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What would you do if your friend was a WS?

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dbellanon posted 6/15/2013 22:12 PM

If you read any of my previous posts, you will know that one of the frustrating things about my experience is the fact the reaction of most of my WW's confidants to not only the fact that she was thinking of ending the marriage, but also to the fact that she was having an affair as well. The most she seems to have gotten from them was some "discomfort" with her infidelity which, in some cases, was eventually replaced with outright support. Even my mother-in-law failed to give her the upbraiding that her behavior deserved, which only served to make her feel more validated in her decision. It's disgusting, and I'm still striving to understand it. Part of it, I'm sure, is that these people had been primed by hearing all about my WW's dissatisfaction in her marriage before they heard about the affair. They were already in "You poor thing" sympathy mode before the affair entered the picture, and switching gears at that point would have been difficult. Others, like my mother-in-law, I think were afraid that if they pushed her too hard, that they'd push her away.

I've often said to myself that if a friend of mine were cheating on his wife, I'd give him a damn slap in the face and tell him to get his act together yesterday. And if it were my daughter, I'd show her tough love until she turned around. There's no way that I would let someone I love do to someone else what has been done to me, and the responses of the people who claim to love my wife have baffled me.

Still, I know that this kind of tough response is risky. After all, you run the risk of pushing the WS further into the behavior, further into the twisted fantasy world that they are living in, disconnected from family. What if your tough love hurts more than it helps?

On my end, I have begun confiding my wife's infidelity to a handful of friends, some of whom are mutual friends of ours, and their response seems to have been similar. They try to reach out to my wife, expressing their love and support (though not, of course, expressing their support for the divorce or affair, thank God). I am trying to understand this response. I get that they don't want to cut her off. That makes sense to me, but I just keep on thinking what I would do if I were in their shoes. I can't imagine myself being nearly so soft on this kind of thing. Maybe it's just the fact that I'm seeing this from the perspective of someone who has been hurt by this behavior, but I don't know.

So that brings me to my question: What would you do if you found out that a friend of yours was cheating on his/her spouse? Or if your friend told you that his spouse was cheating on him? How would you behave towards the WS? What would be your approach?

Nature_Girl posted 6/15/2013 22:24 PM

I'm still raw enough that I could not continue a relationship with a cheater. There is a woman at church who I know is a FWW, but she & her husband have worked through it & reconciled. I am not friends with her, but I can stand to chit-chat with her if we're in proximity.

RidingHealingRd posted 6/16/2013 02:33 AM

How would you behave towards the WS?

A number of years ago my friend/neighbor was having an A. Upon learning of her infidelity my heart went out to her BH and I had only disgust for my friend (who quickly became my ex-friend).

They decided to D and the BH asked if I would be willing to write a statement for the court, I did.

When he asked if I would let him know if she brought AP to their home I agreed. Our homes were very close so I saw everything. She knew I was watching and said something to me, I let her know exactly what I thought of her selfish, disgusting behavior.

The day I learned of her infidelity I ended our friendship...and this was years before my WH affair.

Never would I remain friends with a person who lacks moral integrity. If I learned that my friend was cheating, I would tell the BS.

dbellanon posted 6/16/2013 07:38 AM

I should say that I actually was once in precisely this position with a not-too-close friend of mine many years ago, before I was married and when I was still in college.

I was contacted by the guy's wife, actually, who was desperate because her husband was going off the rails in a number of ways. He had a history of drug addiction before he was married and had relapsed in a serious way. He had also begun sleeping around, and his wife wanted to see if I could reach him somehow (To this day, I have no idea why me. I was 21 and I had no idea what I was doing).

We met a few times, and while I wasn't exactly harsh with him, pretty much all of our conversations centered around how he needed to get his act together and go back to his family and make things right. The closest I came to compassion was telling him that I didn't think it was too late for him to turn around, that he could still find redemption in all of this. He did eventually get his act together, not necessarily because of anything I said, but I was thankful many years down the line to see that they were still together.

So yeah, it's not just hypothetical. I definitely would not react the way that my wife's friends have been reacting.

Athena1979 posted 6/16/2013 08:08 AM

Everyone has to have friends and family.

It was extremely awkward when I told my friend about my husbands affairs and then have her start telling me about her own affair with a mutual friend.

I figure I'm not here to judge anyone. I'm not God. I don't have the right to cast stones.

For my friend, she was needing support For the tremendous amount of guilt she felt after realizing she was wrong, ending the affair and telling her husband.

For my husband, I feel disgust towards him. He has a serious sex addiction problem and depression. I hope that he is honest with his friends and family so maybe they can help. Lord knows he never listened to me about it.

Just my thoughts...

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