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to end/withdraw from this friendship?

(74 Posts)
Whydoesshedoitffs Sat 09-Mar-19 07:54:04

I’ve NC for this as I post a lot and am very candid and this post is going to be very recognisable. This is going to be very long but I think the history is necessary so if you have the time I’d really appreciate any advice.

I have a friend of 12 years. She’s someone I’ve become close to over the years and she’s been a really good friend.

When I met her she was married. We got to know her husband and became friends with him too and we (her, her DH, me, my DH) used to socialise a lot together.

We also were all part of a bigger friendship group who met through a hobby - we were largely a fairly young group, no kids, hard drinking, lots of going out etc.

After about 5 years she cheated on her husband. She told him immediately, they split up, she and the OM became serious and started a proper relationship. OM was part of the wider friendship group.

I told her that whilst I thought what she did was terrible and couldn’t condone it I was her friend, I was also her husband’s friend, I hoped she didn’t regret things and hoped they’d all be ok.

Fast forward 6 years. She married OM nearly a year ago, her EXH is with someone else, she and I have become really close, I was her MoH.

She messages me about 3 months after the wedding telling me her DH has moved out because he found intimate messages between her and a supposed mutual friend, we’ll call him WH (wankhead).

I told her she was an idiot, helped her through her crisis etc but again, never condoned the cheating but I admit to feeling really angry with her.

WH is a shit - he had a 3 month old baby when he cheated, he’s told my friend he was tricked into having the baby and he never liked his partner enough.

I told my friend that she’s daft for going near a bloke like this and that I think he’s awful and manipulative.

Life’s been largely calm for the last 6 months, she’s trying to repair her life, her DH moved out, she’s found a new place and we see each other reasonably frequently.

I found out yesterday she’s seeing WH - he’s told her he loves her and a whole load of other shit.

I feel really disappointed in her and I don’t want anything to do with her. I’m so upset she can’t see what a shit he is and that she’d be so stupid to do this.

AIBU to withdraw from this friendship? She’s distraught about how angry I am (obviously I told her) but I’m not sure I can get past it.

Any advice? I lead a very drama-free life and that’s how I like it - my marriage is settled, I have a safe process job as does my DH - I only say this to emphasise I’m not enjoying the drama - I’m really at a loss about how to go forward.

10IAR Sat 09-Mar-19 08:00:18

I'd withdraw. Someone repeating the same behaviour and expecting you to get involved and pick up the pieces every time has no respect for you, and doesn't value you as a friend.

She is free to make whatever choices she wants, you are free not to engage with it. So aye, if it was me, the friendship would be over.

Some people feed off drama, thrive on chaos and turning everyone else's lives upside down. It's exhausting and incredibly selfish.

user1493413286 Sat 09-Mar-19 08:02:39

I don’t mean this to sound harsh but I suppose it depends if you put conditions on friendships (which I’m not criticising as it’s a personal thing whether you do or not).
I would be upset at what your friend is doing, I would tell her that it’s not right and she’s hurting people but I wouldn’t end a friendship for it.
My view of my very close friends behaviour is that i don’t have to like what they’re doing but it doesn’t effect how I feel about them and it doesn’t effect our friendship. I also expect the same from my friends; I’ve done some truly stupid things over the years and my friends have stood by me while also telling me I’m out of order

Whydoesshedoitffs Sat 09-Mar-19 08:03:11

I'd withdraw. Someone repeating the same behaviour and expecting you to get involved and pick up the pieces every time has no respect for you, and doesn't value you as a friend.

This is actually how I feel - I think you’re right.

Thank you for taking the time to read that tome and reply.

Whydoesshedoitffs Sat 09-Mar-19 08:05:34

@user1493413286

That’s entirely valid. I’ll have to think about it some more. I don’t put conditions on friendship, but I am judging her and I suppose I wonder how she could be so stupid.

10IAR Sat 09-Mar-19 08:05:51

Whydoesshedoitffs it's a conclusion I've reached myself with a former friend. The drama was addictive to her, and every time things kicked off I was expected to drop everything and support her. It got to the point I was exhausted by it all and it was affecting my relationship and my children so I told her straight, leave me out of it. She didn't, so I stopped contact completely.

You don't have to play her games, and you certainly don't have to pick up the pieces.

WombatStewForTea Sat 09-Mar-19 08:11:13

If she was doing this with a different man to WH would you be as bothered?

Wh is aptly named but your hatred for him comes across very strongly so part of me wonders that you're more angry with her because it's him

HarrysOwl Sat 09-Mar-19 08:13:03

I had a close friend for years, she could always be a bit selfish but I thought had a good heart, and she was great company, lots in common.

Anyway this friend met someone, married and settled down. Her partner was a wonderful kind person. 7 years later she told me she had been having an affair, and she thought it was 'okay' to keep both relationships going until she 'decided' who to be with.

Her partner found out and made her choose - (can't believe they didn't just end it there) but long story short, my friend behaved awfully and eventually moved out, leaving her partner with a lot of debt, in an apartment not affordable on one salary.

Anyway - my friend would want sympathy and support, even wanting me to make a 6-hour journey to stay with her to help her find her feet.

I politely said I couldn't, and took a huge step back from our friendship.

She treated someone she had vowed to love and be loyal to with such contempt, I figure how can someone like that be a good friend? Why should they get support and kindness when they've acted so selfishly? I think it came down to morals, and I didn't want to be close to someone with vastly different morals to my own.

So yeah, I wouldn't hesitate to step back in your situation, you've already gone above and beyond in terms of understanding and support.

No need for a big 'break up' - just gently withdraw.

Elizabeth2019 Sat 09-Mar-19 08:14:16

So my immediate reaction to this is -
She’s consistently demonstrated she’s not faithful / monogamous, so why have you become good friends with someone whose basic decisions you fundamentally don’t agree with and continue to judge? Some people just like drama / excitement and seemingly ruin a happy life to create that, which seems mental to me but I’ve got several friends who also do this. If you can’t cope / accept her behaviour then you should again have drawn the line much earlier in your friendship - people rarely change after a certain age.

Her choice to see this man is most likely foolish / stupid / selfish (poor mother of his child!) but it is her choice, one you can offer advice on BUT that’s all you could do. Turning your back on her when you’ve previously supported her will be extremely confusing - I’m assuming you’ve told her how much you judge her relationship choices?? She will just think you’re an awful friend and then stick with this man longer ...

Having unfortunately got a best friend who makes similar life choices (sleeping with an older married man - no kids) I offer sometimes harsh opinions but will still support her choices and defend her. She has her reasons for continuing to make these decisions (parents etc) which mean she’s desperate for the attention that drama brings, and over the years has definitely calmed down. Basically, I disagree fundamentally BUT I try very hard to never judge her - she’s my friend and deserves compassion even though she’s definitely worth more than being some mans other woman!

So either be a friend, or you should have let her know a long time ago you could not be flexible in your beliefs.

Shoxfordian Sat 09-Mar-19 08:16:24

It depends on whether you think you're the morality police or not. You can still be friends with someone who makes choices you wouldn't make and she hasn't done anything to you. She probably needs your support.

10IAR Sat 09-Mar-19 08:25:07

I fail to see how it's about judging.

She crashes through life, without taking any responsibility for her actions, yet expects friends to support her?

Over time it becomes tedious, dealing with people who won't grow up and get a grip.

GinUnicorn Sat 09-Mar-19 08:25:52

I think our friends are allowed to be normal people with flaws. I think you can dislike her actions without cutting her off. Her choices are her own at the end of the day - you can step away from the drama without cutting her off.

Whydoesshedoitffs Sat 09-Mar-19 08:27:55

@Elizabeth2019

After the initial infidelity 6 years ago and the dust settled, it became apparent that the marriage was over - both of them were unhappy, had tried to address it but it wasn’t going anywhere - they BOTH said that.

I figured that it was a shitty way to end the relationship but they both thought it for the best, she was in love with the new man and she was very settled and drama-free.

I didn’t think it meant it would happen again.

I suppose I’m also partly shocked that she married the new man when she had such massive doubts but never mentioned them to me once even though I’m supposedly her best friend. I wonder how honest she is.

Whydoesshedoitffs Sat 09-Mar-19 08:35:19

@Shoxfordian

It’s not that I’m the morality police, but I know she’ll want me to accept him as a friend and socialise with him and I just can’t.

So, his ex partner was her friend - a good enough friend to ask to be bridesmaid. WH told my friend all sorts of shit about her - he’s exactly the kind of guy all over the Relationship board.

I’m angry with her for being so disrespectful to another friend and ignoring the obvious red flags.

I know she can do things I don’t agree with but how can you be friends with someone and actively hate their partner? I think less of her for liking someone like him.

Missingstreetlife Sat 09-Mar-19 08:51:42

I wouldn't judge but it's just boring, digging the same hole over and over, with a worse bloke every time. I would suggest she get professional help, I would back off at least for a while, and see if I wanted to drop her completely or just gear the friendship right down.

Shoxfordian Sat 09-Mar-19 09:01:35

She's clearly not making great decisions and he sounds like a twat. Do you think you'd be as annoyed if she went off with someone else? Sorry if you've already answered that

Springwalk Sat 09-Mar-19 09:03:29

I am not sure I would want to be friends with someone who happily trashes other people's lives without a thought. I don't think I could find any common ground with someone with zero moral compass.

It is not about judging, it is about sharing the same values. Someone that was so happy to crush another would not be my first choice.

I would pull away quietly without a word, there is no point in doing a big exit.

user1493413286 Sat 09-Mar-19 09:06:17

She cheated with the partner of her bridesmaid? Who’d just had a baby? That’s pretty shitty.

Oldraver Sat 09-Mar-19 09:18:25

OP I had a friend like this, constant drama in her life 4 kids with 4 Dads who she was constantly causing trouble with and there family and friends. We couldn't go out on a night without some constant drama going on and she would be flirting from bar to bar where her cousins were bouncers and screeching down her phone relaying who had said what to who

The final straw was when I went to a pre arranged visit to her house and I sat there for half an hour while she played phone tennis to several friends and family regaling them with the latest drama.

I just backed off stopped going round made excuses for nights out etc. I I just could handle the constant drama it was exhausting

BarbarianMum Sat 09-Mar-19 09:20:38

I think it's quite normal to select and retain friends based on your own moral compass, isn't it? I'd no sooner have a friend who thinks its ok to repeatedly cheat on their partner than one who thinks it's ok to give them 'a bit of a slap.

BarbedBloom Sat 09-Mar-19 09:23:42

Personally I would have to end the friendship. I have been cheated on and for a friend to cheat repeatedly would mean we have entirely different value systems. But it comes down to how you feel about it all, you can sometimes love the person but dislike their actions and some can separate the two, whereas I find it difficult

grinningcheshirecat Sat 09-Mar-19 09:27:06

You're allowed to break off any relationship for any reason that you want. That also goes for friendships. I kind of get it. After an abusive relationship I promised myself that I would have peace in my life, and anyone not giving me peace has to go no matter the relationship. For me that doesn't mean that I won't listen to other peoples shit, I do, but it shouldn't affect me personally.

Whydoesshedoitffs Sat 09-Mar-19 09:30:20

@Shoxfordian

No, I’d not be as pissed off if she went off with someone else.

Livelovebehappy Sat 09-Mar-19 09:34:24

We form friendships with people who share our morals, and to me if a friend behaved like this I would walk away because she sounds like her moral compass is set to zero. It might be your DH who she sets her sights on next. I’ve been on the other end of cheating so absolutely would not socialise with someone who is content to sleep with someone who has a DW and a baby.

Whydoesshedoitffs Sat 09-Mar-19 09:34:59

@user1493413286

I know. This is what I mean. I found it hard to just support her through the split, but to start seeing him now. It makes me feel unwell. Honestly. It might partly be because my own baby is a similar age and if my DH did that to me I’d be utterly heartbroken.

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