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With friends like this....

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forgettableDad posted 8/15/2020 07:46 AM

Yea, just venting a bit.

My wife has a friend, she knows about the affair and is divorced herself. They actually had a falling out because my wife wanted to reconcile and that friend tried to push her to divorce. Anyway, long story short, they haven't spoken for a while now and out of the blue this friend connects back on WhatsApp and she connects by sending my wife a joke about infidelity.. Like, what the fuck? Who the fuck does that??

Chaos posted 8/15/2020 07:56 AM

Who the fuck does that? Someone so miserable they want to drag everyone down to their level. Think "crabs in a pot" analogy.

To me - the issue isn't what that person did but more in how your wife handles it.

Onebiglie posted 8/15/2020 13:17 PM

Urgh my I started writing this and accidentally closed the tab.

Anyways what I want to say was that in the nicest possible way, is it possible some of your anger (if that's what it is) comes from the fact that you put your wife in this position?

Of course this wasn't a good friend to begin with, but your wife wouldn't have found this out, at the time when she needed her friend most, if it wasn't for your A. The convincing her to divorce is not unheard of for BWs friends but the jokes is inexcusable. If she's the kind of person that finds things like this funny then she might have sent to your BW pre A, but it hurt her now because she's a betrayed wife, because you made her a betrayed wife.

She's not only lost her friend, but been hurt further by her friend's lack of empathy and I can see something like this being written from a betrayed's perspective on the R or general forum where the BW is saying she's lost so juch from her WH's A. And does he even notice or care that he set these events in motion.

I'm not saying it's your fault her friend acted like this, but the facg remains that you put her in thsi position.

Have you acknowledged that with yourself and with your BW? Because I think it would mean a lot to your BW if you acknowledged this with her. How have you comforted her through this?

You now need to become your wife's best friend.

ff4152 posted 8/15/2020 14:38 PM

Who the fuck does that? Folks like us WS

FD, you didnít mention why your wifeís friend was divorced. Was she a BS? Perhaps knowing that her good friend is staying with a cheater triggers her. I do agree that she should have dropped it one your wife decided to R.

You might want to ask yourself, are you angry because the woman crossed a boundary with your wife or because she told your wife to D you.

JBWD posted 8/15/2020 15:58 PM

I think thereís a lot missing in this that leaves room for interpretation, primarily, Did this event upset your BW?

I think it seems strange too, but also wonder if youíre threatened by this attempted return from a dissenting voice(?) Not a spear per se, but all to say you can trust your BW to assert her own boundaries in her own life.

forgettableDad posted 8/15/2020 16:27 PM

Raised some good points. I'll address them (took a bit because weekend and obviously both me and my wife needed to work through the triggers).

the issue isn't what that person did but more in how your wife handles it.
Like anyone with any trigger I think. She obviously came to me when it happened and we spoke about it. She asked for space and I stepped back so she could process her needs.

I'm not saying it's your fault her friend acted like this, but the facg remains that you put her in thsi position.
pretty much my words exactly to her tonight (tonight and not yesterday because she asked for space). In fact my wife also told me tonight - first time I heard about it - that her sister at some point advised her never to bring up my affair. Which is obviously bullshit. And I told her that too; she has nothing feel guilty about or bad or any of it. I'm the person who hurt her and made those choices. She doesn't need to apologize to anyone about feeling pain.

because she told your wife to D you.
Why would I be upset with her for that? My wife had every right to divorce me. One of the things I learnt through my own process of healing is to let go of the marriage - otherwise, there's no way forward.

Who the fuck does that? Folks like us WS
I disagree 100% with this statement.

I think it seems strange too, but also wonder if youíre threatened by this attempted return from a dissenting voice(?)
I mentioned up in another response. I remember, when everything kinda exploded then seemed to flatten out, I would be deathly scared of breaking the status quo. But yea, that's bullshit. We can't live life in ignorance. Mentions of affairs, infidelity, triggers, all of those are around and will happen and do happen all the time. If we can't talk about it, we can't heal from it.

****
My wife instigated a kiss tonight which opened the way to more communications. We spoke some more. Understood each other a bit better. And we build slowly towards being incredible together (her words). Nothing I can say or do will "fix" the situation or take away my choices. We have to learn to process and move forward in time.

****
On a side note, I want to make sure people understand. I wake up every day and I take a moment to be grateful; to feel as deep as I can the sheer divine presence of being with this woman. And having my children. And just in general being alive.

ff4152 posted 8/15/2020 18:37 PM

FD

So you donít see parallels between what your wifeís friend did and what you did with your A?

gmc94 posted 8/16/2020 10:34 AM

BW here.
I don't see how joking about infidelity is such a God-awful thing. Humor is a common and often HEALTHY way to cope with stress. I use humor to cope with the shit sandwich on a regular basis (as do other BSs on SI).

You don't mention what the "joke" was, so it's impossible to know if it was -on its face- in poor taste. And I would agree that trying to reignite an old friendship with a joke over such a painful thing is probably not the best tact. Yet you don't answer FF's question if the friend's D was bc of infidelity in her own M. If the friend has never experienced infidelity, the friend may not have a clue about how hurtful the joke was - they don't know that experiencing relational betrayal is akin to rape, or losing a child or any other devastatingly painful things that can happen in a lifetime.

In any event, it seemed to trigger your BW, which can happen.... with a joke, with a movie, with a date, with a thought, with a friend's wedding anniversary, with a MILLION things. So why is it that a joke about infidelity becomes the FRIEND'S issue, and not yours?

You seem to agree on this front ("pretty much my words exactly to her tonight" on you putting your BW in this place to begin with).
BUT
you then immediately pivot to something her sister said - your papa bear response (that her sister advising to not talk about infidelity is "bullshit" ).

The thing is, it's the FIRST part - that your BW wouldn't be triggered by ANYTHING if you hadn't cheated - is the part that needs exploration.

IOW, supporting your BW's frustration with her sister (or her friend) is a good thing.... but it's not digging into the deep shit of accepting that your frustration over your wife's trigger is misplaced onto her friend or her sister. The frustration is, I suspect, really with YOU. If your wife triggers bc of a date, it's it the calendar's fault that she's triggering?

Empathy would say - I'm sorry that MY actions hurt you in such a way that a friend's joke (or the friend of sisters or anyone's naivete about the pain infidelity) can cause a trigger. Empathy does not say: your trigger is your FRIEND'S fault for telling a joke.

ETA: And I think FF makes a good point in that you saying "who the fuck does that" is - in my book - the EXACT SAME THING I, and a million BS, would say about a WS. IOW, who the fuck cheats on their spouse? Who the fuck would routinely tell a 100, a 1000, or a 1,000,000 lies to their spouse in order to unzip their pants with some side piece? Who the fuck is comfortable with living a secret sexual life? Who the fuck indeed.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 10:46 AM, August 16th, 2020 (Sunday)]

forgettableDad posted 8/16/2020 15:54 PM

Yet you don't answer FF's question if the friend's D was bc of infidelity in her own M
. It's a pretty simple reason; I don't know why she's divorced.

And I would agree that trying to reignite an old friendship with a joke over such a painful thing is probably not the best tact
As you've eluded in the last part of your response. A broken person does that. Why do you assume she's trying to "reignite a friendship"? I think you're giving her a lot of credit where credit isn't due.

but it's not digging into the deep shit of accepting that your frustration over your wife's trigger is misplaced onto her friend or her sister.
You're confusing frustration with anger. I was angry at seeing my wife hurt again because of my actions. Of course I'm angry at myself but it's alright to be angry at someone else when they try to hurt your partner - rebuilding a marriage happens on equal footing between both partners.

My disagreement with ff4152 has to do with the nasty habit of dehumanizing of either side of the relationship (which happens a lot here). YMMV

So why is it that a joke about infidelity becomes the FRIEND'S issue, and not yours?
If it wasn't my issue I wouldn't have felt angry.

ETA: And I think FF makes a good point in that you saying "who the fuck does that" is - in my book - the EXACT SAME THING I, and a million BS, would say about a WS. IOW, who the fuck cheats on their spouse? Who the fuck would routinely tell a 100, a 1000, or a 1,000,000 lies to their spouse in order to unzip their pants with some side piece? Who the fuck is comfortable with living a secret sexual life? Who the fuck indeed.
A person who needs help; not always, but most of the time.

[This message edited by forgettableDad at 3:56 PM, August 16th (Sunday)]

JBWD posted 8/16/2020 21:44 PM

Of course I'm angry at myself but it's alright to be angry at someone else when they try to hurt your partner...
...If it wasn't my issue I wouldn't have felt angry.

We still donít necessarily know what the estranged friendís intentions were. I donít know that it was done to hurt her, and while we could extrapolate and say ďKnowing BW, SHE KNOWS this would hurt her,Ē that once again is a third order effect, the root cause being your betrayal- No betrayal, no sensitivity to A jokes, however damaging or harmless they may be.

I really want to highlight though, that this in some ways ISNíT your issue- Defaulting to anger is why we continue to ask you if you are maybe feeling threatened by someone reasserting anything other than ďR with ForgettableDad.Ē In honoring your BW, I would suppose that her reaction matters more: A reaction that, in this post, was an afterthought to your anger.

oldtruck posted 8/17/2020 00:49 AM

WS or BS, any friend that is not a friend of the marriage needs
to be gone. NC.

This friend does not appear to be a friend of the marriage.

gmc94 posted 8/17/2020 16:08 PM

FD, I just don't think you are interested in seeing the forest for the trees. That's entirely up to you.

And - again - I see your anger / frustration being wholly misplaced with some third party. It's a heckuva lot easier to be angry at someone else than at ourselves.

You don't know if this former friend of your BW's has experienced infidelity
You don't know why this former friend sent the joke

All that seems to be clear is that the former friend sent a joke and your BW was triggered. And your response - at least on SI - was to be PO'd at the 3rd party. Only after other posts do you say that you are "obviously" angry at yourself. Well, that was certainly not "obvious" to me.

And maybe it was not your intent, but I perceived your post as pretty frustrated at ME.... some stranger on the Internet.

Why do you assume she's trying to "reignite a friendship"? I think you're giving her a lot of credit where credit isn't due.
My assumption on 'reigniting a friendship" came from your OP:
they haven't spoken for a while now and out of the blue this friend connects back on WhatsApp and she connects by sending my wife a joke about infidelity.
That is the sum of the info you provided, and to me, it absolutely sounds like an old friend trying to - no, not simply trying, bc the friend did indeed- reconnect via Whatsapp.

it's alright to be angry at someone else when they try to hurt your partner
Of course it is, but - to use your own words, I think you are giving this former friend a lot of credit that may not be due. If you know the joke was sent to torment your wife, I get it and agree. But nowhere in your post do you provide anything to suggest that was the case. You don't know if the former friend has experienced infidelity... so how can anyone assume that the joke was sent to "TRY to hurt" your BW? I suspect everyone on SI knows many people who are clueless about infidelity, and who routinely make comments that can cut us (BS and WS alike) to the very core of our souls. They don't intend to harm us - they aren't TRYING to hurt or trigger us, they are simply ignorant of the ways in which their comments are deeply painful and traumatizing to those who have been in these trenches.


Some self reflection into the defensiveness may provide some deeper insight. What was it about what I or some other posters said that triggered an angry/frustrated/defensive stance with US?

is it possible some of your anger (if that's what it is) comes from the fact that you put your wife in this position?

You might want to ask yourself, are you angry because the woman crossed a boundary with your wife or because she told your wife to D you.

[I] also wonder if youíre threatened by this attempted return from a dissenting voice(?)

So you donít see parallels between what your wifeís friend did and what you did with your A?

Empathy would say - I''m sorry that MY actions hurt you in such a way that a friend's joke (or the friend of sisters or anyone's naivete about the pain infidelity) can cause a trigger. Empathy does not say: your trigger is your FRIEND''S fault for telling a joke.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 4:09 PM, August 17th, 2020 (Monday)]

Onlyjan posted 8/17/2020 22:12 PM

For what itís worth, none of my other friends have cheated, but they want me to divorce my husband. They think he is the worst human to walk the earth. What I keep hearing, over and over again, is ďonce a cheater, always a cheater.Ē I only have one friend who encourages me to stay because of the kids, and how this would destabilize them emotionally and economically. Everyone rose truly believes that he will just cheat a second time. One said yesterday (more than 3 years out) that he was probably still ďbanging the chick occasionallyĒ. It made me feel like puking. And it makes me feel like such a complete fool, and very ashamed, for staying. No one wants someone to stay with a cheater. It makes no sense to stay. They have broken your trust, betrayed everything you believed in and that you built. My husband actually doesnít understand how 4-5 months could erase 25 years of him being a good man. But it really just does. I donít know how to look at him as though he is not a stranger who could try to hurt me again. I donít know how to overcome that. He just isnít the same man to me. And ultimately, I have no respect for him. He can make as much money as Croesus, and it still doesnít change anything for me. Or for my friends, who only want to protect me. You have to look at things from her friendís perspective. Why would she want your wife to someone who lies and abuses and betrays, and could just go and do it all again? Someone who broke her friends heart? No one who knows would ever want her sticking around for round two.

DIFM posted 8/19/2020 07:58 AM

So you donít see parallels between what your wifeís friend did and what you did with your A?

I'm curious about your perspective on this, as well.

I think when someone answered the question, who does this by saying, we do, the message was that what WSs do is equal to what she did. The degree of "who does that" in response to what she did probably takes a backseat to the "who does that" activity related to what a wayward does.

I am a BS, and for years, anytime my fWW would express indignation about someone else's actions or a sense of "who does that", it would trigger my, "you f'ing did that" anger. The actual thing that one does that causes people to react with "who does that" doesn't matter, the issue is that there are very few things in the world of human interactions that are worse than the betrayal, callous disregard, and trauma that infidelity creates. I would tell my wife, when you answer "who does that" to all the terrible choices and actions you did, you will have your answer to any "who does that" thought you have about anyone else doing anything.

It was an hypocrisy that can make a BS think.......hmmmm, still not safe.

[This message edited by DIFM at 8:22 AM, August 19th, 2020 (Wednesday)]

MrCleanSlate posted 8/19/2020 08:25 AM

FD,

What I see is that it bothered you because you are committed to fixing yourself and your M.

The best thing you did was talk to your BW about it.

btdi posted 8/19/2020 09:16 AM

My husband actually doesnít understand how 4-5 months could erase 25 years of him being a good man. But it really just does. I donít know how to look at him as though he is not a stranger who could try to hurt me again. I donít know how to overcome that. He just isnít the same man to me. And ultimately, I have no respect for him

I agree with your husband. I have been good for thirty years. Just shot dead a person yesterday for the first time. 2 secs was all it took. And unfairly the 2 secs defines my life ? Can't I just apologise and everyone forgets and I get back to my pre shooting life.

This friend does not appear to be a friend of the marriage

The BS needs a friend.. not a friend of the marriage. Both of them, I hate to say, may not be mutually compatible.

Though the friend was pretty Insensitive. Unless there is an additional context to the joke, I would have a permanent ignore, if not block on her # if I was your wife.

hikingout posted 8/19/2020 09:27 AM

I see what Mr. Clean Slate is seeing.

I think what your disadvantage was in this thread is that people do not know your story, that you are years out. Obviously, what this lady did is not as bad as what you or I did.

But, if people look at your join date and do not realize the work the two of you have done, they are going to place you in the new wayward category based on your start date here. When you get further out, and you feel more like a team again, what you are describing is a natural reaction to someone else coming and saying something insensitive to your wife after all you have put her through. Any addition to her pain is going to be unwelcome. I totally 100 percent get it.

But, I think a lot of times anything a WS posts, especially if they do not know your background, becomes a litmus test for remorse. Sometimes that's valid, sometimes it isn't. So, you have to go back and read this from a standpoint of people do not really know your story and they are looking for ways to improve your perception. But, sometimes a vent is just a vent. I see your advice to others, I think you are a person who gets it, but unless someone is familiar with you as a poster, I would read it the way they are.

[This message edited by hikingout at 9:32 AM, August 19th (Wednesday)]

JBWD posted 8/19/2020 09:29 AM

And unfairly the 2 secs defines my life ? Can't I just apologise and everyone forgets and I get back to my pre shooting life.

Sure, you can apologize.

But the person who takes the bullet has his/her life VERY MUCH defined by the act. And those surviving donít owe the shooter anything. Thereís plenty of instances where forgiveness occurs, and plenty where it doesnít. But the shooters on this forum universally fare poorly when they state that they have it bad- Both in exchanges here but more crucially in trying to R with people who have been existentially mauled.

btdi posted 8/19/2020 10:53 AM

And those surviving donít owe the shooter anything

The lucky BS are the ones who are crucified by the WS walking off with the AP. The dead have the decisions made for them.

Rest of us are doomed to carry the cross of decision , D or R, for the rest of their lives. They are the unfortunate survivors of the shooting, burdened by the needy shooter.

You can never really get back to the start, back to the boy who would reach for the stars.

[This message edited by btdi at 11:24 AM, August 19th (Wednesday)]

hikingout posted 8/19/2020 12:28 PM

btdi,

I don't know what's true in that regard. I am a WS, and we are only 3 years into the journey.

However, I do think the value is in the eye of the beholder. Even after something as traumatic as infidelity, a better marriage can be built and you can perceive it a lot of different ways.

It's true it's forever changed, but that doesn't mean that the over all impact isn't that most of it changed for the better.

I am sorry, I do have to believe in that, otherwise R would be a pointless endeavor to us. If my husband isn't going to get the best version of me for the rest of our lives then why should he ever waste his time to stay rather than divorce me? And, in turn, I do believe part of that agreement is that I will slowly be restored as worthy and lovable to him. I do not deserve that, but if this is what we are choosing together, there is no reason not to aim for it. To align ourselves with that choice. Otherwise, it would have been a better choice for him to divorce me or for me to divorce him. Reaching R to me means you have created a new marriage in which both people feel joy again in.

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