Friend going through divorce


#1

One of my best friends from college is currently going through a divorce. Her soon to be ex-husband was caught in a “Dateline”-type sting arranging to meet a 13 year old over the internet. Except that the 13 year old was a cop. She very quickly filed for divorce, put their house on the market, and is planning to move back near me. They have 2 small children, 5 and 2.

I find myself judging her. She didn’t even try counseling to see if their marriage could be saved, although I’m not sure I could maintain a marriage to a potential predator. Right now she has met some one on match.com and last night decided to spend the night at his house while she was in town. Her divorce isn’t final. To top it all off she called me and said she had told a couple of our friends that she was staying with me! Now she’s not only committing adultry, but asking me to cover for her. I was so stunned all I said was OK. Any advice on how to delicately approach this would be appreciated. Oh yeah, she’s not Catholic and does not share a lot of my same values on marriage and family…


#2

That’s a tough situation. I’d just be honest with her…kindly…that you don’t want to be put in the situation of being asked to lie for her. I’ve seen this before, sometimes when a person divorces they run around like they have lost all sense for a while. It’s a shame. I’d just make it clear that, while I cared for her, I didn’t want to be made part of all that.

As far as her filing for divorce so quickly…I can’t say that I wouldn’t do the same. If it were made so completely clear that my husband “liked” little girls and was acting on it…I’d pack my babies and we’d “Get the heck outta Dodge!” Seriously. There is no way I would put my kids at risk while I tried to “reform” a child molester. Which is obviously what that man is. I hate to think of the plans he might have had for that “13 year old girl” he thought he was meeting.:mad:


#3

People don’t decide they like 13 year olds all of a sudden. There has been something going on with this woman’s husband for a long time. She is only now just aware of it. From a Catholic perspective, there would probably be grave reason to take a VERY close look at this man and whether he was truly capable of marriage from a psychological point of view.

I would NOT have tried to save a marriage to a man like that. Just out of protection of my own children and their home. (Would you keep someone around that you never knew if they would be carted off by the police, and your kids could never have friends over, and when word got around school your kids would be ostracized?)

My bigger concern is that she found this out about him after years of marriage. She now knows you can LIVE with someone and not have any idea who they really are. That should make her MORE cautious, not less. So she is on a freakin’ website looking for love? Who does she think she is now dragging into her life and her kids’ lives??? :mad:

She needs to get away from the very idea of dating and bring some order and sanity into her life and accept the fact that right now her ability to judge character is very flawed and she should be ALONE!

How can she be sure she’s not meeting some “nice guy” on the internet who is trolling for a woman with children because he’s more interested in the children than her? She’s already found out the kind of men who hang out on the internet.


#4

I guess I have less of a problem with her seeking a divorce as feeling the need to have a boyfriend so soon. Her husband’s arrest was only 4 months ago. The biggest red flag to me is that she’s trying so hard to keep the relationship with new guy a secret. If it’s something you need to keep that secret, you probably shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.


#5

I wouldn’t be quick to judge her. Many things come into play in a situation like that. I know when my ex left me after years of not ever wanting sex, I really just needed to know that men found me attractive and desirable. Not that I rushed into sex, but to just know that I was still attractive to the opposite sex was important. Maybe it isn’t right, but it is human.

Anyway, be supportive without being a doormat. Tell her you are there for her to talk to and if she needs anything. But also tell her that you can’t lie for her. If she is a friend she will immediately apologize for putting you in that situation to begin with. After that, you will be able to help her. One of the biggest things I needed from female friends was to know that they didn’t think I was an idiot for not knowing some of the things I found out about my ex. I felt like a royal idiot that I could be married to a person and not know some of the things he was about.

The truth is, in those situations, you really don’t want to know and you trust the person so things like excuses for “weird” or “deviant” behaviors are trusted even though your mind is screaming…“This isn’t right” your heart is screaming louder, “This is my husband, why would he lie to me?”

One of the best things I did after ex left was to take a year to figure out who I was. I had been Mrs. so long, I didn’t know who I was as an individual anymore. After about a year, I went on a date… and by something that just slipped out of my mouth, I knew I had alot more work to do to be “datable” kwim?


#6

This is truly a sad situation, and it has to be horribly unnerving and destabalizing for your friend.

That said, now that you have evidence of the effects on her, it’s important not to compromise yourself by lying for her. (I think we can all readily see that her story about staying with you legitimately took you unawares.) Your friend may soon need all the uncompromised friends she can call on to support her.

Perhaps if she asks to use you again, a gentle but firm statement that even if she says it, you couoldn’t confirm it were it not true would do the trick. It would also send a signal that she has at least one grounded resource to call upon in the future. Co-conspirators are easy to come by; grounded friends are not.

Blessings,

Gerry


closed #7

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