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My Best Friend Is an Affair Person

broken heartHi Chump Lady,

I got chumped many years ago during my first marriage, and I wish I’d had you back then (would have saved me years of anguish and therapy bills). It was a very ugly situation where my then-husband had a long-term affair and then left me a week before Thanksgiving… and brought his affair partner to his family’s house to celebrate the holiday. 1998 was not my favorite year.

But that is old business. I’m writing today because I’m feeling terribly conflicted about my best friend’s behavior, and I’m uncertain what to do.

This woman, “BF,” and I have known each other our entire lives — our mothers grew up together, and our grandmothers were friends from the neighborhood. We are “third generation” friends. We both had shitty dads. BF’s parents split up when she was 2, my mother kicked my dad out when I was 6. For many years after that, we were a kind of family (like Kate and Allie, except we didn’t live together and there was no little brother). My mother remarried when I was 12, BF’s mother has never remarried. BF and I both had flawed, difficult marriages in our 20s/30s. I eventually remarried and had a daughter. She has remained single.

Now we are in our early 50s. I am deeply in love with my husband of almost 20 years, our daughter is a bright, fun, talented teenager, and we are devoted to each other and happy as a family. BF has been single since her divorce 16 years ago. She has had relationships, traveled, and has invested her money well such that she doesn’t need to work. She owns an apartment in Manhattan. She is athletic, slim and trim, and wears clothes beautifully. She has an amazing head of hair. She is considerate and generous.

Despite everything wonderful she’s got going for her, she has been the affair partner of a married man for the past 5 years. This is not the first time she’s been an affair partner — for many years she was in a relationship with a man who has a common-law wife, but they no longer have a physical relationship and she now considers him one of her “best friends.” These are the two I know about.

When she talks to me about these affairs, my stomach clenches. She tells me about how these men love their wives but the sex is gone, and that she believes this is true of MOST if not all women in long term relationships. That she is not responsible for the wellbeing or safety of the women who are married to the men she is with. That these men talk about how special she is, and how they’ve never felt such a connection to anyone in their lives. And as an extra special punch in the gut, I learned a week ago that despite being hypervigilant about Covid precautions, she was also meeting the married man for sex in a hotel during the pandemic, but it was ok becasue the hotel is a luxury, upscale venue and was nearly empty, she trusts him, he gets tested all the time, and she needed to be touched.

I am no fool and I read what I just wrote and realize my BF is behaving awfully. We do not share values, ethics, or morals. I think it’s disgusting, to be honest. And on top of that, she watched me suffer through my own chumpification — including suicidal ideation, depression, rage, anxiety, and having to rebuild my life from the ruins.

So here’s my question — do I go no contact with this person who is the closest thing I have ever had to a sister? Do I tell her I am horrified by who she’s become? Do I ask her to stop talking to me about her dalliances and keep the rest of her? I love her so much, she’s not cheating on me, we have a long history, and I don’t know any of the people involved.

Would love your advice.

Signed,

My Best Friend is an Affair Partner

Dear Friend,

I’m hearing you have a lot of shared history with someone who makes your stomach clench. And I’m hearing a lot about her, and not much about you.

she watched me suffer through my own chumpification — including suicidal ideation, depression, rage, anxiety, and having to rebuild my life from the ruins.

What sort of friend was she to you then? Supportive? You said she “watched” you suffer. A curious way to put it. She was there, but at a remove? Was she emotionally invested in your suffering? Righteously upset on your behalf that your then-husband could treat you this way?

Perhaps to see a friend chumped solidified her Chump Is Loser narrative. (Versus the cheater is the loser and the chump is someone who was conspired against and victimized.) Look, that’s the conventional take on cheating — winners, losers, the glamorously star-crossed, the pathetically chumped. You’d hope your real life PAIN would take some of the gloss off that, but maybe that’s how she sees it — this unfortunate thing happened to you, and in this scenario, she’d rather be in the power seat. The actor. Not the acted upon. As if relationships were zero sum games.

The irony to me in this, is that YOU actually moved on and are happy. You invested in a new life. Found love, had a child. Whereas BF is still stuck in some pick-me-dance hell cycle she tries to dress up as sophistication. Okay, she’s wildly desired. Yeah. Every other Wednesday. As a side piece no one is ever introduced to.

When she talks to me about these affairs,

Why does she talk to you about these affairs? Why do you let her? Are you trying to spare her feelings, Friend? Because she sure as hell isn’t sparing yours. She knows you were chumped! She witnessed your suffering!

She tells me about how these men love their wives but the sex is gone

This is the oldest line in the book. Is this sex really gone? I doubt it. But let’s avoid the dead bedroom rabbit hole (if you’re unhappy, get out! make new arrangements! speak! buy toys! don’t endanger the health and well-being of someone you purport to care about! use your words not your genitals!) … BF is telling you she’s okay not being loved (they love their wives), she’s content being used for sex.

And she’s telling you, she’s okay conspiring with these men against their wives. For dead-end sex that may be hot, but is squeezed in between some man’s Primary Schedule. As I’ve said before about OW, they suck the dick of the patriarchy. Perhaps she tells herself she is using them. (Fuck the COVID! I want to be touched!) She’s bought into this power structure. She thinks she’s a power player. She’s Wednesday.

and that she believes this is true of MOST if not all women in long term relationships.

They don’t put out? So they deserved to be lied to, fucked around on, and have their health risked? Is this what she tells herself? That the wives deserve this because they Won’t Have Sex? (But they’re loved! How unfair!) But she Will Have Sex, so this makes her superior.

That these men talk about how special she is, and how they’ve never felt such a connection to anyone in their lives.

Flattery is cheaper than paying a hooker.

And as an extra special punch in the gut, I learned a week ago that despite being hypervigilant about Covid precautions, she was also meeting the married man for sex in a hotel during the pandemic, but it was ok because the hotel is a luxury, upscale venue and was nearly empty, she trusts him, he gets tested all the time, and she needed to be touched.

Hey, so long as it was a luxury hotel.

GAH! Didn’t your head explode? Why aren’t you deflecting this gut punch?

“BF, I’m horrified that you’re taking these kind of risks, and worse, putting this man’s family at risk. You don’t need this douchebag. Find someone ethical to touch you. Hell, you can get a massage now if you’re vaccinated. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?!”

We do not share values, ethics, or morals. I think it’s disgusting, to be honest.

Right. So what do you share, besides history?

do I go no contact with this person who is the closest thing I have ever had to a sister?

I think first you give her a chance to know how you feel about all of this. It sounds like you’ve kept your mouth shut. And I wonder if you aren’t being chumpy with her, because you fear the answer. That your feelings don’t weigh very heavily on her. You seem at pains not to lose her (a woman you don’t share values with who upsets your stomach when not metaphorically punching it). But she doesn’t seem at pains not to lose you. Test that.

Do I tell her I am horrified by who she’s become?

Yes. But I’d couch it in language of — is this relationship bringing out your best self? Is this who you really want to be? Are these your values? I got mine, fuck everyone else?

And I’d fill her in on the chump experience — that unknowing “sexless” wife of her affair partner — what that abuse feels like. Does she care? No?

That entitlement is a very ugly look.

Do I ask her to stop talking to me about her dalliances and keep the rest of her?

Do you compartmentalize well?

I love her so much, she’s not cheating on me, we have a long history, and I don’t know any of the people involved.

Not knowing the people involved is irrelevant. YOU are involved! This is about YOU being pressed into affair conspiracy with BF. A CHUMP. She wants YOU of all people to be her confidant and not judge her after knowing what you suffered.

You can pass that cup. You can knock it off the table. Stick up for yourself.

BF, I don’t want to hear another word about this sick thing you have with Alfred. Don’t press me into your affair secrets. You’re conspiring in the abuse of his wife. I was once a wife like that, and the pain was so bad I thought about killing myself. So, yes, I judge you. I don’t know why you would do this to another person. Or choose such an unworthy person to invest years of your life in. I’ve lost respect for you. 

And see how she reacts. You’ve eaten a lot of shit sandwiches. Spit it out. See if she can handle your truth.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • When we are chumpy, we tend to be chumpy across the board…at work, with friends, family.

    OP seems to see a false dichotomy of “accept AP friend fully or abandon her”…I think there is a middle ground of something like CL said. In life, sometimes we NEED the balanced people in our lives pointing out that we’re off course.

    The OP might lose this friend for a season (likley…the lies we tell ourselves to justify bad behavior go deep) or maybe OP could help her see that she is complicit in abuse. Either way, something needs to change

    • Yep! Chumpy across the board….time to spit out the shit sandwich and stop being a chump! And, staying in chumpy situations is toxic. I know that sounds harsh but MBFAP needs boundaries asap!

      • Yes, I have been guilty of being chumpy. I didn’t realize it until all this stuff happened to me. I am trying really hard to not associate any longer with these people. I have noticed I am the person people call to brag about what they have to because I have always been nice and complimented people and showed interest. It’s never a two-way street, just them using me for kibbles.

        Relating to this, what I guess would be one of my best friends got caught having an affair (I had no idea). I am cordial to him, if he txt me I might say hi back, but that’s as far as it goes.

    • “chump across the board” This!!!

      I am struggling with this today so very relevant. I have discovered that most of my close friends, while not cheaters, really are quite self centered. Fuckwit never liked them and while part of that is him isolating me, I also see now that there was a competition to control me.

      The issue that arose yesterday was my former best friend who I met in a mom’s group after the birth of my oldest nearly 28 years ago contacted me because her daughter is graduating from medical school. This would all seem good and normal but she sent out red flags after fuckwit left by making the comment that “everyone lies.” Uh, no, I don’t lie and I certainly NEVER lied to fuckwit. We were not talking in the context of answering “do these jeans make me look fat?”

      I should add that this friend moved 3000 miles away 25 years ago and we have had only intermittent contact over the years. So after the lie comment and my realization that she only contacts me when she needs something, I decided to go gray rock. It has been effective for me. Yesterday she texted me to let me know her DD is graduating from medical school. She sent me a picture of me, her, another friend and our dd’s from when they were 2yo and asked if I would post it on an app, which is some sort of virtual greeting card, because she liked it and she didn’t know if I had this pic. I was so annoyed, because picking a picture (I litrally have a hundred pics as this was my oldest child’s first best friend) would be the fun part. So now, I have no desire to do this and have not even responded to the text. I am thinking I do not miss this friend in my life. I wrote her off as ever being a close friend after the everyone lies comment. I would not chose the picture that she chose (funny it was taken in my house at the time). She is just wanting to send some message to a bunch of people that I do not know and why should I be her tool for that. I am leaning towards just ignoring and she can drop me but somehow I think she will hoover back if she wants something else.

      • Really do need to cut users out of your our lives. I cut contact with my sister due to that. Everytime she contacted me even my ex wife would ask what is she looking for now. Money usually. Anyway I did a lot for her over the course of two years or so as she had a serious medical issue and when the shoe was on the other foot there she did not lift a finger to help me at all. I purged her and several others.

    • I had this happen to me with a friend while going through my divorce.

      She was separated from her ex for a very long time and had been having an affair with a married man. She spoke a lot about how she could let the man’s wife know about the affair (lovely of her, right?). This friend promised that she was no longer sleeping with this man; it was just a co-worker relationship.

      I was quite vocal about my opinion of “other women”, of her wanting to hurt the wife and maintaining a non-sexual relationship with this married man. I explained that friendship with me required her telling me the truth so I could feel safe in our friendship. She saw every bit of pain I was going through.

      A few months passed and I found out she was still in a relationship with this guy. I reminded her that honesty and integrity were values I needed to count on with every person in my life. Then I walked away and never looked back.

      Long-term friends are the same. Keep the good memories you have of the years together, be honest about you you need to end the friendship and then walk away. There is no shortage of better people more aligned with your values who would love your friendship and will add to your life instead of bringing you aggravation.

    • So true! Maybe chumps tolerate bad character more, whether it is in a marriage or a friendship, or even as a mother to an adult child? Of course, “some” chumps find out about their cheating partner and they immediately end it. But, many of us do drag it out with hopium – hoping that they aren’t that bad, not wanting to appear “judgey”, suspicious, or disagreeable. I agree with Chump Lady, that maybe you are also a chump in this relationship with your best friend, insecure that if you express what is on your heart, that your friend will shun you?

      I would be 100% straight with her about the pain that she is causing, and that she can do so much better for herself. See how it goes. Then, reassess the friendship once you are the one sharing what’s on your heart about her damaging (and, quite frankly dangerous) behavior. So far, the letter indicates that you are silent about your thoughts, yet she has no problem assuming that you think what she is doing is grande. Tell her you’ll be there for her, and that she can call you if she is tempted to see a married man (like an alcoholics anonymous sponsor), suggest therapy for her. If she turns on you or lies to you, then you know that she just needed you to be her agreeable enabling friend. Hope this helps.

  • “The OW sucks the dick of the patriarchy.” Beautifully put. For millenia, men have relied on women’s lesser economic and social power to allow them to cheat and get away with it. Thank god things are changing. And thank you for this wonderful advice about expressing the writer’s truth to her friend. Thank you!

    • Love that ‘The OW sucks the dick of the partiarchy.’ Can that be made into a meme?

    • Yesterday I commented on the fact that I didn’t even realize I had a bias in regards to hearing about women being cheated on in the past. I had never considered it being the man’s fault because I totally bought that it WAS the woman’s fault – She couldn’t ‘keep her man’….I had simply absorbed that conclusion and had never challenged it.

      When it happened to me, ie became personal….my initial response was that it WAS my fault. I did believe that but luckily I had friends who wouldn’t let me believe that and eventually, some 12 months later, I found LACGAL and my eyes were ripped wide open and they continue to be opened.

      As a female I have to think too about how we are so quick to abandon our own, to turn on one another in-order to gain power- whatever that power may be.

      I remember reading The Diary of Ann Frank as an adult and was shocked by the things she wrote about her mother. As a child I hadn’t paid any attention to that part, as an adult I read it through different eyes.

      She was a 12 year old child entering puberty and, of course, her mother was her enemy – that biological/psychological thing we go through as we mature. That thing that takes us over.

      Maturity helps us grow out of that but I think that competitive thing lingers deep in our psyche. Some people handling it better than others.

      Being chumped has made me go over my entire history with a fine tooth comb and I am seeing things I never would have seen otherwise.

      One is my reaction to my own parents divorce. My father left. I was 10. At that age some part of me knew he had the power and that for my survival I needed to align myself with that power in any way I could.

      On the day he left, my image of my mother changed instantly. She had been a strong force in my life and suddenly she became a weakling. I realize I lost respect for her because of what he did.

      A shift that was totally driven by a survival instinct as a social creature. As a social creature it is not safe to be identified with someone who has been cast out. Oldest story in history and now I know it first hand and when I saw how that played out in me, in my own life, I was gobsmacked.

      This stuff goes deep. It feels good to be seeing it in the light of day. I don’t think I ever would have had I not been chumped.

      I hope my mother knows somehow that I see her and all that she did and endured differently now. She was the mighty one. She was the one that showed up in our lives – there were 5 of us. She was the one who fed us, clothed us and kept our house clean.

      She was the one who took all of our anger and she never faltered despite her depression that was the result of what my father did to her. She got up every day and made her own bed. Held her head high despite the slew of ‘friends’ she lost after the divorce.

      He was a high powered member of ‘society’ so the friends they had were all just hangers on anyway – I see that now.

      Today I have my mother’s friends to thank because I know what true friends are because they were the ones that stayed. All powerful women. I see now I was surrounded by powerful women and this was before women’s lib really took hold in the news….

      So, long comment drawn to a close, I am thankful that I am seeing how the patriarchy infected me and I didn’t even know it and now that I am seeing it I am gaining a life free of that weight and that what I am learning today is undoing my past as I knew it – weird how that happens.

      • I did not have that experience with my own parents nor either set of grandparents. However, I really want to thank you for sharing your story. Otherwise, I can connect with your feelings of reflecting on the past with a more wise look and I too have started to understand some of the interpersonal dynamics of my family’s history. Yes, it does effect us growing up and now I’m more at peace with my understanding.

      • >>I hope my mother knows somehow that I see her and all that she did and endured differently now. She was the mighty one. She was the one that showed up in our lives – there were 5 of us. She was the one who fed us, clothed us and kept our house clean.

        When eyes are opened, there are so many of these women everywhere. My grandmother was one. My mother hated her. But later, I’d heard elsewhere the details about her brutal discard, and she abandoned with 5 kids and no money or family support. Unbelievable.

      • Great post. The fear of discard gave your father the perceived power. So many children align with the cheater parent because instinctively they know the cheater would have no problem discarding so they do everything to stay in their good graces. Then the same children fearful of being discarded by the absent cheater parent lash out at the stable parent.

      • Great comment. In a similar situation, I regret the hell my siblings put my mother through when my Dad left for the AP. Because she wasn’t a good housekeeper he said. Reality was he’d been having an affair with her (married woman next door to his parents) long before he met my mom. He only married my mom (an immigrant who didn’t speak English) because he got her pregnant. I tried most of my childhood trying to make that man proud of me, and treated my mother like shit. Now, she’s long deceased (she remarried in her 70’s to a wonderful man) and I am gray rock with my Dad who is 95. He needs me now but I cannot forgive what he did, so use his money to pay for his care giver.

        • Such waste for soooo many of us through a multitude of generations yet, now knowing the truth, I like to believe we can go back and heal our pasts and theirs as well in some unknowable way and are now free to proceed according to truth/reality/sanity.

    • Yes but now there are more white collar women who dont have similar white collar men of similar socioeconomic status. So theses women are spouse poaching their coworkers in the workplace rather than marrying down. Its pathetic. A plumber can be a great husband!!!!

  • I myself couldn’t stomach hearing about BF’s cheater stories.. Once you’ve been betrayed that sort of talk is triggering.

    Why can’t BF find a single guy? There are a lot of them around.

    BF gets a charge out of conspiring with these creepy men againt their wives. She is a willing accomplice and she is a free fvck for them. Cringeworthy.

    I’d tell her that you are sick of seeing her debase herself with these weasels, and you don’t want to hear about it ever again.

    I guarantee this friends will get distant really fast when you express dissaproval about her sick life choices.

    A long history together doesn’t mean we put up with cruel or dishonest people. Find better quality friends.

    • After my shit show and subsequent divorce, my ‘friend’ started having an affair because her husband ‘just isn’t as sexual as I am.’ She kept talking about how much sex they have and that she got to wear corsets. And get this…, he was married ‘but is going through a divorce.’ Everything out of the cheater playbook. She saw how emotionally distraught I was when I was going through my divorce. She even supported me by addressing my self-doubt several times by saying, “It’s not you!” So though it had been about a year after my divorce when she told me about her fling, I could only say, “What you are doing is wrong.” She didn’t mention anything about her fling after that. She ended up getting divorced and was very upset that her husband got half of her retirement. I didn’t say anything to her, but I thought, “Good for him!” She moved away and quickly found another loser, ahem… a divorced guy who had a witch for an ex-wife. She also wore corsets for him and enjoyed the attention… until she noticed that whenever they’d go out anywhere, his eyes would stray to any good-looking woman that walked by. And it bothered her when she complained about it that he didn’t take her seriously. She eventually dropped him because she couldn’t trust him. It’s mind boggling how these cheaters don’t have any compunction whatsoever with cheating, with justifying their cheating, but want their ‘twu luv’ to be loyal and trustworthy. She’s also the kind to post her picture on Facebook all of the time, post pictures of what she’s eating, and where it is that she’s eating (in Paris, Greece, wherever.) I noticed that she only reached out to me when I could provide some entertainment. As soon as someone more exciting came along, she didn’t have time for me anymore. She was engaging and exciting, and actually quite intelligent, but I realized that I’m only important to her when I’m useful, i.e., when no one else was around to fawn all over her and tell her how pretty she is. She removed herself from my life when I stopped giving her any attention. I realized that I was chumpy and didn’t want to be chumpy anymore. I miss her because there’s still a piece of me that thinks that she really does care for me; however, actions speak louder than words. I won’t have cheaters in my life anymore.

      • I know a woman like this, as she is related to a family member. The first time I met her, she started posting photos of her food and drink, saying she does this during every outing. I quickly realized after talking with her, that she flings around with various men to avoid responsibility. Has no desire for commitment to anyone because it would mean she would actually be accountable and have to give something. Didn’t even raise her own kids or marry the father. No empathy or compassion…a self-absorbed shell-person. I stay far far away from people like her.

  • I have two much older sisters. Both had affairs with married men (one with a long succession of them), and as a child I was sickened by it. Even back then I could tell it was wrong and abusive, and didn’t believe the lies ‘His wife doesn’t look after him properly’ ‘He can’t leave her until the children are older.’ I was very close to both of them. Then I married my childhood sweetheart. When the marriage blew up years later because he cheated on me, their reactions were ‘off’. For instance, they had both found out he was cheating four years earlier and never told me. Over time the cracks in our relationships grew larger. I now never see them apart from very occasional family meets when I am polite and grey rock. Sadly, I think there is just a huge chasm between people who cheat and think it is justified, and people who don’t.

  • Best friend, you won’t be a best friend unless you challenge this cheater you call friend. When we love our “besties” we jerk them up quickly when they get out of line. Your bestie is out of line. Let her know that her cheating is reprehensible. Let her know there are thousands of people who find her lacking in empathy, a failed human being. Chump Nation is judging her and she has failed. I might say she is even lacking humanity. She is immoral and tasteless. She doesn’t know love, just betrayal.

    She is a hollow excuse for a best friend. I don’t think your words will fix her. She is suffering from generational trauma. But let her know you can’t tolerate her being the accomplice to soul murder. Let her know she is not sophisticated and exceptional. Let her know she is just another common whore. She is whoring and not loving. Tell her.

    I think you deserve a better best friend.

    • I think the problem ‘Best Friend’ is facing is the realization that the person that you loved for years, is not that nice of a person. And if she calls her out on her bad behavior, she risks driving away her ‘best friend’. That’s what many of us were afraid of with our unrepentant spouses, i.e., driving away the unrepentant person and then you’re the cause of your family breaking apart. As long as you don’t make waves, you can retain your family, but when you can no longer deal with the lying and abuse, you really are the cause of the breakup of your family. I was the cause. I divorced the lying cheater. Had I not divorced, I’d still have an intact family. It would be a broken, fucked-up family, but it would still be intact. The children would be fucked-up with cognitive dissonance, but it would be an intact family. The children would learn that it was okay to lie to your spouse but as long as you told them you cared, the family would still be intact. But because I said ‘no more’, I was the cause of the breakup of my family. But at least now my children didn’t have me as an example of how to be when their spouses fuck around on them, or shall I say, they have me as a great example, i.e., leave the cheater and gain a life. ‘Best friend’, it will be hard to say goodbye to your ‘best friend’, but not everything you love is good for you. You shouldn’t have anybody in your life that isn’t good for you. Distance yourself and get great friends. But if it was me in your shoes, I know that I would tell this ‘best friend’ why I could no longer have her as my friend. It would hurt, but sometimes the most gracious and loving thing that you can do for somebody is tell them the truth. There’s no chance of her changing her behavior if nobody is holding her accountable.

  • “Flattery is cheaper than paying a hooker.”

    I think I will remember this for the rest of my life.

    • I’m not going to just remember this.

      It’s my new “what I will say if I ever see her” line. Because it’s true.

    • Long after i no longer “need” to read here daily, i still will.
      CL uses words like a scalpel and i love it.

      This is my new response to men who get mad when i turn down their low effort date requests.

    • This line also stood out to me. Need to cross stitch it on some throw pillows and give as a home wrecker gift.

      • This line also makes me think about my own love bombing phase with exH. So much flattery….some of it gag worthy, but I thought he was just a romantic mushy kind of guy. I will forever question the sincerity of flattery from now on….so easy to dish it out. So often manipulative.

      • Also could be the revamped ‘welcome’ front door signs for FWs and their affair partners.

  • She has so many things going for her, except morals and self esteem. She’s beautiful on the outside only.

    Be a friend and tell her that.

    There are PLENTY of available men our age. There is a reason she’s not with any of them.

    • That reason would be that then she would have a actual relationship with someone available, which is NOT what they want.

    • She just wants to be better than the wives….. and to be adored …..she’s just so much better, she makes them happy…the wife’s can’t …..not a very deep or healthy person

  • The BF probably thinks that Friend leads a boring old married life, and lives vicariously through BF’s “exciting” sex stories. I think she (BF) needs to be made very aware, in no uncertain terms, that her behavior is boring, sad, pathetic, and just plain gross. I imagine that on some level, BF probably knows she is being used by these men, but continues to tell Friend about it for validation and encouragement. I would make sure I gave her none of that, and I would stop her in her tracks whenever she talked about her affairs. Friend is providing narcissistic supply to BF, and she should cut that shit right out.

  • I don’t think the OP speaking to the ‘BF’ would change a damn thing. The entitlement displayed by this OW is appalling, and she’s been doing this for *years*.

    I think the OP is just another player in this skank’s soap opera, sounds like she gets off on rubbing the OP’s nose in this really fucked up shit.

    Boundaries. We really need to have them in all our relationships and interactions with others.

    If it was me, I’d drop this horrible woman like a hot potato.

    It seems odd to me that the OP has this relationship with someone who, as she recognises herself, *doesn’t share the same values*. OP has a happy marriage, a happy life, I would have thought she’s had plenty of time to make other friendships with people who share her values.

    This woman is just vile. Why does the OP “love her so much”? Nothing there to love, I think. Maybe the OP thinks she can ‘fix’ her? If so, she’s deluding herself this kind of utterly selfish, entitled behaviour goes deep, you can’t fix people who think there’s nothing wrong with what they do. I wouldn’t be surprised if the BF was a cheater in her first marriage either.

    • CNM6: there is also the problem that if you have people in your inner circle with a demonstrated history of being an OW, you are knowingly inviting the viper into your nest…

      • Yep.

        I remember once about six ish months before Dday, our group of friends were sitting in a small town type breakfast cafe in our town. My ex’s employee (direct report at the police department) was working part time as a waitress at the time on weekends.

        Everyone was talking and laughing, she joined in a bit, and at one point (I can’t remember who asked) she said I am dating a married man. In hindsight, there I sat and she was telling me right to my fact that she was fucking my husband. Of course I had no way of knowing.

        But, as you say viper in the nest.

        At some point the ow in this account, could very well be talking about the op’s husband with her being the wife, if that is not already the case. These folks are indeed snakes, both the cheaters and the ow.

        • I am willing to bet money that other people sitting at that table knew EXACTLY which married man she was dating. I think the thing that hurt me most regarding my husband’s betrayal was the slow realization that nearly every single one of my work colleague, my employees, and my personal assistant had to have known and nobody respected me enough to tell me. That still hurts to this day, and when I went grey rock, I applied it to every single one of those folks for my own self preservation. I think we have an obligation to speak up for betrayed spouses. If you see something, say something. Stop the infidelity train at the gate.

          • I think some did and some didn’t. I pretty much know which is which.

            The whore was only accepted into our former group by one set of friends. I am pretty sure the rest were not aware.

            Maybe some of the guys were, but definitely not the women.

            We didn’t hang out with police officers, so these folks were not in that realm. I do know that a couple women who worked at the PD, knew that whore was working the fw, I don’t really fault them for not saying anything to me, they didn’t know for sure; and they weren’t close friends of mine.

            I am pretty sure one of those co workers is the one who dropped a dime on him and caused his implosion. I imagine her getting a juicy raise after he went to the city counsel lit a fire under them. There they sat with noo raise, and his fuck buddy got a big raise.

          • But yes, I did withdraw from all our common friends. I had to, to survive. It wasn’t really about them, it was about me surviving and then creating a separate life.

          • I get your anger, I would be as well if my work colleagues knew and said nothing. However, far too many times someone will step up, alert the chump and get nothing but a swift kick in the teeth for “blabbing” or not minding their own business. They get called out on being a troublemaker. I’m not saying this was your case but this could have been one of the reasons they said nothing.

            • I know you were not responding to me, but I agree. I am sure some suspected in my case, but if they didn’t know for sure; really I wouldn’t expect them to say. And even if someone did, I likely would have not believed them at first. Heck, my ex came in and said to me soon after his promotion, if someone calls and tells you I am messing around; they are trying to cause me trouble because of politics. I overlooked that blinding red flag. I guess I convinced myself it was feasible.

              The way our marriage blew up all at once, and because I know what happened in the city counsel; I am pretty sure it was a surprise to a lot of folks. Those that knew for sure, were keeping it quiet for their own reasons. Likely to use against him when it benefited them.

              I think he would have discarded me anyway; as really I had done all for him I could at that point. But, I don’t think he was ready quite yet. He was using me to help him pay for the river property he wanted. I also think he was starting to move funds. He had already mentioned possibly selling the rental properties. He was likely going to use me for at least another year until someone dropped the dime.

              If my best friend knew or suspected and didn’t say anything yeah I would have been pissed, but just folks we hung out with meh.

        • That’s just it. Maybe I’m jumping at shadows but if BF is saying ALL married couples aren’t having sex, are unhappy, etc I would sure be worried she sees my marriage the same way and that my husband is ‘fair game’ for approaching/poaching. Ick.

          • Yep, and of course a long married couple isn’t having the same sex life they did when they were newly weds. But, many have a satisfying sex life well into old age. I know that for a fact, and I can’t be the only one.

            Only FWs think the new car thrill is supposed to be their birthright. That is why most cheaters are serial cheaters. They just at some point either crash and burn, or get caught or both.

  • To me it is a matter of principle that you cannot be a Chump and stand by knowing some other poor Chump is being chumped by an OW. It doesn’t matter that you don’t know the other chump or the cheater husband. It is happening. Someone is going to be devastated eventually.

    As a chump you are tested on every front in the aftermath of DDay and leaving a cheater. This situation is simply another litmus test to see who comes with you into the new cheater-free life. If the serial OW bestie doesn’t care enough about the friendship to NOT fuck married men (or to care about how her actions might be impacting the Chump Letter Writer) then for the Chump Letter Writer it should be case closed regardless of history. Otherwise to remain in this relationship she is still on the Hopium pipe in just another form, namely the friendship form of enabling or being in denial.

    This won’t end well. So really she just needs to end it.

    • Yes. Post Dday….
      Being triggered by a variety of relationships, by the things people say or don’t say, by the lack of empathy shown. Your love life and family as you knew it falls apart… But there are also all these residual effects. That was brutal for me.
      I felt like a gaping open wound..and so many people would sprinkle salt in it.
      This friend is dumping salt.
      If she’s thinking about the reader at all (probably not) she’s thinking the reader is very happy in her current life – so this doesn’t affect their friendship. Me, me me, me.

      • The OW does not think beyond herself. She could not be an OW if she did. She might be doing plenty of rationalizing in the classic cheater mold though:

        OW alternative reality: “What they don’t know won’t hurt them”
        ACTUAL truth: It DOES hurt. Infidelity causes obscene damage…hurt and pain being the first levels up to the worst levels ie insanity or suicide

        OW alternative reality: “I deserve to be happy”
        ACTUAL truth: No you do not. You cannot ‘deserve’ to benefit in any way at another person’s expense / loss, risking their health in mind, body, soul for your personal gain

        OW alternative reality: “I didn’t marry ‘them’, he did”
        ACTUAL TRUTH: You are entering a sacred space – you are assisting to destroy a covenant between two people. You are enabling abuse.

        OW alternative reality: “I’m not doing anything wrong”
        ACTUAL TRUTH: Yes, you are. You really fucking well are.

  • When I finally gave up on reconciliation with my cheater-ex the first person I told was my best friend. Who told me that she had been the OW who broke up her spouse’s previous marriage and that my ex wasn’t so bad and she would continue to be friends with both of us. I dropped that friend like a hot potato.

    It was surprisingly easy to do. I just stopped contacting her, and it turned out she made no effort to contact me or find out how I was doing. I’ve run into her a few times at Costco and we have polite chit chat like I’ve run into a former distant acquaintance.

    It was very hard losing my husband and my best friend all in one go. But at least she wasn’t my cheater-ex’s OW? That’s got to be the worst.

    • Yes, HC! It is the worst! (Except for those sister or daughter in law OW stories that really wig me out!) The only thing that has saved me is having zero Switzerland friends. And yes, my former BF cheated on her husband long before starting up with mine. My own daughter asked me how I could have been friends with her. I lecture my children about how the morals of your friends need to be in line with yours or you are agreeing to a whole lot of trouble.

  • I actually stopped reading when the writer said the side piece best friend was “considerate and generous”.

    No, she’s not. She’s a con artist.

    Or

    Yes, she is. She’s considerate and generous like Bernie Madoff was considerate and generous.

    Can you say cognitive dissonance?

    • She has an amazing head of hair…..with no brain under it.

      She wears clothes beautifully…..to distract you from the heart, soul, moral compass and character missing underneath them.

      She would get along great with my former husband.

      He told me yesterday that he did not speak up about things he was upset about because he didn’t want to traumatize our child. But having an affair and leaving town to move into a nice apartment with the Craigslist Casual Encounters Sole Mate Special and ghost her was okay.

      Text me her number and I’ll hook them up.

      • Your former husband has a point when he said that he didn’t speak up about things that he was upset about because he didn’t want to traumatize your child. A very small point… When I confronted my ex, I was screaming profanities at him from the top of my lungs. I divorced him. When I confronted my youngest son about his mistreatment of women and the fact that he just used them for booty calls, he dropped associating with me. It has been 3.5 years since I’ve last seen and spoken with him. I used to call him and write him, but then I realized that I was groveling for him like I did for the dick ex. My dick ex dare not call our son out on his shenanigans because he would just throw it all back in his dad’s face whereas he can’t with me. So my ex has a relationship with our son because he’s careful not to alienate him by saying anything bad about him. Me? I’m very, very sad and I pray that my son opens his eyes one day and sees his bad behavior and wants to change for the better. As with the dick-ex, I know the only person that you have control over is yourself. I cannot control how my youngest son behaves. I pray for him as that’s the only thing I can do.

        • Amazon….in the interest of brevity I left out context and details of the situation.

          We’ve had a therapist on board our entire relationship. That kind of fighting and talk never took place in our lives and doesn’t to this day. On my side it’s because I have good skills when angry from lots of therapy and DV prevention education; on his side because he is almost totally conflict avoidance and passive aggressive. When I tell people he never expressed anger at me, I am speaking literally. He never even used our therapy resources to express grievances. What he is doing now is using the “traumatizing our daughter” as some whole cloth to rewrite history and explanation for his failure to communicate. He didn’t show up to problem solve because he had a harem and he didn’t need to solve anything. It was all set up just the way he wanted. This is also the same person who left our daughter alone to meet hookups when she was too young to be left alone. She is reeling with trauma now because he left and she thought we were happy and solid.

          The same dad who is claiming now he didn’t want to traumatize her abandoned her and left town with his Craigslist Casual Encounter Special. It’s a history-revisionist thing.

    • I also feel a strong need to point out that how this “best friend” treats other people is how she treats everyone. Including our writer, who seems to be as good at compartmentalizing as any perp in an illicit relationship.

      If she treats other this people this way, why do you think she’s treating you any better?

  • My good friend has always said “it’s all about power” and I think she’s right. BF is trying to gain her power by seeming irresistible and winning the game over women who she doesn’t even know. Beyond ethics and morals and principles, something is really broken inside of her if this is how she has to win, to gain her power. She’s set a really low bar for ‘winning’.

    A good question to ask whenever facing something uncomfortable: “what am I afraid of”. That question should be asked of BF. As good as she looks on the outside, there must be a lot of fear on the inside.

    • Correct! A lot of her AP friend’s fear is likely her age. She’s in her 50s mow and as an AP, her “sell by” date is coming to an end. It probably won’t be long until she’ll ramp up the crazy… because her cheater boyfriends will be moving on to younger models. She can work out and look amazing… but she will still age. And cheaters aren’t exactly loyal to anyone right?

  • We can’t change the narrative unless we confront the narrative. This is usually something that needs to be done one on one in a personal manner. It comes down to all of us having standards and boundaries, then living those.

  • OP, I feel for you. It’s pretty clear from CL’s response and the comments that you are going to have a difficult conversation with your BF and you may lose the relationship. From behind our keyboards we can see what needs to be done and dispense the advice rather quickly.

    I just wanted to add that I’m very sorry you’re going through this. It’s hard. Shortly after my D-Day (2019) I had to step back from a group of Switzerland friends, several who were cheaters themselves. It was the right thing to do and it still hurts today. I chose not to have “the talk.”. I just quietly slipped away. I run into various members of this group every couple of weeks (small town) and the conversation is polite. But it hurts when I hear about the gatherings and events I’m no longer a part of. I know, with time, the sting will go away.

    I am working on building a new friend group with common interests and, more importantly, common values. I’m in my 50’s as well. You can do this!

  • To My Best Friend is an Affair Partner,

    I have had several close friends go the OW path. And even before I was a chump, I was not ok with it. And I was clear about it. And I set boundaries. I am not friends with cheaters.

    One friend learned her lesson and the behavior stopped. And she’s happily married and we’re still friends.

    The other defended herself and the cheater (same shit of course: “his wife doesn’t love him. They are separated mostly. They no longer have sex… poor sad sausage cheater boyfriend blah blah blah…”) — and I’d respond with “so she’s ok with it? Let’s call her.” And that friend and I are no longer friends. She blew up at me. No we didn’t call the idiot cheater’s wife. But when it comes down to brass tacks, OW’s know the line that the wife is ok with it/wants out anyway/isn’t nice to the cheater is bullshit and OW’s don’t want to hear the truth.

    Free yourself. Do it for your own sanity. Do it because it makes your stomach clenches and it’s against your morals and values. And do it because you don’t want to be complicit in harming someone like you were. If you aren’t telling your “friend” to stop — then you are telling her you are ok with it and helping her continue to harm the wife of the cheater.

    And fair warning: YOUR HUSBAND IS FAIR GAME to your “BEST FRIEND.” Danger Will Robinson… Danger Danger

    • So much this.

      If AP BF is in the area, then AP BF has scoped out the OP’s husband. This is what they do.

      A surprising number of us have been Chumped by our so-called best friends, our brothers or sisters, some other member of the extended family, etc. The fact that AP BF is talking to the OP doesn’t mean that she’s not above having an affair with OP’s husband–or at least thinking about it!

      • “If AP BF is in the area, then AP BF has scoped out the OP’s husband. This is what they do.”

        Absolutely. Though I was not best friends with his whore, she came into my house, and tried to form a friendship with me. I don’t think she really wanted to, but I think he instructed her to.

        Several years before Dday, I had gained about 15 pounds and told my H I was going to join Weight Watchers to get this in hand. He a few days later asked if whore could go with me as she wanted to lose weight too. (I don’t know if they were humping yeat or not, but they were on the way at least.)

        I agreed she could come with me and my other friend. It was the first time I had met her (she was his direct report at work) I remember she was an odd duck, in that she didn’t talk much; and she had this odd look in her eyes. I noticed that look on several occasions, not yet seeing the red flag.

        Anyway, they are married now. She won the turd, so I am thankful for that; but don’t discount their intentions. They are sneaky snakes.

    • That was my first thought too – watch YOUR back.your husband is fair game.
      A cheater in ALL aspects of life, including friendships.

  • Hi everyone. I am the letter writer. Thank you, Tracy, for publishing my letter and for your insightful reply. (I’m currently on my way to the craft store so I can get the supplies for embroidering “Flattery is cheaper than paying a hooker.” on a pillow.) And thank you, Chump Nation, for your mighty comments. I am struggling, yes. BF was fiercely caring and supportive of me during my divorce, and she took time off when my daughter was born to help me and my husband with our newborn. We are also war buddies of a sort, having survived our childhoods and our fathers together. That is our bond, more than anything, I think. And I am a Chump at heart — afraid to confront, afraid of being abandoned, afraid of being wounded, quick to shut down and disassociate when I sense danger (unless you threaten my kid, in which case I will tear you limb from limb and then casually go eat a burrito). But reading my letter and your responses, I see the truth of how BF and I have both changed, and how far apart we’ve grown in every way except for our shared history. If I met her today, all my alarm bells would go off, and I’d think she was boring. So I need to sit with this some more, and think about what I want from this relationship in the long run. But I can, and will, tell her how horrified I am that she met this person during the pandemic and lied to me about it, and that I no longer want to hear a word about any encounter she has with a married man. You are all an inspiration, and I’m grateful for you.

    • You are mighty! We are all on your side. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. I know we all are. It’s one more awful we have to deal with as chumps (as if we need more!). Sending you love and empathy.

    • I’ve just seen this, but I’d already posted below.

      Good for you – that’s a start. I know it’s hard.

      My sister divorced a few years ago, and my oldest and best friend tried to play Switzerland.

      I had to cut ties with her because she showed me that she was okay with my ex-brother in law having chronically abused my sister.

      But, you see, he was so charming at parties and so amusing, and that was far more important to my friend than the fact that he was utterly abusive to his wife and children for years.

      Choices. She made hers. I made mine. She can have him.

    • Hello and welcome.

      Here’s the kid angle…

      Would you want your child to be friends with her? I have spent my daughter’s life modeling Decent Personhood to the best of my ability, which includes making amends for when I don’t get it right, which does not include doing things I know will hurt someone.

      How would you feel about your BF if she was the affair person of your child’s spouse? I can honestly imagine wanting to tear the involved parties limb from limb if my daughter ever gets cheated on.

      The Kid Angle always helps me get really clear when making decisions.

      I’m a very sentimental person But I don’t keep friendships for sentimental reasons. A long history is not enough of a reason to stay in a relationship. That’s why we’re all here leaving our cheaters and gaining a life. I like being consistent. Why leave a cheating partner but keep a friend participates in cheating? Knowing the pain and damage it causes, I’m not even interested in the “I spoke up and they’re not doing it anymore and we stayed friends” scenario.

      All the nice things she did? Well, like my former husband, they served to confuse me and keep me in the relationship to my detriment. The only important fact to consider was that he was a liar and a cheater. The other nice stuff doesn’t matter if being a liar and cheater is part of his inventory.

      And now, knowing about cheating makes me complicit if I don’t yell “FIRE!” to any victims I’m aware of.

    • “But I can, and will, tell her how horrified I am that she met this person during the pandemic and lied to me about it, and that I no longer want to hear a word about any encounter she has with a married man.”

      Good for you! Just don’t be surprised/hurt if your stand has no effect. She’s been behaving like this for 16 years, according to your own account, and I strongly doubt anything will make her change now, if it ever did. ((hugs)).

      A thing I would ask *myself*, is, how genuine was the behaviour you describe when you had your newborn? Narcissists (and she sounds like one), other types of highly entitled people, are often very big on impression management, and can carry on the persona of the wonderful helpful friend, until the mask finally slips.

      People really don’t get character transplants, (unless they put in *years* of hard work) and I don’t think either that a person’s actual character changes, in the sense they suddenly go from being loving, kind and supportive, to selfish, entitled and shitty. That shittiness was always there.

    • I understand deep bonds and how difficult it is to step away from them.

      The people that are part of Chump Nation usually have very exact and fixed responses; without CLEAR boundaries, it’s hard for us to function. We tend to forget to make boundaries when we don’t enforce them. We risk becoming total Chumps again because we’re giving and kind.

      It’s like AA. Here, we choose the path of never drinking again lest we fall off the wagon.

      But there are people out there who can still have the occasional drink and not fall back into a disease. They’re very rare, and you can try to see if you can be one of them — though we would caution you not to try.

      You can attempt the unicorn route of empathy towards your friend.

      You can try to change her mind with kindness. According to your story, she was a kind person who took increasingly large steps away from her core self. Maybe part of herself is now trapped in the stories she’s constructed for herself.

      Stories like, unmarried men are unwanted. There’s something wrong with them. If married men are this bad? Imagine how bad single men are!!!

      Or like, I’m a good person for helping those men cheat. Without me, they might be getting divorced and cause their wives – whom they love and love them! – huge pain for no reason. It’s just sex. Why end a relationship over that when I can help make the world a more stable place?

      These sorts of stories aren’t necessarily coming for a bad person. Just a person doing a very bad thing because they can’t see what else to do.

      You can try to help her by standing by her as you explain that she’s not saving those marriages. Any energy and time she takes away from those wives is time the men don’t take learning to improve themselves and their marriages. It’s energy she’s stealing from their growth and individuals and as couples.

      You can remind her that there are 8 billion people alive. And out of the men who are single and not cheating, SOME are in that position because they have values and want to love a woman with loyalty and lifelong investment. They want to make it so that growing old together is a beautiful and appeasing thing.

      And that those men out there are the BEST our species has to offer. And that SHE can be like that too. That she can value herself enough to know that, once she makes the decision to only give herself to high value individuals, she WILL deserve that type of a relationship herself. And she will become sought after by the right type of man, and find someone to spend the rest of her life with.

      But… This really would be like taking an occasional drink when you’re an alcoholic. Most of us can’t do it, and we shouldn’t be held to it. It IS too much too ask. Only you know if you can and wish to do it.

      • It sounds to me like BF in this scenario has chosen the narrative of “life is hard, and so my affair partners and I should get to do whatever the hell we want if it makes us ‘happy.’” I’m sure a lot of people who grow up in difficult circumstances come to that conclusion – but not all do! And so it all comes down to a basic mismatch of values. Either you let hardship make you selfish, or you don’t.

    • Chumped Friend, something you wrote about this being “the sister you never had” bears a comment: I have a sister who is a junkie (meth) and commits felonies, mostly theft and identity theft, to support her habit. She’s in jail on and off and I choose to not have contact with her. In other words, we can go no contact with even a bio sibling if we choose to. I’m sad that my sister is this way, but I protect myself.

      • Yep. That’s the main lesson I get from stories like this: even our closest and oldest friends and relatives might not share our values. Sadly, lots of people in my LGBTQ+ community have had to walk away from their families of origin to find new families when we learn that we have different values, and/or can’t feel safe or supported around our FOO. As another chump noted above, you can choose to have the conversation or not. It shouldn’t be a shock nor a surprise to BF that you feel sick when she discusses her behavior, Chumped Friend.

        I would consider just one other thing: I bet BF feels vindicated in her behavior when you, Chumped Friend, don’t make a stink about it. I know my STBX felt vindicated by the dozen mutual friends/family she told about her second affair before she told me. While I know many of them were horrified by what she was doing, they chose not to say anything, in order to “support” her. Fuck that! We know that true friends don’t let people off the hook when they’re out of line.

        Even though you’re not ultimately responsible for BF’s feelings or actions, I imagine you have a deep gut understanding of how this dynamic is working, and it’s part of what makes you feel sick. I certainly would feel the same way. You also seem aware of your chumpiness around the likelihood that BF will not be your BF anymore if you speak up. I hear that would be a loss. But people of integrity can always find new friends. Hugs and best wishes to you, CF.

    • Chumped Friend,
      I think you were mighty to even ask this question. It’s not easy to reevaluate shared history with such a friend who feels like family & war buddy. hat takes a high level of integrity, awareness, and courage. One thing I think Chumps forget is how high we score in integrity & courage (and therefore values/standards).

    • Good for you. Good on you.
      With age comes wisdom. Do what is right for you and set your boundaries.

  • It’s hard to accept that someone you’ve known for years – who is your best friend and like a sister to you – has grown apart from you.

    It’s chilling inside, like a foretaste of death. We go through all sorts of mental gymnastics to avoid losing a long-time friend.

    And out comes the spackle.

    Your BF may have been great once, but she’s become a person with shitty character. It can and does happen.

    She’s showing you that.

    And you’re showing her that you’re okay with that.

    Personally I’d be worried that my husband would be next on her list.

    • This is the original letter writer again. The good news is my husband is not her type at all, in that he is an honorable man who would never cheat on his wife, a devoted father, introverted, bookish, not rich and has a dad bod. Go figure.

      • Well, Chumped Friend, you’re probably right about your husband (I hope you are), but I’ve been reading this blog long enough to have seen stories of chumps who say, “She wasn’t his type AT ALL.” They’re gobsmacked.

    • “It’s hard to accept that someone you’ve known for years – who is your best friend and like a sister to you – has grown apart from you.”

      It is hard to accept. But, at one time we had to accept that about our spouses/SO’s. We had to get away from them, and for the very same reason. She is dangerous to the chump, in more ways than one.

  • I’m not excusing “BF” in any way, but I think the problem is the meta-narrative everyone (except the chumped) seems to embrace about cheating.

    Before it happened to me, I didn’t think much about it except that it was wrong and I wouldn’t do it. It was sort of in the same camp as high school drama in my mind – it happens, someone gets hurt, it becomes hot gossip, then everyone moves on.

    Non-Chumps don’t know what this kind of betrayal leaves in its wake. Even the best empathizers don’t understand the trauma. It’s like being witness to a war veteran with PTSD when you’re a civilian. Your imagination and big heart will only get you so far. If you haven’t gone through it, you don’t get it. You’re an audience member; there’s a thick velvet curtain that separates you.

    On top of that, our culture helps people to remain ignorant by romanticizing it. The BF here is a victim of our culture. My sense is that she’s a bit envious of the love/marriage/baby carriage story the writer managed to gain. She wasn’t able to find that, so she has to rewrite herself as the cosmopolitan heroine. My sense is that she spins and shares her (pathetic) stories so she doesn’t feel like such a loser in comparison to the BF who has it all.

    Bottom line – she doesn’t truly understand what the fallout from her actions will be (regardless of what she witnessed two decades ago) and wants her life to be as enviable as the BF’s.

    It doesn’t make it right, of course. But since you love her, you might spend some time gently schooling her on boundaries and character, and addressing her need to fill the void inside with shallow married dick, rather than real substance and affection. Suggest a mindfulness retreat in Tibet or something similar.

    • This is such a great description of what the commonly accepted narrative is, and how distant those who haven’t experienced it are from actually understanding its trauma.

    • She does understand though because she saw her best friend go through it and become suicidal. She had a front row seat to what it does to people.

      She knows. And she still laughingly does it to other people. This isn’t ignorance. This isn’t a young, foolish girl who doesn’t understand life yet. This is an older adult woman who despises other women and enjoys their abuse.

      And frankly I think she hates her own “best friend” and that’s why she rubs her face in her affairs knowing what she’s been through. It’sa hard thing to face but it’s better to face it. I also lost friends I considered family. But actual friends don’t hate you and they wouldn’t do this to you.

  • On “friendships” and boundaries.
    Family on vacation with the OW, belonging to the couple from hell, and coming along, friend of the family.
    You and your sibling are put to sleep with the OW, in your fresh new vacation nighties, for the occasion.
    Age 9 and 7.
    Your initiation.
    After all it is the 1970’s.
    Next you have the family friend OW as teacher in school. And she asks, ehm, shall one say demand, for an item from home for a school project.
    OW and her partner, invited as special guests, leisurely engage in an act physical intimidation in front of everybody.
    And you find yourself further groomed into domination and humiliation.
    After all it is the 1970’s.
    Innumerable years later, a transfer of resources has happened, the OW and your father had been with child. Your father, the provider extraordinaire—not for you, mind you— and her partner from hell pimp extraordinaire. Your mother had played along, giving you those fresh vacation nighties to wear, remember?

    Many years later, all lost. Everything teinted. You had been hostage to a system of, shall one call it, perversion? Does it fit? Freed with the death of your father. And yet, not yet freed.

    You just know that upon having been abandoned by now former husband, kind and nice guy, controller, withholder, and punisher extraordinaire, you buy a new type of soap decided upon by you, and you get into a fresh nighty.
    And you feel fresh and perfumed.
    On the way to be free trough divorce. The only way to go.

    More on “friendships” and boundaries.
    You return home post divorce. Meet up with a school girlfriend from back back then.
    And suddenly you see that her concern is disguise for moral superiority and humiliation. How could you not have seen it before? She gets a high on peoples’ misfortune by playing oh so kind, and nice, and understanding, hardly to be seen the “poor you, the things that happen to you, not like me with all the pieces in place (husband, house, children, job, the lot)”. Immediate end of friendship.

    • Oh Flower!

      ❤???????????????????? and (((hugs))).

      The 1970’s weren’t so great for a lot of us, huh?

    • As somebody says below, it is all and foremost about harming you.
      People sadistically harming you. For quite some time I could not see it because it had happened to me since childhood. It was the normal. And it was the normal for both my parents who were sadistically abused and humiliated since childhood.

  • We don’t get to choose our family — we were born into that. We can’t go back in time and eliminate friends made in childhood, time doesn’t work like that. What we can do is choose how we spend our time now, and who we choose to spend time with now.

    I have family members I never choose to see. Sometimes I run into them in family situations. I have the same type of conversation with them I would have with a stranger at a bus stop. Beautiful/Awful weather we’re having, the food is good, yes I live in Tennessee. My children are grown and working, seem to be doing well. Well I need to go over and talk with Aunt so and so- I haven’t said hello to her yet. Hope you’re doing well. Bye.

    I have some past “friends” I see in social situations I do not initiate. Same type of thing. No real conversations. I also have some older, long term friends I was close to at one time. We see each other on a limited basis, and generally talk about old times. Some of them have made choices I don’t like later in their lives. Some of them continue to do things I find harmful both to them, and me if they try to talk about it. I had to tell one of them, for example, I would talk to her about anything but her husband. She needed to leave him. She needed to figure it out. I had already told her that. She just wanted to complain, and I didn’t want to hear anymore. I had another friend who got into married men. I told her she was hurting herself, she disagreed. We don’t talk about that anymore. I don’t see these friends often, but I don’t deny our past connection. They make their choices, and they have to live with them. I don’t have to watch or listen.

    I choose to spend my time with new friends who share my interests. I rarely become close friends with any of them. More like a situational friend, until I have watched their behavior over time, and listened to their conversations, over time. The few people I choose to be close to now reflect my values and beliefs. My life is much more peaceful now. I don’t try to save any one. They don’t have to save me. I saved myself. I sought help when I needed it. I earned my state of mind, and I intend to keep it.

    It took me a long time to get to the place I am living in now. I don’t know how much more life I have, but I do know how I want to live it. You are in charge of your time and your schedule. Make time for joy. Be too busy for a date with chaos. Is there a sense of loss? Yes. In my opinion, loss is better than disappointment or discomfort. You cannot save anyone but you.

  • I think it’s past time that you had a conversation with your AP BF to let her know that while you have known each other since childhood, you really don’t want to hear about her affairs. She seems to feel that affairs are victimless crimes, but her source is the criminal. Affairs are devastating to the faithful spouse and to any children.

    The other thing is this. Your friend doesn’t share your same values and outlook on life. It doesn’t sound as if you see each other all the time and that you’re now more physically distanced. If her affairs are the only thing she talks to you about, this is probably the only subject in which she feels that you two have anything in common. Your first husband cheated, and she sleeps with married men. That’s the commonality that you have now you are in your 50s and have each gone your own way.

    It’s worth it to step back and think about what’s important in life. You got out of a horrible first marriage, have been married 20 years to a wonderful partner, have children. You live a fulfilled life. She has a lot of material wealth (and I never discount the importance of wealth) but she flits from man to man. She’s never been in a long term relationship. That is not who she is.

    She also can’t be in a long term relationship because she has a crap picker. Married men are Unavailable. Sure, they may fuck her and tell her she’s special, and they are right. She’s special because she’s too stupid to see that they’re using her. They want strange pussy. She’s providing it. Dollars to doughnuts, when she starts pushing for more than sex, they back off and tell her that they’re ending the affair because Wife.

    I get that she wants to be touched. That’s a very human need. But there are a whole lot of single men out there who would be happy to date her. The fact that she’s not dating them shows that she is, on some level, deliberately seeking out men who treat women like crap and that she is, on some level, afraid of allowing herself to have a deep, emotional attachment. So she goes for the Unavailable Married Man.

    But it’s not your job to fix her or her picker. What is your job is to set your boundaries with your friendship. Let her know that you really don’t want to talk about her affairs because you believe affairs are morally wrong. You’re happy to talk about other things.

    Then if she crosses that boundary, detach with kindness.

  • OP, she’s no real friend to you. For example, if you had a friend who was raped, would you discuss your rape fantasies with her and how well each man met or did not meet the fantasy? No, you would not. You would understand that her terrible experience would leave her triggered, and you would…out of common human decency…spare your friend what you know to be paiful.

    She saw that your ex’s affairs with AP made you suicidal, but she still discusses her affairs as an AP with you, complete with all her rationalizations? What the hell is wrong with her?

    After Dday the first, I thought that my husband was still a good man in all areas except sex. I learned the hard way that his lack of honesty and honor around sex was a lack of honesty and honor in every area of his life. I suspect the same is true of your “friend.” You have loved her for many years and when you look at her you think ‘beloved sister’ just like we all looked at our spouses with love goggles on until Dday. This sounds like the friendship Dday.

    Good luck to you in this very hard situation.

  • talk abut PTSD.. I cringed when I read a certain tech billionaire may have been confiding in a pervert that his marriage was loveless. My ex told me after marriage was over that I was “frigid”. I guess he got caught in the 50s. Actually, he was all loved up by his side pieces. No time for me.

  • I ran into this issue myself with a friend that was an OW.

    She would try to talk to me about the situation when we’d go running together. Despite knowing about the trauma and mind fuck I’d gone through with my ex and was still a little raw about. I remember stopping in the middle of the run and telling her several “truths” about her situation.

    This guy’s marriage was most likely -not- sexless. Even if it was, he could have made the choice to end it, but instead chose to meet up with her in parking lots and motels. The man she “couldn’t live without” had decided she wasn’t worth more than awkward back seat and seedy motel hookups. Good for her. She was -scrambling- to hold onto someone who treated her like shit and treated his wife the same. Wouldn’t she just -love- to be married to him, the guy cheating on his wife because of a “sexless” marriage.

    “Trust me, you’re not the first person he’s cheated, or tried to cheat, on his wife with. These guys, they’re all the same. You’re just the latest person to sit still long enough for him to get his hooks (and other things) in you.”

    “If he can’t choose between his -wife-, you know.. the person he already chose, and you… then he’s already decided he’s fine with things as they are. If you don’t break it off, you’re declaring -you’re- fine with it too.”

    She broke it off with him about 3 weeks later and apologized for being a crap friend and that she shouldn’t have been so angry with me for what all I’d said to her. We’re still friends to this day. She eventually found herself a wonderful -single- man and they’ve been very happy together for a few years now. He brings out the best in her and she does the same for him.

  • I’m sorry your friend is like this.
    I had a good friend who cheated before I was clumped. I used to empathize with her. It was long ago and she was definitely remorseful and her husband never found out.
    Now that I have experienced this I look at her differently. We are still friends, but I no longer trust her.

    It is sad, but cheating shows a persons true colours.

    I do think you have an opportunity to connect with your friend and lay it out there. Cheating is abuse. She is participating in the abuse of the wife, and, honestly, abusing and debasing herself.

    If you love her, maybe she will hear you. It sounds like she is sad and lonely. Eventually she will be sad, lonely and friendless. We all know the guy isn’t marrying her.

    Be honest. Speak your truth.

  • I’m confused that your afraid to confront her on her disgusting and selfish behavior. Aren’t “best friends/
    like a sister”..suppose to be able to talk about anything?
    You sound insecure of having maybe losing this friend/whore friendship. Speak up and tell her how your
    feeling. She’s nothing but a loser no matter what you say about her accomplishments.

  • Your BF is just a run of the mill fuckwit. Outwardly pretty, inwardly a toxic mess.

    She is so generous? It’s called image management and ego kibbles. What do people do when you are generous? Thank you profusely and make a big fuss = ego kibbles.

    Talking about her affairs, talking about the wives the way she does….she knows what she is doing. She knows very well where you’ve been and how you’ve felt and she takes sadistic pleasure in seeing your face freeze or you flinch a little. If you look at her carefully, you might even notice a fleeting smirk on her face as she sees your pain.

    She has always been this way, not just recently. History doesn’t matter when you are being abused by your so called BF. Drop this toxic friendship and focus on other people in your life. The ultimate trouble with many chumps is this inability to walk away from those who are actively harming you….or to even see the harm. End the cycle and just do it.

    • That’s what I suspect as well. This is a malignant person. It gives me the shivers just hearing about it.

    • I fully agree with this. People sadistically harming you. For quite some time I could not see it because it had happened to me since childhood. It was the normal. And it was the normal for both my parents who were sadistically abused and humiliated.

    • >>Your BF is just a run of the mill fuckwit. Outwardly pretty, inwardly a toxic mess.

      Toxic doesn’t even have to be the malignant type who gets off on seeing little signs of pain in their target’s faces. Sometimes “toxic” people hear the words not the music. This a quote from Robert Hare, in his book about psychopaths. But I’m using that idea slightly different here, about that strange BF. Sometimes people do what they understand to be right, without understanding it. She acted like super-supportive friend, and was, when the letter writer was chumped . But she didn’t have the inner resources to not swallow hook, line, and sinker, a toxically disrespectful lie about her chump friend. I’ve noticed some who lack self-respect can’t build & maintain respect for others (or just assume everyone is better than them). Toxic builds progressive disrespect & a need to prove their warped worldview right.

  • Decades before I learned I was chumped, a married close friend showed me jewelry she got as a gift from her AP. I was shocked. Very soon after revealing this, she asked me to give her some confidential info from my company to use at hers. I refused, and cut off all contact. I couldn’t enjoy her company once I realized we didn’t share essential values. I actually felt sick to my stomach when we ran into each other at professional events.
    Letter writer, your friend brags about APs’ “admiration” as a way to get kibbles from you for behavior that violates your ethics and makes you feel ill. Either you are a great actress and cover your distress, or she’s aware and doesn’t care.
    You wrote at length about your “third generation friendship” and mentioned a significant hurt: Your ex dumped you a week before Thanksgiving, then brought the OW to his family’s celebration. Was his family equally cruel, or did they allow it to show loyalty to him or to avoid a disagreement? It seems you want to be loyal to your friend, based on shared family history, and feel obligated to put up and shut up rather than address her horrific behavior. Maybe if you discuss this, she will stop her affairs. If not, I think LACGAL applies to this friend as well as to your ex, and you’ll feel better without her.

  • The dishonesty of cheaters ripples (rips?) through relationships far beyond the marriage. My understanding of the ways I have been chumpy in a lot of areas of my life, has led me to examine many of my relationships, friends as well as family. And although putting my realizations into practice has been hard and painful, and I’ve regretted the necessity, I see it as something I have to do to live up to my own values and for my own self-respect.

    I was friends with two women, fellow professors, with whom I worked for 25+ years (my ex was also our colleague). Then I learned, years after it happened, that one of them, who is divorced and single, had slept with the husband of the other. My chumped friend stayed with her husband. Although in many ways I was closer to the woman who was the OW, I have stopped seeing her. My chumped friend has no idea that I stopped seeing my other friend, the OW who slept with her husband. Her husband the cheater still sees my ex regularly, so I try to see my chumped friend only without her spouse (the pandemic made this easier)–and by mutual unspoken agreement we don’t talk about either her spouse’s cheating or my divorce. This has required me to compartmentalize, which is not something that either comes naturally to me or that I like to do; my ex was the master of the secret life, and not only bragged about his ability to compartmentalize but considered me faulty because I neither did it nor wanted to. I will be moving away in the near future, and I know this friendship will fade away with the distance, which is almost a relief.

    More difficult has been emotionally distancing myself from my sister, who has made clear her opinion of me in comments to me and in conversations with my mother. After my divorce, I needed the security of feeling supported by my family, and to hear that they had both agreed I would “never leave him,” was both hurtful and disappointing, and made me realize that I could not rely on them the way I had hoped to be able to do.

    I consider the lessons I have learned, and the changes I’ve made in my life to reflect what I’ve learned, among the more difficult parts of my “gaining a life.”

  • What is history really worth? Is it worth being sickened and dismayed when you interact with this person?
    I dumped my best friend for her lack of values, poor boundaries and self-centered outlook and I never regretted it. She wasn’t going to change and I was never going to feel comfortable with her. Most likely the same will prove the case with your friend. She is clearly a highly narcissistic, shallow and amoral person. As we have all discovered, these kind of people do not change. The mere fact that she blithely prattles away about how superior she is to chumped women to a friend who was horribly chumped herself tells me that at best, she does not consider your feelings. At worst, she is jealous of your happiness and tells you these things out of passive aggressive hostility. The Covid thing is utterly vile as well. You can find better friends than this. As CL likes to say about fuckwits, you could swing a cat in a bar and it would land on somebody who is better friend material. I vote that you don’t bother testing her any more than you would bother testing a fuckwit who had directly chumped you, and just back up the dump truck on her. That gives you more time to spend with worthier people. I suspect you are leaning in that direction anyway but are just wondering if that makes you a bad person. Most emphatically and unequivocally, it does not.

  • I missed many of the prior comments while writing mine and getting ready for the day. There’s a wealth of knowledge here. I agree with FoolishChump that you should watch her expressions and see if she is enjoying your pain (just as many of us saw with our cheaters), with Kathleen who is confused by your fear confronting her, with Marge and FeralBlue who encourage you to confront her in hopes she’ll see the light, and with PrincipledLife, who like me saw that the cheating and lack of ethics went beyond the marriage into daily work life.
    As I scrolled back further and further, I learned from every letter I read.
    Chumps, time permitting, I would (and should) commend everyone who responded here, and probably those to come. What an amazing, generous, insightful group.

  • I had a BF like this. I have stepped away from her.
    We were friends for over 20 years from the time we were 11. We are even god parents to each other’s children. Like your friend she comes across as a decent enough person…but lots of things made me eventually call it quits.
    As can be expected over 20 years means lots of experiences but a few stand out to me.
    1. She would contact the guys I was talking to. Either they or she would tell me. Once she stopped speaking to me because one had told her I had been over to his house. This was a lie but she believed him.
    2. She got involved with the husband of her host family.
    3. She ended up having a child with a married man who she nagged into telling his wife. The wife of course went nuts and ex bf was upset because the wife was supposed to be a Christian.
    4. I suspect she slept with ex cheater.
    5. She encouraged me to cheat on ex cheater as a solution.
    Yes we had lots of great times but upon reflection she was sneaky (though I always figured out) and became increasingly selfish. Over time the few values we might have shared were gone.
    Her father knew the type of person she was and he knew that I brought stability to her and before he died he asked me to take care of her but it’s not possible.
    I don’t regret cutting that relationship. It has freed me to find some other pretty great ones.

    Also my sister is an ap. I asked her how is it she would put a woman and her children through what I and my children went through. I was candid with her that I was against it. My cards are on the table and we do not discuss it. But I will make random jabs from time to time and she dare not respond. I can see that no good will come of it. Like my ex bf she has deceitful ways

  • CL you’re being way nicer than I would be ….

    My conversation with friend would be something like

    “Do you remember being married? Do you remember the man you loved for at least awhile- becoming the noncommittal or abusive turd you left? Do you remember wanting to put out for that man?? Yeh: no.
    And me. Do you remember me being fucking crushed? Having to build myself back from the brink? And am I apparently that woman who is – non sexual because I was married so it was logical and apparently my karma to be cheated on? What about now? Do I deserve that?

    Because I don’t get what story you’re trying to tell me. You say your happy. You’re so happy with Joe Viagra you deal with him like a high class escort- hotels and the high life…not actually sharing your life with him even though you are … alone. You could spring for really expensive lingerie to use over time; or great wine ???? or a vacation with someone you care for -but instead you rent a suite for a lunch quickie. Oh wow. Lucky gal. you can both pretend it’s lovely and not vile that you’re swapping fluids and making an innocent woman who has no clue about it be the rube in your classic love triangle… IF she doesn’t put out it is because Joe Viagra is a douchebag who isn’t really working on his home life. And Chances are- she does and you’re making a mockery of yourself and her and me and what I mean to you. You get to make your choices but lady- you’re choosing fucked up.

    In the 90s, everyone knew a few people who did too much blow. Those people kept it under the radar and didn’t talk about it with people fresh out of rehab. They also didn’t kiss their mom and then settle down for dinner but bring out their baggie and start breaking it up on the dining plate before Sunday dinner. In this case lady, as much as I love you- I don’t want to know about this nasty habit. I don’t like it, I don’t agree with your choices and I’m your mom and you have some white on your nose.

    You need to figure out why this is what you think you deserve and want because being alone and having some dude lie to you is not what I think my bestie for life deserves. I’m not saying you need traditional junk. I’m not saying you have to end this. But I am not supportive of it because I don’t think it’s awesome. It’s shitty behaviour and stops you from being with people who actually want you.

    • Start calling her notch.
      ‘Oh, you are proud of your role. As in ‘in his bedpost’

      Soooo…. yeh. See how that rolls.

    • Love, love, love ^^^ this!!

      “IF she doesn’t put out it is because Joe Viagra is a douchebag who isn’t really working on his home life.”

      Preach!!

  • This is ABUSE.

    BFF of BFF,
    Please reframe your BFF’s behaviour from something quite benign and mysterious and glamorous. She is partaking in the abuse of innocent victims. This is fact.
    Serial cheating is an abusive and destructive crime. Yes, I said crime. Just because it is not punishable by jail-time, does not mean the wounds serial cheating inflicts are not deep, cutting, debilitating, life-long wounds. Your BFF is partaking in abuse towards the innocent wives and children and YOURSELF BFF. She may appear polished and put together on the outside, but inside her is a wounded child who is lashing out at the world. She enjoys power and control so much that she even enjoys watching you wince as she shares details of her elicit trysts with you, knowing full well the pain you have suffered and continue to suffer when your ears hear it.
    This is ABUSE.
    Part of breaking away from abusers and gaining a fresh start for a happier life means cutting out all abusers from our lives and having zero tolerance for abusive behaviour.
    For example, I blocked all of X’s friend circle and family since they all had a hand in keeping his dirty secrets and enabling and encouraging him to harm his family with his disgusting affairs and prostitute hook-ups. Would it make any sense to continue to be BFF’s with the wives who knowingly embraced X’s OW literally once he walked out the door? Yes, I thought they too, were my friends of over 20 years. But, they are NOT friends. Friends do not enable abuse upon friends.
    This is really a matter of reframing BF. Once you learn that Adultery is Abuse, you cannot un-learn it.
    The question is, do you want to be an accomplice to BFF’s abuse?
    BOUNDARIES are the key to any healthy relationship. You will see what kind of friend she is once you tell her that you do not want to hear of any of her affairs as you know that adultery is abuse.
    My prediction is she will lash out and turn the tables onto you, but quite frankly, if it were me… that’s when she would get the ear full of TRUTH that she so desperately and deservedly needs to hear.
    CL and CN are giving it to you straight, unlike habitual liar BFF who is an accomplished con artist and master manipulator who crafts BS narratives that being and OW is justified and dignified.
    Who are you going to believe?

  • OW BF is the epitome of the classic OW being duped narrative. OW buys into the cheater BS that the wife is cold, the marriage is in name only, doesn’t want to disrupt the family, etc. Cheater tells OW that she means the world to him, has saved him from his horrible life at least every Tuesday afternoon between 3 and 5 PM, unless of course the Tuesday falls on a holiday or family members birthday. OW is just an easy lay, a boost to cheater’s ego and cheaper than paying for a pro. That’s it. OW is only deluding herself when she states she is fine with the arrangement, another OW classic. OW can make out that her affairs are sophistcated, glamorous but she a nothing more than an easy side piece whore to cheater and the rest of the world.

    • “Cheater tells OW that she means the world to him, has saved him from his horrible life at least every Tuesday afternoon between 3 and 5 PM, unless of course the Tuesday falls on a holiday or family members birthday.”

      Yep, it is so common, that is why it is a cliché.

    • It’s so cliche isn’t it? If I was the OW, I couldn’t help feeling bad about myself. I don’t understand how it would feel good. I’ve often thought about the woman my STBX left me for. First, she was a young woman at our work (yes, we worked together). The story goes that he approached her to see if she would be his kink partner. She said okay, and there it began. Long story short but I kicked him out – which he didn’t want – and now they’re together. So, the story of love with my husband was that we were young and in love and we married and had a family. The story of their love is that she was a whore that fucked a married man practically right in front of the woman who was employing her and now she’s with a broken man who lost his job, wife and the respect of nearly everyone. Lovely, isn’t it?

  • ‘Flattery is cheaper than paying a hooker.’ Best line ever CL????
    I feel this. One of my oldest friends was once an OW…and expressed the typical ‘the wife isn’t her responsibility’ attitude. I haven’t felt the same about her since and hardly see her. She’s great in many ways….but that empathy piece seems to be missing….
    It’s so hard, because when you’ve lost so much, the last thing you want to do is end friendships.

    • I really don’t understand OM and OW who think that the spouses are just collateral damage for their fun. It makes me sick to think how people can do this.

  • I think she should demonstrate her integrity by quietly telling the married man’s wife about her husband’s infidelity. If BF is behaving in a way her morals tell her is OK, despite it causing pain to the current chump AND the author of this letter, then the author should feel free to exercise her own morals. Really there is nothing to work with concerning this friendship, no matter the prior history.

  • Friend-

    Since you are compartmentalizing this a bit, take a moment to mix the scenario around and see if it results in an obvious conclusion.

    Let’s say she was looking to screw YOUR husband and could justify it as good and necessary. You know, to rescue him from your stodgy, ancient values about fidelity. She needs to be touched after all, and over the years she has found you to be a bit of a stick in the mud, what with your ordinary hair and all.

    Don’t for a moment believe it couldn’t happen. She has shown you who she is and that her needs are paramount. By hanging out with BF you are casting your vote and endorsing the “Leopards Eating Peoples Faces” party. Imagine your shock when she eats your face. Chump Lady has countless letters that document besties cheating with the husbands, countless.

    Does it make your choices clearer when you imagine you are an unknowing wife to this whore? Don’t you wish that some friend of an OW in your first marriage would have hit one of them with some frank talk about their behavior?

    Get your mind straight and clarify what values you will live by. Less than that makes you a conspirator to evil. I am sorry this is such a terrible thing you must confront.

  • Wow. She isn’t behaving like a friend, she’s using you to gloat to. I wonder if she tells her other friends, or is it just you?
    I get it, not wanting to lose a female friend. That’s my biggest wish, that I could find some cool women friends, hopefully I will. But consider this- some people evolve over time into disordered weirdos. (That’s what happened to my husband!) You can’t stop it, or change their trajectory. I’d just let her go. I’d tell her I’m leaving, and tell her it’s because of values. Walking away is all you have left, she’s a user, and probably an abuser.
    Wishing for you the same thing I want- cool friends! But no friends is better than a side piece. Personally I couldn’t keep a straight face when she’s going on about how he ‘loves’ her, and the wife is cold and no sex. ???? Really? Come on.

  • Firstly, ever see those investigations where they use luminol and uv light to detect bodily secretions in “upscale” hotel rooms? They’ve found old sperm all over the bedspreads, the upholstered furniture, the sheets, etc. Ew. Where there’s sperm there will be germs.

    I have a suggested solution to the cheater friend issue, though it may be too harsh for some: Suss out the married guy’s name, dig up his wife’s contacts and tell her anonymously by email. Sharing dates and locations adds to credibility As your friend’s affair explodes and she runs to you to wail about it, tell her that you’ve never approved of her behavior, never believed her rationalizations and that she should call you when she’s seen the light and changed her ways. And ghost.

    I think it’s the only moral thing to do. One thing I hate about being cornered into the confidant role to an adulterer is the burden of guilt ball is then in my court. I can’t unhear or unknow what I’ve learned so it’s not enough to say I don’t want to hear about it.

    There’s only one option to being made a proxy enabler to someone’s continuing abuse– and we all know that cheating always comes with other forms of abuse. There’s only one innocent party in your friend’s triangle and that’s the victim (unless the chump has kids, then more than one).

    I also wouldn’t opt for Kantian honesty with the cheater friend and would not admit to being the whistleblower because, in my experience, poachers, like cheaters, are scary, dark and retaliatory. I don’t feel the need to be stringently honest with chronically hurtful liars.

    • ‘There’s only one innocent party in your friend’s triangle and that’s the victim (unless the chump has kids, then more than one’
      YES.
      It’s amazing the accomplices feel zero responsibility whatsoever.

      • I know– while the gobble up and gulp down FW’s kids’ embezzled college funds. But hey, it’s not like THEY ever gave vows to minor children not to contribite to their ruined futures and deprivation.

  • It’s been my experience that affair partner OW have difficulties committing to marriage or relationships so a long term situation with mr unavailable is perfect. It’s like there’s something missing In Their makeup and they think and act superficially in some aspects. They are also selfish – which chumps don’t understand sometimes. You can back off and keep the relationship at bay. Or you can just tell her no more.

    • In many cases I am sure.

      In my case I have no doubt the issue was she could not compete for available single men. She had a reputation of going after married men. A meal ticket was definitely her motivation. She had to cycle through several to nap one. I think both situations are pretty common, though I would guess not being able to compete in the single arena is more common.

      She had been married two times that I know of, but possibly three. He three kids had different dads.

    • It’s interesting how we distinguish APs from cheaters. Both are FWs. Most of the time, is the distinction purely situational/contextual? These people were the APs to our FWs, but they often were/are/will be cheaters, too. They obviously share many values and characteristics. And as today’s letter and response illuminate, both are shallow kibble whores.

      • Agree.

        My fw’s fellow fw, loved to gamble. He evidently did too, but just controlled it while we were together. She clearly was sexually a whore, as was he. Gets in screaming fights with her family and neighbors, which he started doing after we split.

        Reality is whether I like it or not, he found his level, he didn’t pretend any longer.

  • Can you say, “Please don’t tell me anymore. Every time you do it brings back the pain that I was in all those years ago. That pain never really goes away. I was the woman that you don’t care about. I was that wife you don’t care about. I care about her because she is where I was.”
    If she gets angry or chooses to continue to tell you then you have the right to terminate this friendship because it isn’t one anymore. She’s become a vampire of your feelings.

  • Unfortunately I agree with the others who have said – don’t put it past your friend to go after your husband. If your husband has integrity he will shut that down, but it doesn’t mean she won’t try to at least get him to desire her.
    She needs kibbles from men, and she will flirt and do what she needs to do in order to feel wanted and desired.
    I’ve known women like that, some of them just like to get to the point of knowing that the man wants them.

  • My BF’s older sister has had a long-standing affair (32 years or so) with her former boss. She knew he was married but thought she was a very special girl. There was a child of the affair. He did not leave his wife. She knows about the affair and the child, now an adult. My BF’s sis has lived a very sad, bitter life, living in hope that he would leave his wife, recognise their child, invite the child to family events, and so on. I always used to look at her and think ‘what a sad woman’ and ‘what a waste of a life’ but got on with her well enough. Never going to be friends but she was OK.

    When I was dumped for the ex GF after 26 years, my feelings changed dramatically. I could be in her company when necessary, could be polite, but I did not hold back from saying what I thought about people who have affairs. She saw my pain. Unsurprisingly she’s not keen to be around me now. My BF once said, and she can be a thoughtless speaker, about my situation ‘ok have an affair, but don’t be cruel when leaving’. I had a quiet intake of breath and thought ‘you’re my friend, I’m godmother to your child, but I will not share my heart with you in future’. I didn’t need to say anything but I put my boundary in place.

    My godchild and I are close. She is a joy and she has a strong moral compass having seen her aunt’s failings as a decent human being. That’s enough for me. And I’m there to remind her.

  • There’s only two positions really when you talk about adultery, you are part of the problem, or you are part of the solution. You can’t be both. We know what your friend is, so now it’s time to decide what you are.

    Also, like all OW, this friend of yours has convinced you what a Wonderful Catch she is. I’m going to disagree on that. Any man worth a shit wouldn’t touch her with a 10 foot pole. I can say this cause I’m older myself, but women in their 50s don’t generate much excitement in the dating world. That’s why your friend offers free/no obligation blow jobs and sex. That’s why so many cheaters gravitate towards exes when they are older. You can be attractive as an older woman, but aging Roadwhores aren’t attractive, they’re just cheap. Please disassociate yourself from this person.

  • “she […] has invested her money well such that she doesn’t need to work.”

    Hmm. Is that true? Or is she in fact a hooker selling the premium “girlfriend experience”?

  • I really struggle with the patriarchy comment.
    As a male chump my perspective is obviously different and it’s quite a sensitive point for me.
    This woman carries 50% of the responsibility for the affair ; she happily stabs the wive in the back and uses the bullshit lines of “ the relationship is dead in the bedroom”.
    Sure, I can see family of origin issues in her upbringing and a probable distrust of relationships.
    But this is 2021 we can all work on our issues and get them sorted . And basic values such as “ don’t have an affair with a married man” are not that hard to comprehend .
    This has nothing to do with the patriarchy , the married man took what was happily offered to him; they are both consenting adults. This woman in particular has been described as having her act together in many other aspects of her life . ( succesful investor who doesn’t have to work)

    • Obviously you’re not a regular in the cesspool that is reddit and tik tok (bless you) where it’s all the rage for escorts and OnlyFans sex workers to claim that they’re “empowering” themselves by expressing their “sexual choices” and, if married men want to embezzle marital assets to pay for sex and expose their wives to STDs without consent, it’s not their problem. Nor is human trafficking their problem; nor the murder rate among less “empowered” trafficked, often under-aged sex workers; nor the young girls who buy the fairy dust, whitewashed empowerment bull being spun by proto-feminist pimps and SWs, get hooked into that life and end up dead.

      That’s why I find the “blowing the patriachy” comment spot in and hilarious. I think CL was referring to another post– a send up of a a recently published book by a female side piece/cheater who tried to grub feminist creds for her antics. CL made a meal of that absurdity and said the author was, again, “blowing the patriarchy.”

      • Thanks for the explanation and back story.
        No, not on reddit, tik tok, only fans or anything.
        The examples you give are revolting and I have got nothing to do with them either .
        I’m glad you find it amusing , out of this context it just brushed me up the wrong way.

  • The over-the-top messages to an OW hurt but now I’m firmly going to remember they were flattery – instead of paying 🙂

    • Honestly these fws act like hormonal teenagers, I think most of them honestly think that feeling will last forever, just like a hormonal teenager.

      I don’t believe in affair fog in the way it is portrayed, but I do think their hormones at least in the beginning go nuts. They will say or do anything to keep the hits coming.

  • If your friend was an abuser of children would you accept that? I don’t think so. Abusing an adult is as bad. Your friend is an abuser of women…. the wives of the men she fucks! Yes, ditch her. She’s not your problem to fix. Doesn’t matter how much history you have together. She’s not your sort of person.

  • Dump her. She has a character defect thus cannot really ever be a good friend. I have dumped friends for less than this because the relationship was not good for me. Just sayin’.

  • I have a few thoughts here. I also have a friend like this – but its’ a man. He’s sleeping with a married woman who keeps saying that she will leave her husband, blah blah blah. He tried to tell me some bullshit about her husband not caring if she sleeps around. My friend was also a chump and his wife left him for one of her many lovers so I don’t know what the fuck he’s doing. I’ve had very direct conversations with him to say that I don’t believe in what he’s doing and I’m sad at his choices. So now he just lies to me and doesn’t tell me what he’s doing. Now I’m just kind of like, “meh”, we don’t share the same values so I only say, “hey” to him now and again. Sadly he’s been my friend for 20 years and he was absolutely there for me when my life went to hell.

    On the “dead bedroom” note…this is also bullshit for many of us. I hate to admit it, but once I virtually begged my husband for sex. “Why don’t you want to have sex with me?”, I cried on one night about a year before DDay. This, after many months of me asking if he was cheating. He finally admitted that he didn’t want any more “vanilla” sex. So, it wasn’t that we weren’t having sex, but I couldn’t compete with the porn star hookers he was paying for who allowed him to tie them up and beat them. Another friend of mine whose husband cheated, told me they had sex almost every day. In my case, it was true we didn’t have sex very often, but that’s because he was getting it elsewhere all the time and also jerking off instead of having sex with me! OW and OM seemed to get hooked into the kibbles of that. “Oh, poor you, I will be so much better than your spouse in bed.” Yeah, fuck that. If my husband invested one iota into me he would have gotten much better results in the bedroom! Instead he chose to find it elsewhere. They all spin the narrative to suit, and that includes the cheaters and the affair partners. They’re all just living one big lie.

    • You are 100% correct on the “dead bedroom” BS narrative cheaters spin. There are always 2 scenarios for this:
      – they are getting it elsewhere, neglecting their spouse and trying to justify in their own warped mind saying “we don’t have sex anymore. We have a dead bedroom.” Yeah that’s because Cheaters MAKE IT THAT WAY!
      – some Cheaters have more than usual sex with Spouse to throw them off suspicion and to make themselves feel less guilty
      Either way… Cheaters behaviour is the reason for the demise of the bedroom and the marriage.

      • “some Cheaters have more than usual sex with Spouse to throw them off suspicion and to make themselves feel less guilty”

        Yep to all, but I would add; cheaters rarely feel guilty; what they feel for a while is exhilarated; they are on a high and they love the feeling of duping the spouse who is loving them like nothing is wrong. That usually ends at some point, and then they have set the scene for the dead bedroom, because the spouse is starting to sense something and withdraw.

  • Haven’t read all the comments yet but wow we’re onto another topic that stings!

    My best friend broke off our relationship of 30 years this past December. But from my perspective, it went like this: I was raped in 2014, I felt weird reaching out to her but did because she was my ‘best friend.’ She came and sat with me in the hours afterward. I was very distraught, obviously. I felt so judged, and I had indeed gotten involved with a guy who obviously was no good for me, and should have seen signs. I said, “I’ve had such a hard time knowing who is good. But how *do* you know, Friend? I mean, you introduced me to J, who raped me the night you set us up.” Then I felt horribly guilty for implicating her in that first assault, we were young, blah blah. But she had continued to date, and then marry, that rapist’s buddy (which is how she knew him and brought him along to our NYE outing). Friend then did not reach out to me again at all, for two months, after that. I had already felt so shameful reaching out the first time, I thought she’d check in with me to see how I was in the aftermath. When she didn’t, I contacted her two months later saying, you haven’t been in touch at all, she said she’d just been busy/sorry if I felt hurt, etc. I stepped right back from our friendship.

    Two years later we ran into each other, she cried, apologized, missed me so much. I let her back into my life. Fast forward to last summer. Friend knows that I live in a small town with very few Black people, am the only Black/mixed woman working at my entire university (so no fellow Black professionals or academics or friends). When COVID hit, I initiated contact with her a couple times to see how she was doing. So when George Floyd was murdered, and the whole world and media was about race violence, while I was alone in the pandemic, it was already her ‘turn’ to call. I was a mess with no local support. I was so messed up I organized a whole protest march in my town, just to meet people and have some support. Like, all I expect from a best friend who knows me, in that situation, is, wow, Magnolia, this must be a hard time for you / the world is effed up. But she did not. When she finally reached out because she saw my name in the paper for the rally, I said, you weren’t there for me, again, in a really hard moment. Why? Again, “I was busy.” I said I didn’t have the energy to break up with her again; I really didn’t during that very charged time.

    So we kept on sort of talking. But she wouldn’t return calls. When we did talk, I would ask about her and keep my own shit minimal so not to be too much and try to be mindful of how busy she was and try to say, ok, well I’ll let you go … and she would always keep talking, past that, like past when I had to get off the phone. It was weird.

    So in Nov/Dec I was trying to support her through her job move. She wouldn’t call back. I felt super rejected. Didn’t know if I could even be friends if she couldn’t even reply to a text. Finally she called to break up, saying *I’d* broken *her* trust because I told her that at the rally, I spoke publicly about a close friend (not naming her – she’s in another state) who was AWOL after over a week of global protests. I was asking the people gathered: how do we care for one another in a time like this? What does it mean to be an ally, etc?

    She made no mention in this break up of being AWOL post-rape. No mention of what it actually meant that she didn’t even text during pandemic-George Floyd-related worldwide riots. I don’t expect a text from everyone. Only from someone who’d define themselves as my best friend. She said I’d broken her trust, and that she didn’t think she could be what I wanted anyway.

    Anyway, I’m still processing. Still processing how chumpy I may have been through the whole friendship. One thing I haven’t fully figured out is what to feel about her cheating on her first husband, and how I heard it at the time. We were in our late 20s; she’d just gotten married but went to law school and met “the guy she’d always wanted to marry.” I was in a not-great live-in relationship at the time, so I related to her not being happy in her marriage that she’d entered somewhat dutifully. She described the husband as irresponsible.

    That year she confided in me as she developed a friendship with the new guy at school. It was always just friendly, she said. Then it was, well, it’s pretty clear we have a crush on each other but we’re not going to act on it. Eventually she divorced her husband. Husband accused her of cheating but she said they didn’t; she told me she didn’t have sex with new guy until she had left the husband (separated, maybe, not divorced). I never really pushed back. I had always just listened and sympathized. It seemed plausible to me that she met someone she loved more. She went on to marry new guy, have two kids, and both are power-player lawyers where they live. They lived the life I always wanted: respectable, mutual support of each others’ careers, seemingly quite affectionate and mature and responsible. I always felt lesser around them and that they felt sorry for my bad life and bad choices.

    Here at CL we do say that honorable people get a divorce if they are unhappy. I always thought that’s what my friend did. Recently, about a couple years ago, I was telling her about the man I was dating and that he seemed like a man-child. I talked about how my man was making promises of wanting to change, and how I wanted to express my needs without putting him down, without nagging or expecting to control/change. I asked how she addressed her issues with her first husband. She said she never told him she was unhappy. She said she just tried to do things for him, pick up the slack, until she was tired of it. By this point, I had been chumped enough to wonder if her first husband had ever had a chance.

    I still get mental loops about whether I’m the bad-choices-toxic-calamity-drama friend who my relatively sober, decent, established, now-got-the-hubby-kids-picket-fence friend just couldn’t put up with anymore; or whether I’m the person who has lived with integrity my whole life, including living the life of a young-woman-of-colour who young white men (including her ex-hubby’s buddy) assaulted regularly before I even knew what assault was, and the life of a chump, and that she was the type of get-what-I-want person who “overlapped” on the way from one husband to a more powerful one.

    Here’s one final thing she said that I don’t know what to make of: one of her children is a very sensitive boy. Sensitive musically, artistically, emotionally volatile – like me! I make my living from art. She said: “Sometimes I think God sent me that child as a punishment for leaving my first husband.” Wut?

    • Magnolia. Please keep your honor and your integrity. And I would stop reaching out to your ‘friend’. That was a very hurtful thing for her to say, i.e., about her son, and then comparing him to you and that it was her punishment. It’s time to not have anymore hurtful people in your life. You may be friendless for a while, but eventually you will make friends, and good friends as long as you choose no more fuckwits. You deserve to be treated well and if there’s someone that does not treat you well, who does not give you respect, then it’s better to be single than to have that person in your life. Have faith that God will put good people in your life.

      • Thanks Amazon Chump. To be clear, I’m the one making the comparison in this telling of the story — she didn’t say it at the time. But she often talked to me about him as if looking to understand why he was behaving the way he was, and we both regularly talked about him as having a similar temperament to meine. So for me her comment was a window on how she really felt about people with that kind of way of relating to the world.

  • Magnolia–

    You wrote: “I still get mental loops about whether I’m the bad-choices-toxic-calamity-drama friend who my relatively sober, decent, established, now-got-the-hubby-kids-picket-fence friend just couldn’t put up with anymore; or whether I’m the person who has lived with integrity my whole life…”

    She’s a fw cheater (emotional or otherwise– kind of think otherwise), married to a mate poacher, a terrible fairweather friend who hooked you up with a rapist and then sjamed and bailed on you, and wishes her sensituve son had never been born? Google “Dark triad.”

    The answer to your query, it’s the latter. You’ve got boat-loads of integrity, obviously worry yourself sick about what’s right (beautiful, messy trait– my favorite), do what’s right when it costs you ( you threw a George Floyd rally in an all-white town! Actually that’s my favorite) and, like a lot of loving, imaginative, well- meaning people (my other favorite), you project that those traits onto others, sometimes when they don’t deserve it. Also Google the “Positive Disintegration” theory of Kazimierz Dabrowski. You’ll recognize yourself in it in a good way.

    For the record, I can look back on my life in a very male dominated, rapey-harassy high stakes field and see that every treasonous woman who threw other women under the bus for male approval was either a repeat side piece and/or cheater. At this point, that’s all I need to know about someone to taper off contact, fire them or ghost because I know how things inevitably turn out.

    Young women so often start out afraid to be “judgmental” and then spend the rest of their lives wishing they’d been moreso. Live and learn.

    • Thanks, HOAC. Always hard to see things clearly when right up close. More time and distance should help.

      I googled Positive Disintegration! Yes! I’m in pretty disassembled shape these days but it feels like a transition, a shedding of bad connections, a lot like Stage 4. So interesting that the theory should be associated with gifted kids and ‘overexcitability.’ Very relatable!

    • HoaChump

      Wow….your mention of Positive Disintegration made me search it out.

      Wham….ideas that I have been toying with for quite awhile. Now I have found a place for them – knowing that I am not the only one who sees these kinds of patterns overlaying our lives and being played out right before our eyes -hidden in clear sight as it were.

      Thanks!

  • I have two fairly good friends who have no qualms about sleeping with married men. I just don’t know what do. I’ve already experienced so much loss between my marriage and social circle in the last few years that I can’t bear to lose two more friends. I’ve made my feelings clear to them – one is pretty respectful and the other is a little less – she wants to make the dead bedroom, Pyscho wife argument.

    I hope to get to move all of these cheaters and other women out of my world eventually.

  • I appreciate the insights in this post. Though beyond wondering what to do about FW, I’m still working out what to do with some friends who’ve meant a lot to me. In the letter writer’s case, it seems that whatever she chooses to do, she has lost the satisfying relationship and deep bond with a person she once loved like a sister. This is not My BF is an AP’s fault, and the only way for her to regain the previous closeness would be to change her own values and lower her expectations. (She feels sick lowering herself to be friends with her BF, so I don’t think she will be comfortable becoming like her.) It’s a disappointment and a loss, even if they stay “friends.” There are so many emotional parallels between this dilemma and the one we face when leaving a cheater we’ve been bonded with through so many irreplaceable years of life. It leaves a hole and no matter how much better off/more authentic and honest become as a result. We can’t just go find another BF tomorrow. It takes years to develop this kind of relationship. Even if someone comes along, she will never have the same history, the shared youth and experiences. This is heartbreaking and I understand why BF is having a hard time. This made me think about something I read in Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings – a quote out of Robert Macfarlane’s book “Understory: A Deep Time Journey,” about trees’ underground lives:

    “I remember something Louis de Bernières has written about a relationship that endured into old age: ‘we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.’ As someone lucky to live in a long love, I recognize that gradual growing-towards and subterranean intertwining; the things that do not need to be said between us, the unspoken communication which can sometimes tilt troublingly towards silence, and the sharing of both happiness and pain. I think of good love as something that roots, not rots, over time, and of the hyphae that are weaving through the ground below me, reaching out through the soil in search of mergings. Theirs, too, seems to me then a version of love’s work.”

    • B&R

      Thank you for pointing me towards Brain Pickings and Maria Popova.

      I have never heard of her or BP before.

      Yes, the deeper look into things once the rubble settles down the treasures begin to appear….such is this process towards Meh for me where I stumble across the most amazing things and people – like the theory of Positive Disintegration that Magnolia mentioned in her response to Hell of a Chump.

      Delightful.

  • You outgrow people sometimes. That is ok and you shouldn’t feel guilty about that. However, you really shouldn’t hang on once you realized what has occurred. That’s what is going on here. Speak your peace and let her go. I’ve done it too and it hurts, but you will come to terms with it.

    The BF has low self-esteem. She may be thin and hot, but she doesn’t see herself in a positive way. Being the AP is a means to bolster her self-esteem, but it never lasts. She’s got to come to that realization for herself and grow, but at her age, I don’t think it’ll happen.

  • Yea, I dunno…I think you guys are different people. Also, I think if you looked a lot harder at this friendship, you may see other red flags that more directly impact you. I ditched a friend sort of like this after my divorce. She wasn’t a cheater, but I was very upset by her relationship choices (she chose to stay with her cheater boyfriend and incorporate her young daughter into his family life, despite their unstable relationship). After a year of watching this toxic drama, and seeing how it played out on her daughter, I needed out. And, after some distance and time, I realized that she was actually a fairly toxic and needy person–she was an immature taker and brought drama into my life. My life was smoother when she was out of it. I felt terrible leaving her daughter in that mess–and said my piece to her and her daughter’s father, but I had no other strings to pull. She’s not my kid, I have no say.

    And, by ending that friendship, I increased my capacity for new, more functional friendships…which have been wonderful. It’s nice to be friends with thoughtful and mature women, who make positive life choices and have goals and plans. People who can bring me up, not hold me back. It’s awesome.

  • I have had a very good friend for 33 years. She was my maid of honor at my wedding and I think of her as being a good person. About 20 years ago, however, she disclosed to me that she had had an brief affair with a married physician. I was shocked and disturbed by this and spoke out that this was really wrong and questioned how she could justify this. She was taken back by my questioning and said that I was essentially saying she was a whore. Well, yah… I was. She didn’t like it. What she didn’t know is that I had been chumped and was really suffering while staying married to my husband and hoping for a unicorn. That my husband would change his ways and become the honorable man I had hoped.

    5 years ago my friend’s married niece developed a brain tumor. My friend and I thought her niece’s husband was a good guy- only to find out that he wasn’t. He was fucking around on her niece with serial OW co-worker in his office. He divorced the niece and the chump niece has just been struggling to raise their two children as a single mom, work and deal with her health issues. I asked my friend for her niece’s address as I wanted to send her a copy of Chump Lady’s book. My friend wouldn’t give the address to me saying that she found Chump Lady ‘too judgey’. I am thinking that my friend didn’t want to do this because her assisting me in educating her niece would be somehow formally render my friend as a OW who had also previously deceived another married woman.

    I am still friends with her and as the situation worsens for the niece I think that my friend’s conscience is seriously bothered. I think it is good though for her to see how horribly people’s lives are upended by infidelity. Karma by proxy perhaps? I can only hope…

  • I like this post very much.

    “She thinks she’s a power player. She’s Wednesday.”

    Wow.

    Chump Lady, I’ve been in the position of this woman with the friend who is an OW. I was wondering how in the world you might respond to this letter. I thought you might hard-hit her, but you were kind, understanding and soft. What grace. And you left off with giving her friend a chance. Amazing! I mean, I agree with that… so much.

    It didn’t work that way with my friend.

    We were walking buddies. And she had a dog. And she knew the forest, and we when we’d get off the path, walking for miles and miles, she always knew the way. I’m good with directions, but you don’t mess around in the forest, when there’re bears and cougars and the daylight is waning at 3pm. She’d been walking those paths for 20 years. She knew the forest, inside and out.

    She was a talker. I’ve never been much of a talker. So we walked and she talked. And the affair happened during the time I knew her and while we were friends. He came to her house and built cabinets for her kitchen. When those were done, he found other things to do. We those things were done, she found things for him to do. And by the time everything in her house was finished, they were kissing. Then they were meeting in different spots in the city, and she would show up in skimpy dresses, seducing him with everything she had to offer, and eventually they were in a full blown affair.

    She was Wednesday.

    During that time, her father died. At the funeral, she saw her brother, who had sexually molested her as a child, and then she had the unpleasant task of moving her mother to a home, against her will, and I helped her with my truck. Our plan worked, and her mother was happy in the new place, (thankfully.) Then her mother died, and she had to see her brother again. And then… her dog died.

    She loved her dog more than she loved herself. When her dog died, she didn’t leave her house for a week. I went and knocked at her door, put food on the porch, tried to contact her, but she just couldn’t cope.

    Then gradually she began to get out again. She called me and said, “Do you want to go for a walk?” And I said yes.

    That’s when she started talking more and more about the affair. And she was thinking about getting another dog, and doing research, and her affair partner’s wife wanted a dog, so they ended up getting dogs from the same litter! So then the affair partner’s wife met her, and decided that they could be friends, so all three of them started going for walks together!

    I was sorry that she’d been through so much, but I had been chumped (which she never asked about,) and I felt sorry for the wife of this guy, and a little time had gone by since her parents died, so I started telling her that she should end the affair, and that I no longer wanted to hear anything about it. When she’d call me on the phone, I’d say, “Yes, I’d love to go, but I don’t want to hear you talk about him.” She’d say okay, and every now and then, sneak in a few comments here or there, but she was pretty good about not talking about him, so I kept going on walks with her.

    She got some money when her parents died, and decided to buy a house. She wanted me to be her realtor. I decided to do it. When I was selling her condo, several people wanted to put offers on it, and use me for their realtor, too. I told them no, they’d have to get their own realtor. (But most realtors wouldn’t do that – they’d be realtors for the buyer and the seller – it’s called “double-ending.”)

    I knew her well, and I knew the house that would be best for her. I was studying all the houses in the city, and that one was a good choice, but I remained impartial about it while she looked at all the other houses on her list. I did start collecting information, and I made a large notebook of back records (the foundation, the roof, the builder, etc.) I talked with all those people on the phone and got as much information as possible, about the land, whether or not there were oil tanks below, etc., all behind the scenes, so I could be ready with all the facts when she made her decision.

    I did an open house at her condo, and asked her not to be there, so she said she was gonna check out some of the open houses in the neighborhood. After that, she started calling me and asking me about all the things mentioned above. I had a few answers for her, but I didn’t go into a lot of detail, as I wanted the choice of house to be her decision, and her decision alone. (If she had chosen one of the other houses she really liked, I’d have said no, as I had a notebooks on them, too.)

    Anyway… the condo sold. And the day after the closing, she wanted to put a contract on the house – the good one. We went over and measured it – it took about four hours. I said I was gonna make the offer in person, and she said, “Wait.”

    She told me I was too friendly. She said that if I met the buyers, I’d fall in love with them, and want the best for them. I said, “WHAT? Are you kidding me? I just turned down three people who wanted me to be their realtor on your condo.” She kept hesitating and backtracking and I said, “Hey. We’re friends. Something’s up and I can’t figure it out. Do you want to get someone else in here to make the deal? If so, I’ll give them 25%.” And she said, “Yeah.” So I said, “Who did you have in mind?” And she’d met a really cute guy, who was a realtor, when she went looking at houses in the neighborhood!

    So she ditched me for him. He was a realtor in my brokerage, and he took her – very quickly – the same day that we’d measured her the house she liked for four hours, and that we’d had the conversation – to a house that he knew, and that was my mistake.

    I talked to my broker, who was a very good friend, and he said, “You just got pirated.” The other realtor showed her a house and that established her as his client.

    So he ended up with 75% and I ended up with 25%.

    It was a very big deal at our office, because my friend had signed a buyer’s agreement with me, and we were all discussing buyer’s agreements at the time. It was embarrassing, and my broker called both of us into his office and the other guy talked me down, so much. So my broker called my friend in, and I asked him how it went. He said, “She kicked you to the curb, then went over and stomped on you.”

    She had my bicycle. I got it back. Then I never talked to her again. She tried to contact me once, but it was on Facebook Messenger, and I didn’t see it until two years later (haha, I never check that!)

    I guess she chumped me too, hey? I would have never guessed that she would do that; not in a million years, even though she had proven her character by the way she treated the wife of her affair partner. I never gave her the 100-page notebook I put together for her new house. (I probably should have – it had some of the original papers… but I didn’t.)

    Sometimes it’s not obvious what the right thing is…

    I miss our walks but I don’t miss our talks.

    • Light Heart,

      It sounds like the character she showed with the affair ended up being the character she showed when dealing with you on the house. Her comment about you “falling in love” with potential buyers, and therefore siding with them at her expense, shows you a lot about what she thinks “falling in love” means and how opportunistically she sees relationships and agreements. I like how in the end you reflect on the quality of conversation you had with her. That’s the thing; when people don’t have integrity, it shows in how they comment on the world and how they see relationships. I’m glad your broker was solid with you and didn’t believe her bs!

  • I like this post very much.

    “She thinks she’s a power player. She’s Wednesday.”

    Wow.

    Chump Lady, I’ve been in the position of this woman with the friend who is an OW. I was wondering how in the world you might respond to this letter. I thought you might hard-hit her, but you were kind, understanding and soft. What grace. And you left off with giving her friend a chance. Amazing! I mean, I agree with that… so much.

    It didn’t work that way with my friend.

    We were walking buddies. And she had a dog. And she knew the forest, and we when we’d get off the path, walking for miles and miles, she always knew the way. I’m good with directions, but you don’t mess around in the forest, when there’re bears and cougars and the daylight is waning at 3pm. She’d been walking those paths for 20 years. She knew the forest, inside and out.

    She was a talker. I’ve never been much of a talker. So we walked and she talked. And the affair happened during the time I knew her and while we were friends. He came to her house and built cabinets for her kitchen. When those were done, he found other things to do. When those things were done, she found things for him to do. And by the time everything in her house was finished, they were kissing. Then they were meeting in different spots in the city, and she would show up in skimpy dresses, seducing him with everything she had to offer, and eventually they were in a full blown affair.

    She was Wednesday.

    During that time, her father died. At the funeral, she saw her brother, who had sexually molested her as a child, and then she had the unpleasant task of moving her mother to a home, against her will, and I helped her with my truck. Our plan worked, and her mother was happy in the new place, (thankfully.) Then her mother died, and she had to see her brother again. And then… her dog died.

    She loved her dog more than she loved herself. When her dog died, she didn’t leave her house for a week. I went and knocked at her door, put food on the porch, tried to contact her, but she just couldn’t cope.

    Then gradually she began to get out again. She called me and said, “Do you want to go for a walk?” And I said Yes.

    That’s when she started talking more and more about the affair. And she was thinking about getting another dog, and doing research, and her affair partner’s wife wanted a dog, so they ended up getting dogs from the same litter! So then the affair partner’s wife met her, and decided that they could be friends, so all three of them started going for walks together!

    I was sorry that she’d been through so much, but I had been chumped (which she never asked about,) and I felt sorry for the wife of this guy, and a little time had gone by since her parents died, so I started telling her that she should end the affair, and that I no longer wanted to hear anything about it. When she’d call me on the phone, I’d say, “Yes, I’d love to go, but I don’t want to hear you talk about him.” She’d say okay, and every now and then, sneak in a few comments here or there, but she was pretty good about not talking about him, so I kept going on walks with her.

    She got some money when her parents died, and decided to buy a house. She wanted me to be her realtor. I decided to do it. When I was selling her condo, several people wanted to put offers on it, and use me for their realtor, too. I told them no, they’d have to get their own realtor. (But most realtors wouldn’t do that – they’d be realtors for the buyer and the seller – it’s called “double-ending.”)

    I knew her well, and I knew the house that would be best for her. I was studying all the houses in the city, and that one was a good choice, but I remained impartial about it while she looked at all the other houses on her list. I did start collecting information, and I made a large notebook of back records (the foundation, the roof, the builder, etc.) I talked with all those people on the phone and got as much information as possible, about the land, whether or not there were oil tanks below, etc., all behind the scenes, so I could be ready with all the facts when she made her decision.

    I did an open house at her condo, and asked her not to be there, so she said she was gonna check out some of the open houses in the neighborhood. After that, she started calling me and asking me about all the things mentioned above. I had a few answers for her, but I didn’t go into a lot of detail, as I wanted the choice of house to be her decision, and her decision alone. (If she had chosen one of the other houses she really liked, I’d have said no, as I had a notebooks on them, too.)

    Anyway… the condo sold. And the day after the closing, she wanted to put a contract on the house – the good one. We went over and measured it – it took about four hours. I said I was gonna make the offer in person, and she said, “Wait.”

    She told me I was too friendly. She said that if I met the buyers, I’d fall in love with them, and want the best for them. I said, “WHAT? Are you kidding me? I just turned down three people who wanted me to be their realtor on your condo.” She kept hesitating and backtracking and I said, “Hey. We’re friends. Something’s up and I can’t figure it out. Do you want to get someone else in here to make the deal? If so, I’ll give them 25%.” And she said, “Yeah.” So I said, “Who did you have in mind?” And she’d met a really cute guy, who was a realtor, when she went looking at houses in the neighborhood!

    So she ditched me for him. He was a realtor in my brokerage, and he took her – very quickly – the same day that we’d measured the house she liked for four hours, and that we’d had the conversation – to a house that he knew, and that was a mistake.

    I talked to my broker, who was a good friend, and he said, “You just got pirated.” The other realtor showed her a house and that established her as his client.

    So he ended up with 75% and I ended up with 25%.

    It was a very big deal at our office, because my friend had signed a buyer’s agreement with me, and we were all discussing buyer’s agreements at the time. It was embarrassing, and my broker called both of us into his office and the other guy talked me down, so much. So my broker called my friend in, and later, I asked him how it went. He said, “She kicked you to the curb, then went over and stomped on you.”

    She had my bicycle. I got it back. Then I never talked to her again. She tried to contact me once, but it was on Facebook Messenger, and I didn’t see it until two years later (haha, I never check that!)

    I guess she chumped me too, hey? I would have never guessed that she would do that; not in a million years, even though she had proven her character by the way she treated the wife of her affair partner. I never gave her the 100-page notebook I put together for her new house. (I probably should have – it had some of the original papers… but I didn’t.)

    Sometimes it’s not obvious what the right thing is…

    I miss our walks but I don’t miss our talks.

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