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Friend is OW

(180 Posts)
giantnannyknickers Sat 30-Mar-19 01:23:29

I'm so beyond frustrated with my friend, she's been having an affair for over a year with a married man. Man has a wife and 2 kids (young adult & late teens) who he says he can't leave as he doesn't want to upset the kids. I've made it very very clear to friend I don't approve of the situation. She says she is not the one who is cheating, she's single etc. Lacks any general guilt. This person is a nurse, empathetic and caring normally but in this situation she seems to have set that all aside for his family as she feels she was won a "prize" and can't believe someone like him would "choose her"

Today she bumped into the wife (knows her from online stalking) and seemed to find this quiet thrilling when regaling the story. How the wife wasn't much to look at etc. I'm beyond frustrated how can you gleam any joy from this situation?

I'm actually thinking of cutting this friend out of my life. I can't handle her talking about this anymore. It's driving me mental. What would you guys do?

winbinin Sat 30-Mar-19 08:10:27

I would be troubled by this too. The thing that really tipped the balance for me was the gloating over the wife. I can accept that you can’t choose who you love so wouldn’t judge her for falling for a married man (although I totally judge him for cheating) but the gloating would be a step too far.

I would text her and say ‘I would love to see you but can we agree you won’t talk about X or his wife because I feel very sorry for her and it’s making me feel uncomfortable’. Then take it from there. If it does lead to a falling out you can make it clear that you will still be there for her if the situation changes in the future.

IDk if you are projecting your own morals on to your friend here. But if you are I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing. If a belief or value really matters to you it isn’t wrong to stand by it.

TheStoic Sat 30-Mar-19 08:13:35

Aaagghhh I don't know what to write in the text this is so hard.

I’m sure you’ll come up with something. Be sure to keep us posted. 🙄

YourEggnogIsBetterThanMine Sat 30-Mar-19 08:15:57

I'd mind my own business and not project my morals/standards/whatever you choose to call them onto someone else

I'd absolutely project my morals in this case. Your friend is a terrible person.

UnPocoLoco2 Sat 30-Mar-19 08:16:22

She's made her choice. You cannot talk sense into crazy 😜

louisvootin Sat 30-Mar-19 08:17:27

.

acatcalledjohn Sat 30-Mar-19 08:21:43

I feel sorry for his wife, much like her mother. She is no better than all those women her own dad shagged.

Mememeplease Sat 30-Mar-19 08:29:13

Well if you are considering dumping her because of it, isn't a better option to be totally honest first?

Text if you can't do it face to face.

"I love having you as a friend but to be honest I'm finding it really difficult to listen to you talk about x all the time. I know he's important to you but all I can think about is his poor wife and how I'd feel in her situation. It's getting to the point where I don't want to see you at all because of it. Obviously I don't want to lose you as you are a good friend so we need to stop discussing it when I see you. I know that will be hard but it's the only way I can think of, as I just don't want to be involved with it all any more."

LonelyTiredandLow Sat 30-Mar-19 08:29:22

I had a friend who did this - the level of self deception is insane. In her instance both of them were married and having an affair with each other. She stalked the wife, said very similar stuff and found it thrilling she was thinner/had a better degree/nicer hair etc. What she completely overlooked was that the man she was prancing about with like an irresponsible teen was a balding beardly hobbit-looking man who clearly had a lot of issues. They did eventually leave their respective partners after about a year of sneaking about, after lying about it to suspicious partners, then they kept it secret for about 3 months before officially "starting" their relationship. It's not going as well now that there's no secrecy and their partners have moved on without much fuss.

I've cut down on contact as I saw how easy it was for her to fool herself and make out how fine it was to lie to her husband and spin the situation to make her the hard done by victim. Yes she needed a boost at the time, but breaking up her own home as well as his (they both have kids) because she needed a confidence boost was highly irresponsible and selfish IMO. You can decide whether this woman has better qualities, but it does say a lot about someone if they can carry this on for more than a few months without feeling any guilt at all.

Caterinaballerina Sat 30-Mar-19 08:41:47

I can’t believe all these posts stating the man is the one cheating. Yes he is the one well and truly having his cake and eating it but is not the only one responsible for this relationship and for the pain that could be caused to his wife. I’d feel a little more sympathy for your friend if she hadn’t known he was married from the start but this seems like a simple ‘how would you feel if you were the wife?’ question needs to be asked of her. I’d also echo the advice to tell her you are cooking the friendship and won’t talk about her relationship but will be there when it ends.

October60 Sat 30-Mar-19 10:01:58

I have had friends in this situation.

The first friend I distanced myself from as I felt uncomfortable about the relationship and I worked with them both.

I regretted this later - I felt I shouldn't have judged her, she'd got herself into a difficult situation and she was my friend first and foremost. The affair ended and our friendship is lukewarm only.

The second drove me nuts with her obsessive talk about the married man. But whatever the ethics, she was in love and in pain and needed support. It ended badly - it generally does - and I was there for her then.

It was worse for her, being a single OW like your friend, than for the first friend, who was also married. I couldn't fully understand the turmoil but I remember she found some support on an online forum which perhaps you could suggest. And try and drag her out for something distracting - my second friend was so focussed on this man that her life diminished.

Slazengerbag Sat 30-Mar-19 10:10:10

I couldn’t be friends with her anymore. Yes he is the one cheating but she knows this. She is willingly in a relationship with a married man who has children. To knowingly hurt others for your own gain is awful.

It sounds like she is enjoying the thrill of it all. Seeing his wife and the excitement of telling you... if he does leave his family the excitement will be gone and replaced with the baggage that comes with a father and ex husband. It won’t be very thrilling then.

thethoughtfox Sat 30-Mar-19 10:14:18

She could target your partner next.

Vulpine Sat 30-Mar-19 10:18:50

I would absolutely 'project my morals' too. It's shitty behaviour

iloveyorkshirepuds Sat 30-Mar-19 10:28:16

I had a friend who was the other woman.
I couldn't stomach it and we drifted apart. I just slowly but surely distanced myself because I simply couldn't make peace with it.
She got married to him recently and I cried at the wedding, and on the way home, and the next day! I couldn't stop. It just felt so wrong... for me.
But who am I to judge? She's happy and they are planning a family.

EnoughLifeLessons Sat 30-Mar-19 10:32:18

I actually think I wouldn't distance myself from her. I know plenty of people who are good as friends/co-workers but make disastruous decisions about relationships. She sounds insecure and all that. It's the married man that is in the wrong here, 100%. But that's a controversial opinion.

Although I'm not sure I'd just sit there to listen to her talk about all of it. Don't indulge her.

malificent7 Sat 30-Mar-19 10:38:16

Friends should not be friends under any circumstances though. Friends should be friends only as long as you can resonate with their behaviour and beliefs.
Why should you be friends woth somwone who vlearly dosn't like otjer women and sees them as competition. Why should you support her in her shitty behaviour.
He made the vows bit she has no idea about girl code.

Dohangoversgetworseasyougetold Sat 30-Mar-19 10:42:35

My mother went through a long phase of behaving like your friend when I was in my teens and early twenties. At the time, I completely bought into her explanations about it being true love (and then it was true love with the next guy, etc). I was never comfortable with her nastiness about the wives, though. One of them was apparently a horrible undeserving wife because she was a bit overweight and had some unspecified chronic condition; the other was damned for "looking like a slapper" . I think the "moment of truth" for me was when my mother found out that Married Guy No. 2 was cheating on her and she was absolutely livid ("how dare he do this to ME?"). Obviously, I didn't ditch her as she's my mother, but I did say I didn't want to listen to the details anymore.

Purplejay Sat 30-Mar-19 10:44:11

I am encouraged by the negativity against the OW. Sometimes I feel I am going mad because I hold my H’s girlfriend responsible for the end of my marriage. I feel better to know it is normal to feel the way I do. They began an affair early 2018 and he left in May.

They both seemed the think we could all be friends but hell will freeze over first.

He initially said he would leave her and asked her to stop messaging but she didn’t and he didn’t stay away. In the summer he did stop seeing her for a time and told me lots of negative things about her. When I wouldn’t have him back, they are back together - I don’t think they split for more than a couple of weeks..

I do compare myself to her. She is slim, blonde, puts herself out as a free spirit. I saw a gloaty email from her during the affair saying ‘how can purple not realise?!’ Because he was a good lier thats how. I would be mortified to think she was slagging me off to her friends.

I doubt I will ever stop hating her for what she did to our family. She should have stayed away. When he asked her to go for a walk, she should have said no. Instead she began pushing him to see him in the evenings, sending long emails, texting all the time, wanting to do things so he would be out late. I soon began to suspect. It was her plan I would find out and I did. I don’t think it was his intention. He wanted to have his cake and eat it. I blame him too of course but I truly hope none of her dreams come true.

I couldn’t be friends with someone who would do that to another person.

contrary13 Sat 30-Mar-19 10:50:02

"...he has so little self belief/self worth that she honestly thinks that by him "choosing" her it must mean she is worth something..."

^^This.

Many years ago, one of my friends was dumped on by a bloke whom we went to school with. She was so enamoured with this bloke that she even followed him into the same university - then couldn't understand why he wanted to date/sleep with other women whom he met there, rather than with her. She started dating one of his new friends, purely in an effort to make this bloke we went to school with jealous. In hindsight, I think he must have known how my friend felt, but simply continued - in a self-absorbed sort of 18/19 year old way - to ignore it. My friend's boyfriend fell very deeply in love with her, proposed, a giant wedding was planned. We must have been 20/21 at this stage. The boyfriend was, actually, quite lovely - he clearly adored my friend, he made an effort to fit in with the rest of us whenever we met up, he was good with small children, her family all loved him...

Within 6 months of their expensive giant wedding, my friend was cheating on her new husband - with a bloke who worked in her office. This man wasn't married (I don't think), and there were no children involved (thank God), but my friend? Totally obsessed with this new man. She'd finally worked out that the bloke she'd followed to university wasn't interested in her (actually, her "love" turned very quickly to hatred once she'd grasped the fact that he wasn't going to stand up and declare his undying adoration for her, in the church where she was marrying one of his new friends - because yes; he was a guest, he took his now-wife as his plus-one, and my friend kept eyeballing him hopefully), and she wasn't interested in her husband.

I don't actually know how her first marriage ended, because I said that I wasn't getting involved. I do know that within a few weeks of her divorce coming through, she and the man she'd been cheating with were married, in a very quiet/no guests other than her parents civil ceremony. And having seen the photographs? Her parents looked absolutely stricken. My friend gave up her career, went through IVF round after round in order to give her new husband the child he wanted (although I know how deeply she loves her son, I do wonder if he's only here in an effort she made to cling onto the man from her office)... and very quickly learned that even becoming a father didn't mean that her new husband was going to give up the single life.

They're still together, 10 years later. But my friend isn't happy. She suspects that her husband is having affairs, but... rather brutally perhaps, she doesn't get the sympathy she wants from any of us, because she did exactly the same thing that her husband's currently doing. And almost 25 years after leaving school? She will still turn the conversation around to the bloke she followed from sixth-form into university.

Her first husband, meanwhile, is blissfully remarried with a young family of his own. I bump into him every now and then, and although we pretend not to recognise one another, I cannot help but be glad that he's with a woman who clearly loves him as much as he does her. If he'd stayed with my friend? I think he might always have been second-best to the bloke she was obsessed with, who is still friends with him (and still seemingly oblivious to my friend's obsession with him). If he'd dated/had sex with my friend at university, then perhaps so many lives wouldn't have been tainted by her lack of self-worth. She'd have gotten over her obsession, moved on, been happy and able to return someone else's genuine love for her. Her current husband, I don't think, ever wanted to get married. I think (he's a lot older than we are) he was perfectly happy/suited to playing the field. Their child wouldn't be caught in the middle of sneering, disdainful parents.

Why doesn't my friend leave her second husband? I have, actually, asked her this once, when she was crying on my shoulder about his latest flirtation with someone "younger, prettier, thinner" than her. Because she knows that she almost broke her parents hearts when she abandoned her first marriage, and she doesn't want "to disappoint them again". It's all very sad, but it's of her own making. And yes; our circle is always going to catch her when/if she jumps... but not one of us condones her behaviour, even though we don't condemn her for it. She was young, very immature, and made a lot of mistakes that we couldn't talk her out of making.

Your friend sounds very alike to mine. All you can do is refuse to engage with her boasting, try to boost her self-esteem as much as you can, and catch her when this blows up in her face. Because, one way or the other, it will. She'll either end up trapped with resentful/angry stepchildren in her life, or alone, knowing that he always thought his wife and family were his priority, and not her. She's going to end up hurt, either way.

flowers

SandyY2K Sat 30-Mar-19 10:56:03

I'd back away from the friendship. I couldn't stand the gloating at his wife.

I backed off from a friend having an affair. She was the married one. The affair in itself was bad...but not the main issue.

She set up her OM with a mutual single friend right in front of her DH.

I think he was suspicious and it was done to throw him off the scent.

Mutual friend didn't know about the affair, but the OM told her (later on) that he was having an affair with my friend and was in love with her after years together.

I found the whole thing sickening tbh and have barely spoken to her since. I made up excuses not to meet up...the thing is she has no idea I know what she did.

My other friend quite liked the guy too. I thought she was making an utter fool of her DH and it was incredibly cruel.

Morals are one thing...the other actions made me feel disgusted.

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Sat 30-Mar-19 11:05:50

I think we choose our friends based on shared values. If one of you changes and behaves in a way the other considers immoral, it's perfectly okay to end a friendship. You don't owe it to her to stay friends no matter what!
Yes, the h is primarily responsible, but this doesn't say anything good about her either. I would find the gloating about the wife pretty disgusting band I think that would be the death knell for me.

birdonawire1 Sat 30-Mar-19 11:08:30

Your friend may have all the insecurities you say, but she is not stupid, and I feel is getting a thrill from the cheating situation. She's not a little innocent tricked by a cheating man. She appears on one level to be revelling in the deceptions. As such I would explain to her why you can't see her any longer and invite her to contact you again when it finally goes tits up

Rumbletum2 Sat 30-Mar-19 11:12:59

Just tell her you want to hear nothing about it. Nasty woman she is.

Siameasy Sat 30-Mar-19 11:35:12

She will choose him over you if you threaten to end it
I’d make it clear I don’t want to hear about it.

Nurseornot Sat 30-Mar-19 11:36:07

Could you recommend she sees a therapist? There must be some underlying mental health issues for her to believe that she only deserves a part of a partner as a mistress, rather than a full (single/loyal) partner just for her. Why does she think so low of herself to not see that she deserves more than a guy who only devotes part of his time with her and cheats?

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