To not want to see my friend after this revelation.....

(106 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 17:11:32

I have a friend that I have known for 14 years now. When we were younger we were really close but then as life got in the way we didn't see each other as often. These days we meet up for a good old chat every few months and go out for a meal etc and I'm due to be seeing her this Monday.

My sister just phoned me, who is also friends with his girl, and told me that this afternoon our friend confided that she has started seeing a married man who also has children - the youngest of which is only a baby of 5 months old shock My friend, despite being 32 has never had a serious relationship, she goes from disaster to disaster, she lets men lie to her and use her, she goes for the wrong type all the time, sleeps with men because she thinks they will then like her etc etc - I'm sure you get the picture. But I never, ever, ever thought she would go this far.

My sister was really upset as she has not long broke up with the father of her children (after 10 years together) because it transpired he was having an affair. Our friend can't understand why my sister is so upset and sees no problem with what she is doing. Apparently our friend is convinced this is something special and has "never felt anything like it..." She was complaining to my sister that she never gets to see this guy because the baby is taking up all his time.

Now, I'm absolutely dreading seeing her. I'm upset on my sisters behalf but also, I'm currently pregnant and I know I will sitting there, listening to her talk about it like it isn't an issue, whilst imagining that it could be me at home with the new born whilst the husband is out cheating. I don't know how I'm going to be able to stay friendly or calm with her....

I'm tempted to just text her and cancel.
I know we shouldn't be judgemental, but I really don't think I can sit there and listen to her or face her.

I would be so judgemental. Not only would I cancel, I would tell her exactly why I was cancelling.

What she's doing is dreadful. What the man is doing is even worse.

mrspremise Sat 14-Dec-13 17:15:42

I think you've made your own decision in your OP. If you don't agree with it, you should be able to be upfront about your feelings without worrying about being called 'judgemental'. smile

Pancakeflipper Sat 14-Dec-13 17:17:43

If you don't want to meet then cancel.
She will at some point want to know why you are avoiding her. I know it's obvious to you but she's on another planet at the moment.
If she is someone you care about you could add that you will be there after he's had his fun and ends it.
She sounds mixed up and lonely but that's no justification to have an affair.

HanneHolm Sat 14-Dec-13 17:18:36

do oyu KNOW this to be true

yourself?

lougle Sat 14-Dec-13 17:22:31

Your friend is no different now than then. If you can't cope with her decision, then your friendship is over, isn't it? She's wrong to be seeing a married man but he's (more) wrong too.

I would speak to her and find out if it is true first.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 17:23:24

Well my sister has been with our friend this afternoon and that's when she told her - so yes, it is true. It would be a very odd thing for my sister to make up wouldn't it?! My sister was genuinely upset.

HanneHolm Sat 14-Dec-13 17:25:39

i had similar with a mate
i called her a bloody fool, and that was it/

she is now with the guy and much happier. It wasnt my relationship to disapprove of, my loyalty was to her - not to judge her or withold firendship

Imo tell her you dont approve then move on

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 14-Dec-13 17:25:40

I've seen some great advice from Cogito on another thread about the same issue. Being a friend means giving someone space to make their own mistakes. Be a friend or don't. It's up to you, nobody minds either way.

I personally wouldn't - and didn't - ditch a friend for dating a married man, it's her business. I supported her when she fell apart and was a friend to her. Our friendship is broken (or fractured) but this is due to her not being much of a friend since the affair exploded, not because of the affair itself.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Sat 14-Dec-13 17:27:53

She was complaining to my sister that she never gets to see this guy because the baby is taking up all his time. Judge away. In face could you judge a little extra for me too? I would tell her that I love her, will be there for her when this relationship ends, but that I couldn't support her in this.

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Sat 14-Dec-13 17:28:30

*fact not face

RoseRedder Sat 14-Dec-13 17:29:01

Do you want to end your friendship over this?

You say she lets men lie to her and use her, she goes for the wrong type all the time, sleeps with men because she thinks they will then like her etc etc -

The man in question is more at fault than your friend.

She is single, he is married with a young family.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 17:30:22

I text my friend and asked her outright if she was seeing a married man who had a new baby.....she replied with various excuses and justifications etc. She told me that she hadn't known about his circumstances at first and then ended it when she found out but that she is still in contact with him. I asked her why only this afternoon then had she told my sister that she was seeing him, had been for months and has then been complaining that the baby was getting in the way but she hasn't replied....

She knows full well what my reaction would be to this news which is why she hasn't told me herself. I know for a fact we'd have gone out on Monday, spent hours together and she wouldn't have told me. My friend knows I'd tell her exactly what I thought whereas my sister doesn't find it quite so easy to tell it like it is.

AnyFuckersfrogslegs35 Sat 14-Dec-13 17:32:00

If it's 100% true then yanbu.
I'd want to hear it from her own mouth.

raisah Sat 14-Dec-13 17:32:15

I would meet up with her and tell her exactly what you said in your thread and then never see her again. I would explain that as she has no qualms about starting a relationship with a married man then she may do the same to me. So for that reason and for wanting to protect my own marriage, I would cut her loose. Her primary concern is her own pleasure, she isn't concerned about the negative implications that her behaviour will have on others. I couldn't be friends with somebody like that and that's my choice, I wouldn't judge somebody who chose to stand by her.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 17:33:18

The thing that gets me is that she knows what shit my sister went through when it came out her partner had been cheating. Our friend was so angry and so disgusted with the whole situation, especially the concept that men can do that when children are involved - but now she is the OW herself and bragging about it to my sister!!! I think that's what I feel so angry about.

raisah Sat 14-Dec-13 17:33:49

I would meet up with her and tell her exactly what you said in your thread and then never see her again. I would explain that as she has no qualms about starting a relationship with a married man then she may do the same to me. So for that reason and for wanting to protect my own marriage, I would cut her loose. Her primary concern is her own pleasure, she isn't concerned about the negative implications that her behaviour will have on others. I couldn't be friends with somebody like that and that's my choice, I wouldn't judge somebody who chose to stand by her.

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Sat 14-Dec-13 17:38:09

I would do what others have suggested.

Tell her you can't support her in this, but you will be there when it goes wrong, which it will do.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 17:39:24

It doesn't help that she has quite a few personality traits that aren't nice. I think the only reason I still stay in touch is out of habit if that makes sense? She is a very selfish person, can't be happy for anyone else and in general is quite a difficult character. Not many people take to her at all. I'm sitting here trying to even think of a reason as to why I want to see her. When I told her I was pregnant she didn't even say congratulations (she is very jealous of anyone in relationships or having forms of commitment etc). I have had lots of problems during my pregnancy, both concerns about my health and baby, and not once has she even text to check if I'm ok. Don't get me wrong, she does have some very lovely characteristics too and she has had a hard life but she is a very defensive person and people in general just find it hard to like her.

honeythewitch Sat 14-Dec-13 17:40:22

Please bear in mind that what she said and what your sister heard might not be the same.
Without meaning to, we often mis-hear, or misinterpret, especially if we are shocked.

BerryChristmas Sat 14-Dec-13 17:40:29

None of your business. Tell her she's a fool if you must, but butt out after that.

ravenAK Sat 14-Dec-13 17:42:30

I'd agree with giving her space to make her own mistakes.

My best friend is going out with an utter abusive cockwomble who makes her behave like a self destructive arse. sad.

We've had a couple of frank exchanges about it.

The only thing that works is that we agree to disagree. There's no point endlessly discussing it further as neither of us is going to change our mind - the eventual outcome is going to be either that she marries him & our friendship is highly unlikely to survive that, or she comes to her senses/he dumps her & I open the champagne help her pick up the pieces.

In the meantime, I'm pissed off with certain aspects of her behaviour, but she's in a shitty situation, she's been very effectively cut off from all her other friends by the cockwomble - so I'm not going to stop being her friend before I absolutely have to, iyswim.

I'd just shut her up the minute she starts telling you about her married bloke tbh. Tell her calmly that you don't approve, but it's her life, & can you change the subject please?

Of course she may then flounce out on you, but you're no worse off...

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 17:43:26

I know it's none of my business berry - that's my issue, lol. I don't want her to make it my business, I don't want her to tell me about it, I don't want to have to hear about it. But at the same time I can't just go out with her and act like what she is doing is fine. I will have no idea what to say to her because it will always be at the forefront of my mind - I can imagine the awkward silences....... hmm

foreverondiet Sat 14-Dec-13 17:50:23

I would go, hear it from her directly and then tell her in person what I think.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 14-Dec-13 17:50:38

Just keep changing the subject, Writer, if she quizzes you it you can say that you don't want to know about it and will she please respect that. Then breezily chat about any and all other subjects. It's difficult, I know, but it can be done.

If there are two many silences then meet less frequently.

monicalewinski Sat 14-Dec-13 17:54:37

Just tell her.

My (married with children) friend had an affair, my husband had an affair (not with her!). I didn't fall out with her because she was a friend I truly cared about and she was also on self destruct - the fact I had personal hurt on the same subject didn't make me feel differently about her, but I did spell it out to her in no uncertain terms exactly the devastation she was wreaking on herself, her family and the married man's family. She distanced from me initially but as I was the only one being honest whilst not judgy she ended up coming back to me in the end and the affair finished (happy endings for all concerned thankfully) - we are still v v close to this day.

Be honest with her about how you feel, it's the best way to be.

Famzilla Sat 14-Dec-13 17:54:57

I have a friend who does stuff like this. Incredibly self destructive, no self worth, no regard for other people etc.

Well, she's not really a friend. I meet up with her and give her a non judgemental ear for an hour or so. She has no friends and although I can see why, I feel sorry for her and I can spare some time to go "mmhhhmm" once in a while because I know it's therapeutic for her. Like your friend, she has had an awful life and the way I view it is that it's not her fault she is the way she is.

fluffyraggies Sat 14-Dec-13 17:57:56

Well, you've already told her that you know about the affair, and from the tone of your 2nd text (and the fact that she hasn't replied) it must be obvious that you're not impressed.

I don't think YABU. Its not rocket science that there are certain things a person could do which would make you not want to carry on a friendship with them. Even if that thing didn't effect you personally. Racist behaviour towards other people, cruelty to animals, affair with married bloke with new baby ... all good reasons for me personally.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 17:58:10

You're right - I will go and hear it from her own mouth. I absolutely trust what my sister says over her though smile She will bend the truth in order to avoid a telling-off from me.

I just don't know why she keeps doing it to herself - she always meets the most absolute wankers who treat her like total shit but she convinces herself that it's love and it will be something special. They treat her like crap, it goes wrong EVERY single time, she never learns and we are all a bit tired of picking up the pieces. Everyone else can see these men for what they are, we warn her, she ignores us and just makes the same mistakes over and over and over again- she doesn't listen to anyone who tries to make her see sense. It's infuriating! After 16 years of this repetitive cycle it gets a bit wearing.

In some ways I feel a bit sorry for her as there are 6 of us from the initial close friendship we had (including my sister) and all of us, except my friend, have long term partners, husbands and children. I think she pulls away from us quite a lot because she feels like she is being left behind. She is just so, so desperate to be loved that she will blindly go off with any man who shows a passing interest,throw herself into it and convince herself that it's the 'real thing' instead of just seeing them for what they really are.

lydiamama Sat 14-Dec-13 18:00:38

You do not have to see her, or listen to her if you do not feel like it, you are pregnant. She is heading to a very low dark place though, so if you can try to get a common friend to try and talk some common sense into her

monicalewinski Sat 14-Dec-13 18:06:15

Why don't you just be brutally upfront and tell her what you just posted - exactly.

Make the point that you are telling her this because you want her to break the self-destruct cycle. It sounds like she is setting herself up to fail every time, and now it has come to the point that she is potentially harming other people it is time to stop.

Be honest (not nasty), just blunt - firm and fair.

Tiptops Sat 14-Dec-13 18:12:18

Sounds like she has very, very low self esteem and needs validation from a man to feel good, no matter who that man is. Not that it is any excuse, just what comes across from your post at 17:58.

You absolutely don't have to see her if you don't want to, but I think a face to face conversation about how wrong this is and how disappointed in her you are would hit home more than just a snub by text message. I'd try hard not to go in angry initially as it may just make her defensive, try and coax her into seeing it from the other side.

Timetoask Sat 14-Dec-13 18:13:48

Tell her that she needs therapy, there must be a reason why she always gets involved in destructive relationships.
Personally, I prefer to have friends with a moral compass, so I wouldn't see her again.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sat 14-Dec-13 18:17:26

"She is just so, so desperate to be loved that she will blindly go off with any man who shows a passing interest, throw herself into it and convince herself that it's the 'real thing' instead of just seeing them for what they really are."

This rang a bell to me. I met my DH at 23 and before that I was so desperate to be loved (no one ever had before, including "family") and have some security (lived in many many places) I just figured a ring on my finger = security. When I met DH and actually knew I loved him as it was so soon after meeting (2 or so months in) I doubted myself.

Maybe she doesn't think she deserves happy ever after so takes bad boys as better than nothing (also rings bellssad.)

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 18:17:39

You're right tiptops - she doesn't haven't any self esteem. I think that's why we all put up with her constant destructive behaviours, because we feel sorry for her. She was kicked out when she was 16, her parents aren't bothered about her, her brothers aren't bothered with her, people she considers to be close friends are pretty vile to her - but she just accepts it. It drives me crazy when I see what types of behaviour she accepts from other people, it's like she doesn't think she deserves any better. She probably thinks having a married man with children be 'in love' with her is like having some kind of status....

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 18:19:35

And yes tofee - she will take bad boys over nothing. Honestly, some of the guys she has entered into 'relationships' with..... It chills me. They are horrible to her, ashamed of her, nasty to her, they use her and she just lets them.

AnnaKissed Sat 14-Dec-13 18:23:26

I was in a very similar situation (pregnant, close friend having an affair with a married man.) We stayed friends but I made sure she knew what I thought of her actions, and maybe she listened to me a bit because we had been friends for so long, I don't know. He eventually left his wife for my friend and they are still together now, but whenever we talk about their relationship or his children, I clearly stand up for the ex-wife as much as I can. So maybe hearing the hard truth from an old friend would be good for her.

Just another thought, but you say he is married man who also has children - the youngest of which is only a baby of 5 months old but could he be separated already from his wife? Maybe that's just my wishful thinking?

AmberLeaf Sat 14-Dec-13 18:24:16

Do what you feel is best for you.

Your friend sounds like she has self esteem problems.

A friend of mine had a brief affair with a married man, like your friend, she didn't know at the outset that he was married. When she found out and told me, I said that people, including her will get hurt. She did see him for a little longer, then ended it. I didn't 'approve' but I wasn't going to end our friendship because of it. She was still my friend even though she was doing something questionable.

I also have another friend who has very shit taste in men and seems not to learn, well, she is learning now finally. I know it can be frustrating when you feel like your advice is being ignored, but if a person has self esteem problems it isn't as easy as just listening to what someone else says and changing your actions. low self esteem is deeply ingrained. It is very hard to change the way you value yourself. The model of relationships that you grow up with is also very influencial and difficult to re-learn.

Life and relationships is complex, it really isn't so black and white.

maddy68 Sat 14-Dec-13 18:24:25

Friendship should not be conditional. Sometimes people make bad choices. Yes tell her your views but she should know that you love her anyway despite everything

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sat 14-Dec-13 18:25:24

There is one guy I let treat me badly for years. We were both very young, wanting different things and even when we were grown up I still took any crap as having him about with tears was better than not having him. When I think back to that time I allowed myself to be treated badly, but I was also asking for too much, I just know it was because I didn't think I deserved the bits in my life that were great so I was on a self destructive mission.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sat 14-Dec-13 18:26:56

But I am not sure the OP does "love her" maddy68.

maddy68 Sat 14-Dec-13 18:28:10

I'm not sure she dies either. In which case she should maybe re evaluate her 'friendship'

maddy68 Sat 14-Dec-13 18:28:25

Does!!

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 18:28:28

I don't love her - I tolerate her because of how long I have known her and because I know she doesn't really have any friends. That sounds awful I know.

scaevola Sat 14-Dec-13 18:28:40

You do not have to condone life choices of which you disapprove.

You do not have to associate with people who are living in ways you disapprove of.

You can however tell her that you will be around to help pick up the pieces.

You could stay in touch, if you both agree you can leave this issue to one side.

AmberLeaf Sat 14-Dec-13 18:34:14

I feel sorry for her.

Her low self esteem means she picks crap men/relationships and is surrounded by fake friends [inc you OP from what you have just said] and her family sound toxic.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 18:44:38

It is hard for her to have true friends as she doesn't make the effort with anyone. She only wants people around her when something big is happening in her life. The only time I ever hear from her is if she wants to talk about something - and more often than not it will be her latest 'relationship'. Like I said, she hasn't once contacted me during my pregnancy to check I'm ok, despite knowing all the problems I was having. If something isn't directly happening to her then she isn't interested. I see her a few times a year and I'm under no illusion that we have a close friendship, it is just one of habit. I don't dislike her, I'm not nasty to her at all, I make time for her but at the same time she is very,very hard work.

The sad thing is that she's actually done really well for herself - she has always worked as soon as she left school, she had to seeing as she was kicked out. Alongside having to work she still went to college and she has recently completed a degree - all of which she has funded herself through sheer hard work. She is really, really dedicated and never expects anything from anyone, she has worked for everything she has - but she doesn't see this as making her a worthwhile person. She sees a person as only being worthwhile if they have a relationship or a family, and she is just so desperate for it to happen to her.

Balaboosta Sat 14-Dec-13 18:48:25

I don't agree with one thing you are doing, which is to conduct this dialogue with her via text and hearsay (well your sister, but not the actual horse's mouth). What's with that. Speak to her. You will say whatever you say iyswim. And see if the friendship survives it.

XiCi Sat 14-Dec-13 19:00:13

From your posts I just feel desperately sorry for her. Sounds like she needs a real friend whilst you just sound smug about how better life has turned out for you and your other friends and overly judgmental about her admittedly bad life choices so far. She clearly needs support, if you really are a friend then give it to her or just let her be instead of slagging her off. Things seem bad enough for her as it is without so called friends wading in to stick the knife in

XiCi Sat 14-Dec-13 19:02:13

And if she's not a friend just admit it to yourself and let it go instead of all this angst

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sat 14-Dec-13 19:02:47

OP, I don't think you sound smug.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 14-Dec-13 19:11:27

What XiCi said. I typed out much the same and didn't post. Pity friendships are worth nothing at all. Let you 'friend' know that you aren't interested in the friendship and maybe she'll make the effort to find some new ones or manage on her own.

BlueSkySunnyDay Sat 14-Dec-13 19:16:58

I disagree with xici completely I think friendship should be a two way street, it sounds like you give, give, give and she takes, takes, takes - if you are happy with a friendship like that then tell her you are not impressed (and tell her you cant believe she would be so insensitive as to run this past your sister who has had the same done to her) I suspect, as you dont want to be an "audience" to her latest drama that you wont hear from her much until its all done and dusted.

It sounds to me like you have tried your very best to be a good friend but sometime people are just unlikeable, she wouldnt thank you for being a friend just because she doesnt have any others and if this cuckoo wanted to take root in your nest gut feeling is she wouldnt let your "friendship" stop her.

I had a few one way friendships over the years now I just find them too emotionally draining - I do feel sorry for people who are this damaged but its up to them to sort themselves out not me.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 19:25:33

She has got plenty of friends - we don't even live in the same County. I see her maybe twice or three times a year.

The 'close' friends she does have, I.e the ones that she lives near and socialises with, I have met on a few occasions but from what she tells me, they are pretty horrible to her. She admits to herself that they are but when I ask why she allows them to be like that she can't give an answer. She just thinks it is all she deserves and that it's better than nothing.

I don't class her as a close friend and I imagine she doesn't class me as one either, we both know how things are - we just have a history that goes a long way back and so stay in touch. I arranged this meet up because I wanted to congratulate her on getting through her degree as I know she has found it hard at times.

I'm not smug - I feel somewhere between angry at her (because of how it has upset my sister) and also sad for her. I just wish she could see that she deserves so much better.

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Sat 14-Dec-13 19:31:29

'as she has no qualms about starting a relationship with a married man then she may do the same to me.'

The married person in any affair scenario is more at fault and should be judged more harshly than the single person, IMO.

Idespair Sat 14-Dec-13 19:40:45

I'd go, hear it from her and try and educate her.
A man who is out cheating whilst his wife is looking after their 5mo baby is nothing but a shitbag. No excuses whatsoever in that scenario. Can your friend not see that? Does she want a shitbag? What does she think he will be doing if and when they have a 5mo baby together - out cheating with the next silly little girl, which frankly is what she sounds like.

needaholidaynow Sat 14-Dec-13 19:47:41

Not sure it's something I would dump a friend overto be honest. I mean, if the subject came up, I'd offer my opinion about it and be looking out for her, telling her to keep her head on her shoulders as it won't be an easy ride. I wouldn't just dump her in the mud like that; her head is somewhere else and she needs people to give tell her about the bad side about getting with a married man/ a man with children (future stepmum? Some women would be put off right there!) Ultimately it's her decison how she proceeds but unless this affects yours or sister's family life personally, then you should just support her and give her your opinion, and let her proceed how she wants to proceed.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 19:50:21

She likes to wear rose tinted glasses - she is so naive to it all.

The last guy she had (he was about 45 I think) would come and visit her Fri-Sun - though she had to pay for his train fares as he 'couldn't afford it. They would have sex but wouldn't sleep in the same bed as her and would always leave her bedroom after the deed was done and sleep on the sofa instead?? He would spend each day he was there doing nothing but drinking alcohol and eating her food. He would typically sit there and send text messages to his ex girlfriend - telling her he still loved her and missed her - and my friend just let him. My friend knew exactly what the texts said but she always made excuses for him...... hmm Unless she contacted him in the week she didn't really hear from him.

No matter how much I and other people told her what an idiot she was making of herself, she told us we were all wrong, we didn't know him like she did and they had something that could be really special.

He soon got bored and ended it.

That is how every relationship she has goes - she doesn't seem to have any clue as to what a nice, normal man is. She seems to be accepting of so much shitty behaviour.

DontmindifIdo Sat 14-Dec-13 20:08:58

I have met woman who have low self esteam actually target married men because a) if another woman wants him, he must be a bloke worth having (particularly woman who've got a history of dating wankers), b) if they are rejected by a married man, it's because he's married, he doesn't want to have an affair, she isn't being rejected, he's just being a good guy, it's not like a single man turning her down because then it must be just about not wanting her.

This also feeds into not being able to see him much - it's not that he's chosing not to see her often, or just isn't interested in her, he can't, so it's ok.

Plus if she's worried about being hurt, it's safer, it can't go anywhere so she can't get her hopes up just to be dashed.

I would meet up with her and ask her what does she want from her life, does she want to be married with DCs? It's perfectly valid not to want these things, but this man, as he's married to someone else either can't give her those things, or if he did, it wouldn't be a good life with him, he can't be trusted. If she just wants fun, then this man will give her that, although it's a shitty way to go about it, but if she wants family and commitment, no matter how much she thinks she loves him, she needs to end it and look for someone who can give her that. No decent bloke will want to ask out a woman who's in a relationship with someone else, esp if that someone else is married.

Kandypane Sat 14-Dec-13 20:09:54

Tell her what you think but still be friends with her. At some point the shit will hit the fan and she will need you.

Some people are just desperate to be loved.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 20:15:37

That's the thing dontmind - she is absolutely desperate for marriage and children, it's all she has ever wanted. Even when we were 16 she used to daydream and fantasise about it. That's why I can't understand why she is wasting her time with men where commitment/family is off the cards. I would love her to just meet someone 'normal' and decent who treats her right, but she doesn't. It is bizarre. When we have talks about where she sees her life going and what she wants from her life it it always ends in her crying. She knows how self destructive she is but she can't change her pattern of behaviour. She has told me that if by the time she is 33 she isn't in a serious relationship she will go to thenSperm Bank. All she wants is a baby, I actually don't think it matters to her who the father is. I think she just wants to be able to say to people 'I have a partner/husband' and the finer details, I.e if he is a nice person or not isn't really relevant.

DontmindifIdo Sat 14-Dec-13 20:42:22

Then perhaps just say to her you don't want to discuss details, you're not going to tell her off, but that you know that she wants marriage and children, and this man isn't going to be the one to give those to her, or if he does, then she won't have a happy, settled life, she'll be waiting for him to cheat on her. That even worse, being in a relationship with the wrong man means that any decent men she meets will not ask her out, because a decent man wouldn't chase after a woman in a relationship with someone else.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 20:49:24

I think it is the hypocrisy that gets to me. When I think about how she reacted when it came out about my sister's partner being a cheat...

My friend probably thinks this man will leave his wife to be with her and bring the children too - a ready made family. I know that sounds extreme, but that's what she's like.

MajesticWhine Sat 14-Dec-13 20:50:29

She sounds very damaged and lacking in self worth. It would be worthwhile seeing her, just to try and get the message across.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 20:55:06

I've been giving her the same message for a good 13 years - as has everyone else - it goes in one ear and out the other. That's why we all get so frustrated. As another poster said, she is just draining. It is the same issue over and over again, year after year after year. There is only so many times you can face hearing about her latest drama and repeating the same advice for it to go ignored again.

RoseRedder Sat 14-Dec-13 21:31:15

cut all ties if that is how you feel

You seem to not like her/herlifestyle so just cut contact

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 21:40:49

I do like her, she has some lovely qualities but if she just dropped her negative attitude she would be much easier to handle. She isn't a nasty or horrible person, she goes out of her way to do nice things for people, she is very thoughtful, helps people out financially if she can etc but it is just difficult when she makes her life hard for herself. It's uncomfortable to watch. I hate seeing her cry, I hate seeing yet another man crush her but I don't know how to deal with it anymore. It's hard watching someone you are friends with make so many mistakes and repeatedly get hurt - but if she won't take anyone's advice it's hard to know how to deal with her. I just wish she could see all the positive things she has in her life (including many aspects of her personality) and see that she deserves a nice and normal guy just as much as the next person does.

AmberLeaf Sat 14-Dec-13 21:50:15

It is hard for her to have true friends as she doesn't make the effort with anyone

Does she know how?

All the stuff with men just sounds like she doesn't think she is worth treating well.

Dontmindifido
Really good post. Its sort of like self sabotage isn't it.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 14-Dec-13 21:57:14

She's just so complicated - like I said she is kind and does lovely things for people but in term of forming attachments, that's where she falls down. Like she hosted a baby shower for a mutual friend, which was lovely of her to do, but when our friend was having problems in our marriage there was no support. She will dip in and out of people's lives, not really showing any genuine concern or interest if they are having a difficult time. She will make grand gestures (like the baby shower) but when it comes to the day to day maintenance of friendships and just generally 'being there' she can't cope with it. She will do things for people but only if she thinks it will make them like her more. She only 'dips in' to our lives if she wants to try and do something to impress us or if she wants to talk about her recent relationship and have everyone's attention, and sympathy and focus on her.

It's just so difficult because beneath all her complexities she is a really nice woman, she just doesn't know how to show it and she rubs people up the wrong way.

AmberLeaf Sat 14-Dec-13 22:07:12

You said her parents threw her out at 16, I can imagine that and whatever came before it, would have an impact on her ability to form attachments?

Sounds like she does what she thinks 'works' and favours grand gestures to detract from her shortcomings.

Its a shame that she doesn't seem to get much pride out of her achievements.

Balistapus Sat 14-Dec-13 22:19:40

I used to be like your friend, although I only ever got involved with single men and changed my ways after reassessing my life after a bereavement.

I only ever contacted my friends when something happened in my life, otherwise I waited for them to contact me. This was because I felt that I actually had something of interest to tell them and that at other times I would just be bothering them.

I would get involved with emotionally unavailable men because ( i realise now) that I wanted to fix my relationship with my mother. She was emotionally distant and I wished I could find a way to behave to get her to act like she loved me. Subconsciously I though I would find a way to 'turn' one of these men and then use the technique with my mother. Sounds bizarre I know....

If I imagine myself in your friend's position, I think she feels really special because she thinks She's more important to this man than his wife or baby.

Hth

McFox Sat 14-Dec-13 22:20:25

If she just isn't much of a friend anyway, and you can't think of a reason why you'd want to see her, then the friendship seems like it's probably over.

I cut a friend out earlier this year for behaviour which isn't too dissimilar to your mate's. I don't miss having someone so self-centred in my life. There is literally nothing in the past 7 months that I wish we done together. If you feel so strongly about the way she's acting, you might feel the same.

BlueSkySunnyDay Sun 15-Dec-13 00:38:48

You made her sound really self centered and a waste of time in your earlier posts but subsequently have said she has some nice points.

I dont know - the friends I decided not to bother with were consistently draining and any contact was always on their terms With one I was expected to go to anything arranged by her if she decided to invite me but she rarely even did anything for me and often let me down with a pack of lies at the last minute. The other was in the marriage from hell and despite numerous people giving her practical advice and emotional support was just never geting out of it. Every time I saw or spoke to either I felt exhausted and depressed and we just kept going over the same problems again, and again, and again.

It must be getting old to have to keep going through the drama over the relationships and seeing her making the same mistakes - you are either the kind of person who does have the time and energy for it or like me decide to bow out and hope they eventually sort their lives out on their own. I dont wish either any ill will, I hope they are eventually happy, I just cant keep on being emotionally bled dry by them.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 16-Dec-13 16:08:14

Well I met up with my friend and instead of feeling angry with her I just feel incredibly, incredibly sorry for her. She has clearly met an absolute shit who knows EXACTLY what to say to make a vulnerable woman feel special. He's fed her all the usual lines about how bad things are at home but he can't bear to leave because of how much he'll miss his children etc. He's told my friend how special she is and how much he misses her when they aren't together and how proud he is of things she has achieved in her life......blah, blah, blah. And she just laps it up.......She was actually sitting there trying to defend him when I was telling her what a complete bastard he is!! She said, "It's not just about sex, he really likes me, it just feels so right....." hmm

She found out about the girlfriend (not wife) and their two children when she searched for him on Facebook. How cliche. He has since blocked my friend from his Facebook Account - I guess he doesn't want her to see that actually home life is pretty good and happy, certainly not the Hell he made it out to be. The youngest is only 2 months old and this 'wonderful guy' started seeing my friend just before the baby was born.

We had a good long chat and tried to make her see what an evil, vile, cheating wanker this guy is, and although she goes, "I know....." it's just words. She found out 3 weeks ago about his home life situation but has said they are still in touch. She said she isn't going to see him again (yeah right) but they text each other throughout the day frequently and speak on the phone every 2 days.

He's got my friend right where he wants her - I bet he's having a great laugh at her expense and feeling very smug about how gullible she is so he can have his weekend fun when he tells his girlfriend he's away working. It is quite clear from how he is behaving that this isn't the first time he's had an affair and my friend probably isn't the only 'OW' that he has on the scene.

I just sat there, looking at my friend, feeling incredibly, incredibly sorry for her. Why can't she see what everyone else can......

MrsTerrysChocolateOrange Mon 16-Dec-13 17:22:04

Poor thing. How awful for her, the kids, the DP, everyone. What an enormous wanker this man is. sad

sparechange Mon 16-Dec-13 17:32:31

God, I feel genuinely sorry for this girl. She sounds in desperate need of some counselling, for starters.

I never think any good can come of OWs revealing themselves to the wife or partner of the person they are having an affair with, but this is probably as close as I would come to supporting someone lifting the lid on this.

The poor DW of that shitbag, I bet he is manipulating your mate enough to have unprotected sex if it suits him better.
Not to mention that he sounds like an emotionally abusive wanker.

Do you know his name to look him up on FB?

Writerwannabe83 Mon 16-Dec-13 17:44:58

I know his first name spare but not his surname. I've seen photos of them together that she has on her phone. From all the things she was telling me he sounds like an absolute bastard. Apparently when he comes down every weekend (he lives in Scotland) he pays for everything, she said he easily spends about £150 each time she seems him. How lucky his girlfriend is to be sat at home with a toddler and a newborn whilst he's out blowing all that money on his mistress. It just disgusts me. The sad thing though is that my friend genuinely believes this guy has feelings for her and that he just 'misunderstood'....she was even trying to get me to feel sorry for him at one point. Apparently he feels really bad about what he's doing.... hmm She told me they are using condoms, can't say I believe her though. I have told her to go and have an STI check as I'm pretty sure he has other women dotted about...

Joysmum Mon 16-Dec-13 17:59:22

My friends are people I have things in common with and share my outlook on life. I could no more be friendly to a murderer than someone who ruins lives by having affairs.

Yes, I have been cheated on in the past and that's why I'd not want to have anything to do with a cheater.

kennyp Mon 16-Dec-13 18:36:39

i had a good friend who was having an affair with someone at work. it's got absolutely nothing to do with me what she does in her spare time. if it was a friend of mine doing that now with a married man with a 5m old child then obviously it's not ideal but they're both adults and seriously i'd keep my nose out.

friends of mine have done things that are illegal/immoral/dodgy etc, but unless someone's in danger then it's got fuck all to do with me.

Yika Mon 16-Dec-13 20:22:51

Some very insightful posts from AmberLeaf and Dontmindifido.

Why not just tell her that you find this constant drama and repeatedlty self-destructive behaviour draining and that you need to keep your distance from it (and consequently her) for a while? It is hard to watch this kind of thing but telling her home truths isn't likely to help. The realisation has to dawn on her from within, and who knows when that might be.

LovesBaublingTheTreeAgain Mon 16-Dec-13 21:03:25

If she was an amazing friend aside from this then maybe you could just never talk about, but she's not. Cull!

MissWinter01 Mon 16-Dec-13 21:07:48

I would just tell her you don't agree and do not want to hear anything about it.

I don't think it's worth losing a friendship over. Hopefully she'll accept your feelings and that'll be that.

Julietee Mon 16-Dec-13 21:12:56

I haven't read the full 4 pages, but I really don't think who she shags is your business to judge. For all you know husband and wife could have an arrangement where either of them are allowed sex outside of the relationship (granted, seems unlikely in this case).
If you don't want to hear about it, then don't engage in conversation about it. Looks like your respective moral codes don't match - is that enough to end the friendship?

TheBigJessie Mon 16-Dec-13 21:52:36

Poor love- she's got some proper issues there. I've had friends who did this kind of thing, and there isn't a right or a wrong answer for how to react. I was very clear on how I thought the cheating fuckers they'd found were deceitful shitbags, and "the best case scenario is you get to be a stepmum to some kids who will hate you for being the Other Woman and he'll be out using these lines on someone else". After that, I alternated between trying to support her to make less shit decisions in a gentle way and restraining myself from shaking her!

Watching people make mistakes may not be as painful as living it, but it's still no fun to watch.

persimmon Mon 16-Dec-13 22:00:57

A couple of my friends have had affairs and I was shocked at how they changed from intelligent, pretty moral people in the blink of an eye because it suited them, they really fancied the guy, etc. One even said she hoped her boyfriend's baby would die. I found it sickening tbh. I totally get that marriages break down but you don't have to have a hand in it.

dementedma Mon 16-Dec-13 22:06:11

Some pretty judgemental "friends" on here.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 16-Dec-13 22:13:33

That's awful Persimmon shock

I asked my friend if she'd really been complaining to my sister that she doesn't get to see this guy enough because he has to stay home in the week to help with his new baby. She smiled coyly and her guilty expression said it all. I just couldn't believe it. I was probably quite harsh to her at times but I couldn't just sit there and condone it and giggle about it like teenagers. To be fair though, 90% of the discussion was not me judging her as such but me just trying to get her to see that she is just being lied to, being used and being taken for a mug by a 'professional cheat' Deep down though she knows exactly what game he is playing, I could see it in her face, that's what makes it even more sad. She told me she is lonely and although she knows what she is doing is wrong, she enjoys the attention.

Rosencrantz Mon 16-Dec-13 22:24:31

I would still be her friend.

God knows people make all kinds of mistakes and have low points in life. If you can throw her away so easily, you're obviously not much of a friend.

I know I've made awful mistakes - but when do you need support from friends more than ever? When you're not thinking straight.

I couldn't ever do that to my best friends, whatever choices they make in life. I love them like sisters.

neunundneunzigluftballons Mon 16-Dec-13 22:46:20

I feel sorry for her, not nearly as sorry as the wife but sorry all the same. It takes completely tattered self esteem to keep getting caught in this trap. It often seems to happen in the manner you describe, flitting from one shitty relationship to another. Your friend needs tonnes and tonnes of counselling to address her issues. I read the thread recently about women ending up with shit heads I don't have a link but it highlighted some very destructive behaviour on the part of some posters. My friend had an affair with a married man. We were very young, underage come to think of it. In her case it was pure naivety but it had a huge negative impact on her.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 16-Dec-13 22:50:21

Where have I ever said I was going to 'throw her away' ? I just didn't think I could face her over dinner smile And like I have said, she definitely isn't a best friend smile

What she needs is a huge dose of self realisation that she deserves so, so much better!! I explained to her how hurt and upset my sister was about the situation and that in my sister's eyes, by our friend carrying on like this and condoning affairs in this manner, then she is saying that what happened to my sister was ok and that what her bastard ex did to her and the children is acceptable. My friend said she just 'didn't think' when she was telling my sister about it. She has since apologised to my sister but I think there is definite tension.

neunundneunzigluftballons Mon 16-Dec-13 22:53:46

I think you did very well OP from your posts. It is no use condoning such destructive behaviour.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 16-Dec-13 22:56:07

neun - I absolutely agree that she needs Counselling. Every issue she has stems from the awful way she was parented. She has never felt loved or wanted by her parents, even now they pretty much ignore her, and I think she just looks for 'love' and attention in any way she can get it. It really is self destruction - I honestly can't see her life changing unless she gets some kind of help. When she was crying today as I was giving her the harsh truth it was just awful to see - she knows exactly what kind of guy he is and she knows how stupid she is being but she will just let it continue. Every man she has ever been with has treated her like shit and she just lets them. She never stands up to them, she never leaves them, the type of behaviours she is accepting of just baffles me. Like I said it all stems back to her childhood, in a lot of ways she is like a little girl just looking for someone to love her.

ChrisMooseMickey Mon 16-Dec-13 22:57:39

I used to have a friend like this. I never told her what I thought of her when she moved from guy to his best friend, to another guy then his best friend, cheating, etc. etc. I got pregnant and she never spoke to me again! i have always regretted saying "well if your happy..."

I have another friend who is lovely, but is a bit misguided in the men department and has been the OW. She knows damn well that I will tell her the truth, but I think she relies on that- we still have a good friendship!

BohemianGirl Tue 17-Dec-13 04:27:29

I tolerate her because of how long I have known her and because I know she doesn't really have any friends

You don't like her. Cut the "friendship" because you come across as a cold, superior, judgmental bitch I'm afraid. As you keep referring to her poor childhood your attitude will just reinforce her feelings of worthlessness (*she is like a little girl just looking for someone to love her.*)

I feel sorry for your "friend", she needs a good dose of self esteem. Not going to get it from you or her fella is she?

VanillaEnvelope Tue 17-Dec-13 04:38:24

because I know she doesn't really have any friends

That's because she is dangerous to have as a friend. She has no qualms about hurting others, including innocent young babies and their vulnerable mothers.

She doesn't deserve any friends. There are plenty of young, single men around. She has her pick of blokes in their 20's and 30's but yet chooses to pick men who will give her attention.

Melonbreath Tue 17-Dec-13 04:56:27

Sometimes it's a friend's job to tell them when they're out of line, I think this is one of those times. If she chooses not to listen that's her bad

Writerwannabe83 Tue 17-Dec-13 08:11:55

Exactly Melon - I told her that she had some huge mistakes in her past when it comes to men but this just tops the lot. I said its one thing to put up with a guy who treats her badly if that's what she is prepared to do, but when it gets to the point that other people are being hurt by her actions then she has gone too far. I asked how she can enough bring herself to look at him, knowing he has a partner and 2 children at home, one of which is a newborn, and feel anything but disgust at him for being such a lying cheat? She just shrugged her shoulders. She is just convinced that she is special to him and he finds it such an emotional turmoil....he's the victim in her eyes. The fact he has blocked her from seeing his a Facebook Account says it all, I bet he won't want her seeing the happy family Christmas photos that go up seeing as he has told her what an unhappy life he is living hmm She has said she won't see him again but I am 95% certain she will. Last weekend he went to Newcastle with 'The Lads' and my friend is pretty convinced he spent the night with another girl. The shocking thing is that each weekend he has come down to where my friend lives (not for the purpose of seeing her, but for work) he has colleagues and friends with him and he is openly with my friend in front of them, they all go out together, they know he is spending the night with her etc - the fact he isn't even ashamed enough to hide it from his colleagues and that they and his friends are not shocked by his behaviour just implies to me that having affairs/ONS is something this guy does on a regular occasion. Except obviously, what he has with my friend is 'special' and she has never felt anything like it before..... hmm

struggling100 Tue 17-Dec-13 08:32:42

One of my best friends had an affair with a married man recently. It was absolutely HORRENDOUS for everyone concerned.

I know that there is not a lot of sympathy for the 'other women' on Mumsnet, and I completely understand that because many people on here have been so deeply, deeply hurt by infidelity. Personally, I could never, ever have an affair: I believe strongly that you should end one relationship before starting any other.

However, I do think that women who do this are often damaged themselves. My friend has psychological problems, and had just come out of an abusive relationship. She had an affair because she was convinced at some level that she wasn't worthy of a 'real' relationship. It started out as a 'bit of fun', and then feelings inevitably got involved, and before too long she was in tears on a daily basis because he wouldn't leave his wife for her, and would only show up for sex. To make matters worse, she fell pregnant and had to have an abortion - and he wasn't able to be there for her. It was me who had to sit with her through the whole night afterwards. The strain took its toll on him as well, as he needed medication for anxiety and was really quite ill before the thing ground to a very unedifying conclusion that involved my friend ringing me at 2am literally screaming with misery.

I am not making excuses for them. They were both incredibly stupid, and incredibly weak. They not only inflicted horrible suffering on themselves, but I can't even put into words how his wife, the true victim of the whole situation, suffered. It was awful, awful, awful. And I don't think this is by any means an unusual case of an affair.

I told my friend in no uncertain terms at the start of this relationship that I thought it was a terrible thing to do, and that I was extremely concerned that she was opening herself up to a world of misery and unhappiness. It didn't make her stop. I pleaded with her to end it over and over again. But I didn't withdraw my support from her, because I knew that underneath the affair, she would need her friends more than she had ever needed them before.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 17-Dec-13 09:58:28

I'm patiently waiting for it all to go wrong - but I will be in for a long wait.

About 5 years ago she was dating an absolute twat (controlling, neglectful, emotionally abusive) and I was dating an absolute wanker (liar and a cheat)- we were both so unhappy and would be crying on each other's shoulders etc. We finally saw the light and decided to break up with them at the same time, found the strength together to do it etc, and we did. Fast forward to now, I'm married with a baby on the way and (current guy aside) she is still dwelling on the relationship with the guy from 5 years ago. She still talks to him, still sees him, still re- hashes over everything etc. He still treats her horrendously, says vile things to her, still controls her etc but she occasionally goes back for sex or to give him an ego massage (whichever one he fancies more) because she is clinging on to the tiny -- non existent-- hope that he will turn round, tell her he loves her, how losing her was the worst thing that has ever happened and then they'll live happily ever after. She can never move on and she goes back to old boyfriends over and over again, letting herself get hurt again, because she just needs that attention. She needs to feel like she matters to somebody, even if it is a complete illusion.

It scares me how vulnerable and naive she is sometimes - men see her coming, they can immediately sense that 'neediness' in her and then they use it to their advantage. Manipulation of the weak. It drives me insane.

I asked her how many know she is seeing this current guy and she said only me and my sister (although obviously she wasn't planning on telling me). I asked why she hadn't told anyone else, I.e me or her close friends and she said its because she knew what we'd all say. She isn't scared of our judgement as such, she just knows that we are all tired of her making the same mistakes over and over and over again. It's got to the point where nobody knows what to do or say to help her anymore - nothing sinks in with her. She just continues with this self destructive behaviour and can't see anything for what it is. I just want to shake her sad

struggling100 Tue 17-Dec-13 10:20:28

All you can do is to be there for her when she needs you. And she WILL need you. Next time she collapses emotionally, maybe suggest (very gently, and with all your natural tact!) that she seems to be stuck in a pattern of repeat relationships with horrible men, that you think it may be because she has some issues with self-esteem, and that you think talking to someone about this might help her to develop healthier relationships in future. Keep badgering about it.

There is little else you can do, to be honest. I found it tremendously frustrating - like watching a car crash in slow motion, powerless to do anything at all to prevent it.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 17-Dec-13 10:32:14

You're right. I'm pretty sure now I won't hear off her again for months and months on end - I'll be here when she needs me - as is the basis of 'friendship '. She'll dip out my life again and only reappear when it has all gone wrong and she needs support. That's just how she functions.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 17-Dec-13 10:33:51

I meant to say as is the basis of our friendship hmm

struggling100 Tue 17-Dec-13 10:46:39

Writerwannabe - I think we have a VERY similar friend!! smile

I have come to accept that my relationship with her will always be one-sided, and that she will always take, take, take. She is just built that way. I get frustrated by it at times, I must admit. But I also know she is genuinely vulnerable and cannot behave in a different way. She is very child-like in some ways.

At one point, our friendship was headed towards a point where I felt I was simply enabling her self-destructive behaviour. I felt 'part of the problem': by being always there, I was allowing her to write me into a narrative of constant trauma and drama. It sounds as though you may be in a similar position? So I have tried to set some boundaries to what I will give - for example, I sometimes won't call her back for an hour if I am at work, and I always try to tell her the truth, as gently and tactfully as I can in a way that I hope will be supportive rather than critical. If she does something that is off-the-scale emotionally, she knows I will question it. This has helped to set the relationship on a more normal footing.

I have also surrounded myself with positive people who make me feel good. It is easier to be 'giving' towards one friend, but very draining when you are surrounded by people like that.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 17-Dec-13 10:54:36

It would be funny if we were talking about the same person grin

What you said is right about continually being drawn into their dramas. She thrives on the attention she gets from it all, she loves it when people hug her and say ,"there, there" because it fulfils another need in her. She likes to be the centre of sympathy, she wants people to feel sorry for her and that's what we all find so hard. Your example of take, take, take is exactly right. Like I said, despite having problems with my health and my baby's health during my pregnancy so far she has never asked me about it, if something isn't part of her drama, she isn't interested. I dared to mention the baby yesterday....she just looked at me and then changed the subject. She is a very strange character. She can't be happy for anyone, she's jealous of most people and sees the negative in everything. She shows no interest in others but expects everyone to jump to attention when she needs them. It's just so difficult because I do feel really sorry for her - the whole situation is just really sad. As much as I do pull away from her at times because I don't like being used in the way she uses people, I could never fully cut her out of my life because I need to know that she at least has someone.

struggling100 Tue 17-Dec-13 12:49:30

I think you've hit the nail on the head there - she likes the drama/attention more than she likes being happy/contented/calm. Until that's fixed, she won't stop being self-destructive. She can't recognise you or your baby, because the existence of other people is almost a threat to her sense of self, which is paper-thin and fragile.

I have started to wonder what it is about me that has a 'need to be needed' by her. I have been thinking about it a lot. In a weird way, she and I are reacting in opposite ways to similar triggers. We both had mothers who were overbearing and not very overtly loving (though in both cases, I think they did care a lot as parents, just in a really weird way). We both fear rejection and abandonment. Only she deals with it by looking for constant affirmation and drama, and I look for situations where I am able to give care as a way of 'deserving' love. Though mine looks externally healthy and altruistic and lovely, it is actually not very healthy, which is why those more positive friends I have are such a help to me, and so much more rewarding!!

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