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Alyssamd24 posted 8/1/2014 21:56 PM

I apologize for posting so much the last few days...but my mind is racing and I need to get some of this out.

I have a friend who I will call Sue(not her real name). Sue went to high school with both me and my BH. I knew who she was, but we didn't really become friends until after high school...we became close once we were pregnant with our children. Sue and I shared our pregnancies which sealed our friendship...Sue had her son at 24 weeks, and I was one of the first people to visit him in the NICU. When my DD was born, Sue was one of the first to visit us and to later welcome us home, though her DS was still in the NICU (3 months later).

When Sues long time BF suddenly left her it was my door that she knocked on at 2:00 in the morning...BH and I both supported her during this time and helped her get through it. So that's the backstory...obviously Sue and I have been through a lot together in the five and a half years we have been friend's

Sue was one of the few people who knew of my A. I confessed to her the truth on during a black Friday shopping trip. She was shocked to hear about it, and said "you better make sure BH NEVER finds out." She made jokes about it, but never told me not to do it.

On Dday, my BH called Sue to ask her if she knew of anything and if I had told her anything about XAP. She told him only that she knew I was "talking to him every so often" though she knew it had already turned physical. She then called me to warn me that BH knew everything and that I had to stop talking to XAP. I spent that night crying on her couch after BH kicked me out.

While BH and I were separated I didn't see Sue that much....we would occasionally chat and hang out but not as often as before. She was supportive to BH, and I know reached out to him, and texted back and forth with me.

Months later, she suddenly told me that she was angry at me for what I had done and couldn't believe I did it...

BH has told me many times how much he dislikes Sue now and doesn't trust her because she knew about my A but never told him...but he has never once asked me to cut her out of my life and will not cut her out of his.

I know I am not the victim here and need to own up to my decisions....but I have felt some anger towards her for NOT encouraging me to end the A but then turning around and saying she was angry with's something she never expressed when I spoke to her about the A.

Sue has a new BF now so I see her even less than I did before. Every time I ask her to do something she is busy with the new BF and doesn't have time. I don't think this is because of my A...I think she is just too distracted by her new BF.

How do I cut out someone who was such a close friend of mine before?

BS I am also curious to hear your thoughts especially about BHs feelings and input in this situation...I feel like if my BH dislikes her so much and doesn't trust her then why would he still continue to be nice to her and interact with her.

Unagie posted 8/1/2014 22:54 PM

Alyssa I had a best friend, she knew I was talking and flirting with OM. She helped me justify why it was ok. I told her what I did a few days before I told xSO and she told me I would be ok. I called her the day I confessed and she was supportive telling me it would be ok again. I was a wreck during this time and would call for help often from her or a counselor at all hours. One day she told me she couldn't be there for me anymore and that she was disgusted by what I had done. She also had a new boyfriend around this time. We gradually stopped talking and the last message she sent me was well over a year ago. Did I mention she was my beat friend for almost 20 years?

I cut her out after she said that to me it was another slap in the face to look at who I surrounded myself with. I have two other equally close friends who would never judge me although they do not condone what I did. This ex friend i had this wasn't the first time she turned her back on me when I needed her yet I was expected to always be there for her. I supported her through thick and thin and was there for her through suicide attempts, broken friendships, abusive husband, her being the other woman and her being the betrayed. When I needed her the most she walked away. I thought it would be hard letting her go but it wasn't. It was almost freeing to know I was losing something I never realized was toxic.

[This message edited by Unagie at 10:56 PM, August 1st (Friday)]

TheWorstCase posted 8/1/2014 23:14 PM

My BS often expresses frustration that I didn't have friends or family to smack me back to reality sooner. I also had a friend who I talked to about my affair, and he was always quick to try to make me feel better and tell me I was still a good person deep down. He was betrayed by his own wife, and they were going through a divorce while I was having my LTA, and he had so little respect for himself and for marriage that he didn't stop me and just say "WTF!! Stop ruining your life!". I guess the point I'm trying to make is that true friends of marriage don't make jokes about infidelity, they don't make light of lying, and they certainly don't give up supporting efforts to keep a marriage together if both people in the marriage are trying their best. She should have told you that what you were doing was wrong. Can you forgive her for that? Can you accept that she's trying to, in a strange way, atone for that past behavior and act like a "relationship person" now?

What do you gain and what do you lose by moving on from the friendship? What do you gain by trying to create a healthier friendship from what is left?

I say all this while trying to remind myself that I have very few friends left and have sort of been sheltering myself from socializing. It is really difficult to know if I really have better boundaries without testing myself by putting myself out there and trying to make new friends of marriage. Best of luck :)

[This message edited by TheWorstCase at 11:17 PM, August 1st (Friday)]

GetEvenInAZ posted 8/2/2014 03:26 AM

Because you asked so nicely

I can't speak for yor BH, but i know i kept some of those toxic relationships going for essentially one reason: history. They may be toxic now, but they know the story of the M and the A and all the ugliness that follows. Its easier than explaining everything to someone new because they know the parties and dynamics in play.

You're friend, regardless of how much BS dislikes her, is a known entity. He knows where he stands with her. Its safe for him and that is the one thing he needs above all else: safety. Even if it is with toxic person.

I'm slowly losing toxic friend as i become healthier, and hopefully your BH
will too.

william posted 8/2/2014 05:33 AM

A friend who doesn't hold you to a high standard, doesn't try to stop you from demolishing your life = no real friend

Alyssamd24 posted 8/2/2014 06:25 AM

That makes so much sense to me, though i never would of thought of it by myself.

I know its probably time to cut her out but am struggling with it since we do have the history. But like you all said, its better to cut the toxic relationships out of my life.

Worst case, I am interested in what you said about rebuilding a healthier relationship with Sue rather than cut her out of my life.....I haven't actually heard this mentioned before on SI...generally the advice is to just cut them out.

NaiveAgain posted 8/2/2014 07:23 AM

I am interested in what you said about rebuilding a healthier relationship with Sue rather than cut her out of my life.....I haven't actually heard this mentioned before on SI...generally the advice is to just cut them out.
Sometimes it is possible to rebuild a one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes. But it really depends on Sue.

You have to look at her overall behavior.

When we tell a close friend we are having an A, it puts them in a shaky position. Do they support us because we are great friends? Or do they speak up for our marriage? Sometimes people support us no matter what because we are best friends and they feel that is what they should do. It isn't the best decision, but if they are non-judgmental and will love us no matter what, then sometimes they may feel they can't judge our behavior and just support us whatever we do. If after everything blows up, that friend is STILL there for us and understands and shows some regret that they probably should have been a bit more forthcoming about counseling us on working on the relationship instead of going outside that relationship, there is hope for the friendship.

The thing that worries me about Sue is that she isn't showing you the "I'm your friend come hell or highwater" because she first supported your decision to have an A, then once you got caught,

Months later, she suddenly told me that she was angry at me for what I had done and couldn't believe I did it...
I mean, WTH? If she was angry at you for doing that, why didn't she speak up in the very beginning instead of silently supporting you?

and this:

She was supportive to BH, and I know reached out to him
After everything blew up she was supportive to him. While you were confiding in her about the A she was on your side.

And when your BH was reaching out to her for the truth, she lied to him (by omission) and was on your side. Now she is on his side by telling you that you were wrong.

She is taking sides. That is what is bothering me here. I had to write this out to figure it out in my head. First she is on your side, then she is on his and she changes her allegiances easily.

I think a continued friendship with her would be difficult. She needs to be a friend of the marriage without taking sides and especially without switching sides. If she matures enough to understand that, then a continued friendship would be possible, but she has some inner work to do because she is fighting her own demons here. And since your BH isn't real thrilled with her, she may be one it is easier to let go.

How do I cut out someone who was such a close friend of mine before?
As you get healthier, you will realize that hanging around with unhealthy people only makes you regress. You will start building friendships with people that are on the same path in life. I've changed close friends several times in my life as my life's path has changed. I loved my high school besties, but at some point, they couldn't leave the high school mentality behind and I was wanting to be an adult. People change.

[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 7:26 AM, August 2nd (Saturday)]

TheWorstCase posted 8/2/2014 15:54 PM

Since this forum is geared towards helping marriages heal, I think it generally makes sense that people say "Distractions? Unhealthy friendships? Cut out all the extra stuff and just focus on your marriage. Everything else doesn't matter right now." It totally makes sense, and is often the right decision to make. But I struggle with the notion that I deserve a second chance but that my friends don't have the capacity to support me in better ways in the future. Maybe if I change, they will see the change and have a newfound respect for me, and treat my marriage with more respect. Maybe in sharing the self-realizing process that I'm going through, that they will also do some soul-searching. I'm not sure. I haven't tested that. If you do, let me know how it goes!

TheWorstCase posted 8/2/2014 17:56 PM

I should add that I think the second chance has to be earned over time. If you feel that, after some attempt at working on the friendship, that the friend is holding you back from becoming the person you are trying to be, then maybe it is best to move on, like others have said. Or just limit the interactions you have with your friend and try to accept that your paths are moving in different directions.

Sal1995 posted 8/2/2014 20:32 PM

Just my two cents, but when evaluating whether someone is a FOM, you should consider whether someone actively encouraged and/or enabled your misadventures, or was simply a longtime friend who was put in an awkward position that maybe she didn't handle as well as she could have.

Of course, if R is a goal, the most weight should be given to the BS's take on whether that person is a FOM.

GetEvenInAZ posted 8/2/2014 20:36 PM

I identified the toxic people by talking over issues. By explaining boundaries and expectations. And by adressing difficult issues,such as Sue flip-flopping in her support-non support of you and BH.

Like NaiveAgain said, she doesn't have a good track reord recently. But as a friend i think you owe it to her to air your concerns directly and compassionately. Give her an opportunity to respond and change her behavior. Explain the consequences if her behavior doesn't change. She'll either step up or she won't, but at least you've given her information she needs to make an informed decision as to the future of your friendship.

For me,my best friends are not merely nodding drones who agree with everything i say. The best friends are those who hold me accountable and tell me when i'm being irrational or a bitch or full of shit. They even defend xWSO when i'm being unfair to him. I have nidoybt that shoukd we have Rd, they would be as suppotive of the marriage as they are of me.

They have deservedly kicked my ass when needed and i kick theirs. But it is all meant with love and with best intentions. What else are real friends good for if they don'tkick your ass and hold you accountable?

Good luck! None of this is easy and it takes time to get to a healthier place.

5454real posted 8/2/2014 20:45 PM

...I feel like if my BH dislikes her so much and doesn't trust her then why would he still continue to be nice to her and interact with her.

Because he's sublimating his feelings to please you. Not recommended. If you know he's doing this.....what's your response going to be?

Actually, I think you could turn this into a conversation regarding authenticity and communication.

Gman1 posted 8/2/2014 21:32 PM

My WW had a similar friend who she confided her A with and her friend actually almost encouraged her to proceed when she was considering going forward from an EA to a PA. She could have easily stepped in and told her she was out of her mind but instead she became my wife's cheerleader and encouraged her to go for it.
I later found out through reading their texts and I hit the roof. I thought she was my friend as well and thought she was a good person. She was the only person on earth who could have stopped the PA before it started but chose to encourage it. I had no choice but to confront her and let her know that I knew exactly what she had done (not done). I held nothing back and blasted her severely as she fully deserved. She is not a friend of my WW or mine any longer and never will be. IMO you are either a friend of the marriage or not. If not, there is no room for them in my life. Period.

TheWorstCase posted 8/3/2014 10:48 AM


She is not a friend of my WW or mine any longer and never will be. IMO you are either a friend of the marriage or not. If not, there is no room for them in my life. Period.

Did the ex-friend express remorse? How did the friend respond? Did the friend's response help determine whether you gave the friend a chance to be a FOM going forward? I can practically hear the anger still coming through your words, so I'm just wondering if there is still quite a bit of hurt and regret associated with this friendship that will need to get worked out/accepted in the future.

Wayflost posted 8/3/2014 22:53 PM

I don't have a good answer for you here. I will say that this friend seems quite fickle. Your BH is right to be distrustful of her, and frankly she has given you plenty of reason to be as well.

When I realized that some of my "friends" were playing all sides of a situation I knew it was time for me to drop them. They weren't my friends encouraging me to do the right thing. They were just supporting dysfunctional behaviors in me that entertained them.

Did they have good intentions? I don't know anymore. Were they misdirected, selfish, and broken people? You bet. Healthy people made me feel even smaller than I already did.

I did not have 20 years of history with any of them, but I'm not sure that would matter. I dropped them like hot potatoes.

Had any of them encouraged me to do the right thing, had any of them encouraged me to think about how I might be hurting my BH it might have been different. Had I been honest with any of them...

*sorry to ramble.

[This message edited by Wayflost at 12:39 PM, August 4th (Monday)]

Wayflost posted 8/3/2014 22:53 PM

Sorry double post!

[This message edited by Wayflost at 12:35 PM, August 4th (Monday)]

redsox13 posted 8/3/2014 23:11 PM

Maybe I just see this differently, but I want my WW to have someone she can confide in. I don't know if her friend is a friend of the marriage or not. I do know that her decisions are not her friend's fault, they are her own.

It asks to much of a friend to do more than listen in such situations. Saying that they made jokes sounds terrible - but I suspect an honest description of those conversations would make them seem less so.

In fact, I can understand your friend's anger for having been placed in the situation. She didn't ask for you to have the affair, and when your H called she lied for you, and THEN told you to stop the affair. You then cried to her the night your H found out.

And THEN you are talking about cutting this friend out? Doesn't make sense to me.

william posted 8/4/2014 02:33 AM

@ the worst case -

so as you change, grow, evolve you hope that your friends see it, respect it, and become better people too?
thats sorta like a sober alcoholic going into a bar with a group of alcoholics with the purpose of extolling the virtues of being sober. whats more likely? they stop drinking or he starts?

Gman1 posted 8/4/2014 07:52 AM

My WW had distanced herself from this friend as she knew that I was very upset about her and didn't want her around any longer for any reason. I didn't know when I would ever see her so I chose to email her. Just a day or two after D-day, I confided that my WW was extremely depressed and asked this friend to help my wife. Of course at this time I had no idea that she knew about the A and she of course never told me that she already knew either. This made me look like a fool now that I look back on it.

Anyways, her reaction was very defensive and she thought that I blamed the A on her which I did not. In my wife's situation, she was having a long distance EA with a guy who had no feelings for her and only wanted to get laid. All he had to do was show her some attention and say the right things at the time and he was good to go since she was so depressed. They were both going to be together at an upcoming reunion in a month or so and my wife was considering falling for the pressure which the OM was applying on her sexually. So she had a decision to make and confided in her friend who basically said "Go for it!" and do whatever you need to be happy. When confronted, she admitted that she wished she had used different words but was not remorseful. She was upset at me for thinking I had blamed the A on her. The way I look at it, she was the only person who could have potentially changed the outcome and she chose not to. She could have stepped in and told my wife that she was crazy as hell to even consider jeopardizing her whole life for some loser who didn't care about anything except for having another notch in his bed post. But she decided not to step in and do what was right. And for that lack of character, I will never have anything to do with her again under any circumstances and my wife doesn't want her back in her life either. In fact during her texts, I read where she fantasized about having an A herself. I think part of it was that she wanted to live her fantasy through my wife. She told me that she was just trying to be my wife's friend at a very dark time in her life. My core belief is that actions have consequences. I look at her like a cancer and she had to be removed in order for a healthy relationship to be healed and worked on.

veronique12 posted 8/4/2014 08:15 AM

There are a few things going on here. Firstly, I don't think it was Sue's responsibility to tell you not to have the A. Would that have stopped you? Probably not. It was your responsibility ultimately.

Your actions put her and your H in an awkward position. You guys have a long history of support and friendship. She may have felt awkward and upset by your A but she may have also felt loyalty to you and a sort of unconditional acceptance despite your poor choice to have the A. It's a tough position for a friend to be in and that's probably where her anger is coming from.

But the question of whether you should drop the friendship completely--you and your H need to come to that decision together, but I think the final decision should be his. If he is so upset by her knowledge of the A that it's a trigger for him, then it's best to let it go. Your focus should be on shoring up your M.

But I would seriously watch the blame shifting:

I have felt some anger towards her for NOT encouraging me to end the A but then turning around and saying she was angry with me

This could be displaced anger toward yourself for not doing what you knew was right. I'd explore that.

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