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How to advise regarding affair

(18 Posts)
pennypickles Mon 04-Apr-16 14:47:22

Have nc'ed for obvious reasons! A very close friend has confided in me that she is thinking of having an affair. They are having an emotional affair already, but nothing else has happened yet. I think she was just bursting to tell someone, but I feel like she's making a huge mistake and I should be trying to help her see that. Or do I just keep out of it and just be a listening ear when she wants to talk? She has always had bad judgement, so as a friend I feel as I should at least try to help, but I don't want to come across as judgemental.

I suppose I am already being judgemental by saying she's making a huge mistake. Some background so I don't drip feed. She is a SAHM, two DDs at primary school, nice husband. She says she's happy in her marriage, but it's a bit dull and she wants to feel some excitement again.

She has a lovely life in my view - she didn't go back to work after her first maternity leave and adores being at home for her girls after school and in the school holidays. She hated her job and wasn't sad to leave. I have suggested maybe she should go back to work part time and that would provide something different in her life. But she says she didn't like her profession and that work wouldn't provide her with what she needs and actually she prefers not working.

I have also suggested date nights (I was grasping at straws at this stage), but they already do that. I just think that everyone's marriage is less exciting once you have children and can be less carefree etc. But the offset is the contentment of family life.

How would you advise? I want to give it another go advising her (in a gentle way) because I think she will really regret it if she follows through and has a full blown affair.

pocketsaviour Mon 04-Apr-16 14:49:02

Well, you could try pointing out that if her H finds out and divorces her cheating arse, she'll be going back to work to be able to afford the rent.

She sounds awful TBH confused

goddessofsmallthings Mon 04-Apr-16 15:29:13

Who is she planning to have an affair with? Is he single or will the collateral damage be doubled when their sleazy liaison is discovered?

As ps has said, your mercenary pal may think twice if she believes she'll have to return to work when her dh becomes aware of her adultery and divorces her idle arse, but ime women with her mindset prefer to think they'll always be able to rely on a man to pick up their tab as well as his own.

As anything you say to her is likely to fall on deaf earsI wouldn't find cause to don my judgey bloomers if you kept schtum and I would hope that, perhaps by means of an anonymous letter, some concerned party or other will appraise the dh of the unpalatable fact that he's on the brink of being cuckolded, especially as you're unlikely to be the only one she's told and it's probable the om has been boasting to his mates.

Why are you friends with a woman who's willing to risk her dds' stability and that of her far too trusting dh for a cheap thrill that can only end in tears, albeit that hers will be of the orocodile variety as her type don't do regret in any meaningful sense of the word.

BloodontheTracks Mon 04-Apr-16 15:30:40

Don't. She won't listen because people's needs are stronger than advice but it destroys people. Including the people who have them in the end.

Direct her towards some threads here.

AnyFucker Mon 04-Apr-16 15:31:33

Ugh. Send her here.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Mon 04-Apr-16 15:44:44

She's putting you in a difficult position by telling you her plans for an affair as you are now involved and expected to be complicit in her lies. Will she want to share all the details with you, or use you as an alibi when she is with him? What if her dh asks you about her?
Be clear that you don't want to know the details or be involved.
If she wants to throw a hand grenade into her life, that's her business. It's unfair to offload it on you.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 04-Apr-16 15:56:35

I would tell her to go ahead and do what ever the hell she wants but that you think it's horrible and you will not be party to it at all.
So if she wants to discuss with someone then she had best not come to you.
You do not want to hear about it.
And when her DH finds out and he divorces her you don't want to hear it either because you have morals and you do not think this is right in any way shape or form.

DrMorbius Mon 04-Apr-16 16:02:06

I think there is something she is not telling you. How many SAHM's with two DC's embark on affairs? Perhaps her marriage "isn't all that".

tribpot Mon 04-Apr-16 16:10:55

She's told you about it because she needs someone else to give oxygen to this horrible little liaison. You could be:
- used as an alibi when they're together
- used to vent to when he is with his actual partner (assuming not single)
- used to share the thrill of how they nearly got caught, how she's managed to deceive her DH, how this relationship means more to her than anything else, etc

Because they can't provide this feedback mechanism to each other (their time together will be too limited/too secretive) someone else (you) is the patsy.

Seriously don't be a listening ear for this. You will end up hating it - if not her and yourself for putting up with it. She is only thinking of herself; return the favour and put your own needs first.

Believeitornot Mon 04-Apr-16 16:27:50

Why ever wouldn't she tell her friend?

MaybeOP this is her cry for help and she needs someone to give her that dose of reality. She knows it's a stupid idea logically but I'm sure will compartmentalise that and go along with "her feelings".

She's already cheating on her husband.

I would make her see that it's a silly idea but make it come from her (it does take some skilled coaching though!) - otherwise she won't take it in I bet.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Mon 04-Apr-16 16:36:21

I want to give it another go advising her (in a gentle way)

Forget being gentle.

Tell her what a mess she'll make and her kids will be stuck right in the middle.

whatsthatcomingoverthehill Mon 04-Apr-16 16:50:23

"I think there is something she is not telling you. How many SAHM's with two DC's embark on affairs? Perhaps her marriage "isn't all that"."

Plenty of people (of both sexes and no matter whether they work out of the house or not) have affairs purely because they are selfish and want to. And they would use any problems in their marriage as justification for their behaviour.

butteredmuffin Mon 04-Apr-16 17:07:26

I would tell your friend that you are not going to condone her having an affair and you don't want to be involved.

Sometimes these things just happen and you have to pick up the pieces as best you can afterwards. But planning to have an affair is not really on, especially when there are children are involved. If she is unhappy in her marriage then she needs to either commit to fixing it or leave her husband.

Ultimately she will do what she wants to do, but make it clear that you don't want to be caught up in the middle of it.

butteredmuffin Mon 04-Apr-16 17:08:31

Also, are you friends with her DH? Would you feel you were betraying him if you knew she was having an affair but said nothing? If so, she has already put you in a very difficult and unfair position.

AuntieStella Mon 04-Apr-16 17:10:12

I think you need to be pretty straight with her.

Consider telling her you think it is just plain wrong, and one of the more reliable ways to wreck her self esteem, and if discovered she wil, be the one squarely blamed for breaking up the family. It would be better for her to end her marriage, then decide what if any new man to invite into her and her DC's lives. If she is not ready to do that, why the hell is she risking the same but far more painful?

Even if you are concerned that will not have the right effect and do not want to go down that path, you should still make it crystal clear that because you disagree with what she is choosing (and I suggest you do frame it in terms of her active choice, nit something that is happening to her that she is powerless in the face of) you simply do not want to hear a thing about it. This has the side effect that you are not stoking her self-perceived drama.

Worth adding now as well that you will never cover up for her, and will not lie if ever asked by anyone who deserves to know the truth - including her DH.

Buzzardbird Mon 04-Apr-16 17:12:56

Ah, I advised my DF not to go there, and she did anyway. Nothing you say will make any difference.
Just be there for the fall out I guess.

pennypickles Mon 04-Apr-16 17:35:39

I certainly will not agree to being an alibi if she asks me! My eldest child and hers are in the same class at school and have been best friends since nursery, which is how we became friends. I really don't want to know all the sordid details. I can only imagine that it will all end badly.

Perhaps her marriage is not as good as it's seems. I honestly thinks she thinks other people are having more exciting lives and does not appreciate that young children and responsibilities change things.

The other man has a long term partner or fiance ( sorry can't remember which she said). But he is definitely attached.

I like the idea of talking to her but getting he to decide that it's a silly idea, but not sure I am that skilled!

Believeitornot Mon 04-Apr-16 17:41:37

You can ask her what the implications might be, what is she hoping to get from the affair, what happens if she gets caught, that kind of thing...

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