(Closed) NWR: My best friend slept with a married man.

posted 5 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
Member
866 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

It sounds like your friend is going through some sort of quarter life crisis and doesn’t know how to deal with the difficulty of her seperation. I don’t know if you can help her get back on track if she doesn’t want that for herself, but you can try to be there for her and gently suggest that she is engaging in destructive behavior. She clearly values your opinion if she’s keeping in touch with you, and by asking you to tell her she’s not a bad person she is showing that she worries she is… 

I had a couple of friends back in college who engaged in self destructive behavior like this, sleeping with married men or men they didn’t feel good about being intimate with. I knew both girls at different times in my life and they didn’t know one another, but they went through the same patterns. They’d do this then feel bad and come back and want me to tell them they weren’t horrible people and that they weren’t acting slutty. I think they both had self-esteem issues and were using sex in place of actual validation; maybe your friend is doing the same thing. I had to break off the friendship with one of the girls because she was becoming hostile when I couldn’t see her, and the other girl broke off the friendship with me because she said I made her feel bad about herself (I was never anything but supportive even when I didn’t agree with her decisions; I think she was just embarassed). 

Frankly, I know she’s your best friend, but it sounds like the relationship is really toxic right now. It’s not fair of her to put you in a position where you have to keep big secrets like this. I would have a heart to heart with her and let her know that you are worried for you! If she’s your best friend, she’ll listen to you and appreciate it, even if she doesn’t agree with you. If she continues this behavior and it continues to affect you so negatively, I think you’re well within your rights to distance yourself from her or even terminate the relationship if it comes to that. Hopefully it won’t, but sometimes the kindest thing you can do for someone who is in a self destructive spiral is to quit being an enabler and walk away; sometimes it’s the wake-up call they need. Good luck!

Post # 5
Member
7758 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Sigh. Been there, well sort of. My best friend went through a couple of very short relationships after her marriage split up, and in general we drifted apart. Nothing I said helped, and I suspect the best thing (i.e. what I should have done all the time instead of most of the time) was give no advice (unless asked) and let her live her own life.

But if she’s confided in you, don’t tell anything about her private life to her soon to be ex husband. That’s always my policy when relationships split: I never tell one person about what the other is doing. And when asked (and I got this occasionally when my parents were divorcing) I give an evasive answer.

Post # 6
Member
996 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Ugh. What an ugly way to behave (your friend). I’m never an advocate for cheating even if it’s a bad relationship. My advice to women who wanted to cheat on their husbands for whatever reason has always been to be a real woman and end the relationship first. I just find people who cheat so disgusting and vile because it’s completely avoidable. End your relationship if you are unhappy and move on! No need to cheat, especially with someone else’s husband my gosh. I don’t know what I’d do if I was in your position but I do know I’d feel pretty gross hearing the details of her affair.

Post # 8
Member
291 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@SouthernGirl: I entered this thread all prepared to say “she needs you now more than ever, her cheating is not a direct attack on your relationship with your fiance, let’s be kind to her in her time of need rather than judging her,” etc. etc., but after reading this, I will abandon Ye Olde Guilt Trip.

It sounds like you’ve been a great friend to her but that she seems intent on barreling down whatever destructive path she’s on. This must be heartbreaking for you to watch, especially since it’s so clearly linked to her split with her husband. Who initiated the split, to your knowledge? Are they divorced, or separated? It’s sadly very understandable on her end–people do pretty crazy things when they get divorced, especially if they were married young and maybe feel like they didn’t get the opportunity to get the wild & crazy out of their systems. The only potential suggestion I have is to do a sort of friend-intervention–maybe you can gather 2 or 3 of her best friends, if she hasn’t pushed them away already, and sit her down in person to have a chat. If you do this, I’d recommend saying something like, “We love you and know you’re going through a rough time, but it’s really hard for us to watch you spiral out of control like this. We’re here for you if you need us, but we really just want to know how we can help you right now” (or something to that effect.). I do think that you’d be justified in distancing yourself from her right now, and in some ways it sounds like she may be pushing you away, consciously or not. But it would be nice, given the fact that she seems intent on running away from her problems right now, if you would at least make her aware of the fact that she’s pushing you away.

Post # 10
Member
471 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Well, sometimes a separation is a chance to somehow work on a relationship and sometimes it is permanent. I was separated from my ex husband from January 2008 until June 2012. We knew we were not going to make amends and I was free to do what I wished as I saved up the money for a divorce. My now husband was separated for over a year and his ex wife was engaged when I met him. Both of our marriages were clearly over and I don’t consider us getting together cheating on our former spouses.

Try to not judge your friend on the fact that you feel she is cheating on her ex husband. She probably does not care if her ex husband finds out because to her the relationship is over. She is emotionally divorced but sometimes it takes awhile for to become legally divorced. 

Now that point aside, she is on a destructive path, one which many people coming out of a marriage goes through in some degree or the other. If you feel that you are on separate paths now with your friendship and you cannot support her then maybe you can’t if your views on life are now so radically different now.

Post # 12
Member
4429 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@SouthernGirl:  mine too hahaha shes going crazy my best friend ; ( God knows i love her but she dosent understand that i cant go out on man hunts with her anymore its just not right im engaged now i just cant do that. and i feel so bad shes a great girl and person i love her with all my heart but she really is going thru something in her life and ive been trying to help her but i dont know how. im there for her but not the way she needs me to be. in the single scene we were alot of fun always looked out for eachother but i cant do that with her and im really her only friend.

Post # 13
Member
471 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@SouthernGirl:  Ok, there were some talks of cheating within the posts. I know some people believe that as long as you are still legally married it’s cheating. Others have a differenting opinion.

I probably made my bestie cringe a time or two over the years I was single and separated. For a long time, I did not want a relationship. I was not ready and I did my fair share of hook ups which I don’t regret.

I would say that if it is making you uncomfortable then tell her that you would rather not know the details of what she is doing but you are there for her. You shouldn’t be put in the middle between her and her ex. Sometimes during a divorce, you lose friends. I was really good friends with some couples and my ex “got custody of them” during the separation and divorce because he had a stronger bond with them. Those friends I never discussed my separation to my ex. I respected their relationship with him and didn’t involve them and in the end we are aquaintences, which is fine by me.

As far as her sleeping with a married man, there are open relationships, which sounds like that is what this was if she got the wifes ok. She has to make the decision and if this situation makes her truely uncomfortable (instead of worried about what you may think of it) she will either learn from it or she will come to terms with it and continue to do so because she is probably looking at it as that man is emotionally safe. She knows she will not get into a relationship with him and since she is not looking for more than a casual fling. (I myself had been asked the same but didn’t feel comfortable to go through with it.)

It doesn’t sound like she is hurt by the sexual encounters that she is having and I would just let her get it out of her system and encourage her to be safe while engaging in these behaviors.

Post # 14
Member
7771 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

That is really tough.  I kind of feel for your friend in a way, because I have had some rough periods (years ago), mainly as a teenager where I had some very self destructive behavior, but if I had not gone through it, I would not have eventually worked through my issues. 

I think relationships are tough.  I have a friend that did things I really disagreed with (borrowed my cabin to have sex with a married man, got pregnant with a guy she doesn’t know while she had another boyfriend, I could go on and on…).  I never said anything to her.  Sometimes friendship needs to be unconditional to survive.  It sounds like your friend is in a dark time and I would do my best to be there for her and give her good advice IF she asks. 

I disagree with PP that says cheating is inexcusable.  Some relationships are complicated and drag on and get tangled and sometimes they need something dramatic to happen for them to end.  In a perfect world, sure, cheating would not occur, but is not always as simple as “let them know you are done before you go!”  Especially if the other person is holding on and said cheater is very unhappy there. 

OP, your friend is also very young.  I feel for her.  25 is so young!

 

Post # 16
Member
471 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@SouthernGirl:  You say they have a more serious relationship but this quote from you tells me otherwise…

She knows I don’t like the guy because of how he is; constantly telling her he loves her despite the fact that she told him she didn’t want anything serious and didn’t feel the same way, him joking with her about how “funny” it would be if she got pregnant, and the fact that he’s told the mother of his child who he was dating and even gave her my friend’s phone number (which has since led to lots of harrassing phone calls). He also tells her he wants her to help him raise his now two month old daughter and is desperate to meet my friend’s son, even though she told him she doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

I would say that your friends actions and her speech says that she isn’t into this boyfriend nearly as much as he is into her. AND that she has a much better head on her shoulder than you may think. It’s good that she is not as involved with this man. He is her rebound guy from the divorce. She isn’t letting him become involved with her son which is good because in no way is she or her son ready to play house with a new daddy.

I really think she is gonna be okay.

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