Life isn’t fair no one ever said it would be.
Not talking about “life” here but the “kingdom” where things ]ushould be fair and even more fail.
The OP was concerned about something he perceived occurring within the Church and ask about the fairness of it. A perfectly legitimate question.
I agree with 1ke; it’s most probably a mistake by your work friend (or someone advising him) about the state of his marriage, rather than a different rule for him than for you.
I’m sorry for your situation. It sounds very hard to deal with, and I commend you for your strength. If your wife is unwilling to seek a decree of nullity of her previous marriage, however, I don’t know what else you can do.