Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

Telling mutual friends, advice please

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

ws0235 posted 6/29/2013 14:07 PM

I am struggling with whether to tell the truth to one of our mutual friends. There is really only one person for whom it might be relevant at the moment. I'm trying to keep away from the rest of our mutual friends and let them just be his support. But there is one friend who has asked me to help her with something regularly and who also has been a fairly close friend to both of us. She told me that he hasn't spoken to anyone about our breakup, and I haven't told her about the infidelity. I would tell her except that I feel like that would be violating his confidence and that it would embarrass him and make him upset. At the same time, I feel like I am not being totally honest with her, and that she might be feeling unduly sympathetic to me because I've been pretty broke since I moved out. And she really does need the help I am giving her.

It's not that I'm afraid of losing her as a friend, I was prepared to accept the loss of all our mutual friends, and she is the one who contacted me for help with some tasks. I did tell her that I haven't told her everything that went on between us, because I'm not sure if it is appropriate to just tell the whole business to everyone who knows us. My IC knows, my priest knows, and my sister-in-law knows because she has also been sort of a spiritual counselor to me. I also told his sister, which I kind of regret, but I thought after 6 years she also deserved to know the truth, and also that she would only be able to help him if she knew everything.

I also haven't told my own parents the whole truth, although I have also told them that there are things that I am not yet ready to discuss with them. And the only reason I haven't told them is because their own marriage is so shaky, and they are both very emotionally fragile. I do plan to tell them at some point, but I feel like at the moment it would just be heaping grief on them at a time when they can barely hold themselves together.

I will continue to pray that I will do the right thing but I'm sure others' experiences could be enlightening.

ws0235 posted 6/29/2013 14:17 PM

I guess I should mention that I have had almost NC (see next) with the OM for a year and he was not a mutual friend. I have to qualify the NC. I did speak with him briefly when I found out that he was losing his house because of the affair, only because I still felt somehow strangely obligated to help him and also because he was trying to initiate contact and I needed to tell him it wasn't going to go back to the way things were just because his GF left him. NOTHING happened and I would disclose the conversation if asked, but right now my BBF is not talking to me. Understandably. It has only been about a month since I confessed.

RockyMtn posted 6/29/2013 15:12 PM

BS here.

As someone who, quite literally, needs privacy in order to R, I caution you not to say a thing. I have told WH that telling others could be a dealbreaker for me. I find R so incredibly taxing that involving other people could just be too much. The embarrassment, the explanations, ack. I wan't none of it.

Your BBF and you have split? But you're not sure that's permanent?

Did he give you any clue as to whether he has told anyone about the A? do you know how he responded to his sister and sister-in-law knowing? Did you clear those with him first?

You aren't lying if you just say, "At this time, it's private" if she or anyone else asks about it. Choosing to be private is not lying. Sounds like this is what you've done up until this point. I'd keep it up. Down the road, you can tell, if circumstances change. I don't know a decent friend who wouldn't understand avoiding a topic given the situation.

If your friend is getting help from you and you are currently being a decent, good person...then I wouldn't feel too guilty if she's being unduly sympathetic towards you. Just don't take advantage of it. Again, even if she wouldn't be if she knew the truth...I think she'd understand that you were keeping BBF in mind.

RockyMtn posted 6/29/2013 15:12 PM

double post

[This message edited by RockyMtn at 3:12 PM, June 29th (Saturday)]

MoreWould posted 6/29/2013 15:51 PM

Don't tell her unless you're 100% certain that you're ready for your relationship with BBF to be permanently over.

Guys are particularly ashamed by their partner's A's, especially at first before they've completely internalized the "It's not about me" lesson, which can take years. Expanding the circle of people Who Know just makes it worse. Doing without prior consent a likely dealbreaker.

In our case, my FWW had an A with a co-worker who promised "total discretion" and then proceeded to brag about his conquest all over the company, "You won't believe who I'm fucking..."

It got back me several different ways, and was really, really hard for me, especially since some of those people found out before I did. The only reason it wasn't a dealbreaker is that FWW hadn't been the one spreading the news.

Much later, after we'd processed most of this shit and were well R'd, we agreed that we could talk about it to close confidants.

I was shocked to discover that all 5 of my closest male friends had been cheated on by their spouses, but that's another story.

[This message edited by MoreWould at 3:52 PM, June 29th (Saturday)]

ws0235 posted 7/1/2013 09:42 AM

Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences.

My confession came out as I was trying to leave him. I was going to just leave without telling him, figure it would protect him from the mistake I made, but basically I caught myself gaslighting him (without even having confessed) and felt it was only right to let him know that there was no other good reason for me to leave except that he had to know the truth. I was pretty sure he was going to propose at the end of the summer. I couldn't let him do that without knowing who I really was. Maybe it was wrong to tell him, I don't know, but he would say things like "I love everything about you" and I just knew in my heart that it was wrong to let him feel that way without knowing everything about me.

ws0235 posted 7/1/2013 09:48 AM

Oh, and my mutual friend told me that he hasn't even talked about the breakup at all, and she works with him.

I didn't clear telling his sister, and I also didn't intend to tell her. I asked her to go see him the day after we broke up and she wanted to talk. She just kept grilling me and I caught myself gaslighting again and it just wasn't making sense to her. Every other excuse I came up with wasn't good enough, and she has always been such a bully to me that I caved in and confessed. I shoul dhave never even talked to her, and in that conversation I finally realized all the passive agressive bullying and bullshit stemmed from the fact that she thinks that she is his replacement mother (their mother passed away several years ago), and she never thought I was good enough for him. Well, that's their issue, and I guess I'm glad I know that now, but I am sorry that I told her. I don't think he would have told her that, but having been together 6 years she is like family and probably in a lot of ways also deserved to know because of her, though tainted with agression, generosity and hospitality towards me. I don't know if she has told any of his other family.

ws0235 posted 7/1/2013 09:51 AM

Also I apologized in a letter for telling sister. I was just so worried about him shutting down right at first. I was not in the best frame of mind, and, like I said, did not intend for that to come out. Was just exhausted and beside myself with grief.

ws0235 posted 7/1/2013 09:56 AM

And when it comes down to it, her knowing could mean there is no chance, because even if he could ever forgive me, she probably never will. And if I can't have peace with her, there might not be any point, because they are so close.

That was always one of the things that I struggled with in the relationship. Her upper class snobbery and self-righteous judgement, in the case of the A perfectly warranted, but for the 3 or so years before the A happened completely unwarranted. Our families did not mesh.

There are a lot of ways to treat someone badly, and A is certainly way worse than what she did, but although she thinks she is incapable of hurting someone like I hurt her brother, she always did her level best to make sure I knew I wasn't as good as they were. I guess I proved her right.

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 ®. All Rights Reserved.     Privacy Policy