Post # 1
I’m in a bit of a conundrum. I’ll try to make this as short as possible so bear with me…
Myself and few friends, along with our husbands, get together for dinner dates once a month or so. We only started a few months ago so we haven’t gotten around to my turn to host but it’s coming up. One of my friends husbands (we’ll call him R) was recently arrested on sex abuse charges and is out on bail. The only reason I even know about this is because I saw it on the news. My friend has yet to mention anything to me or our other friends about her husband. The whole situation is really strange. My friend is acting like nothing ever happened but if that’s how she wants to deal with it, it’s her prerogative.
My issue is that I don’t know how to broach the subject of these dinner parties. Our other friend hosted last month and reluctantly allowed R to attend in an attempt to keep the peace between her and our other friend. Since our friend doesn’t even know that we know about the arrest, the host couldn’t exactly voice her concerns. Now that it’s my turn, DH and I aren’t comfortable having him in our home. It’s not that I care if the guy knows where I live, I’d just rather not have him at my dinner table knowing what he did.
I don’t want to confront my friend. I can only imagine what she went through when he was charged and what she’s continuing to go through as he deals with the consequences. If she wanted me to know, she would have told me. I have to see her every day so I’d rather not make it awkward between us but at the same time, I’d really prefer not to go on pretending like I don’t know what he did. I’m not sure what to tell me friend when we start to plan our next dinner at my house. I thought about trying to make it girls only but I don’t know if that will be suspicious since the husbands have always been included. I know that I have to deal with this in one way or another but I don’t know what to do.
How would you handle this if you were in my shoes?
Post # 3
He hasn’t been convicted yet. Are you absolutely sure he did what he’s being accused of?
Post # 4
Wow, that is a really sad situation to be in. 🙁
I’m inclined to say… just ignore the situation and let him come for the sake of your friendship – your friend will probably need your support now more than ever, even if she doesn’t think you know about the situation. BUT if I were actually in your shoes I might feel really differently. Would it be possible to talk to her about it? I mean, that probably depends on how close you are… but that is like a GIANT elephant in the room! You could say to her privately, “So I saw this thing on tv…are you doing ok? is he getting counseling?” etc. it shouldnt be a secret! I dont know… as I’m typing that and re-reading your reponse it doesn’t seem that easy… 🙁 I’m sure someone else will have a better idea…
Post # 5
I’d suck it up and invite him. You’re doing it for your friend, not her husband. She’s going to need all the support she can get, whether her husband is guilty or not.
Post # 6
If you would rather not mention it, I would do one of two things:
I would talk to your other friends about not inviting her, and asking that they stay discreet about the whole situation. If you really do not want him there and really dont want to do a girls night, then this seems like a good option.
or, like you were thinking, I would make the dinner a girls only thing, and just say you think it would be fun to have some “girl talk” and do other things that stereotypically seem to be associated with your gender.
There really doesn’t seem to be any other option for those two if you don’t want to bring it up and you do not want him there.
I understand why you wouldn’t want to invite him, but has he been convicted? If not, then I would just invite him. Even then, it might make your friend feel better if things went on normally as they usually do.
Post # 7
@strawbabies: oh, good point! I hadn’t thought of that. Maybe that’s why she’s not bringing it up?
Post # 8
I’m pretty positive he actually committed the crimes. I don’t want to go into too much detail on here but there are many reasons why I believe that the charges will stand.
Post # 9
Has he only been charged? When is his hearing? Do you actually think he’s guilty?
I tihnk, if you think he may be guilty, or if he’s been FOUND guilty, tell your friend you know. Tell her you’re not comfortable. You can’t help it.
Post # 11
@Puffthemagicdragon: If you’re sure he’s guilty, then I think you need to find a way of not inviting him. Sex offenders need to be shunned.
I would say either make it girls only, or not invite that couple. If you don’t invite the couple it would use words along the lines of, “I don’t think we can do this given the current situation”. This is awful to deal with and I never have had to, but no way would I want to be seen to be giving any sort of support or normalcy to a sex offender.
Post # 12
@Puffthemagicdragon: The only way you can be positive he committed the crimes are if you witnessed them or he confessed to you (and even confessions can be fake).
Trial by media is often a great misjustice in todays society. History is littered with cases of wrongful incarceration. Until proven gulity in a court of law he isn’t gulity of anything unless he confesses to it. Just because someone thinks someone is capable of committing a crime doesn’t mean they actually did it.
Look at it from this perspective- how would you feel if your partner was accused of sexual assault, you believe he didn’t do it and all your friends shun/abandon you and your partner?
Even if it is done discreetly as you call it your friends are going to know the reason why they have suddenly been left off the invite list. If it turns out that it isn;t true or he isn;t found gulity do you really think the friendship will survive?
Post # 13
@paula1248: “Sex offenders need to be shunned”
Wow what a terribly judgemental and ignorant thing to say. You do know that a large majority of sex offenders were infact molested themselves and that it is actually a disease like any other addiction. Sex offenders need to be helped not shunned. Hiding it and pushing into the back of the closet and spreading hate is never going to solve the problem or help the victims.
Post # 14
@j_jaye: I would never want to give any support to a sex offender. How would his victims feel to see his friends rallying around him as if nothing was wrong and inviting him to dinner parties? I am trying to see this from the point of view of the victim.
(Rest of answer edited out in view of the comment below me)
Post # 15
Let’s not turn this thread into a debate on how sex offenders should be treated…
OP: I am sorry, I don’t have great advice. Just wanted to jump in and say that is a sucky situation to be in. I ould let your friend know what you saw on the news and let her know that if she needs anything you are there to support her. Maybe once she knows it is out in the open she will feel more comfortable talking to someone about it.
Post # 16
I would probably talk to your friend about it and go from there. I wouldn’t be able to act like nothing was wrong or I didn’t know long term. Maybe she needs someone to talk to and will appreciate you bringing it up. And if she doesn’t, I am sure she will make that known too and you never have to mention it again.
There area lot of different types of sex offenders. If he didn’t do something violent since I do not have children I would probably let him come, but if you feel uncomfortable about that I would go ahead and make it a girl’s dinner until the situation blows over (ie until he goes to jail…?)