I am a fellow chump who 4 years ago was betrayed, gaslighted, emotionally abused, on and on, by my partner of 8 years. He cheated with a married coworker and I was devastated, traumatized and Chump Nation was my savior.
Fast forward to about 8 months ago and my friend (L) of 30 years confided in me that she was having an affair with her local mechanic who is married with 3 children. I was blindsided and in shock; she and her husband (S) were married 5 years and were those people you hated for being so happy. I’m talking affection in public, never fighting, house full of photos and love quotes. To me it came off as very co-dependent as they didn’t have lives outside each other at all. I can count on one hand how many times I saw her without him in the 8 years they were together.
When L told me about the affair I did my best to be supportive, but I saw all the signs of abuse and trauma S was experiencing. She had stopped having sex with him and started getting caught in lies about her naughty communication with other guys. L was gaslighting S to the point of him acting irrational and in her eyes “controlling” (insert eye roll). She became so spiteful and hateful of him and I begged her to leave him.
L wouldn’t leave because that would mean losing the house they shared and she just didn’t want to do that. She also wouldn’t leave because if the AP didn’t leave his wife, S was plan B. S wouldn’t leave because he loved her and couldn’t understand how things had changed so fast nor why she suddenly resented him so much. They fought every single week; screaming matches. L continued the affair while S spiraled into desperation and sadness. I loved both of them so much but out of loyalty to L, I did not reach out to S even though I sympathized with him so much more and had even asked her if I could. I knew what he was going through. So many times I wanted to reach out and didn’t. So many conversations with L that made me want to gouge my eyes out — the secrecy, how snowflake love the AP and she had, how much she hated S’s behavior.
Well S finally found the truth by breaking into L’s phone and finding the evidence he needed. He told the wife of the AP and after which the mechanic broke things off with L. Three weeks later in late January 2022, when L & S were fighting, he put a gun to his head. After she managed to get out of the house, he pulled the trigger and killed himself.
I was one of only two people who knew the affair was happening and the only one who knew all the disgusting details of it. I lost someone I loved whom while yes, made the decision to end his life, did not deserve to be treated like he did. L has been able to spin the story of yes, she had an emotional affair (more eye rolling), but he was controlling and deranged! She and the mechanic have started back up again and just four months later, is moving into her house.
I am so disgusted and am having such a hard time wrapping my head around all this. I am so angry with L and cannot believe what a selfish person she is. I am being told by her parents and even a close friend of mine that I need to be supportive of her and let her make her decisions. Meanwhile I am racked with guilt and anger for not reaching out to S and being supportive of him; now it is too late. How do I move on from this? How do I even begin to be supportive of someone capable of this and how do I maintain any sort of friendship with her when her choices and actions reek of monster? Am I a bad friend for wanting to cut myself off from her over this?
Old Friend, New Foe
Why on earth do you think you need to be “supportive” of this loathsome person?
When L told me about the affair I did my best to be supportive
Really? Because you seem pretty clear that such betrayal is abuse when it happened to you. Why would you want to be supportive of someone abusing their partner?
Why are you friends with someone who makes you want to gouge your eye’s out? Who enlists you in conspiracies?
Shared history isn’t shared values. What are your values?
L has been able to spin the story of yes, she had an emotional affair (more eye rolling), but he was controlling and deranged!
Who is she spinning this story to? Were you in the room? Because you absolutely can fact check that.
“No. You were fucking the mechanic. For months.”
Objective reality matters. Do you really want a friend that insists you buy into her lies? Do you like who you are in that relationship?
That’s really the point of this blog. The one that saved you. Objective reality matters. And decency matters. We should treat each other — especially our partners — ethically. Without that, what is there? Unbridled selfishness and nihilism. I got mine, fuck you. He’s married with three children? I got mine, fuck you. You want honest answers? I got mine, fuck you.
Infidelity is the theft of your reality. You can’t cheat on someone without gaslighting them. It’s an insidious, intimate form of abuse. One that drove S to blow his brains out. L denied S’s reality. This man who was so devoted to her, she would not treat ethically.
You have knowledge S never had — he was devoted and UNKNOWING. You KNOW what kind of person L is, and you chose to be devoted to her. To not tell her secrets. To maintain that friendship. You just got a very brutal example of how L treats her devotees. And you’re asking me if you should continue? WTF?
Meanwhile I am racked with guilt and anger for not reaching out to S and being supportive of him;
Good. That means there’s still a moral compass rattling around there somewhere.
now it is too late
Yes. It is too late for S. But it’s not too late for you to find your backbone and end your friendship.
“I’m sorry. I cannot in good conscience continue this relationship or listen to you malign S.”
Objective reality matters. You can either live with L’s lies, or you can’t. I suggest you choose not to.