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POLL RESULTS: Just between us three...: (19 comments)

POLL: Just between us three...

Friday, November 11, 2011 - 12:00 AM


My spouse became entangled with a "Just A Friend" of the opposite sex for years without the knowledge of either respective partner. Neither sees anything wrong with their surreptitious relationship. My spouse doesn't understand my zero-tolerance for any interaction with this person when not in my presence. And on the "Oh-By-The-Way" Front... they both insist the 4th party can't be told about the relationship. Am I wrong? Wouldn't clean, fresh air be a lot better for all four of us? What advice do you offer?.....

POLL: What should he do?
 
27% (521) Tell the other guy's wife.
 
0% (16) Keep mum.
 
20% (396) Convince them that *they* should confess to the man's wife.
 
51% (996) Get the heck out of that relationship -- and who cares about the other three!
1929 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
Aar0n
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Posts: 3

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Feb 2008
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Friday, November 11, 2011 - 12:34 AM (#60449)

My ex became close to a guy friend, and, at one point, confessed that they had kissed but adamantly insisted that nothing else happened. We talked about it for awhile, and I forgave her.

Afterwards, the only thing I asked was that she not see him any more. She couldn't figure out why I would want to keep them from being friends. Explaining that there was obviously come attraction there that had proven dangerous to our relationship only made them become more secretive. I would see him show up in pictures of events that, for example, she had told me was a "girls' night".

The last straw was a picture from a trip to visit a friend several states away. I hadn't pried into what they would be doing or who would be there, but she told me it would just be her and her friend (girl she went to college with). When she got back, pictures were posted on facebook by said friend, and, low and behold, there was one of my ex with her head in the lap of the guy. I was furious, and asked why she deliberately omitted that he would be there and why she had her head in his lap. She said she wasn't sure if he was coming or not, and she had gotten sleepy and he had offered his lap for her pillow. She honestly couldn't see what was wrong with this, and, needless to say, we broke up that night. A couple short weeks later, and she was officially dating the guy.


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TheBigJerk
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Posts: 13

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Mar 2011
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Friday, November 11, 2011 - 12:41 AM (#60450)

Interesting that the question is gender-neutral but the answers presume wife. Another assumption is that the "just friendship" is "with benefits."

Anyways, your answer is determined by two simple questions,

-Would you want to know?
-Is your "Does not understand" spouse going to stray again when it has already proven it has no trouble concealing the truth or respecting the boundary you've placed about this "friendship"?


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AdviceIncorporated
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Posts: 5

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Sep 2009
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Friday, November 11, 2011 - 01:34 AM (#60451)

"both insist the 4th party can't be told about the relationship" = They KNOW they're doing something wrong, and expect *you* to help them hide something naughty.

From where I'm standing, it's a load of immature, selfish bullshit they're throwing at you. No respect for boundaries or your marriage means it's time to put your foot down. 4th party should definitely be told; it's not your responsibility to cover up someone else's indiscretion with your spouse.


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Amanda
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Posts: 30

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Oct 2008
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Friday, November 11, 2011 - 02:02 AM (#60452)

Get out of the relationship, then tell the 4th party why. The 4th party will be hurt as you were, but at least you won't be a part of this immature and unhealthy charade. If your spouse wants to get away scot free with cheating on you, then he/she is out of his/her mind. Something has to change. You can't be the only one knowingly negatively affected by this situation. Your spouse and the 4th party's spouse need consequences.


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NunyaBidness
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Posts: 83

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Apr 2008
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Friday, November 11, 2011 - 08:44 AM (#60455)

I've seen several "just friends" move in to someone's spare room or basement. There's nothing going on, really. The spouse will even insist that everything is just fine.

For a while.

If they feel a need to be secretive, there's a reason they feel they need to be secretive.


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Whimsical
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Posts: 4

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Nov 2008
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Friday, November 11, 2011 - 09:54 AM (#60456)

Not enough information.

Has she cheated with this guy?
Do you have proof of this?

If the answer to both of those questions is no, then you're being completely unreasonable.

If the answer to either of those questions is yes, why the hell are you still in the relationship?


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zmortis
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Posts: 76

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Jun 2009
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Friday, November 11, 2011 - 09:55 AM (#60457)

Very simple answer here. File for divorce, and make it absolutely clear why you are filing for divorce. Don't become a dupe to their duplicitious behaviour. If they believe that honesty is wrong, then something is seriously wrong with them.


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DoubleStar
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Posts: 36

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Mar 2010
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Friday, November 11, 2011 - 10:24 AM (#60458)

Unless you are friends of your own accord with the 4th party, then strictly speaking, it's none of your business whether or not the 4th person knows. Their marriage is their business, their problems their own to deal with as they see fit, and the 4th person could easily construe your attempt to enlighten them as unwelcome interference.

What *is* your business is how your own spouse is treating this, which is selfishly and immaturely, based on "doesn't understand your zero-tolerance" insistence.

The foundation of any marriage is trust and respect, and this is a trust and respect issue. Your spouse proved they can't be trusted around this friend, and doesn't respect your wishes for them to stay physically apart.

So never mind the other party's marriage, at this point you've got to decide if your own is worth salvaging (not saving, that's your spouse's job). So first thing, figure out what you need in order to rebuild that trust and respect between you two. Don't try to be fair about this, it's all about you at this point. If you decide its possible to rebuild that trust and respect if X, Y and Z happens, then tell your spouse and make it happen.

If your spouse won't make it happen, or if you decide there's no way you could trust or respect your spouse again regardless of what they do, then it's time to get out of that relationship. At which point, it *does* become your business to tell the 4th party about their spouse's infidelity, though that's still a personal choice in the end.


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Thlayli
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Posts: 2

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Oct 2009
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Friday, November 11, 2011 - 11:08 AM (#60459)

"My spouse doesn't understand my zero-tolerance for any interaction with this person when not in my presence."

Get out. I went through the same thing and the affair started up again. If they can't see what's wrong with continued interaction with that person, they don't get it and never will.


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abb3w
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Posts: 46

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Saturday, November 12, 2011 - 01:53 AM (#60464)
No suggestions thus far to try and seduce the fourth party for symmetry? How disappointing....

More-or-less seriously, and presuming no children: pack, move, identify lawyer, phone party #4, contact lawyer, use lawyer for all further communications with parties 2-4 -- and da police.

If there are children, moderate it a bit; but not much. Warn of the first two steps; do not warn of but plan to insert "arrange temporary transfer of custody to reliable 3rd party" as step three. (This may be state child services -- not to do lightly, but may be better than some alternate scenarios.) Move original step five to step zero to minimize burning bridges. If you cannot count to five... well, you're probably not keeping track of all the adult parties.
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bombastinator
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Posts: 8

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Jun 2011
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Saturday, November 12, 2011 - 04:37 AM (#60465)
In Response to AdviceIncorporated (#60451):

I agree. In fact I'm astounded that the argument seems to be working on you.

Your husband knows you extremely well though so it would be understandable that he knows how to play you. That particular tack probably wouldn't go over nearly as well with the woman's husband though, and that may be a reason they want to keep you away from him. It also keeps you from comparing notes, which may be interesting in itself.

That or he's a gun owner and your husband might get his ass shot off.


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bubble181
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Posts: 3

Registered:
Apr 2008
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Saturday, November 12, 2011 - 04:43 AM (#60466)

I'm not convinced we have all the information. This situation really can go either way, really.
When I started seeing my current long-time girlfriend, I had a female friend I was attracted to. My girlfriend askeed me to stay away from her, because she was afraid my feelings for the other girl'd come between us. I perfectly understood, and I've avoided the other woman since (I've seen her occasionally at parties or some such, but usually with my girlfriend around, and I've never made contact myself).

On the other hand, one of my best friends is female as well - known her since high school. We're very clsoe, and, yes, I've slept with my head in her lap and she's given me backrubs and whatever. However, she's really more a sister to me than anything else. Chnaces of me straying with her are soemwhere between 0.0 and 0.00%. Girlfriend still doesn't want me to hang around with her, though... But if/when I see her, I do spend time with her - I don't see any threat to our relationship, and I've told my grilfriend this many times. Her jealousy is completely misplaced... "being secretive" doesn't mean "has something serious to hide"; it could also mean "trying to avoid unnecessary fights over something the other person is unreasonable about".


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CaptainSmokeblower
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Posts: 58

Registered:
Nov 2009
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Saturday, November 12, 2011 - 07:27 AM (#60467)

I suspect if the fourth were told the third would lose more than half their a$$ets.


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NunyaBidness
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Posts: 83

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Apr 2008
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Saturday, November 12, 2011 - 08:39 AM (#60468)
In Response to bombastinator (#60465):

Oh, please. "What if he owns a gun?" Like half of American households? That's really not relevant to any violence, only personality is. Everyone owns ball bats and kitchen knives, but doesn't use them to settle domestic problems often.

It's interesting that someone is assuming a gender, also.

DO NOT EVER bring child services in unless the other party is personally abusing the children, and even then, think twice. It's perfectly possible to handle this problem without them, and their presence is not only irrelevant, but dangerous. In many areas, they'll use any excuse possible to remove the children, then you're in a battle to prove your innocence and get them back.


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Murgatroyd
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Posts: 300

Registered:
Jan 2008
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Monday, November 14, 2011 - 01:04 AM (#60475)

If they can't see what's wrong with continued interaction with that person, they don't get it and never will.

I think they see it. They just want to see how much crap the Original Poster is willing to swallow.

OP says that they're "entangled" ... Entangled as in "involved in each other's lives," or entangled as in "physically interpenetrating"? I think most of us have been assuming the latter, but it's conceivable that the relationship really is platonic. The fact that they don't want #4 to know about the relationship makes it very, very unlikely, but if #4 is the jealous and paranoid type then it's at least conceivable.

OP can always try the tactic of saying, "Gosh! Your platonic friend seems to be a really nice person! I'd like to accompany you and make it a platonic threesome!" I did this when I suspected my ex was having an affair, and her reaction led to almost immediate confirmation of my suspicions.

If OP can't trust his or her spouse, then the relationship is broken. Note that this is true even if the spouse is telling the truth about the "platonic friend" ... it just shifts a little of the blame for the problem onto the Original Poster.


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DoubleStar
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Posts: 36

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Mar 2010
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Monday, November 14, 2011 - 08:54 AM (#60476)

Murgatroyd raises two very good points, and my earlier advice remains the same.

The spouse and party 3's willingness and desire to hide their relationship is just as bad as lying and disrespecting their spouses. So unless there is some purely professional reason to hide things (which the OP should at least be marginally aware of this happening occasionally in their spouse's life), then regardless of the definition of "entangled", regardless of whether the spouse and party 3 really have cheated, trust has been lost and the OP and spouse must find a way to rebuild that trust or the relationship is over.

Oh, and while Abb3w's advice is quite sound if you decide to leave, I must echo NunyaBidness's warning - do NOT bring child services into the mix unless you have no choice; sadly, too many people working for them will take your children given the least excuse, and getting them back is an ordeal all by itself.


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bucketsgirl
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Posts: 10

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Mar 2011
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Friday, November 18, 2011 - 02:45 PM (#60497)

It's possible that they were hiding the relationship because both their spouses are paranoid and overly controlling. The OP didn't mention that cheating actually happened, which makes me think it didn't. It's very possible they really were JUST friends, but they didn't tell their spouses due to OP's "zero tolerance" for interaction with friends of the opposite sex.

A big problem is we're missing the full story, I think. Either OP is paranoid/controlling and so is the other spouse and that's why they didn't advertise their friendship, or cheating/disrespect was going on and that's why the secrecy.

Either way, I think an earlier poster hit the nail on the head - the relationship is broken. Either OP doesn't trust his/her partner, or the partner cheated on or doesn't respect the OP.


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Newsman
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Posts: 2

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Nov 2011
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 11:37 AM (#60529)

I agree with most of the responses, especially NunyaBidness If there are children involved (not covered in the original question) then DFACS (as they are known in my area) should not become involved unless there is abuse.
I have been on the other side of this -- My ex-wife was extremely jealous of my ex-girlfriend (10+ years in the past girlfriend) so much so that she didn't even want me to exchange emails or IMs. I admit I "neglected" to mention a few IM conversations that we had in the interests of harmony. However, there was never any talk of me and the ex-girlfriend getting back together, just buddies. My then-wife didn't understand, just blind hatred, so I can sort of understand the "spouse's" point of view, but from the tone of the original question it sounds as if the "guilty party" did more than just hang out or IM/email with the old friend, so I would immediately file for divorce and get rid of the cheater!


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LonesomeLoser
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Posts: 25

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Mar 2011
Re: Just between us three... (Score: 0)
posted Thursday, November 24, 2011 - 07:57 AM (#60531)

So your partner is cheating on you with someone who is cheating on THEIR partner and you are asking if you should do or say something?
Seriously?
SERIOUSLY?
Ummm, do nothing and be proud of being the best darn door mat ever?


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