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When your friend is the OW

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flayed posted 1/23/2014 17:03 PM

I saw a thread related to this but didn't want to threadjack it so I am starting a new one. This story is kind of long, sorry.

I have a girlfriend who I have known almost my whole life (she is actually my bestfriend's younger sister) and I consider her to be family rather than just a friend.

A few years ago I found out that she had started sleeping with the owner of the company she worked for. He was significantly older than her, married and had children that were not much younger than she was. The PA turned into a "relationship". She was in love, this man was treating her better than she had ever been treated by another man and so her family and friends got introduced to him. We were told that this man was married to a wife with some kind of terminal illness that had left his wife bedridden for years. "His unmet needs had caused them to drift apart and he no longer felt he loved his wife". (My husband and I never really bought the story he was selling. If true, how callous could a person be to step out on their terminally ill spouse??? We figured there was probably a special place in Hell for such a person.) Their "relationship" was pretty rocky for the first couple of years and largely kept secret.

At the time I had misgivings about their "relationship" because I found it offensive that this man and my friend had no regard for his wedding vows. I also had great concerns about the age difference. I felt that this "relationship" probably would not last and that she was just a young, sexy thing to him.

Fast forward to today when I am a BW. Now I see my friend and am disgusted and furious by what the two of them did to the BW and what she had done to herself by lowering herself in such a fashion.

Not only that, but he divorced his BW and they recently eloped!!! She has invited me to the wedding celebration (out of the country, in the Fall). I have very mixed feelings about it

The thing is that for a great many reasons we have not told any friends or family about my WH's A. So she does not know the conundrum that I am in. On the one hand I feel like, "How can I go and support an OW in marrying the WH?????" On the other hand I think, "Shouldn't I be able to set my personal issues aside and support my friend (who is like a sister to me) during one of the biggest and happiest moments of her life?"

We are leaning towards going, but I need help on how to reconcile my feelings about it. I am also very concerned about triggering very badly during the wedding celebration. Maybe since it is still several months away I will feel easier about it by then????

Any HELPFUL suggestions would be appreciated!!

Deeply Scared posted 1/23/2014 17:48 PM

^bump^ for anyone that can relate to this and offer some suggestions

GabyBaby posted 1/23/2014 17:55 PM

I think you're going to have to RSVP as "No" for that celebration.
You have to wash your hair or give the dog a flea dip or something much more pressing...

SisterMilkshake posted 1/23/2014 17:56 PM

What do you mean by helpful suggestions?

My helpful suggestion is to go NC with this unremorseful OW.

RealityStinks posted 1/23/2014 18:08 PM

flayed -
I do not support infidelity in any shape, form, or fashion. I don't care who it is or what the circumstances are. It's wrong. Period. There is no way in hades I would go to the wedding.

How would you feel if you and your WH divorced and your friend went to his wedding to "support [her] friend during one of the biggest and happiest moments of [his] life"?

flayed posted 1/23/2014 18:10 PM

SisterMilkshake- I understand what you are saying and part of me agrees, but I am loyal to a fault. Therefore I do not feel like I can cut her out of my life when she has done me no personal injury and she does not know that I am a BS. She is happily oblivious to my situation because I choose not to tell anyone. (My friends and family would not be supportive my choice to R with WH).

I am just trying to see if there is any hope of supporting my friend while honoring my own (hurting) feelings.

steadfast1973 posted 1/23/2014 18:15 PM

You will be miserable.

BeyondBreaking posted 1/23/2014 18:15 PM

I can only tell you what I would do personally:

I would make up an excuse (probably a good one) and not go to the wedding. "What, you're wedding is that weekend? Shoot, that's the same time as (insert excuse here)."

I wouldn't be able to have a friend like that without triggering. At the end of the day, I need to surround myself with people who make me happy and bring out the best in me.

I wouldn't say anything about your H's affair, but I would start to slowly faze her out- make new friends, become more and more busy, etc...

It's unfortunate, but sometimes people do grow apart- be it naturally, or intentionally because of differing values and morals.

If you can go and want to continue your friendship with her and it won't bother you too much- by all means, do it. Do whatever is going to make you happiest; take care of YOU.

Aussiescot posted 1/23/2014 18:19 PM

You don't have to let her know of your situation but you are entitled to your own opinion on NOT supporting infidelity.
Of any kind, regardless if it's personal to you or not.
Good luck in your decision flayed

purplejacket4 posted 1/23/2014 18:30 PM

If my mother (the OW) were to marry her AP I would not go, she'd have to elope. I could barely go to my dad's wedding and both he and my step mother were BSs.

SisterMilkshake posted 1/23/2014 18:58 PM

she has done me no personal injury and she does not know that I am a BS. She is happily oblivious to my situation
What do you think she would have done or would do if she knew you were a BS?

Also, if she murdered someone but because she didn't cause you personal injury you would still be friends with her?

I ended a very long friendship with a bestie of over 30 years becausse she was an OW. Unremorseful OW. Before I knew I was (but I was) a BW.

It was hard. I am sorry if I sounded flippant. It was hard to end my friendship and it took me awhile to do it. I started feeling guilty listening to her go on and on about her clandestine meetings. His wife and children were becoming real to me even if my friend could pretend they didn't exist. (although she talked about them to me, too)

Finally I told her she couldn't talk to me about her MM if she wanted me to be her friend. She told me I was judgmental. That was the beginning of the end. We use to talk on the phone everyday. After that conversation I didn't call her and her phone calls to me got further and further apart, and then........none.

I wouldn't say anything about your H's affair, but I would start to slowly faze her out- make new friends, become more and more busy, etc...
I would do what BeyondBreaking suggests. And, I definitely wouldn't go to the wedding.

Rebreather posted 1/23/2014 19:09 PM

I think I would be honest. I think adultery is wrong, and I can't support her at this time. I love her, but I have a colonoscopy that day.

If you think you need to go, then go. But it is likely going to be pretty unenjoyable for you.

flayed posted 1/23/2014 21:40 PM

What you have all said seems very true to me. I am starting to realize that try as I might, if I go to the wedding celebration I will be MISERABLE. I have NEVER seen infidelity as a romantically viable option (i.e. I have never been able to watch The Bridges of Madison County because it romanticized infidelity). I have vague recollections of being called judgmental by my friend and her whole family when I was unsupportive of their tryst several years ago. I might end up having to cut her out of my life, but I am not ready to commit to that yet. In the meantime I am trying to think of a viable excuse to give her and her family since I detest lying (and I am terrible at it) but I am not willing to out our situation. Help?

BeyondBreaking - I think you are right that the next time I see her I will likely trigger pretty hard. For the time being (since we are currently in different countries) she is mostly out of sight out of mind.

SisterMilkshake - I did not find your response flippant and I am not upset by your posts in any way. On the contrary, I have been reading quite a few of your posts these last few weeks and I really respect your opinions and point of view. Thank you for your honest feedback!

yewtree posted 1/23/2014 21:40 PM

So her family will not forgive your h for cheating... But they are overlooking their daughter marrying a man who cheated on his dying wife? How nice of them to be above you like that. Regardless of what the know of your life- why do you feel like you need to support this? And if they truly do love you like family why can't you trust them with the truth?

absolut posted 1/23/2014 21:54 PM

Don't go.Just explain you have your breast augmentation scheduled for the exact same day.

Seriously, though, I first joined this site because I was "besties" with the biggest bitch on the planet who was sleeping around on her husband and I wasn't sure if I should continue the friendship. Well we've had no contact at all for I think 9 months anymore and I do not miss her at all. There are some people I just cannot be friends with at all.

What's the point going to her wedding? You'll never be true friends with her again. I don't know how you want to handle backing out, that depends on your personality, but there's no way to celebrate something so repugnant.

cantgetup posted 1/23/2014 21:57 PM

Continue to be friend? Yes. Go to wedding? No.

flayed posted 1/23/2014 21:57 PM

Yewtree -

So her family will not forgive your h for cheating... But they are overlooking their daughter marrying a man who cheated on his dying wife?

Perhaps since I am not that far out from DDay (and am still largely in shock) I had not even thought about that. Good point. Food for thought.

As background: She and her family consider my husband to be like family also, but they have always had issues with him and were essentially against my dating/marrying him. The revelation of his A will not sweeten their opinion of him. Therefore I do not feel that they would be supportive of my decision to R. And after all, that decision is mine to make, not theirs. I do not want to have to defend my position to them when I am already in a raw, wounded place.

I have never understood why her family took such an open and accepting view of their relationship, especially since her parents have been happily married for over 30 years. Sometimes things are just beyond my comprehension.

Gemini71 posted 1/23/2014 23:13 PM

Flayed. I appreciate that you want to be loyal to a friend. But she has shown that she has no boundaries and is okay with breaking up a marriage.

My XBFF was in an 'open' marriage. I didn't approve but didn't want to be judgemental. Well, she ended up being 'open' with MY husband, now STBXH. I don't know if STBXH would still have cheated if XBFF hadn't been in our lives, but I know she was the first OW. If I knew then what I know now, I would have NC'd her a long time ago.

Spare yourself the drama and trauma, don't go. You don't owe anyone an explination.

ETcorrect

[This message edited by Gemini71 at 12:03 PM, January 24th (Friday)]

itainteasy posted 1/24/2014 10:17 AM

Decline. Send a gift.

Make plans with your H to have a "getaway weekend" that weekend. Tell her it's been planned forever and paid for, non refundable.

Plan your weekend.

SisterMilkshake posted 1/24/2014 10:20 AM

Send a gift.
I will suggest the book "Not Just Friends".

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