Just found out Best Friends are "swingers"?!

So, my best friend and her husband have been my husband and I’s friends for years. We hang out often (three to four times a week) and live very close to each other now.

Last Night, I was over at their house for our usual sunday evening get together, and I asked the husband if I could use his computer to check my email. He said sure, and when the screen came on, it was full of websites about swingers, and meeting people for hook ups, and an advice thread about how to get a married couple to swing with you.

I was shocked, minimized those websites, opened a new browser window, and checked my email. My husband and I left soon afterward.

My friends are agnostic, so it’s not like they have any religious compunctions regarding the sanctity of marriage. My husband thinks I’m overreacting, but I’m worried, and freaking out a little bit about it. I have been sexually abused in the past, and I felt “safe” around them because they’re married, which in my mind, meant, they wouldn’t attempt anything of a sexual nature with me. Now, I know that they have no qualms having relations with married people, and are actively pursuing it. It makes me feel anxious about being around them.

Does anyone have any advice about how to not be anxious about this? Or what I should do, or say?

I would not automatically assume that the situation you described means they are swingers.

ETA: I don’t want to dismiss your feelings/worries. I would watch out for that because of the situation you described, but it could even be that they saw an article or show on the topic and were curious to see how common it was. I just wanted to point out that just because he had the browsers with that open on them does not mean they have gone out as “swingers” with other people. If it does turn out they have, then it would be something that I would not take lightly.

No kidding.

Gosh, I hate to think what people might think I am “into.”

I use my computer to investigate things I see on TV, things I read here and sometimes, things I read when I am investigating other things.

I would just be honest and say what happened. Then tell them that you care a lot about them, but that this lifestyle is extremely contrary to your beliefs, and that it’s leading to your feeling very concerned for their well-being.

They will, in all likelihood, respond by saying: “It’s no big deal, people do this sort of thing all the time.” And it’s also likely that they won’t be swayed to rethink their lifestyle. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s worth expressing your concern.

You don’t really know what’s going on- you’re making assumptions. It looks suspicious, for sure, but there are other reasons those websites could have been up. Since you’re very close friends with them, I would just ask your friend- maybe a separate conversation with the wife would be easier.

You unfortunately have learned secrets about them that they did not intend to disclose to you. If they never disclose this side of themselves, I would feel as safe with them as you did before. You may need some counseling to come to accept this, but many (if not most) people have things in their private thoughts that would shock their friends. Not the abuse of vulnerable people, such as happened to you and was undoubtedly concealed by your abuser, but something that would be very difficult to admit to those from whom esteem is wanted.

Treat this as you would if you accidentally overheard a sacramental confession, or what you would want from someone who accidentally overheard something damaging from yours. Resolve to forget it, and remember that what you cannot forget is between the person and God, and not for you to judge, because it does not concern you and your guidance was not solicited. If they try to solicit immoral behavior from you, that will be another matter of course, but I’d be very surprised if they did so.

I agree! I would let it go for now.

First of all; if they knew you found this stuff they would be just as embarrassed as you are. This does not mean they are swingers, some couples enjoy looking at or acting out certain scenarios they would never do to spice up their marriage. “Worse case” scenario they are swingers, before you freak out at the concept, if both couples have been friends for years they will most certainly not approach you or your husband with anything untoward. Try to put this out of your mind, I know that will be incredibly difficult but please base how comfortable you are around these friends on their actions towards your husband and yourself over the course of the friendship not based on something you happened across on their computer. Best of luck.

Aah, no, one of the pages he had open was a reddit thread in which he was actively responding about his swinger experiences. He was responding under his username that many people who know him know in the comments.

No, do not ask the friend. There is nothing good that is going to come from that conversation. Let it go with the possibility that the discovery either says nothing at all about their morals, that it may be nothing they’ve ever acted on and perhaps nothing they’ve ever been tempted to do more than learn about, or else that whatever it says about their morals was never intended for your knowledge.

What if the intention was to let the page be seen, as a way of “feeling out” the couple as a possible target? What if the friend is insulted by the insinuation that the page could possibly have been about anything but foolish curiosity about immoral people? No. Don’t go there. Just let it drop, because if they do decide to bring this up as a possibility, it is undoubtedly going to end the relationship. If they want to know whether this is something that interested the OP, let them have their answer by her lack of a reply.

Oh. That’s different. That makes things really uncomfortable.

Like a previous poster said, if you’ve been friends with them for years, they probably know you and know not to approach you on something like this. Really tough situation there.

People have been known to lie about these things, because they get their jollies out of pulling the chains of other people on the internet. (IOW, this friend could be a troll who has not been caught in his deceit by his targets.) It would be a very stupid and dishonest thing to do, but someone who had never been with anyone other than his wife could be so stupid and disgusting as to do something like that.

Pass it by. If the couple issues an “invite”, feel free to drop them like a hot potato, but otherwise let it go. That doesn’t mean there is any requirement to stay just as close, but I would not broach the topic with them directly.

First of all, I wouldn’t have used their computer to do personal email. In general it is unwise and not only have you put your own password etc on their computer but you have stumbled onto some unsavory info about them. They obviously haven’t invited you to be a part of this stuff but I’m not sure again what is the attraction is to this couple if they are agonistic and now have a secret swinging life style. If they are not promoting it to you then I would drop it because not only should you have not used their computer, they shouldn’t have let you use theirs for similar reasons, you stumbled on info about them.

Swinging is more common than most people realize, and this couple probably isn’t the only person you know who does it. If they have never behaved inappropriately towards you, I would drop it.

So they are swingers. If they have never behaved inappropriately toward you, I say pretend you know nothing and go on as normal. They are still the same people, the same friends, they have always been. Nothing has changed other than you knowing their secret.

Is there a particular reason you feel anxious being around them now that you know other than what you mentioned? Swingers typically have no interest in bothering with anyone who isn’t into swinging. They seek out like minded consenting adults and those aren’t in short supply. Since they know you well they probably already know that you and your husband wouldn’t be interested in participating and aren’t likely to proposition you. Even if they were to ask if you would be interested all you have to do is politely decline.

If your history of sexual abuse leaves you anxious around people who just might proposition you then perhaps you should consider working with a therapist if you haven’t already.

Personally, I couldn’t be close friends with people whose activities - whatever they are- make me feel uncomfortable.

If this is activity of theirs is not something you can deal with, you could just risk it and ask them about it. Depending on the answer you take it from there.

(Bolding Mine) This whole post is dead on, but especially the last part. Frankly, if the idea of being propositioned makes you feel so unsafe, perhaps you should seek therapy. You will be propositioned in your life, married or not. The propositions may come from a man who doesn’t realize that your married, or worse, doesn’t care. It may come a single man, from swingers, or even from a married man looking to have an affair. If you can’t confidently tell these people ‘no’, then it might be time to get some help.

I am not a swinger. The whole idea is very sad to me, and whatever jollies I got from it would be overshadowed by my crushing guilt, pain, and jealousy. That said, if I found out my friends were swingers I would be fine with it. I wouldn’t want to hear about it, but I don’t want to hear about my friends’ sex life regardless. And if they’re my friends, they know me well enough to know that I would never swing, and that even asking me to violate my marriage like that would give them a one-way ticket out of my life.

But it doesn’t seem like these good friends of yours, who you spend that much time with, are looking at the devout Catholic couple as potential partners. They know you better than that, and not only have they never asked you, they never even told you that they were doing this.

I agree, as long as we clarify what is meant by “behaved inappropriately towards you.” If you mean let this drop on the chance that these people are not swingers or that they struggle with the temptation to commit this brand of adultery, yes. If you mean that if friends are open about doing it and expect their Catholic friends won’t care who they admit into their marital bed as long as the Catholic friends are not pressured to join in the activities, that is something else again.

To be willing to believe in charity that someone does not actually condone or engage in swinging because the evidence that they do is indirect or the possibility still exists that they believe it to be wrong–that is one thing. Tacitly condoning the practice is something else again. Adultery by the mutual consent of the spouses is still adultery. “Swinging” is so contrary to the inherent holiness of marriage that I would have a great deal of difficulty having a close friendship with someone who was openly an advocate of it, let alone someone who practiced it. It would be like being friends with a man who openly ran around on his wife and having him expect me to tolerate it because his wife had chosen to do so. I have no business eavesdropping on the moral life of others, but being asked to give tacit approval to grave sin is something else again. No, this is behavior that puts people in danger of eternal damnation. It cannot be tolerated as if it were any other hobby which didn’t happen to meet my personal approval.

In the NT Paul writes that we should not be yoked with unbelievers and to avoid sexual immortality. I would find new friends.

As I addressed in my next post, it seems that the friends knew how the OP and her husband would feel about it, so they chose not to tell them. Seems like a respectful decision to me.

The OP accidentally stumbled on to the information, and I think she should show her friends the same courtesy they have shown her and not bring it up or try to discuss their sex life with them.

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