Your Friend is Having an Affair

I get quite a few emails from women who’ve had affairs, women who’ve been addicted to pornography, and women and men who’ve been the victims of adultery. My inbox is full of stories and I can guarantee you that I cannot be shocked. I’ve read and heard it all. And I love it that you trust me with your stories. It has stretched me and changed me in unbelievable ways.

{And now would be the time to figure out why those things are of particular interest to me if you are newer to my blog. Click here.}

One thing that I’ve really never addressed is what to do if you are a support person.

Your sister-in-law is having an affair.

Your best friend’s husband is addicted to pornography.

You find out that one of your best couple friends is thinking about divorce because of adultery or sex addiction.

It’s almost like a cancer. It seems as if we can’t walk through life without knowing someone who dies of it. Like cancer, adultery seems to touch everyone too. Everyone knows someone who has cheated or has been cheated on.

Lately I’ve received more emails from concerned and worried friends of those either in an affair or who are close to a situation in which someone is walking through marriage reconciliation. Those of you who fall into this category are far more common than those who have actually walked through an affair yourselves.

What I mean by a support person is that you have been invited into confidence or into the healing process by one of the people in the situation. This does NOT mean that you have simply heard about someone who has committed adultery, or that you know about someone elses’ situation because a random person told you. However, it does mean that you have been trusted, in love and because of your friendship with a couple or a person, with some difficult information.

That said, I have a few thoughts and tips for those of you who are support people in situations like this.

God bless you in crazy ways, because those of us who’ve leaned on you could have not made it without you.

1. Be Human.

Years ago I called one of my mentors because one of my friends had confessed some sexual sin to me. I didn’t know what to say to my friend, so I called my mentor for advice. Her first words to me were,

I have a great book you can give her.

A book? I’m gonna tell you right now that the LAST THING my friend, in the state she was in, would have responded to was a book. I know that books serve their purposes {for the right people in the right place, especially those who are already searching for answers} but in a lot of situations a book should not be the first line of defense.

What couples, those in crisis, and those in pain or in sin, need are other people most of all. Real people who listen. People who love. People who hold hands. People who can say hard things if they need to be said. In essence, it’s simply being human. And being human is doing what might be the most the difficult.

My friend needed me as a friend. If she needed a book she’d have gone to Barnes and Nobles.

2. Be a Pointer.

Most couples or people in sexual crisis need to be pointed in the right direction. They are confused or shell-shocked. They are in pain and for many, their world has just been upended. Or maybe they are still in the sexually sinful lifestyle and don’t know how to get out.

There are very few of us equipped to deal with the intricate issues that should and must be addressed in situations like these. But we can be pointers. Do some research and point them to a good licensed Christian therapist in your area. If they ask, point them to resources that might help. And by all means, point them to Jesus, our ultimate Healer and the Knower of our hearts.

And it’s okay if you don’t know the answer to questions. Free yourself up to say, “I don’t know.” I think that means more to people than a false confidence in untested answers.

3. Be a Steel Trap.

While taking into account that ALL situations are different, generally speaking if you have been invited into the confidence of a couple or an individual who is in a situation like this, be a steel trap. Assuming that all the necessary parties are aware of the things that should be brought into the light, you, as a support person, should NEVER be the leak.

Don’t call your women’s board director. Don’t call your sister {who doesn’t even know the couple}. Don’t even update your Facebook status with hard-to-decipher things:

Pray for me. Been counseling someone. I’m exhausted.

You should be an entirely safe place for your friend or the couple to land and they should know that nothing they say to you will leave your lips.

4. Be Grace.

Couples who are in crisis, especially if they are grieving a loss of an old relationship, if there is anger, if there is pain, need grace and room to heal more than they need anything else perhaps.

You have the opportunity to be grace to your friend(s). Embody grace. Let it flow through you. BE grace because grace has been given you.

About 2 years after my own confession a friend of mine called me in a time of crisis. At the time, still journeying on my own pathway of grace, I was unable to give her any. At all.

I paid dearly for it. And I believe she paid dearly for it too.

Several years later we’ve repaired our friendship, God giving me my single most largest lesson in grace to date, but it isn’t the same.

If I could go back, I would have been grace to her.

This is not a complete list. There are so many variables in life that no list of guidelines would be all-encompassing. But in general, be the kind of friend that you know to be.

Exercise wisdom and temperance and authenticity.

Pray. Pray for your friend(s), pray for your own wisdom, and pray that relationships and hearts will be redeemed to Him.

Have you been a support person? What things have you seen done well or poorly? If you have been in crisis, what are some things that people did to support you well? Not so well?

Comments

  1. Angela says

    I am personally walking through my own sexual crisis because of my husband’s repeated infidelity and all I can say to this list is YES!!

    Yes, yes, yes!

    I would also add, “Don’t give platitudes.” So many times people don’t know what to say, and they do obviously want to help the pain go away (which they can’t), so they try to smooth things over by offering a pollyanna-like response that ignores the facts. Those conversations are not only frustrating, but painful for people in my situation.

    On the other hand, I am so appreciative of the friends in my life who are willing to listen and say, “I am so sorry you are going through this” without trying to fix it. I have one friend, who in her honesty and love for me always adds, “I wish I could say something to make you feel better, but I don’t know what to say.” I appreciate this.

    The truth is, the best thing that anyone says to me is, “How are you doing?” and then they really give me as long as I need to answer the question for that day.

  2. says

    Sarah, this list is great! For me the most important one is #4. It’s already hard enough to admit the sexual infidelity for the one who did it and sometimes just as equally hard for the “victim” to admit to being cheated on, then to have the person you confide in judge you or turn away from you altogether.

    smooches,
    Larie

    • Kathleen says

      Thank you for saying that it is equally as hard for the one who has been cheated upon to reveal it others. I didn’t realize this the ‘first’ time I was near infidelity. Thankfully God’s grace flows to all of us who are not necessarily in the know the first time this happens to rock our world. Thankful that God heals all of us…and teaches all of us how to walk with one another in love.

  3. says

    Such good timing. I wasn’t sure I handled a situation as a support person correctly recently. I thought I was wrong for only having words of His forgiveness, saying “I don’t know what’s the best answer” many times and pointing them to counseling. Giving hugs and acknowledging it will be a long road of healing from the sin but it can be done if they let Him.I thought maybe it wasn’t enough, maybe I should of said more. After reading this, I’m sure I handled it well. Thank you for reassurance!

    • Sarah Markley says

      i think being open to grace and to God changing our own hearts through the journey of someone else is important too. it sounds like you did a great job. =) thank you for being willing to walk with someone who was in great need.

  4. Karin says

    A couple of years ago a friend’s marriage was so troubled she reached out to me – this was her 3rd marriage, and it was on the rocks. She has 3 sons, the youngest of whom was practically living with us at that time. I prayed with her and for her and listened and pointed to scripture (which she was scouring for answers herself), and you know what – I gave her a book. Yes I did. And she devoured it in record time. Called me to apologize about having done some highlighting in it. It was “Let GO” by Sheila Walsh, who wrote about the exact same struggles she was going through. So in this case a book totally helped. Their marriage has healed. Not because of the book. Or even just the prayers. It was a mix of many factors, one of which was that they moved and cut out some toxic people in their circles who perpetuated lies and breakdown of the marriage. At times I felt she was leaning a bit too heavily on me, and that I was out of my depth with the counseling they needed, so I give credit to God, first and foremost. But knowing she wasn’t a freak, not the first and only person to endure what she had to go through, seemed to be key for this friend.

    • Sarah Markley says

      oh karin! i hope you didn’t read the “book” thing wrong. i think books are so valuable and for the right situation (key – when someone is actively seeking out information, help) books are perfect.

      it’s hard when someone who is in crisis NEEDS a person and that person hands them a book.

      sigh.

      you did amazing things for your friend. thank you for walking through it with her.

  5. says

    I have seen both sides. My husband left our 12 year marriage because of an (emotional) affair that was about to turn physical with a woman he worked with. 2 years ago. I have been in a relationship with another man (an affair) since March. Wanting nothing more than to end it. So much easier said than done. He helped ease some of the loneliness but the pain and guilt are so much heavier. I want my husband back. I know God can restore but I also know He won’t as long as I am living in sin… Actively choosing not to obey Him.

    My family judges my every action with the OM. No grace given. No help. I have wanted to end it for a long time. But have no where to turn.

    Please pray for me and my husband (we are separated but not divorced). Strength for us to end these adulterous relationships and grace to give each other.

    ~Cyndi

    • Sarah Markley says

      cyndi – i will be praying for you and i’m sure the other women/men who read this will be too.

      your self awareness is refreshing (most ppl in your situation don’t see the detriment) and i’m encouraged by your willingness to ask for help.

      i’ll pray that you find the in real life ppl around you to help you walk through this and that the Holy Spirit continue to speak to you loudly through this. i’ll pray for your reconciliation with your husband.

      thank you so much for your comment, cyndi.

    • Kristi says

      Praying for you, your husband, and your family, Cyndi! I’m sorry you’ve felt condemned. I once thought I would never consider adultery…and circumstances can definitely change that. I read Sarah and also Serena Woods alot. I bought Serena’s book and it has helped me in my marriage and my thoughts (and desires for something different) alot. Serena has a blog..Grace is for Sinners. You’ll receive honesty and grace there. Glad you shared. This stuff is so painful and shaming…that the more we keep quiet, the more it festers within us and keeps us from God’s light and His grace. Blessings to you!

      • says

        I am an avid reader of Serena’s blog. :) I bought her book and devoured it in one sitting. So many people around me don’t understand God’s grace. I have learned so much about grace and forgiveness during this separation. I believe that is just what God wanted me to learn more about. I too, never thought I could be an adulteress… Thank you for the prayers.

    • says

      Lord God, we come to your throne of grace at this moment in behalf of Cyndi and her husband. You know the needs, hurts, pains, and turmoil in both lives. You are the God of all compassion and mercy. Grant a special measure of grace to them as you lead them closer to you. In that process we pray that you also draw them closer to each other. Restore the relationship, build it on the firm foundation of your love in Jesus Christ. Grant special blessings to all family members and friends, giving them wisdom, compassion, and patience in the process. Through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen

  6. says

    This is powerful stuff Mrs. Markley! I love it.

    Something that a lot of my friends struggle with (girls especially) is emotional cheating.

    Love the section that talks about “being grace.” It is a huge blessing to be able to be grace in someone’s life. :)

  7. says

    Great advice Sarah. I think in any given situation where there is pain and someone comes to us for help, these suggestions apply. So often folks just want be heard and not made to feel like a freak or worse. I’m so glad you write about this stuff. It’s so important.

    Blessings,
    Mel
    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  8. says

    The person that started off as a support person to me (my best friend) was an anchor for me in the beginning. But as time wore on and my story wasn’t turning out as expected, she began to leak what was sacred to her spouse and others. She then stopped meeting with me/avoided me and I received condemning emails and finally a few books showed up in my mail box as if she was wiping her hands of me. She then proceeded to cut me out of her life–changed her cell number, email and blocked me from her Facebook account. That was 2 years ago. To this day, I have made attempts to reach her to no avail. I know she is hurt and disappointed, and I so what to seek her forgiveness. Losing a friend was a consequence of my bad choices for sure, but during my time of need, I could have used her to lean on and as people began to throw insults at me and walk away from me, I in turn walked away from them. I resolved in my head that I deserved this and that I made my bed so I must lie in it. God was there though–He never wiped His hands of me. He was just waiting for me to come back to Him. The path of reconciliation has been both an unbelievable blessing and picture of grace, but it has also been painful as some of my Christ-following friends have either avoided me or have said, “I forgive you, but I can’t forget what you did.” It’s pseudo grace; forgiveness with an asterisk. Your posting is so important Sarah. I have had a close friend go though something similar to me and I have chosen to be the kind of friend to her that I needed, but didn’t have. We are all fallen, we all do not deserve that grace that is given to us. If someone is caught up in sin, there is always something below the surface of that sin. Listening and supporting your friend in there time of need can help draw those things out and they can be talked through and dealt with. Thank goodness for good christian counselors! But my friends are very far and few as I’m in the rebuilding process. Cherish your friends–through the good and the bad. It can make all the difference. I miss my best friend.

  9. says

    the steel trap is so important. it’s hard to trust people these days, though, isn’t it? i love how you referenced the ‘hard to decipher facebook status’… those make me crazy sometimes!?!

    i would also add: humility. this goes along with grace, but i think humility is especially important to show to the “victim” in these types of situations. they don’t want you to hate their spouse, they don’t want you to bash them or tear them apart. they don’t need you to advise them to get a divorce and get out right away. they don’t need to hear that they deserve better. they need your complete confidence and support, overflowing with humility and grace. it could “happen” to anyone. none of us are exempt from sinning. the support person needs to recognize their own fallen-ness, understand human nature, and steer clear of any hint of judgment, of the friend or their spouse (whomever has sinned in the situation). i’m sure this is what you meant with #4, grace :)

    anyway, thanks for listing it all out. it’s important to be prepared, both when you’re chosen as the support person, and when you need one for your own crisis.

  10. TraciHope says

    GREAT insights Sarah – thank you for your openness and vulnerability.

    If I could add one point, it would be, as friend walking alongside someone going through crisis, please under promise and over deliver.

    Nothing feels more cruel in the midst of crisis than having to add the perceived abandonment of a friend to the list of distrust. In walking through our family crisis, I’ve found several well intending friends who, when I’d see them at conferences or meetings, promised a phone call that never materialized. I’m certain at the time they meant well, and fully intended to follow through…but as the days and weeks passed, that unfulfilled promise served as another brick in my wall of distrust.

    If I had to pick one thing that a friend did for me during my time of crisis that made a huge impact, it was sit next me, hold my hand, and allow me to sob my eyes out without asking any questions or offering any advise.

  11. Irish Triplets says

    The biggest mistake a support person can make is allowing her friend who is having the affair to use her as an “excuse” (i.e. The offender says she is going to her friends house but she is really going to her lovers place). One of my support persons and best friends was also the sister of my affair partner. Now that the affair is over, I can no longer be her friend. This is not only due to fact that she allowed me to use her as an excuse, but also because she is the OM’s sister. I sob almost every day over losing her friendship. I have been friends with her for 18 years but I cannot have any contact with my affair partner so I cannot even talk to her because that is a form of indirect contact. She tried to stop the affair. She told me to work on my marriage. She warned me about her brother but I didn’t listen and now my friendship with her is over. All of my friendships with my support people who allowed me to use them as excuses are over or damaged. DO NOT BE A PARTY TO THE AFFAIR. Giving your friend support is much different then being part of their affair. Tell them they cannot use you as an excuse but you will still be there to listen and support them in their pain.

  12. Inna says

    Very good list, Sarah.

    I think the very important thing is to just listen. Not try to fix, give advice, tell your story. Just listen.

    Crying is optional.

  13. says

    Thank you, Sarah. I’m hanging onto this. One dear friend ran into some pornography issues with her husband. God worked in what I said, because it was something that she never thought of, that it can be an addiction. That helped her to see it that way.
    God bless you and your ministry to us!

  14. Heather says

    I love this Sarah. I have not been personally in this kind of situation with a close friend. BUT, this is the kind of response I would want to have or receive. I want to be this kind of friend. And now, I feel a little more prepared if that is what God has in store for me.

  15. Liz says

    My husband is a Pornography addcit. I knew this before we got married 10 years ago. However, with a lot of work, he is doing much better, with a slip up maybe once a year or longer(compare it to every day multiple times). I had an epiphany about how I react to it, and I shared this with a friend, whose husband apparently has a similar problem. Through this, she got the impression that I am allowing it to just go on(which is not the case), and she got angry. Anyway, with my currently youngest, we had issues, and he ended up in the NICU for 6 days. She helped us out one night so that we could both go see the baby(we have 4 kids). The next night she told me that she would really just rather take me to the NICU to see my baby instead of staying at our house and watching other kids so that both my husband and I could go, because she wanted to serve me, and not my husband. Because of this experience, I have learned to be a little more judicious in who I trust with information.

    I guess my point is, that if you are going to be a friend, be supportive, or don’t help at all, because it can be way more painful if you decide you want to help one person in the marriage instead of both when there is a crisis going on. And DEFINITELY don’t tell your friend that you feel this way if you do, because it is really not helpful!

  16. says

    There are a couple circumstances when confidence can and should be broken and that is if the person is confessing abuse and/or self harm. In that case it’s your responsibility to report it to authorities. Just thought I’d throw that disclaimer in there.

    Usually if a person comes to me and asks me if they can tell me something and me not tell anyone, before I promise anything I have to let them know that.

  17. Olivi says

    Thank you so much for this, Sarah! I am currently a support person – and I have felt so inadequate! But I am realizing that, just as you said – my job is to be a pointer. She can’t see straight right now and the one thing I can do is steer her towards Jesus. Thank you for the reminder to be grace and to just be human!

  18. says

    Sarah –
    Loved that you wrote about this! It’s been something that has ruminated inside my heart for a while, but you said it so much better than I could have. So – thank you for being brave enough to post it.

    My husband and I have been the leaders of the young adult’s ministry in our church for 5+ years. Prior to that, I was the leader with another church member, but hubby and I took it over when we were married. This is the church I’ve grown up in, and I love it dearly. However, I see many of the lines drawn that you mentioned, and it has been a difficult road at times to be honest. Those invisible lines of segregation can make for a very lonely place. I love being a wife and mom so much, but it has not been easy, as most of the moms are much older than me and still view me in the “youth groupish” category (benefits of growing up in the same church for 20 years! :)) and many of the younger girls (single, dating, newly married) are absolutely sweet but not ready to hang out with little ones running around. I hope I don’t sound bitter – I’m not. In fact, in my single and newly married days, I would have preferred to chill without little ones running around, too.

    I’d call myself friendly and outgoing – but sometimes? The friendly people need to be reached out to. We’d like to have someone to hang out with where we don’t have to constantly qualify ourselves for being married or having children.

    My husband and I were the first among our “friend group” to be engaged, first to get married, first to have babies, etc. While exciting, we were trailblazers of sorts. There weren’t many around us who could “relate”.

    To answer your question, I do think that we all naturally tend towards people that have things in common with us. It’s human nature. But I COMPLETELY agree with you that if we don’t venture outside those walls, we’re missing out. I have several single friends, a few newly marrieds, and a few who are empty nesters. I LOVE the perspective and value they offer to my life. I don’t want to be around people who are only like me…I want to grow and be refined!

    Didn’t mean to type an essay…this post just really struck a chord with me. It’s my hearts desire to be in unity with those in the body of Christ, putting on love towards one another, regardless if we can understand or relate to every aspect of the other’s situation. Every person is a gold mine if we will take the time to discover. :-)

    God bless you! :-)

  19. DP says

    Sarah I like what you said about needing “people who can say hard things if they need to be said.” I have a friend who is teetering on the fine line of an affair. She is emotionally invested but hasn’t crossed the physical line yet. She admits to having feelings for him but thinks she can handle it because he’s given her a large sum of money to start her own business. She doesn’t want to lose her dream of having her business by cutting ties, but she’s got so much more to lose if she doesn’t. Her husband is furious. He doesn’t trust her. They are on the brink of divorce. As much as I hated confronting her, I told her to stop seeing the other man, and to get rid of the people who were justifying her relationship with him. She got angry and called me judgemental. I stood my ground, told her I was always going to be there for her but I didn’t support her relationship with the other man. It’s been 6 months and she still won’t speak to me. I’ve been made into the bad guy when all I wanted to do was the right thing. We have an obligation to our friends to tell them if what they are doing is dangerous, especially when they don’t see the slippery slope ahead. I expect the same from them. Supporting our friends during hard times is one thing, but turning the other cheek while they have an affair isn’t doing anyone any good. So my question is this: How do you support your friend but also let them know you don’t support their affair? It their eyes, they are one in the same.

    • Sarah Markley says

      i do NOT have an answer for that. I’ll tell you why.

      I did the exact same thing. almost to a letter. with a friend of mine years ago.

      and i regret it. i don’t regret telling the truth, but i regret everything else. i too said to her the same thing: i’ll be your friend but what you are doing is wrong. and it ruined us. she felt like i’d abandoned her when i needed her the most.

      i don’t know how to maneuver in this. i really don’t. but i do know that i would be much more gracious to her if i had the chance to redo those months of my life.

      honest.

      i don’t know what you should do. i really don’t. i do agree with you that we cannot at all support behavior that ruins our friends, ruins marriages, ruins our relationship with God. i totally agree with you. but how to move thru a situation like this?

      i really have no idea.

      i will be praying wisdom for you in this. thank you for your comment.

  20. Patti says

    Sarah,

    I stumbled upon your website as I found out today my best friend is having an affair. We have known each other for 31 years and she has lived through my father’s many affairs with me. She knows how I feel about people who cheat and was afraid to tell me of her situation for fear I would be angry with her.

    Oddly, I did not feel anger toward her. I could genuinely feel her pain and only want to comfort her. We did not have a great deal of time to speak and have arranged a call later in the week. I live in Europe and she lives in the US so timing is difficult. After reading your article, I know feel much better prepared and much less judgemental than I would have been. I am also one that usually “shares” things like this with local friends with the mindset that it is okay as they don’t know each other. You are so right that she deserves a safe place that she can go.

    Thank you so much for posting this. I will refer back to it when I feel the need. I only hope I can be a good enough friend to help her through this.

    Patti

  21. Marie says

    Sarah-

    First of all, thank you for sharing your story. I stumbled upon this today as I searched for answers on how to help a friend who is going through terrible trials in her life like yours. Let me give hope to those who are the friend – always, always, always talk to Jesus first, and then let Him be the guide for you. I had to be the friend to confront the situation, and I feel incredibly blessed that God used me as a vessel to help someone who needed it so badly. Always speak in love, do your best, and above all talk to Jesus first and foremost. Sometimes He asks us to speak to others in love, just make sure it is love, love, love that guides the way. I don’t know what is going to happen to my wonderful friend, who is one of my favorite people in the whole world, but I do know that Jesus is her Father who loves her so very much. He loves me too, and will give me the words when He needs me to say them, and keep my mouth shut and just hold her when she needs that too. Be a vessel, and you will see the walls break down.

  22. char says

    I just stumbled upon this site and am hoping for guidance. My two best friends who are family to me are going thru this same issue. (My blood siblings have all but cut me off for speaking my truth about how to handle our father’s estate for the past 5 yrs ago – but that’s a whole ‘nother story) These two have been in my life very closely especially the last 8 years when I went to work for them (they own a business – yeah, it gets better – they have two children who have me wrapped around their fingers).

    They have always had a tumultuous relationship and frankly everyone is very surprised they lasted this long, myself included. They are now minutes away from divorce. I don’t know how to handle it. It has recently been revealed that he – who is like a brother to me – had an affair – recently (there had been instances in the past also). What do I do? This is killing me. They both mean so much to me and I have so much anger toward him right now. Especially since he went crazy when his brother had an affair and left his wife. I have been loyal, stuck by him and defended him so many times over the years – to the point that some people don’t even talk to me because they don’t like him. I guess I have been a loyal fool.

    My friend admitted he had moral issues and all kinds of other issues. But just stating you do doesnt make it right. I am so conflicted. I come from a broken home (ironically so do both of my friends – and her father cheated on her mother) and it kills me to see what this is and will do to their kids.. Do I just walk away? I don’t want to take sides – but am so angry with him for doing this when his wife – who is like a sister to me – has had such large trust issues with him to begin with I want to tell her to just leave him. I have suggested counseling but frankly, the place they are both in I don’t think it will work. I feel like I’ve lost all respect for him – and that is painful.

    Other than praying – what is your advice? Do I forgive but not forget? This divorce is going to be ugly and angry if it happens. I just don’t know how to feel – other than like someone has just died. I’m a bit rambling but I just don’t know what to do (other than pray – or move to a different state which I’ve considered but leaving the kids now just doesn’t sit well). Do I stop supporting one? Both? Can I support both without emotionally paying for it or having the other one cut me off? Help?

  23. slsmith says

    I am struggling wtih a situation right now. A friend is leaving her spouse and confided to a small group of us she is having an affair with a married man but that she was planning on leaving her husband regardless of meeting new man. We were surprised but told her we loved her but worried about her situation. Told her the hard things like we didn’t agree with being the other woman. I understood her reasons for unhappiness in the marriage but told her I don’t trust the new guy and think she should heal herself first before moving on with someone new. She has gone back and forth with hateful texts accusing us of judging her and thinking we are holier than thou. This is not the case and we have repeatedly told her we love her and want to support her but we don’t condone an affair or r trust him not to hurt her. She has cut off all contact and asked us not to contact her which I am honoring. She is also leaving church and has been telling others it is because we have judged her so harshly, gotten in her business and practically chased her out of the church. She has verbally abused all of us but I will not tolerate her spreading lies about me. I have never discussed her affair with anyone other than those she told about it but feel like if she is only going to tell people half the story and tell people we are awful that they should know the whole story as well. I will not directly tell anyone else but I will not cover up anymore and will give enough of the facts to read between the lines if they choose. Is that wrong? Do I try to reach out anymore? I know I have not judged her harshly and only said the hard things that needed to be said. I never personally attacked her only let her know I don’t like what she is doing. She confessed to her spouse but the man did not. and I told her that I don’t like that he cant come clean and has put her in the position of being the other woman. Well anyway I go on and on. I just need to know what I should do next or do I just walk away and continue to pray for her health and happiness. I can’t subject myself to her verbal tirades anymore even though I suspect it is her lashing out at her own guilt.

  24. says

    Currently walking with a friend and her husband as they just now begin to deal with the consequences of her infidelity. It’s gutting for everyone involved. The affair is ongoing and trying to help her see the damage she’s doing is so hard. Her children are suffering for it and her husband is at the end of his rope. She’s my best friend and I just want to shake her until her teeth rattle- I know that’s my own anger at the situation and not something I would actually do. Trying to simply be a safe person for her to talk to and be there for them all. A little extra prayer would be wonderful if anyone feels so inclined.

    Thanks for the great advice, I’ll definitely bookmark this site and use it as a reference.

  25. says

    I know this post is from 2011 but I needed to read this today. Thank you for such a wise and graceful perspective, one I have been deeply struggling with.

  26. Margaret says

    I needed this post today as well. My best friend just recently told me she is having an affair. She is in an incredibly selfish state of mind. At first she wanted me to talk her out of it. I tried to no avail. It still happened and now she only tells me little bits. I have no idea how to help her.
    I was the maid of honour at their wedding. My spouse and hers are very good friends as well. The four of us get together on a regular basis. Her two children are my world. I am angry. I want to shake her, slap her, wring her out it. But I can’t. I can’t even tell my spouse. I have to go through this anger and sadness alone.
    How do you go forward? How do handle being in their presence knowing what you know? I guess I just have to stand by and watch it happen, and listen. This is incredibly hard.

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