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.