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Confused feelings over friend's affair

(18 Posts)
jennymac Fri 18-Jul-08 13:36:17

Just discovered recently that a close friend has been having an affair with a married man for some months. She is single and as far as she is concerned, she is not doing anything wrong. I am really upset about it, more with her attitude as she seems to think that if the marriage breaks up because of it, it has nothing to do with her. This guy has kids who would suffer the most if things go belly up - how can she not see this? I feel awkward being friends with her while she continues this relationship but she has always been a great friend to me so I guess I should just butt out and mind my own business till it passes. What do others think?

prettyfly1 Fri 18-Jul-08 16:10:03

tell her what you think honestly then leave her to it. take it from me the mistress always ends up hurt and she is being naieve. if your her friend you will stand by her but it doesnt mean you have to agree with her actions.

madamez Fri 18-Jul-08 16:16:30

Tell her once only that it makes you feel awkward, then mind your own business. It's up to her to decide what to do, and nagging at her will just make her drop you.
I do wonder why you seem to think that she's the bad person and not the man, though. He's the one breaking his marriage vows,after all. And he is the one who will end his marriage, especially if she isn't at all interested in doing so.

fuzzywuzzy Fri 18-Jul-08 16:17:20

She is complicit in the lies and deception and hurt that are waiting to happen even if she is not the one who is married. Tell her you do not agree with it and refuse to speak of that aspect of her life with her, if she wants to discuss her affair she will have to confide in someone else.

girlnextdoor Fri 18-Jul-08 16:23:07

I'd take the line that you are worried about her getting hurt- then leave it at that. If you are a true friend you will stick by her and not judge her- it is easy to see things in black and white. Okay, some may think affairs are black and white, but you know nothing I assume about his marriage and if his wife is being faithful even? Unless you are her, you don't know the whole story- so I'd say keep out of it and still be her friend.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Fri 18-Jul-08 16:25:01

It's not easy - I had a friend in this situation. In the end he left his wife and they moved in together, I tend to think it would have happened anyway (he later left my friend) and certainly blamed him, not her, for the marriage breakup, although I think she was amazingly naive. From her point of view she was a woman who fell in love...and she wasn't married. Not really ok at all, but he was the one with a wife and kids, and an unhappy marriage that he lacked the bottle to get out of without a back up plan (my friend)

divastrop Fri 18-Jul-08 16:25:29

i dont think a woman who has a relationship with a man she knows is married can have a very high opinion of herself.lets face it-if he'd really fallen for her and wanted to be with her he wouldnt be married anymore,so she must know she's 2nd best,a shag on the side or whatever.

just tell her you think she can do alot better for herself and you dont want to hear about him anymore,but that you will be there for her when it all goes tits-up and she needs a shoulder to cry on.

jennymac Sun 20-Jul-08 16:03:50

I do think that the man has more responsibility obviously Madamez, and think that he is a complete rat. But I don't think that my friend can absolve all responsibility because she isn't married. Surely married men are out of bounds, or am I just old fashioned?? TBH, if she said she was in love with him, I would be sympathetic to her situation, but she claims that it is just casual which makes me wonder why she is risking ruining peoples' lives over a casual fling. Surely there are enough single men to have casual sex with?

theexmrsfederer Sun 20-Jul-08 19:08:34

If you are a true friend, tell her once only you cannot agree with what she is doing but you will be there to pick up the pieces if necessary (and it probably will be).

If it works out, he leaves DW and you still want to be her friend then you have to butt out or it will change your friendship forever as she will feel awkward around you.

Let her make her own way.

Acinonyx Sun 20-Jul-08 19:40:48

People are saying she may drop you if you nag. But actually, you may find you are unable to feel the same about her and that, personally, is the thing I found hardest to deal with.

madamez Sun 20-Jul-08 20:56:24

Well, if it's just a casual fling, she probably knows the man is a serial casual-flinger and his flings are not a threat to his marriage, so she would not see it as making much difference to his behaviour and his marriage if she didn't have the fling with him ie if it wasn't her it would be someone else.
For all you know, the man's wife may be quite happy for him to shag around because she doesn't like sex, or the couple have agreed to stay married but each have flings if they want to. Or the man may be a complete rat. But the fact remains that it's not your business.

girlnextdoor Sun 20-Jul-08 21:05:13

How well do you know your friend? I suspect from what you have said that she does care about this man- and that she is afraid to tell you how much as she thinks you will criticise her- maybe she feels that by saying it is casual, it doesn't sound quite so bad?

I agree with madamez - that unless you are a fly on the wall of this man's life at home you are not in a position to take sides. it may not be so cut and dried as you think.

I think that in all friendships, our friends do things of which we do not always approve- but all that does is show they are human. Where you draw a line between being their friend and dumping them is up to you and the depth of the friendship.

prettyfly1 Sun 20-Jul-08 22:15:25

Backing what girl said - i know a few friends who will swear blind they dont care to persuade themselves its true - sort of self preservation. Its not your place to judge. You are allowed as her friend to bne concerned and have an opinion but i am a little worried that you seem so unconcerned for her wellbeing and a lot more with people you dont know. Is this a good friend - if not perhaps best to leave it there for a while.

jennymac Sun 20-Jul-08 22:30:28

She is a good friend and she is a really good person which is why I think I am shocked that she is doing this. I have no intention of "dumping" her and we have agreed not to talk about it anymore, which is fine as we have other friends who aren't bothered by it, so she can discuss it with them if she needs to. I think she also knows that I will always be here for her if she needs me and the whole thing goes belly up (which it probably will). But I can't deny that what she is doing goes against everything I believe in. Plus I don't agree with Madamez that if she doesn't do it with him, some other girl will. You could use that argument with doing anything wrong e.g. if I don't steal this car someone else will. Doesn't make it right though.

prettyfly1 Sun 20-Jul-08 22:48:00

jenny very good point and there is nothing wrong with having strong feelings about something that is possibly going to cause a lot of pain - i am glad to hear that you are going to stand by her and have spoken to her and i hope she comes through this ok.

cocolepew Sun 20-Jul-08 22:52:55

I agree that man is just as responsible but the op wanted to know how to deal with her feelings about the affair concerning her friend, not about who is to blame. She's going to be hurt no matter what. If it's just a casual fling she would find someone without any 'baggage' IYKWIM.

ToughDaddy Sun 20-Jul-08 22:56:27

J-mac: I think that it might be useful to be clear on which argument you are using for the discussion with your friend:

1)You are concerned for your friend; that she may be hurt etc...

2)Whether you are concerned for the man and his family.

Otherwise, she MIGHT think that you are meddling or trying to spoil her fun or something like that. Also depends on your reltionship with your friend. Does she play the role of the adventurous little sister and you the sensible older sister?

Just my first thoughts

girlnextdoor Mon 21-Jul-08 07:36:01

jenny- Stealing cars"- well, cars don't have brains (okay- neither do some men) - so they don't have any choice whether to be stolen or not-they just sit there waiting...

this man does have a choice- so I agree that if he is looking for an affair, someone else would fill your friend's place.

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