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Can you continue to be friends with someone who cheats on their spouse?

(51 Posts)
Fuckedoffwithfriend Thu 29-Oct-20 09:02:02

Cos I'm struggling sad friends for years but they have cheated on their spouse once for a few months, and now again with a new person for almost a year.

The married couple have young children. I've lost all respect for my friend as it's not something I would ever contemplate or condone. They keep saying they're going to tell the spouse and children and break up, but never do.

One half of me thinks we were friends first and to keep my nose out. But they're constantly texting me/others in a group chat asking for advice and help and venting. I'm losing patience but there's nothing I can do.

Would you continue with the friendship?

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WouldBeGood Thu 29-Oct-20 09:05:03

Well, the problem was solved for me as I told her I wasn’t happy to be hearing about it and she ditched me. I suspect she continued to claim she was seeing me to cover for the affair.

I was sad, but glad I’d said something, especially as a few years later i found out my XH was cheating and the feeling was just devastating.

SnuggyBuggy Thu 29-Oct-20 09:05:07

Not sure, maybe if I could get them to agree not to talk about it with me but even then I doubt it.

AuntieStella Thu 29-Oct-20 09:13:16

I might continue to see someone socially, but would not see them as a friend any more. If they can betray their spouse they could certainly betray me and I would not trust them with anything I was not happy to be spread about.

But if I knew their spouse as well, then I would also tell the cheater that I will not condone their lies. Especially in a case such as this, where it seems she has told so very many people.

It may be a cliche that the spouse it last to know. But that's a result of people deciding that the person most nearly affected does not need to know important information. The feeling that so many people knew but left you in the dark is one of the crueller aspects when it all comes to light.

And with a loose-lipped widely venting protagonist, this certainly will come to light.

Now, if you were the betrayed spouse, would you prefer to be told tactfully and privately? Or find out some other way? (Bear in mind that much of your friendship circle already knows)

MedusasBadHairDay Thu 29-Oct-20 09:13:17

I lost a friend over this. She initially came to me for support as she said it was a drunken mistake and was worried she'd ruined her marriage. Except when I sent her a message later that night to check she was ok she revealed she was out getting drunk with the same guy - me pointing out that this didn't seem like the best idea in the world did not go down well.

I think she only told me about the cheating because she was hoping to be told it wasn't a big deal and she absolutely didn't need to speak to her husband. It seems she did get that advice from another friend (a serial cheater - so no vested interest there hmm )

She subsequently blamed me for the breakdown of her marriage. God knows how she justified that one to herself.

It doesn't strike me as much of a friendship if they just want to use you to make themselves feel better about something they know is wrong.

IceCreamAndCandyfloss Thu 29-Oct-20 09:16:45

No, I would end the friendship. I couldn’t stand by and watch them pursue their own selfish wants whilst the innocent spouse and children had no idea.

steadyasugo Thu 29-Oct-20 09:17:27

Hello everbody . I would keep quiet on this , after all its nothing to do with you

Fuckedoffwithfriend Thu 29-Oct-20 09:24:30

Thanks all. Some interesting points.

I, and others, have repeatedly told her it's wrong, she should end the affair then sort her marriage / divorce out first. She's constantly telling us that she and her lover have had an argument and there are trust issues (no shit Sherlock!). Lots of people know, she goes out for dinner in local restaurants on dates with her lover confused so it's only a matter of time before her poor dh finds out (like he did the first affair, but they went to counselling and he is trying to forgive her).

Hadn't thought about asking her not to tell me about it. It's obviously a huge part of her life right now so I've tried to be a good friend by being there for her. But I'm spent and have no sympathy...

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Fuckedoffwithfriend Thu 29-Oct-20 09:30:41

@steadyasugo it's all she talks about. It affects our plans and dominates our group chat and evenings when we meet up.

OP’s posts: |
Theimpossiblegirl Thu 29-Oct-20 09:34:50

I'd probably distance myself. I'm friends with people for lots of reasons but shared moral values are essential.

ILoveYoga Thu 29-Oct-20 09:35:33


I think your last line

I’m spent and have no sympathy

Sums things up. There’s no friendship anymore. Why would you stay in a friendship that leaves you spent?

Tell her you’re spent. You don’t want any part of being involved with her affair. Knowing about it is being complicit in it.

Her poor partner. Makes one wonder where is she telling him she is while she’s out with her lover? You may unknowingly be her alibi, lying to her partner she’s with you.

steadyasugo Thu 29-Oct-20 09:35:48

I didn`t realise that she is being blatant , like going out for meals etc . Does she realise whats at stake , she probably doesn`t care t.
If thats the case , i would change my thoughts and stop being friends

MedusasBadHairDay Thu 29-Oct-20 09:36:43

I assume the reason she keeps talking about it is to normalise it, the more she talks about it, the more she can convince herself it's fine and to carry on. Can't see what else she's gaining from it, especially if she's being told it's wrong.

notapizzaeater Thu 29-Oct-20 09:41:56

Presume if she's going out for meals locally she wants to be found out ..?

Fuckedoffwithfriend Thu 29-Oct-20 09:44:04

@ILoveYoga you're right, I'm pretty sure she does use me and other friends "in the know" as an alibi. Then again, apparently her dh doesn't ever question when she gets in at 1am/2am etc. They don't really speak to each other unless they have to.

I guess I've stuck with her as we've got background, share similar interests, share friends, she's funny and kind and supportive to me. She's a lovely person apart from the cheating!

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Fuckedoffwithfriend Thu 29-Oct-20 09:58:58

@notapizzaeater probably. When her dh found out the last time (cos she slept with a local married man and was friends with his wife...the wife found out and told my friend's dh) she said she'd hoped her dh would move out and divorce her. But no, he stayed and tried to forgive and move on. I feel so sorry for him sad

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madcatladyforever Thu 29-Oct-20 10:02:13

I dumped a "friend" who stole someones husband when the wife had cancer. I thought that was so disgusting I refused to speak to either friend or her new partner and as a result had to leave the group we were both in. I just don't want to be around people like that with zero morals.
The wife had to die with cancer alone as they had no children, she literally just had a couple of months left.

pumpkinpopsickle Thu 29-Oct-20 11:42:47

Ditch her and run.

People like her ain't worth knowing. She will end up using you to facilitate lies.

workhomesleeprepeat Thu 29-Oct-20 11:51:08

Meh. I have a friend who has stepped out on her relationship a few times. If she asked me if I thought she was ‘wrong’ I’d give her my opinion (get divorced), but she doesn’t so I don’t offer my thoughts.

I just can’t get that fussed about something that’s not my business! My friend doesn’t have kids though, maybe I’d feel different if she did, but probably not. Really not my problem and don’t want to make it so!

workhomesleeprepeat Thu 29-Oct-20 11:52:39


*@notapizzaeater* probably. When her dh found out the last time (cos she slept with a local married man and was friends with his wife...the wife found out and told my friend's dh) she said she'd hoped her dh would move out and divorce her. But no, he stayed and tried to forgive and move on. I feel so sorry for him sad

He sounds like a glutton for punishment. Why do you feel sorry for someone who chooses to stay? It’s his choice

Sexnotgender Thu 29-Oct-20 11:52:59


*@steadyasugo* it's all she talks about. It affects our plans and dominates our group chat and evenings when we meet up.

This alone would make me end the friendship, so bloody tedious.

EmmaGrundyForPM Thu 29-Oct-20 11:57:45

I think none of us know what goes on in someone else's marriage. So I would try not to judge.

Not quite the same, but I have a very good friend who is single but has been in a relationship with a married man for over 10 years. I did get uncomfortable about it last year when she engineered a situation to get to meet his wife which I thought was crossing a line. I made the mistake of posting on here and got so much abuse for having such an "immoral" friend that it was horrible. And several posters accused me of being the friend in question.

WoobyWoo Thu 29-Oct-20 12:00:10

I think someone’s sex life is their own business tbh. I’d rather not know about it and certainly wouldn’t want to talk about it but I wouldn’t feel it was my place to judge or get involved and I probably wouldn’t end a friendship over it. Life is messy and human relationships are complicated.

millymollymoomoo Thu 29-Oct-20 12:37:07

I don’t judge
People cheat for kinds of reasons and no one knows what a relationship is like behind closed doors
You can make it clear you don’t condone it and don’t want to talk about it if you don’t want to

schitter Thu 29-Oct-20 13:16:42

If she's so blatant I'd engineer the DH to find out somehow, it probably wouldn't be hard and you'd have deniability.
Actually, if she's that shit a friend I'd ditch her and tell him myself. You've nothing to lose.
The way she's treating you now, she will happily use you as her punch bag eventually. You have no friendship.

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