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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear Chump Lady,
I am 6 months post divorce after discovering my ex-wife’s infidelity in September 2013. This holiday season my children (12, 8) are with my ex-wife abroad with her affair partner on holiday with my ex in-laws. It sucks that my kids spend time with the man that helped break up my family and end my marriage, but that’s another topic.
My question today is what happens to couple friends after divorce? Can anyone remain impartial and be friends with both sides, or do things naturally drift one way or the other over time? Can I remain friends with someone who has seen me crushed, particularly those few that know the whole story of the infidelity, and who stay friends with the ex-wife? Even more challenging, are those, who as a couple, are friendly with ex-wife and her affair partner.
After a year, I’ve decided to start letting the latter category of friends wane, because it’s too hurtful, as I wouldn’t the same to a friend. Or am I wrong or unique in my view? Do you need to have been through infidelity to fully understand the hurt that this causes?
Appreciate your view and advice.
Carlos

Dear Carlos,
You don’t need to have gone through infidelity to understand that it hurts like a ************. You just need to know that it’s unjust.
And there’s the rub, Carlos. We live in an age where people are loathe to judge injustice. Two sides to every story. No one knows what goes on in a marriage. They grew apart, blah, blah, blame shift, blah.
I can’t explain the fashion for being Above Judgment, because judgement is essential to living and especially to avoiding disaster. Should I invest my retirement savings in Beanie Babies? Should I befriend the neighborhood pedophile? Ride my bike down a flight of stairs?
If we didn’t judge people and situations, we’d be a bunch of jelly-brained imbeciles. Anyone could steal our lunch money. We’d be adrift. Good Samaritans would have to pin our addresses to our sweaters and walk us home.
Fact is, we judge every day. Worthy! Unworthy! Good risk! Bad risk!
The **** sandwich of dealing with the People Above Judgment is that they did judge, they just found you unworthy. But they don’t want to come out and say that. They’d rather pronounce the situation ambiguous and unknowing. We can all be friends, of course. Because that’s easier on them. Then they don’t have to make judgment calls or think of people differently, or rearrange their social calendars and seating charts. Let’s Pretend That Never Happened. Your grief isn’t nearly as important as their discomfort. So let’s make believe you aren’t grieving.
In fact, let’s pretend the problem is you and your bitterness and inability to confer forgiveness and move on. Then we never have to consider the injustice of this situation, the pain of you and your children, or our moral culpability at befriending someone who helped break up a marriage. If the problem is YOU and Something You Did (or did not do, like grant forgiveness), then infidelity isn’t so scary. Infidelity only happens to those who deserve it, who do the Wrong Sorts of Things. Unlike the smug People Above Judgment who are immune from chumpdom.
Cheaters have many narratives, but the favorite is happiness. Hey, we deserve to be happy. Really this is for the best. Carlos, in time, will be happier too! He’ll find someone who is a better fit, and hey, really he owes to all to this life change made possible by infidelity. No harm, no foul!
Dimmer people think… well, who can be against happiness! They don’t ask themselves at what cost? And who is paying that cost? They think… Carlos’s ex seems happy. Happy people are easier and more fun to be around than grief-stricken, angry people. Walking into Carlos’s pain is rather a bummer. So… let’s (judge!) go with the Happy People.
Don’t you like Happy People, Carlos? What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you forgive and be friends?
Well, that all makes a perverse sort of sense if you lack empathy and have no moral compass. (I’m sure stealing my bank card and buying 15 hamburgers confers happiness on someone.)
The fact is, Carlos, you don’t have anything in common with people who would be friends with your cheating ex. You don’t share the same values. You said yourself, you would not do this to a friend. Ergo — these people are not your friends. There is no reciprocity there. They would not behave in the manner you would behave. You don’t share the same moral world view.
One hard blessing of infidelity is that it shows you who your real friends are, and who is a waste of space. Who can stand with vulnerability and grief, and who runs away.
This is an opportunity, Carlos, to fix your picker in all aspects of life and cherish the people close to you, who really have your back, and dump the losers who don’t. And when you do that, you’ll discover that you’re a hell of a lot more “meh” about your ex. You ARE happier. You aren’t pick me dancing with the friendship circle over who gets the “friends.” You really don’t give a **** any more.
Your new life will eclipse your old life Carlos, and into the darkness goes the smug assholes who don’t deserve you.
 

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At the same time I found out my then-husband was a relentless serial cheater, I also found out that a rather shockingly large number of "our friends" had always known about it, and a few were up to very similar antics. By the time my divorce was final, I had simply ghosted everyone I knew had been aware of his cheating or was a cheater themselves. That narrowed my "friend" list down rather sharply. A few more dropped off gradually in the following months because they "didn't want to pick sides". The few I'm still friends with have remained cordial with my ex-husband - as I have - but no longer behave as or count themselves as his friends. They know what kind of person he is and don't trust him or like him. Those are the people who are actually my friends.

My ex-husband and I don't have any mutual friends anymore. We have mutual acquaintances. Because I refuse to count as friends people I know I can't trust and who don't have a similar moral compass to my own.
 

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I remember when she first came on TAM, and I clashed with her once. I don't remember why. She writes extremely well and many people just love her advice.

Am I correct in my memory that she actually has never been a victim of infidelity? Or am I thinking of someone else?
 

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I remember when she first came on TAM, and I clashed with her once. I don't remember why. She writes extremely well and many people just love her advice.

Am I correct in my memory that she actually has never been a victim of infidelity? Or am I thinking of someone else?
Her book indicates she was married to a cheater and found another woman’s underwear in her bed. Went through all the same reconciliation tactics BS commonly use and finally got out. She’s definitely been through the ringer.
 

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Her book indicates she was married to a cheater and found another woman’s underwear in her bed. Went through all the same reconciliation tactics BS commonly use and finally got out. She’s definitely been through the ringer.
Okay, I must be thinking of someone else. There was a woman on here back in the day who gave a ton of advice and was revered by many but actually never got cheated on. Felt kind of fraudulent.
 

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The advice is different though. I know my advice now is way more accurate/better than it was when I was trying to help someone through it before it happened to me.

But yes, when you are in the middle of it, it's hard to be partial.
 

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I think sometimes that people who have NOT been cheated on can respond in a more logical, non-triggered way.
LoL! You should read some of my earlier posts.😳

I started studying infidelity, specifically in wives, after a close friend ended himself over it.

I was pretty raw often and in extreme anguish forcing myself to examine the data but this place helped me work through it so I could be calm when face to face with folks dealing with infidelity in real life.
 

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Okay, I must be thinking of someone else. There was a woman on here back in the day who gave a ton of advice and was revered by many but actually never got cheated on. Felt kind of fraudulent.
It would feel fraudulent if someone tried to say they knew, but did not in fact really know at all... you may have an idea of what a **** sandwich tastes like, but unless you’ve eaten one you don’t reaaaaaaallllly know do you? You don’t really know the texture of those peanuts in your teeth.

It’s the same reason I don’t really listen too hard when someone is telling me all the things they’d do were they me, but they have no experience. Grain of salt.
 

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LoL! You should read some of my earlier posts.😳

I started studying infidelity, specifically in wives, after a close friend ended himself over it.

I was pretty raw often and in extreme anguish forcing myself to examine the data but this place helped me work through it so I could be calm when face to face with folks dealing with infidelity in real life.
Well, you experienced it in a different and just as painful way I’d say.
 

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I remember reading the above response ... last night I found out my daughter is spending today, Thanksgiving, with her mom and the kid who she committed adultery with. The same kid that my ex set my daughter up on dates with, the same kid who contributed to the destruction of our family's unit

unbelievable


Dear Chump Lady,
I am 6 months post divorce after discovering my ex-wife’s infidelity in September 2013. This holiday season my .............................
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I remember reading the above response ... last night I found out my daughter is spending today, Thanksgiving, with her mom and the kid who she committed adultery with. The same kid that my ex set my daughter up on dates with, the same kid who contributed to the destruction of our family's unit

unbelievable
Sorry man. That’s totally uncalled for.
 
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