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Dear Chump Lady, My “friend” is an OW

frenemiesDear Chump Lady,

My friend recently revealed that she’s been having an emotional affair with a married man for three years and it has now become sexual. She says his wife knows and has agreed to an open marriage. I think it’s a deeply shitty thing that’s been done — the husband and wife have three very young kids and the husband gave his wife an ultimatum: “We’re in an open marriage, or I’m gone.”

My friend says she and the guy couldn’t help themselves, they have A Special Bond That Nobody Understands, they were powerless to fight it, and the wife should just try to understand and be happy her husband didn’t full out leave her.

I told my friend I don’t think it’s okay that she spent years lying about the emotional affair and she just shrugs it off. She thinks it’s okay because it wasn’t sexual (allegedly). She spent great quantities of time with the guy and all three kids in the marital home without the wife’s knowledge. It seems creepy and predatory to me, but she thinks it’s sophisticated and cool. You should see the self-satisfied grin she has when she talks about it!

Here’s my question: What do you do when your friend is an affair partner? Do I cut her off? If so, do I tell her why? I don’t support what she’s done and I’m so hurt that she lied to me whenever I would say that it seemed like something was going on with her and this guy. She gaslighted and told me I was stupid and naïve whenever I brought up her inappropriate attachment. She thinks that now, because I’m not thrilled for her and her Special Bond, that it’s because I’m jealous.

I’m an excellent friend and a part of me thinks someone like her doesn’t deserve good people in her life when her actions are so awful. Can you please let me know your thoughts? Thank you.


Friend of a Narcissist Bitch


Here’s a friendship litmus test for you — we’ll make it multiple choice.

1.) Do you want a friend who is…?

a. Bubbly and fun

b. Generous and kind

c. Creepy and predatory

2.) My friends are…

a. Encouraging! They believe in me! And they have my back!

b. Inspiring! I feel better for knowing them and they bring out my best self!

c. Gaslighting! They tell me I am stupid and naïve!

3.) I would describe my dear friend as…

a. A total mensch — the kind of guy who’d share his Cubs tickets.

b. An old soul — we love to drink tea, bake cookies for each another, and watch BBC remakes of Jane Austen novels together.

c. A narcissistic bitch.

For some baffling reason you’ve chosen from the “c” column. Why on earth is this person your friend? You don’t mention your history, or any of her other qualities, and frankly, you don’t seem all that conflicted about her character. So ask yourself — why exactly are you in her life? I mean, beyond being totally disgusted with her.

Okay, so the cheating is a new revelation. Sort of. You’ve thought her behavior with this guy has been sketchy for awhile now and she shrugged off your concern and told you how unsophisticated you were.

Snarking about what an amoral bitch she is is all very fine, (she appears to be a dreadful person, what with the rendezvous in Married Guy’s home with his kids), but the bigger question is how did you wind up tolerating this relationship? Is this woman — self-absorbed and dismissive — representative of the sort of people you hang out with?  Your values are not in alignment with hers. Fix your friend picker.

So, yes, I’d detach myself from the whole toxic mess. No need to harrumph and tell her why you’re making yourself scarce. When one has a Special Bond that only the Super Special can understand One is very, very busy. (Until One is thrown under the bus…) I sincerely doubt you’d be able to penetrate the forces of her Super Specialness with appeals to empathy and reason, so don’t bother — just detach.

I’m sure there are some advice columnists who’d tell you that your friend needs you and must suffer from really low self-esteem to play side dish to a married man for three years. She must be sad and lonely and easily manipulated by this smooth talker. And perhaps his wife is withholding or spends too much time with her three children, or has unsightly stretchmarks and baby vomit in her hair. Or maybe they’re all just sexual sophisticates and this whole arrangement is monogamishly wonderful.

I’m not that advice columnist.

A man who would give the vulnerable mother of his three small children this kind of “open relationship” ultimatum is a colossal piece of shit. And a woman who would knowingly involve herself with him? Who puts her Super Special Bond over the welfare of three young kids? Despicable. I’d also add that she’s pretty dim. I sincerely doubt the wife knows of the “open marriage.” More likely, the married guy maintains cake by giving your friend the old line that the wife already knows.

The wife should just try to understand and be happy her husband didn’t full out leave her.

Projection. The OW should just try and understand and be happy she’s a side dish. Isn’t cake great?

I’d suggest that wife “opens the relationship” up further with a call to a divorce attorney. Then Ms. Bitch can have all the cheater wonderfulness to herself.

I’m sure it will work out swimmingly for her. Child support on three kids, an ex-wife to co-parent with, and a Special Bond with a guy who doesn’t do monogamy. Who wouldn’t be jealous? Hope she enjoys the pick me dance.

Meanwhile, please ghost her. So when the twu wuv fails, you aren’t around to pick up the pieces. When she wonders where you went, just tell her you’ve been super busy being unsophisticated. Stupid naiveté just fills your every waking hour.

Ask Chump Lady

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  • “You don’t appreciate me!!” cheater yells.
    ME: “Like what?”
    CHEATER: “That I don’t leave you!!!!!!!”

    I am very appreciative that he is no longer in my life.

  • Dump this friend.

    After my ex wife’s affair, I no longer speak to anyone who has cheated or been an AP. Because I don’t respect them.

    And I’ve been called judgy, told that I should mind my own business.

    So I respond that I AM minding my own business by not engaging with such trash.

    • Apparently I’m the judgiest fucking judgy judge in the 36-49 age bracket. Like puritan. Because I’ve not put other people’s selfishness as my priority or applauded the spray of shit that covers innocent lives. And lying and cheating is continental and sophisticated, I’m not. Meanwhile, I’m European, an artist and a total rock and roll bad ass, and they are low life hillbillies, by any definition. But I love how my high moral standards benefit others while being ridiculed.

      I’ve outed so many affairs in the last 3 years, like a judgy puritan truthiness fairy. And guess what? My supreme evil judginess is what destroyed the true love of the cheaters – none of them stayed together! Buses were broken for all the affair partners thrown under them! How could someone like me break these pure bonds of love? Seriously. And in the spirit of the season, I have been called nasty for my intrusion in people’s private lives. Irony much?

          • But growing……I’m now in your ‘love line’, too….
            We need more ‘judgy puritan truthiness fairies’! I am seriously stealing that label for future use!
            Love ya, nic
            Stay ‘judgy’ as we all ForgeOn!

            • I’m in your line too, nic. I’m the one wearing the dayglo “I support the judgy puritan truthiness fairy! Beware all you shit-spraying low-life hillbillies!!” T-shirt to your your parade.

              It’s there a GoFundMe site for donating to the building of more buses to replace the broken ones? Sounds like we’re gonna need a whole bunch more buses to toss these selfish, narcissistic & conceited bozos under before your life’s work is done…

              Keep calm and carry on!

      • JC: “So I respond that I AM minding my own business by not engaging with such trash.”

        SCORE! What an awesome riposte.

        nic: “I’ve not put other people’s selfishness as my priority or applauded the spray of shit that covers innocent lives…. but I love how my high moral standards benefit [innocent!] others while being ridiculed.” Brilliantly phrase, and like JC, score!

        To claim, exemplify, and defend what is decent, innocent and good about being human is no small feat.

        Now I’m hoping, if enough of us keep pressuring RIC and nihilism with a fancy name (“cosmopolitan”), at some point a geometric expansion will take hold. And now I have some choice words and thinking from you two to add to my arsenal. Yes!

      • Good on you Nic. I’ve also had “judgmental” comments, for refusing to have any more contact with my chump friend’s boyfriend, whom she caught online dating after moving in with her.

    • I would take judgy of POS any day! I have never thought much of cheaters and X even knew this. I guess her new best friend being one was just another hint for me.

    • I feel the same, after my husband’s affair…I just can’t stand to interact with cheaters. This has now become a huge problem for me, as my only sister, a classic narc, has confided to me she is seeing a married man..she also is married…to a wonderful guy I really respect and like! I don’t want to have anything to do with her, and I try to avoid her, which is difficult. Plus, I would really like to expose her, but that would cause family chaos!

  • ChumpLady, does FriendofNB have a moral obligation to let the wife know what’s going on? Where does ChumpNation stand on the issue of telling?

    • I’m generally in favor of telling based on the Golden Rule of wouldn’t you want to know? Yes, the writer could reach out to the wife. And hey, no harm done because if it’s “open” she’s just telling the wife something she already knows, right?

      • Not to be all judgy and everything, but someone who would watch this unfold for three years without ever making a peep to the wife … not exactly a super wonderful person, maybe. And someone needing the above multiple choice friend quiz? Possibly beyond help.

        • I had two friends in my life like this before I learned about narcissism and personality disorders. One was actively cheating, the other was on her third, very rocky marriage. The cheating friend and I went back 20 years and had been through a lot together–she’s charming, charismatic, and the master at feigning empathy and support when it suits her.

          Still being a chump when she confessed the cheating to me, I put myself in her shoes and tried to support her as best I could. I did, to my credit, encourage her to tell her husband, which she claimed at one point she did, then she took it underground, then she told me he “must know.”

          She ghosted me before I figured out the toxic dynamic between us, as did the other friend–I STILL didn’t pick up on her narcissism until after she dumped me, even though by then I’d learned that I was chumped by X and had set about learning everything I could about narcissism.

          FOANB, I agree with CL that ghosting this friend is for the best–odds are, based on my experience and on how narcissists roll, she was going to dump you anyway and won’t lose much sleep after the first few weeks of NC on your part.

          I also second telling the wife. I really regret not telling my friend’s husband while I had the chance, the poor man had absolutely no idea that his wife was serial cheating with multiple APs.

    • I received an anonymous email photo of Narkles the Clown and the Flying Whore.
      That’s how I found out about what turned out to be years and years of cheating.
      I’m so thankful for that one little email.

          • Facebook message on my honeymoon. It was so weird and lacking in detail (and I was a total chumpy newlywed) I shrugged it off as mistaken identity. I think we all know how it ended 10 months later!

      • I spent 8 years sitting across people at dinner parties who knew about Hannibal’s grad whore affair. Not a single one even hinted to me that the affair was taking place, nor did anyone say anything after it was over.

        After D-day, when I hysterically lamented that I felt like an idiot not knowing something about my own marriage that everyone else knew, Hannibal coldly said, “Get off your public humiliation kick!” Sociopath.

        • This public humiliation is in my top five things I think I will NEVER be meh about – in part because half of their asses are in their chairs at work because of something I did. A dozen of them actually befriended her (she’s an out of state coworker), for three of the five years it went on. Even after they knew D-Day had arrived, they posted sycophantic messages on her social media. (I don’t get it. She’s dumb as a doorknob, not dynamic, and from some emails, sounds like a stone cold bitch.) It makes me cringe to think of the dinners, awards galas, BBQs, birthday parties…. For the ones whose jobs I saved, though thank God I am no longer there? When this is over, I am going to let them have it. It’s just not in me to let asswipes who collude get off scot-free.

        • Tempest that’s awful. I still don’t understand how people can be like this. How they can turn a blind eye because they don’t want to get involved and still look you in the face?

          Dr. Crazy’s own sons knew I believed he’d only been married twice. One got drunk at our wedding and lamented to some of my relatives about his father’s 4 marriages and hoping this one would stick because he genuinely cared about me and my kids and wanted the kind of family we could bring. But no one bothered to tell me or my mother. Instead they just talked about it behind our backs for 2 years until I filed. I still haven’t processed the betrayal of my own family on top of all the other nightmares of this marriage.

          • Ugh, Geode, I can’t believe his family let you marry him without full disclosure of his serial marriages. I’m glad you cottoned on after only 2 years.

            • Tempest the worst is my own sister not telling me. If I had been armed with the truth I would have been empowered against the increasing abuse of that first year which set me right up for the mindfu–ing ride through “Sex Addiction” therapy the second. I don’t know all that I would’ve done with full knowledge but I sure wouldn’t have quit my job to work for a liar. I could’ve protected myself and my kids better. No one thought about them either.

              • Betrayal by your own family member is unforgivable. I hope she realizes the consequences of her dishonesty (even if dishonesty by omission).

                (I know, we’re all in love with Nic!!)

  • Along with Switzerland friends I will also sacrifice any admitted AP to the trash gods. Schooled in the vernacular of the sage and mystic chumps – I will shut that shit down like a CN word wizard.

    Because I have been on this site since Tracy’s first post I can own any infidelity argument. Her logic so sound and her voice so clear that no one wants to debate me. And, with the exception of a lifelong friend who was toying with an emotional affair and was foolish enough to utter “I don’t want this to happen – prospective AP are just soooo connected” (years later my friend still marvels at my swift and thorough reaction), I dust off my hands and walk away from the relationship that involves cheaters.

      • What’s with this baloney about heaters and AP thinking they are are soooo sophisticated and socially evolved???

        I got thiis from from my cheating wife. I don’t get it. Despite her best pretenses, she is neither. Far from it. And neither am I. And here I was thinking we were just trying to be nice decent people. Shows how unsophisticated I am – another character flaw in her eyes. Oh well.

        Sophisticated? Meh.

        As for the OP’s friendship: stick a fork in it and and call it done.

        • People who claim a continental & sophisticated way of life are like the folks who claim (too enthusiastically & too often) about what good people they are: if you have to say it, you ain’t.

          I can drink wine and wear red lipstick and flirt with a barely legal Norwegian shop keeper at Epcot, but it doesn’t mean I went on a Grand European Tour. *i did all of the above. To be fair, the red lipstick led to the wine (pourquoi pas?) and then the really idiotic one sided flirting. Before anyone shouts foul (Mickey!), I was doomed before I was out of the gate and I had about 300 witnesses (and my family – oh my) who could back up the humiliation, AND disney trains its staff really well to deal with middle aged married moms who could only theme-park by enjoying the boozy brunch in France.

          • My ex and his fellow cheating friend used to rave on about how France has such a sophisticated society because they tolerate affairs, unlike our embarrassingly barbaric Anglo-Saxon culture. Can’t believe I missed that red flag!!

            • I lived there and my blood in France goes way back. The ones who were cheated on didn’t think it was ‘Je ne sais quoi” tip of the beret, pop some champagne so sophisticated, they were fucking devastated. Puked like the rest of us, ate ow shit sandwich on vacation with the kids. They ugly cried like the savages in North America. No angsty Truffaut open ended Eiffel Tower fade outs. Big fucking crying broken family, move into a small apartment shit. Biggest difference I see is that the food they couldn’t keep down tasted a hell of a lot better than what I cried into and didn’t eat.

            • From my French friends I have heard that that is particularly the elite, and also especially the men. It is not acceptable or taken for granted for most people, same as other cultures.

              • Thanks for clarifying that French adultery myth Nic & others. In retrospect it’s just another Cheater justification fantasy, but with merde sandwich on offer.

  • These OW are so needy. And I call bullshit on the two year ’emotional’ affair.

    A coworker I know bragged about giving her wealthy AP an ultimatum. Either I move in ir it’s over.

    She was so excited when he picked her.

    They always trade down. And I wonder if the wife really agreed. I doubt it. Send the wife an letter to let her know.

    • They do trade down because at the time the AP makes them feel like the best thing since sliced bread. No person with an ounce of self respect or high standards would ever consider being a cheap affair partner and a participant in blowing up a family. Yeah the cheater is a piece of shit but I don’t care how many times you hear,well the AP did not owe you anything, your cheater did. I call that horseshit. No one should participate in hurting anyone else, they are just as guilty. However, down the road a bit the cheater will ALWAYS regret their choice. They are now living with someone that they think is way beneath them and will treat them with contempt or the dysfunctional AP will grow bored now that the challenge of “stealing” their lover away from his/her family is over. I have witnessed this scenario with every relationship that started out as an affair. Another scenario is that the AP (usually the woman) gets dumped after the cheater divorces, because why should the cheater settle for someone so cheap and easy? He can now legitimately date upstanding, successful women.

      • KB

        I doubt The Limited will ever date an upstanding successful woman. From what I gather once he lost the narrative of being this ‘good guy/family man’ living with an abusive wife, the supply dried up.

  • I have dropped cheaters from my friendship circle like hot rocks. and yes, I have been called judgey. The weirdest exchange was when I didn’t want to have anything with cheaters who hooked up in our Sunday school class and smeone in the congregation chastised me and said, “Well, what if people judged you by YOUR actions?”

    I said, “I hope they do! It’s called judging someone’s character! It’s how this is supposed to work!”

    Actions have consequences. If you’re a cheating home wrecker, who doesn’t care about the feelings of the people you hurt – justifying your actions with luuuuuuurv and “destiny”- then you shouldn’t be shocked when people don’t care enough about your feelings to fake a friendship with you.

    • I love it! It’s become so completely un-PC to ”judge”. We must never judge anyone, ever because it might ”shame” them or ”bully” them and we cannot understand their special feelings. Yes, so she is a meth-addict baby murderer, but DON’T JUDGE…

      Judgement has stood us as a species in excellent stead. It’s what we do and how we make decisions. It’s perfectly right to judge based on actions, not on silly rumours. That’s the time to do it! Good for you, judge on…

      • This is a good distinction. Judging can take the form of sound judgment about how you want to spend your time in life — such as choosing the kind of friends you keep, etc. It can also take the form of showy, self-righteous judgment — such as deciding whether other people are worthy enough human beings to be allowed on the planet and vocalizing it to anyone who will listen. Sometimes, when we exercise the former, we get accused of the latter.

          • Ha! I read yours after I wrote mine and I liked yours better! That’s the great thing about this wonderful forum you give to us – the many voices and perspectives are so helpful to all of us. Grateful for you!

            • I think you both nailed it. We only have the power to change ourselves. When these emotional vampires come into our lives, it’s best to dump their toxic selves at the side of the road and keep right on walking. They serve no purpose and bring no value into our lives and, frankly, I am sick and tired of all the drama and baggage the bring with them.

              One person’s judgement is another person’s truth. And let’s face it, cheaters and AP’s don’t like to look too deep beneath the surface. It’s why they spend so much time running damage control on the thin veneer of their facade with gaslighting, obfuscating and blame-shifting, so no one learns the real truth about them. Then they compartmentalize it all away and try to bury it so deep that even they themselves will never have to face what they’ve done.

              The lies my STBX has had to tell himself to justify his actions just astound me. But it’s getting to the point, where’s he’s told sooo many lies that even he can’t keep them straight any more. Cracks are forming in his thin veneer and people are starting to see the truth that lies beneath: that he truly isn’t a nice person and that very little of his issues have anything to do with me at all, but more with his true character of self. He is just like his father: a weak, shallow, immoral, depraved, hypocritical, narcissistic, sociopathic bully and cheater. A real Lickerish man. And while I may now be alone upon occasion, I far prefer it to being in a room with him and feeling lonely every single night!!

          • Me, too. It was a word used on a variant tarot card deck I saw once and it seemed very powerful and without the double meaning of “judgment,” which is useful in the traditional tarot but not so much in regular life.

        • Right? All I did was decline to attend a party these two were hosting in their “new home” and when someone asked why, I privately told them that I didn’t think it was appropriate to go to this housewarming and act like this was some exciting event that didn’t have consequences for the spouses and children these two were leaving behind. (The spouses and children were still attending church, by the way.) But somehow, that was mean and judgmental and I should “just be happy they found each other.” After all they were divorcing the ex spouses and “doing the right thing.” (after the fact, after they were caught)

          The fact that the former spouses and children and their feelings were dismissed so easily, and then ignored, like they were these uncomfortable reminders everybody just wished would go away – made leaving that church pretty easy.

        • In the case of cheating, I’m okay with the latter, too. Some people really don’t deserve to be on the planet ; ).

      • The ironic part is that it’s ok to judge the “judgers”. You shouldn’t judge the man with 1wife and 4 ow but if you judge, then we can judge YOU because you are bad. That’s some kind of twisted.

        • Exactly. I feel the same way whenever one of my favorite FB pages, Humans of New York, runs a piece about cheating relationships. The very minute that a chump posts a comment condemning the cheating, LEGIONS, and I mean LEGIONS, of posters start condemning the commenter with “Don’t Judge!” posts, and all manner of judgmental condemnation of anyone who says, “hey, lying to another human is bad…” or “hey, if one spouse is miserably unhappy they ought to LEAVE, not cheat and deceive their spouse who they have now deprived of the similar opportunity to find someone more compatible.

          The worst instance of this that I saw was when HONY posted about a twenty something woman who was having a “Daddy-Daughter” “relationship” with a married man. LEGIONS and I mean LEGIONS of commenters posted, “don’t judge!!” and said that it was wonderful and okay and totally acceptable for a married man to have a “Daddy Daughter” “relationship” with a woman half his age. And that “surely” the Wife “Must Know.” What fucking planet are these idiots from??????????

          And no offense to anyone here who is under 30, but please. Walk a mile in a chump’s shoes. And your little chorus of “don’t judge / anything goes” will likely change with age and experience.

    • I have a work friend who has had an “emotional” affair with one of her coworkers. Her marriage is a mess and she has 3 young children. Her AP has moved on but still talks to her to keep her on the sidelines. I explained to her that given my experience with my cheating ex, I would not support her or her relationship with the AP. She is obsessed with him! So I’ve basically exited the friendship. A few weeks ago she sent me a nasty text asking why I don’t talk to her anymore. My response – are you still involved with the AP? Her – well, I try and we do talk occasionally. Me – that’s why we don’t talk. Crickets.

      • I wouldn’t be friends even if the AP was gone. You see the true character of this person shining through right now. I would go NC with this person and ignore any future texts. But i’m “judgy” like that now.

    • That’s just the God forgives us so should you thought pattern. We aren’t all perfect for sure. But to use religion to get people to accept others shitty choices is wrong too. Do they feel the same about someone who murders or commits child abuse, etc. It just a pick and choose mentality. If someone gave me crap about cutting off contact with cheaters, I would cut them out too.

    • I started a new job last year, and found I didn’t much care for many of my new coworkers. They were a tight knit, gossipy, rather cold group. That is, except for one woman, whom we will call Margo. She seemed really cool and smart and funny, and we had some laughs on our smoke breaks.

      Then one day, she casually mentioned that she was seeing a married man. I felt my esteem for her drop to the floor, and after that, I 86ed any plans to become close friends with her. As the OP here says, I am a really good friend to have, so her loss. I still took the occasional smoke break with her, but I would keep our talk superficial. I worked there a mercifully short time, and have not seen her since. I’m sure that she and her twu wuv are just still so super duper special, though.

  • Dear FOANB-

    Call me crazy but I don’t refer to any of my friends as a narcissistic bitch so I’m thinking that maybe you already have your answer. If she doesn’t even give this poor dude’s wife and his three children a second thought; other to surmise that the wife should just accept it and be happy he didn’t just leave her all together, then there is nothing to work with here sister. Nada.

    Life is too short to put up with the likes of this self absorbed miscreant. Practice what they taught us in SAT prep courses. Scan, discard, select, MOVE ON!

    • “Call me crazy but I don’t refer to any of my friends as a narcissistic bitch”
      There’s so much wisdom in this short line.

      Let’s analyse a bit. “Friend of a Narcissist Bitch”, there you go, you call yourself exactly that!
      So you knew for 3 years what is going on. And you chose to stay friends with this homewrecker.
      You did not tell the wife.
      And now your “thorn” with not knowing what to do when your friend is OW???
      Are you faking humanity and need a guide on how to act humanely?
      If I’m being too harsh, it’s because I’m horrified at your lack of insight. Insight of how real humans feel and act.

      You stuck with a cheater OW for 3 years, that tells me all I need to know about you and your morals.
      CL gave a you an elegant answer.

      I’ll give you a small example: I told about my cheating husband to a colleague. He’s now married and has a small child. He seemed to empathise with me. On a closer look at his status, he divorced his wife and immediately remarried and had a child. IMMEDIATELY told me that there was relationship overlap, lying and cheating involved. There were no children in his first marriage and maybe they were not the most compatible pair, but there is no excuse for lying and cheating. So he is not in my book of friends!

  • Cheaters cheat and liars lie. Separate yourself from this trash. Inform the wife-I wish asshat’s wingmen and women had told me YEARS ago.

    And like JC mentioned, you may be called ‘judge-y’. I think that’s a good thing. Yes, *I* judge people who lie, steal and cheat from others. I will keep my moral compass. Not everyone is an asshole. Buh bye.

    • “Cheaters cheat and liars lie. Separate yourself from this trash.”

      FOANB, there’s your answer in a nutshell. You get to choose. Not choosing is choosing.

    • And to bring a self-interested angle in here: If she’s quite willing to do that to children, what the hell would she be willing to do to you?

      You probably shouldn’t keep a friend like that around. They are one crisis away from solidly stabbing you in the back.

  • You are known by the company you keep.

    So if you are friends with a lying, cheating, narcissist whore, that is what you as well will be known as.

    Ditch this bitch, immediately. Even without the cheating, she is a nasty person who doesn’t belong in your life. Let her and her skag ass boyfriend spend all their time with each other.

  • FOANB, there’s no one who is creepy and predatory in only ONE aspect of their lives but not others.

    Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you have a special bond of friendship that would preclude her fucking you over in some way in the future.

      • This is so true! I was the FOANB at one time, who incessantly cheated on her husband of 15 years–but hey, he was an asshole.

        I saw *was* because our friendship ended the day she fucked my ex boyfriend after we had only been broken up for about 2 weeks.

        Her excuse? I should know by now how fragile her self esteem really is.

        And we are women in our mid-thirties.

  • I think the judgy thing clouds the issue. We don’t control other people. We only control ourselves. So either this person is an acceptable friend, or not. We control to whom we devote our time, attention, and resources.

    We can “judge” without name calling or condescension. Just fill your life with other more worthy people.

    Also, most of us, myself included, have cheaters in their lives who cannot be avoided. Family members, doctors, whatever. They may be great at taking out your gallbladder but not be a good person to be married to.

    We have agency. We can make choices. That’s life. Everyone makes such “judgments” daily.

    I think chumps get in trouble when we give takers, cheaters, narcissists, sparkly people (whatever you want to call them), too much of ourselves. And we care too deeply about people who aren’t that deep.

    • I agree, we need to put the spackle away and be more selective and listen to what people are telling us, or showing us with their behavior. Yes, and care less about these people and care more about ourselves.
      Be more protective of ourselves. Treat ourselves with then same care, and love that we shower on other people.

    • I was about to boil it down to the question I was asked when I got here….

      Do you find this behavior acceptable?

      It’s a great starting point when examining any relationship. I used to roll it out in group therapy all the time when people were talking about something someone did that hurt them.

    • The word judgmental gets a bad rap.

      There’s a distinction between disparaging someone for purely personal choices that harm no one (like being vegan or watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians) and not wanting to associate with someone who has a track record of cruel and untrustworthy behavior that’s harmful to others.

      The former is petty and mean, and the latter just means you have good sense. “Judgement” is one of our most important survival instincts.

    • “To judge, or not to judge, that is the question:
      Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
      The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
      Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,”

      I am certain that there is no wrong answer whether you choose to judge, or not to judge.

      Here is my take – as soon as I start to think there is something not right, not the way it should be, or I become judgmental about a situation or a person—their words or behavior—I know I have moved away from accepting what is, by wanting to control what is outside of me. I am not willing to hand over my serenity to someone that deserves to be judged.

    • And this worrying about “judging” is one thing that keeps chumps tethered to their cheaters–lest the chump be deemed “judgmental.” We absolutely should “judge” whether someone is a healthy person to have in our lives. We wouldn’t be faulted for “judging” a serial killer or a burglar or a child molester. I don’t want them in my life, but I also don’t want narcissists, cheaters or others who can’t do reciprocity. I am also not big on people who abuse the weak or the helpless, including animals. I get to do the picking.

    • “Don’t judge!!” Puh-leeze.

      Judgment = having moral standards.

      How are the relativists with these statements?

      “Aleppo? No biggie–governments sometimes have to use violence to control their citizens.”

      “Don’t judge Boko Haram for kidnapping those 14 year old girls; they were going to be married off in a year or two anyway.”

      “How dare you judge and execute Timothy McVeigh?! He was a revolutionary with a vision! As he said, the federal workers and preschoolers he blew up were just ‘collateral damage’ for a greater cause”

  • “I am not that advice columnist.”

    You are most definitely not. And I am SO GRATEFUL!

    Shit sandwiches are unpalatable no matter who makes them.

  • Go with your gut FOANB, if it feels wrong being with her, trust that! That’s my compass now to who I let in my life.

  • Cheating on any level is unacceptable. A “friend” who feels comfortable having an affair with a married person can’t be trusted. She’s heartless, (quoting Tracy) look for people that are from your tribe who have the same moral compass as you

    I no longer tolerate Switzerland friends. I don’t need self absorbed people in my life. I

    • Years ago, I tried to explain this to my first Childs father why his best friend cheating on his woman was not ok. “If someone’s does this to the person they say they look ve, then there will come a time they do something shitty to you.”

      Hmmm. He ended up cheating on me. He’s married now, he’s always telling me he’s sorry and misses me. Aw

  • No- the wife almost certainly does NOT know.

    That ultimatum is exactly the sort of nonsense douchey, cheating husbands WISH they could say without consequence – and tell others they DID say – so other people don’t see them for the cowards they truly are.

    His wife needs to be told… with something she can show him so he can’t gaslight her. Timestamped texts. Times to check his past whereabouts with the skank on Google Timeline, etc.

    • photos work, that’s what someone sent me via anonymous email and I most certainly did not agree to or even hear any talk of an open marriage

  • Regarding: “I’m sure there are some advice columnists who’d tell you that your friend needs you and must suffer from really low self-esteem to play side dish to a married man for three years. She must be sad and lonely and easily manipulated by this smooth talker.” —

    All of this is probably true, which is why it sounds so damned reasonable when someone says it to you while playing devil’s advocate. Gaslighting and justifying both work like that.

    However, consider this. Staying friends with a person who is making choices that harm herself and others (like using drugs, gambling their paycheck away, or engaging in an affair) and trying to inject reason into her that she doesn’t want to see is enabling. It’s trying to save her from herself while providing the attention and, therefore, the support she needs to continue the behavior.

    You aren’t doing her any favors by sticking around. Not by a long shot.

    I agree with CL that you shouldn’t bother explaining, but I can see room for telling her something if she strongly presses you for a reason. The answer MUST be short and right to the point so she can’t engage you in a big conversation about it (pay attention to meeeeeeee!) And you can make it about you — that you accept that she needs to do what she wants to do with her life, that she’s a grown woman and has total autonomy, but that you just can’t be around it because it clashes with your values for your own life, and that’s not up for discussion. End of story, no more conversation, this is just how it is. No apologizing. No “I’m sorry, but…”

    This is a hard conversation to have and it isn’t for everyone, but if you are able to respond like this confidently if she presses you, it gives you two things. One, you are empowered to stake a claim on your own life without backing down, and also without parenting her and feeding into her attention seeking. Two, as a good friend, you are letting her know how her behavior plays out in the world.

    Sometimes part of being a good friend is setting strict boundaries for yourself, even if those boundaries end the friendship without further discussion.

    Just something to mull over and see if it feels right to you.

    As far as telling the wife, if you already know the wife, then yes, I think it’s right to juat tell her (or, maybe, ask her of it’s an open marriage as a lead-in.) If you don’t, it’s more awkward, of course, and she may not even believe you. Many of us would ignore a stranger telling us such a thing at first. Yet, she has a right to know in case the “open marriage” thing is a lie. That’s tricky. I don’t really have advice except to tread carefully and be compassionate about her vulnerability as you share any information you choose to share.

    • Absolutely tell the wife, with as much evidence as you can muster. And whether she’s been bullied into accepting the ‘open marriage’ crap, or whether she’s totally in the dark, send her to CL! She’s going to need it.

    • I agree to tell her weather you know her or not. You can do it by mail or in person. That’s up to you. She does deserve to know what is going on. If she did agree to it, she will tell you that they have such an arrangement. It’s highly unlikely!

  • Don’t be surprised when your friend starts treating you like total shit, after you release her from your life. She will probably go full on psychopath. Things never end well with these people, no matter how gracefully you try to exit the relationship. That may even be a reason you are still “friends” with her. You already suspect how she will be as an ex friend. Especially if you expose the cheating to the wife. I think you should though. In for a penny, in for a pound….

    • I think I would be in favor of just being “too busy” to be around this friend. I certainly wouldn’t listen in sympathy as she talked about her tru luv with someone else’s husband. That would bring up way too many triggers for me, though.

    • Agreed– that is what happened to me. A colleague that I was once friends with started having, at the very least, an emotional affair with a colleague who works in a different building. This happened before I discovered my then-husband’s cheating. Even still, I remember her telling me all about their “friendship,” and right there, I wanted nothing to do with her. We pretty much stopped talking, and I’ve kept her at arm’s length ever since.

      Now, she treats me as though I slept with her husband, and I’m sure it’s because I saw through her narcissistic personality and refused to have her and her toxic behavior in my life. My ex now engages in the same behavior– I rejected him and want nothing to do with either him or his AP, so now he treats me as though I’m the evil one. Narcs really don’t like it when we see behind their masks. We are no longer of use to them, so they turn on us since it is impossible for them to acknowledge that they are the ones in the wrong.

      • Yep. When you see them for what they are they despise you for it. They cannot acknowledge wrong and will deny even with facts in their face. I showed my Stbx a text he wrote that he denied saying – and I was told I was so convoluted. Lol. That’s the first big word I’ve ever heard him use in 15 years. I am convoluted for pointing out his lies. Our daughter sees through him and it irritates him. She doesn’t believe his Sorry because he’s arrogant and blame-shifts. I told him being sorry looks more like being contrite and humble. But what do I know. I’m so convoluted. Lol

  • I think that the whole concept of “judge not lest ye be judged” has been bent and twisted to the point where people won’t take accountability for anything they do or say anymore. People don’t want to be judged because they don’t want others or even themselves to think about they are doing or what they are capable of doing because often times it is so damn awful and destructive the rest of us can hardly comprehend it.

    There has to be some level of accountability and judgment otherwise we wouldn’t have ways to stop pedophiles from becoming teachers or criminal psychopaths from mingling around with the rest of society.

    Do I place infidelity up there with pedophilia and psychosis? Yes, because it’s all related to narcissistic, antisocial and other types of deviant behavior. People always downplay infidelity like it’s nothing more than “an act of exuberant defiance” (wink, wink) but the damage to the victims is the same as any other type of abuse. A cheater makes a series of deliberate and conscious decisions to deceive their partners in order to get something they feel entitled to, in a covert manner, so as to have the advantage over the unwitting partner. If that’s not the definition of deviant behavior, I don’t know what is.

    I decided recently that I don’t need these types of people in my life anymore. They bring no value to a relationship, only drama and unnecessary baggage. Toxic people, no matter how much of yourself you offer, only take for themselves, leave when full and return when empty again. Just look at any serial cheater or AP who thought they were special or “the one.” If they were capable of any real self-reflection at all they would realize that they are even less special than the rest of us because they don’t even value themselves.

    Here’s what I recently told a close family member, “I won’t help you if you won’t help yourself first.” Her response was one of being entitled, self-absorbed and self-righteous. After years of her verbally abusing me and taking what she could from me, I severed that tie. It hurts me because she is my only sibling but she is disordered and you can’t help someone who won’t help themselves. Until she realizes that she is responsible for her own happiness, there’s nothing I or anyone else can do to help her.

    This friend is obviously a toxic person and her lack of accountability is very off putting.

  • It’s always No Big Deal to other people, until it happens to them. Then, it is a Big Fucking Deal.

    Call me naive, but I view the inability to project oneself empathically into the situation of another human being to be the polar opposite of enlightened. 🙂

    • Not only is it a big deal but many think it could NEVER happen to them.

      My STBX said to me, “I never worried about your loyalty to me because you’re not the type of woman that man are drawn to in that way.”

      So in his mind, no other man would ever find me attractive or interesting enough to even approach me. Even now he tells me he can’t ever picture me with another man like I’m some sort of marked territory or something.

      • Typical narc, bashing your self esteem to keep you in place. Done4Good, please don’t buy into it.

        Mine said something similiar post-DDay. I think it was that I would never find what I wanted in a man because I was asking for too much. So according to him, faithful men aren’t out there. The CN guys prove that wrong every day!

        • Well, obviously I’m not putting off the right vibe or something because I’ve never been approached or had the same opportunities that he has. I mean gosh, according to him, he’s had to beat them off with a stick! Me, I’ve had zero interest from the opposite sex, even now that I consider myself pretty much single going through my divorce.

          I’m so relieved that I don’t have him looking down on me anymore or making me feel less than worthy of his attention by comparing me to other women that I don’t even care if he’s probably sentenced me to a lifetime of being single.

          • You don’t put out that vibe. You don’t put out the vibe of availability to cheating. You put out the loyalty vibe. Now you are available, it is the most attractive vibe to the right kind of person. Good on you.

        • Too funny. On the opposite side, my xw said “you have a job and a pulse, you’ll find lots of women”. First, I don’t want lots of women, just one I can believe in. Second, it’s not been happening because I still think they’re all crazy (just like her). I see narcs everywhere. 🙁

          • Well – we’re not ALL crazy, just like all men aren’t shallow, sex-crazed womanizers.

            Unfortunately, the life partners we choose came up short in the character and decency department. Their loss (shrugs shoulders).

      • Lol, mine told me I’d never find happiness with anyone else. That in “too damaged by my FOO” -and he’s the only one that would ever love me. Well, hmmm, not looking for anyone else right now, but, yeah you sure did “love me”. And, hey, asshole, I am happy…..without you!

      • Lol, mine told me I’d never find happiness with anyone else. That in “too damaged by my FOO” -and he’s the only one that would ever love me. Well, hmmm, not looking for anyone else right now, but, yeah you sure did “love me”. And, hey, asshole, I am happy…..without you!

  • Society seems too jaded with affairs and cheating these days. Had my D day 3 months ago (he confessed to 3 month ongoing affair Altho I think it’s more like 6 months , when confronted) – i filed the following week . The trust is gone. What surprised me was that the inlaws accepted the news – no reprimands – “he’s an adult, it’s his choice”, my kids (11 & 15 ) cried when they heard the news but seem to have adjusted and even my mother seem nonchalant about it. Am I missing something here? I work, and I may not be a fantastic home maker but I do all the usual mum things – chauffeuring, tutoring , packing lunch boxes etc attend all family functions . Sex life was scarce but hey,he could have said something. Anyway I refuse to fall in line and act happy and oh so cool about the divirce (amicable divorce my foot ! ). I would not accept betrayal by a friend , much less a spouse. So yes, no one seems to be on my side and just Becoz he gives alimony , the house and he sees the kids often, does that erase the fact that he detonated a nuclear bomb in our lives ? How about my hopes and dreams for the future ? Raising 2 kids on my own? Gave the usual cheater excuses ” Twu wuw”, “you put the kids first” , ” I need to feel needed”. I doubt if a mansion could compensate for all the PTSD I am gg thru – mind visions and nightmares, chest pains, episodic depression . So really , even if the whole world extolled his virtues as a good father , I regret that I wil never forgive and forget this act of betrayal . I live according to my standards .

    • In my experience, the impacts of infidelity are, or become, mental health issues. And in the USA, we’re absolutely terrible at addressing mental health issues, and have been for decades, so societally it’s become easier to try to sweep infidelity to the side, instead of treating it as the real abuse that it is. It doesn’t help that the courts see this stuff so often that they’ve little choice but to compartmentalize it during divorce proceedings.

    • Someone accusing that ” you put the kids first ” while being a cheating whore is NOT a Good Father. He is a charade of a good father, an illusion.

      • Agree! What sort of example is he setting to the kids – bail out when the gg gets tough ? He also cited “fundamental differences” and uncompatibility – after 19 years of marriage ? puhleeze ….

      • Once my oldest son and I were discussing how his father was telling people that he “loved” the married OW’s children. My son said, “If Dad truly loved those children, he’d get out of their life and quit trying to break up their family.” Isn’t that a sad thing to have to say about your father?

      • “You put the kids first”, bet I know why you have to give the kids extra attention – he’s giving them hardly any! He’s busy with his Ho, only so much time to go around, and his is spent on his needs.
        Oh those demanding children, who need love and stuff. So Mom gives them the attention, and she short-changed His Royal Highness, WELL!
        Same old story, and good riddance to him MehMehDancer. Did it ever occur to him to help with the kids?

    • You hit the bulls eye. We have been given the narrative for so long how cheating is not that bad that almost everyone believes it. It’s truly been a shift in morals. It’s like people have this thought of how it is but don’t really know unless they’ve been through it. I never really bought into the cheating BS out there but it is everywhere. The thought that the spouse is responsible for the cheating somehow is the worst one!

    • Society as a whole is very indifferent to infidelity but when it’s your own family members that’s kind of painful. I never told my parents because their reactions would have been to the extreme and I just can’t deal with that drama in my life. It’s best that they just know he’s an ass for abandoning his family and leave it at that.

      I hate the excuse about putting the children first. Who exactly was he putting first with his choices? A stranger, that’s who.

      • That’s a good point ! And why is he even competing for attention with the kids ? Just blameshifting – gah !

    • @mehmehdancer You certainly won’t forget the betrayal. Whether or not to forgive is up to you. I chose not to, since he hasn’t asked it’s not an issue (the beauty of No Contact, the path to the truth and the light) but please remember that is a choice for you. Also, please remember that we are on your side.

      @Done4Good I had to tell my parents. It was the only way I was ever going to get my mother to see Narkles the Clown for something other than the sparkly person she had fallen in love with and often backed instead of me when I had doubts or feelings that something wasn’t right

      Also, I know a woman who is living with HIV due to her husband’s cheating. There is nothing anyone could say to me to normalize cheating and make it not so bad.

      • Sadly, it seems like society prefers blameshiftinf to the BS rather than sympathizing. It really boggles my brain . And it’s hard enough getting through each day, without being told that “U should have been a better wife/more mature/doll up/ kept tabs / checked his email/phone etc”.

        • I got the opposite type of OW friend involvement – so God only knows what cheater said about me to OW. Whore’s friend actually helped the whore. The skank in my situation deployed one of her “friends” to stalk my now XH and I while we had lunch. XH must have been telling whore that he couldn’t leave me until after I had knee surgery. Weekend before surgery, “friend” walks into restaurant (with her husband and young daughter). XH seems nervous – makes fun of friend as she walked toward our table. Friend stops by, introduces herself as my husband’s coworker. Asks tons of questions about my braced knee and surgery. He left me a few weeks later, after I had surgery and I was off crutches.

          Two months later, days after he served me with divorce papers (day before my 43rd Birthday), “friend” sends me a friend request on Facebook. I had become very suspicious, didn’t except her friend request as I had no idea who she was at that point. I wrote to her and asked how I knew her. She told me that we met at the Italian restaurant a few months ago and we have friends in common. I accepted her request. Long story short, I found out about Whore shortly after accepting FB request. This friend was besties with the Whore (in fact used to report to Whore at work). Guess whore wanted to verify my devastation. Takes a pretty f-ed up friend to do that kind of thing. Friend got to witness my outing the cheaters on FB to their coworkers. I also let former in-laws know about the incident. It didn’t do any good. Whore and XH were engaged a year after our 70 day divorce, married 18 months after divorce was final.

          • Are they teenagers?
            Who DOES that??
            Granted, I stalked APs’ Facebook pages for a while, but to introduce and friend request is beyond low.

            • Louisville Flower, exactly.

              I heard that whore is very insecure. How awful is it that my enemy knows more about me than I now about her. I wrote back to her friend and told her that normally, I’m receptive to new friends, but given the situation with her friend being romantically involved with MY husband, I will decline her request.

          • Pretty sure that your ex and his whore’s marriage will be miserable soon enough. She has her minions stalking him while he is still with his wife. That woman is crackers, definitely unhinged. She’ll keep him on a very short leash and be playing marriage police for the duration of their marriage. Loads of fun! Not to sound all new agey, but I really believe these things happen for a reason. If we accept, let go and move on I believe there are wonderful things in store for us. Them, not so much. The cheaters are stuck with one another and that in itself is pure misery. I don’t care how they spin it to the outside world.

            • KB22, Thanks and I totally agree with you. The whore is unhinged. My XH was not her first married man.

              She and he filed ROs against me after I sent a timeline of their affair to his parents. I also said some unflattering, but true, things to him about her/him in a text. Anyway, they’ve been married for 1 1/2 years now – openly together for over 3. Not sure when the affair began, because he denied it.

              I’ve moved on. I’m dating a man that is divorced amicably. He’s 10 times better than my XH in every way possible. I’m reaching the other side after 3 long years.

              • The RO’s are a great drama fix for these defects, so not surprising. For sending out a timeline? Give me a break. Hope the courts saw fit to toss out. Now that they do not have you to contend with they’ll have to fixate on someone else but I guarantee combustion is right around the corner for these nitwits. Glad to hear that you have moved on and found someone worth your time. All the best!

              • Thanks KB. My attorney told me NOT to fight the ROs. In my state, if you lose, they are criminal misdemeanors. If you don’t fight, they are just civil. She said not worth the risk. Also, he added lies to the RO, like stalking etc. I could have fought with proof, but you only have 10 days to prepare a trial. Not enough time to obtain phone records, texts, or subpoena witnesses. I let it go. They would have loved the drama to continue. I’m no longer their hypotenuse.

        • MehMehDancer, “And it’s hard enough getting through each day, without being told that “U should have been a better wife/more mature/doll up/ kept tabs / checked his email/phone etc.”

          This enrages me. Please forgive the swear words if they bother you, but anyone who says that needs a two-by-four upside the head. Here are a few of my answers, whose utterance should literally be followed by an about-face and hasty departure to anywhere they are not:

          Go. To. Hell. And don’t say one more word.

          Back the fuck up. And don’t say one more word.

          Who made you god of moronic statements? Don’t say one more word.

          Your village is missing its idiot. Go home. And don’t say one more word.

      • Sadly, it seems like society prefers blameshiftinf to the BS rather than sympathizing. It really boggles my brain . And it’s hard enough getting through each day, without being told that “U should have been a better wife/more mature/doll up/ kept tabs / checked his email/phone etc”.

    • Everyone here is on your side. That’s why I come here. Like everyone keeps posting, no one seems to take cheating seriously until it happens to them. I sometimes wonder if the people brushing it off are cheaters. I have no friends who are cheaters. They all have a good moral compass, or they most certainly would not be my friend. Why? Because if I were to be dating someone, who is to say that a friend’s wandering eyes wouldn’t be looking at my man?

    • You put the kids first and he surely doesn’t. Not such a good dad. Can’t people see through this bullshit?

  • I think about a few things, particularly with the experience that we’ve all gone through:

    1) When you deal with other people who are involved in affairs, it just reminds you of the shit that you went through on the other side of it. Call it triggering, or whatever. I hated dealing with those types of people even before my wife’s affair just because I had a girlfriend do it to me once before I got married. Then you hang out with them and their spouses, and they play nice and it’s all so fake, and God it’s just so depressing and uncomfortable. It just pisses me off. Why subject yourself to that on a constant basis?

    2) How can you be really good friends with somebody you don’t respect?

    3) And as a few folks have already pointed out, people in affairs obviously have an “every man/woman for themselves” type of attitude about life. They’re entitled to their personal happiness, and anyone getting in the way of that (spouses, children, friends, and yes, that includes you), is expendable. So if the need ever arises in her mind, you can count on her screwing you over before you even know what happened.

  • Dear FOANB,
    Id get a copy of Tracey’s book “Leave a cheater, gain a life” to the wife, give her a hug and then wipe my hands of the whole mess. She would not be the type of “friend” I would want in my life….. im sorry, but liars and cheats are not “nice” people. Thanks but id pass.

  • I’d quietly exit that friendship with zero fanfare, but not before dropping the wife a heads up memo. I’ve had no less than 3 friends try to pull the “star crossed lovers” “it just happened” nonsense when they met someone at work who made them feel like a special snowflake (unlike their hardworking boring spouses). I gave each a look into the future with a speech about dealing with these affair partners full time without the rose colored glasses on, everything new eventually becomes old again. Two friends straightened up and flew right after the reality check, the other decided “fate” wanted her and her work boyfriend to be together. I jettisoned her like last weeks cat litter. She ended up divorced, destitute, and dumped by her AP… Who went running back to his wife like his ass was on fire and she held the hose.

    • I was always slow to jettison that cat litter … I always thought I could get a day or two more use out of it. The cat let me know when it had been too long by pissing on my good couch. I’m pretty sure there is a very useful analogy somewhere in that anecdote.

  • Narcissistic friends can be fun, exciting and entertaining. These traits are why we are drawn to them and become friends. On the flip side (and there is always a flip side) they are draining, jealous, demanding and will screw you over in a NY second. If you find or are currently with a partner that you are truly happy with, watch out! They will drive a wedge between you even if they are not even attracted to your partner. They can’t stand anyone else’s happiness and have no conscience. Better to keep at arms length or just dump them altogether.

    • I think STBX cannot stand my happiness/positive vibe as I further develop my skills and confidence over time – which is probably why he kept trying to subtly undermine me at the time he fell ‘in wuv’ with Schmoopie.

      Come to think of it, I never once felt he raised me up. He always kept me down.

      • Good Riddance to him! They love to keep you down, hate any perceived competition. Your happiness and confidence will definitely annoy the hell out of him but I know for a fact what really irks them is total apathy. Never argue or engage with him, just shrug or kinda give him an eye roll and walk away at all times.

  • I agree with exiting stage left on this friendship. However, prior to this, I would get as much info that you can via text or email. Start with questions that revolve around your friendship….but which her answers will provide proof to the wife. IE: “Friend, I am really hurt that for over 2 years you denied any romantic relationship. Now you have told me your relationship has turned sexual. Could you please explain why you just weren’t honest with me?”

    **whatever her answer is….there is enough ‘proof’ to get the ball rolling with the wife.

  • FOANB,

    Dump this friend as of yesterday. No conversation required – just an setting yourself up for more gaslighting.

    I would, however, anonymously mail a copy of CL’s book to the WIFE as well as the directory for divorce attorneys in your area. SHE is the one who needs support here – not the creepy, predatory whore in your friend rolodex.

    Meanwhile, I’ll pray for the kids.

  • Drop her. She is not a friend. Friends dont lie to you and then insult you. Spend time with REAL friends who share your values, dont lie to you, and are not self obsessed. You will feel so much better!

  • I’d drop kick her cheating self to the curb. Then I would find the chumped wife on FB and send her a link to this website. Lose a cheater. Gain a life. That goes for disordered friends, too.

  • FOANB, I had to add my two cents briefly. About 10 years ago, I had a girlfriend who I met through work. This girl wanted all of the attention from guys and even the people who lived in the apartment above me. If there was a guy I found attractive that I was considering talking to, it was fair game to her. I introduced her to another gf of mine. She was fair game and now they are friends and I am friends with neither. According to my sister, she tried numerous times to hit on my now cheater XH. So there you have it… this ‘thing’ you call a friend will never be a friend to you. She is a narcissist who is looking for people to lift up her horrible thinking and if you have a different opinion, well then you are just dumb. Actually, she’s the dumb one and it’s about time that you exit that horrible friendship. BUT, not before you do as another chump suggested… text her and get as much info as you can like where they live, where she works, details of the affair, or something so that when you approach the poor wife of this dirtbag, she has something to go on. You can remain anonymous and also slowly exit that Narc B’s life for good. Sounds like it’s high time… Good luck!

  • Hi FOANB,

    There are two parts to your letter: what to do about the “friend” and what to do about her affair with Father of Three.

    ChumpLady is right; you need to decide what kind of person is acceptable to you as a friend. It sounds as if you truly disapprove of what this woman is doing. She’s refusing to take responsibility for her actions and gaslighting you. She makes you feel uncomfortable.

    Is this someone you want to hang out with?

    If not, then you can start to disengage from her. Don’t make phone calls to her, don’t text her, don’t initiate contact. If she’s truly a narcissistic bitch, then she won’t notice, as her world revolves around her and your function as her “friend” is to pay attention to her. If she doesn’t get those kibbles from her, she’ll get them from elsewhere. That’s what narcs do.

    This doesn’t mean that you can’t be civil with her at larger social gatherings. It does mean that you can choose not to include her in your gatherings, and you can opt not to attend smaller venues she attends. If anyone does notice that you’re cooler toward her, you can tell the truth: that you’re uncomfortable around someone who is willing to help another person violate his marital vows, but you aren’t going to foist your views on other people.

    You might look at your other friends. As KB22 observes, narcissistic friends can be fun and exciting, but they are also very high maintenance. You can count on them at a large party, as they always have something to say, but you can’t count on them as close friends and confidantes, as they lack the kind of empathy that a true friend would have.

    So, the ball is in your court with respect to what you want to do with your friend. It doesn’t sound as if you like her much, so if that’s the case, yes, you have permission to dump her. 😉

    The second issue is what to do about the wife. Chump Nation is clear that the faithful spouse should be made aware of the affair. Please know that you don’t need to prove the affair takes place. All you do is let her know that OW confessed she was having an affair with the husband and said that the wife knows. You felt obligated to report what you’d heard, as you’d want someone to let you know if the situation were reversed.

    Once you’ve reported the affair, then it’s up to the wife as to what she wants to do. She may ask you for details. You can tell her what you know, but don’t be surprised if she’s in a state of denial. A lot of Chumps don’t want to believe and will try to seek definitive “proof.” That’s okay. Send her here, and you’ll have done what you need to do.

  • One of my Cheater Ex’s work colleagues outed his affair to me. He was a complete stranger who had the balls to approach me one day when I was waiting in my car outside ex’s office. I am everlastingly grateful to him for that information which quite literally saved my life…because Cheater and OW were in the early stages of drip feeding me poisoned food. I shudder to think what the outcome might have been if that young man hadn’t acted on his morals.

    To the OP, definitely ghost your “friend” but then if she’s a true narc, she’ll eventually devalue and ghost you anyway.

    Although it would cause pain, that wife needs to know the situation so she can line up her legal matters before she gets left hanging.

    • Whoa! They were actually beginning to poison you? Where did they think they were, on IDTV? I’m so glad you were able to disengage safely. Did you notify any law enforcement?

  • Is there a shortage of men out there? I mean seriously, in my books, a man with 3 young kids AND a wife who ACTIVELY cultivates additional sexual partners is not an OK guy. He is pretty gross aka a fucktard.

    Like all of us, I have watched my friends make some pretty questionable dating and relationship choices. If it was one of my friends, I would have a frank conversation that you are worried that this relationship will end in heartbreak for her. Plus, it is not a very cool thing to do to those kids.

    I echo the other recommendations that you should tell his wife.

    I was once the OW for a very brief time during my singledom. The man I was dating told me he was single — but he still had a girlfriend (and possibly wasn’t divorced from his second wife). I was not interested in being with another cheater (my XH) nor being part of a harem. Life is too damn short!

  • Personally, I would not be friends with a cheater. It is a deal breaker for me. But not everyone feels that way. A very good and kind friend of mine, who went through her own hell with her cheating husband, is best friends with a woman who is having a long term affair with her married boss. I think it is completely crazy but I can’t judge my friend’s choice. She is sincerely a good person and I just don’t understand how she can friends with a (old fashioned word but true) home wrecker. The other thing is- I was in a group of close married friends (long before I knew that my husband was cheating, or maybe before he was) and one of the husbands was cheating. The rest of us knew about it and decided not to tell our friend, the wife. We didn’t tell because the wife was very ill and derived a lot of pride and esteem from her husband’s position as an eminent surgeon. We thought she might have known and chose to ignore it, and further, that it would wreck her ‘nice’ life if it was out in the open. So we didn’t didn’t say anything to her. She died at the age of 48 from juvenile diabetes and we never told her. He was very cruel to her as she had one leg amputated and then another, and suffered terribly. He married his AP before the body was cold and took the new wife on a skiing trip to Colorado. Can’t make this shit up. She hit a tree while skiing and was rendered a quadripelegic. They divorced and he is now married to wife number three. She better watch her back. Were we wrong not to tell? I don’t know. I don’t think I would have believed it if anyone had told me that the love of my life had a long time girlfriend. I don’t think I was ready to know even when I knew. But, I digress. I would not be friends with a cheater. In my case, I blame the sad and terrible nights on both of them. They both knew what they were doing, how it hurt me and my son, and they did it anyway. Fuck them both.

    • The Owife you mentioned is now a quadriplegic and she has been dumped. I guess she was too much of an inconvenience for the cheater surgeon. I often wonder if the OW who eventually becomes the wife, gets screwed over/dumped ever ponders that she may have had it coming? I have mentioned a couple of examples in past posts of certain couples that came together through affairs and all ended badly. One of the Owives is always posting how she is the victim, has been screwed over, etc. I wonder if she ever reflects on how she gleefully took part in taking her ex from his wife and kids. How smug she was that she “won” and flaunted the relationship in the then wife’s face. Well her now ex has moved on and no matter how hard she tries to provoke him, get his attention or make him feel guilty, he is not moved in the least. He’s done and she has been discarded.

  • I’m sorry, but I have to make this last comment. Think carefully before you tell the wife. It may not be your story to tell and she may not want to hear it.

    • Hi L&F, you raise a good point. The wife may not believe the OP if she does tell, but the seed will be planted. The BW may start taking a closer look at things and have a few of those ah-ha moments that we all have had (however unpleasant).

      Furthermore, if she’s not friends with the wife now, the wife won’t end their friendship, and she’d lose a friend (or friends) like I did when I caught Cheater #2 with OW. Turns out all our biking buddies were enablers. Fuck them all and I understand now that another marriage has gone rocky over infidelity. Birds of a feather and all that, I guess.

  • For me it was true I think that unless infidelity happens to you or you see the effects of it close up you just don’t get the depth of the pain. Having become a recent chump it has caused me to reflect on all of the people I knew in my life who were cheated on and how much I bought into their ‘I’m fine’ outward appearances. I did not guess how much they were hurting, how devastated they were and how very brave they were just to be getting out of bed every day to do what needed to be done. I bought into the he/she must have contributed in some way to the collapse of the marriage or the myth that ‘they just fell in love’. I try not to be too judgy about the friends who have been a bit useless because they are where I used to be. They have not been through it and so don’t get it.
    Needless to say I have been on steep leaning curve.
    The friends that have helped me most are chumps themselves and through this experience I can see that my husband picker was rubbish but that my friend one was too.
    I have had many friends over the years who have basically sucked me dry and then moved on when in their words I became too ‘needy’ or in other words I wanted a more reciprocal relationship. I have a lot of work to do on my own estimation of my own value both with friends and possible future partners.
    But I think that I will find it impossible to unknow and not behave differently now. I could not be friends with a cheater, I would always try to out a cheater, I would try to support someone who is going through this hell. And I will be loud and proud as someone who has been chumped and is not taking any shame or blame for it.
    I refuse to hide my chump light under a bushel!! Not too sure what a bushel is but you won’t find me hiding my light under one!

    I filed today. Feeling a teeny bit mighty in between the crying jags.

    Much love to all chumps.

  • The WIFE DOES NOT KNOW!!!! My cheating bastard husband and his FUCKbuddy both told her husband that I knew all about them and was ok with it. Her husband was very upset when I found out a year later about the affair and called him. He felt horrible that he didn’t reach out to tell me before. Call the poor wife and fill her in the fuckeduppedness of your friend and her lying cheating bastard of a husband.

    • Yep, I’ll second this one, tell the wife! Same thing happened to me. My husband’s MOW lied and told her husband that I already knew everything so he wouldn’t contact me. He did eventually reach out to me, but the affair had already been going on for eight months at that point, and gee, I wish I had known sooner…

  • I have personally struggled with this. I have only come to realize recently that I didn’t really have a ‘standard’ I expected of my friends.

    I knew what I was about but I didn’t really judge people based on what they did. Didn’t even realize what they did would reflect on me.

    I had a long list of friends of varying character flaws and didn’t really kick them out of my life when they did bad things. And I made excuses for them. I also gave them feelings and depth of character that they just didn’t have. It took me only till recently to realize that I had done this my whole life. Giving people value when they didn’t really have any.

    I didn’t have strong boundaries or feel that I Should judge people for what they were doing. I judged them but then accepted it as their ‘choice’.

    It’s no surprise I picked a handsome sparkly bpd character corrupt partner. And gave him more character then he really had. Make believe. Going through all the seriousness of getting sick and not being sure I was going to live, it really forced me to evaluate who was in my life for the right reasons and why they were there and what they brought to the table when I needed them.

    I hadn’t realized I had standards and a moral compass but didn’t expect anyone else too. I hadn’t really needed people for anything in the past or then going out or company. If they wanted to be ‘friends’, then we were friends to some degree. I didn’t even take into account that I had a set of standards at all to ask of people.

    I guess this just goes to show how being abused as a child by disordered parents can affect you in your ability to make choices as an adult. I’m really working hard on that now.

    As I have now come to the other side of the split from my x, I basically have no more friends. A few people from other states I touch base with but I completely amputated my old life and the dead weight. What a waste of my life.

    I now realize our mutual friends looked the other way. Who does that? Shitty humans. Who lets me the chump be fighting for my life with cancer while they know he’s cheating and lets me hang in the wind? Shitty humans.

    Lessons learned. Really learned. The hard way.

    • Chumpedtothe9thdegree, I was not abused by disordered parents, but I approached the notion of friendship just as you did. I got picked instead of picking.

      I was raised in a rural location with few people to choose from. I am a bit more introverted, so showing passivity meant a lot of isolation. In addition, they adopted similar behaviours within this small cohort that I didn’t identify with it. After leaving, if there was any overture of friendship I agreed. Not good. Interesting, but not good.

      Now, I am discerning. I feel, at times, almost cunning. And I notice that there is very little resistance evoked by distancing, especially if I am not feeding their preferred kibbles any longer. Cluster Bs are opportunistic feeders.

    • You are mighty, Chumpedtothe9th. You have survived the abusive childhood, the split from the ex, and cancer. You might not feel like an inspiration, but you are one. We can’t wait to see what you will do and become now that you are aware, working on knowing and loving yourself, and are cheater free. Shine on, bright star, shine on.

      • Thank you for the kind words everyone! Things we learn!

        I feel like I am waking up the inner voice in me. I’m timid but I want to set boundaries and mean it. People don’t see me as timid – they say I have a strong personality. But they really don’t know me inside. The person who wants to set standards and mean it. I’m not her yet. I’ve let everyone ‘slide’ – my value I know in work and skills, but in my personal life I’m a sad marshmallow.

        I don’t think I would have blown my life up if he didn’t find out I checked his phone and saw it all and he caught me. I would have stayed thinking it was what I deserved. Believe it or not- as bad as it got- it was the most love I had from a person in my life in a relationship. I didn’t think I could have more. I told myself it was good in so many ways to belong somewhere. He told me he loved me 10 times a day- but at the end I couldn’t feel it.

        I still glitch out when I try to accept that the person I loved so much really lied, cheated, bad mouthed me and abandoned me while I was fighting for my life. Pathetically I was breaking right in front of him. I cried, I begged him to talk to me. He shut me out. The more I cried, the more he got pissed. He told me to shut the fuck up and stop complaining about my cancer. He was over it. I was no fun anymore.

        As far as the ow ( the 10 of them) – I found out he told them we were not together any more- that he was being a ‘good guy’ and staying I. Out place with me to be kind. Wtf?

        Some scars may never heal. I hope I can get over it- but I’m still deeply sad and mad.

        I’m for telling the other woman. -anonymously like ‘ hey get checked for stds -your husband has been sleeping with my friend’ ?then you can know you told her .

        • Chumpedtothe9th, you have described my behaviour and low expectations perfectly. I never felt like I deserve better than the people who picked me, was fairly shy and brought up in shame of my situation and surrounded by lies.

  • Chumpedtothe9th
    You are not alone in this lifetime habit. I am still like this to some degree. I didn’t realise either that I could and should expect things of people – who knew right! I also had a ‘difficult childhood’ (British understatement) that left me with boundaries about a foot deep! No height at all.
    And my STBX wasn’t even sparkly!! He was ‘nice’. Hmmmm not so much.
    There are great and fabulous and wonderful humans out there and for some reason they all seem to congregate here ! ?
    I am sorry that you hurt so much, that you have been ill and that you had sucky friends.
    But from now on you can choose. And you are beginning to see that there is a different life ahead of you that you get to people with good people.
    And you don’t need many good people to make a huge difference. I have two great friends and my boys and lots of acquaintances that are ok with to talk about the weather. I have no family of origin people I care to know but it’s ok.
    We have a great cat and I’m great too, I enjoy my own company ?
    And you have the mighty chump nation here. We have your back.
    You will get that life you want and deserve.

    • Not all psychopaths and sociopaths, and general deviants “sparkle” . They come in a lot of different variations, under broad categories of Overt and Covert. The “nice” ones can’t or won’t sparkle so you don’t notice til it’s too late. I personally find the Coverts much more dangerous.

      • Anita, you have described my ex perfectly. No sparkles, nice, not loud, very quiet, etc. etc. As you state, the Covert ones are much more dangerous. Bingo !!

        • Totally agree. Cockroach is the definition of a covert narcissist, and NOBODY ever expected what was brewing so silently within him. Terrifying to be with a monster who masquerades as a nice guy.

        • Plus the added bonus of other’s telling you that “maybe you’re wrong” about the evil shit the covert did to you. Deliberately. Or maybe you “misunderstood” (insert incident or behaviour). Xhole didn’t sparkle, he was more … tapioca.

  • I’m not sure I clearly understand the nuances of being judgemental over making judgements (something about assumptions and measuring standards and blah blah blah). I can however be clear about who, how and when I spend my time and it won’t be with serial killers, pedophiles, racists, misogynists, fat shamers, affair partners, affair helpers, Switzerland friends and probably a number of other people for a number of reasons. Old age and chumpdom have taught me many things about where I want my energies to lie, so I might be judgy as hell or someone with healthier boundaries and limited time. Maybe both.

  • My grandmother is gone 25 years now, but God rest her soul, she always cautioned us about who our friends were…”Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are”, she would always say.

    Get rid of her…she is showing you who she is right now and that is not someone you want around…

  • Friend of a N.B. – There are times when it might make sense to be friends with someone who has made the mistake of having an affair. This isn’t one of them. Your friend lied to you and gaslighted you. She isn’t sorry. She is happy to make the wife miserable. She doesn’t care about the kids. She has not intention of stopping. She knew what she was getting into.

  • Dear Friend of a Narcissist Bitch,

    If you’re signing your letter “Friend of a Narcissist Bitch,” I think you’ve answered your own question.

    Drop her like a bad habit. Yesterday!

  • Last year I was the wife who was given the ultimatum, and God did that hurt. It was unbearable watching him get ready for a night out knowing he was going to see her, knowing that I hadn’t been worth buying new clothes to impress (ever by the way) but to impress her he practically bought a whole new wardrobe. That they were out eating at the nicest restaurants in town while I was eating spaghetti with the munchkins. I tolerated it for about a month and then refused to take any more. I told him that I was done living like this and he had to give her up. He wanted to know what other “unreasonable expectations” I would have in order to stay. That night he decided he was secure enough with her that he could let me go. So he did. 18 months on and I see he did me an enormous favour and she is now having to eat some pretty giant shit sandwiches. I feel sorry for her but it is now her choice to stay. Thing is your friend will realise soon enough that this “prize” she has won has the equivalent value of a happy meal toy and is just as exclusive. I just hope the wife gets out and runs for it before that happens.

  • – wife doesn’t know she’s in an open marriage.
    – there is no way that this affair has only just become sexual after 3 years.

    she’s drawing you into the drama. i say ditch her.

  • I’m surrounded by cheaters in my personal life and my work life and by cheater apologists and supporters. I have no recourse. I’ve told hr my concerns, but nothing came of it. I live in hell at work. Getting to “see how an affair starts”, getting to see how “some cheaters, just don’t know what they really want”, because they don’t want to lose their “sugar momma”, co-worker “covering” for the cheater because “there is nothing going on”. Ugh it gets really ugly in real life!!

  • An open marriage is not negotiated when someone decides to bring an affair into the open. Open marriages and polyamorists decide the parameters of those relationships prior to any other parties being involved.

    Also, if the wife was presented with the ultimatum of open marriage or divorce, she probably had no idea about the affair. Successful open marriages are not started with ultimatums. That is a powerful move for manipulation and control.

    Either way, its a totally unhealthy dynamic of cheating, manipulation, and control on the husbands part. What a despicable man, just wanting to justify getting his dick wet.

    As for the friend, she sounds lame. Move on. Maybe she will grow up when this all blows up in her face. Its not your lesson to learn, and you don’t control her. The lesson for you is why are you tolerating such a friend? Focus on what you can control and change. It would be a healthier, more productive focus. Sometimes when you get busy wjith your own life, these things don’t bother you as much.

  • I have been following this with great interest. I have a close relationship with a woman who has been having an affair with a married man, she is married with two small boys and he is married with two children also. Her marriage has broken up and his wife kicked him out and they are trying to sort things out. The affair is still going on and she shameless tells me when he’s round for sex. I haven’t got the strength to tell my back story but my husband has regularly visited prostitutes and collected vast amounts of porn and god only knows what else the whole 18 years we have been together. She knows all this.

    I know you all will stay dump her but what do you do if she is your daughter? How do you walk away from your child?

    Sorry if there is typos but today is rather hard.

    • You can make it clear that you don’t tolerate her infidelity by refusing to listen when she wants to talk about the topic. Talk to her seriously and tell her that you don’t support that kind of relationship, and that she needs to learn how to value herself – man or without man – that she can stand on her own and be mighty for her kids.

      Just my two cents.

    • Beth, sorry you are in this impossible situation!!! Wow- I’m thinking this is harder because she has in effect been acting like your ex husband so she learned it from him.

      For me- I explained to my daughter how I’ve been learning my lessons the hard way and I don’t want that for her. I’d tell the truth and tell her ‘I love you’ but I’m not Iok with your behavior.

      Children are suffering and families are being ruined. She needs to understand that which it sounds like she isn’t even considering. I’d tell my daughter to do better than her father and to understand that there is another woman like me having her life blown up because of ‘sex’.

      I’d tell her I’ve set new boundaries in my life and I’m not ok with what shes doing. ‘ ‘Until you stop, I can’t be hearing anything about it. I can’t babysit the children for ‘sex’ parties. Because that’s chumpy and I’m no longer a chump.’

      I feel for you?

    • Beth, you say you haven’t told her your back story. I take it that’s her dad’s back story too. Why don’t you? Do you feel she would side with him and not understand how hurt you are? Do you have other children? I sincerely hope for you that you have someone you can have a truly close relationship with and who has values similar to yours. At the moment I wouldn’t say you have a truly close relationship with your daughter. It is based on a painful compromise on your part on top of the hurt you have already been through. How long ago was DDAY? If she had known maybe she wouldn’t do what she is doing.

  • I have made it very clear to friends and co-workers to never put me in a position to feel uncomfortable meeting or knowing their significant other. What do you do if your friend physically abuses their spouse? There is no difference. Sorry society not buying it. Just another unsophisticated puritan judgey judge here.

  • Since my own piece of shit destroyed 25 years of marriage on Dday with the dessert bombe of “you should have known 25 years ago that you’d be collateral damage” and his insistence that the marriage counselor we went to once convince me that if I really loved him, I’d let him have his OTHER relationship because it wasn’t an affair, he was “in love” and I shouldn’t be so morally rigid, and allow him to have us both cos he “couldn’t make up his mind”-this after TWO weeks of knowing this predatory 4 times married plus several affairs sociopath (good matching up, Universe!) and his love for her was SEPARATE from his love for me, which is why it all made perfect sense…so I will say this to him if I wasn’t already NO CONTACT: you selfish, cruel, amoral,lying cheating narcissist, that slunty whore is the perfect side dish to your shitty word salad.

  • I wish the people we knew in common would have told me my sociopath ex had been cheating on me, but as I think back, all of his friends and co-workers who knew were cheaters themselves. Those seemed to be his only friends. What a surprise, huh? I have zero interest in hanging out with anyone who knowingly dates another person in a relationship. It’s a major character flaw and a disgusting sign of self entitlement. I have a hard time being around anyone who feels their happiness trumps others and will destroy innocent people in pursuit of their own selfish needs. I have definitely ended friendships because of this and I have flat out told them (women) why. I truly hope karma will come after people who are liars/cheats. So far, I haven’t seen karma kick anyone, yet, but I know the best I can do is just try to move on….

  • Being chumped is definitely an eye opener in many ways. When my own long-term marriage imploded due to aggravated infidelity (aggravated being the type where an out-of-wedlock child is conceived) and I let my closest friends know what was going on, the result was fascinating. Most of my best and truest friends were horrified and stopped having anything to do with my husband.

    However, a few long-time friends did not. They wanted to be friends with both of us.

    It took me a while to realize that the majority of the people who hung in with my cheating husband were cheaters themselves. This type of situation separates us clearly into two types of people–the ones who think cheating is OK (and their long-suffering, heads-in-the-sand, chumpy spouses) because they ARE cheaters, and the ones like all of us here in Chump Nation who would never cheat in a million years.

    That said, I would never stay friends with someone who even had an emotional affair with a married man with three kids. (I’d like to think I’d never be friends with someone like that in the first place, but then look who I married…)

    Also, in the past I have made the mistake of not telling chump friends of infidelity that I knew was going on but they didn’t. Now that I’ve been through what I’ve been through, I won’t make that mistake ever again.

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