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My friend is having an EA

(4 Posts)
OnlyMe1971 Sat 09-Jul-11 09:19:07

Hi, I just wanted to get this out really as can't really discuss it with DH too much. My friend is having an ongoing EA. She has been in a relationship with her partner for over 15 years and they are happy together, he is a great guy she's a great girl and all in all they were very happy. Ups and downs like everyone but mostly good.
Until this man walked into my friends life.
About 3 years ago he started working in her office.
They became close as friends and went out together with a group of others so fairly harmless.
One night they were the last left and ended up kissing.
Decided afterwards it was a silly mistake and friend wanted to just get on iwth it and so they tried.
Since then, that was 2 years ago, there has been no physical contact.
But he is in love with her and she with him.
He even left her place of work a year ago, both of them decided it would be best not to see one another anymore as just made it all more painful.
But he still has to visit her place of work every now and again and each time she is hit with it and it blows her away. She still goes for walks with him and spends time alone with him when he is around, which of course is just adding to the torment.
Yesterday evening we were out as a group and she sat next to me and it all came out that they wre still in touch. I thought as much as hadn't heard from her for a while so that's usually what happens when she's going through emotional turmoil.
But I just don't know what to tell her.
Last night I asked her if she realises if she is having an EA but she became a bit defensive about it.
I feel bad for her but I also feel she is playing with fire.
If her partner ever found out he would be completely gutted.
He is the most loyal man and treats her so very well and is totally in love with her.
But I just don't know what to say to her. I listen, I feel sad that she is sad but I feel she is not making it any easier on herself.
The man has just left her place of work again so she was looking haggard and brokenhearted yesterday evening.
I almost wish she hadn't told me now as it's like the elephant in the room.

Wisedupwoman Sat 09-Jul-11 12:07:10

You don't know what to tell her, and what you have tried to tell her your friend rebuffs.

I don't think you can do any more than you have tbh. She isn't willing to give him up completely and you can't force her. If it were me I'd ask her how she would feel if the shoe was on the other foot, and what advice she'd give a friend who was going through the same thing. It's very hard to puncture the intensity of an EA because it's all in the thrill of secrecy and the promise of sexual gratification.

OnlyMe1971 Sat 09-Jul-11 19:35:58

Yes, but it has got me thinking about EA's. I mean, it's based on fantasy really, isn't it? She was talking about what she has with her partner, which is "fine" to use the word she used. And then what she has with this guy, which is "amazing". Again, I'm quoting. I tried to counter this with saying to her that yes, it's amazing now, but in 10 years, it will also be "fine" just like what she has now. So why risk throwing away what she has now.
She's living in a fantasy world. She says she will never leave partner so then why is she tormenting herself???
I will see her tomorrow again but we won't be talking about it as she will be with her partner, who is also a friend of mine. I feel so bad for him too.
I am finding it hard to be around her actually as I just feel a little uncomfortable knowing what' sgoing on. I don't want the knowledge!

LemonDifficult Sat 09-Jul-11 19:46:57

I think if you are feeling uncomfortable about her EA then you should tell her, because she doesn't need to add friend issues to her emotions.

OTOH, if you are able to handle this and maintain some emotional distance from it then you could be lots of help to her. Sounds as though she's 'in love' with they guy but doesn't want to do anything about it. That's good really. She knows not to go there, even though it's too late for the emotions.

Just encourage her that she's done the right thing in not giving in and to do anything she can to ride it out. In these situations, I think the most useful thing a friend can say is: if this is realy the man/woman for you and you've made a mistake with your DH/DW then I support you, but only if you've taken 18 months to think it through without cheating on your partner. If it's the right man 18months will be nothing, if it's a crush then it will have cooled. Take time, tread water, ride it out.

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