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Stuck in the middle of friends break up

(7 Posts)
Spikeythistle Sat 19-Dec-15 22:13:52

I met my DH at uni and we are friends with another couple from uni who are also married. They have recently split up and my friend is accusing her husband of being abusive towards her.
We have seen him recently and he is in a state as she left him and is thinking that she left due to having an affair.
The problem is me and DH are stuck in the middle as we are friends with both of them. We all have a lot of history together, have been on holiday together several times and we don't want to appear to take sides.
It is really difficult as they just slag each other off and it has got to the point where we don't want to spend time with either of them.

Anyone else been in a similar position and how did you handle it?

honeyroar Sun 20-Dec-15 05:23:32

I think that you have two choices. You either ignore it and change the subject and hope they cool down, or you say to them both that you want to remain friends with both of them and don't want to discuss the other person with either of them.

I had friends that were really friends of my ex. They were good when we split, and probably put up with a lot. He was the one that cheated and he married his affair a year after he cancelled our wedding. They went to his wedding and used to come back saying how tacky it was etc. They were being nice, but it didn't help me move on constantly taking about him (even negatively). I moved away and dampened down contact for a couple of years. Once I really had moved on and didn't care I have picked it up a bit more (Facebook has helped really). I very much appreciate them being my friends throughout it all, they were his friends first. Although they remain friends with him they are probably closer to me than him (I think his wife doesn't like to socialise outside her friends, which has helped that).

Domino777 Sun 20-Dec-15 05:34:08

Yes. I told them that I wasn't taking sides as I cared deeply for both of them. I never said anything negative about either person, I just listened and did a lot of 'I can see that's made you really angry/upset/cry' and hugs.

Domino777 Sun 20-Dec-15 05:35:50

Yes and only talk about the ex if your friend starts a conversation about him/her. Find joyful uplifting things to discuss/do

April2013 Sun 20-Dec-15 06:33:50

This is very tricky - I was in this this situation with my DH and because we didn't take sides and tried to support both (my DH supported the man and i supported the woman, a friend of 10+ years), we even were given the greenlight by the woman that she wanted my DH to support her ex, we were ousted from the friendship group of the woman and she resented me and our friendship broke down, and the man stopped contact with us, was all very upsetting. As much as trying not to take sides is the reasonable and right thing to do, it doesn't always lead to a good outcome for the couple in the middle. I think you need to think which of them you value most, you also need to consider the abuse - if one has abused the other it would be right to support the victim not the perpetrator. Taking a step back from the friendships may not be a good idea either as they may feel in their time of need you weren't there for them. If you really value either or both of these friendships then I think you need to talk to them about what they honestly want from you - do they want you to stop contact with the other? Beware they may change their mind, keep talking to them about this over time.

ivykaty44 Sun 20-Dec-15 08:07:40

Tell each of them that you think for them to be able to move on, you will be the sanctuary friend where they can come and their ex won't be spoken about.

Explain that having a place to go where their future is the subject of the day is a positive move so as they meet you or cone to your home their ex is a banned conversation for their sake.

It doesn't do any good to harbour bitter thoughts and you know they want to move on in a positive way.

Manopaws Sun 20-Dec-15 09:13:16

I've been in that situation many times and the thing that keeps it good is not gossiping.

when a couple splits I'll carry on seeing both of them and they can moan and windge as much as they like about each other but i NEVER repeat what either of them say about each other to the other. Never Judge or take sides.

When people split up there are usually more than one reason and they need to talk it out to get it out of there system.

You'll find that after a time it will get better. There will be awkward times but just think to yourself these people need our support now so you should give it.

It is a stress for you but learn to shut off from it and you'll be fine

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