Hope4Healing
My husband had an on-again off-again almost year long emotional affair with my best friend.  Has anyone else dealt with a situation such as this?  For me, the pain was exacerbated greatly by the fact of who she was in one way, but in another way it made things better.  As crazy as it sounds, when it was over I felt like I had two sources of information.  She is no longer my best friend, but I don't hate her and I wish no harm to her.  There were a lot of underlying circumstances that were behind this taking place, and I will share my whole story on the correct forum.  Here, I'd just like to know if anyone else has experienced the OW/OM being a friend or a best friend?
Hope4Healing
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Anna26
I have.  My husbands first affair was a good few years ago.  She was a woman who lived near as us but had only moved there a couple of years previously.  We all quickly forged links because both our sons were friends too.  Unknown to me, eventually, my husband and she became even closer! 
I have to say it was a strange situation to be in.  On the one hand I felt I had been dealt a double blow, the two people that I felt I trusted more than most,  had let me down badly, but on the other I knew her so well that I found I was almost getting  more information and support from her than I was from him.  Needless to say, the friendship didn't end well and even though she still lives in the same place we are not on speaking terms.

This time round is different again..I do not know the woman personally, though I know who she is.  I have never spoken to her but I have been tempted to do so.  I didn't in the end but I did write her a letter telling her a lot of things from the way I viewed it.  There was no reply but I never expected that.  But in a way I do feel that as my husband is currently living elsewhere, I am very much in the dark as to what might or might not be still going on, (this is despite her deciding to stay with her husband).
I just feel I managed to get more information first time round, if that makes sense...
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Hope4Healing
Thank you for sharing. I've often felt a sense of a relief that it was who it was and not a complete stranger. And while I certainly do noir condone what they did I can't help but wonder if things would have gone further had it been someone besides her.
Hope4Healing
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Anna26

Both of my husbands affairs have been emotional and sexual and I can fully understand how you are wondering if things might have gone further had it been someone else.  The second time around was a woman my husband already knew well, from the place he worked.  Somehow it all escalated from just being friends. So I do see where you are coming from on this one! To be honest with you I do feel that the emotional connection is probably going to be the hardest part to deal with. The fact that they have developed a bond and a link with each other emotionally, will, I think, be the most difficult side to heal for both my husband and myself.  That's why I believe there needs to be absolutely no contact between them before I will allow him back into our lives.
The physical side of things I believe I will deal with well, but the emotional side is why it hurts in a way I would have never believed possible.
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SuzieQ
My husband had two affairs (that I know of). One with someone I considered to be one of my closest friends (which obviously, she wasn't) and the second with a girl I don't really know. I can say having gone through both, the affair with my "friend" is causing me so much more grief.

The affair with my friend started off as purely sexual. They were intimate a dozen or so times over the first few months of the affair, and then spread out sporadically over the next year. That was two years ago. I never knew about it until two months ago. I would argue that the affair became emotional over time, because now I know that when the sh*t hit the fan, and my WH wanted someone to talk to, he always reached out to her. He told me he felt like it was a secret he had to keep. He felt if I found out about it than I would leave and he couldn't let that happen. He would do anything to stop that from becoming a reality (Except - apparently - not cheat on me). The burden of the secrets and lies weighed on him over the years, and lead to a second affair which started off as only emotional but turned sexual fairly quickly. The second affair scared him more because he felt like he actually had feelings for the AP and was considering leaving me. He became clinically depressed and suicidal. When he was at his lowest he reached out to the first AP (my "friend") and they hooked up again a couple of times. What a mess!

So, for me, the affair with my friend is much harder to deal with because the hurt is two-fold. So much deceit and betrayal. We are talking about two people who I considered to be among the most important to me, and they CHOSE to do this to me. I think about all the interactions we had over those three years, all the dinners we all had together, all the times we watch the kids play in the yard together, all the times we laughed together and cried on each other shoulders...and none of it was real. She was never my friend. Every memory I have of her, she had already betrayed me. She had already slept with my husband. I feel like she is the worst kind of person. She is HORRIBLE and a real MONSTER. It hurts so much. And then I have to realize that every feeling I feel towards her, I should also feel towards my husband. He is the same kind of person she is. Everything she did to me he also did to her husband. That is difficult to think about.
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Kalmarjan
SuzieQ wrote:
She was never my friend. Every memory I have of her, she had already betrayed me. She had already slept with my husband. I feel like she is the worst kind of person. She is HORRIBLE and a real MONSTER. It hurts so much. And then I have to realize that every feeling I feel towards her, I should also feel towards my husband. He is the same kind of person she is. Everything she did to me he also did to her husband. That is difficult to think about.


One thing that always bothered me about my affair is how my wife let me off the hook by directing her anger at the OW.

Truth be told, yes, there is a part there that the OW is responsible for - taking part in the seduction, or whatever that is called.

But here's the thing. Once I realized that I had an obvious lack of boundaries, it became clear the OW is a red herring in this whole mess.

I can see that reflected in what you write above. See, the relationship fizzled between your WH and the OW, but he went on to find another OW. Then when that hit the fan, he went back to the original AP.

This is exactly what I wanted to avoid. I don't care if my wife is angry at the OW. She's entitled to it. I just don't want it to become an excuse for my behavior.

This is why I think it's so important that a WS takes the time for self discovery and reflection. It JUST isn't enough to say you're sorry, and try to go back to the way things were before.

Today I understand how I got there. I get it. I now have a boundary, a line that I won't even get to. If it ever comes up again, I can never hurt my love the way I did before. It may require an uncomfortable discussion, but I owe it to her (and myself) to be honest about my feelings and act on it together.

What I'm trying to say is that you are correct. You should be feeling this way about your husband. Don't get lost in it towards your (ex) best friend. She also had an obvious lack of boundaries too.

I don't think either should be let off the hook. In your situation, the best case scenario for your friend to me would be (at best) an acquaintance at arms length, and I would NEVER trust her again. With that said, I also know and believe she wouldn't have done it to hurt you. Human emotion is a crazy thing, and makes you do really, really stupid things.

Anyway, I hope that helped a bit.
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SuzieQ
Thanks for the insight.

My "friend" and I will never speak again. She is no longer welcome in my life.

The situation with my husband was that he had that first affair with my "friend" but never told me or anyone else. He felt it was a secret he had to take to the grave because he couldn't risk me knowing. After years of secrets, it lead to another affair. This time he fessed up on his own. Although he did use TT which lead to me finding out about first affair on my own. I'm trying not to give up on him because this is the first time he's ever tried to look in the mirror, address it at all, and figure out who he will be. I hope he can choose wisely. I'm keeping my distance while he figures it out.

So you really don't think my friend participated in it to hurt me? You don't think that my hurt ever crossed her mind? It doesn't REALLY matter. I will never speak to her again. I would like to understand what was going through their heads though.
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Kalmarjan
SuzieQ wrote:
Thanks for the insight.

My "friend" and I will never speak again. She is no longer welcome in my life.

The situation with my husband was that he had that first affair with my "friend" but never told me or anyone else. He felt it was a secret he had to take to the grave because he couldn't risk me knowing. After years of secrets, it lead to another affair. This time he fessed up on his own. Although he did use TT which lead to me finding out about first affair on my own. I'm trying not to give up on him because this is the first time he's ever tried to look in the mirror, address it at all, and figure out who he will be. I hope he can choose wisely. I'm keeping my distance while he figures it out.

So you really don't think my friend participated in it to hurt me? You don't think that my hurt ever crossed her mind? It doesn't REALLY matter. I will never speak to her again. I would like to understand what was going through their heads though.


Honestly, I can't really speak what goes through a woman's mind. But, as someone who cheated...

I'm conflicted on two parts here...

I am a bit nieve in some aspects. I'm completely surprised sometimes by how people are. Like, how could they be like that?

I watched a few things here and there about how the OW was different, and her psychology was different too. I didn't really believe it, until I saw OW Talking to the camera on this show. Then, I was completely blown away. How could someone think like that...

But, my old self says that perhaps it was like my experience. She was conflicted but was flattered by it. Could have been an ego boost. But, like me, she thought it was harmless, made her feel good, and that she could handle it. Call. It off. When it got inappropriate. There was a problem.... She didn't define what the limit was.

A normal person wouldn't normally go there, but let's say they found themselves there. They'd establish a boundary, and know themselves enough to where they wouldn't cross...

But I wasn't normal. For me, the distance kept changing. I'd set something vague... Like oh... We aren't engaging in sex acts... So it isn't harmful...

But then maybe touching happens... Oh, the boundary changes... Because it wasn't firmly in place. Then it's like, oh, no intercourse... Etc.

Then things get out of hand. It goes to fast, and you find out really, really quick that you can't handle it. It feels to. Good. All of it. So, that boundary got winged out of place when I said, quite logically, "oh, come on. You crossed the line so long ago, you might as well stop denying it."

So, two scenarios...

I used to swear by the second one...


But through my self reflection and research... I still am flabbergasted that someone would purposely do that to someone. Like, who would do that?

Then I woke up from my fog and really, really saw me, and my AP and what we were doing. I literally did that stuff to my wife. I can talk about how bad my AP was (and believe me she ain't an angel!) but truth be told - I'm equally as bad to my wife for what I did.

I don't think I answered your question, but I hope that helps a little.
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TimT
SuzieQ wrote:
...So you really don't think my friend participated in it to hurt me? You don't think that my hurt ever crossed her mind?...

Since I don't know her and can't see inside her head/heart, I cannot know for sure. But if I assume that she is like the average person I deal with in her situation, I can tell you these are probably accurate conclusions:

1. No, your ex-friend was not motivated by a desire to hurt you. In fact, if she could satisfy her need/longing without hurting you, she probably would have done so. But satisfying her felt need was more important than caring about the effect on others. The cost of your pain was a price she was willing to pay to get what she wanted.

Selfish? Absolutely. But it may help to recognize that she likely had no desire to hurt you. On a personal level, I can look back on the hurt I caused to the husband of the woman who was my affair partner. I wasn't best friends with him, but we knew each other and had even done some things socially together. I had zero motive to hurt him, but when I stepped into the affair I stopped giving consideration to that fact.

2. Did your hurt ever cross her mind? Probably, yes. And when it did, I'm sure she shoved that thought away as quickly as she could. People in affairs don't want to think about the consequences of their choices, especially the ones that involve pain inflicted on those they love. But in that moment, the lure of the affair is stronger than the hurt being caused so they choose the affair. In order to find some sort of cognitive and emotional balance, they choose to ignore (or even rationalize) the pain of others.

How many times have I heard confused betrayed spouses wonder at how the unfaithful parent became so insensitive to the hurt of their children? When did they stop loving even their own child?! It's the same dynamic.

If your ex-friend ever reaches a place of true healing, she will feel deep sorrow for what she did to you.
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surviving
I especially agree with TimT's second point.  Neither my WH or the OW were out to hurt me.  They both were sex addicts and wanted their fix and didn't care how they got it.  I have asked my WH several times what he was thinking.  He said he had to put me and the children out of his mind, so that he could have his many affairs.  After he climaxed, he would feel shame and guilt and confess to God and promise not to do it again.  Then the opportunity arose and he did it again.  It was a vicious circle.  The one thing he needed to do, which he refused to do for 35 years, was to confess to me.  When he finally confessed to me, he felt free for once.  However, then that is where my problems started.  Since we moved to another state to get away from his 14-year affair partner, I didn't have to worry about coming in contact with her.  Neither did he.  That made it easier for him to get out of the affair fog and forget about her.  If he hadn't confessed everything to me, he would still be looking for his next fix.  Right now, he doesn't want another fix, he says he only wants me.  WOW!  It took him 35 years to figure that one out - doesn't that make me feel special?  NOT! 


Bill & Pam Farrel have a book called "Men are like waffles, Women are like spaghetti."  They explain that men live in one box of their waffle at a time.  That is how my husband could forget about me, our children, and God, while he lived in his affair waffle box.  When I finally believed this was true for men, it made things make much more sense.  Maybe that book, or others like it, would be a help to you too.
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SuzieQ
Surviving- did you and your husband stayed together while you sorted through all this after his confession? Or did you separate? what helped him get through the fog and do the serious self reflection and then change that was needed to stay together?
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surviving
SuzieQ - yes, we stayed together but are in-house separated.  The fog?  The first thing was being rejected by his AP.  Then we moved out of state to get away from her (but I didn't know that was the reason, I thought it was to get more schooling).  When he landed his new job in the new state, he picked another AP.  That time, he was caught.  He says that when he was caught he was so relieved that it was now over.  It was only over in the fact that he was tired of sinning, confessing to God, and then doing it again.  When he confessed to me, he either had to stop his shenanigans or leave.  He decided that I was worth it, our marriage was worth it, our six children were worth it, and our nine grandchildren were worth it.  He did the "Setting Captives Free" program.  He read TONS of books.  We did a at-home program, "Surviving An Affair," and he answered tons of questions from me.  All our children (and their spouses) know what he did.  Some of them hate him, some of them don't know what to do around him, the others just don't get it (they are too young).  Some of my children want me to leave him, some want me to "get over it," others hate me and treat me harshly because I am safe and they don't feel they can treat their Dad that way because he isn't safe.  We have not reconciled yet.  I know, it has been 23 months, but I am not ready, if I ever will be.  The main reason we are still in the same house is because he lost his job, which meant no money for either of us to move on.  I have been a stay-at-home Mom for 35 years.  Who would hire me?  Even if I had a skill, who would want someone old when they can have cute right out of college?  He also realized that he had problems with anger, bitterness, lack of male friends, needing approval from his father that he never received, getting attention from other females because he didn't accept approval from me.  I have asked for detailed information to my questions.  He has answered them to the best of his ability.  Sometimes, I ask them over and over.  There isn't a different answer, but I just can't cement his answer in my brain.  I don't have any answer to "why" he did it, and all the books say I will never get that answer.  I don't even understand "how" he could do it.  How can he take my homemade lunch I packed for him, tell me he loves me, gives me a kiss and goes to work, knowing he will eat that lunch on the way to her house for his quick fix?  His answer is "men are like waffles, women are like spaghetti."  Men live in one box at a time.  If he is acting out, that is the box he is living in.  We aren't in that acting out box, neither is God.  He had to forget about everyone else while he was living in the sex addict box and acting out.  I hope that makes sense.  If I hadn't read about the boxes in other peoples books, I wouldn't have believed it.  I hope that is clearer than mud.  If I didn't answer your question, please try again.
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SuzieQ
Surviving - yes! Your answers are helpful. Anyone that can provide me with some real insight is helpful!

Currently my WH and I are separated. My choice. I tried letting him stay, but the trickle truth was DEVASTATINGLY for me. After the fourth round I couldn't handle it anymore. I felt so out of control and broken and I still have two small kids to take care of (6 and 8). I needed space to keep myself together for their sake.

I really want our marriage to work. He says he does too - and I know he does. I'm just not sure he's where he needs to be to really get on board and put actions behind those words.

You mentioned "Setting Captives Free" and "Surviving An Affair" as home programs you used. Do you recommend either one? Do you think they helped? Currently both WH and I Go to IT once a week and we also do CT once a week. None of the therapists specialize in infidelity though. Mine likes to focus on the fact that I'm (apparently) a "grown-up child of an alcoholic" and my WH's like to focus on his depression and self-concept. Our CT is on the spiritual side and tends to focus on how "special" our connection is, which is hard for me to see after going through something like this. I find it somewhat helpful to go to the therapy, I just wish I knew someone who really specialized in what we are going through.
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surviving
SuzieQ - "Setting Captives Free" and "Surviving an Affair" are excellent.  Both can be gotten online (the 1st one is free, the 2nd one costs about $100).  I would recommend both.  We also read many, many books.  Our library has many books on their shelves, but I got embarrassed borrowing so many on the subject - I was hoping they would think I was counseling someone, not myself.

My WH went to a Christian counselor that wouldn't allow him to say anything against me.  At first, my WH blamed me.  After a few counseling sessions, he realized that what he accused me of was actually in his mind - he made it all up.  I am still the same person, I haven't changed in all this mess.  He is just realizing that he wanted what porn offered and I wouldn't have anything to do with it.  So, he went searching until he found what he wanted.  Now he claims he doesn't want that anymore, he wants me and me only.  Well, it is about time he faced the music. 

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