How to Help a Friend Deep in Wayward Denial
Long story short, (I'm trying to be vague, because this isn't my story, I don't want to betray my friend's trust, but I'm struggling with how to proceed) I recently found out that one of my best's friend's relationships began as a revenge/exit affair.
Now she's been dating the AP for years and is at an age where her biological clock is ticking loudly and she wants marriage and (more) children. All of a sudden, the OM is coming up with all these practical, rational reasons why now's not the right time to propose.
Our friends, who aren't aware (I wasn't either, until recently) that their relationship began when she was still married to her serial cheating XH, are agreeing with her and basically advising her that she needs to push him for a proposal.
My friend, who I would normally describe as a very intelligent, reasonable, hard working person, is falling back on the narrative that they're star-crossed lovers, who have fought insurmountable odds (aka she needed to divorce her husband), so practical reasons shouldn't matter, love conquers all!
While the practical reasons are very reasonable, I also suspect that the OM never had any intention of marrying her and becoming a stepdad to her other kids. To further complicate matters, the majority of time spent together was when her XH had the kids, and her LTBF has actually spent very little time around her kids and/or in any sort of a training-to-be-a-stepdad-role. They've met and spent time together, but only a handful of times.
She's asked me for advice, now that I have the full story. I tried to be empathetic, but I also told her that (statistically speaking) the majority of relationships that begin as affairs fail, and that second marriages are more likely to end in divorce than first marriages. Obviously this isn't the advice she wants to hear, and it doesn't help that everyone else is chiming in that after all their years of dating, the next logical step is for marriage + babies.
I think since they have been together for a few years, she doesn't consider it an affair anymore, but I don't think she realizes that doesn't matter, or that she never really took time to heal from her first marriage as a BS/MH.
Anyways, I'm not sure how to handle this situation. I love her and her children dearly. She was a huge support during my WH's A. And I really want what's best for her. But I'm not sure how to help her when 1. she doesn't see her wayward behavior, 2. everyone else is feeding into it since they don't have the full story (and I don't want to betray her trust and chime in with additional details that only I have), and 3. I'm trying not to judge her because I love her, but I think she's going about this all wrong and she and her kids are going to get burned by her unrealistic "love conquers all" attitude.