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Need advice on how to help a friend.

(14 Posts)
RandallPinkFloyd Mon 01-Oct-12 12:51:40

Won't go into detail as it's not my place to but basically my friend has just found out that her H has been having an affair for over 10 years and that he has 2 children with the OW.

I just don't know what to say to her. She's just devastated.

I've been cheated on, plenty of people on here know my stbXh cheated on me countless times, but this is something else sad

This year is just shit, so many horrible things have happened to so many lovely people. 2012 can just fuck off.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Oct-12 12:53:35

Sit her down with tissues, wine and offer to accompany her to a good solicitor.

flyoverthegoldenhill Mon 01-Oct-12 12:54:50

I wouldn't know what to say either, but let her know you are there. Some people really are just bastards.

foolonthehill Mon 01-Oct-12 12:55:20

Be there,
listen to the same thing over and over again,
buy flowers/tissues/chocolate.
listen when she's angry, sad, mad.
Make sure she eats
If she has DC take them to the park occasionally

You know, all the things you wanted when you felt like you were drowning and didn't know what to do

she's lucky to have you

yani Mon 01-Oct-12 12:56:28

Pink - that's horrible. Your poor friend.

I don't have any experience, so my advice may not be that helpful to you.

I imagine she is struggling with all sorts of crazy emotions and mood swings atm.

Simply be there for her. Be there to shout at, get angry at, to hug, to offer a tissue, to cook a meal, to drag her out in the fresh air. To field phone calls, to help her gently with decision making.

Don't have any expectations of her.

Get a good solicitor. Sounds like she'll need it. sad

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 01-Oct-12 13:06:05

I just feel so sorry for her. 10 years ffs!

We don't live very close so it's not easy to get to see her but we've been texting all morning. I thing what makes it harder for me is that I know what I'm saying means nothing. I'm still coming out with the pointless but well meant crap that people said to me.

The platitudes, being told you're not an idiot, that you couldn't have know, they don't change anything.

The affair is one thing but 2 kids? 2 fucking kids? How do people get away with this kind of shit? How do they keep it so well hidden? The eldest is apparently 9.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Oct-12 13:47:19

Partners often see what they want to see and, if your friend had no reason to be suspicious, she won't have been looking for clues about his double life. People get away with long-term affairs if they have plausible reasons for spending time away, if there's no contact between their twin lives and don't change their behaviour at home. My uncle had a few 'families' dotted about because he worked as a market trader going from town to town. I don't know if the other woman knew he was married or not. Some women are quite happy with a 'man sharing' arrangement and are therefore in no rush to spill the beans. How did she find out in the end?

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 01-Oct-12 14:07:35

Don't really want to go into detail because it's not my story to tell iyswim but basically she was told by a family member who had snooped on him.

Their marriage wasn't perfect my any stretch, they had their fair share of ups and downs. She'd had suspicions in the past I know but the last year or so they'd been really happy, happier than ever.

I think she thought their rocky patch was just a blip and they'd moved on.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Oct-12 14:20:36

Everyone thinks that about rocky patches. It's what I mean about seeing what you want to see i.e. the 'happier than ever' rather than the 'ups and downs'. Bottom line is that it doesn't really matter if the DH left her for someone else, no-one else, has 10 kids in Norfolk or a PVC-clad toy-boy in Chipping Camden..... it hurts just the same, the shock is just as great and the 'why didn't I see it coming' self-recriminations are just as powerful.

Pointless but well-meaning crap is all anyone can say to begin with.

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 01-Oct-12 14:27:43

Very true.

izzyizin Mon 01-Oct-12 15:09:15

Platitudes are us the order of the day as there isn't much new to say about these age-old stories.

As more detail becomes known you may be able to move from the trite to more original comment but, in the meantime, being a good listener is the most effective comfort you can give your friend together with proferring tissues, wine, chocs, etc as suggested by fool.

Perhaps you could suggest that she posts here for the additional solace that can be found from those who have been, or are, in the same place she has unwittingly found herself and from knowing that she can unburden herself 24/7 if you or her other rl friends are not available.

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 01-Oct-12 15:15:17

I've been thinking of directing her here actually. I'm trying to think of a roundabout way to suggest it though.

I wouldn't want to read her thread or know her NN I'd want her to be totally anonymous. For me it was the feeling of safety on here that meant I felt able to spew it all out.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Oct-12 16:22:21

Leave it a week or three and this thread will disappear quietly into the ether. Or you could ask MNHQ to delete it.

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 01-Oct-12 17:40:02

I meant I wouldn't want to read it if she started her own thread rather than her not seeing this one.

I think the only way would be if she told me the thread title then I could hide it without opening it, but I'd still know her NN that way.

I was going to try and direct her here without telling her I'm here IYSWIM but I don't know how I'd do it. I could just hide any thread about cheating husbands for a while!

Oh I don't know, it might not be something she'd want to do anyway, I think I'm just desperately trying to do something constructive.

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