Post # 1
Tonight I am seeing a friend for dinner and want to have a conversation about her seeing a married man. Mostly I’d like to focus on her sense of self worth and making better choices when it comes to men, as she has a history of choosing emotionally unavailable -or just plain unavailable – men. I love my friend, and I want her to love herself enough to make better decisions. I’m disappointed in her, and I don’t quite know what to say. Should I say anything at all? Help, bees!
Post # 2
Is she unhappy? Or seeking help/advice? If so, then I think go for it, but if she’s not looking for your feedback, then I’d probably not go there. I have a dear friend who also chooses unavailable men (you name it), but my telling her how diasappointed I am with her choices, isn’t really a solve to her problem- especially since I’m not sure she thinks it’s a problem. Long story short- if she asks you for feedback or advice because she’s unhappy or looking to change something (or seeing commitment that she’s not getting) then go for it. Otherwise, I’d enjoy dinner with your friend and remind her how much you care for and support her.
Post # 3
- Wedding: February 2018 - UK
I’m not sure there’s a way you can do this without the possibility that it could turn into an argument. Your friend knows he’s married, she knows she’s doing something wrong, I can’t think of much you can say that would be news to her.
I understand if you’re worried about her, or if you feel morally obliged to say something, but there’s a very real possibility she could react defensively. Is this something you’re willing to risk ending the friendship over?
Post # 4
JenJennyJennifer : I mean, you can say something but need to realize that there is a chance she will react badly and distance herself from your friendship.
Might be best to go into the conversation slowly. You could start by asking her some questions like, what do you hope to get out of your relationship with this guy who is married? See if she is even open to discussing the cons of what she is doing.
All you can really control is yourself. And it would be totally fair for you to decide that being friends with someone who thinks it is ok to date a man who is married is not a friendhsip you want in your life. You could let her know that you do not condone her behavior and that you are dissapointed in her and as long as she is participating in a relationship with someone who is cheating, you will be taking a break from your friendship.
Post # 5
Thank you for your help. You are all right, I’m not willing to risk ending our friendship or her backing away from it. I’ll let her lead and try to enjoy our dinner together. It’s not really my business, nor am I a professional marriage and family therapist, so I should probably not give unwanted advice.
I’m just so dissapointed and sad about this. It’s not about me, though.
Post # 6
Honestly, unless she’s straight-up asking you for advice on the subject, I don’t think coming at her with what could appear to be a patronizing attitude about her love life is going to help much. Unless they’re particularly receptive, telling an adult that you’re disappointed in them, from what I’ve seen, rarely goes well. Agreed with PPs on offering your POV if she asks for it.
Post # 7
I would say “I can’t condone what you are doing. It’s wrong.
Short of really extenuating circumstances, I could not stay close to someone who would behave this way. While it may be about lack of self esteem, and while it’s the husband who primarily owes his wife loyalty, it’s not as if she’s not hurting someone.
You are the company you keep.
Post # 8
ladyjane123 : Thank you for this advice. I really don’t want to have to reevaluate our friendship and back off, but I will if I have to, at least for the time being. Thank you for reiterating that it’s totally fair of me not to want to participate in a friendship with someone who is openly cheating. To me, it disrespects marriage. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, with a loving man I never thought I would find, soon to be engaged and planning a wedding and preparing for marriage with all the huge decisions that come with binding your life to another’s…and I know this is childish, but her affair is killing my buzz.
Post # 9
- Wedding: May 2019 - York, ME
JenJennyJennifer : It sounds like you’re coming from a good place and realizing healthy people don’t seek out relationships that are damaging to others or themselves. I think depending on your relationship, it’s something I would talk to her about – but my friends and I are able to have deep conversations easily. I would not come at it from a confrontational tone though, because otherwise I could see her shutting down and distancing herself from you.
I haven’t had a friend who’s done this, so don’t know how I’d react but I know that I’d want to offer my support and understanding, while also letting her know what she’s doing is wrong and that I don’t condone it.
Post # 10
Not your circus, not your monkeys. Stay out of it unless she specifically asks your advice.
Post # 11
There is no way I’d continue being friends with someone seeing a married man. You don’t want her to back away from your friendship, you’d rather she just blow up someone elses marriage? Thats disgusting.
Personally, I wouldn’t go into her background of choosing shitty men, but I would bring up how THIS man is wrong, and if he’s willing to cheat with her, he’s a piece of shit who only cares about himself.
Post # 12
I don’t understand the people who are saying to not say anything unless she specifically asks for advice. What kind of friendship is that?? If you are real friends, you should be able to say something. I’d WANT my friends to tell me I was doing something stupid and damaging even if I didn’t ask for their thoughts on the situation. To me that’s a good friend.
Post # 13
JenJennyJennifer : I get that, and I do think that is fair. There is truth to the saying, you are who you surround yourself with. In general surrounding yourself with friends who are on the same page as you is a benefit to you and to them. Just as you want a SO who lifts you up and makes you a better person, you want friends like that too.
Someone who has tons of friends who are in jail, or doing drugs, or partying, or cheating would make me pause and think, why does this person surround themselves with friends who aren’t good people? Is it because they aren’t a good person either? To a certain extent being friends with someone means you support who they are and their choices. It means that you want what they bring to the table in your life. So don’t feel bad for not wanting to be friends with someone who is dating a married man. It isn’t about her being a cheater since technically she is single. It is about her being the kind of person who doesn’t care that she is helping to hurt someone else (his wife). As human beings we should all care about being kind to others. Doing something that feels good, at the expense of someone else is wrong. Her dating a married man knowing it is hurtful to his wife, and kids and family, is not something she should want to be participating in.
Post # 14
ladyjane123 : I agree 100%, which is why I’m having such a hard time figuring out what to say to her. We are close friends. I have known her for 10 years and we have open hearted converations all the time. I know I can find a way to let her know how I feel. I can focus on our relationship instead of hers, and I will let her know that all choices have consequences, that I can’t turn a blind eye to something like this, and that at this stage of my life and for the forseeable future I can’t see our friendship being as close as it could be if she weren’t a willing party to cheating. You’re right, she’s willingly hurting someone (his wife) and I’m just not down with that.
I also love her, and this will be hard.
Post # 15
JenJennyJennifer : Even if she hasn’t asked for advice, if she’s openly talking about a being with a married man I think it’s just fine to let her know you think she’s making a bad decision. I can’t think of many people that would listen to someone talk about having an affair with a married man and not say “wtf are you thinking?”.
I wouldn’t end my friendship with someone over this, but I would let her know that you don’t want to hear about this guy or their “relationship” anymore as you don’t condone that kind of behavior.