[quote="StarFireKK, post:1, topic:247591"]
I have no clue what to do so I thought I would offer this up to the vast experience on CAF and see if anyone has some insights.
Lifelong friends of my husband and I are getting a divorce because of the wife's infidelity. She's expressed no remorse and insists that she didn't do "much" wrong because she was so unhappy in the marriage something had to change. She's refusing to leave the man she's dating to try to work out her marriage with the husband that basically said "If you come home and try, you can name your terms...." (They both have told us this without us asking and we both wished they hadn't.)
So my husband has washed his hands of this wife. He thinks her actions are immoral, childish and trivializing the whole institution of marriage.
While I agree with my husband's opinion I also believe that my friend is very much a child of the "happiness is supreme" attitude. She doesn't have the same moral foundation and understanding that my husband and I gained through being raised as Catholics. (i.e. she comes from a family that divorce is very common and the idea that if it "feels" right it is.)
My husband has very gently told me that I am being naive. That the wife's actions are evil and she is old enough to know better even if she didn't have the same foundation we do.
Cutting her out of my life feels wrong as I am her friend but I feel very unequipped to help her. I'm praying for her which is all I can do. But she wants to talk and I just don't know what to say. If I try to explain why I think she needs to take her marriage more seriously I think I'll just blunder it, but I don't want to sit there in silence lest she thinks it is approval of her actions which might make her feel she is right in dismissing her marriage. I just don't know what to do.
First, always keep in mind that the only two people who really know what's happening in a marriage are the husband and the wife, regardless of what both of them tell the outside world (i.e., the rest of us). I'm passing no judgement on anyone in this scenario, please understand that.
One of the hidden tragedies of divorce is that both parties usually come out the other side with far fewer freinds than they had when they were still married. People take sides, people are (rightly so) afraid of getting in the middle of the divorce, so they avoid the divorcing couple altogether. I've know several people who have described life after divorce as really lonely.
And I do understand your quandry. Plenty of times in our lives non-Catholics do and say things that we know to be gravely immoral. I've had to sit through lunches where women have talked about their preferred methods of birth control, watched as friends had kids outside of marriage, and bit my tongue as friends left their spouses because they "deserved happiness."
This is simply my opinion, which you are of course free to ignore, but were I you I would provide a listening ear to your friend. Regardless of her moral foundation, she does sound and she's in crises and probably needs someone just to listen to her. You don't have to say anything, really. Just listen.
If she asks for validation for her decision to divorce you don't have to give it. You don't have to cite canon law, you can simply say something like, "I can't tell you what you want to hear, Sally, simply because I think it's damaging to you, Bill, the kids, and Bob that you're dating Bob while you're still married to Bill. It's sending your kids some really negative messages about the permanence of marriage, for one thing, and it's making your divorce a lot more complicated all around."
I'm not saying that you have to seek her company out necessarily. There's no need for you to hold her hand through the entire process, nor are you and your husband obligated to double-date with her and her new boyfriend. But, if she phones because she's down, just listen to her and offer some "the world isn't ending" encouragement.
Once she's past the crises stage, you can try to steer her in the moral direction you'd like to see her head towards. And she'll be a lot more receptive because she'll remember you were there for you.
Good luck. This is a tricky situation to navigate.