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Not sure what to do about friend who left husband... need advice please (long, sorry).(16 Posts)
I've namechanged for this because I don't want even a small chance of being identified. I'd love some advice about a situation I'm having to deal with atm.
So basically here's the story. I have a good friend here in London, where I live. We've been friends for 6 years, she's the godmother of our baby too. I'm very close to her & love her very much, although there were always a few signs that some things are weird about her (but the positive aspects have always far outnumbered the negative). She has been married for 4 years with a guy who she's been together with 7 years. He's a very rich super-duper City type (but a really really nice guy nonetheless) and she always has openly said that financial security was one of the main reasons she married him. She actually quit her job immediately after marrying him and it was clear (again, she was open about this) that she waited to be married to do this. They have no children (this was always a difficult subject for them, won't go into details).
About 2 months ago she very suddenly decided to leave her husband. She did this in an extremely sudden, cruel (as I see it way). She told him she's in love with someone else & basically left him. She also told him that for years she had been unhappy & listed a whole range of things she says were wrong with the relationship. None of us had any clue she would do this. She had told me about a month before that she had some feelings for someone else but that nothing had happened & she was 'dealing' with it. I was shocked, to say the least, by the quickness & brutality of the break up. She now acts as if her husband is basically completely in the past.
I've been trying to support her through this as best I can, but to be honest, I think her behaviour towards her husband is inexcusable. She shows no guilt, she's in a kind of manic mood all the time. The last straw for me (which is why I'm posting here) is that she assumes- and she's probably right- that she'll get a huge chunk of money off him. Her husband came to visit me & DP to talk a week ago & he's absolutely devastated, especially because of her ruthlessness when it comes to the money. She assumes she won't need to work again all her life, & will live happily ever after with her new man, on her husband's money.
To be honest, I'm seriously thinking of ending the friendship as I find her behaviour strange, shocking & morally unacceptable. On the other hand, I've been too chicken to be open with her about how I feel, so I just have been avoiding her a bit. The most important thing I haven't been open about is the money. I simply cannot see why she expects never to work again. I think relationships are completely destroyed & divorces get so ugly when money becomes involved, and she's perfectly capable- and fully qualified- of working again, plus her husband told us that he would be very willing to pay her living expenses for 10 years or something but he's really hurt that she wants a huge amount (e.g. 30-40% of his money).
Anyway, that's the story. Sorry it was long & rambling. I'm really upset & I seriously wonder who this person is who I felt I knew, loved & trusted so much... What would you do?
(By the way, her husband is also emotionally hurt very very much, and he says that even now he would probably have her back even though he would find it very hard indeed to trust her again. And just so the picture is clearer, he's an attractive, intelligent guy, with a wonderful sense of humour, and they seemed very happy together at least on the surface).
Oh dear. I hate to be so blunt but he sounds better of without so she's done him a favour. A relationship that's based on lies is never a good one. Is this really the sort of person you want in your life though?
You need to talk to her. Explain that you are trying to remain neutral, and not pass judgements, but you need to understand her motivations behind the split (over and beyond the "someone else", because she said she was dealing with that.)
You are going to be in one of those non-enviable situations where you and your DP are in the middle. (You said that her ex-p has visited you since the split to talk.)
If you do talk to her, a lot depends on how up front you want to be. You could say
"I'm really upset & I seriously wonder who this person is who I felt I knew, loved & trusted so much, and I want to understand"
Any further convos on the topic could then introduce the subject of the money.
BTW, as I understand it, she needs to have serious grounds to start taking large amounts from him. I might be wrong though.
She sounds the sort of woman who gets other women a bad name!
I'd be very surprised at her getting loads of money with a relatively short marriage and no children! Particularly if she has a new partner already. I got divorced after a similar timeframe, no children, and basically we took our own debts and split the profits from selling the house. If she's young and capable of working, with no dependents, I think the courts will be reluctant to set her up for life. Her H should certainly not be offering 10 years living expenses!
But as to how you feel about her....no good advice really. I'd also be going down the avoidance route as I'd find it hard to say 'I think you're a ruthless, money-grubbing, lazy cow' to someone (even if she is).
I'd keep on avoiding and hope she pisses off with her new man.
Poor you. That sounds so tough.
She does sound very unusual to be polite. What is her background like - stable etc. What was her family like - how did they behave to each other? Is she from a well off background? Has she any history of mental health problems?
I dont think I would want to be a close friend any more but you have the godmother problem - makes it tough. Im not surprised her husband is very very hurt.
I dont think I would want to be a friend any more unless there were legitimate reasons for her behaviour - mental health issues etc
Such a horrible situation to be in
I hate to say it, especially as she's your lo's godmother, but I think this is - and should be - the end of your friendship.
Clearly you have completely different values and that's not really the basis for a friendship.
Also, her dh needs to get himself a bloody good divorce lawyer and fast.
I'm surprised that you are quite so shocked by her behavior given that she was open about marrying for money. I doubt she will get quite as much money as she expects given she had no chidren and contributed nothing to the marriage - unless the poor fool she married actually gives it to her off his own bat.
He may be willing to cover her living expenses for ten years but he will no doubt be snatched off the market by some other woman fairly quickly and his willingness to fund this gold digger's lifestyle may diminish somewhat after that - especially if he has kids...
Advise him to get a good lawyer...
Thanks for your thoughts & ideas. To be honest, it's made me even more upset about the whole thing reading what you've all said, because my own thoughts & feelings are mirrored in this.
As to your questions. The guy has already seen a very good divorce lawyer. It seems he's made a huge amount of money during the marriage & he's going to offer a huge chunk of that e.g. 20-30% or something. I think he's hoping for a settlement outside court just because he really wants to remain civil and, frankly, because he loves her & believes she's unwell at the moment.
As for her, she's a very very intelligent, highly educated woman, in fact, if she wanted she could have a successful career herself. There are all sorts of issues about her personal life & past (and her parents' marriage) which I don't really want to discuss here, but it's true that this behaviour that she's now displaying is something that is not a complete surprise to those who know her many many years. It's just that I met her 6 years ago, she was in a fantastic, settled, optimistic point in her life, & I really thought she had changed for good & was trustworthy. I never took her comments about money that seriously, perhaps because I was in some sort of denial, perhaps also because I had no reason to think about it more. She always put in terms like 'there's a huge financial imbalance between me & him, it wouldn't work if we hadn't married, and I wanted to feel financially secure too'. She never obviously just said 'I married him for the money'.
At this point I feel completely foolish for having chosen her as a godmother for our baby (not least because she really doesn't see him as much as I had hoped) but you can't really take something like that back: or can you?
For now I'm going the avoidance route as I really don't want to completely abandon her at such a crisis in her life.
OP, could you please put me in contact with this man
I quite fancy him for myself actually....
ambivalence - I am "honorary" Godmother to the ds of a friend of ours because his original one basically dropped all contact with his parents for no real reason.
He loves it - makes him different from his brothers and I have a lovely relationship with him.
I wouldn't want to be friends with this lady. I'd probably also tell her that I think she should be ashamed of herself. If she was any sort of good friend she would listen to you and take in a little of what you are saying. You might not want to get involved in that discussion though.
At the very least, I'd avoid her like the plague.
She is unlikely to care tuppence for what anyone thinks of her morals ( or lack thereof) - she is also unlikely to care too much about her duties as a Godmother - what's in it for her after all?
It's not your fault you saw the best in her and thought she was a reformed character - just says you are a good person, as is your unwillingness to dump her. So long as she has her cold hard cash she probably won't mind too much about what her friends think of her...
I think you're all being a bit tough on her - none of us know what went on in their marriage.
If he's made a "huge amount" of money during the mariage and he's going to offer her 20/30% that's hardly going to bankrupt himm is it?
If anything you come across as a little bit miffed/jealous that she may get £££ that you feel she doesn't deserve.
I think you should be there for both of them
If it were my friend I would cut off contact. She will know the reason why without you having to explain it. It is unfortunate that she is your dc's godmother.
For very different reasons to you I cut off contact with ds's godfather and mother (married couple) 4 years ago when he was 1. Left him with one godfather whom he adores (and is completely adored in return). Never had a moment's regret. In fact the opposite - a real sense of relief and a weight lifted.
The godmother had been a close friend for over 20 years and I'd supported her through all sorts of problems. I hadn't really noticed that the support was never reciprocated but I figured that her problems were probably bigger/more difficult than mine (they weren't, on reflection). The one time in our long friendship that I really needed her support, she wasn't there for me. It was something of a light bulb moment and ceasing contact was the absolute right thing to do.
The way I did it was not to contact her - I'd usually be the one calling her to see how she was. If she ever called me she would spend at least an hour on the phone talking about her issues. I don't miss those calls.
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