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Friend in a relationship with a married man

(9 Posts)
TeddyBare Mon 05-Nov-12 18:35:59

I have posted this in "What would you do" already. I know it's terrible manners to post the same thread twice and I'm really sorry. There isn't much traffic in WWYD and I need some advice.

I have a close friend who has a terrible track record for relationships and falling for guys who aren't interested in a relationship. She has recently started a new job and is very fond of one of her new colleagues. He is married and has an 18 year old dc. He has told her quite regularly that he lives an "alternative lifestyle" which my friend believes means he has an open relationship as he is quite touchy with people and open about his sex life. They have had a drunken one night stand and he is offering / requesting more, although my friend is unsure about whether he is looking for a "no-strings relationship" or an actual relationship.
She has consulted me for advice about what to do, but in a way that it is clear she is asking for me to help her think it is okay. I want to advise her not to continue with him even if it turns out that he does have a truly open relationship with his wife because they have to work together in a very public facing role for at least the next year. However I am finding it very hard. I am tempted to just say that I don't want to talk about it. I wouldn't know how to phrase my concerns in a way which does not sound judgemental or like I am being old / snobby because I have a dh and dc. I would appreciate any advice!

ElizabethX Mon 05-Nov-12 18:56:02

What's in it for her?

PopMusicShoobyDoobyDoA Mon 05-Nov-12 19:05:35

See, if she was my friend, I would tell it like it is. She seems a bit vague about it all - has she not spoken to him about what alternative lifestyle means to him?Tell her that she needs to find out from him what he wants out of it for starters eg sex or relationship (although I doubt it's the latter). Does he intend to have sex with just her or will there be others on the go too? She needs to have a frank discussion with him.

MolotovBomb Mon 05-Nov-12 19:42:59

You don't have to seem like you are judging her. Tell her that she can do what she wants and that it will not affect your friendship with her.

However, as she has asked you, you need to be truthful. Diplomatic - but truthful. This affair she's potentially going to embark upon could become very messy indeed. If she's willing to accept thag she might get her heart broken; that she will always be second-best ... then game on.

I'd be telling her to run like the wind because this guy seems like a total twat. But it's her life.

Good luck to you and I hope that your friend backs out.

B1ueberryJam Mon 05-Nov-12 19:49:18

I was in a relationship with a married man 15 years ago, and I'll tell you why; because I had low self-esteem. I was also lonely and I'd been single for a long time.

There'll be a lot said about your friend on this thread, that she's selfish, she's a home wrecker, she'll deserve every small bit of bad look she has for the rest of her life etc...

I would get her a book by sherry argov, it's a book about not losing yourself in a relationship but it's a real reminder to any woman in any relationship at all not to lose herself, and a reminder that it's not wrong or selfish to have your own agenda and that having your own goals is not 'game playing'. I read the book quite recently and it reminded me to VALUE myself.

Be there for your friend, include her in some of the couples stuff that you do. Being excluded from everything the second the husbands come out is incredibly conservative, unnecessary, frustrating and old-fashioned.

Give her some excitement! go abseiling or something!

And if she does break it off with him, be her wingwoman if she needs one!

bochead Mon 05-Nov-12 21:24:29

When a work relationship ends it's always the woman's career prospects that suffer. What's sauce for the Gander is bitter for the poor goose. Sad fact of our modern lives even today.

That's without the moralising on how even IF his wife is cool with an open relationship is your friend herself REALLY up for what "open" means when she's not even the primary woman? She's unlikely to be the only string to his bow and he WILL have family committments that mean that if push comes to shove she'll never be number one in his heart, life or priorities. Will she be able to cope if he shags another coworker, or a mutual aquaintance (as well he might given the rules of engagement he's set)?

Very few people are OK with playing second fiddle indefinately - no matter how right on and trendy they may want to appear at the start. It's takes a special kind of mentality to be content to remain just a bit of fun. Generally it's human nature to want to be number one in our sexual partners lives.

I've seen a few open marriages work. However I've yet to see all the secondary partners remain content with the situation - sadly generally there comes a point when single women want more - and so end up feeling disapointed when they are cast off as becoming a nusiance and a possible threat to the marriage.

Lovingfreedom Mon 05-Nov-12 21:45:27

Personally I think that in a new job it is very risky to get involved with someone sexually...anyone actually even if they are not married. Get to know the job first and make sure you're making a good impression/getting the job done.

This guy might have a genuinely 'open relationship' but more likely have a reputation within the firm... for cheating on his wife and for trying it on with all the new starts.

Your friend will have worked hard to land the new job...tell her not to fuck it up by sleeping with the first guy who comes onto her. Yes, it's the 21st Century...but in the workplace it still doesn't impress to be the latest gossip fodder when you're just in the door. If she wants NSA sex, I'd suggest for the sake of her career, it would be more discrete to look elsewhere (online dating perhaps?)

ripsishere Tue 06-Nov-12 02:24:46

I have nothing to add apart from get a test for STIs.
He sounds like a player to me.

frostyfingers Tue 06-Nov-12 14:05:16

My friend was in a relationship with a married man for over a year - I spent all my time telling her it was bad for her, would end in tears, that she would be unhappy and unfulfilled to absolutely no avail. He has behaved like a complete s**t, and finally, finally, she has seen the light. Nothing I said seemed to have any effect, it came down to her realising that no good would come of it.

She still hankers after him but has just about ceased contact, and at every opportunity I tell her that she's done the right thing by ending it, but in truth she's still unhappy and would go for it again like a shot if encouraged.

Be careful how you word your advice - too much disapproval has a tendency to make someone do the opposite.

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