I think that my single friend is having an affair with a married man.
I haven’t asked her outright because unless she wants to tell me about it, I feel that her personal life is none of my business.
But I love my friend and want nothing except her happiness. And so, as the spurned wife of my former philandering husband and, a few years later, as a mistress to someone else’s husband, I’ve been on both sides of the infidelity fence.
I can say unequivocally that affairs lead nowhere except to excruciating heartbreak (at least for someone).
That’s why I don’t want to sit idly by and watch my friend be hurt by this philandering liar.
In the recent past I did point out that this man has absolutely nothing to offer her because he is MARRIED, and she adamantly denied wanting a relationship with him or any other married man.
But I think that things may have progressed since that time.
I am by no means the “moral police,” but I find myself feeling very awkward around them now that it appears as though an affair between them has commenced.
It may very well be platonic, but my gut is saying otherwise. Any advice?
Feeling Extremely Awkward
Avoid judgment. She won’t accept it from you, despite your experience… she’ll find excuses why her situation’s “different.”
Also, you’re projecting your own history when just being with them makes you uncomfortable. This truly is NOT about you.
Instead, speak only as a concerned friend, that you see this “friendship” heading for trouble for her.
And, that she should consider the common outcomes of affairs with married people.
Only a small percent leave their spouses and families for the person with whom they cheated. In cases where they do leave, there are major difficulties, with ongoing conflicts with the ex-spouse, angry or estranged children, and the cheater’s guilt feelings affecting the new relationship.
Tell her you’ll be her friend whatever happens, but you hope she’ll care about herself enough to take a hard look at what this man is really offering. Then, back off.
My brother married later in life. They’re both working professionals. His wife travels frequently for work and is away often. When she has time off, she travels to see her mother, or vacation with her and her sister.
She’s missed celebrations of my brother's birthday to be with her mother, and spends her own birthday with her mom.
I know this hurts my brother. She did come with him to our family cottage this summer and all she did was complain about him doing jobs around the cottage and not spending "couple time” with her.
She made a big emotional scene about this and the tension upset us all. My brother’s very loyal and kind and overlooks her emotional behaviour but we see his frustration.
His wife also talks about herself a lot.
I know that I shouldn't say anything that’ll taint my relationship with my brother but it makes me so sad to see him endure her selfishness and narcissistic behaviour.
How can we help him?
Stay mum about her. But stay connected to him through phone and email contact, and when possible, have a lunch or dinner with him on your own, especially when she’s away.
He needs support, and not attitude from others about his wife. If she still wants “couple time” when she’s around him, they may have a better connection when they’re together than you realize.
FEEDBACK Regarding the male online dater who couldn't bear silence (August 14):
Reader – “The messaging on dating sites isn’t designed like regular email programs. There's often no way to save a draft, to re-mark a message as unread or special.
“The man’s prospective “date” might’ve been interested but lost the messages when incoming ones pushed them down (it's happened to me).
“Meanwhile, she’s also not hearing from you.
“I urge my male friends to give one last go at contacting women with whom they had a rapport, as women tend to get flooded with new messages daily, and we have to deal with ALL of them to clear up our inboxes, which takes time.
“Taking it personally is wrong, when you don't know this person and never met.
“Anyone unused to the pace and communication style of online communication, should try non-virtual dating methods and not expose their egos to an environment that works differently.”
Tip of the day:
If you want to keep family/friends, avoid judging their relationships.