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My lovely friend had an affair

(11 Posts)
TreeBird16 Sun 27-Dec-15 22:02:06

My lovely gentle kind but damaged friend has had an affair on her sweet loving kind long term partner. He is heartbroken and dignified. She is devestated.

She seems hell bent on self destruction. She followed a path that she knew would lead to this. She confessed to her partner herself. She wasn't caught.

I am so sad and will support in a non judgmental way. I have read about affairs on here for years and it always seemed so sordid. This seems different. It was a desperate attempt to destruct something good.

I'm not too sure why I'm posting. I am just so desperately sad for them both.

Has anyone forgiven a partner who had an affair while in the grips of depression or alcoholism? Does that mitagate any of the damage?

bangbangprettypretty Sun 27-Dec-15 22:24:32

My DSis left her lovely, kind DH for a disastrous short-term fling. I completely know how you feel OP.

Her marriage was in total tatters but they are trying to rebuild things now. I ended up with terrible anxiety as the whole thing was unbearably painful even just being on the fringes. I know I can't make them go back to how they were even though I desperately want them to be happy together.

But in terms of support, for my DSis I'm just there when she (or DBIL) want to chat; I take their son for the odd afternoon and try not to judge or interfere, while still giving advice if it's asked for. It's a total tightrope though.

TreeBird16 Sun 27-Dec-15 22:35:09

Yeah bangbang I have been going around with a knot in my stomach all day. My friends mental health is precarious and I am worried about what triggered this.

She is had no feelings whatsoever for the other man now and there is no question of her continuing to see him.

She is being very respectful of her partner and staying away while he packs up and leaves their home. But she desperately wants to talk to him and get him to give her a chance.

I have a lot going on and have small kids so am limited I what I can do.

I never knew it could be so sad

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Mon 28-Dec-15 00:15:17

It is really sad but, honestly, Iit's absolutely none of your business.

There's something a rather self indulgent about being so deeply affected by what happens in another couple's relationship.

You will be a much better source of support if you can get a grip of uour own emotions.

My exh had an affair and my brother managed to make it all about him and his upset. He was of absolutely no use to me whatsoever.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Mon 28-Dec-15 00:16:01

Sorry for typos. It's late!

UptownFunk00 Mon 28-Dec-15 00:21:07

I think it's just a sign of human compassion caring what happens when you know two lovely people and one of them makes a disastrous mistake. Of course it doesn't mean they should be automatically forgiven but I never get the why are you so deeply affected comments.

If you were sat trying to mediate towards them I'd think that was too involved but feeling crestfallen and offering an ear to listen is healthy human emotion.

howtorebuild Mon 28-Dec-15 00:25:59

I hope your friend stops destroying the lives of others soon. It can't be easy for any of you.

wannaBe Mon 28-Dec-15 00:29:18

Op I suspect your upset is more about your thoughts and perceptions of an affair. Until you've actually been faced with one many people think of affairs in black and white terms, that the cheater is a nasty, underhanded, lier and a cheat who has no morals and who has deliberately set out to satisfy their physical urges with no thought for the people who will be left behind in the aftermath.

But the reality is that people who have affairs are human beings, many of which have complex reasons for why they ended up cheating on their partner. Affairs are rarely black and white, and that reality becomes more evident when the person who has the affair is someone you love and respect.

Depending on how involved You already are, I would just be there to listen to her. That doesn't mean you need to indulge her or help her justify what she's done, but it's possible to be there for someone whose relationship has ended due to their own behaviour and to support both the end of the relationship but also to encourage them to work on whatever issues there were which led them to an affair in the first place.

Claraoswald36 Mon 28-Dec-15 00:35:48

I sympathise op. I have experienced a similar situation. It was like watching a train crash. My dear friend is still with the ow but I suspect sadly it will fizzle out as I'm fairly sure it was a catalyst to end the initial relationship and isn't the deep connection they allege.
I thought about starting a thread about it too. I get where you are coming from and the need to talk it through.

TreeBird16 Mon 28-Dec-15 00:47:41

Thank you for the comments, My friend has confided in me alone. I have no outlet for my own feelings on the matter.

I am utterly shocked she has done such a thing and hurt such a good man.

I rightly or wrongly do care about my friend of over 20 years and the impact of her relationship loss. I will support her as much as I can but I can't sacrifice my rare down time with my kids and she knows this and wouldn't expect it.

I am not a self indulgent person. And I thankfully have a fabulous grip on my emotions. Cheers

Marmaladybird Mon 28-Dec-15 10:22:55

My DH had an affair (a long one, 18 months) whilst very depressed having lost both parents and his job, dependency on strong OTC painkillers and seemingly on self destruct.

He was unrecognisable in every way for a couple of years - eventually he came and went as he pleased, full of bile and anger. I didn't know there was an OW but when I found out I felt relieved - obviously incredibly hurt and angry too but so much made sense when it came out.

I know my DH very well after 21 years together and those 2 years were like living with a stranger, as if someone had cloned my DH and one day I woke up next to him and that was my lot.

Very odd, strange, disorientating and I would not ever like to go through that again. The DCs were (and always will be) my priority.

When it came out he was immediately a mess - just broke down completely and couldn't cope. I kicked him out and changed the locks. He went to a friends. After a few weeks I agreed to help him get off the prescription drugs, spoke to his GP. Around 8 weeks later he moved back home and we worked through it.

The OW in this case, although long term, was on-off over the period. She was married, then going through separation, then met someone else - it was all very Kyle-esque behaviour by both of them, but that's not the point here so I won't go into detail.

We're over it but this was more about what was happening in his head, he really was on self destruct for lots of reasons. I chose to accept that under normal circumstances and without those conditions, he wouldn't have done what he did to our family. If I did not believe that, I wouldn't be with him now.

(Before anyone tells me I'm making excuses, as happens on so many other reconciliation threads, please remember that I knew him for 17 years prior and am in a good position to make my own character assessment on my husbands behaviour - even if you think you know best. We're almost 4 years on now and very happy.)

I hope this is helpful, OP.

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