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Close friends and marriage break-up

(247 Posts)
NameChangedForThisIssue Mon 02-Oct-17 15:15:36

As you can see from my username I've name changed for this as one of the individuals is on MN.

Two weeks ago a very good friend of mine started divorce proceedings. Her H and I are actually very good friends too and I've known for about a year that she wanted out. He had no idea (though I doubt the veracity of that because who in a marriage doesn't know when it's not going well?)

So anyway, her H and I are going to a wedding in Florence in a week's time for another one of our friend's wedding and we've been planning this over Facebook and WhatsApp messages - amongst our messages he'd write about what's going on with his wife and other things.

It would now appear that I am one of the reasons that she wants to divorce him. I introduced them to each other 10+ years ago and tbh there's never been an issue with our friendship. I've had quite a few boyfriends/dates over the years which I always regaled them with and when I was in a relationship we'd often do things as a 4-some so didn't see the issue.

My friend (the wife) now thinks that actually her husband has become too attached to me and has told our other friends that I too are to blame for the downfall of their marriage.

I just don't understand this. It makes fuck-all sense to me. Surely if we had wanted to be together we've had the best part of 10 years to do so - why would I have suddenly fallen in love with her husband in the past few weeks!?

He and I talk most days and as I said we've always been close and confided in each other but I'm not a home-wrecker.

youhavetobekidding Mon 02-Oct-17 15:17:54

Maybe she was trying to pretend to be cool about the whole thing, but is now being more honest that she doesn't feel comfortable with him going on holiday with you

SloeSloeQuickQuickGin Mon 02-Oct-17 15:18:51

Can we expect and "emotional affair" post from the wife to spring up? In in her eyes the DH certainly seems to rely upon you.

This thread isnt going to end well.

sonjadog Mon 02-Oct-17 15:18:54

Emotions are often illogical. Just stay out of it.

cautiousoptimist1 Mon 02-Oct-17 15:21:57

I don't think you suddenly falling in love with him is the concern but rather the other way around.

Why are you going to a wedding with him? Is his wife going/invited or has that changed since the separation?
How long have you been "speaking to him most days"? If that's a reasonably new thing then I think her concerns may be valid.

jay55 Mon 02-Oct-17 15:22:12

She could be making a grab for their mutual friends by villainising your friendship.

SloeSloeQuickQuickGin Mon 02-Oct-17 15:23:22

amongst our messages he'd write about what's going on with his wife

Oh dear! See, women can confide in each other like this, man rarely do but mixed gender confidants of the 'my wife doesnt understand me' variety, well, this isnt going to end well.

NameChangedForThisIssue Mon 02-Oct-17 15:35:52

cautiousoptimist1 We were all invited. Since last November actually but she said she wasn't going. The wedding 'friend' in question is more of a friend of her H and mine. So we thought we'd just go together as we're going anyway iyswim. It's not like we're even sleeping in the same room. We literally are just sharing a flight and have a wander around Florence for a few days.

geekone Mon 02-Oct-17 15:38:32

It's hard for people to understand cross gender friendships. Idkw it's like people think that we don't have the ability to resist jumping each other if frihmm

TurnipCake Mon 02-Oct-17 15:41:20

Talking most days and him confiding in you about their relationship?

Surely you have a little more awareness than you're making out?

NameChangedForThisIssue Mon 02-Oct-17 15:45:10

Turnip That's exactly why I don't understand this because we've all always been friends. He's only started telling me about the separation and problems a few weeks ago - for him it's come out of nowhere (she told me about a year ago that things weren't going well). If I ever suspected I was having an emotional affair I'd have called a halt to this years ago. It was even me that introduced them and I've always taken along my then boyfriend to dinners and the like with them.
I have never for one second considered that there was anything more between him and I.

carefreeeee Mon 02-Oct-17 15:48:09

It's not normal to talk most days with someone else's husband. If you were close friends with a man when he was single and he later got married it would be normal to back off a bit at that point.

If you have a couple who are both friends and they break up, it's pretty difficult to be a confidante of both. You either need to avoid getting into it, or decide to support one of them, depending what the situation is. It's a bit two faced to be letting your friend tell you everything that's going on with the marriage whilst also talking daily to the husband.

Not fair of your female friend to blame you but equally your behaviour probably isn't helping their relationship

crimsonlake Mon 02-Oct-17 15:49:41

Sharing a flight, presumably the same hotel and wandering around Florence for a few days? Can you not see why the wife has every reason to be upset about your close friendship?

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 02-Oct-17 15:51:39

What has he said about her suspicions and what she's been saying to your mutual friends? Is he as shocked as you are or does he maybe see where she's coming from?

EmeraldIsle100 Mon 02-Oct-17 15:53:28

The rumour mill in your circle is going to go haywire. I recommend you email her and cc it to her husband telling her you have no feelings for her husband and have no part in their separation.

If it was me I would threaten her with legal action. Your reputation is at stake and that is not easy to mend.

Whatever you do, do it quickly and decisively.

NameChangedForThisIssue Mon 02-Oct-17 15:54:49

crimsonlake But this has only just come up. I haven't been cavorting with her husband for 10-odd years.
This thread is making think that I am being unreasonable. But I just don't get why. I am not responsible for their marriage ending despite what she's telling others. The wedding invite came last November and is happening in a week. Surely if I'm the 'husband-stealing-bitch' I would have been so years before now!

peachgreen Mon 02-Oct-17 15:56:58

I think there's a difference between citing an unreasonably (in her eyes) close friendship as a reason for her misgivings and actively blaming you for the split. It's a tricky one - I wouldn't be happy if my DH was messaging another woman on a daily basis, and I think previously I would have assumed that the woman in question would also understand it's inappropriate, but actually judging by this and previous threads on similar topics, close male/female friendships are perfectly common and permissible in other people's marriages and so my DH would really be the only person to blame as he'd be the one breaking our mutually-agreed boundaries.

So essentially what I'm saying is that she's not being U to cite your friendship with her DH as a reason for her misgivings, but she is being U if she's specifically blaming YOU, presuming neither of them have ever spoken to you about it before.

MyBrilliantDisguise Mon 02-Oct-17 15:57:34

Who is it who uses MN? I'd be furious if I were your female friend and found you on here talking about the breakdown of my marriage.

Roomster101 Mon 02-Oct-17 15:59:26

I don't think that many people would be happy if their DH was communicating daily with a female friend (other than a work colleague) going away with them and, worst of all, discussing their relationship. Whilst you may not be interested him, maybe she suspects that he is interested in you. It could just be an excuse though as she just wants to end the relationship.

Buck3t Mon 02-Oct-17 15:59:46

It's not normal to talk most days with someone else's husband. If you were close friends with a man when he was single and he later got married it would be normal to back off a bit at that point.

Actually, if they are genuine friends, I'd speak to them as much as I would any other close friend. What I've noticed is that men actually back off (usually at the behest of their other half, to whom they are devoted, who is uncomfortable with it).

If you have a couple who are both friends and they break up, it's pretty difficult to be a confidante of both. You either need to avoid getting into it, or decide to support one of them, depending what the situation is. It's a bit two faced to be letting your friend tell you everything that's going on with the marriage whilst also talking daily to the husband.

I call BS on this. Maybe you just don't know how to be a good friend. The wife confided in her last year, she kept schtum, he began confiding in her in the last few weeks, she kept schtum, clearly the wife now knows that he is talking to OP, and OP is still talking to both of them and the wife is making the assumption, she can no longer trust OP.

I only call BS simply because I have a married couple who both tell me their sides of the same story at different times. I don't pass any judgment or give advice. If they broke up I'd be devastated as I love them both, even though he was my friend first. Maybe the wife has made the decision for the friend, but the least she could have done is given her friend's a heads up, rather than spreading crap about her. Even if emotionally she feels she's right.

scrabbler3 Mon 02-Oct-17 16:01:07

I think you should give both of them some breathing space and do your own thing during your down-time in Florence. I believe you when you say that your feelings are platonic, but there is a possibility that his are not. Anyway, you're not going to come out of this well unless you step back and leave them to it and I'd say that to any person whose friends are divorcing. Don't get involved, don't take sides, leave them be.

cosmonautkitten Mon 02-Oct-17 16:02:54

The idea that a woman is not allowed to be friends with a married man is one of the strangest I think I've ever come across confused. How on earth is it any different from if one of your female friends got married? Should all married people depend only upon each other for company and emotional comfort?

It's nonsense statements like that that help perpetuate the idea that no male/female friendship can ever be truly platonic (which IS a load of complete rubbish, sorry)

Buck3t Mon 02-Oct-17 16:05:23

cosmonautkitten Exactly.

lifetimelimit Mon 02-Oct-17 16:05:31

Eeeeeeeep.

I'm pretty laid back but if my DH was messaging another woman daily and chronicling the breakdown of his marriage to her then I think I'd be pretty fucking angry.

FakePlasticTeaLeaves Mon 02-Oct-17 16:06:27

Not sure I would have written this if one of them was on MN either...especially the woman.

But didn't she only list you as one of the reasons, not the main reason? It's probably more about the husband than about you specifically - his behaviour to chat to a different woman daily - and she probably didn't expect you to find out. I would just ignore it.

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