Extra marital affair


My friend had an extra-marital affair that broke up her family. Even though I know what she did was wrong I have chosen to continue our friendship and be there for her during these trying times. Other friends will no longer associate with her and are upset with me for continuing the friendship. I did not feel it was right to abandon her even though she committed a sin. Am I right to stand by her or should I abandon her to satisfy my other friends? WWJD?


Welcome to the forum! I have no advice to offer, but I wanted to offer my prayers for your friend and her broken family. :signofcross:


Well, when you put it that way… I’d have to respond “John 8:1-11”

“Neither do I condemn you; go, and sin no more.”


Like most things in life, it depends.

If she is sorry for what she did and has now recommitted herself to living by God’s law that is one thing.

If she sees nothing wrong with what she did, is continuing to see this man or others, then that is something else.

So, it depends on whether your friendship gives scandal-- as in condoning continued adultery-- or not.


You are called to love the sinner but hate the sin. And if she has kids or something and you are helping keep them from feeling like social outcasts, then it is most charitable.

I trust you never made her think you agreed with her behavior. A true friend helps you ride through your mistakes, helps you get back on the horse when you fall off…

Maybe your good example will help bring her closer to God. I wonder about those other “friends.” Would they be happy if she had through her own sin lost everything and then had no choice but to die? Then they could all sit around and cluck “Serves her right.”

Maybe when she looks at who a true Christian is when she gets a better perspective on things, your example and your love for her will make her want the faith and the love of God you have in your heart. :thumbsup:

I have some best friends that I wouldn’t drop if they sinned. And I haven’t. And I won’t. And I leave no doubt as to my religious beliefs, as I’m sure you’ve gathered.

But I’m their friend.


I agree. I wouldn’t be hasty about ending the friendship, but if your friend continues this for a long time and is truly unrepentant, I’d have to re-evaluate whether I would want to appear to support the situation by remaining close friends with her. But sometimes it takes a person months or even years to realize that what they did was very wrong, and if you continue to pray for her and to maintain at least a bit of contact from time to time, she may come to realize that you were the only one who “knew her when…” and didn’t reject her, and she may be very grateful for your friendship once she comes to her senses. We’ll pray that she does come to her senses about this, and that no innocent children have been caught in the crossfire.


You are right to stay her friend. People draw lines in the sand about what they will and won’t tolerate when it comes to “sin”. Often they act all high and mighty when sexual sin becomes known, but everyday they tolerate all manner of sin in the people they love. Often, it is fear that makes us run from someone involved in sin, not the sin, but our own inability to deal with it, or fear that if it could happen to them, it could happen in our lives too.

Distancing oneself may make one feel safe, or superior, or “like a true believer”, but it is not, in and of itself, always the best path. Sinners need friends too. After all, we ALL sin. We don’t need friends who encourage us in our wrongdoing, but we do need people who do not flee our company just because we stumble.

We need our friends to love us back to our best selves, to remind us of the best we can be, to love us anyway…otherwise, despair will lead us down a darker path.

If you can’t remain her friend, because what has happened has genuinely altered your feelings for her, then, so be it. That happens and there is nothing to be done but to live the truth, but if you have been graced to love her anyway…do so. And those others…may very well be living their truth, and playing the role they have been graced to play as well.


I agree with the sentiment that if she is repentant and willing to try to repair the damage, then of course you should remain a friend.

But if she is continuing her immorality, not caring that she broke up her family and expecting everyone to be accepting of her behavior, then that person does not deserve the benefit of friends standing by her. Plus… you might be the next person she screws over. For purely practical reasons, it may not be wise to remain attached. Because if she has no moral boundaries about how she treats her spouse and children, how much less would she have for a friend?


No. You should stay with your friend… just because you stick with her doesn’t mean you are condoning what she did. When Jesus ate with sinners, he didn’t say it is okay to sin. He was there to heal them from it. I hope you can be a light to your friend… granted that I hope she repented of what she did.


Fr. Corapi in his Surrender Is Not An Option course alluded to something like this, but stated the opposite of your opinion. An unrepentant sinner is gravely SICK and in need of help, not abandonment. He talks about this as in comparison to the battlefield (which we are all on in this world - a spiritual battlefield 24/7). Do comrades leave sick men behind, no, they stick with them and try to get them help. They rarely (if ever) leave an alive man behind. And until a sinner has died (stopped breathing), they are still alive (maybe barely, but still alive).

Heck, three men gave there lives in the mining fields yesterday trying to reach the bodies of their fallen comrades in slim hopes that maybe, by some miracle, they were still alive. That there, is true friendship. It should be moreso when it comes to the spiritual lives of our friends.


I think you got to be very careful with this one. Pray for your friend to find her way but keep at distance for a while. Don’t worry about losing this friend because if you’ve have a good relationship with this person, it will return in time. Don’t shew them away like they are a pest, no explaination should be necessary. But, give them some time to sort out what just happened and where they are going next with their situation. You don’t have to be lovey dovey with them and you don’t have to feel guilty about giving them some space. This person could be repentful for what they did, but they might still be hopping around (if you know what I mean) trying to find happiness where happiness is not to be found. You could end up losing total respect for them if you get caught in the middle of something which is against your beliefs. If they need some advice, by all means help them out if you can, but don’t go out of your way to hang out with this person.


Wow Great friendship…
I appreciate you for continuing your friendship. I feel you need not to sacrifice your friendship for others because they don’t have an attitude of forgiving which is very important in true friendship.


First of all welcome!!! Secondly on your question WWJD, He didn’t cast a stone to Mary the prostitute did he? He forgave her and told her to leave her sinful life…And he loved her! He didn’t abandon her nor forgot about her… I think you are doing a great thing being there for her as her friend, guide her with GOD’s love and try to guide her with his words of love and forgiveness…Show her that GOD is love and with Him all is possible… I am sorry for her family and for her as well…God willing things will be better for everyone… These are difficult times and the more we are close to GOD the better…


Very well said:)


My opinion is to stay friends with her….I think she’d definitely needs a friend.

Some people are quick to condemn (Like her other friends), but usually when there is something like an extra marital affair, it’s a cry for help…a cry to be noticed, a cry to feel loved. Sometimes when folks don’t get it in a marriage, they go look for it elsewhere.

So, stay her friend, be there for her, give her support and love. She will probably at some point want to talk about it, tell someone why she did it, what her motivations were, what she hoped to get out of it…

Like I said, people go and find things that they are not (but should) get in a marriage, like support, acceptance, romance, etc….sometimes it’s a sign of a bigger issue.


I agree…

I am really suprised that people would think continuing a friendship with someone in sin would be conditioned on whether they were sufficiently repentant.

The only thing that matters is that you, as her friend, never condone the adultery. You don’t reject people, you reject their choices, but continue to offer as much compassion and support as possible.

What else could or would possibly lead to her repentance except seeing the unwavering mercy of God in your friendship, and the willingness to offer forgiveness if it is ever taken?


This may be a bit off topic…but this is such an old thread…I have been amazed over the past few years by the number of friends whom I have witnessed become profoundly disallusioned with their (long-term) marriages & some cases where one or both partners have stumbled in very serious ways because they have become so distant. These are well educated and highly ethical, solid, moral people. They are not in the midst of some trite mid-life crises nor am I offering a rationalization or condoning breached marital vows. BUT time and again this is a situation which arises after much lonliness, pain, anguish and utter frustration.


Okay, why are you linking to a website for adultery under your post? Why did you dredge up this **old **post, unless to advertise the links that lead to a site for adulterers to find each other? Am I the only one who has noticed this?


I find it very curious that your other friends stopped associating with her. Do they similarly stop associating with anyone who has premarital sex, who looks at pornography or masturbates, who doesn’t go to Mass, who is proud?

Lots of things are grave sins. Is this particular decision on their part based on the fact that she sinned, or that they have a greater loyalty to the husband she cheated on than to her?

I don’t think Catholics have an obligation not to befriend sinners. Look at Jesus’ life, Jesus reached out to sinners. God continually reaches out to the worst sinners.


Things like this cause me to think about how Jesus outstretched His hand to the woman who was being stoned for adultery. We’re to do the same. Be this woman’s friend, and help her to grow in holiness. I think that is what Jesus might do. :o

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