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If you have a friend who is an OW, how did you handle it?

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seekingright2013 posted 6/11/2013 16:24 PM

The post by WillGetBy on expressing hurt feelings got me thinking about a close friend who had really hurt my feelings lately. We have known each other about 8 years and been pretty close friends during this time.

This friend was an OW, TWICE, during our friendship.

The first time was for several months, about a year after we got to be friends. She worked with OM#1, she was married, he was married. The A went on for a couple of months, then he ended it. Neither one of the spouses found out.

THEN my friend hooked up with ANOTHER guy at work, also married.

This time, he left his wife and 12 year old daughter. His wife tried to kill herself (unsuccessfully). They did separate and divorce.

All the time he was seeing (and sleeping with) my friend. Their relationship lasted 4 years. Early on in the A, she divorced her husband.

Maybe it was an exit affair for both of them, IDK. But, they did not end up together. She tried to break up with him DOZENS of times (I am not exaggerating). Well, a dozen and a half anyway ! Unfortunately, I listened to a lot of angst from my friend -- wouldn't do that now !!

At the time, I had NO experience with infidelity, and expressed mild disapproval to my friend. I refused to do anything social if OM#2 was involved, although my friend and I got together from time to time (it was easy to bow out of social events with her and OM#2, because we live about 1 hr. apart, I still had kids at home then, etc.)

Now, of course, I think I would really let a friend who was an OW have a piece of my mind, and re-think the friendship.

So, curious -- anyone here have a friend who was an OW (or OM for that matter) and how did you handle it ??

fallingquickly posted 6/11/2013 16:54 PM

I had a friend with whom I worked in college. We worked in a restaurant. One day, when she came into work, she told me her boyfriend was actually married and that she had deliberately befriended his wife. The whole family was going to come in, husband, wife and two young children, and the wife was going to request to be seated in her station. I was to make sure that there was a good table available and that they would get it. He was a uniformed police officer.

I was surprised, sickened, and shocked. I seated them at her table and went straight to the bathroom where I was sick. I did not confront her about her actions but we were no longer friends.

If it happened now I would seat them, then proceed to explain the situation, and then likely walk out of the restaurant.

My WH knows this story. He knows how badly it affected me. Just one more thing that didn't matter to him.

tabitha95 posted 6/11/2013 17:02 PM

My sister was the OW twice.

It's not easy, to say the least.

Her second was while I was going through D-Day #1.

I asked her over and over not to talk to me about "him".

She still did.

I remember one drive to see a friend in a neighboring town where I was having anxiety attacks the whole trip, because she just talked about his wife was a horrible mother and kept the house a mess...that he was going to leave her....that they were going to move to the beach....etc... I told her that maybe the wife was totally depressed because her husband treats her like crap and cheats on her and maybe that is why she doesn't want to keep a clean house. I got a "maybe"...but no break-through.

[This message edited by tabitha95 at 5:04 PM, June 11th (Tuesday)]

SBB posted 6/11/2013 17:33 PM

I have broken friendships in the past with a few friends who were active APs (one of them male) and a few WS's. I would do the same today albeit with some very harsh departing words.

I have a very dear friend who was an OW twice many years ago (well before we were close). We discussed it at length years before DD - I thought of those discussions often post-DD and we have discussed it since.

She and they were expats living abroad. She was given the bullshit stories "we're separated", "living apart", "its a financial arrangement". She was in a very dark and lonely place. She couldn't find an available guy and these married guys directed so much time and energy her way she self-medicated in the false adulation. It did her much damage and still impacts her life to this day even though she was never outed.

In all of those discussions she has expressed disgust at herself and her APs. She said she would never embark on a relationship with either of them. She acknowledged how fucked up and broken she was and has done a lot of work to address her issues.

My own experience has churned up some pretty nasty stuff for her too. She said seeing it from this perspective hammered it home for her as to how hideous and terrible her own choices were. She had some idea but seeing/hearing it was like a slap in the face.

I have empathy for her and I think it has helped me not become obsessed with any of the OW in my own case. If it wasn't them it would be someone else. If all women chose not to have affairs then the waywards would seek out sex workers.

I could not be friends with an AP or a WS. Even before DD - certainly since.

ETA my own unmarried sister was a serial WGF throughout her early twenties. It was not something we every discussed outright (she knew better) but post-DD she too expressed disgust at herself.

I would cut her off if she was a WS or AP now - I suspect even pre-DD our relationship would have become impossible.

[This message edited by StrongButBroken at 5:37 PM, June 11th (Tuesday)]

SisterMilkshake posted 6/11/2013 17:38 PM

I ended an over 25 year friendship with one of my dearest friends because she kept hooking up with married men and was also married herself.

She didn't start doing this until years later in our friendship. I stayed friends with her for about a year after she started this behaviour and then realized I couldn't continue our friendship, because, quite frankly her behaviour sickened me. I didn't even know then that my FWH had cheated on me, too.

Jrazz posted 6/11/2013 18:15 PM

I ended a 10 year long friendship with someone who was an OW and thought her situation was unique. I tried to get her to see reason, and to realize how incredibly insulting her behavior was to ME on top of all the other reasons why it was bad. Her response? "She's a bitch to him and I NEED the attention."

10 years. Done.

I'm sorry seeking, it's not easy.

GreenMom posted 6/11/2013 18:15 PM

I have an ex friend who was an OW and a WS all in one. I was friends with both her and her BH. When I found out about the A, I stopped being her friend.

Griefstricken25 posted 6/11/2013 18:19 PM

I had a friend who was my absolute ROCK in the aftermath of the A and WXH abandoning us, and prayed with me almost daily and became a second mother to my children and we practically lived at her house.

I moved away from where she lived and eventually found out that she left her husband (she has always claimed abuse and I have no reason to doubt that, though I never saw any signs, though I also know that doesn't mean anything). What made it all a big complicated mess was she was having an emotional affair with another guy, sexting and whatnot, and confiding in him, though I believe her when she says it didn't go beyond that.

She did admit that it was stupid and wrong, but she still justified a lot of it, too. We had a huge fight on Skype one night that left me bawling (which she apologized profusely for later). I couldn't separate what she did from what WXH did. She has nothing to do with OM now (as far as I know) and I have every reason to believe she is no longer an OW. Her ex has made hers and her children's lives a living hell in the time since she left. He keeps the kids from her for weeks at a time and has left her destitute. And while I still support her in prayer and get in touch every few months to see how she's doing, I had to step WAY back, emotionally, from the bond and connection I had with her. It was heartbreaking, but I couldn't deal with it.

itainteasy posted 6/12/2013 10:05 AM

2 of my friends were OW. I outed them both.

I told them both that I would not support their choices, that they were hurting innocent people, and until they ended their "relationships" they were not to speak to me.

One ended it after I outed her and her "boyfriend" to his wife. The wife was an acquaintance of mine...not even a friend. She thanked me for telling her and filed for D. My friend, thankfully, stayed away from the guy. She said she realized when she spoke to the BW how awful she (the OW) was and how hurtful her choices were. We've been able to remain friends.

The other one took it underground and I haven't spoken to her since. I hear through the grapevine that "he's going to leave his wife ANY day now". It's been over 10 yrs. The BW prefers to look the other way as long as "he always comes home."

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