When you think of controversial TheDirty.com website founder Nik Richie, the last adjectives that spring to mind are caring, compassionate -- or -- emotional -- but a source close to the 34-year-old tells RadarOnline.com that the Couples Therapy star is absolutely "heartbroken" over his current separation from wife, Shayne Lamas , and "desperate" to fix the situation.
As Radar exclusively reported, Lamas was hospitalized Tuesday after struggling to cope with "marital stress" caused by the deterioration of her near three-year-long marriage to Richie -- with a close friend of the blonde beauty blaming her blogger-turned-reality star hubby's non-stop partying for being at the root of their woes.
"I've known Nik since back in high school and although I'm the first to say what an a**hole he can be, I can also attest to the other side of him, the side that only his close friends and family get to see," the source says.
"Nik LOVES to put on a show, and be outrageous and confrontational and like he doesn't give a damn about anyone or anything aside from himself, and that is, admittedly, a part of him - but when it comes to the people he holds dear, his inner circle of friends, his family, his wife and his daughter, it's a whole different game.
"He is absolutely heartbroken over this situation right now with Shayne, and terrified he could lose her. He loves her and their daughter Press and is committed to making their marriage work.
"Nik knows that he's f**ked up, he knows he's been partying way too hard and that Shayne's feeling neglected and like she's just stuck at home with the baby while he's out having fun every night -- but as ridiculous as it sounds, the dude IS actually working -- he doesn't even drink alcohol unless he's being paid to!
"When Shayne got with him she knew what Nik was about, the act he puts on, all the 'bad boy bullsh*t' and she's been living pretty damn well off the money he earns from it. She's a sweetheart but she has got some serious issues of her own.
"She loves attention, she's a drama queen, she's immature, she had a pretty messed up childhood and family dynamic, and it's always got to be about her -- I'm frankly amazed Nik has stuck it out for as long as he has, but he loves that girl, she's his heart and he is desperate to fix things with her -- to make it right.
"I honestly, in the years I've known Nik, have never seen him this down and despondent about anything -- even that dumb Sara Jones defamation lawsuit where he stands to possibly get totally wiped out financially. The dude is down deep, and I'm worried about him. He's popping Xanax like candy because he is so stressed he can't breath and he can't eat. Nik's a wreck right now."
Meanwhile, when reached for comment, Richie told Radar, "I'm sick to my stomach right now. I just want to talk to Shayne and work through this -- together. I love her."
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