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A dilemma

(54 Posts)
byebyemrpumpkinpie Thu 24-Oct-13 11:32:55

I have two friends, let's call them Ann and Barb. Ann is a closer friend than Barb, but I have known both since school. Ann has just had a year-long affair with Barb's husband of 10 years. Only I have been told, AFAIK (and he doesn't know that I know). Ann says it's now over (though tbh she still flirts outrageously with him IMHO), and is upset and misses him. She was the one who finished it, I think, as she and Barb are really close friends (thlhmm) and she felt bad. She says she has had a theoretical conversation with Barb in which Barb told her if her DH ever had an affair she wouldn't want to know. As I say, she knows Barb better than I do, so I have no basis to challenge this.

Anyway, this is clearly none of my business, so I have not interfered in any way, just provided a listening ear and strongly encouraged Ann to end the affair (which she did). The thing is, Barb wants to start trying for a baby with her DH. This fills me with horror - I don't want her sleepwalking into any awful situations while I stand by, knowing what her DH has been up to and is probably very capable of repeating. But I have to keep out of it, don't I? Or am I just a coward? I know it really isn't anything to do with me, but Barb is lovely. Really lovely.


EllieInAnyFuckinRoom Thu 24-Oct-13 11:37:08

I think if it was me, I would have the hypothetical conversation with Barb myself before making any decisions.

byebyemrpumpkinpie Thu 24-Oct-13 11:38:30

I don't really see Barb alone, and we live in different cities now, but yes this is a good idea if I can engineer it. Thank you.

Grennie Thu 24-Oct-13 11:38:48

How does Barb's DH treat her?

byebyemrpumpkinpie Thu 24-Oct-13 11:40:26

Fine on the surface of things, Grennie. Nice. He's a charming chap.

CoffeeTea103 Thu 24-Oct-13 11:41:09

I think you have a moral obligation to tell Barb. Ann is neither a friend to you and Barb. Think about it, what kind of friend sits and chats with her friend knowing that she is having an affair with their husband. This might possibly end your friendship with Ann but it's not a great loss. She doesn't value friendship and you don't know what that person is capable of, even to yourself. Does a child deserve to be brought into this ugly situation.
Even if you lose both friendships you would have done the right thing, and Barb can make decisions about her life with full knowledge.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 24-Oct-13 11:41:51

I'd be very angry with Ann for dumping her crap on me and expecting me to keep quiet about it, knowing I was also friends with Barb. It's narcissistic bollocks... she's treating herself as the lead in a soap and you as the willing audience. If Barb ever finds out the truth and that you knew all along, you're in a severely compromised position. Take a big step back from Ann and maybe - to salve your conscience - tell Barb's DH that you've got your eye on him.

Grennie Thu 24-Oct-13 11:42:46

Charming chaps always worry me.

byebyemrpumpkinpie Thu 24-Oct-13 11:44:42

Thank you for the advice. I think I have a niggling feeling that really I'm doing nothing through my own cowardice. Truth be told, I'm a little intimidated myself by Ann. I really don't trust her not to be pretty unpleasant if I ever rocked the boat.

byebyemrpumpkinpie Thu 24-Oct-13 11:45:01

Indeed, Grennie...

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 24-Oct-13 11:45:30

She already sounds unpleasant. What on earth could she do to you if you blew her cover?

byebyemrpumpkinpie Thu 24-Oct-13 11:46:17

When I say pretty unpleasant, I don't mean a bit of nastiness to me (which I could cope with). I mean serious manipulation of wider relationships, and I don't know what else.

byebyemrpumpkinpie Thu 24-Oct-13 11:47:22

I realise I sound pretty pathetic - in general, I'm really not. For some reason, she scares the hell out of me!

EllieInAnyFuckinRoom Thu 24-Oct-13 11:48:30

Agreed, Ann sounds like a case! Why on earth would Barb say that to her? I think she's made it up to deter you from doing the right thing.

I think the only circumstances a woman would take that "I don't want to know" is if she already knows, it happens a lot but she likes her life. In which case, your telling her won't come as a great shock.

Ann doesn't deserve your protection

byebyemrpumpkinpie Thu 24-Oct-13 11:48:42

And would I be blowing her cover to ease my own conscience, if what she says about Barb preferring not to know is true?

I could be ruining Barb's chances of a much wanted baby (we're late 30s).

CoffeeTea103 Thu 24-Oct-13 11:49:11

Sounds like she is the dominating one in a group, the one that you don't want to get on the bad side of. All the more reason to not want someone like this as a friend.

byebyemrpumpkinpie Thu 24-Oct-13 11:49:36

Thank you all so much. This is so useful.

EllieInAnyFuckinRoom Thu 24-Oct-13 11:51:08

If you had some sort of misplaced loyalty with Ann and deep down sympathised with her I would understand your reluctance to grass on her, but as she is a manipulative bully, I think you should out her.

CoffeeTea103 Thu 24-Oct-13 11:52:38

Once she has a baby she is stuck dealing with him forever. She might end up leaving him, he will probably cheat again, but a child will be involved with much heartache for both.
And as for Ann saying that Barb wouldn't like to know if her DH is having an affair, you don't know that she actually said that, sounds more like Ann manipulating you into keeping quiet.

EllieInAnyFuckinRoom Thu 24-Oct-13 11:53:14

I don't think it is a case of easing your conscience. You're not going to feel good whatever you do, it's a question of doing the right thing.

if Barb was so determined to stay with this guy whatever he does, she doesn't have to take any action.

Abbykins1 Thu 24-Oct-13 12:02:02

I wouldn't say anything,I wouldn't deny Barb the possibility of having a baby with the man she loves.

The baby could be a game changer in the relationship for good or for bad but Barb will have her baby.

Grennie Thu 24-Oct-13 12:05:56

Babies put pressure on relationships, they don't make them better. If the guy is an idiot before having a baby, then having one won't change him.

And I was being honest when I said that charming men always worry me. Too often it is an act to hide what they are really like. It is I think a bit of a red flag. I think men who seem open and genuine are much much better than charming men.

byebyemrpumpkinpie Thu 24-Oct-13 12:06:33

Thank you again. I sort of agree with all perspectives. What Abbykins says is the reason (other than my own cowardice) that I don't know what's right.

EllieInAnyFuckinRoom Thu 24-Oct-13 12:08:03

It took me a minute to think about it, but I disagree with abbey. If the baby is her priority, she can decide to still have a baby. But maybe her dream is to have a baby with a respectful and faithful partner

byebyemrpumpkinpie Thu 24-Oct-13 12:09:24

"If the baby is her priority, she can decide to still have a baby"

I suppose perhaps this is the crux of the matter, yes

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