Friends and breakups

Discussion in 'Sex and Relationships' started by Clark, Dec 16, 2006.

  1. Clark

    Clark Member

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    Background
    Fourteen years ago, the first girl I ever loved dumped me after we were together for three years. She was screwing a friend of ours (who was married at the time) and she left me for him. We had friends together that were caught in the middle. They ended up staying friends with my ex-gf and not me. I hated that.

    Now, I have a couple of friends whose marriages are failing.

    Friend no.1
    He's been married to his wife for 16 years. He's now cheating on her (wife now knows about it) and he intends and he intends to leave her to be with this other chick.

    Friend no.2
    She's been married for 4 years. Now, she's leaving him. He's an immature guy, but he's loved her and her four children (yes - he married into four children. She had all four from four other guys in various previous relationships). He's not the greatest catch, but he's been loyal and loving to her and her four kids.

    I don't like what my friends are doing, and now I find myself caught in the middle. I try not to be judgmental, and I haven't forced my opinions on them. But that doesn't mean I have no opinions. I disapprove of what my friends are doing and I don't want to support them in it in any way. But I also don't want to lose the friendships.

    Any advice?
     
  2. teamster145

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    I dont know if this is right or not, but I would probably tell them both the way I feel but also let them know that you do not want it to end the friendship. A friend of mine was going through a tough time with his wife.. a long story but she wanted him to kinda grow up and get a real job and he wanted to keep playing drums in bars. I didnt really tell him I thought he was crazy but I did tell him that I would give up a lot to keep my marriage together and that he needed to really give it a lot of thought before he made his decision. I dont know if that helps at all but I am no counselor either. Free advice is worth every penny you pay for it. By the way we are still good friends and he did get the divorce.
     
    #2 teamster145, Dec 16, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2006
  3. cbrmale

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    Friend number 1, about 40% of married men cheat, and it isn't always the fault of the 'cheater'. Think about why you would cheat and risk your relationship: you may not be getting on well with your partner as the years go by, the sex might not be good, there might not be enough sex. Cheating is usually a symptom of a deeper issue between two people, and none of us should judge. In many ways your friend is being true, he's found someone better and he intends to move on. Perhaps life is too short to waste in his current relationship. If you say anything at all, tell him it is his decision in life, and you'll remain his friend.

    Friend number 2 with four children from four relationships. Once is bad luck, twice is a pattern, losing four relationships is way out of control! If you say you think she needs professional help, it may cause her to think, or it may not. She has a pattern, and unless she looks long and hard in the mirror, this destructive pattern will keep going.

    The other issue with friend 2 is her children who are certainly suffering a disjointed upbringing, and will certainly end up with a warped perspective on life. This is one way to temper whatever advice you may choose to give her.
     
  4. bighiker2003

    bighiker2003 Banned

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    A simple answer
    Support your friends.:sf
     
  5. Clark

    Clark Member

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    When my friends are inflicting serious emotional hurt on other people who don't deserve it, I don't want to support them.
     
  6. melicious

    melicious The Old Maid
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    Then don't support them. If you don't think you should, don't. Only you can make that decision. BUT, learn from this situation. Each friend you lost during your experience was lost for a reason; now you have more insight into the other side of this issue. Don't be hurt anymore by what happened in the past. We all have to make the choices we'll live with.

    Please also remember that sometimes even the right decision causes serious emotional pain to others. Does it mean that someone went out of their way to intentionally cause pain? No. We all make some pretty tough choices every day, and we ALL know our choices aren't always the right ones. Sometimes the right ones, aren't the easy ones or the ones that everyone else agrees with.

    It sounds like you are judging friend #2 on more than just what is happening in her marriage. If you continue judging her so harshly for her past, which she cannot change, nothing she does from here on out is going to strike you as "right". Remember, none of us always knows the whole story. Her side, his side, and the truth that's in the middle. A man who supports children that aren't his doesn't make the man a great husband, one worth staying with, if there are other parts to the story that are yet unknown.

    Friend #1....why are you so mad at friend #1? Cuz he cheated? Again, there are sure to be parts of this story that aren't known by all. Are you mad cuz he's picking his new love over his old love? He is suffering the consequences of his actions. Both of your friends are going through life changing events. You can love them as your friend, while not supporting their decisions. It takes a mature individual, a non-judgemental friend, but it can be done. That doesn't mean that every time your friend speaks about the issue, you have to remind them that it's something you never supported anyway. Friends often need an ear, not advice.
     
  7. Joe

    Joe
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    Mel said it pretty well, in my opinion. You needn't support the decisions they're making to support your friends in other ways. You don't (can't) know everything that's gone into their decision-making process, so don't even try. Just be a friend to each without judging whether or not they're doing the "right thing".

    15 years ago I divorced my wife of 25 years. I had my reasons, and to me they were very good reasons. We were both widely known in our community, and she cried to many of our old friends about how I divorced her for no reason, etc., etc., etc. I never felt the need to tell anyone why, other than "we both had changed and it was time to part."

    One friend of ours related how my ex tried to tell him about it and he refused to listen. "And I don't want to hear your side of it either," he added. "That's between you two; I don't want to be in the middle, and I'm not going to choose sides." I thought that was a wise choice. Remain neutral and remain friends. You'll never know all the details of your friends' marriages, so don't judge your friends or their decisions.
     
  8. heelfetish

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    And that's very good advice too, Joe.
     
  9. Bluesy

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    I wholeheartedly agree with Mel's advice. I've had a few friends who were involved in activities I didn't approve of (drugs, infidelity, etc.), but I kept my mouth shut because my so-called intervention wasn't going to accomplish anything aside from destroying a perfectly good friendship.

    It seems to me that this boils down to opposing moral values. You have certain principles, your friends do not share those principles, and you feel as if you're betraying yourself by keeping mum. Your friends are not obligated to live their lives according to your standards. They're allowed to have their own code of morality, and what you're doing is trying to impose your code on them by expecting them to behave as you would in the same situation. That sort of mentality is anathema to friendship. Trust me.
     
  10. bighiker2003

    bighiker2003 Banned

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    Then they are not Your Friends as you said
    or they would not go against your wishes.:sf