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Best friend meeting OW. Incredibly hurt but not sure if it is reasonable?

(96 Posts)

I am divorced and it is just over 2 years since my DH left myself and my DS (then 2) whilst I was in the middle of IVF (so a surprise). Hugely traumatic and messy situation (I moved to his home country when pregnant and cannot return to the UK due to Hague convenention) but net net he left to be in a relationship with OW from work who just before Christmas moved cities to live with him and her DS from a previous relationship. Post split lots of financial and emotional stunts/dramas/deceit and shoddy behavious to deal with. Not an easy time of it.

A few years later and the inevitable dividing of friendships occurred with a few people cutting me off quite abruptly and a few gradually but as hurtful as a couple of them were at the time, I do understand it is hard for people and given my devastation in the immediate aftermath prob the easiest thing for them and I just let that go and concentrated on making new friends as many of our friends had been 'his' original ones as we were in his country and I had only been in the country 2 years before he left.

However this week something happended with one of my closest friends which has upset me hugely and I am struggling to work out if my feelings are reasonable (as they are quite strong). Essentially, she is one of only a handful in this country (we met in baby group - no back story with ex) who has been aware of the whole terrible drama of my marriage split and the OW and has witnessed the havoc it has caused me and seen me at my rawest. She has been wonderful throughout all of this, mopped up my tears and I tell her most things and one of the few people in this country I would consider a proper 'friend', possibly my 'best' friend. I introduced her and her DH to my now exDH and encouraged her DH to join a group sporting activity that they shared. Her DH sees my ex for this and they are in a guys way 'friendly' but no long history or individual relationship outside the group. My close friend is not involved in this sport (all male) runs into ex from time to time but they are not 'friends' outside of general courtesy if they run into each other and close friend is horrified at some of the things he has done.

Now exDH and his OW are moved back to our City I fully expected my close friend to be at the occassional social event that the sporting group occassionally have. I am grown up and realise that as irritating as it is to be excluded (and in most cases dropped) by a social group I helped to put together and introduce to each other well that is just life and it is the shared interest that holds it together and I am not part of that anymore. So I got close friend would inevitably meet OW and no doubt exchange polite chit chat at some point.

What I was NOT expecting though is for my close friend to accept an invitation to my ex and her house for a party that they were throwing for my DS on his birthday (DS is having 'main' party at w/end with his kindy class - exDH was going to attend that as obviously ideal for DS but unpleasantness precluded for this year sadly). I was not expecting it as 1. she is not friends with exDH 2. she knows how devastated I was at not spending all of my son's actual birthday with him this year 3. she knows all of the pain that he and the OW has wrought (2 months ago OW emailed for for first time out of blue and quite unpleasant) 4. she is one of my closest friends for fucks sake and I never in a million years thought she would contemplate going to meet her for the first time at her house co-hosting a party for my son. The invite came last minute via close friend's husband (as part of the sporting social group).

I think I am so upset about it as:-

- if the tables were turned there is no way I would contemplate attending. I would say to my DH - sorry I know you are friendly with x but I am best friends with Dolly who I know is finding not being with her DS hard enough, if you would like to attend please do go along and take our children.
- invite was last minute (day before) so easy to wriggle out of without being rude
- she has not spoken to my ex for months and months, is not friends and has never met the OW
- I've recently returned from the UK (holiday) and feeling wobby about leaving good friends - now one of the only ones I thought I had here I feel just doesn't value our friendship enough to draw a bit of a line...like I say in my mind meeting someone at someone else's bbq etc is totally different than accepting an invite to their house on my DS birthday
- As her DH working she took her children and was going to be there on her own until DH called in on way from work so not like they went together as a family and he was putting pressure on her

To be fair to close friend she called me up and told me that she was going as she did not want me to find out from my DS. She said she was stressed at invite, wished it was different, but felt that she had to support her DH. I was shocked and very audibly upset but thanked her for her telling me. In a subsequent call I was very clear that I found it upsetting and surprising (not going into the detail above), she asked me if I wanted her not to go but in a way that suggested she did want to go. It was clear that I did not want her to go but said that I couldn't ask her to do or not do something....there was no argument/cross words, I was teary but we just left it and she sent me text saying that I was her friend, she admired how I had coped with things and didn't want this to upset me etc etc.

My problem is that I AM upset. Hugely so. And it really impacted me. I think I am a very loyal person and in the UK have strong and long standing friendships (this one is 5 years old) and I just would not do this to a close friend. I know it is hard when divorce hits friendships but in this instance my ex H and she are not friends and her DH is 'only' a social friend rather than long standing friend. I am also annoyed with myself for being so impacted. I am aware it is layered on top of my return from a home visit, the emotion of a split birthday with my son and that she was very upfront and 'nice' about it. But if I am honest I am not sure I am going to be able to get past it entirely as it has changed the way that I feel about our friendship - or at least in terms of how it is valued.

Do I need a kick up the arse or is it OK to be upset with her decision. I am quite a sane 42 year old and not in the case of Heathers. I do get that I cannot dictate whom sees who post break-up it is just that she is such a close friend that I didn't expect this at all. Also would obviously be different if this was a subsequent girlfriend and not the OW who it turns out was exchanging texts with my ex from the time my son was 6 months ago and who had a huge hand (resp being my ex's of course) in the marriage breakdown.

Thanks for your perspective (and please be kindish even if I am being a loon - again problem is the more time that goes by the more I can't believe she accepted invite which isn't helpful).

Sorry if this was a bit long but was trying to convey as much relevent back story as possible without turning into war and peace....

lia66 Thu 17-Jan-13 19:04:19

I think perhaps the dh's are more friendly than she has let on tbh

Upsetting as it is, she knows yOur feelings and has made he decision. Not sure how you can move forwards, personally I'd probably see less of her if I was that upset .

Lizzylou Thu 17-Jan-13 19:06:01

You poor thing, I would be upset in your position.
I don't see why she feels she had to attend?

Shellywelly1973 Thu 17-Jan-13 19:12:59

No your not being unreasonable. I think you need to let your 'friend' know how you really.

You come across as very accepting& realistic about the whole situation.

Take care of yourself.

izzyizin Thu 17-Jan-13 19:13:32

I would be deeply hurt and upset by this, but could it be they've been invited to make the numbers up.

I'm surprised any adult(s) outside immediate family/extremely close would be invited to attend a child's birthday but is it the case that your ds is friends with their dc?

In which case it may be more understandable they''ve been asked and will be attending as 3 is a tad too young to simply drop the child off and collect them later.

AngryTrees Thu 17-Jan-13 19:16:17

I think I would distance myself from her a bit. I would find it absolutely horrible in your situation. You can't reason away these feelings and you shouldn't force yourself to be okay with this.

I think she has been quite callous actually. She knows that you're upset but she basically wants you to be okay with it (or at least hide your feelings) and is going to go to your son's birthday when you can't go. She'll hang about with this woman and your ex despite knowing all these horrible details about their affair. I can see why it's stirring up such strong emotions.

I recommend distancing not as a revenge tactic or as a way to make drama but in order to protect yourself. You sound like you've been through so much and this is really upsetting you.

badinage Thu 17-Jan-13 19:19:13

You are not being unreasonable at all, love.

If I were your friend, there's no way I'd have anything to do with your ex and the OW, let alone socialise with them. I think she's let you down pretty badly and sounds a bit of a wuss. She doesn't need to 'support' her husband at a child's birthday party FFS. If her husband wants to be friends with your ex, it doesn't mean that she has to be friends with him too. Then again, I just don't get these couples who don't have separate friends as well as joint ones.

PrimrosePath Thu 17-Jan-13 19:19:51

I may have misunderstood, but isn't it more of a 'her ds being invited to your ds's party' rather than 'her being invited to your ex's party'? That is, it's a childrens party not a diner party.

I can see that you don't want them to become best friends, but I don't think this is the case here. She did let you know what was happening, do I don't think she is doing anything underhand or wants to hurt you.

LadyKinbote Thu 17-Jan-13 19:21:07

YANBU. What a terrible situation. She's obviously free to be friends with whoever she likes but this is so hurtful. I think you need a calm chat to explain why this has upset you.

babyhammock Thu 17-Jan-13 19:21:38

Yanbu at all. There's no way I would do this to a friend either sad
As for having to stay in that country, what a nightmare xx

AppearingDignified Thu 17-Jan-13 19:27:55

Oh OP, I feel for you. She knows you'll be upset, that's why she's called you but that doesn't really make it better. She hasn't joined forces with the enemy, really she hasn't, it looks like she doesn't realise how personally you'd take it.

You have been screwed over by your ex. Your friend should know how primal that is but she has fucked up in this instance. Hang on in there and just be a little wary for a while.

badinage Thu 17-Jan-13 19:30:05

The friend's son has got a perfectly capable father to take him to the party. She doesn't need to be there at all.

Doha Thu 17-Jan-13 19:33:26

There is no way l would do that to a friend.There is no loyalty there.

I think l would try and tell her exactly how l feel and if she does go, accept that she is not the friend l thought she was

MidnightMasquerader Thu 17-Jan-13 19:34:33

You poor thing. Stuck in another county due to your DH's selfishness and fuckwittedness, and then finding out that your one good friend isn't quite as loyal as your thought should was.

I can't imagine doing this to a friend in a month of Sundays; let alone a good friend; never mind a best friend...!

The problem is, if you distance yourself from her, you're even more isolated in a country that's not your own. sad Have you even had a conversation with your DH about moving back to the UK with the DC? What does he say? How does he rationalise to you what he's done, and what this means for the rest of your life?

Is he in any way remorseful?

izzyizin Thu 17-Jan-13 19:35:23

If I were your friend, I wouldn't go to support my dh and, given that I haven't got a dh, I would veto their invitation in favour of bringing my dc to wish your ds 'happy birthday' when he was at home with you.

What it comes down to is the only reason I'd attend is if you'd expressly asked me to do so in order for me to take notes for the bitchfest we'd subsequently enjoy have about her irritating voice, appalling taste in clothes, cankles, etc shortcomings grin

nkf Thu 17-Jan-13 19:38:23

I'd drop her. That simple. Just bang. Over. I wouldn't even wonder about whether or not I was being reasonable. If it made me feel shitty, I'd drop it. But you also sound as if you need to find more friends. Poor you. Don't feel bad about whatever you do. She's entitled to "support" her DH and you're "entitled" to drop her.

RufousBartleby Thu 17-Jan-13 19:42:24

No, its not you blowing things out of proportion. There is no way I would do this to a friend - it seems completely obvious that it is not okay and a betrayal. I don't think this should need pointing out to your friend.

I really feel for you though OP, you sound quite isolated through not fault of your own.

MimiSunshine Thu 17-Jan-13 19:47:32

I agree with Lia, I think her DH and your ex are more friendly than you think and she's protected you from this.
But the fact that she said "support her DH" means that he's asked her to go which puts her between a rock and a hard place. She has to choose him in this instance, why put her marriage under strain by refusing?

However you aren't unreasonable for feeling the way you do, it must be horrible feeling like OW took your family and now your friends. But she hasn't, your friend will probably feel sick the whole time she's there and avoid talking to OW as much as she can.
Don't let it ruin your friendship, sometimes friends do things we don't like but that doesn't make them less of a friend

springyhope Thu 17-Jan-13 19:54:48

oh Dolly (((hug)))

old timer here (Dee's thread). I wouldn't go (if that helps, which it probably doesn't).

Truly, I odn't know what is wrong with people who do this. You are not being a loon, it is a huge betrayal. As for 'I won't go if you don't want me to go' - wtf?? putting it all on you. I would feel the same, that the friendship has been scarred by this. As you say, she could easily have got out of it last minute.

if it helps at all, and it probably doesn't, similar things happened to me. To this day I can't get my head around it (one very close friend spend the day with X, one relatively close friend went to the opera with him). They were both defensive when I confronted them - me more in total amazement than anything else - along the lines of 'you can't dictate who I am friends with'. Well, quite. They were out as far as I was concerned. But my gosh, did it sting sad

SucksToBeMe Thu 17-Jan-13 19:56:34

She does not sound like much of a friend, you sound totally lovely btw.

springyhope Thu 17-Jan-13 20:02:06

New friends, girl! It's hard but you don't need 'friends' like this. Start over again, new friends. The next lot will be better than this lot - or her, anyway. I have found that most of my friends now are single. The married friends, well, those friendships don't go so well, not really. We are not bosom pals.

scottishmummy Thu 17-Jan-13 20:03:50

sorry for your troubles BUT you can't dictate whom friend socialises with
they all move same circle,and this will include social.shesacknwleged your hurt
you need to lay off the heavy but you're my friend,and emotional baggage

Junebugjr Thu 17-Jan-13 20:04:14

I'd talk to your friend a little more before you think if ending the friendship or being distant. She may have felt pressured by her husband to go, or maybe her DC doesn't like to go anywhere without her. Even if she does go, her view of the OW is going to put the stops on them being too friendly. No one wants a home wrecker too close to them and their families.

Just to give another perspective. One of my dp's friends had a long term gf, who he ended up cheating on while she was pregnant, and left her for OW just after she had the baby. I was still very friendly with the gf, and still see her socially and with dc. Awkwardly, her ex is still with OW and expects everyone to socialise with them. Some events we just can't avoid, DC birthdays, Halloween parties organised by mutual friends, and various sporting events. So we do go as a family, but I avoid OW like the plague, as do most of the other wives, and are just civil enough not to appear rude. My friend is happy with this, and then we have a good goss after it, although I knew she was upset the first few times as she envisioned everyone being all pally with them, and making them think what they did was ok. In reality, no one wants this sort of woman around their family and is just going along with things trying not to get caught in a conversation with her.

Isn't there anyway you can move back to the uk? Or move within the country your in, so you can get away from reminders? Are you dating or any casual encounters? You sound lovely OP, its shit what's happened, I hope you have a bit of happiness coming your way.

EnjoyResponsibly Thu 17-Jan-13 20:06:02

Ah yes. I have seen something similar happen to a couple of my friends.

Tell me OP, is your husband wealthy with quite a snazzy circle of acquaintances? IME that shats all over friendship any day.

Dump her. You might think it will hurt, but it'll be nothing compared to hearing about all the next social occasions/shared holidays that will follow.

Pancakeflipper Thu 17-Jan-13 20:08:24

This must really hurt.

But I wouldn't instantly dump her.

I would meet up and talk about this. Find out what's going on, you can tell her how much it hurts and I think after that you'll feel like you know what to do.

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