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What do I do????? (a bit long)

(33 Posts)
CDMforever Tue 02-Aug-11 20:27:18

My husband's best friend left his wife (one of my very close friends) for another woman in January. I'll call them Tom and Teresa to make it easier. The other woman will be called Madge.
Tom initially had the affair about 2 years ago after which Tom and Teresa stayed together to try and make their marriage work.
But to be honest his heart was never in it and it was Teresa who was making all effort etc. Tom was still in love with Madge.
Anyway Tom is now with Madge and DH wants me to meet her.
I know I will have to at some stage as Tom is my friend too, although he has behaved badly.
I just feel like I would be betraying Teresa, although she has said she understands that I have to meet her at some point.
Teresa hasn't met anyone else yet though has started dating.
Both Tom and Teresa are my friends but its Teresa I've been giving all the support to over the past 2 years so I feel shitty even contemplating meeting the "other woman" and know I would be doing it for DH's sake.
Any advice??

Lady1nTheRadiator Tue 02-Aug-11 20:30:42

I don't know what's 'right' but I think if I were in your shoes I would not want to meet her - why must you anyway? I don't know, thinking hypothetically can be very black and white - but I would want little to do with Tom and focus more on my friendship with Teresa. I find it hard to sympathise with people who have affairs - it would change my view of that person completely. But like I said... easy for me to say when they're not real people that I know.

PhilipJFry Tue 02-Aug-11 20:35:32

This is a toughie. In your position I wouldn't actively avoid this woman- if we were going to the same event I would still go, if there were a group of people meeting up I'd still show up. But I don't think I'd be comfortable with an intimate meeting (like you, her and your partners). If you don't want to meet her then don't feel that you have to. Could you not tell your husband that you'd be fine with seeing her in a group setting but aren't really comfortable with anything else?

It doesn't sound like you'd enjoy meeting her tbh.

buzzsore Tue 02-Aug-11 20:41:03

I think I'd wait a bit longer - your dh can see his friend on his own in the meantime, but I probably wouldn't want to socialise with them as couples for a while yet. It's like 'Madge' taking 'Teresa's' place socially, if you do stuff with them that you used to do with him & Teresa. It's all a bit awkward, isn't it?

CDMforever Tue 02-Aug-11 20:41:22

PhilipJFry I definitely wouldn't enjoy meeting her and would only do it for DH's sake.
I think it will be a dinner party for 6.
As you say it would be much easier and less intense in a larger group but not sure if 6 is large enough.
Lady I don't sympathise with Tom at all! Do you think meeting Madge would imply that?? I suppose it would...Oh blimey confused
I think I might have to say No but I know DH won't understand.

CDMforever Tue 02-Aug-11 20:44:24

buzzsore yes it would be incredibly awkward.
Tom and Teresa were such close friends of ours as a couple. I still can't really believe whats happened. They seemed like the perfect couple hmm
I realise that doesn't exist.

Lady1nTheRadiator Tue 02-Aug-11 21:09:44

No, sorry, I didn't mean that - but yes I see what you mean - sorry, getting muddled. I meant I wouldn't really want to see Tom anyway nevermind his OW. That a friend of mine having an affair would really make me question if I wanted them as a friend.

Actually I think the whole thing would just make me angrier - of course Tom has a right to happiness (blah blah blah), and can't be expected to pretend otherwise, and is therefore entitled to dinner parties and so on, but to just expect the rest of you to smile and nod and be fine with it all is a bit off - his actions - his affair - affect his other relationships too.

I think Philip is right about not deliberately avoiding her but I do think dinner for 6 is just a bit too intimate - and what of the other couple - are they old friends/new friends, do they know Teresa - I'd just avoid like the plague anyway.

Sorry for being waffly and lacking coherence, I think I need an early night!

CDMforever Tue 02-Aug-11 21:23:26

You're making a lot of sense Lady especially about Tom expecting the rest of us to smile and nod etc.
I do know he understands that I will find it hard but he hasn't had the balls to speak to me about it.
Mind you he didn't have the balls to leave his marriage in the first place...think I need an early nite too. Was up at 6 with LOssmile

aurynne Tue 02-Aug-11 21:27:57

CDMforever, if Tom is your friend too, why don't you talk to HIM (not to your DH) about your feelings? You are an adult and have the right to your own feelings, and telling Tom that socializing with them so early will feel awkward is, in my opinion, much more honest than meeting them and having a fake smile on all night.

Mentile Tue 02-Aug-11 21:29:38

I have been in Teresa's position. If I knew you had met with Madge, I would see it as you taking sides with her and Tom. Sorry, but I would. Emotions are complex things! Friends who are friends with the OW are no longer friends of mine.

lazarusb Tue 02-Aug-11 21:50:18

I'd tell Tom that I didn't want to meet Madge for the forseeable future. Be honest. He can't just expect life to carry on as if nothing has happened. A dinner party for 6 is also far too formal and small.

Sassybeast Tue 02-Aug-11 22:44:08

I couldn't be friends with somone who has an affair. It's 'that' simple IMO.

FabbyChic Tue 02-Aug-11 23:03:04

I wouldn't meet her simply because by doing so it justifies what they have done. She isn't your friend and never will be there is too much water under the bridge.

Let your husband do the meeting, let him do the socialising.

His friend betrayed his wife this woman knew he was a married man and had an affair with him. She has no moral compass.

PhilipJFry Wed 03-Aug-11 00:09:52

A dinner party for six? Sounds way too cozy for me, you'd be bound to be caught up in each other's conversation for most of the time..and it'd be inevitable that you'd have to talk to each other for a fair bit. It sounds like it'd be quite uncomfortable for you with everyone laughing and drinking and eating and the new state of affairs being completely brushed over.

PhilipJFry Wed 03-Aug-11 00:11:11

You sound like a good friend by the way. The support you've given over the last few years and worry you've had over this shows that smile

Haudyerwheesht Wed 03-Aug-11 00:20:12

Have been in a similarish position and the 'teresa' was 8 months pregnant too.

I had never really liked the man though so I suppose it makes it a bit easier but I pretty much won't meet him now and I certainly did not invite his new woman to my kids christenings and any other occasions such as parties / bbqs etc etc.

If I were you I wouldn't meet her. I presume she knew tom was married?

UnhappyLizzie Wed 03-Aug-11 05:45:23

Life moves on and it doesn't sound like T&T will be getting back together, but it doesn't mean you have to go at anyone else's pace.

Whether you meet her in the end or not, dinner for six is not the way. Drinks party and a quick intro, maybe.

Teresa sounds like a really nice person, saying it's up to you and she wouldn't want to put you in an awkward position. Good for her starting to date, hope she meets a good man.

mathanxiety Wed 03-Aug-11 06:12:47

Teresa may well understand on many levels that life goes on, etc., but I think it would still hurt her to see Madge (for instance) invited to your house for drinks or dinner or to see you socialising with her and Tom. If you have to meet with Madge, it should be a brief meeting, with you having a schedule conflict that means you have to dash, and in a pub or somewhere less intimate than dinner for 6 somewhere.

It pissed me off when exH remained close friends with a man he and I both knew to be a serial cheater, inviting him to our house, having me cook a meal and play the hostess, and I hadn't even liked this man's wife the few times I had met her. (I never forgave the exILs for embracing exH's gf and her children after I had heard many a sermon from hypocritical exMIL over the years on the subject of the Kennedy family, and after seeing her reject another former SIL's two oldest children (the step children of her oldest DS, my exBIL) on the grounds that they were not really relatives of any of her precious family...)

saffronwblue Wed 03-Aug-11 06:24:54

I hate the way - big generalisation- men just think life will resume as normal with a new partner and that the friends will all be equally friendly, the children will fit in etc. It is as if they have just put a new tire on their car rather than crashed through several people's lives and feelings.
Of course people move on but it sounds as if it is all too soon and your loyalty has been to Teresa. I would contact Tom yourself and say that if you meet Madge in a big group you will be pleasant but you don't want to see them in a small group as a couple yet.

Thumbwitch Wed 03-Aug-11 06:32:49

It's a bitch of a situation, tbh and I don't envy you in the slightest.
When my ex-fiancé left me for a secretary after 11y together, it was very difficult for some of our friends to deal with. One in particular - she'd started going out with exF's best friend about a year after we'd started going out, so she'd been around for 10y and we were pretty good friends. She didn't have much choice about meeting the OW because her DP and my exF had been friends even longer (since the beginning of senior school) - but she salved her conscience by "reporting back" to me on what the OW was like. She and OW never made friends and tbh it all came to nothing much in the end because exF was absolutely shite at keeping up with his own friends! So they are still my friends and haven't spoken to him in many years; I went to their wedding and he wasn't even invited.

I think you have to bite the bullet and see her once but after that you can legitimately decide that you don't want to see her again unless it's absolutely unavoidable but you'd prefer to remain loyal to Teresa. What I think would be impossible is to become friends with both women and I agree with math that you having them come to your house would be more hurtful than meeting up with them elsewhere.

Good luck - and I hope it works itself out ok. I also hope that 'Teresa' isn't left in the cold by other friends in favour of her H just because he is now in a couple again, it's so awful when people do that. sad

welliesandpyjamas Wed 03-Aug-11 06:43:28

Agree with other posts.
1) it's too soon
2) why socialise with someone who doesn't have your moral code
3) tom is rushing you, pushing you to accept his behaviour and woman on his terms, and on his time scale. Stand up for your own instincts on this.

ScaredOfCows Wed 03-Aug-11 07:12:44

Has your husband already met her? Is the dinner party for the sole reason of introducing you, and the other couple (?) to her?

fivegomadindorset Wed 03-Aug-11 07:19:40

Bigger drinks party yes, event yes, dinner party for 6 no.

venusandmars Wed 03-Aug-11 09:14:49

Difficult situation and no easy answer. You and your dh need to decide how you are going to deal with this (seperately and together) in the long term, and from that work out what you might do in the short term.

If for example, Tom is going to continue to be the best friend of your dh, and you can envisage that some time in the future you will accept being in a dinner party situation with him and Madge, then you can be clear with Tom that you are not cutting them off, but just that it is too soon, and that meeting more casually for now is what YOU want.

If however you are never, ever going to have anything to do with Madge, then you need to be clear about the impact that that will have on your dh. If he continues to see Tom, it will be different to before - 2 men together rather than family friends all together.

At the end of the day, your decision has to be about you and your dh and what you want to do, not just about T&T and what they might want. If you can, avoid making judgements and taking sides. If Teresa is the type to refuse to be friends with you if you are in social contact with Madge, then you have to decide the extent to which you are going to let someone else's feelings dictate how you and your dh live your lives. It is important that you and your dh do not let the breakdown of someone else's relationship affect your own.

CDMforever Wed 03-Aug-11 19:36:30

Wow! Thank you all so much.
Some very excellent advice here.
I think, as alot of you said, I'm not yet ready to meet Madge but realise that I will in the future.
I'm going to be completely honest with Tom and tell him this, thats its too soon for me.
Thanx again. This is one of the many reasons that I love MN - I had a problem and now I feel its halved smile

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