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My best friend cheats on her husband - I get told all about it, feel bad.

(43 Posts)
123fourfivesix Fri 06-Jan-12 11:14:14

I don't know why I'm typing this, think I just want a safe outlet without discussing it in real life I suppose.

Basically, my best friend of 23 years is a cheat. She has cheated on her husband (off and on with a number of people) ever since they were first together (about 16 years). She has said many times that 'this is the last time - when I get engaged/ married/ have a baby, it will stop' but she never does.

It's usually with someone at work and usually within work hours, so lunch times, working late, early starts, taking the afternoon off sneakily, work parties etc.

I get told about it everytime and all about the 'fantastic sex' etc, that she loves her husband and child but can't help herself. I try and remain calm and don't respond much (I don't congratulate or berate her). I just ask her questions which I hope will get her to think about her actions.

I feel so bad, I'd never tell her husband as I would not want to be the one to break the news, but he is a nice guy and a good friend to my husband and I. I also start to question all the relationships around me (including mine) as it must be so easy to do without anyone finding out.

I asked her the other day 'What if you started to have feelings for X (the new fling)?' and she said that 'Oh, it's ok, he's married and has a baby, so he's unlikely to want to have a proper relationship anyway'. I just feel sick with that comment. It's as if she cuts out any emotion.

I just wanted to let it all out really, I don't think she thinks that she is doing anyone any harm, that it's all a bit of fun. She is a good friend to me, but it's starting to make me feel awful. She is professional and appears classy, no-one would ever guess.

What a dreadful position to be in, it would sicken me too to have to listen to her, she is potentially hurting so many people.

Has she ever claimed to be unhappy with her life, 'my husband doesn't understand me' ? I mean, does she know why she does it and with no remorse?

WinkyWinkola Fri 06-Jan-12 11:23:22

Gosh. She is a busy woman. She clearly couldn't care less who she hurts in her sexual pursuits.

Are you sure she is such a good friend? Would she ever make a play for your dh, for example? Mean, she couldn't care less about the potential devastation she could wreak on her own h and child.

Where does she draw the line?

And nobody would ever guess looking at her? If she's having sex with colleagues, then word will get about.

Fine and great if you're free and single and go for free and singles, but she seems to enjoy the risks.

It's sad. If you're happy being pals and hearing all about it, them cool. If you're not, just say you think she's wrong and that she should improve things with her h before she goes off elsewhere. Plus the sexual health risks.

Angelswings Fri 06-Jan-12 11:23:33

You don't have to listen to her
Next time she brings the subject up have a pre prepared sentence at the ready, maybe
I don't feel comfortable hearing about your affairs. It has put me in a difficult situation and makes me feel bad and drains my energy.

You will have much better words than that, but practice saying them.

You don't have to listen to her

PostBellumBugsy Fri 06-Jan-12 11:26:49

Sounds like she is damaged somehow. Thrill seeking or sex seeking in a very hard-hearted kind of way.
Maybe she finds it hard to connect emotionally to men. In her situation that may be a good thing, because she can probably have affairs without it ever meaning any more to her than just sex. That way her own DH & child are never likely to find out & she is unlikely to ever want any of her lovers to leave their wives either.
Obviously, what she is doing is far from ideal, but it does sound as though she can handle it.
I doubt you can "fix" her. Could you ask her to stop telling you about it?

moogalicious Fri 06-Jan-12 11:27:08

ditch the friend. Next time it could be your dp or someone close to you. She obviously doesn't give a toss about anyone else.

<voice of experience>

lubeybooby Fri 06-Jan-12 11:27:29

Seconding what Angelswings says ^ up there

123fourfivesix Fri 06-Jan-12 11:28:14

I don't know why she does it. I know they 'fight' over trivial things and then make up again, so I'm guessing she is a bit of a thrill seeker, but on the whole they seem happy on the outside.

At the start (in the 1st year or so) of their relationship, he finished it with her for someone else at uni (long distance at the time). She would not accept that and made him get back with her. It started then, so perhaps there is an element of spite that has lingered.

Then again, I recall her cheating on earlier boyfriends in her teenage years.
Her parents are very 'well to do' and respectable, so perhaps there is an element of rebellion too.

I just can't understand it.

moogalicious Fri 06-Jan-12 11:30:16

Honestly, people like this just drain you. Maybe I'm too long in the tooth to deal with it these days.

PeppermintPasty Fri 06-Jan-12 11:31:58

Why are you friends with her?

lisad123 Fri 06-Jan-12 11:39:30

well i had the same potision a few years back. Her dh drove me home one night and asked me out right! I didnt tell him anything but suggested he talk to his wife. She blamed me when they slipt up, but are now back together.

Please dont say she is doing no one harm, she clearly is! What about risks of STD, whatabout her husband, what about OM wife/girlfriend?

I couldnt be friends like someone that is that dishonest and unkind to those that she loves.

123fourfivesix Fri 06-Jan-12 11:39:59

She hasn't had an affair for about five years, but that is only because she has had no opportunity. She works in a mainly female populated place. She has recently started a fling with the only man there. This is the first time since her son was born. I had a shock that it had started again.

Apart from this, she is a good friend. It's just her behaviour in this area which makes me feel negative.

123fourfivesix Fri 06-Jan-12 11:42:30

Lisa - She thinks it is doing no-one any harm. I think it's awful and harmful to everyone concerned. I tried to bring up those things you did. She just doesn't seem to see it.

mumblechum1 Fri 06-Jan-12 11:42:48

She sounds v similar to an ex best friend of mine who's always had some other man on the go for about 16 years, too.

She was a crap friend, on reflection, because she only ever wanted to talk about herself and her feelings and wasn't interested in me other than as free legal advice if she got divorced etc.

I eventually cut ties, and heard recently that although she and her h separated about a year ago after he found out about the latest affair, hes taken her back now and they've emigrated to NZ where no doubt she'll be on the lookout for the next one.

Friends like that aren't worth having imo.

izzywhizzystwelfthnight Fri 06-Jan-12 11:49:32

To me, shared values are important in close friendships and I don't think I could regard someone whose moral values were so out of kilter with my own as a 'best' friend.

However, if I were engaged in commiting adultery with a succession of men I'd like to think that I'd keep my activities to myself rather than placing my 'best', or any other friend for that matter, in a difficult or questionable position especially if she and her dh were friends with my spouse.

Why does your 'best' friend behave in this way? What does she get out of having these clandestine affairs? Has she considered the consequences if her dh discovers her infidelity?

I don't believe for one minute that she 'can't help herself' and it seems to me that. if she's unable to work it out for herself, she'd benefit from counselling to discover why she cheapens herself in her pursuit of cheap thrills.

Do you think there's any chance that these transitory relationships are a figment of her imagination?

PeppermintPasty Fri 06-Jan-12 12:01:27

Well, she doesn't sound like much of a friend, putting you in this position for one thing. She sounds damaged and needy and incredibly wearing. Actually she sounds like a total dickhead. What do you get out of the friendship?

123fourfivesix Fri 06-Jan-12 12:05:24

Izzy - I have no proof that she has done these things, but I can't see that she is imagining it or lying to me.

I think if she does tell me again, I'll recommend counselling to her.

I did ask ' What if your DH found out?' and she said 'Her life would be ruined'.

I think I've been able to tolerate it better before as:

A: She did not have a child with her DH.
B: I could tell myself that there must be a 'problem' with her and her DH. Kind of making excuses for her in a way in my head. You don't know what goes on behind closed doors for example.
C: I did not know much about the other men, I think they were single.

I hate the fact that this time there is a wife and child involved, and she does not see this as a problem, only a positive that he would not get emotionally involved. She told me that she was not careful with contraception or STI protection, but took many pills to prevent pregnancy, so she is putting her DH at risk as they are trying for a baby together.

I think before it was bad, but not as bad as now iyswim. It's just escalating.

Teeb Fri 06-Jan-12 12:06:02

I think if you want the friendship to continue for what else it brings you, then you need to be quite blunt and tell her you want no involvement in her sordid affairs, and she's on her own with it as far as you are concerned. It isn't fair that she can offload about it to you, and possibly put you in a position similar to lisad123.

123fourfivesix Fri 06-Jan-12 12:13:38

As for what the friendship brings me, she has always been a good friend. I have known her since I was 12 and we grew up together. Apart from all this, I love her. She is fun to be with, our conversations flow easily and we both listen to each other equally. I just hate her actions if anyone knows what I mean.

MadAboutHotChoc Fri 06-Jan-12 13:05:32

Sounds like the friend I had who shagged my H after having had a number of affairs...

123fourfivesix Fri 06-Jan-12 13:10:03

Oh God Hotchoc, Sorry that happened to you sad.

Sapphirefling Fri 06-Jan-12 13:12:31

I couldn't be friends with someone who's moral compass is so obviously skewed.

nailak Fri 06-Jan-12 13:14:22

Maybe its a symptom of something, manic behaviour?

123fourfivesix Fri 06-Jan-12 13:22:27

Nailak, there's definitely something 'wrong' there, but I don't think she has any mental type problems. All other aspects of her life appear relatively normal, but then again from the outside, she does seem normal to others.

If she does bring it up again, which I'm guessing she will as she works in close contact with this man, I'll have to tell her to take it elsewhere. I think it's also the thrill of telling someone about it iyswim. We have another close friend, who she would never tell so perhaps it may slow her down somewhat.

I saw her DH yesterday from afar, and normally I would call out to him to chat and say hello, but I just couldn't face him one to one iyswim.

Hairynigel Fri 06-Jan-12 13:28:14

My sister cheated and told me all about it so I know how you feel. I ended up telling her I don't want to hear a thing about it, and if she does tell me again I will tell her DP as I will NOT support cheating.

Good luck OP, it's a hard position to be in

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