18 Aug
What’s a Little Adultery Between Adults?

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

I just found out that my best friend has been cheating on her husband for the last two years. She and her husband have two daughters, ages 8 and 10. I caught her and her, um, “Mister? Scumbag? Piece of Ass?” making out and then she admitted to being madly in love with him and announced to me that her marriage has been “over” for years.

So, I did what any loving friend would do and gave her a piece of my mind. I know I should just mind my business and be there for my friend who is probably going through the roughest time of her life, but WTF? She’s running around on her marriage like a teenager, WHICH SHE IS NOT, and is getting drunk every weekend and just ignoring the fact that she has a family who needs her.

My advice to her, which she didn’t ask for, was to sort out her marriage (even if that means moving forward with a divorce), quit drinking so much (because she can’t think straight if she’s chugging vodka), and THEN move on to this new man if he’s still around and she still loves him. She cried, she told me I was right, but now she won’t speak to me because she knows I’ll give her a hard time.

I’m lost. I don’t know how to be her friend without giving her a piece of my mind. Plus I kinda don’t trust her anymore since she’s being such a sneaky liar. HELP!

Sincerely,

Judgy McJudgerson

_____________________

Dear Judgy McJudgerson,

I usually avoid answering any questions that last longer than a paragraph, but I’m going to give this kerfuffle of yours my best shot today. Mostly because I just had a Frappuccino and my mind’s racing like a mofo right now. Wheeeeee! Everything’s coffee colored!

Now, forgive me when I say that your situation sounds like something we’ve all seen a million times on various soap operas. By that I mean I’m pretty sure Hope, Patch, Lucky, Scorpio and Snapper probably all found themselves in your shoes at least once over the years. Which doesn’t make it any easier on you, of course, so I’m not quite sure why I brought that up except it was kind of fun to say “Snapper.” (Snapper.)

In my opinion, you did the right thing by telling her what you really think. That’s what a real friend does—-tells the truth even if it hurts. Obviously she doesn’t want to hear it, so it looks like you have a couple of choices now:

1. Keep your mouth shut about her cheating and drinking and just be there for her if she needs you.

2. Accept that your friendship is over and move on.

3. Remain friends, but subtly bring up counseling if at all possible.

My instinct would be to just leave her to her own devices, but I also suspect that she’s really off the rails right now and may soon need your support. Maybe a simple, “I don’t agree with what you’re doing, but please know I’m here for you if you ever need to talk” would suffice. For the sake of her kids, I hope she works everything out before too long.

You’re a good friend to care so much about her. I bet even Snapper would agree.

Good luck,

Wendi, TMH

 

12 Responses to “What’s a Little Adultery Between Adults?”

08.18.11#1

Comment by StephanieG.

Funny, what I think a loving friend would do is shut her piehole, in spite of the fact that her friend is behaving badly. That said, I think your advice to her (even if she didn’t ask for it) was SPOT ON.

I agree with Wendi (as usual) that you must first decide if the friendship is worth salvaging. If it is, I think your only recourse is to tell your friend that you love her, even when you abhor her behavior.

Ultimately, the decision to straighten her life out is up to your friend.

Personally, if my marriage were unhappy enough that I would have an affair, I would much rather be surrounded by friends who support me and love me unconditionally than by someone who just stands in judgement of my bad behavior.

I hope for the sake of her children that your friend gets things straightened out. And I hope for the sake of your friendship that she can see that you really do care for her and that you can trust her in spite of her lies and infidelity.

Good luck to you, and I hope it works out for all of you.

08.18.11#2

Comment by Kati.

My friend and I have a code. If she tells me to put on my “best friend hat”, she’s saying she needs me to just love her, accept where she’s at right now (even though she knows I disagree and know that SHE knows it’s wrong), and just be there for her. If she tells me to put on my “sister hat”, then I know she needs me to tell her what she knows but needs to hear – namely, “I love you, but what you’re doing is wrong and stupid. So, what can we do to get you back on the right track?”
Sometimes when she tells me something that we both know is not okay, I’ll straight up ask her “do you need me to be your best friend, or your sister right now?” And I take my cue from that.

What you told your friend was exactly right, and may have been just what she needed to hear. But my hunch is that she KNOWS what she’s doing is wrong and she knows what she needs to do to make it right. And there’s a good chance that right now she needs you to take off the sister hat and just be her friend for a while.

08.18.11#3

Comment by Plano Mom.

It could be because my glass is half empty today, but sure sounds to me like the friend has made her choice, to lie and deceive for two years. This isn’t something that’s easily forgotten or forgiven, it’s a serious betrayal of trust. I was once on the other end of this situation, as the friend who was being stupid. No kids, but the marriage ended. While my ex and I are now friends, this friend still doesn’t communicate with me, and it hurts every day, even after 17 years.

It’s perfectly fine to have nothing to do with what’s going on now. But don’t close the door permanently-she will recover from her insanity one day, and she will need your love to help forgive herself.

08.18.11#4

Comment by Kelly.

I had a similar situation with a friend who was going through a divorce and it was a pretty rough patch for our friendship. She wanted me to be fully on her side and fully against her husband (reasonable from her perspective, difficult from mine as I saw blame on both sides and was friends with both of them). Ultimately, our friendship made it and her marriage did not. During the “worst of it,” I had to set boundaries about what I would and wouldn’t do with her (meet for a drink or a girl’s night in: YES; go out barhopping like college girls and pretend we didn’t have husbands: NO). I had to set boundaries with my own behavior (i.e., I would listen to her but that didn’t mean I would always agree. I refused to mud sling at her ex but I didn’t defend him to her either.). In all, I just tried to support her in the, “no matter what, I love you” way. This is not a fun place to be and you have my sympathy that the situation stinks. I’m just offering the perspective that you can be there “imperfectly” and still make it through.

08.18.11#5

Comment by Kristine.

Yeah, this sounds like a crappy situation to have been placed in the middle of. But I agree with Wendi. I hope things work out.

08.18.11#6

Comment by Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him.

You’re not best friends if you can’t share openly. Doesn’t mean you have to agree, but you have to talk.

08.18.11#7

Comment by Tonya.

And just because she is having an affair doesn’t mean that she’s lying in her friendships (please don’t take this as my condoning her behavior). Marriages can be so complicated that it’s so hard to know what it’s really like between even your BFF and her husband behind close doors. Yes, cheating is never a good way to handle an unhappy relationship but it shouldn’t change the way you view her as a friend. I agree with everyone (including Snapper) above: be there for her because she will need you.

08.18.11#8

Comment by Cate8.

Ask her if you can bang her husband….he probably could use some lovin’

08.18.11#9

Comment by Regina.

sad any way you look at it. i do hope she sees the value of your honesty – it ‘s what i would want from my bf. it’s always easy to listen and be somewhat supportive, but it’s a true friend who tells you like it is and still loves you! hope it all works out.

08.19.11#10

Comment by I'm a big ol' b with a captial B!.

I just went through this with a friend and in the end, I did what I felt I needed to do to be true to 1. Who I am and 2. my friendship.

I told her as lovingly as I could that she needed to get her life together and focus on herself and her kids’ happiness before she could be happy with a man (her husband or the cheatee).

That said, I’m not a ‘Yes man’ friend. I tell people I really care about what I feel like they need to hear, not what they want to hear. I’m willing to listen and be a sounding board, but I won’t condone or agree with what I feel are bad life choices. I think she had enough ‘yes man’ friends in her life that she needed someone who could really be honest with her, no matter if it hurt or not.

08.22.11#11

Comment by Jane.

What about anonymously calling the tv show “Cheaters” and letting them sort it out?

08.25.11#12

Comment by Judgy.

@Jane. You win! j/k. kinda.

She and I still haven’t spoken, which I’m okay with if it means I don’t have to stifle my feelings. I appreciate all of your advice. I’m just going to keep my distance, set my boundries, and be there when and if she needs me.

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