My friend lied to me...

tisha_(z7 OKC)November 13, 2006

So, Keith and I have this couple that we hang out with a lot. We'll call them "M" and "F". They're pretty much the only couple we know that we enjoy doing things with on a regular basis. Anyway, they're separating.

That sucks, but the real sucky part of it is that I just found out that F (one of my best friends) was cheating on M for two months, about 2 months ago.

Not only was she cheating, but M suspected it. He confronted her and she denied it. Then, to make things worse (for me) she lied to me about it. I never brought it up, she did. She would be complaining about M and would say things like, "M actually thinks I'm cheating on him with S! How ridiculous is that? I'd never cheat on him. And S isn't even attractive!" And remember, this is all voluntary lying. I never once inquired about it. She'd just bring it up. She even went so far as to say things like, "You know, all this does is make me think that maybe M is cheating on me. You know they always say that the person who is cheating is always suspicious of the other person, and accuses them out of guilt."

Anyway, I had no idea she was cheating on him. She was so adamant about how she wasn't.

Well, about two weeks ago, she finally told me that she had. But she would never tell me who it was with. Last week when things got really bad (M was out of town for work and F was threatening to kill herself!) M and I were talking and he kind of let it slip that she as cheating with S (someone who works for M, btw).

I didn't let him know that I didn't already know. I figure that he assumes she had told me. I did tell him that it made me sad because up until 2 weeks ago, I had no idea any of this went on.

But now I don't know what to do. F doesn't know that M let the info slip. Hell, M himself doesn't even know that he let the info slip. And I'm just crushed that she lied to me like that. I mean, I'm upset enough that she did that to M in the first place, as I consider him a very dear friend. But, she lied directly to me, voluntarily.

I don't know what to do. I kind of really don't want to be friends with her right now, but I also feel bad because she'd in such a bad place right now and I'm really the only person who lives close enough to check up on her (physically) and stuff.

And there's also the question of, what if they work things out and get back together? It'll never be the same as it was before, but I don't want to NEVER see them again as a couple.

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Isn't it just awful to watch a relationship deteriorate. I am sorry your friend disappointed you. Certainly she feels disappointed in herself. Don't you wish your brain had an off button or some way to just tune out unpleasant things. I think you need to give yourself time to grieve over the loss of this relationship. But it sounds like you feel responsible for your friend. Do you know the number for crisis intervention. What a mess!! Good luck and again, I am sorry for your disappointment

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 11:33PM
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tisha_(z7 OKC)

That's one of the things that I don't know how to handle (you mentioned crisis intervention)... SHE is a counselor. She works with victims of domestic violence and rape. She works with women who get treated like crap every day, and she did some of the same crap to her own husband. It just sucks.

I'm not SO mad that she cheated. I'm mad that she lied about it when asked directly and also just volunteered the lie too.

I was sad that their relationship was falling apart, when it first started to happen. But it's been drug out for about 2 months now and by now, I feel like it's a good idea for them to seperate, at least for a little while.

But when she was first talking to me about it (before I knew who it was with) she said something about how she's just sorry that she told M and that she should have kept her mouth shut and all telling the truth ever does it hurt the person you tell it to. So, it's like she's not even sorry she did it. She's just sorry that she told someone she did it.

And the more I think about it, the madder I get.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 9:35AM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

This is probably not what you want to hear, Tisha, but I don't see anything wrong with her lying to you about this.

This is a married couple. I don't blame her for not wanting to take problems from within the marriage, and deal with them outside of the marriage. In fact, I applaud her for not adding another betrayal to her husband, on top of cheating on him. To cheat on him, and then to discuss it openly with someone else before resolving it with him - that would be so much salt in the wound.

I don't know why she would have broached the subject with you the first time, only to lie about it. But if I had to guess, I would say that she probably wasn't able to think of anything else.

I don't understand why you're so angry. Yes, she lied. But isn't that understandable, given the violent emotions that these two are dealing with? Just because she's the one who cheated doesn't mean that she's not distraught at the fall of her marriage. Her marriage is dying! Of course she was (and probably still is) confused and upset.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 10:02AM
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tisha_(z7 OKC)

I'm angry and hurt that she voluntarily lied about it. She just came out with the lies. I never brought the subject up. If she didn't want to bring the stuff in her marriage out in the open, why did SHE bring it up? And when I would try to change the subject, why would SHE keep on with the lies? It's not like I said, "Are you cheating on him?" and he said, "No." It's that I'd say, "So, how was your day?" and she'd say, "M thinks I'm cheating on him and I'm not. He thinks I'm having an afair with S but I'd never sleep with S, he's gross."

Why couldn't she just have said something like, "Oh, not great. M and I are fighting. How was your day?" or something that didn't bring ANY of it up? Ya know?

I'm not saying that I wanted her to tell me that she had cheated. I'm saying that I wished she'd never brought the subject up in the first place.

There was no reason for those lies to come out of her mouth in the first place. There were no question from me that prompted them. She just lied for the sake of lying.

I figure that she did it so that if M ever asked me straight out, I'd say, "She tells me that you think she's cheating, but she always denies it to me." I figure she was using me to help her coverstory.

And yes, I feel that I have the right to be upset and hurt for that. You don't?

I'm very heartbroken for M. And I'm also heartbroken for F. But so much stuff has come out in the open. I feel like I just can't be a good friend to her right now. And that probably is selfish, but I don't want to add to her misery by saying something to her that I shouldn't say to her right now.

The more I think back on our friendship, it's starting to seem like she's just the kind of person I really don't want to be friends with. It's like a bad relationship that you don't realize is SO bad until you're out of it.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 10:43AM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

"If she didn't want to bring the stuff in her marriage out in the open, why did SHE bring it up? And when I would try to change the subject, why would SHE keep on with the lies?"

Again - "I don't know why she would have broached the subject with you the first time, only to lie about it. But if I had to guess, I would say that she probably wasn't able to think of anything else."

Have you ever had something incredibly huge going on in your life, but you don't feel free to talk about it? So instead, you talk around it? Just because she is the bad guy in this scenario doesn't mean that she's not hurt, confused, and upset. Again, her marriage is dying. That explains a lot.

Her first allegiance should be to her husband, not her friends. And although she betrayed her husband by cheating on him, I think it's commendable that she didn't add to that betrayal by talking about the situation in detail with anybody but him, even if that means lying to her friends.

Of course, the most moral course of action would have been not to cheat in the first place. And since that had already happened, the next most moral course of action would have been not to lie about it - to anybody, including her husband. But given the circumstances, I'm not surprised that she felt the need to talk about it with a friend; and I'm not surprised that either her guilt or sense of obligation to her husband or any of a hundred other possible reasons made her feel that she had to shield the truth in order to talk about it with a friend.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 10:57AM
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tisha_(z7 OKC)

I guess I'm just not that kind of person. I'm probably just too sensetive, but I just have a real problem with the whole situation.

And there's more to it than what I've written here. I feel hurt and betrayed and disappointed. I can't help how I feel.

I just feel that trying to make M out to be the bad guy is just wrong on so many levels. And, of course, there are people who don't get to hear both sides, so they think M is some kind of horrible monster and how DARE he accuse her of that and blah blah blah. She's even said things like, "My therapist even thinks he's a jackass!" in FRONT of M. It's like she was trying to cover herself so hard core that she just became really sort of mean.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 11:09AM
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fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

Oh, so she is taking her problems with her husband outside of the marriage?

I have very little patience with that kind of backstabbing and nastiness. I mean, of course, there are situations where partners are compelled to take problems outside of the marriage - abuse issues, for instance. But generally speaking, I think it's betrayal of the highest order.

I also have very little patience with people who pass judgment on situations that they have little or no information on (sort of like what I just did above, ironically). Who are all these "friends" to think that they deserve to have access to every piece of data on M and F's marital problems, as if it were a situation that actually involved them?

But to say that you can't help how you feel? That's not quite true, Tisha, and I think you know it. You're smarter than that. You are able to choose to approach a situation from a number of different ways, because you're an intelligent woman who can see more than one side of a story.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 11:34AM
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tisha_(z7 OKC)

These "friends" are people who are dear friends of F's. And, like me, they hear a lot of stuff that they probably don't expect to hear. She's a very open person, so her telling everything to her closest friends isn't anything unusual. But, she's only telling them what she wants them to hear. most of the stuff that makes her look "bad" doesn't come out... only the crap about M does.

And, as far as my feelings... I CAN see more than one side of the situation, but I still feel that my feeling this way is justified.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 3:00PM
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Hi Tisha,

This is a mess and a little complicated. And what makes it even more complicated for me to respond is that I don't have enough information. But here is my advice for what it's worth.

I think you have every right to be angry, but be careful about what you're angry about. And I will explain that. You have suffered at least a couple of losses here. You have a friendship with M & F as a couple. That couple is disintegrating before your eyes. You have lost a friend, F, as you know it. I would suspect that this friend was considered an honest person to you. Instead she is a liar and a cheat. When we suffer losses we go through a period that involves the following four stages: denial, grief, and anger and finally acceptance. Usually one goes through the stages in the order I described, but he or she doesn't necessarily need to. Right now you are in the anger stage and that's perfectly healthy to be doing so. As long as you don't stay there very long everything will be just fine. The goal will be for you to finally forgive your friend and arrived at the acceptance stage.

You might say that you will never forgive her for what she did. Interestingly enough you don't have to. One does not forgive other people for the other person's sake, one forgives for his or her own's sake. And remember that you are forgiving the person, not condoning the action. This is probably the hardest thing to be able to do.

People lie because they don't want to look bad. Having an affair is not the most endearing thing to do. It is pretty much socially unacceptable. It is not surprising that she has lied about it And maybe justifiably so. She really doesn't have to tell the truth about whether she is having an affair.

Now you said:

I figure that she did it so that if M ever asked me straight out, I'd say, "She tells me that you think she's cheating, but she always denies it to me." I figure she was using me to help her coverstory.

I think you've hit the nail right on the head. She was covering tracks and she was doing some preemptive damage control. She didn't want to tell you the truth, because then you would have to be the one to lie to M. She may have been thinking that she was doing you a favor by not giving you that information.

Another thing you might consider. People don't lie if it doesn't make any difference. She probably lied to you, because she was ashamed of what she was doing and didn't want you to be ashamed of her. In a way, it's kind of a complement. She values your respect.

I said earlier that I would explain what you need to be careful about of what you are being angry about. The fact that F is having an affair and cheating on M is really none of your business. That is between F and M. Whether F is honoring her marriage vows is really between her and her husband. He's the one to whom she is doing the injustice, not you. I have a hard time with this one myself. I consider my marriage vows quite sacred. I find infidelity disgusting. I had a hard time watching the movie "The Bridges of Madison County" for instance. I didn't at all agree with the woman cheating on her husband. But it was her husband that she was cheating on not anyone else.

This is all a boundary issue. Their marriage is such and deserves to be handled by them. If you start making the the affair your business, you will be placing your boundary across their business. Think about if you were having a marital problems and somebody stuck their nose into it. It's really the same thing for them.

Again, I find infidelity really unnerving. I really don't like it because I think the person who does it violates one of the most personal contracts between two people. That said, there are reasons why people have affairs. Specifically, women have affairs for two reasons. They need chaos in their life or they are not getting their emotional needs met by their husbands. Again I don't have enough information here to comment any further. I don't know what goes on behind closed doors for F and M. I will venture, though, that there is a lot more than anyone else knows.

So, I don't know if this helps any. This is about all I know about relationships and such. I do know that you do have a right to being angry. The advice I have for you is to try to figure out exactly what you're angry about and take the steps to resolve that anger and finally forgive your friend. She is only human after all and possesses imperfections like all of us do.

Take care,


    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 12:42AM
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tisha_(z7 OKC)

Thanks, Larry. :-)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 11:01AM
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Wow, that's a nasty business-- sorry you're stuck in it, Tisha. I guess I'd feel hurt and angry, too, for several reasons.
Honesty is an important part of friendship. That doesn't mean you have to be forthcoming about every detail of your life (any more than you have to tell my butt looks big in those jeans), but you shouldn't volunteer lies either. Friends ought to be able to trust one another to be who they say they are.
It could be argued that we don't have the right to insist others live up to our expectations, but it's pretty human. If my best girl friend were found guilty of beating up her kids, I'd be angry, even though it didn't directly involve me. I'd be angry that she didn't live up to my expectations of what a decent person should be/do. Unfair? Maybe. So be it.
So -- M is your friend, too. When someone hurts someone you care about (even when you care about the hurt-er, too) it's natural to be angry. That's part of loyalty.
I also thought right away of one thing Larry said-- that her gratification cost all four of you the "couple friendship" that you had. If M & F split, the dynamic will change. That kind of anger is less justified, I guess, because it's more selfish, but it's still pretty natural, and most people would feel at least a twinge of it.
That said, Larry's right-- resolving the anger is the best thing you can do for yourself. Anger sucks. It hurts. The more you can rid yourself of, the better.
You said, "The more I think back on our friendship, it's starting to seem like she's just the kind of person I really don't want to be friends with. It's like a bad relationship that you don't realize is SO bad until you're out of it." That being the case, stepping back right now seems like a very good idea. Cool off a while, think about what was good VS what was bad in your friendship, and evaluate whether it is or isn't worth continuing. If she's a counselor herself, she knows where to go if she needs help. If she's NOT looking for help, don't burden yourself with feeling the responsibility to "fix" her.
Best of luck--- again, sorry you have to go through it.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 7:40PM
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I was blinded and lied too by a friend for years and it was like someone took the blindfold off my eyes and I could see it all. I was even in a competition with her over every situation, even taking a walk together.. and later when My health got bad and I finally had to leave work because of disability she would say " it makes me so mad that no one ask about how your doing" and I know that was a lie because former work mates would tell me they ask her about me all the time during a cookout at her home with many guest I was experiencing back pain and had walked out to the deck to be alone because sitting was very painful and I needed to move around, but as I entered back into the house through the back door I heard her husband ask her if My back was bothering me, her response was very sarcastic as she responded " When is it not hurting her" when she saw me she meekly said honey her back will always hurt until she has surgery. Hearing the tone she took about me when she didn't know i was around really hurt and I knew exactly how she meant it...a year or two later she began boasting about how she could lie and make others believe her or she could take this person job if she wanted too and I began to wonder what had happen to my friend or was she like this the whole 8 years I know her. She got very involved in trying to take other people job aways but most would never say this in front of me because of our friendship . many more things happen with her that confirmed she was always a back stabber and now we do not communicate with each other....My husband was her boss but is no longer with the company and i feel I served a purpose and that was the basis of our friendship to begin with and I was just to blind to see makes me sad because most friendship end this way and seem to have a shelf life....

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 2:05PM
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Hi Gabbygal,

It's always difficult for me to lose a friend. I tend a hold on to relationships away too long. This might sound a little too cosmic for some people but I do believe that our friends give us things that we need at the time and sometimes what we need is to see what kind of person they are when things go rough. I also have physical problems and I had a friend who discounted those problems. Unfortunately that friend was my ex wife and when your spouse is no longer your friend you lose your friend but you lose your marriage too.

I'm not sure why you needed to have that friend, but one thing you do know now is that you don't need that kind of person in your life anymore and in that sense you have learned a lot. I felt the same way when my wife left me. I realized that I had been in relationships with women who were inappropriate for me. I then started dating a better caliber of women and at the same time started finding a better caliber of friends.

I'm sorry that you had go through this painful experience. I don't know if I said anything that is a comfort or even profound for that matter. I can just tell you how I have dealt with similar experiences.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 3:30PM
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I was once in a situation where I was close friends with a couple, both of them... one day, the woman confided in me that she was cheating on her husband...

I didn't know what to do... should I tell the husband? After all, he was my friend, too... or should I keep her secret?

I made the mistake of not telling, and almost lost a dear friend. He suspected anyway, it turns out, and they split not long after she confided in me.

After stepping back and looking at the situation, I realized that he was more of a dear friend than she was... she only used me for what I could give her at the moment, whether it was help with work, borrowing money, etc... while he only offered friendship and help when I needed it, and never asked for anything in return.

The moral of the story is... you owe it to your friends, your REAL friends, to let them know something as important as cheating, as hard as it is to tell them... regardless of the consequences. If they're meant to stay together, they'll work it out. If not, it wasn't meant to be.

Just my 2 cents... from an almost bad experience.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 11:27AM
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