Friendship changes after affair??

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Registered: 01-03-2010
Friendship changes after affair??
7
Sun, 11-25-2012 - 8:17pm

Wondering if anyone has any input that could help me, or just help me realize I am not alone in this.  My husband and I are 2+ years post his affair and are doing very well, arguably better than before the A in many ways.  But one thing is still different.  A few of my friends know what happened and refuse to forgive him.  They don't want to hang out anymore with him especially, which means me as well by extension.  They cannot believe I am still with him after what he did to me.  The thing is, I went through plenty of pain when the A was happening.  Now, the pain continues in these other ways...is it their business?  Are they just trying to protect me and in turn are hurting me?  I don't want to really confront them on this.  I am sick and tired of talking about the A and about how it is simply how we had to grow as a couple - not the best way I know, but it is how it happened for us unfortunately.  Do I find new friends? Wait it out? Give up on them entirely?  

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2008
Mon, 11-26-2012 - 12:49pm

Hi Amarina,  Keep in mind that your friends do not 'love' your H like you do.  They have seen the pain that he has caused you and it is probably hard for them to want to be around him and/or they may not understand why you stayed with him.  My suggestion--spend time with your friends without your H in tow for a while.  If they bring up the past tell them you do not want to discuss it (unless you do). Maybe with time they will see that your H is a changed man and be friends with him again.  The length of time you want to wait is up to you.  The amount of time it will take for your friends to 'come around' will probably vary especially depending on what they saw you suffer through.  There is also nothing wrong with making some new friends too!

I don't remember the details of your story but I hope all works out for you in the future!

Ollie

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Mon, 11-26-2012 - 3:33pm

I agree, they're on the sidelines wondering what the devil to do right now.  My best friend was once married to my DH's brother, and once the brother beat her up, I refused to have anything to do with him - he and other family members seemed to be quietly demanding we choose sides.  All that came of that is we DID choose sides - hers, and she and I have been best friends for most of our lives now.  SHE knows the story of MY marriage now and says she has lost all respect for my DH, her ex-brother in law, based on how he's treated me for so many years.  Not sure if that will ever change, but others are affected by this stuff.  I also think they may have this fear that splitting up or cheating is "infectious", as if contact with either of you right now will affect their own relationships.  Sorry you're in the club.

 

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Wed, 11-28-2012 - 4:01pm

I have to agree with the others. I suppose for everyone it may be different. Some may come around, some may never. It reminds me of the Chris Brown and Rihanna fiasco. You had him beating her up, then supposedly them getting back together in some ways. Not sure the exact details, but i think it left most people flabbergasted she would get back with him in any way and you could see her friends and family would probably be thinking what the ????

Not that what your H did rises to physical abuse, but you still have similar fallout.

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Wed, 11-28-2012 - 4:56pm

amarina7799 wrote:
<p>Wondering if anyone has any input that could help me, or just help me realize I am not alone in this.  My husband and I are 2+ years post his affair and are doing very well, arguably better than before the A in many ways.  But one thing is still different.  A few of my friends know what happened and refuse to forgive him.  They don't want to hang out anymore with him especially, which means me as well by extension.  They cannot believe I am still with him after what he did to me.  The thing is, I went through plenty of pain when the A was happening.  Now, the pain continues in these other ways...is it their business?  Are they just trying to protect me and in turn are hurting me?  I don't want to really confront them on this.  I am sick and tired of talking about the A and about how it is simply how we had to grow as a couple - not the best way I know, but it is how it happened for us unfortunately.  Do I find new friends? Wait it out? Give up on them entirely?  </p>

I think what to do depends upon how much you want their friendship. Are they worth you ignoring their attitude towards how you felt you needed to proceed in your marriage? For the ones who aren't doing the heavy lifting in your marriage, it's easy to sit on the sidelines and tell you what you should do--they aren't invested in the marriage.  Some people can work though serious issues like infidelity and keep their marriages intact; others can't. Perhaps they're the ones who fall in the latter category, so they can't for the life of them understand why you would give your husband a second chance.

If any of them's friendship is really worth it, I think you should speak to them individually about your choice on how you are going to proceed with your marriage and give them the option of either maintaining the friendship with you or cutting you loose--and I do think that that decision needs to be owned by them and not you. You're making it easy for them by ignoring them and thus removing what should be them making the declaration to you and owning that decision. I know that depending upon how the whole thing went down and how much leaning that friend did on me, it would be rather hard to not look at her husband with the "stank side eye of God" for quite some time--and it's a part of the price the unfaithful one must pay: unfortunately when s/he's taken back by the injured party, the injured one gets blow-back from that, too.

I think that the questions you've posed above should be put to them because the wondering and speculation are just as torturous, if not more so, than having a frank conversation with them. It doesn't have to be confrontational at all and you will not be in the dark about how they truly feel about you and what not.

If they are close enough of friends, then this type of a conversation shouldn't be taken as an affront, especially when their actions are causing you pain on top of what pain you've already been through. They may be totally unaware of how much distress their attitude is causing you and would rather know than to keep on unconsciously hurting you.  As I said, if their friendship is dear to you, I think that they're worth you saying something to correct the situation.

Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Thu, 12-06-2012 - 10:05am

I think you are asking a very good question. Some of us in our desperation spend time venting to friends about our spouses. They were part of the coping process, but then later they are often not part of the actual healing process. In my case, my buddies were there when I was venting about really awful stuff about my wife, but in the aftermath, they didn’t get see her cry over a mixture of shame, losing the OM, almost losing her family and for watching me nearly self-immolate in front of her. They did not hear me talk about my spouse apologizing to my son for lying about me, or when she was holding me that night when she finally owned what she did and really apologized, or when we were making love and she began to cry saying she could not believe she shared “this” with someone else. How do I explain these tender healing moments with the guys I play poker with? It was easy to vent at them about other men (which is an intimate thing when I dig deep), but almost impossible to tell them the other (which is intimate on the surface).

Look, you probabaly spent a lot of time venting about your husband. Maybe he now deserves to be consciously spoken about positively. Maybe you should mention to these friends how he grew up over this, how he made life changes for the better, how he just surprised the hell out of you the other day by doing XXX and how lucky you are to have a person in your life who has learned to take care of you (if any of this is true of course). None of us are born perfect or high functioning. We all deserve forgiveness, especially if we learn from mistakes and genuinely do better after. I know I need forgiveness.

Going through hell and coming out the other end with your relationship intact is an amazing testament to you and your spouse. It is something others may well be jealous of. It is easy to throw in the towel; it is freaking hard to battle through this and come out the other end. Maybe just say that. Maybe just say to them that everyone deserves a little grace.

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 11:40am

If they keep bringing it up, you can either distance yourself from them and like you said, just find some new friends.  Or you can calmly tell them "I don't want to talk about that anymore".  You don't owe them any explanations, even if you DID turn to them and cried on their shoulder or whatever - once you let them know it's not a topic for conversation anymore, if that's what you really want, then it's just none of their business anymore.  But right now it's up to YOU to tell them this, because we women friends sort of circle the wagons to be supportive, I think that's what they're doing.  They need to hear what you need NOW. 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-22-1999
Fri, 12-21-2012 - 12:05pm
If I think about it I am sure that I wouldn't be overly friendly with my.friends spouse if they had told me.about how he hurt her. Polite yes, but friendly nope. At least not until I was sure he was no longer a schmuk. So I agree with Pater you are going to have to sell him to your friends again. Good luck!