What do you do? I mean, seriously, what do you do??
It’s an impossible situation. Really. You’ve been friends for years. You love her. You love her husband. And importantly, you love her kids.
What do you do?
Well, I can tell you what I did, what I am doing, but I don’t necessarily recommend it. I mean, I can’t decide if how I've been handling it is normal or not. It’s such a hard situation to be in! and I’m still in it.
So a friend of mine, who barely knows the friend says to me, “So, do you think she’s having an affair?” And I say, “No, of course not.” But then a few months later, another friend, this time a mutual friend of mine and the friend, says to me, “So, do you think she’s having an affair?” And again I say, “No, of course not.” But this time I’m getting a little bit more suspicious so I say, “I mean, I don’t think so. I mean, how could that be possible? I mean, why? What do you know?”
So we start to watch her. I know, I’m not proud of it. I watch how she slides on to the playground in a slinky dress while the rest of us are in our sweats and t-shirts. I watch how she casually, ever so casually, chit chats with another dad from our school out by her car. Always the same dad. I start to call the mutual friend whenever I see anything that seems suspicious. And the mutual friend calls me. We’re gossiping. I know, I’m not proud of it. Definitely. Not proud.
So then, the straw that breaks the camel’s back. A third friend. Yes, a third, says to me one day over lunch, “How are you and D doing?” And actually, we’re going through this amazing phase. I can say that after being married for 14 years and together for 19. We’re in this amazing phase. One of those phases, one of the uphills of the marriage roller coaster, when you’re meeting in the laundry room (yes, the laundry room, face it, we have two little kids) to, uhm, engage, and you’re doing it on a regular basis. Yes, an amazing phase.
Anyway, I say to my friend, “We’re doing really well. We have this friend who we’re worried is having an affair and I joke with my husband that the only reason he’s being so nice to me lately is because he’s worried that if he isn’t, I’ll have an affair.” We both start to laugh but then my friend says, the third friend says, “The Friend and Blank,” the dad from the parking lot at school. I almost fall off the picnic bench and say, “How the hell did you guess that?” I mean, I know this third friend from here and she knows I’ve lived in Tucson and Kansas City and Chicago. How does she know it’s a friend from here? and how does she know? “Well, I’m a bit psychic about these things,” she says.
So the camel’s back was broken. What to do now? Well, the way I handled it was avoidance. I know. How many times do I have to say it? Not proud. I avoided the friend like the plague. I can barely stand to look at her husband. I’m screwed! What do I do?
Well, one day, I just sucked it up, after months of avoidance, I suck it up and just ask. I tell her everything I’ve just told you---about the three friends and how the evidence was mounting. But my heart is pounding two-hundred-and forty miles a minute. I mean, I don’t want her to think I’m judging her. And I tell her that. And I don’t want her to even think she has to tell me. But I’m avoiding her and I can’t stand it. I need to clear the air.
She denies it. But I know she’s not telling the truth. I know for various reasons that she is not. telling. the truth. That’s okay. Maybe part of me doesn’t really want to know anyway. But I still can’t face her very easily. And I about sweat anytime her husband, and for dang sakes, even her kids, look at me. The situation really sucks.
What would you do?