My close girlfriend’s having a torrid affair with a married man. I didn’t pay attention initially, as she didn’t tell me the truth about his marital status until they were involved awhile and she’d drawn me in on their build-up to it all.
By then, I’d listened to tales of this guy coming onto her, their instant chemistry, the hot passion of their lovemaking, the wild things they did, etc.
I guess I was like a voyeur enjoying her stories over drinks when we met up after work every couple of weeks. I failed to register that they always met during the week, never on weekends, and always went to her place.
But now that she’s told me this is someone else’s husband, I regret knowing. Especially because he and his wife are not even talking about separating.
Worse than that, she feels no guilt whatsoever because she says a lot of her married girlfriends whom I’ve met are having affairs too, and it’s often their husbands who hit on her. Including this man!
I’m divorced from my husband because he cheated on me. How do I tell her how much I detest this whole scene – hers and the others - without sounding bitter and also losing my friend?
She already lost you. As a supposedly close friend who must know your story, she’s being incredibly insensitive by bragging about her affair.
It’s clear she thinks that married people are fair game. You do not. That’s a basic difference of values that can’t be ignored. It’s not like talking about different political leanings. This difference is about people you both know, their lives, and their children’s lives.
Tell her you feel sad that she’s so comfortable with someone else’s partner. And, that you don’t want to hear any more about it. Say that you’d be willing to still get together on the basis of old friendship, only if you talk about common ground and interests.
But be prepared that this friendship may already be over.
My mother-in-law means well, loves my kids, and has an opinion on everything about them. My wife’s very close with her on many levels. I respect and love my mother-in-law, too.
But I sometimes feel there’s three of us raising the kids and even deciding stuff in our marriage as a result of her caring and expressing so much. She’s helpful to us in many ways, so I don’t want to hurt her feelings or appear ungrateful for that.
I don’t know how to tell her that she’s too involved in our lives.
The boundaries are yours to set. What you don’t discuss with your MIL is territory on which she doesn’t get a voice. Both you and your wife can learn to handle this in a still-loving and kind way, by not raising certain topics. And by saying, when she starts to talk about them, that you two need to discuss that first.
Where she’s helpful – e.g. babysitting – show your gratitude and do favours she might need in return.
But in the other areas in which she contributes, discuss limits ahead. If she’s as caring as you say, she’ll understand, so long as you handle the discussion diplomatically and kindly.
Despite their closeness, don’t let your wife and MIL be ranked against you in debates about the kids or your marriage. Yes, it takes a village to raise children, but you two are the lead team and decision-makers.
My longtime friend’s husband appears increasingly angry. He’s easily set-off when drinking (often), but also flares up during certain conversations, when his wife does something that annoys him, or when he’s suddenly in a bad mood for no known reason.
He can also be sweet, and decent company… but those occasions are fewer and farther between. I’ve been avoiding my friend and feel badly about it.
Talk to your friend. She has enough trouble managing the stress of his angry outbursts and moods, without having you abandon her.
She knows he’s difficult; don’t be afraid to ask her what she/they are doing about it.
It’s always worth recommending a thorough medical check, in case there are health issues affecting his angry reactions. Also, a doctor will have more clout talking to him about his alcohol consumption.
Suggest that if he won’t get anger management therapy, she consider getting counselling herself.
Tip of the day:
A friendship is like any other relationship… if values are opposed, and respect lost, it can’t thrive.