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To be angry at friends who had 'emotional affair'?

(51 Posts)
TellmeifIABU Mon 13-Jul-15 18:35:56

A few years ago, two people in our social circle had an 'emotional affair' (at least, as far as I know, it never became physical). It definitely happened: the female party to the EA (who was single at the time but is now remarried) showed me several of the text messages she'd received from the male, and confided in me and several other people. So it's not in dispute that it happened.

I really struggled with this at the time as the emotionally 'cuckolded' wife was (still is) a close friend. I told the EA couple several times that they had to stop otherwise I'd tell the wife because I hated what they were doing to her, and after a few months it fizzled out (though I cannot be sure if the female in the EA just stopped telling me about it as she didn't want me to tell the wife). Wife was/is very insecure, very jealous and very possessive. She's suspected her husband of fancying other women, but oddly never suspected the EA woman (presumably because EA female was/a good friend of hers).

Flash forward a few years: EA woman is now married to a man she met around about the time the EA fizzled out (I suspect that meeting him was a catalyst in the fizzling out). However, over the last year or so the four of them (EA woman & husband [who knows about the EA] / EA man & wife [who, as far as I know, does not know about the EA]) have become almost inseparable. They seem to spend every weekend together, are talking about taking holidays together, spend several evenings a week at each others houses.

It makes me really uncomfortable. At best, it's definitely over, but while they're all having a 'great' time together 3 of them are engaged in a secret that the fourth (the wife) knows nothing about and would be devastated by. Worst case scenario, the EA couple are 'at it' again (or perhaps always were) and are using this huge amount of time together to carry on the EA in plain sight.

I know, I know, it's none of my business, but the whole thing makes me very uncomfortable. AIBU to be angry about this, on behalf of my poor friend who (presumably) knows nothing about it?

(NC-ed because my usual username posts contain details of my occupation which would possible out me)

TheWitTank Mon 13-Jul-15 18:41:48

Yanbu to be angry and unhappy -but seriously, just mind your own business. Getting yourself involved will never end well, with it being highly likely that you will get some kind of blame either for bringing it up, or not telling her earlier.
If it's still going on it will all come out in the end anyway -if they are all that close it's not going to stay hidden.

TellmeifIABU Mon 13-Jul-15 18:47:05

Oh, I am very much minding my own business ~ I said nothing at the time, and I don't intend to say anything now.

But I am finding it hard to spend time with them at the moment, as it feels so deceitful and dishonest watching them play at 'best friends' knowing what I know. It makes me sad, in all honesty sad

theconstantvacuumer Mon 13-Jul-15 18:47:24

I can understand you are angry on behalf of your friend but I would just keep out of it and try to avoid spending any time with all four of them at once.

keepingsecrecy Mon 13-Jul-15 18:51:29

Best keep out of it, you don't know the full story

jellyjiggles Mon 13-Jul-15 18:55:57

Keep out of it. If your still angry in a while maybe you need to consider the future of your relationship with these people.

sonjadog Mon 13-Jul-15 18:57:49

I suggest that you back off for a while. Focus on other friends. You don't have to cut them out or have any confrontation, but just get busy with other people and things. You have to let this play put on its own.

Gabilan Mon 13-Jul-15 21:35:37

If her new husband knows about the EA and is fine with her friendship, is it not possible that the EA is completely over with? Friendships change. I remember people I've had crushes on in the past who I feel completely different about now.

It is possible that the woman in the EA has moved on and no longer feels anything for the husband and is embarrassed by it? Yes, that's probably best case scenario, but certainly not impossible. I'm not sure there is anything you can do, as frustrating as it is for you.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 13-Jul-15 21:40:46

My first thought was that maybe a four-some/wife swapping type relationship is going on between them all....

TheChandler Tue 14-Jul-15 16:02:38

Why are you trying to police other people's relationships? This happened years ago, and doesn't sound like much - your interpretation of it may be entirely different to what happened. I mean, what would you actually do? Herd them all into a room and give them a little talk on how they should conduct themselves and say if you find them consorting together again, you will give them detention? Or will you make up rumours and tell your friend about them to cause trouble?

I take it that your own personal life is perfect and beyond scrutiny?

LurkingHusband Tue 14-Jul-15 16:10:08

Writerwannabe83

My first thought was that maybe a four-some/wife swapping type relationship is going on between them all....

That, possibly says a lot more about you than the OPs situation grin

TellmeifIABU Tue 14-Jul-15 16:19:04

Why are you trying to police other people's relationships? This happened years ago, and doesn't sound like much - your interpretation of it may be entirely different to what happened. I mean, what would you actually do? Herd them all into a room and give them a little talk on how they should conduct themselves and say if you find them consorting together again, you will give them detention? Or will you make up rumours and tell your friend about them to cause trouble?

I take it that your own personal life is perfect and beyond scrutiny?

Well, your ability to comprehend the written word is woeful, isn't it?

a) I haven't alluded to 'policing' anyone's relationship. I said that I was angry on behalf of my friend, who was betrayed by two people very close to her who are now pretending that they did no such thing (Which they did. I was shown a number of text messages between them at the time).
b) I have stated ~ more than once ~ that I don't intend to say anything, so where you got the impression that I would 'herd them into a room' or 'give them detention' is baffling.
c) Why would I make up rumors to cause trouble? What gave you that impression?
d) Is my personal perfect and beyond scrutiny? Not perfect (there's no such thing), but I've never betrayed a friend/spouse.

But thanks for your comments; your ability to extrapolate beyond what's in front of you is pretty awesome.

I hope you got what you needed from coming on here to fire risible non sequiturs at me. Hopefully using this thread as a scratching post has provided enough of a release as to stop you being a tit to someone else.

WhoNickedMyName Tue 14-Jul-15 16:23:50

I'm with writer, my immediate thought was that they're swingers/partner swapping.

TheChandler Tue 14-Jul-15 16:24:38

TellMe Well, your ability to comprehend the written word is woeful, isn't it?

But thanks for your comments; your ability to extrapolate beyond what's in front of you is pretty awesome.

I think its you who has extrapolated something out of some texting years ago. What is it that you think these people are doing wrong, and what do you think they should do about it?

You need to respect other people's privacy, and butt out of their private lives. Basically, you don't like the fact that your former friend and this man got on, and now their respective partners do too. They sound like they are having a whale of a time.

I hope you got what you needed from coming on here to fire risible non sequiturs at me. Hopefully using this thread as a scratching post has provided enough of a release as to stop you being a tit to someone else.

You sound so charming. I don't tend to interfere in other people's relationships, so I don't think that's very likely to happen.

TheChandler Tue 14-Jul-15 16:25:26

I'm with writer, my immediate thought was that they're swingers/partner swapping.

I actually thought that too. Who knows? Its their business.

shirleybasseyslovechild Tue 14-Jul-15 16:25:59

why are you giving this headspace ?
it's absolutely none of your business , and never was.

just stop thinking about it

shirleybasseyslovechild Tue 14-Jul-15 16:28:12

what chandler said.
and you did try to police the former relationship.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 14-Jul-15 17:44:32

The fact that the EA's new man knows about the EA and is still perfectly happy for her to be around the EA man implies to me that he's benefitting in some way from the set up (aka partner swapping).

I know I wouldn't be happy to allow a close friendship to continue between my DH and a woman he'd had an EA with unless something was in it for me too.....

Theycallmemellowjello Tue 14-Jul-15 18:00:29

Frankly I think you should be more worried about your own emotional involvement in these other people's relationships.

buttonmoonboots Tue 14-Jul-15 18:15:32

You sound way over involved!

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 14-Jul-15 18:24:06

Very difficult, OP. You know that you can't saying anything, don't you? Your friend would be angry at you being complicit in shielding their affair.

You said that you know 'it definitely over' so what makes you think that the pair would start it up again? I must admit, if I were either the of the two affair partners, I would be keeping my distance from my other 'partner in crime', no way would we be best friends with each other's spouses in some kind of 70s foursome.

If it were me, I would just keep my distance from the affair partners and feign disinterest. I'd see cuckolded wife and be her friend. I would be prepared to lie, should it ever come out, and say that I knew NOTHING about the affair, I would denounce the pair of them as liars in shocked tones and stick to that story. What else can you do?

Sorry OP, horrible situation, nothing for it but to wing it now and pretend you now nothing. Stay away from the affair pair as much as you can and don't feel displaced at the foursome friendship, it's based on sand and when the affair becomes knowledge your friend will need you and it's best that you are not part of that foursome group.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 14-Jul-15 18:29:50

I've just read the rest of the thread and wonder what I've stumbled into. I don't see OP has done anything like what she's being accused of.

I just see a woman who has been displaced from a friendship group because of the 'affair pair' and is struggling with feelings of being put into a position of secrecy against her friend. I wouldn't like the feeling of collusion either so I'm baffled by the responses.

OP... have a swig of this wine, everybody else - put your bottles down. shock

Tequilashotfor1 Tue 14-Jul-15 18:35:32

What a horrible situation for you

I'm in a similar one but there is a pregnancy involved.

I don't know what to do about it either so for today I'm keeping my mouth shut.

WinterOfOurDiscountTents15 Tue 14-Jul-15 19:31:55

emotional affair is such a mn thing.

Why are you so invested in other peoples relationships anyway?

Jackie0 Tue 14-Jul-15 19:36:45

My first thought was ' they are swinging ' as well.
Whatever they are doing , its got nothing to do with you op.

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