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Helping friend through cheating

(28 Posts)
LosingTheWillToSkate Mon 13-Jul-15 17:49:22

One of my dear friends has just found out her husband has been having an affair - she found messages, knows it's more than just sex.

She is adament that she wants to know all about the woman in terms of what she looks like etc but her husband has said it won't do either of them any good and he wants to forget all about her.

They are trying to work things out, and I think I agree with him in that the less she knows details of the better. How do I put that across without sounding like I've taken his side? (I haven't at all!)

pocketsaviour Mon 13-Jul-15 17:54:00

I think the level of detail is a very individual thing.

Some people feel they need to know everything in order to be able to accept what happened and move on.

Others (myself included) feel that knowing your partner was knocking boots with someone else is enough, and that insisting on hearing about every touch, conversation and blowjob is simply pouring salt on your own wounds.

If she feels that she needs to know, then she needs to know. And her H should be falling over himself to give her whatever she needs in order to think about saving the marriage.

isittheweekendyet Mon 13-Jul-15 17:55:40

I think the bigger issue is the husbands response. Yes, I'm pretty sure he does just want to forget all about her now his wife knows about her. If he's serious about making is marriage work then he needs to accept what his wife needs to get through and past it (if possible) and be prepared to honestly talk and answer her questions.

dreamingofblueskies Mon 13-Jul-15 17:56:55

As far as I'm concerned, judging on my own experience she needs to know what she wants to know, otherwise she'll only just be making up the details in her own head, and they can sometimes be worse then the reality.

I suppose it's a bit like putting a name to the 'fear' almost.

Joysmum Mon 13-Jul-15 17:57:11

Was about to say the same as pocketsaviour that it's up to her to decide what she needs to best come to terms with this, even if it doesn't match up with what you think is best. smile

BathtimeFunkster Mon 13-Jul-15 18:09:25

You are taking his side if you are agreeing with him that this patronising crap about what's best for her is what she should accept.

He has been deciding what was best for himself and acting accordingly whilst leaving her in the dark, deciding what she didn't need to know about her own life and her own marriage, deciding that he'd have a lovely dalliance and enjoy it to the full whilst forcing her to stay in a shit marriage with th a cheating list by not giving her the salient facts.

Now she wants to recover the part of her life that he stole from her with his lies and double dealing.

Of course he wants to "forget her".

What he really means is that he wants to keep all his lovely memories of his girlfriend intact, continue to leave his wife in the dark about what happened in her marriage, and "move on" without doing any hard work on himself.

None of this is for his wife's benefit. It's for his own.

And by agreeing with him that she should accept being patronised and have the truth hidden from her, you are taking his side against her.

She wants to to know.

Therefore he tells her.

Back her up.

Don't tell her what's best for her.

laurierf Mon 13-Jul-15 18:10:45

If they were going to split up, then she doesn't need to know the details. If they're going to get past this, she needs to know that everything is available to her, whether she chooses to look or not. Bloodonthetracks makes some excellent posts on this - I hope she sees this thread and comments.

FantasticButtocks Mon 13-Jul-15 18:11:29

He would prefer to not answer her questions because it will be excruciating for him to admit the details of what has really gone on. He probably doesn't want to hurt her further, yes. He is probably also afraid that if he fills her in on those details, she might change her mind about staying with him.

But she deserves whatever information she wants, she deserves the truth. She deserves the full information so she can make any decisions she might need to make. She is an adult and she is asking him to tell her. Yes, of course it's going to be unpleasant. But these conversations need to take place. It may well make her feel worse, but the truth needs to be faced. 'Protecting' her by keeping stuff from her is treating her like a child.

worserevived Mon 13-Jul-15 18:33:59

Your role as a friend is to listen, be a shoulder to cry on, be someone she can rely on, to take her out for drinks or a meal and make her laugh, to help her recover her self esteem by reminding her how wonderful she is.

Your role is not to tell her what she should or shouldn't do, should or shouldn't ask, or should or shouldn't say.

What she is going through hurts like hell. You have no idea unless you have been through it yourself. I have two very good friends who did everything on my first list, and nothing on my second. I owe them my sanity.

LosingTheWillToSkate Mon 13-Jul-15 18:37:24

Tbh I'm not really bothered about him.

My thinking was that she only asks what OW looks like, she absolutely hasn't mentioned wanting to know what they actually did. I don't think there's an answer that won't destroy my friend. If she's told she's pretty or has a good body or whatever then my friend will torture herself thinking she isn't pretty enough etc (which is not true at all) and if she's told OW isn't pretty then she'll torture herself thinking her husband chose someone unattractive over her.

Of course if she really wants to know then I'll support her in tackling her husband over it and support her afterwards, that goes without saying.

LosingTheWillToSkate Mon 13-Jul-15 18:38:18

I should also add that I'm not forcing my opinion on her at all, she asked what I would do.

BathtimeFunkster Mon 13-Jul-15 18:39:29

I don't think there's an answer that won't destroy my friend.

Not getting an answer might destroy her.

jenenberry Mon 13-Jul-15 18:41:44

She is adament that she wants to know all about the woman in terms of what she looks like etc but her husband has said it won't do either of them any good and he wants to forget all about her.

Funny how he wants to 'forget all about her' only now he's been found out.

They are all sorry AFTER they've been found out. But never sorry while it's happening.
Cheating pricks. sorry

Joysmum Mon 13-Jul-15 18:43:15

Totally agree Bathtime

Not only that, he needs to demonstrate that he respects her wishes and will comply not matter how badly it reflect on him as part of the healing process.

molyholy Mon 13-Jul-15 18:44:48

It would be extremely frustrating for the person who had been cheated on, not to have their questions answered. How dare he say I'm not going to tell you the details!!! Cheeky bastard. Imagine:

Q) Do I know her
A) not telling you

Q) do you work with her
A) not telling you

Q) is she younger?
A) not telling you

Q) does she know you are married?
A) not telling you

all under the guise that this is best for the wife/your friend!!!!!!!

jenenberry Mon 13-Jul-15 18:45:37

Out of interest, why do you or your friend need the husbands 'permission' in finding out what the OW looks like?

All you need is a name and Facebook and you can find out what you want.

He's not going to tell her the truth anyway. She (with your help) needs to find out for herself.
He will only lie.

jenenberry Mon 13-Jul-15 18:47:47

There is bound to be stuff (pics etc) of her on the internet. You just need to find it.
Did they work together? (Check company names)
The least he owes her is a 'name'

LosingTheWillToSkate Mon 13-Jul-15 18:51:18

She doesn't know a name, obviously. And everybody in the world isn't on facebook - I'm not! I also think she wants it to come from him, not to be digging around the internet.

I'm not really getting into the rights and wrongs of what he did because my friends wants to work things out so I'm just trying to be there and listen to her and advise her when she wants it.

I have no concerns for how her husband feels about anything. My concern is with my friend, and knowing her as well as I do, I know she will be destroyed by whatever answer he gives her.

LosingTheWillToSkate Mon 13-Jul-15 18:53:23

No they didn't work together. Apparently she is younger than him. It was a very common hobby that caused them to cross paths. I think that's all she knows.

My friend asked him to delete all trace of her and he did.

jenenberry Mon 13-Jul-15 18:55:41

She must have the phone number - if she read the text messages.

I would be phoning and demanding some answers. (but that's me)
She might just get something resembling the truth. He won't tell her the truth. They never do. They minimize.

jenenberry Mon 13-Jul-15 18:56:10

Cross posted. Sorry

BathtimeFunkster Mon 13-Jul-15 18:59:21

I know she will be destroyed by whatever answer he gives her.

But if he refuses to answer she won't be destroyed?

LosingTheWillToSkate Mon 13-Jul-15 19:04:56

She says she doesn't have anything. She confronted straight away (he was in the house in another room at the time) and told him to delete pretty much immediately, which he did in front of her.

I don't think she would phone, she isn't that sort of person.

I think I will suggest that she makes a list of all the questions she wants answers to and confronts him with them face to face in 1 hit, then he won't be as easily able to construct answers.

jenenberry Mon 13-Jul-15 19:04:58

The imagination can be fa more cruel than the truth.

If he tells her the truth (or at least has the common sense of decency to answer at least some of her questions) yes she will be devastated.
And if he refuses to tell her anything - she will be even more devasted, because her imagination will play tricks on her. She will feel as if she is going crazy from not knowing.
That is far more cruel.

jenenberry Mon 13-Jul-15 19:05:09


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