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Would you/could you, even should you, forgive this behaviour? How can I help a friend get over her DH's betrayal?

(15 Posts)
sandyballs Thu 10-Jul-08 12:44:47

My friend has three children, they are 4 yrs, 2 yrs and 3 weeks in age. She has just discovered that her DH of 10 years has been having an affair with a colleague at work. It has been going on for over a year and he has run up a huge credit card bill on hotels, meals out, booze and cocaine with this woman.

I obviously know him pretty well and I know he was keen on going for a third baby, but now we know he was deceiving his wife even whilst they were trying for a baby, I just can't believe he can do something like this.

I feel enraged that whilst she was pregnant/giving birth/holding the family and home together, he was shagging around in hotels, snorting coke and getting pissed, telling her that it was 'work'.

But it's obviously not about me and how I feel, or the rest of her friends, it's about her and what she does now and how she moves on. The poor woman has literally just given birth and her world has crumbled around her sad.

fawkeoff Thu 10-Jul-08 12:46:55

holy fucking shit!!!!!!!!

poor woman i dont know how anyone gets past it TBH.... i mean its not a one stand stand is it......he has invested time and money hmm into this.....so not only is he a skanky cheat....he is a skanky druggie

claricebeansmum Thu 10-Jul-08 12:48:48

Be there for her - listen to her rant, make endless cups of tea, be an ever ready shoulder, sympathise.

But I would be wary about telling her exactly what your views on him are...she is no doubt madly hormonal and you just need to give her support to get through this. At the end of the day they might work it out and you do not want to be the friend who endlessly slagged him off.

What a bastard.

Alexa808 Thu 10-Jul-08 12:50:42

Was the cocaine an item on the credit card receipt? Don't mean to offend, but just wondered.

Would suggest she gets some time off from him. Any chance he could just pack his stuff and go? Distance and the chance to recuperate and have friends around her and not seeing his face 24/7 might help.

How did she find out? Did she not notice any changes? Is the affair ongoing?

sandyballs Thu 10-Jul-08 12:55:01

She had suspicions about his behaviour and went into his email account. There were loads of explicit sexual emails to and from this woman. When confronted he admitted it all saying he was 'bored' with the domesticity and routine of his life, and felt like he was old before his time, he wanted some fun. The coke obv wasn't on the cc bill! That was something else he admitted.

Elmosgirl Thu 10-Jul-08 12:55:06

Your poor friend, I don't know how you can help her other than be there for her, both emotionally and physically help.

If this were me there would be no forgiveness and DP would be shown the door, but my DP is in last chance saloon for Fuckwitish behaviour, although this is far worse than anything he has ever done. I am a much stronger person now than I used to be and as much as I love him would no longer accept anything like this and would gladly close the door behind him on the way out. Me and my children deserve better.

sandyballs Thu 10-Jul-08 12:56:38

He has said that he will finish the affair but he's not sure he wants to stay married, so I suppose there is little she can do if he feels like that. He obviously feels very little for her to treat her like this, so what would be the point. Other than the children of course.

ladylush Thu 10-Jul-08 13:01:39

Hi. Some similarities here - no debt issue though. H (he and I together 18 years)had an affair with a colleague which lasted a year. I hadn't a clue it was going on. We were trying for a baby. I found out Feb this year. Friends have been amazing. Obviously they were/are extremely disappointed in him and were honest about that to him. Mostly though, they have just listened to me, supported me and tried to put themself in my place. That is more helpful than having someone calling your h a four letter word beginning with c iyswim. Mumsnet very helpful too. So sorry your friend is going through this. When/how did she find out?

minouminou Thu 10-Jul-08 13:01:53

oh, fuck him right off
he's bored, he wants some fun, he he he , me me me
how dreadful for your friend, especially at a time like this...but she should just leave him to it
at least she's got a great friend like you

foothesnoo Thu 10-Jul-08 13:02:14

I think she needs time and space to decide what she wants to do about her marriage. Sounds like classic mid life crisis stuff 'bored of domesticity yada yada'.

Having got through an affair what helped me was:

Friends being there with practical stuff, maybe offer to take the kids so me and DH had time together. We had offers of babysitting coming out of our ears and getting away from the house to talk helped a lot.

Friends who talked to my DH and managed to make him understand how I was feeling. it doesn't help if everyone cuts the 'bad' party off - they need to be told by people who love them that they have been a sh*t but that things can be mended (if they can). The H has been in a dream world - the more people burst his bubble the better.

Friends who didn't just go down the 'what a b***d chuck him out' line. Presumably she loves him and wants to keep the family together. Saying 'I don't know how you can forgive him' is not helpful. She will already feel like an idiot.

Will come back if I think of more. Poor woman - my heart goes out to her.

Alexa808 Thu 10-Jul-08 13:05:15

Clearly.
I just wondered how she knew what he'd been doing with that girl. My point was: she doesn't. Only from what he tells her and it might be total bull.

Sounds like midlife crisis. I think she should confide in friends and family and he should leave. See how he likes living on his own, without the warmth his 'boring' family.

Your friend needs to rest and be among friends who can care for her and help her with the dc. Any chance someone could come to the house and stay with her. She needs support and not having him around.

ladylush Thu 10-Jul-08 13:07:07

x posted with sandyballs. I also found out from email. Technology eh - outs many an infidelity.

Agree with F about friends talking to h to burst the bubble. I asked mine to tell his sister so that it would be more real to him.

Your friend's h doesn't sound very remorseful though sad What was his reaction to her distress?

foothesnoo Thu 10-Jul-08 13:07:56

The problem is it takes a HUGE amount of emotional energy to fix things, if they are fixable. She just won't have it at the moment.

Sandyballs I don't think that it necessarily follows that he feels little for your friend. There are lots of women on heer whose hs have had affairs for all sorts of reasons and some who have rebuilt their marriages afterwards. It's complicated. he may feel that the only thing he can do is get out of the marriage at the moment - he will be feeling beyond guilty.

Not excusing his behaviour at all by the way.

HappyWoman Thu 10-Jul-08 15:41:09

The best thing you can do is be there for her and give her as much practical help as you can. Dont cut him out either. The next few weeks will be hell for both of them i am sure and a lot of things may be said and done that are totally out of character - try to remember this.

Let your friend shout and scream and lash out if she wants.
I would also get her to get some legal advice if there is debt, it could be shared debt and it may be wise to sort this out legally first - it does not meant divorce just seperating finaces first. But talk to a legal person first.
She will feel better once she knows what she is entiteled to.

I wish her all the best

littlewoman Thu 10-Jul-08 17:30:04

It's no easier to live without your dh after an affair than it is to live with him. It almost broke me after I threw mine out, so if your friend wants to try and make it work, I admire her courage.

Her mind will be full of stuff. I would just suggest listening. She will go on, and on, and on. All you have to do is be there really. She'll need a good friend.

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