Worried about my friend(10 Posts)
I'm not saying that I'm going to do anything or should do anything, I just need to get something off my chest.
I'm part of a really good group of friends, we really care about each other. One of us went through the mill with a very serious illness a few years ago and luckily survived. She is married with kids. Her illness made her focus on being happy in life and now I find her inspirational tbh. She's married to a man she is clearly in love with and idolises in some ways. They have kids together and on the surface you would say they are very happy.
However, a couple of us know her OH through a work situation and know that he has a reputation for being a ladies man. He is very obsessed with his looks and is very conscious about other women noticing him. My friend is blind to all this and just says what a lovely man he is, how popular he is and how everyone adores him. Myself and another friend have seen his behaviour from the other side and know there is no way he is being faithful. I know it's really cowardly but with her then potentially terminal illness, the kids and it seemingly being only one offs we didn't say anything. We didn't want to hurt her at a time when she was so low.
Fast forward a few years and he's now in a job where he is regularly away for long periods of time. She doesn't want him to be but he doesn't give her any choice. I would put money in the fact he is sleeping around and so is going off enjoying himself leaving her to do all the day to day donkey work. She still adores him and tells us how wonderful he is and how everyone loves him, but I can see in her face she isn't happy. It's my guess she won't put her foot down because she knows he won't choose her and the kids over his exciting job/life. She therefore indulges him like she's his mother. I feel so desperately sad and angry for her. I also find it hard to nod along when she is waxing lyrical about what a great guy he is.
Myself and the other friend have briefly discussed how angry we are at him for treating our lovely friend this way. I always feel shit because I feel like we're gossiping behind her back but we both get frustrated and don't know what to do. We have never ever said anything to anyone else and never would. We just both know the other side of him and know what he's really up to. Granted we have no proof so wouldn't say anything but we have seen him in action. I tried to talk to him once about it many years ago but he just laughed it off.
I hate seeing my friend trying to convince us and herself about how wonderful he is when we know what he's really like.
Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with this?
I am not sure that you can do anything but be there. unless you take her out for a night where u know she will 'see' this other side of him.e.g you accidently bump in to him.
Ok unless you have concrete evidence you could present it to him and see what he says
Or you can just leave this well alone, she obviously adores and loves him and it might be a case of her having to realise who he truly is in her own time. There is a strong chance she knows he isn't as great as the world thinks but it's just safer for her to let them think he is marvellous.
The only circumstances in which I would tell in this situation is if he was having a full blown affair but bear in mind the messenger is always putting their neck on the line.
You have to bite your tongue I'm afraid. She might have her suspicions and so lays it on a bit thick partly to convince herself. As long as you and the other friend keepyour suspicions to yourselves and are ready to support her if anything kicks off there isn't much else you can do.
What makes you think he's being unfaithful?
You appear to have no evidence other than he's vain.
I don't want to go into specifics as want to remain anonymous but he's been seen/ caught in compromising positions when away with work over the years. I won't say anymore but there's no doubt He said something to me that in an instant made me realise exactly what he was about, I won't say what it was just take me at my word that it wasn't what a married man should say our friend was just getting over her illness so there was no way I would have said anything.
Over the years we've seen a pattern and sadly he's showing the same behaviours again, but seems to be getting worse
I think she knows deep down. I mean no man keeps volunteering to be away from his family for very very little reward when he doesn't have to.
I can't say anything. It's just feels shit to hear her talk knowing how he is when he's away.
I'm so scared she'll get a phone call out of the blue one day from another woman. We'll be there 100% for her but I'll want to smash his face in for doing this to her
I feel like a shit friend
You say you didn't want to hurt her when she was battling her illness. She is now better. What do you think you would have told her then, and why aren't you saying those things now?
TBH, I would guess that if you have seen him in action, she has too. And for her own reasons, she chooses not to see the harm in it. So it is unlikely that you telling her anything would convince her that her husband is being unfaithful: it is more likely that it would harm her relationship with you, until and unless she is willing to see him as an unfaithful husband.
You could try to draw her out on her own feelings about the subject (rather than present your own). For example, tell her that you think it must be awfully hard for her that he is away so often, and sympathise with her if she admits that yes, she does find it hard.
Or if you want to express your feelings without outright accusing him of an infidelity you have no proof for, you could just relate that you witnessed x or y sleazy action, and it made you uncomfortable. Just stating your own discomfort, and leaving it at that. She may well laugh it off. But it may also validate any feelings of doubt or unhappiness that she has been minimising within herself.
It's her journey, though. She can't be pushed into seeing anything that she is not ready or willing to handle.
From what you have told us I suspect, like you OP, that she probably knows.
It's possible that she knows and doesn't care, or at least that she has decided she is willing to put up with it in order to be with him. Not my idea of a happy life but some people do it.
It's also possible that she knows but just doesn't want to think about it.
Either way I can't see how bringing it up with her will help. I think you just have to be there for her and see how things develop.
If it were me in your position, I would make it clear that I was always available to talk through any personal issues with any of my friends who need to offload and am non-judgemental about it.
You don't have to be obvious or specific, and you don't have to imply that she needs any support.
That way, she might open up to you one day and then you can talk about it.
She will also know that she has support on tap if she ever gets proof of infidelity.
I feel for the difficult position you're in, but also feel that there's a contradiction between saying you have no proof and being in no doubt.
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