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Best friend with married man, it's draining our friendship, think its time to move on...

(20 Posts)
creativeme Sun 23-Nov-14 15:17:42


I have been friends with my best friend for years now (we are both in our late thirties) and over the duration of a good 4 of them, she has been seeing this married man even though he swears blind he isn't married still. He still lives with his partner of 20 years and has 2 children with her too. We have all found out many things about him which are pretty awful, yet she still wants to see him. Its not for me to say see him or not but its getting quite tedious and straining now.

My friend has never been introduced to either of the children. Over our friendship years, we have all found this story draining, she leaves him, she takes him back, she leaves him, she takes him back, this goes on about 10 times a year literally every month this frequency happens because he won't take it further with her on any commitment level. I don't want to interfere anymore nor do I want to say leave him or get involved its just becoming a line of conversation where I no longer want to talk about him.

Because of this and because of how it makes me feel I am finding our relationship not positive anymore and myself wanting to pull away from her, after so many years as friends, thats not like myself but feel like our relationship is now changing and I have feelings of wanting to meet new, more valued and positive friends in my life where they want change and want to go places in life.

She asks for advice, she shows me what his texts messages are all about and their conversations and tells him he is dumped only for her to take him back. I am starting to think she likes the drama of what this relationship they have creates for her. However I feel its making me want to move away from her now and wondering if anyone else has been in the same boat with friends, where you start to feel you have nothing in common anymore?

Personally speaking I couldn't do this to anyone or any other relationship and feel sorry for the wife too, but again its not for me to say and feel its best to leave her to it now even though it feels quite sad too.

I am finding doing the same things with her too, unless I suggest a change, to talking about the same things, funnily enough my family are suggesting moving away, meeting new people and getting rid of negative friends who are not making their lives positive...i am thinking this could be true to some extent here....

Has anyone been like this before with their friends or thought it before, as i feel this particular time its proving our personalities really are different here?

sorry rant over, just never felt so confused/down about our friendship just lately. I think its because this time she has gone back to him and i have been her shoulder to cry on every time and its making me really angry. I have told her this and we have ended up not talking because of it, but she refuses to change too!

thank you for reading x

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 23-Nov-14 15:26:48

Have you ever tried being straight with her and say you find the drama a big yawn?

tribpot Sun 23-Nov-14 15:32:31

It does sound tedious, and you sound as if you're drained by playing your role in this little psychodrama. She uses you to keep the drama going, by telling you about their conversations, showing you his text messages. Do you ever get to talk about you and what you're doing?

You definitely need other friends. Whether you cut contact with this friend is a different matter, but you need to find people who you can simply enjoy spending time with.

I would definitely stop supporting her through the endless relationship crisis. Stop being a shoulder to cry on; she's made her choices and it's up to her to manage the effect on her.

I think your family is right. A new start would be great for you - are you able to move?

creativeme Sun 23-Nov-14 15:32:50

I have done yes, still the same.....hmmm!!

makeitabetterplace Sun 23-Nov-14 15:34:43

I has a friend who was CONSTANTLY ill with some little thing or other. She wasn't actually ill at all but was always at some alternative therapist who said she needed to blah blah. She also had relationship drama after relationship drama. I spent years listening to and sympathising with this until I hit a bad patch myself and she could not have been less bothered. I suddenly realised that I was always getting little gifts to cheer her up, offering tea and sympathy etc. and she had nothing to offer in return.

In the end, I said to her that it must be really awful being so ill all the time and so unhappy for years. And that the drama must be terribly draining. And I cut her off. Since then I've done it with one other friend who was very similar. This was about ten years ago now and every now and again each of them contacts me and they are STILL living the same old drama. I think they just like their lives to be like a soap opera. I leave them to it.

Run away run away!

creativeme Sun 23-Nov-14 15:35:13

Hi, I think you are right, funnily enough I am thinking of moving completely and starting afresh its like its something I am desperately craving, new area, new county, if i don't I just feel its the same drama repeating itself all over again with these friends or this one in particular and the same happens over and over again. i am contemplating near London or just outside feel its also good for work too....thank you...I do feel slightly used here, part of me wants to say something to her the other part just wants to disappear and not saying anything and move house!

creativeme Sun 23-Nov-14 15:39:56

thats interesting re cutting your friends off completely, thats really impressive though and I bet you are glad you did and still their lives are the same but yours has moved on its like they are scared of letting go perhaps or just relish in drama and excitement. They even don't like to let go of you too by the sounds of things.
I find its always myself making suggestions for new places and then thinking what did I get from this, so a new change is definitely needed and thinking next weekend may venture to somewhere new to move after Christmas time....its exciting but daunting however this could be what I need to do to move, otherwise will fear that this drama continues until i die..yikes!!

badbaldingballerina123 Sun 23-Nov-14 16:18:25

I had a friend who was similar and it was exhausting. She insisted on perusing toxic relationships and like your friend would relish reading out text messages and relaying every little detail like a teenager. I felt unkind as she had been a good friend over the years but I could not cope with her constant drama. Any attempt by me to change the conversation resulted in her escalating it .

I became incredibly resentful and dealt with it by cutting contact down , being too busy to meet , and just on my way out / just got out of the shower ect. It worked and she got the message. I've also had to do this with another friend for similar reasons. It's sad and I don't know why they think it's ok to do this to people. It makes contact horrible and depressing and you get used as a sounding board for all the needless drama.

I think these emotional vampires are drawn too people who are kind and empathic.

Wrapdress Sun 23-Nov-14 16:36:29

"The Relocation Cure" doesn't always work, but they are very exciting in the beginning with the hope that starting fresh makes everything better. Sometime though it's just a grass is greener thing.

With friends like this, you can just say "X" subject is now off limits. You don't want to hear another thing about it ever again. All other topics are fine.

creativeme Sun 23-Nov-14 18:03:34

interesting, thank you for your input, i was thinking just not to engage in meeting with her anymore see if she gets the message without bringing him up into conversation anymore too, I'm hoping it may help. I think the word resentment seems to be the one thing I am feeling around her at the moment and its creating alot of negativity around me with her too. It is sad and annoying but I guess you cant change the way people are either.Sometimes I think she just uses me for this at times her drama....its interesting as I don't really see her as a good friend anymore if anything quite the opposite in fact. Which is a shame....!thank your all your comments.

MistressDeeCee Mon 24-Nov-14 01:50:07

A couple of friends have had affairs with married men. I know Im judgmental about it as I hate that they're running around with another woman's husband. I know its the man's fault too but as a woman I find it more upsetting when a woman accepts their crumbs. 1 of the friends Im no longer in contact with.

What irks me is, you become an "outlet" for them...all their thoughts and hopes and gripes and eventual despair at their situation. All that they can't say to the man, or their family. I found it so very draining..with 2 friend in particular she talked of NOTHING else, at times Id have a headache after speaking with her. Even if another topic came up during our convo, she'd find a way to bring it right back to her affair. I didn't want to be regaled with her shining eyed stories of their "relationship" either. I found the constantness of it all too much, and beyond tedious too So unfortunately broke the friendship; I just didn't want to be a readily available sounding board any longer.

OP you know whats best for you. Good luck if you can put up with all this..but if you can't, moving on is the best thing. At least you won't have the brain drain to put up with any longer

Glastokitty Mon 24-Nov-14 03:20:17

Drop her. People like this are emotional vampires, and massively tedious.

Coyoacan Mon 24-Nov-14 03:58:00

Another point of view. I have a friend who has fallen into major depressions about the men in her life (not married men, thank god) and she has driven me to the limit with going over and over these situations. But at the moment she has been nearly two years out of this and is great company, once again. I was within an inch of giving up on our friendship.

talbotinthesky Mon 24-Nov-14 09:28:04

It's a bit drastic moving away isn't it? Just tell her the subject is off limits as it's boring you silly. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.

CleanLinesSharpEdges Mon 24-Nov-14 09:34:21

If you don't feel like she's a good friend any more then you've nothing to lose by telling her you're bored of her drama and you don't want to hear about it any more, then stick to it.

Every single time she mentions it, cut the conversation dead.

My guess is that after a short while you won't see her for dust.

MistressDeeCee Mon 24-Nov-14 13:06:25

I agree glastokitty

Its nice for people who can take on board being a pseudo-therapist for a friend without becoming either extremely exasperated, and getting that drained feeling. I find that energy drainers don't ever stop to think about the effect their constant and relentless focus on the 1 subject with a refusal to divert is having on the person they've allocated as their "offload on tap", or even care that they may have problems of their own at the time. It can be very depressing, and certainly not everybody is in the position of being able to cope with that.

& I just cannot do the talking about a man day and night so in my case it was the best thing to end the friendship. All I felt was relief.

IrianofWay Mon 24-Nov-14 13:34:00

I dumped an emotional vampire a few years back. It was hard to do as I don't have many really close friends but whever I saw her I ended up utterly drained and miserable. I am a chronic depressive and she genuinely was making me ill and nothing I could do or say ever made her happier or reassured her. SHe was a bottomless pit of need. First and, I hope, last time I ever have to do that.

creativeme Mon 24-Nov-14 15:41:23

Im taking everything you are saying onboard and genuinely thinking I cant be bothered, which isn't like me as I am very loyal to the bone, but when she told me this time she is seeing him for dinner/drinks on Tuesday I was like, ok bored now I don't even find your life interesting or you anymore interesting its thats bad...i do feel bad but know its the right thing. Many of you have said emotionally draining and it is there are no other words to describe it as you just know another year will be wasted, she just doesnt want to be single.....i wish she would just admit that more than anything else perhaps?

shaska Mon 24-Nov-14 17:42:10

I think there's something specific to this kind of relationship that makes it incredibly boring, as well - maybe because it can never develop properly, and if it's does it's going to be a huge drama?

I've had friends see married men and aside from thinking it was a shit thing to do, it was also unbelievably tedious. You could never talk about normal relationship stuff with them because it all went through this affair filter of teenage level bullshit, plus it was endlessly about will he/won't he/she leave and/or something do with the wife and/or the kids - so very one sided conversations, as you can never say 'oh yes I know exactly what you mean!' or give any help or support, because the only advice is 'leave' and the only support is saying 'oh yes, that must be so difficult...'

I'd tell her you've decided you don't approve, you're sorry that it's an about face, but that you don't want to hear about it. Ever again. If she's ok with a relationship on that level then see how you go - if she can't stick to it or if you still find her unbearable, then drop her.

creativeme Mon 24-Nov-14 19:23:39

i am wondering how to word this, I didn't want to do it via text as I think it would come out all the wrong way knowing me and thought perhaps when she wants to meet in person that will be the time to tell her more so in person and let her know how its draining me and like you mentioned shaska if she is ok with this relationship on that level then see how it goes but how can I possibly engage in conversation when there is nothing to talk about with her thats interesting apart from this married man...argghhhh!!!! ok rant over.. lol

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