"friendly" advice

  1. Hello out there fellow BB members! I come to you today with troubles of the worse sort. You see I'm having a slight crisis because I have a very good friend who's in a very dysfunctional reltionship. They've been together for almost seven years, but from what everyone can tell they've had more bad times than good. You see her other half has a problem with honesty and faithfulness. In the seven years that they've been together she knows for a fact that he's cheated on her AT LEAST 4 or 5 times!! That's not the bad part, the bad part is that THEY'RE STILL TOGETHER BY HER CHOICE!!! I recently found out that he's seeing someone again behind her back, but I'm not sure if I should even bother telling her. I've put myself in the middle before and all it's done is caused unwanted stress for me and our friendship. She could witness the acts with her own 2 eyes and probably still love him. So my question to you all is, do I do the good deed and inform her even though it may only result in a 2 day scream fest and then they go back to normal by day 3? Or do I save us all the grief and zip it?
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   adrienurse
    Oh lord, have I been in your place. Nearly had a nervous breakdown from being enmeshed in a friend's bad abusive marriage. Not that I'm advising you to do this, but I had to extricate myself from the whole thing to save my own sanity (and it wasn't even my problem).
    What it boils down to is you can't make your friend do anything. You can tell her until you're blue in the face to leave him, but until she "gets" it, nothing you can do will help the situation. This has nothing to how much you care about her -- and I'm sure you do. There are many factors that cause a woman to stay in a bad relationship -- she cannot and will not leave the situation and will likely keep going back until she herself is ready to let go. Sad but true.

    The ONLY thing you can do is not let the situation drain you and just be a quiet support to your friend. Allowing her to talk and sort out her emotions is the best thing you can do the help her come to terms with reality.
  4. by   live4today
    When my first marriage ended due to adultery on my EX's part, and I found out that 'so called friends' of mine knew about his affair before I did, but didn't tell me because they didn't want to hurt my feelings, or they just didn't want to get involved, or they thought I'd find out sooner or later........blah, blah, blah........guess what........they are NO longer any friend of mine.

    To me...... a TRUE friend would not betray a friendship by NOT telling. I know many disagree with this because I've been in discussions before about it within my own personal circle of friends, and many women did not want to know, so they ended up resenting the friend who told them. Well......I am just the opposite. I will resent a friend for NOT telling me.

    As for what you should do.........always follow your heart.....your gut instinct.......KNOWING you could lose her friendship anyway......whether you tell her or not. Because if she finds out you knew and didn't tell her......she may get mad, too. Only you know your friend well enough to make that call. What's more important to you.....saving face.....or making every effort to spare your friend further abuse and humiliation??? I hope you make the right decision based on what is BEST for you friend. :kiss
    Last edit by live4today on Sep 12, '02
  5. by   RNntraining
    I have told her before and all she did was not talk to him for 2 weeks. And that's that he himself told me what he'd done! It boggles my mind as to why he even goes back to her but then I suppose it's a cheaters dream to have a person give you whatever you want and put up with all your games! Believe me the last thing I want is to have her look stupid, but she almost does it to herself when we tell her and she stays with him!
  6. by   delirium
    I agree that a friend would not stand by and watch her friend be humiliated. If a girlfriend of mine had a hubby who was cheating you bet your ass I'd tell.

    However, you have to draw the line. There are people that you can try to advise/help/encourage/nurture repeatedly and it will do you no good unless they are ready. I have just come out of an abusive relationship myself (although I'm a really cool chick and I left as soon as it happened, but lots of people, male and female, just don't have the positive self-concept or safety net to do that).

    I have a girlfriend whose husband beats her like a bat on home plate. Seriously, he has beaten her with a bat. He is on crack, he's a career criminal, he has babies by like 10 different women, he physically abuses her all the time. I cannot tell you how many times I opened my home to this woman to have her abuse my trust and do something incredibly stupid. So, yes, be a friend. Be there to listen, maybe even to help if asked. But you can't be a revolving door for someone either. If it comes to a point where it is adversely affecting you, you really need to choose yourself.

    A lesson many of us could learn.
  7. by   RNntraining
    One piece of info I left out guys....... she's my fiance's cousin so I can distance myself, but never get away! Thanks for your help so far and please keep it coming I'd like to resolve this asap
  8. by   kids
    You damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    I am recently in a position to have experienced infidelity in my marriage (we are in counselling). My Husband's paramour got PO'd and emailed me some pics when he ended the relationship with her. I still don't know if I would rather not have known - So I have no advice to offer.

    I just wanted to say that I am sorry you are in this position {{{hug}}}
  9. by   live4today
    Tell her what you know.....then leave it alone. At least you've told her.....and the outcome of that relationship is up to her. You can't do anything about what she does with that information.....all you can do is relay the information to her.

    She has a habit of staying with the abuse, so she may continue to stay. She needs help......he needs help. It's a co-dependent relationship.

    Has her cousin (your fiance) tried to help her at all?
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I can say having been made a FOOL of by my ex many years ago...and everyone knew his ways, I sure as HECK wish SOMEone had come forward and told me before I had to find out she was PREGNANT by him. I mean! how Jerry Springer can I get here......? anyhow, I digress; it is up to you. put yourself in her shoes and think if it would be a good thing to tell her....I cannot say how she will react and how it MAY change your relationship in the future, but it's up to you if you can live w/the secret or not, I guess. I am only saying I WOULD WANT TO KNOW!
  11. by   Stargazer
    Based on what you've posted--she already knows. And by your own admission, telling her wouldn't make any difference in the long run. So do yourself a favor and stay well clear of it.
  12. by   RNntraining
    cheerfuldoer: when her own flesh and blood confronted her with the first episode she called him a liar stopped talking him for a month. She doesn't realize that by us telling her the truth we have nothing to gain. She finds it very easy to hate the girl he commits the acts with, but it's almost impossible for her to have a hateful feeling towards him?!

    smilingblueyes: I could never withhold the secret knowing it could have helped her, but i fear that it may actually do more bad than good if revealed. The feedback I've gotten so far is leading me in the direction of telling her, but it gets sticky when I think of the aftermath being there for as long as she and my soon-to-be-hubby are cousins i.e FOREVER!
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    understand RNintraining..are you the type to PRAY??? If so, pray for guidance. I do wish you the best!
  14. by   RNinICU
    Originally posted by Stargazer
    Based on what you've posted--she already knows. And by your own admission, telling her wouldn't make any difference in the long run. So do yourself a favor and stay well clear of it.
    I have to agree here. In most cases I would tell, but this is not like most cases.

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