him, but is playing hard to get, or whether she really doesn't want him. If she doesn't want him, he should immediately cease pursuing her and deal with his pain by himself."
The problem with too many men is they're unwilling to deal with emotional pain and this is what causes so much of the devastating violence in relationships – guys try to enforce their will on their partner, or they abuse drugs and alcohol to escape it, and then claim: "I didn't know what I doing."
This is what I have to say to those guys, and I include myself and Hadley among them: "There, there, diddums."
There are now going to be thousands of eyes on Hadley, watching how he comports himself. Allegations by NSW Origin coach Laurie Daley that Hadley was "way out of line" in "attempting to exert his influence and power to have Parish disciplined or stood down" suggest Hadley is not taking his situation on the chin.
A lot of blokes will characterise this sort of petty jealousy as "fighting for the relationship" or "standing by their woman" but it's more about ego. Hadley said this morning on his radio show he was trying to "get some dignity from a very undignified situation" but the hard truth is he is no longer in control of the situation or his wife.
She can be as "undignified" as she wants. Hadley's inability to accept this irreducible fact is what has caused a private matter to now become very public. He would not take "no" for an answer.
It sucks when there are kids involved; it sucks when you know the person they are dating; it sucks if you have to run into them regularly. But it's something thousands of Aussie men and women go through every day.
And you know what? You're only punishing yourself by not accepting it. You're postponing the pain you have to go through, and stamping your footsies isn't going to change it.