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I'm losing respect for my friend - married men issues

(20 Posts)
BoringNameChanges Sat 17-Nov-12 04:39:02

NC as posting history combined with this may out me.

My best friend and I work in the same small and highly connected industry in similar roles. There is little to no professional competition between us as we both have particular skill sets that are complementary.

A few years ago my friend had an affair with a married man at work. He had children and I made my views clear that I did not support these actions. I did however listen and tried to steer her away from him, which didn't work. She never wanted him to leave his family - she enjoyed the sex and the subterfuge. She affair has never come out and it only stopped because he moved away.

Since then she's had a relationship with another attached man and in recent months has shared with me her glee that two further married colleagues have

BoringNameChanges Sat 17-Nov-12 04:49:42

shit sorry on my phone

approached her and suggested that they would like to have relationships with her.

She rejected both advances. She can't see why they are doing this. We've talked about her dealings with them and she doesn't think that she has given these two blokes any signals that she would be interested. I'm doubting her and starting to lose respect for her. She says she wants to settle and meet a single man and can't understand why it's only older married ones who approach her.

Any suggestions on how I can help her and stop judging?

Boomeringue Sat 17-Nov-12 06:45:29

You're obviously not the only one who knows about her relationships. Word is out that she's available. If that's how she wants to be perceived,there's nothing that you can do about it.

BoringNameChanges Sat 17-Nov-12 07:35:25

I really don't think that anyone knows because I'd have heard the gossip. It would've been very damaging, reputationaly, for both of them.

Second guy completely unconnected with work.

She is very personable and everyone who meets her, likes her. I'd hate to say to her that she needs to dress more conservatively and/or stop being so nice to everyone.

AllOverIt Sat 17-Nov-12 07:52:29

I don't think she needs to stop being nice and change the way she dresses. She just needs to stop having relationships with attached men. She sounds like she may have a bit of a reputation.

Proudnscary Sat 17-Nov-12 08:10:56

Actually I'd just butt out.

Not because I don't think you're right, but because a) she's an adult, b) she clearly will do what she wants to do no matter what you say c) you already made your feelings known when she had her affair with MM.

Distance yourself from her and/or change the subject if she talks about from these married men.

izzyizin Sat 17-Nov-12 08:33:06

Exactly what Proud has said.

Stop providing the oxygen that's enabling her to stealth boast relish her own dupllicity and that of a succession of dick-led married men.

DontmindifIdo Sat 17-Nov-12 08:33:14

No, lots of people will know, in industries like these, people know, they just might not openly discuss it. She's obviously giving out signals that she wants is fun with married men, she probably likes the challenge of getting a "taken" man to flirt back with her. She's saying what she thinks she wants - single man she can settle down with - but what she enjoys is "winning" over another woman, even if it's just for a night or a few hours, getting a man to cheat means she's 'won' - a single guy isn't going to give her that buzz.

Men rarely "make it clear to a colleague they want to have a relationship" with another woman if they are married unless they are 100% certain that the other woman is interested, they might with a non-colleague but propositioning a colleague unless you've sounded them out is potentially career ending. Very few men will take that risk unless they already know the other woman is interested.

she enjoys the attention from married men, she's not cutting htem dead when they flirt with her. BTW - are you attached? She will try it on with DH/DP if you introduce them.

I'd cut her out. I bet she doesn't have a lot of close female friends... but lots of men who'll "do anything for her"

TheLightPassenger Sat 17-Nov-12 08:36:16

agree with Proud. It doesn't matter how many married men proposition her, how she dresses etc - she can just tell them to bugger off if that's what she really wants. But tbh it sounds as if she enjoys the attention. Don't waste your time and energy trying to somehow improve her behaviour.

BoringNameChanges Sat 17-Nov-12 10:17:02

Thanks, I take all your comments onboard. I'm not going to cut her out. We've been friends for 10 years plus and she's been an absolute rock for me.

No fear about my own DH and her. She spends a lot of time with us as a family unit.

dontmind she doesn't recognise that she treats men and women differently. To be honest, I agree with her. She's very tactile, flirtatious and engaging with both sexes.

She's asking me for my opinion on what's going on. She's said told both these fellas that it wasn't on the cards AT ALL as soon as they became suggestive but she did say it gleefully, so she must enjoy the attention.


izzyizin Sat 17-Nov-12 10:38:34

Of course she's enjoying the attention - it's one big ego boost for her.

There's no need to cut her out; just make it clear that there are certain aspects of her personal life that are of no interest whatsoever to you - but I've got a feeling this advice will fall on deaf ears because you want to stay in that particular loop.

Jemma1111 Sat 17-Nov-12 10:53:40

You say she wouldn't try it on with your DH ?

Don't be so sure, if she is so easy with married men and gets an ego boost and a feeling of 'getting one over' on the wife then you should be very wary. Your H could well be one day a very interesting challenge for her.

If your'e still not convinced, how often do you hear about affairs amongst family members and friends ?.

Don't trust her.

Charbon Sat 17-Nov-12 12:25:53

If you want to be a good friend to this woman, suggest she has some counselling about why she does this.

Women who seek and have relationships with a series of emotionally unavailable men have some very complex motivations and there are usually some clues in their childhoods.

IME, women in these situations have often had difficult fathering relationships (either neglectful or put on a 'princess' pedestal in competition with a mother figure), have problems empathising with other women and see them as competitors and critically, enjoy playing games and getting very dubious validation from their ability to attract supposedly unattainable men.

This behaviour often comes from a place of hurt, but that doesn't mean it is excusable because it wreaks havoc in people's lives, if not in her own.

I agree she is emitting signals and that it's possible that there is gossip. What's profoundly depressing if it's the latter is that any gossip is likely to more pejorative towards her than her married partners. Therefore, I'd concentrate on her behaviour and why she does this - and not how she keeps attracting this sort of attention because that's not really the salient issue.

DontmindifIdo Sat 17-Nov-12 12:26:34

You can't trust her because she flirts with married men to get an ego boost, she doesn't care about the wives in this, so there's no reason to assume that somehow she won't if she has no other attention on the go not go for your DH, if she hasn't so far, that must be that your DH is giving out vibes that he'd turn her down.

Really, if it's only married men who are trying it on, not single ones, then she must be behaving differently with men who are a 'challenge' or to be kinder, she thinks it's "safe" to flirt with, because they're taken.

Slippersox Sat 17-Nov-12 12:42:50

I think she knows exactly what she's doing, then likes act all astonished and 'oh my.How did that happen!' When she's hooked another man to into her game of flirtation,and as you say subterfuge.And all that implies is dishonesty and deceit.Agree with Izzy it's all a massive ego boost and in a way you are complicit to a degree if you feed her need for the drama and attention of it.But understand its's a difficult one for you. And how good a friend is she to put you in that position?
If you don't want to cut her out altogether than agree distancing yourself and avoiding getting drawn into the details of her relationships is the only way to go.
I am somewhat biased on this must confess.It sounds exactly like the friendship between the very flirtatious woman who worked with my DH and her quieter loyal friend.OW fancied herself as quite the femme fatale ,and then was all shocked and righteous indignation that she never meant any harm to happen when her partner discovered the sexually provocative texts to my DH.And guess what ?It wasn't the first time she'd found herself in a tricky situation.
And her quieter ,loyal friend has now stepped right back from this needy attention seeking individual and blossomed in her own right, and doesn't have the burden of sharing all these secrets.

DontmindifIdo Sat 17-Nov-12 12:59:09

oh yes, and I'd be most annoyed by the "oh gosh, I didn't mean to make yet another man fancy me! I must just be soooo irrisitable and so much sexier than their wives, it's nothing to do with my behaviour!" act. She knows exactly what she's doing. I bet any man who doesn't respond to start with she'll not 'like' and not really bother with again, her ego is the most important.

Does she have a lot of female friends?

ATourchOfInsanity Sat 17-Nov-12 13:06:53

I think Proud is right, she is an adult and will do what she wants (and makes her feel good) regardless of what you say. I would perhaps try the route of 'how will you feel if you get married and someone does this to you? Don't you think you are tempting fate?' or something similar. She clearly doesn't think much/at all about the families she is ruining, and maybe you need to focus on that, which would also let your feelings known again? In time she will stop gloating to you if she realises it isn't something you will pat her on the back for, but look down on her for.

I also wouldn't trust her at all, no matter how long you have known her for. Could be more of a thrill for her to take someones hubby that she knows...

Charbon Sat 17-Nov-12 13:21:06

The trouble is, this isn't a 'massive ego boost' is it? And if it is, there's a problem.

When married men have hit on me, I've been affronted, not flattered - and have said as much. Along the lines of 'why on earth do you think I'd be interested in playing second fiddle?'

Before finding out why some women get into patterns like this, the notion that any woman's ego could be boosted by married men was anathema to me, as well as the idea that securing an attached man's interest was an achievement of any sort. If you're after a connection, married men are the easiest pool to fish in, aren't they?

BoringNameChanges Sat 17-Nov-12 13:29:12

Just to clarify, she's had one relationship with a married man with children and one with someone who was dating (but not living with) someone else.

Before the married man she was in a long term live-in relationship that ended because she wanted to marry/kids and he didn't. Her first love and only sexual partner until that stage. Married man (15 years older) moved in on her very quickly and it was 6 months before I knew what was going on.

When that ended, she was alone for a year then she met the attached guy through mutual friends and before she knew it they were dating and getting quite serious. When she found out about the OW it took her about a month to untangle from him before realising she was second fiddle.

She has had 3 sexual relationship. She's 30. She has a lot of female friends, more than male friends. She's well liked by women! I trust my husband. I trust her with my husband. She is my DD'S Godmother.

I agree that she does enjoy attention. She always has, even when she was in her long term relationship, been the same in nature.

She had a complex relationship with her father (much older than her mum). The more I think about it, I agree with charbon perhaps she's afraid of getting close and getting hurt again. She tried counselling with her XP but stopped when he wasn't benefiting.

I'm sorry that I dripfed, it wasn't my intention.

Charbon Sat 17-Nov-12 13:45:40

Well there's an obvious pattern straight away isn't there?

She had a complex relationship with her father who was much older than her mother.

She had a complex relationship with a father who was 15 years older than her.

You say she didn't want him to leave his family, she 'enjoyed the sex and the subterfuge'.

The key word in that is 'subterfuge'.

She enjoys the 'game' as long as there aren't any consequences.

I'd be a bit circumspect about her not knowing the second man was attached. She probably won't admit to you that she knew all along, because of the views you expressed about the MM.

It's very benevolent of you to think her motives are a fear of closeness and hurt. There are likely to be more malevolent motives at play here, based on some character traits she might have difficulty confronting. You might be having this difficulty too, seeing your close friend objectively.

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