to ask how to forgive my friend(25 Posts)
Will try to keep the story short!
Me and DH have known this couple for 6 years or more. Became more friendly as we had DDs that were born at the same time. Went on holidays etc together. I consider both partners equally my friends (if that makes sense) as did DH.
Fast forward 5 years and it has just come out that she has been cheating on her partner. I'm finding it so hard to forgive her. I can't stop myself being judgy even though I don't want to be!
Has anyone else been in this situation before? How can I move on? More of a wwyd type thing I guess!
You have to decide - do you want to be friends?
If the answer is yes, then you'll need to realise that you are not in their relationship, you cannot bring it up, judge, etc. You have to value your friend for being a friends, warts and all, and just accept that we don't control our friends.
If the answer is no, then don't be friends. If she makes you feel uncomfortable then back off. You absolutely do not need to be mates with anyone, whatever.
Be careful though. If you do want to be friends but also want to judge her, you may find that she and her DH take matters into their own hands and the friendship isn't an option anyway.
I should have said, obviously, YABU to ask how to forgive your friend. It really isn't up to you and she has done nothing to you for her to need your forgiveness. You need to be completely clear on that with yourself.
What Add said.
The other thing is that you don't know what a relationship is really like unless you're in it. I'm not condoning cheating at all but I do think that this is true.
I found it very, very tough - to be honest i was suprised by my anger but it had much more to do with how i personally would take the betrayal and was projecting my own issues with it.
What i did was stonewall her and was there for her partner, i dont know if this helped, it certainly pushed her out especially as me and dh made it clear it was a scummy thing to do.
I did help by looking after kids while they attended counselling to work through their issues, but her partner forgave far more quickly than i did and i wasnt even the one wronged!
We are ok again now about a year later, but i took my lead from her partner and if they were ok i didnt hold a grudge or at least tried.
Thanks for your response. I think maybe thats the sticking point for me. The situation is really quite terrible for my male friend but I didnt want to take sides. If it was a friend and i wasnt close to her other half then I wouldn't judge because I wouldn't be dealing with the hurt or knowing all the gory details. I guess maybe cause its all still going on? Maybe I need more time. I value our friendship and the friendship our DDs have and don't like the feelings I'm having.
Should add this was a family member, so there were other dynamics at play.
Thats quite right actually I am projecting. She hasn't actually done anything to me!
She hasn't done anything to you so there's nothing to forgive. What I think (this being AIBU!) is that you have to decide it your image of her has changed so much that she is no longer a person you want to be friends with.
I've been friends with a serial cheater before. I always warned the GFs with his knowledge and they thought they could change him. He was a laugh, knew I disapproved and the friendship was worth it to me at that point. Isn't now.
The thing is, can you be friends with a cheat, a thief, a liar, a coward?
Can you respect their opinion?
Can you trust them?
All fine and dandy saying those issues are with the partner and not the friend, but realising a person is not who you thought they were does make you re-evaluate.
My parents had this situation when they split up (my mum cheated, both were unhappy for years before). Most of their mutual friends sided with my dad, which is understandable but they all failed to see that they both had been unhappy and my dad didn't want to be in the marriage just as much as my mum.
They are both happier apart but still the mutual friends keep my mum at arms length. It's unfair.
I understand why you feel let down by your friend, and I agree that cheating is unforgivable but please try to see it from her point of view and how she must have been feeling to turn to someone else.
And also if she and her husband decide to work through things then they will both need support from friends and family. X
I think you need to work out what your own boundaries are. e.g. if she's asking you to tell lies to cover up, that would be a no-no for me. If she wants you to welcome the OM into your home that would be another no-no. Everyone is different about what they can tolerate. And you have to weigh up what you get form the friendship. It's a difficult one.
I had a friend have a long affair -which has now ended. I avoided situations where I'd have to talk to her husband - and possibly tell lies on her behalf. And I didn't meet the OM, despite my friend inviting me to. Since it's ended - OM's choice - I have listened to my friend as i would any other friend going through an upset time, but I feel quite cynical and know my friend is staying with her husband for money reasons (she spelt it out to me!) - despite her having her own income and pension - and knowing the marriage had been dead for years. I do think less of her due to her mercenary attitude (to his pension size) and lack of honesty with her husband - but at the end of the day it's their business not mine.
Just make sure you get all your facts straight before you judge. If she is a friend you could try talking to her.
If they've decided to stay together you either support them as a couple or you don't. Picking a side while they are trying to work things out is divisive.
Me and DH were in this position. I couldn't accept it as I saw what she did as terrible (the affair was a bit close to home for her and it impacted hugely on someone else we all knew). We stuck with the male. I admit she wasn't my favourite person anyway so I didn't see it as any great loss.
A member of DH's family had an affair. I'm not fond of her either. I think it's cowardly and deceitful and I'm not keen on associating with people who are like this.
I'm.sorry if this sounds unkind, but
It's not for you to forgive or hold a grudge.
Maybe it's me who's strange, but I wouldn't give a shiny shit if my friend shagged a different fellah, every night.. It wouldn't effect or change my life.
You may not give a shiny shit who your friend shagged, but you might care if someone had hurt her. That's the dilemma here: friends with both parties.
IMO, the best thing to do is take a deep breath and get yourself over it. There's not much to be gained by doing anything else, especially if the DH wants to give the relationship a chance.
I agree with Timeforabiscuit - I've found the harder way that people who are prepared to cheat on their DP usually aren't great friends. If you are prepared to lie and cheat to the person you love, then it's not that much of a leap to screw over a friend you care about but don't love who happens to be in your way.
As others have said, it's not for you to forgive anything, this is nothing whatsoever to do with you. If you can't stop yourself from judging then perhaps do this woman a favour and keep your distance and stop being a 'friend'.
Cheating is never the right thing to do but you don't know what is going on in this couple's relationship and they don't need you taking sides whilst they work out what they're going to do.
The 'freezing out' as per timeforabiscuit sounds horrendous. I wouldn't have been friends with anybody who would do that to my partner and we would have ended the friendship.
I'm glad actually that my husband has separate friends; I couldn't be doing with this cloying joint friendship stuff.
I certainly wouldnt recomend it lying, it wasnt my finest moment - I like to think it helped her partner in that the infidelity was taken seriously as the cheated party didnt want wider family to know (they'd disown the cheating person with no looking back) but probably kidding myself.
It's not really anything to do with you to be honest. If you can't be friends with her because fundamentally your values differ then that's fine, but there's nothing that you need to forgive, it's not about you.
You have nothing to forgive as she's not hurt you. The only thing you need to do is decide whether to continue the friendship based on what you know now.
It's nothing to do with you. You don't need to "forgive" her, the crime is not against you.
Many many years ago I fell out with a friend over this kind of scenario. ( in my own defence we were very young and I have experienced a lot more of life since then). The issue for me was, I think, more that she had misled me as to what she was doing. I regret it and I miss her. So long ago I haven't really got any chance to reconnecting with her, I have no idea where she is, although I have tried to find her. I wish I had behaved differently.
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