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Caught up in the middle of someone else's affair

(94 Posts)
FeelingOrange Thu 27-Feb-14 22:40:24

Hello ladies,

I've found myself in the middle of a messy situation and I'm not entirely sure how to handle this. It's quite a long story so please bare with me.

The gist of it is that I knew my friend's husband was having an affair and didn't say anything. In a soap opera style turn of events, she found out about the affair and knows that I knew about it.

The problem is that I work for her husband. She is married to a wealthy, successful bloke and helped me get a job as an assistant at his firm a few months ago. He was having an affair with another woman I worked with. We went on a business trip and I saw them together at the hotel bar kissing. They both knew that I saw them because he confronted me and told me it was nothing, begged me not to tell his wife. The 'OW' on the other hand didn't seem to care. I was pretty friendly with her before I found out and she told me quite a bit of detail.

I was really sickened by this but kept quiet. Yes, I'm a horrid person but I was scared of losing my job, I have my own family to think about as well. I also didn't want to get involved in their relationship and cause any unnecessary trouble.

Anyway, shit hit the fan as they say when he broke it off with the OW (no idea why). She went berserk and told his wife. She even told her that everybody in the office (including me) knew about it and was laughing behind her back. Awful.

So now his wife has confronted me and is furious that I didn't tell her. She says that our friendship is over.

I'm in such an uncomfortable position because I still have to see her husband on a daily basis and it's extremely awkward. I also feel so guilty about not saying anything and losing a good friend.

Is there any way that I can make amends? I want to leave the job as soon as I can, but how can I make it up to my friend?

Beamur Thu 27-Feb-14 22:43:12

I'm not sure you can. It's not your fault her husband is a sleaze, and I'm not sure what I would have done in your position either.
I'd send her some flowers maybe and write a note, explain that you were in a very difficult position and say you are sorry how it's turned out.

WeekendsAreHappyDays Thu 27-Feb-14 22:47:23

He was your boss. I know she is angry and hurt but to be honest I dont see what you could have done.

Blame him for employing you and putting you in this decision but your own family in this situation needs to come first in the current job market. Harsh as that is.

FunkyBoldRibena Thu 27-Feb-14 22:50:24

'Yes it is your marriage but it is my job. Which pays my rent/mortgage. Unfortunately for you, my family come first. Sorry but that's life'.

FeelingOrange Thu 27-Feb-14 22:51:04

Thanks for your replies Beamur and WeekendsAreHappyDays

I think that my friend is just in an extremely emotional state right now and is looking for someone to blame it on.

I just hate being involved. First I had to keep this awful secret for months and now that it's out, I'm the one she is taking her rage out on. It's really causing me a lot of distress too and it's not my life!!

I don't think that the husband is getting the blame he deserves. As far as I know they are still together!!

phoolani Thu 27-Feb-14 22:51:07

Flowers and a long note, explaining not so much about a fear of losing a job, but a fear that she would prefer to have known. I know lots of women who wouldn't. And lotsof women who would. And even more women that I really wouldn't be able to say either way. The time I was in a comparable situation I decided to say nothing on the basis that I knew that she was also having an affair..

phoolani Thu 27-Feb-14 22:51:21

Not to have known..

tessa6 Thu 27-Feb-14 22:56:51

I'm so sorry, OP, what a horrible position to have been in. I think if the friendship is very important to you, I would write a long heartfelt letter and then leave it in her court. But I don' think you should feel guilty or feel bad about yourself. That was a very difficult position you were put in and the person who should feel bad about putting you in that position is your boss, her husband. Very selfish all round, he mistreated you too, along with these other women (I'm assuming).

So first thing is, don't beat yourself up about it. And don't expect her to make amends and forgive you. It's just so heartbreaking and humiliating to discover your partner is a cheat that the whole world knowing is added insult. She has too much pain to get through to take yours into account, I'm afraid. The best you can do is let her know you weren't laughing at her and regret what's happened. But you can't expect her to ease your conscience or work through the relationship with you when she has too much else to process right now. Learn from it for your own life and move forward.

As for the awkwardness with him, that will fade, but if you can apply for other positions you are interested in, I would. It feels like a messy situation you would be best freeing yourself from. In time it will be clear you are bit player to the drama but for now, try and focus on your life outside of this. All the best.

chattychattyboomba Thu 27-Feb-14 23:03:30

Explain to her that you didn't turn a blind eye easily. You have been very distressed about it and frankly felt you were thrown into a horrible position that no one should ever have to be put in that caused you a lot of distress and confusion. You feel that in hindsight how you handled it could have been different but you weren't aware of what to do or how to handle it, or what she might want to know, but you feel very sad that she is going through such heartache and sad to be losing her as a friend and wish you could be there for her now?
Sorry you're in this predicament. I feel for you.

FeelingOrange Thu 27-Feb-14 23:04:18

Thank you so much for the advice!!

Right, flowers and a heartfelt note it is!

I have to leave this job, I feel so uncomfortable with my boss because of this. Although, I can't leave until I secure another position, so it may take a while hmm

Unless I win the lottery or someone wants to give me a nice wad of cash to pay off all my bills and loans ?

WeekendsAreHappyDays Thu 27-Feb-14 23:05:13

I dont think you should do anything to be honest until you have a new job.

Beamur Thu 27-Feb-14 23:09:50

I agree with Weekends - the husband could be quite happy for you to be the scapegoat here if it deflects the shit from him.

Twinklestein Thu 27-Feb-14 23:59:46

To be honest this was bound to happen. I doubt flowers and a note will change anything. I would just accept you've lost a friend.

Twinklestein Fri 28-Feb-14 00:05:37

She may forgive you in the long run, but she really needs to sort out her relationship with her husband before she's likely to have the headspace to process it.

BerlinerBelle Fri 28-Feb-14 00:30:50

Wow - an awful lot of sympathy for yourself going on here. What are you asking advice for - how to save a friendship or save your job?

Isetan Fri 28-Feb-14 05:59:06

I'd leave it for now and let the dust settle. In a month or two write her a letter. However, if she decides to stay with her H she may well sacrifice your friendship in order to so. Don't send flowers.

GilmoursPillow Fri 28-Feb-14 06:40:29

Wow - an awful lot of sympathy for yourself going on here

And why not? Through no fault of her own, OP has found herself in a horrible situation.

OP has said a couple of times that she said she's looking for another job but asks for advice on how to make it up to her friend.

I agree with Isetan's advice.

Lindt70Percent Fri 28-Feb-14 06:42:44

Definitely leave it for now. She's going through a terrible time and you can't support her through this because of your involvement. It's not your fault and you we're put in an impossible position but she won't be able to feel that now.

Please no flowers! I don't know if this is just me but I'd feel really insulted to receive flowers under these circumstances. It's a gesture that, to me, would seem very odd and I would be wondering how on earth flowers were going to make things better. They'd probably end up chopped into tiny pieces. This may just be me as I don't like receiving flowers at the best of times but I know at a time like this, flowers would make me furious.

JapaneseMargaret Fri 28-Feb-14 07:05:53

What's your issue, Berliner?

OwlCapone Fri 28-Feb-14 07:11:58

What are you asking advice for - how to save a friendship or save your job?

If you'd bothered to read the thread you would know.

OP, your friend is hurt and angry and a huge emotional mess. Send the flowers and note and let her know that you're there for her. You were in an impossible situation.

Ragwort Fri 28-Feb-14 07:17:36

I think flowers are overdoing it, a short note would be adequate.

I have been in this situation as the wife sad - it did hurt when I found that one or two 'friends' (not of mine, but of my then DH's - sort of mutual friends) knew about the affair but although I was upset by this I didn't confront them, my anger was directed at my DH.

It is such a difficult situation.

Bonsoir Fri 28-Feb-14 07:23:17

It's not your fault that her H had an affair. The fact that you found out about it does not make you guilty of anything at all and it is perfectly reasonable to put your loyalty to your family (=need to keep your job) ahead of your loyalty to your friend (=questionable need to tell her about her H's affair).

If your friend cannot understand this and doesn't want to see you, leave it. You cannot please everyone here.

PedantMarina Fri 28-Feb-14 07:24:40

what he has done is beyond cruel. almost every affair I hear about, there's an element of minimising. he's maximised. this isn't a mam who wants to save his marriage, but does want to isolate his wife from your support.

op, you know best: did everybody know, and were they all laughing? or, like you, were they mainly fearful for their jobs. you can put friend straight on that point, at least.

I'm in the "heartfelt letter" camp here.

Lazyjaney Fri 28-Feb-14 07:33:41

"Right, flowers and a heartfelt note it is!"

I wouldn't do that, too soon and too raw, let the dust settle. If you do anything with her do it face to face.

I'd spend my energy looking for another job as you may well become an accidental scapegoat.

worsestershiresauce Fri 28-Feb-14 07:34:58

As someone who has lived through a affair I don't think she is angry with you, she feels betrayed by you, and her DH in fact everyone who knew. The way she sees it is you chose to remain loyal to her DH, not her, and yet she thought you were her friend. She isn't blaming you, or deflecting things off her DH.

I would say sorry and leave it at that. The friendship is unlikely to be salvageable, not because you didn't tell, but because you know too much. It is awkward. You are a reminder. She wants to start again, and keep away from triggers.

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