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Newest Member: Goku06

Reconciliation :
Friends with Other Betrayed Spouse


 yThat (original poster new member #80922) posted at 2:45 PM on Wednesday, September 14th, 2022

Me and my WH have been married for over 10 years with 2 young children. He had a short period of limerence 9 years ago when fell in love and wanted to divorce me, while the object of his love was not interested. We worked this out and put behind us. Last year he again announced he wanted a divorce and had a 3-month affair with my now-former best friend. Eventually, he agreed to visit a therapist with me, and slowly began to come back to senses. As he got out of fantasy land in the proceeding months, he confessed all details, is absolutely remorseful and shows willingness for work on our marriage. Even though it's up and down emotionally, we are taking steps in our R and making progress. It is too early to declare victory, but we are both hopeful.

The OW is from a couple we've known for years, spent holidays together, our kids are friends. The OBH was a close friend of our family. He helped me personally with many things, like while our spouses were having an affair and didn't care about anything, he was there for me with support and practical help while I grieved the loss of my parent.

He and his wife are now separated and heading for divorce on her initiative. He is not talking much about it now. His wife (the OW) has ceased all contact with me, and I don't want to know anything about her. My WH has apologised to OBH a few months after we started R. He did not believe it was genuine and cut all contact with my WH.

We have managed to stay friends and even bring kids together for playdates, without our spouses. However, it has been tricky to navigate - naturally he is not a fan of my WH and voiced his concern about my marriage ("twice a cheater, ...") a few months ago. As we are both haven't fully recovered, we agreed to put boundaries and not talk specifics of my marriage. This has worked so far.

Now we meet either on neutral territory, or come over to his new house. Naturally, he is not visiting us.

The OBH asked about my position on the fact that my WH betrayed his and my close friend. I think it's really between WH and him, it's not my fault and I am not stepping in between.

It feels the whole situation is making our communication strained. I am not ready to lose a good friendship because my WH and OW messed up. I'd like to hear your thoughts and feelings on this...

[This message edited by yThat at 4:33 PM, Wednesday, September 14th]

posts: 2   ·   registered: Sep. 14th, 2022
id 8755214

Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 3:37 PM on Wednesday, September 14th, 2022

AP and OBS were family friends in my case as well.

The key difference in our situations is that my wife didn’t confess her A until years later.

I did reach out to OBS to make sure she knew, her only response was updating her social media page for the first time in 7-years to show pictures of them as the happy couple.

Your case sounds like a slippery slope. The OBS in your case is NOT a friend and ally to a marriage you are currently trying to repair.

If you’re done with the marriage, then the friendship with someone who understands your pain may be helpful, but again, not at all helpful if your are considering reconciliation.

I don’t know that keeping someone who likely HATES your WH around will help your current goals.

Married 34+ years, together 40+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived
Restoration takes time.
"Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself." ― Epictetus

posts: 4401   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8755220

HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 3:42 PM on Wednesday, September 14th, 2022

I think,since he is a good friend,you should consider what he said. Your husband is a serial cheater. It concerns me that you said you are working on your marriage. Your marriage didn't cheat. Your husband did.

I think its natural that your good friend is asking the questions he is. It's also ok if you don't want to discuss things with him. It's ok to tell him any discussion about your husband is off limits.

posts: 4655   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8755222

This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 4:37 PM on Wednesday, September 14th, 2022

This is an interesting and precarious situation.

I understand that you can have a normal and healthy friendship with someone of the opposite sex. I guess my concern is that this is something that is not benefiting your marriage.

We have managed to stay friends and even bring kids together for playdates, without our spouses.

While I'm not good friends with OBS, my wife and I are friends with another couple that has a fWW and another BH. I have gotten together with just the wife of the couple for playdates with the kids, and actually have also spent one-on-one time together. I have mentioned this in other threads, and some folks on this forum have warned me that she seems to be trying to wedge herself between me and my wife (honestly ever since my JFO thread nearly 3 years ago).

I think she is a good friend of the marriage. This is because we have an open dialog about her A and my wife's A, and I think of it as a way to get perspective on the A without the inherent conflict of talking to your own WS about it. We have set careful boundaries in terms of not actually complaining about either of our spouses.

Interestingly, she helped take care of my kids alone while my wife was on travel and I needed to go see my father as he passed away.

I consider her to be a very good friend. I understand that these circumstances aren't the same as yours, but I'm just giving an example of a close opposite sex friendship I have.

That said, if my wife were to say, "TIF, I don't like that you and fWW friend spend time together without me." I would drop any such activities and set that boundary. At the end of the day, I'm married to my wife and she has to come first. If my friend is causing my wife grief, then she isn't really a friend of the marriage even if I feel like she is helping me in the marriage.

However, it has been tricky to navigate - naturally he is not a fan of my WH and voiced his concern about my marriage ("twice a cheater, ...") a few months ago.

I think,since he is a good friend,you should consider what he said. Your husband is a serial cheater. It concerns me that you said you are working on your marriage. Your marriage didn't cheat. Your husband did.

I think its natural that your good friend is asking the questions he is. It's also ok if you don't want to discuss things with him. It's ok to tell him any discussion about your husband is off limits.

I more or less, agree with Hellfire on this topic. Spending one on one time and discussing your relationship and recovery in detail can be problematic if he isn't going to be supporting you in R. You shouldn't have to defend your decision to him, and that's how you could set that boundary. "I have chose R, and if that ever changes, I'll let you know, but until then, I'd prefer you support my decision. If you can't support that decision, you can either stay quiet about it, or we can stop hanging out."

I would also ask myself a few questions if I were you, just to keep yourself honest (no need to answer here, they are questions for yourself).

1) Do I find OBS attractive?
2) Do I think (or know) OBS finds me attractive?
3) If my marriage were to end (for whatever reason) would I consider OBS a good person to date?

Even if everything is "above boards" right now, you could see how answers to those questions could make the friendship at least appear in poor taste. It would also be understandable as to why your WH wouldn't approve of this friendship, even without the fact that OBS has every reason to dislike your husband.

For example, if your H left you and you started dating OBS, it would be very hard to prove a claim you haven't already had an A with OBS.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2091   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8755231

emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 6:16 PM on Wednesday, September 14th, 2022

First off, welcome to SI. I'm sorry you have reason to be here.

Secondly, I don't think the issue here is that she is meeting a male friend one-on-one for the purposes of their kids playdates, I think the issue is the strain on the relationship as a result of the A between their spouses (that both she and OBS are total innocents in).

My take is that it is normal and natural in the circumstances for there to be a serious strain in your friendship. In fact, it's probably healthier for both of you (him especially) for you to detach from one another. You are both reminders to one another of your spouses affairs. For him, it's worse though because he has to observe the fact that the OM (his former friend! the person that he likely hates more than anyone in this entire world) is seemingly "getting away with it". Your husband's life is in many ways unaffected as you have remained by his side and are likely presenting to the outer world at least, that things are going reasonably well (I imagine you are doing this even more with OBS because you are well aware of his disapproval here). His life, on the other hand, has been torn apart and is likely in shambles. The injustice of that is probably very difficult for him to take. The friend of his enemy cannot be his friend.

For you, it's also tough. Although it probably felt natural to speak with OBS at first because you were both experiencing the trauma of finding out about this, and understood what each other were experiencing in a way that others probably could not, you are no longer in this same boat. You are going through R and he is going through D - your experiences are entirely different now. I imagine it is hard to relate to one another and he can no longer be a support to you in R. My guess is that you already feel the need to edit what you say to him. You deserve friendships where you can be open and honest.

When I was about as far as you were out from D-day, I stalked OW online endlessly even though every time she posted something new on instagram or I learned new information it would send me into a spiral (it's called painshopping). Seeing her present a happy face to the world while I was in a pit of misery was awful and as much as I knew it wasn't healthy, I had such a tough time stopping. If I had some other real life connection to her (ie. a common friend) that could give me the dirt on what was happening in their life, it would have been worse. It wasn't until I worked up the strength to block her entirely that I was able to properly get some distance and heal. I think the reality is that you likely both need the distance from one another too. Maybe this will happen naturally, maybe explicitly, I don't know. I'm sorry. It's okay to mourn this loss too. It feels unfair to lose yet another friendship as a result of the A (and for your kids to potentially lose friends too) but this is a very natural consequence of your husband and his wife's actions.

[This message edited by emergent8 at 6:27 PM, Wednesday, September 14th]

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

posts: 986   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8755246

Ladybugmaam ( member #69881) posted at 10:10 PM on Wednesday, September 14th, 2022

Yep, BS here. Doing mostly well in reconciliation. OBS putted the affair to me. OW and OBS were close friends of ours. We traveled together, etc. I was grateful for OBS letting me know. And, it was helpful to compare notes. But, there is no way he can objectively be in a place where he's supporting what we're working on in recovery. He has his own trauma to heal from. I wish him well....but every time our paths cross....we're both just triggering each other. I think having a firm boundary there is best until you decide what is best for you to do.

EA DD 11/2018
PA DD 2/25/19
One teen son
I am a phoenix.

posts: 269   ·   registered: Feb. 26th, 2019
id 8755283

ZDZD ( new member #80814) posted at 10:30 PM on Wednesday, September 14th, 2022

This is hard indeed. I am on the other side of a similar predicament. Stay strong!

[This message edited by ZDZD at 10:33 PM, Wednesday, September 14th]

Me: the BH
Her: the xWW
Married for 10y, together for 15y, 2 children
AP, OBW close friends of many yearsCurrently divorcing.

posts: 6   ·   registered: Sep. 1st, 2022
id 8755287

Tanner ( member #72235) posted at 10:41 PM on Wednesday, September 14th, 2022

I don’t see this being healthy for your M going forward. Friendships run their course and sometimes get knocked off the tracks, this will bring conflict.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R
BH M 31 years

posts: 1795   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8755289

 yThat (original poster new member #80922) posted at 10:43 PM on Wednesday, September 14th, 2022

Thank you all for your thoughts so far! A lot to process.

I feel that I am able to compartmentalise these relationships for now with some good boundaries in place. I'm guessing that I want to have my cake and eat it too. After everything I've been through due to OW and my WH, I feel it's extremely unfair that I need to take ownership for cutting off a person who, despite our current dilemmas, has done many good things to my family and me personally.

posts: 2   ·   registered: Sep. 14th, 2022
id 8755290
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