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Friend of 40 years

(38 Posts)
Pambles01 Thu 20-Jul-23 19:54:55

Please help I have a friend of 40 years Who is putting up with so much selfish attitude from her husband that I despair . 5 years ago he was caught out having an affair but she took him back but he is still treating her like s* They don't do anything together Lead 2 separate lives but she's still hanging in there I don't know why But I'm finding it so hard now not to tell her she's mad putting up with it I love her to bits but it's putting such a strain on the friendship . Personally I believe he is still in the additional relationship with his actions as they are I don't want to lose her as a friend BUT

Shelflife Thu 20-Jul-23 20:08:05

You are in a very difficult situation - however you have a very long standing relationship ship with her and that is so precious, please dont damage that! She may need you to support her in the future. Your friend will be well aware of what is happening in her relationship but may not be facing up to it ....... Yet! She will know you are aware of the situation and will also know you are there for her. In your situation I would watch , listen and wait. If she gives you any indication of her suspicion or distress then that may be the time to talk to her. Whatever happens I feel you should preserve and protect the relationship you have with your friend.

Lathyrus Thu 20-Jul-23 20:15:09

Her life, her choice.

Why would it strain your friendship.

Unless she’s driving you silly going on about it all the time.

In which case tell her you prefer to spend your time together talking about other things.

NanKate Thu 20-Jul-23 20:24:53

I’ve had friends who have put up with husbands who have treated them badly or been mean with them. I haven’t held back and have said things like ‘how do you put up with that’ ? It seems to make absolutely no difference.

Just give your friend support.

Carenza123 Thu 20-Jul-23 22:18:33

It is so easy to judge others but you don’t always know the ins and outs of any relationship. I feel your friend needs you for support - just be there for her.

Cheeseplantmad Fri 21-Jul-23 04:46:42

It’s her life and her business really , so I think it best to just be there to support her when she needs you . A lot of people put up with this type thing in marriage because the alternative is to be on one’s own . I just hope that she’s strong enough not to be taken advantage of by her selfish husband . She’s lucky she has a good friend in you which I’m sure she’s aware of .

Iam64 Fri 21-Jul-23 08:18:36

Good advice here. People do put up with what others see as awful treatment. They have their reasons and unless they ask for advice, I’d avoid giving it. If they ask, I’d be inclined to respond by asking what they think/want to do.

fancythat Fri 21-Jul-23 08:23:00

Does she know how you think? Have you ever told her?

nandad Fri 21-Jul-23 09:47:33

My friend of 30 years constantly complains about her husband and tells me about every single argument they have. I would never put up with his lazy selfish ways and his neglect of his family. I have on a couple of occasions told her to leave him, she then back tracks and tells me that it’s not that bad really and she’s too old (60) to be on her own, although she effectively is. However, if I were her husband I couldn’t put up with her constant moaning. Maybe your friend is the same, she likes to have a good moan about her husband and paints him in a bad light for sympathy but he actually isn’t as bad as she makes out and would therefore not appreciate your advice.

FarNorth Fri 21-Jul-23 09:58:48

Pambles01 didn't say if her friend moans to her.
I'm very glad I don't have any moaning friends. Discussing concerns, problems etc is one thing but constant moaning is just annoying.

As others say, avoid the subject of her relationship.
If she is a moaner, gently point out that she's always talking about it but getting nowhere.

micmc47 Fri 21-Jul-23 10:11:36

Just be there for your friend in a sympathetic and non-judgemental way. It's her life, and if she wants to continue living it that way, so be it.

I wouldn't under any circumstances be tempted to offer any "advice" about the relationship in particular. You'll only get drawn deeper into it, and if you're already uncomfortable with it, it will become far worse if you appoint yourself as chief confidante. You only have her side of the story anyway. Stay out of it.

Wyllow3 Fri 21-Jul-23 10:29:53

If its dominating the friendship so much its actually making you re think "whats in it for me" then you need to deal with it gently and tactfully so's to continue together

- only you know the best way to do this.

As in you appreciate her difficulties but lets talk more about (all the things you do have in common) and having fun together)

Its impossible to assess on limited information whether you being an outlet allows an impossible situation to continue only since she has an outlet ie you -

or its just become a "thing' she does - since she can - and she is capable of moving ahead in the friendship without constantly doing this.

Definitely dont attempt to offer advice unless its so glaringly obvious (like, "have you considered counselling") it hasn't occurred to her.

knspol Sat 22-Jul-23 11:17:39

For what it's worth I would keep quiet about your thoughts and just be a friend to her. She might need a good friend in the future. If ,on the other hand, she asks for your opinion then tell her what you think in the most tactful and general of terms.

red1 Sat 22-Jul-23 11:19:35

ive a friend who was a police officer,who told me the often quote from intervening in domestic disputes from the wife ,who had been beaten up, was 'but,i love him' the mind boggles

Grantanow Sat 22-Jul-23 11:39:19

Not a good idea to proffer uninvited advice.

Ziplok Sat 22-Jul-23 11:47:27

I agree with most of what has already been said. Don’t abandon your friend. The day may come when she needs your support in a more practical way, but for now, just her knowing you are there will probably be of comfort to her.

schnackie Sat 22-Jul-23 11:50:40

Some very good advice here. Please do keep her in your life. She probably needs every bit of support, especially from a very long term friend. Good luck.

Coconut Sat 22-Jul-23 11:52:37

So many aspects to this. A true friend should be able to say exactly how you are feeling, without it affecting your friendship, then leave the subject alone. You should be able to say how this makes you feel as a friend, watching her treated this way. The husband clearly has no respect and clearly does not care about her feelings. So what if he just ups and goes one day, is she prepared for this ? He has the best of both worlds so is this how she wants to live out the rest of her life ? Some people are just so afraid of being alone, without actually realising they although they are in a relationship, they are still alone.

Gundy Sat 22-Jul-23 11:54:48

I have a friend like that who’s husband is a misogynist and mental abuser - however, is not having an affair to my knowledge. Totally immature and insecure, but he can’t seem to grow up. (Who would have or be interested in a man like that?)

She’s still with him 17 yrs. Has made comments on her own about her hubby and I’ve just gone along with her, mostly listening. I think she knows how I feel by now. We kind of laugh about it, sometimes.

But I’m not judging her - the friendship is far more important to keep intact. She’s created her own life, with a job to make her happy and financially secure.

I feel like it’s a matter of time. She knows I’m there as support if anything pops for her.
USA Gundy

Nannashirlz Sat 22-Jul-23 12:05:00

my ex husband did the same things in my case I wasn’t the doormat and not take him back I got rid after 24yrs of marriage I put up with his drinking heavily and everything else because I thought I could change him I only started to find out about other women he had been with after we split and it was friends who told me. The reason was that they didn’t think I would believe them after putting up with so much off him. after we split up the woman he had the affair with ended within weeks. He tried to blame me for getting into debt for his furniture for his house you won’t change how she is with him until she wakes up from his spell unfortunately like I did. Even now he’s still unfaithful to his latest gf some men just can’t keep it in their pants and as a friend don’t judge her just be there for her as a friend because one day she will need a shoulder to cry on.

HeavenLeigh Sat 22-Jul-23 12:09:27

You are in a difficult position she’s wanting to vent and you are getting frustrated hearing it over and over, 40 years is a very long time for a friendship to last you as you say are very fond of her, I just think she needs your support. I can see both sides. Nobody really knows what goes on behind closed doors, I would be like you and wanting them to split as it’s awful to be treated so disrespectfully and obv I would think she’s worth more than that. But sadly it’s her choice

Jaxjacky Sat 22-Jul-23 12:19:54

I have a friend who’s partner has treated her appallingly over many years, he’s basically a bully. She has in recent months begun to stick up for herself more, but also admitted she doesn’t want to be on her own.
I’ve been blunt with my friend over the years, but the only one who can do anything to change the situation is her.
You don’t say if she confides in you OP, maybe she’s happy in her own way.

Jan51 Sat 22-Jul-23 12:23:13

You don't say how she feels about the situation. If she is content to live like that then why are you worried. If she is unhappy and moans about the situation then I can see your point of view.

GoldenAge Sat 22-Jul-23 13:22:53

Is there a financial reason why your friend remains in the marriage? For instance, does he have an occupational pension which would accrue to her (in half) should he die? She may be in this position and feels she needs this. However, contrary to others who argue that it's her business if she wants to put up with a cheating and misogynist husband, I would say that if she has adult and grandchildren who are observing her behaviour she is setting a poor example for women intergenerationally who may then walk in her footsteps. And if that is the case, personally I would ask her to consider whether she's sending any signals of that kind.

PamQS Sat 22-Jul-23 13:30:38

Your friend may have what she feels are good reasons for staying. The most likely one is financial, IMO. She could end up in much worse circumstances if she splits from her husband.

If you suggest that you’re fed up of hearing about her marriage, she may find your friendship less useful - TBH, it would get me down!