Post # 1
I recently found out one of my friends is getting divorced. She is super busy, so I don’t get to see her much, but she is a really interesting person who has a lot of life experience, is super easy to talk to, and gives great advice, and I don’t have any other friends who can fill the role that she does.
She said there were problems in her marriage, and she made it worse by having an affair and that she wasn’t proud of it. I was torn but we ended up hanging out. Most of the time she just complained about how bad her life is. I found out she had an affair with her friend’s husband. This friend is also her coworker and it is causing lots of problems at work for her. I don’t have any sympathy- these are all the consequences of some very bad choices she made.
I don’t know how to handle this. Do I try to just be a good friend and listen? Do I tell her what I think even though she hasn’t asked my opinion? Part of what concerns me is that she did this to her friend, and if she would do this to a friend, how will she treat me? (FYI- I totally trust FH, but I don’t want to be friends with someone who would have an affair with him if he was willing.)
ETA: Part of my issue was that while she said it’s not something she is proud of, she takes no responsibility for her part in this mess. Her former friend (the wife) doesn’t want to be around her, which is causing her problems at work. Her response is that this woman is crazy since she doesn’t want to be around her and can’t be professional. Her attitude is very much “poor me, everyone is being so mean to me” when she made her bed. If her response was “OMG, I really messed up and I will never do this again” this wouldn’t be much of an issue, but her lack of taking responsibility and blaming others is bothering me.
Post # 3
@guitargirl: I think it’s always best to be honest and express your feelings. You may want to tell her your concerns and see how she responds.
I wouldn’t distrust my friend, based what she did to someone else. It takes 2 to tango and their was obviously something between them both.
Post # 4
She has already acknowledged that she made a mistake by having the affair and it sounds like she is experiencing the full negative effects of that decision. I think all you need to do now is be someone she can talk to. Being another voice telling her how much she screwed up isn’t going to enlighten her in any way and would probably just make her question your friendship.
Post # 5
Your friend is probably getting judgement from many people in her life right now. I doubt she needs more of it. Try to be supportive and listen to her feelings. Regardless of the fact that her problems are her fault, her life is crashing down around her and she will need support to get back on her feet. I know that what she did was horrible, but give her the chance to recover from her mistake.
Post # 6
I know that she made a really bad choice, but it seems she knows that, too. At this point, I’d be a listening ear for her. You don’t have to condone what she did in order to be there for her — everyone makes mistakes, and I’m sure she’d be really grateful to have someone she could go to who wouldn’t judge her while she’s struggling.
Post # 8
Agree with PP. It’s not your place to really *do* anything but to be there for her as a friend. I know it sucks to learn someone could cheat and you may first think they are such a horrible person and be “torn” on whether to see them or not, but at the end of the day, they are still the same friend you knew before that got into bad situation and feels awful about it. Don’t dismiss her now when she needs you most.
Post # 9
@guitargirl: I understand your point, sometimes is hard to be friends with someone whose behaviour you don’t approve. You’re wondering where does she draw the line as for what’s acceptable or not to do to a friend, not just cheating.
It might be one of those cases when you know people feel gulty just cause they got caught.
What to do depends on how close you areand how you feel about this. Do you feel like being around her? Maybe if you tell her you dont support her attitude towards this she will stop talking to you about the situation, some conversations are hard to handle.
Post # 10
You don’t do anything. However, I wouldn’t be hanging out with her if her attitude is the way you say it is. I’d tell her that I don’t sympathize with her and she will have to reap what she has sown. If she wants to live “right” from this point on and needs your friendship and help to do that, great! If she wants your friendship so she has someone on her side, I wouldn’t hang out with her. It is a matter of principle.
Post # 11
I’m going to sound mean but I would be very cautious about continuing a friendship with her. I had a friend who slept with her friend’s boyfriend and had an ongoing relationship with him for a long time. I always told myself she would never do that to me and that our friendship was more important to her than that, and I stuck up for her even though Darling Husband said he didn’t like her. Well one night she say my husband (SO at the time) out at a bar and tried to get his number and said she had something important to talk to him about the next day, which I know is like her “pick up” line. Darling Husband called me and told me on the drive home because he was so mad and wanted to prove to me she couldn’t be trusted. When I confronted her about it she said she wanted to call him and talk about me and see how our relationship was going. yahhhh
I was totally floored by how much this hurt me. I was upset with her but more than anything I was just incredibly hurt. I really thought I meant more to her than that. Looking back I wish I had seen her for what she is. Your friend doesn’t sound remorseful about this, and she’s even calling this woman names…
I understand a lot of people take the stance of not basing your opinion of people on what they’ve done to others, but I firmly believe that they will do it to you just as easily as they do it to anyone else. I’d seriously watch my back with this person, you may be seeing her true colors for the first time. I’m not saying she’ll go for your husband, I just mean she could really let you down too. I’d probably just tell her I can’t listen to her complain about it anymore to be honest, or ask how she feels about how this has affected other people. She doesn’t need to be crucified for her poor judgement, but she should show SOME evidence that she doesn’t think it was ok and wouldn’t do it again.
Post # 12
I think you can tell her that she’s got to own up to her own role in creating the mess she’s in, while still being a supportive, non-judgmental friend. Part of being a good friend is letting a friend know when she’s off-base…tough love, right?
Post # 13
Eh, she doesn’t need support for doing something destructive and hurtful to others. I don’t think you need to lecture her, but if she starts the “poor me” business, just tell her you don’t want to hear about it.