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Can I save this friendship and how?(14 Posts)
My BF of years and years has told me some home truths and I don't know if we can survive. Very upset
She has been going through a rough time - her DH had an affair. The marriage has been in trouble for years and years for various reasons. She decided to divorce him even though she didn't want to, and he kept on saying he wanted to come back but wasn't sure it would work with them.
This was 9 months ago. Meanwhile she has been changing her mind almost weekly on what to do.
During most of this time I have been supportive but as time went on I began to say things which she didn't like- mainly mentioning some of the stuff she'd done which I felt pushed him away over the years. I know this doesn't excuse for a minute his affair but - without going into details- the marriage was volatile to put it lightly.
My friend had not been in touch for weeks recently and I guessed why. I decided to phone her and it's all come out. She felt I was intentionally hurting her with my comments. This wasn't my intention but I was trying to make her see that there was fault on both sides, in a way to ask if the marriage was worth saving. FWIW she had 5 years of counselling years ago and the counsellor told her she ought to end the marriage - not what they should say but she did.
We've just had a huge row- her shouting at me down the phone- after not talking for over a month. I am very upset. tearful. I told her that she'd hurt me by withdrawing and she said she was just limiting the hurt to her because she felt my comments lately had been hurtful.
However what really hurts me is that when I said I had found her unsupportive in the past when my marriage was in trouble, her reply was that she thought I'd brought that on myself. (I had an emotionall affair but this was after years of being unhappy in my long marriage.) Is that a really cruel thing to say? She said that if the chips had really been down for me she'd have been more supportive. I said that how could she judge how unhappy I'd been and choose to measure her support accordingly?
I don't know where we go from here. She said we might have to end the friendship if can't understand how she feels- or talk but not talk about her marriage- or divorce- not sure what is happening now.
sounds like you are both hurting
can you let her know that you still value the friendship, apologise, even if you dont want to? dont let the men in the relationships have ruined your friendship if that makes sense?
I guess she is in such a low place at the moment that she can not deal with anything other than support at the moment. She is not thinking straight and has no head space.
Does she have children that you normally have over to your house? If so, contact her by text and say that you understand the hurt but you don't want the kids effected any more than they already are, and do they still want to come over
If there are no children that you are involved with, I think you might be best to withdraw until she is in a better place
Have you posted about your friend and her marriage before?
I don't know the ins and outs but you having an emotional affair is a totally different situation to her husband having an affair on her.
It sounds like you hurt her feelings obviously even if you had the best intentions. Have you apologised?
She doesn't have children and mine are at uni.
I suppose what I failed to appreciate is that because she is such a strong person and very outspoken normally, she did not want anything other than 100% support. It wasn't the time to make her see how what she had done had contributed to the breakdown. I don't excuse his affair but TBH he didn't actually do the deed until he had the divorce papers from her- though he had made it clear he was unhappy with her and the marriage, which is why she began proceedings.
I find it very hurtful though that she felt my needs some time ago didn't merit her caring and support. To say I'd brought it all on myself seems a very cruel way to behave. I was in a bad place then just as she is now- and I felt at the time she was unsupportive. I could only judge her behaviour by what she did to me then- not what she might have done if things had got worse.
I don't know if we can ever get back to where it was.
So you were both unsupportive to each other, and both can't admit it. .. maybe friendship has run its course
She was devestated about the divorce and the friend she turned to for support says "you bought it on yourself" um, yeah, i don't think i'd be in a rush to be spending time with that person either. Friendship is about support and care, yes our friends do things that we don't agree with and the time to pull them up on it (if you have a strong enough friendship)is when they are doing it - not after the event, if you didn't care enough to say it at the time then you should have kept your mouth shut, hugged her and called her ex a bastard. How will it help her to say "actually, i thought you were a bitch, no wonder he left" .
THEN when she cracks and gives you a few home truths, you don't like it.
It works both ways - you both don't want to hear the truths so maybe your friendship wasn't as strong as you thought and you should stick to small talk.
I don't mean this to sound unsympathetic but i feel sorry for your friend.
I think the underlying scenario is bound to cause trouble here.
You were the affair-haver and she is the one whose husband had an affair.
I know it's not that simple but it WILL colour how receptive she is to comments from you about her 'pushing him away'.
Sorry but it just will. Perhaps those comments are needed but have to come from somebody else close to her, not you.
Your friendship has been put to the test and it would seem that, when the chips were down, neither of you were capable of being good friends to each other.
You're best advised to see if time brings about any rapprochement - wait until the festive season to mail your frend a card expressing your sincere best wishes for her happiness in the New Year.
I seem to recall you posted about this before and folk warned you to keep your opinions to yourself because you were bound to cause hurt. I also struggle to see how you thought expressing those views would ever be appropriate to someone whose husband has been having an affair, less still your best friend, so I'd challenge your assertion that you thought as she was a forthright character, she could take it.
I think you knew your words would hurt but said them anyway. And she's received them in exactly the way they were intended - to hurt her.
Why, is the question? Why did you want to hurt her?
I expect it's more complex than tit-for-tat stuff. In any case as having an affair was your own active choice whereas her betrayal was not, although she might have been insensitive in saying that you'd brought trouble to your own door, her logic was sound.
It sounds like you were projecting the reasons for your affair on to her husband and that this has caused a sympathy blindspot in you. Your reasons were likely to have been different to his, but you might be so defensive about your own behaviour that you project what you believe were your reasons for infidelity, on to everyone else.
This still doesn't explain why you ever felt voicing those prejudices was a good idea, so I'd really question and examine yourself about why you sought to hurt her when she was having such a difficult time. It really could never have had a different outcome and now you've lost someone who I presume was important to you.
I'm very sympathetic to your upset about that because I'd hate to lose an old friend, but I think until you face up to your motives, this might happen with other friends too.
It's difficult. But sometimes people don't really want to know the truth from their friends. She knows it anyway so what is the point of you telling her again. And if her husband has left and her marriage is over and she is miserable is there any point in telling her about all the things she has done wrong over the years. It's hardly going to make her feel better about the future.
I think OP said that she WAS supportive for the 6 months prior to this, but got exasaperated by her friend changing her mind weekly about the marriage, so the hurtful things were only recently said, and only to suggest that their marriage may ne still worth an effort. OP's logic is fine to me, as if hte friend can't decide whether to save marriage or not, OP suggested that yes it could be but only if the friend accepts her own mistakes in the marriage which makes sense!
I think 'you brought in onto yourself' fron the friend was retaliatory when she was in the hurt mode, but possibly she is judgemental due to her H having an affair (which probably started with being emotional, like yours OP) so it's more of am emotional knee-jerk reaction and projecting than what she would mean in a calm state, She must have known your marriahewas miserable so you hardly brought it on yourself with no fault from H (we don't know maybe he cheated) , fgs emotional affairs could happen to anyone if the marriage is dire, and often actually help see current problems and push a decision (physical affair is mostly a 'no way back' situation).
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