Stuck In The Middle - Advice needed (Long)(58 Posts)
I’m a regular but have NC for this as I want to keep my own posts separate.
Ok, this is long but I really need advice and don't want to drip feed, what a mess.
A week or so ago, I got a FB friend request from my friend’s wife. I have been friends with him for about 30 years since nursery. Never ever romantically involved with him – he’s like a brother. His wife felt a bit threatened by this (long term female friend) I think and I was deleted from FB ages ago – so the recent invite made me think something was up. I messaged my friend as I had not really spoken with him since Easter and said jokingly “noticed your mid-life crisis car purchase and got a friend request from your Mrs..everything ok?” He told me he had left her.
Small back story. Over the last 15 years, he has occasionally mentioned marital issues. Feeling like he is being watched like a hawk, controlling (anxious) behaviour from his DW. DW is a bit older than him and wanted children, he didn’t. It then came to the crunch and she apparently said to him it’s have children or a divorce because her clock is ticking so he agreed to make it work. FYI she has supported him through a near fatal road accident and another serious (I mean serious) life event – she really has been there for him and I think this anxiety comes from these events. Also, I say apparently because I just don’t know what to think any more – based on what you are about to read.
So at this point, I hadn’t decided whether to accept the request but he (very casually in a pig headed way) dropped in that he was seeing a wonderful girl from work, was going to drop their young son as he will soon forget about him anyway and his wife “now has” cervical cancer. At this point I decided to friend her on FB because she has no one – he is her only family and she has distanced herself from friends over the years and dedicated herself to their son. I couldn’t quite believe that my ‘friend’ would behave in this way – I’ve always had him pegged as a good guy.
His wife told me everything. He had an affair a few years ago and he came back to her with conditions. If it wasn’t for her controlling behaviour, he’d never have had this affair (I know, right..it gets better..) so unless she had counselling to change her ways, there was no hope. She jumped through hoops for this to work and then some. He has since told her that she needs to ‘man up’ about her cancer as if it’s just flu and that he won’t look after their son if she dies because he has his own life now. However, he still goes to see her often and is quite happy to jump into bed with her. Her words “we have been intimate more in the last 6 months than a long time”
So now I’m firmly stuck in the middle. He sent me a long email about how he had been emailing this girl at work since Summer (EA) and then decided he would leave 2 months ago to pursue it. His wife doesn’t know this. He spent last weekend with this girl and I now know that he borrowed the money from his wife to pay for this hotel.
His wife thinks I can wave a magic wand and fix this and make him see what he is doing/going to lose. He came back once, he will come back again. I’ve been gently trying to make her see what an utter dick my friend is – even if I could fix it, there is no way on earth he deserves her after the way he acted with the first affair and now this. The way he casually told me “This new girl keeps asking about my past and I’m worried she would run a mile with my baggage” “I will pay for whatever DS needs but will see him every now and again, he will get over me” I pretty much ripped him a new arsehole at work. I’m not sure if he thought I’d congratulate him on any of this? I actually had to point out that his DS is in pieces and has been trying to find a solution to fix his broken family. I had to point this out..wtf.
My friend totally fits the mid-life crisis script on MN by the way – he could have written it. Their DS also has autism and keeps asking if he didn’t have it, would his father love him again. It breaks my heart.
I have tried to speak to my friend but he seems to have firmly checked out of their marriage again.
Why am I posting here? I have the following dilemmas:
Friend is sleeping with DW and GF and god knows who else. DW has cervical cancer and is undergoing combined therapy. With a weakened immune system, what if he is carelessly exposing her to STI’s?
DW doesn’t know about the above.
GF doesn’t know friend is still married (left for her but she doesn’t know this) or has a son..or is still sleeping with DW or that DW has cancer.
DW doesn’t have a support network outside of him, what’s left of her family – all overseas.
Friend is using DS as a weapon. If DW doesn’t do this or that regarding a divorce, he will never see DS again or he will declare himself bankrupt to spite them.
To summarise in my eyes, my friend is being a complete an utter, selfish prick. I have been told things by both sides and am in turmoil about if I should say something to DW (I have it in writing, he emailed me from work so can’t lie). Is this going to make things worse for her and DS in the long run? If I tell her there is an OW will she go nuclear and give her DH a reason to make her life more difficult or will it give her another reason to try and rebuild her life?
I honestly wish I had never trusted my instincts to follow up on that FB friend request because I feel that I could ruin things here. I don’t want to step away because of how ill she is and how my “friend” is mistreating two different women both who are emotionally invested in him and he is lying to both. Her cancer has already progressed from stage 1 to 2 she told me on Friday.
Any advice? I keep telling her to not make herself available to him because it’s massaging his ego and making him feel wanted. I keep asking her to consider posting here for advice because of the support I’ve seen people get.
She dearly loves my friend and they have been married over 15 years – I can’t believe he is being like this. He even took DW out for her birthday last month and made her cry at the meal by telling her she was ugly inside. I’m just speechless..
I know it’s long but thanks for reading.
Oh god. What a CUNT.
I can't remember what you're asking but I would tell her.
And dump his revolting arse for good. What. A. Bastard.
Thanks for reading! I want to do the right thing and tell her. I'm just worried it could also be the wrong thing. My head is spinning. Words cannot describe what I think about my "friend" atm.
First of all you tell her that he's seeing other women, so that she can protect herself emotionally and physically by not sleeping with him again.
Then I would have nothing more to do with him. Blank him outside work.
At the minute, my understanding is he is filing for divorce. She was waiting for him to sign something to set out some financial agreement and he did that today. She also wants him taken off the joint account.
He cuddled her to sleep on Fri night and she went through his wallet and found the hotel receipt but doesn't think it's a red flag - or rather, doesn't want to believe that. She's ready to forgive and forget but I know she won't re the GF.
Should I hold off telling her until this joint account thing tomorrow is sorted legally? She keeps worrying he won't pay rent etc and raid the joint account. He has rented himself a 1 bed (no room for DS) flat share on the other side of town.
I have written proof that he has/is committing adultery - does this make a difference in terms of the divorce? I have been dropping hints that I think there is an OW. I was worried about him emotionally blackmailing her further in this vulnerable state.
Failing that I will tell her tomorrow. She had treatment today and has been puking most of the day. I want her to try and get some rest tonight - he's at his flat.
Tell her everything you know immediately. Tell her that you want to tell him that he's a fucking prick of the highest order and that you've told her everything. Honestly, let her lead you. She may want you to tell him, she may want him kept in the dark about what she knows.
I think that once you've done that, I'd probably back away from the both of them. They need to work out their relationship and divorce for themselves. I wouldn't want to be in the middle of it, being asked by her what's going on with him or to intervene on her behalf and being asked by him to tacitly approve of his disgusting behaviour. I think you need to decide if you truly have anything helpful to offer her on your own merits.
I couldn't leave her.
You have to tell her bcs of her physical health. Her immunity is compromised.
Look, I don't generally advertise this but I am currently going through chemo treatment. She will fell SHIT for at least a week, if not more, after treatment. She will be very very poorly. Don't tell her yet, it's too much.
for springydaffs - I didn't realise you were going through that. I hope everything goes well for you.
Treatment should be every 3 weeks (if her immunity can cope). First week absolutely shit, second week definitely better but not quite, third week not bad. Late week 2- week 3 will be your window.
Poor, poor woman.
I'm finding it hard to think straight about this (over-identifying) but can you make it ABSOLUTELY CLEAR to the fucker he's threatening her life by exposing her to infection?
Her immunity is majorly compromised and if she is kept in dark and in denial, her kid isn't going to have a Mum much longer. Sorry but you owe it to the innocent child.
I'd be f*cking raging and I'd slap your friend if he was mine. Do what you need to do. You know what you need to do. Give your info but let her make her decisions and let her act on it.
I'd still slap the bastard.
Then I'd delete his number.
This is one of the worst things I have read on here. You sound like you are a really nice person...I completely agree with springdaffs about telling him he is exposing her to possible infection.
be very slow to spill the beans to her as you do not know how she will react. Tell him that if he continues to expose her to further danger and does not accept his responsibilities to his son you will tell everyone. My mother was born near the beginning of the 20 century and she told me that cancer of the womb comes from men with dirty dicks. Is that true? Thank god you responded to this woman's cry for help. She does not know how much you can help her and her son. Take springy's advice into account before you decide when to tell her. But put the pressure on him immediately. She is soo lucky to have you on her side. Have you considered that she may not beleive you? Show her the emails.
I could not speak to this arsehole ever again. He is just disgusting. I would ditch him and tell her everything as soon as she's well enough like springy said.
I think you probably need to tell the girlfriend too if possible, even if it's anonymously. In these circumstances I would tell the wife first which is going to be hideous and probably won't be appreciated by her.
In your shoes I do not think discretion is the better part of valor. Sing like a canary to everyone who might no the girlfriend.
Springy courage to you.
Thank you for all of your responses. It's quite a head fuck to read all of that.
Springy, I am so terribly sorry to hear you are having treatment too. What you said is exactly what I am terrified of. To have divorce and affairs over your head etc is an incredibly hard thing to deal with..you chuck chemo and radiation therapy in that mix and I'm terrified what it will do to her.
Also with their DS. He's had his father desert them, he must listen to his Mum being ill and then I'm about to potentially drop the bomb that might mean he never sees his Father again (no great loss Imo but that's me and I'm not living or experiencing this first hand).
I could warn him off and read him the riot act again but then..how can I make sure he doesn't decide to sleep with her? He's such a selfish wanker anyway.
The thing is and I'm in just..I'm speechless is how he can normalise this entire situation and think it's ok. The reason I mentioned if adultery changes anything with divorce is this (I know nothing about divorce so apologies in advance):
He has filed for divorce on no particular grounds other than he just wants out. He is using this to his advantage to call the shots and emotionally blackmail her. If I tell her, does this mean she can actually tell her solicitor and file on grounds of adultery? It's not much bearing in mind the rest of this situation but it might kick him off his fucking power trip and stop with this blackmail business?
Sorry if I have rambled on again. I'm on the verge of telling her right now - I so want to make sure I'm doing the right thing for her. There's no right or wrong answer, is there?
I really can't quite believe what I'm reading here. What an utter dick. To be honest I wonder whether your best approach is to speak with your "friend" and suggest that he settles the financials and simply disappears from their lives...........would that not be less damaging, than for his DW to be told about the affair and their DS to go through the pain of his dad picking him up and casting him aside when it suits?? To be honest I'd also be telling the OW.
Seriously though that might be a less damaging approach in the long run?? I really do feel for you being stuck in the middle of this....big hugs to you xx
Wally - I've actually worked out who his GF is. I have her details from their work directory.
Obviously she isn't to blame in this. He hasn't lied to her - but he hasn't told her the truth either.
I was thinking about anonymously calling her - my heart is racing and I don't know if that's a good idea at all. I think that might be angry me running on adrenaline here.
He went round last night to see their DS and is back with the emotional abuse again. He is trying to convince DW she is the reason he left again because of her "abuse". I've sent her a link from Lundy Bancroft about when your partner tries to make out you are the bully.
No, there's no brilliant answer that will make everything ok. You have to take the least shit answer and go with that I'm afraid.
Op..first of all you are truly a lovely soul .I would tell ow everything the cancer the ea everything and with some luck she will kick his sorry arse into touch. Then see your friend and tell him what a disgrace to humanity he is and that if he tries to sleep with his wife again you will tell everyone at his work exactly what he has got up too. Hopefully that will buy you some time for poor wife to get a bit better then tell her the whole story and offer to accompany her to solicitors as yes him being named for adultery will make a difference to the divorce. Then wait for him to get the papers and tell everyone at work,facebook you name it just what a monumental cunt he has been. Good luck
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