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I can't listen to friend in affair relationship without wanting to scream

(22 Posts)
BibiThree Wed 22-Jun-11 10:27:55

I may sound like a terrible friend, which is why I'm posting here and not saying this to her.

My friend started a flirting relationship with her married colleague a year or so ago, it has since progressed to 'friends with benefits', to a full blown affair. She is single, he is married.

It's none of my business what she decides to do or not to, she knows I'm not approving of her affair, but I also don't force my opinions on her, she's a grown up.

My problem is listening to her talk about them, how much in love they are and honestly, everything that comes out of her mouth is so cliched. His wife doesn't understand him, they don't have sex since the baby was born, he's only with her for the baby, she doesn't work so he has to support her, he loves my friend more, she's perfect for him, he'll leave his wife but he can't at the moment ...

I want to scream at her "HE WILL NEVER LEAVE!" but I know I can't. What can I say without making her feel like crap, like she's being used? I don't really engage in the conversations about him, but that doesn't stop her talking. I'm going to have to ask her to not talk to me about him aren't I?

Also, is it really my place to say anything? She's my friend, I don't want to see her hurt, but like I said she's a grown up and it's none of my business.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 22-Jun-11 10:34:56

It's perfectly fair to express your opinion and ask her to stop talking about it. It's fair to say that talking with her about this makes you feel angry/sad/whatever ...

tribpot Wed 22-Jun-11 10:36:15

"I'm going to have to ask her to not talk to me about him aren't I? "

Yes, you are. I had a friend in a similar relationship but who was much more realistic about what the guy's marriage was like (I don't think he span her quite such a line of BS as this guy, however). I didn't approve, and she rarely mentioned him to me.

Your friend is likely to be looking at a horrible revelation sometime in the future - either when he doesn't leave his wife or he does, has a child with her, realises the grass is still greener and buggers off. Again. Unfortunately you can't stop that from happening, but in the meantime, I can't see how you can continue to listen to her and eventually you'll end up snapping and your "HE WILL NEVER LEAVE" will come bursting out in a much worse way as a result.

Be honest with her about how you feel. You can - and probably should, once - say your piece but she will make her own choices as you say.

fuckmepinkandCALLmegoran Wed 22-Jun-11 10:39:06

I would ask her not to talk about him.

And remind her that the man who marries his mistress creates a vacancy.

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Wed 22-Jun-11 10:39:57

Yes you are. I was in the same position. I told my friend I loved her but that I don't want to see her get hurt. We avoided talking about it. I occassionally would ask about him, I knew him as we had all worked together. It was horrible when she finally came to her senses. But for all I know they are back together, I have never asked again and will not. Probably didn't help that I had recently got married when she told me.

LauLauLemon Wed 22-Jun-11 10:42:07

You need to talk to her about how you feel. She may not listen to you, she may make you out to be the villain but it'll be off your chest and a weight off your mind.

They are both adults and while what they are doing is wrong and I feel deeply saddened for his wife and his child, they make their own decisions. In the majority of situations it doesn't work out and the OW is just a stop-over in an unhappy relationship but sometimes it does work out and sometimes the man does leave his wife for the OW.

I am a product of a marriage that started that way and my parents were married nineteen years until my mother's death.

The future doesn't look too bright but, maybe I'm an optimist, never say never.
Still, terribly saddened for his wife.

shocked2 Wed 22-Jun-11 10:42:52

Hi Bibithree - I appreciate that your friend is your friend, and you sound like a nice person, but your friend doesn't really - neither does her affair partner. Have you asked her how she can like somebody who is doing what he is doing to both his wife and his young child? Or how she would feel if she were in the emotionally and practically vulnerable state of having a young baby to look after with a partner who was so disrespectfully shagging around? Or how she could ever trust him if he was to actually leave his wife and get together with her - SHE might then have the baby and become "boring"..... She sounds very naive and quite selfish. Is she really young?

greencolorpack Wed 22-Jun-11 10:44:09

Difficult one. I've seen this from the point of view of a friend whose husband cheated. I don't think I could be friends, I'd feel too judgemental about the whole thing. I have distanced myself from a previous friend because she was plotting to seduce the neighbour (another married man) just because she was bored and unhappy in her own relationship. I distanced myself cos I was a coward and also I didn't want to join in on the "isn't he handsome??" discussions. Ugh.

strawberryjelly Wed 22-Jun-11 10:47:19

I'd say your bit and then ask her not to toalk.

I have a very close friend who has commented on my personal life over the years - 30 odd years- and it has almost ended our friendship at times. She is very blunt and in the past has told me things I didn't want to hear.

She has done this supposedly to help protect me.

it's a very fine line.

What I'd suggest is you take a moment to tell her what you think, then ask her not to talk about it.

FMP that's not always true BTW. It was james Goldsmith who used that line- or his wife- can't recall. It might be true some of the time but people also do end up together when they were the OW or OM.

mumblechum1 Wed 22-Jun-11 10:48:48

I have a "friend" like that who I now see as rarely as possible as she's had affairs for the last 14 years, her dh has now finally dumped her and she's soooo in luuuuurve with the latest guy it makes my ears ache to listen to her. She's pushing 50, has three well and truly fucked up kids who I feel v sorry for.

BibiThree Wed 22-Jun-11 11:09:41

Thanks for all your responses, it's nice to hear that it wouldn't be unreasonable to ask to be left out of the details. I don't want to leave her with no one to talk to about it as sometimes it gets her down, makes her sad, but he only has to spin her a line, do something nice and he's the best thing in the world again. If I explain i'm not comfortable with the affair, but should she need me if (when) it all goes wrong I will be there, then i'll feel better and won't ahve to hear about it in the meantime.

shocked2 she is 28, has been married before and has two children and a very successful career, but yes, she can be very young and selfish at times. Likes her own way, usually gets it. Having said that, she's also been a very generous and supportive friend to me in the past.

orangehead Wed 22-Jun-11 11:30:45

Think it would be very reasonable of you to ask her not to talk about it.
Tbh if a friend of mine was having an affair with a married man she would seriously go down in my estimations and I would lose a lot of respect for her. I wouldnt cut her out but it would affect the friendship and I would probably distance myself. But myself and my children have been deeply hurt by my cheating ex husband. I cant get my head round why any woman would get involved when children can potentially get hurt, regardless of what crap he spins her

Hertfordshire Wed 22-Jun-11 11:32:03

I had a friend like that too mumblechum. In her fifties, had affairs and re-wrote history every time, saying she had only stayed in her marriage because of her kids, as if it was some grand sacrifice. Truth was, she'd have left her husband and put her kids through hell if any of these OM would have committed to her. I didn't know her H well (only knew her through work really) but I used to hope he'd cotton on to how manipulative and nasty she was - and I used to feel very sorry for her kids.

OP the thing is, some of what your mate is saying might be lies she's telling you, as well as herself. She needs to believe that this bloke's marriage was on the rocks before she came along - and she also needs you to believe she's the victim of someone feeding her lines. For all you know he might have been much more honest than she's letting on, but she can't admit that to you otherwise it would make her behaviour look even worse. Again, I once worked with a woman who fed us all a similar story to the one you're hearing - but when we were all on a night out, she was red-faced when the MM said in front of us all that she knew the score and knew this was just a fling. Didn't make us think any more highly of either of them, but she had been lying about what he'd been saying and had to come clean then.

It's perfectly ok to say you don't want to hear about the details, but will be there for her when it all goes wrong (as it will)

kaluki Wed 22-Jun-11 11:42:11

I've been in this position.
I gave her my opinion right from the start (she did ask!). I told her I thought she was in the wrong, he was a shit and that he wouldn't leave his wife, and even if he did he wouldn't be faithful to her.
But then I left it at that and she didn't talk about him too much again.
When his wife got pg (after a one off apparently hmm) she saw sense and ended it and said she wished she'd listened to me!
I think honesty is always the best policy - even if its not what they want to hear, and if it is a true friendship it will survive.

schmarn Wed 22-Jun-11 11:42:33

You don't have to tell her not to talk about it. You just have to say that if she wants to talk about him, she is going to hear some home truths from you. It's then her choice whether or not she wants to talk about it. At the moment I'm afraid that by not challenging her assumptions you are unwittingly enabling her misguided fantasy. As a true friend she needs to hear all the more that in all likelihood he will never leave and that everything he has told her is what every other "have his cake and eat it" adulterer has told his mistress. If she doesn't want to hear that then she has the choice not to talk to you about it. Simples.

proudnscaryvirginmary Wed 22-Jun-11 11:49:21

I sympathise.

I have a (very dear) friend who has lurched from one married man to the next.

In some ways I sympathise with her believe it or not (because she has so many issues, has never had a 'proper' relationship and is terribly vulnerable to married shaggers) but I deeply disapprove, especially as her latest 'one' has a baby.

All I can do is be brutally honest IF she asks me directly. Listen to her - but only up to a point. I will change the subject sometimes, quite obviously. Or I will only respond to the parts I can, the parts where I can say something contrsuctive.

In short I think my silences speak volumes and she knows very well that I think she is being stupid and irresponsible. But I am still there for her. It is very very tricky.

cleverything Wed 22-Jun-11 11:56:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fizzfiend Wed 22-Jun-11 11:59:27

A close friend of mine told me upfront she did not want to hear about that element of my life. I totally respected her opinions. A real friend will respect your opinion, but simply ask her not to talk about it to you, try not to made judgemental comments. Now that is not acceptable..I'm sure you know that as you sound like a considered person.

Wisedupwoman Wed 22-Jun-11 12:41:22

I haven't read the other responses to this post, because when I do, I get all confused about what I want to say, so I'll read back after this:

Bibi she has invited you into the affair by sharing it with you. At the moment her role in the affair is as sexual partner and confidante to the affair partner - and of course he'll feed her all kinds of bullshit about the apparent failings of his DW, he needs to do that to justify his actions. Similarly, you have been included as confidante to your friend.

Sooner or later, this will probably get more complicated for them both and your friend will start to take the place of the affair partners DW - he'll begin to criticise her and find failings in the affair. You'll be needed to take a position by your friend's side on this. You know this.

I think it depends on whether you think affairs are wrong and object on those grounds, or whether you think he is wrong for her for other reasons (i.e. he is a lying opportunist).

IMO since she has chosen to include you in the affair, you have a right to speak your mind. If you are a friend, that's what friends do, isn't it?

BibiThree Wed 22-Jun-11 13:30:28

You all talk a lot of sense! Thank you.

I'm not approving of affairs, personally think it's a bloody terrible thing to do, but I am accepting of the fact that they happen and no amount of disapproval will change that.

I'm seeing her on the weekend, I will try to say, in the nicest way possible, that she sbhould maybe keep that part of her life more private if she doesn't want me to chip in.

Thank you all again, this is really helpful.

Xales Wed 22-Jun-11 14:53:17

How old is the baby?

You say your friend started flirting etc a year or so again. So he had sex with his wife sometime in the last year or so to conceive the baby.

We all know he is lying through his teeth. His poor wife and child.

I would have to re-evaluate what I got from the friendship as you obviously have different moral standards.

I would then tell her she was being a stupid idiot falling for this and that I didn't want to hear anything about it.

AnyFucker Wed 22-Jun-11 16:46:04

Surely a "friend" should be able to speak her mind?

I would say you want a chat with her, point out all the ways she is making an utter dick of herself and then say this is your last word on the matter until she needs your support when it all goes tits-up.

When that happens, make it clear you will not say "I told you so" but until then, you do not want to condone what she is doing be acting as her sounding-board and confidante because that actually makes you complicit in it.

In the meantime, refuse to discuss it.

If she cannot then respect your boundaries (I doubt it,tbh, her boundary-recognition skills are obviously very poorly-developed) then she isn't the friend you thought she was, and I would drop her.

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