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Please help - secret IMs between husband and former best friend, and I may be at


JAS87
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I had a falling out with my best friend of about 15 years. Very long story short, she had become judgmental and gossipy over the years, and I took the total coward’s route by not saying anything about it. Things came to a head when she told people I was bulimic - (I’m not, and I’m actually really proud of how hard I’ve worked to lose weight… or at least, I was.) And I finally wrote her a long email about why I had become distant, which mentioned the aforementioned gossip, negativity, and bulimia rumor. I thought it was a gentle and fair letter, and I even had my husband read it before I hit send to make sure it didn’t come across as mean and accusatory. I followed up with phone calls and emails after sending, but got total silence on her end.

 

Flash forward a month or so. I told my husband that “Jane” wouldn’t talk to me at all, so I had no idea if she was angry, hurt, embarrassed or what. My money was on embarrassed, because I don't think she knew that I was aware of her rumors. My husband then tells me that she’s been IMing him this entire time about how awful I am, and what, specifically, is wrong with me. (Yep, this included that I was indeed bulimic, as well as the fact that I was mean, had turned into a horrible person, and was “spiraling out of control.” So, essentially, there was no problem with her or her actions at all – it was all just me becoming evil and insane.) He showed me one or two messages that she sent, but then took away his phone so I couldn’t see the whole conversation.

 

Well, I am ashamed to say that I snooped. And I discovered that while she was repeatedly saying negative things about me, my husband was doing the same thing to a lesser extent. He told her that the letter I sent was indeed mean, (although he did not tell her that he read it and approved), and that she might have to be the bigger person, and if she just called me he was sure I would apologize profusely. The worst thing was that he said the reason I hadn’t apologized for being a was because I was “too busy kissing his ass” for a fight we recently had.

 

I told him what I saw. He said I invaded his privacy, (which is true – I shouldn’t have snooped), and that he only said those things so that we could repair the friendship, and was essentially working as a mediator. He also said that we were both being dramatic and crazy, and that he wouldn’t talk about it anymore.

 

This is bugging the hell out of me. I feel bad now about the email I sent to Jane, and my emotions have flipflopped between wanting to call and apologize, (should I? I doubt she'll answer my calls), while being relieved that the friendship is done. (I found out that after the now-infamous email, she told mutual friends and my parents that I was an insane bulimic.) I also feel awful that my husband was put in the middle of this, and feel guilty that I apparently caused both people who are or were very important to me a lot of hurt.

 

But the entire drama-fueled mess, and especially my husband's narrative, bugs the heck out of me. I was never “dramatic” about the situation because I had no idea it was happening. I can’t understand why he would tell her the letter was mean and that she deserved an apology if he told me it was fine. Worst of all, I feel completely gaslit because somehow I ended up apologizing all over myself to him after these secret IMs came to light. (AKA, "I shouldn’t have snooped, you have every right to talk to Jane however and whenever you want," etc.)

 

He doesn’t want to talk about it again, and I don’t know what to do. I know he’s not cheating on me with Jane, (he actually doesn’t like her at all), but I can’t shake this feeling that there is something very wrong here. Do I need to get over this? Is my marriage severely broken? I am constantly flip-flopping between whether I am in the wrong or not. I really need an outside perspective.

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Your husband has crossed the line here. He has shown you great disrespect by saying negative things about you to someone whom he knew you were having difficulties with.

 

I don't know if your marriage is broken, but you certainly need to have a little 'coming to Jesus' session with him about it.

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Wow. The actions your husband took were incredibly unsupportive and borderline cruel. Why would he engage with a woman who was going out of her way to discredit you? I am a strong believer that in marriage, partners should be fiercely loyal to each other. Blowing off steam from time to time may be necessary, but not to your enemy!

 

Are there other issues present in your marriage? I find his behavior so incredibly offputting and your need to invade his privacy to be huge red flags that the relationship is unhealthy. I don't understand how you recover from this type of invalidation, especially when it seems like your husband doesn't feel any remorse for his actions at all.

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I think I understand what you are feeling. It's knowing how someone you love is talking about you behind your back that hurts.

 

A man I dated for several years did that to me. Talked behind my back when we argued and I heard him myself once when I was arriving late to his friend's party and I could hear his voice carry from the backyard. Lots of people probably wouldn't care about such little things, but for me, it hurt a lot to hear the same voice that would talk about how much he loved me, talk about me in the most demeaning way. Now more than ever I am grateful I'm out of that relationship.

 

What really concerns me is that he doesn't want to talk about it. Being in a marriage and being an adult means that he needs to communicate with you about all things, most especially something like this. Maybe if you get your bearings together, so that you can speak to him with as much rationale as possible, then he would be more open to talking. It's worth a shot. I hope you and your husband get past this.

 

~LC

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You feel bad about the email. Are you serious! She should have been out of your life, long, ago. She sounds awful! You want to call and apologize after she has spread nasty rumors about you. What are you thinking? Do you not have any other friends? I want to shake you!

 

Your husband has deceived you and been very disrespectful. I strongly suggest marriage counseling, as there is something seriously wrong in your marriage. You apologized to him, too. Ugh.

 

Time to stand up for yourself!

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Thank you everyone for your replies - you have absolutely no idea how helpful this is. To be honest, I haven't brought it up with my husband again, mainly because I was so confused on whether I was in the wrong, or was making a mountain out of a molehill, or was unnecessarily stirring up drama. (I really do hate drama and this whole thing started to feel so high school and gross, and I wanted to escape it as much as possible.) Our marriage is otherwise fairly good, although I've dropped a few longstanding doormat tendencies recently, (seemed to correspond with the weight loss), and have tried to be more outspoken when I'm unhappy with something to mixed results. Hence the email to Jane. Speaking of, I should just keep my distance with Jane, correct? I'll admit I was 100% in the wrong for being quiet so long about the criticism and gossip, and not telling her it bothered me for months and even years, but her actions when I finally did kind of blew me away... or maybe not really. Every time we have ever had a fight, I was always the one who apologized. This was the first time in 15 years I didn't.

Thank you again for taking time out of your day to help an incredibly confused (but NOT bulimic) stranger. I hope you know that you have done a world of good!!

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It seems that you are not going to address the issues with your husband. For some reason, you do not recognize there is a serious, underlying problem. The man has hostility towards you, and has deceived you. Get your head out of the sand! You are still playing doormat to him.

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Not sure how long you've been together, but I'd be curious if there is any history of feeling—and, well, being—gaslit by your husband. Basically that feeling of being "crazy," then apologizing for your crazy, while also, deep down, kind of feeling like, wait a second, there may have been legit reason for feeling the way you do that he didn't acknowledge.

 

As for this moment, no two ways about it: what he did is deeply, disconcertingly uncool. He's allowed to be frustrated with you—even allowed, in his mind, to think this business with the friend is a bit overblown. And if he needs to vent, well, he vents in a safe place—to, say, a trusted guy friend over a beer.

 

What he did, on the other hand, is snake-like. He took both sides, which is really taking neither side, which was maybe fun little ego trip for him, but in the process he disrespected you and added to the very drama he claims to think is too dramatic. Mediation? Nonsense. You don't put out a forest fire with kerosene, then walk away with a shrug when the forest burns, blaming the trees for being oh so flammable, which is what he's doing.

 

Can't say whether your marriage is severely broken, but some real cracks are showing here. I'd take this moment—best case scenario—as a needed exposure of those cracks and find a way to calmly broach a need to mend them together. A few sessions of couples therapy certainly sounds in order because the way you're feeling right now is not the way someone is supposed to feel inside a marriage. Don't get used to it; make changes.

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I'm sorry, I should have mentioned that I am indeed going to talk to him about it, now that I know that my gut reaction is valid. Thank you again for the outside perspectives - I was having a really hard time sorting out whether my perspective was justified.

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All you need to know is that you haven't done anything wrong. You never did anything wrong. Your husband and that evil witch have been deceptive and cruel to you. Don't ever apologise to either of them. Never speak to Jane again, you don't owe her anything. I'd consider your future with him too because if he genuinely loved you he wouldn't go behind your back like that. My husband would never ever do something like that to me. Have peace of mind by knowing you're not the bad guy. You're a good person.

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There's nothing that I can say with regard to the husband's or your friend's behavior which hasn't already been said. What I will say is that I'm questioning how much a coincidence it is both individuals you've chosen to be closest to in your life conduct themselves this way. I don't know what arguments you're having, what kind of letters you're sending, but it may be worth some self-reflection on whether this is simply the caliber of person who will tolerate such familiarity with you. Not saying for sure it is what it is, but it's your life and to your own benefit to consider.

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I'm sorry, I should have mentioned that I am indeed going to talk to him about it, now that I know that my gut reaction is valid. Thank you again for the outside perspectives - I was having a really hard time sorting out whether my perspective was justified.

 

The fact that you did not recognize that this behavior is wrong, is very concerning. I am speaking about both of them.

 

Get marriage counseling.

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There's nothing that I can say with regard to the husband's or your friend's behavior which hasn't already been said. What I will say is that I'm questioning how much a coincidence it is both individuals you've chosen to be closest to in your life conduct themselves this way. I don't know what arguments you're having, what kind of letters you're sending, but it may be worth some self-reflection on whether this is simply the caliber of person who will tolerate such familiarity. Not saying for sure it is what it is, but it's your life and to your own benefit to consider.

 

Good point! Do you usually surround yourself with these type of people?

 

Your husband does not have your back.

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You feel bad about the email. Are you serious! She should have been out of your life, long, ago. She sounds awful! You want to call and apologize after she has spread nasty rumors about you. What are you thinking? Do you not have any other friends? I want to shake you!

 

Your husband has deceived you and been very disrespectful. I strongly suggest marriage counseling, as there is something seriously wrong in your marriage. You apologized to him, too. Ugh.

 

Time to stand up for yourself!

 

I agree! Why are you so concerned with what your snake "friend" thinks and getting in good terms with her, appeasing her and calling her to apologise? You should delete, block her and never give her the time of the day after she defamed you and said you were bulimic. Your priorities are reversed!

 

Your husband disrespected you and went behind your back and is gaslighting the gravity of what he's done and avoiding taking responsibility.

 

You need to hold your ground and stand up for yourself.

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I can't imagine a friend, let alone a husband, doing what he's done. His behaviour is appalling and substandard for a spouse. I am very sorry you're experiencing this.

 

At the same time, I can't help but ask why you didn't just meet up with her to clear the air? You've both known each other for awhile. I'm a bit puzzled by the approach. Writing can be misunderstood and considering how precarious the friendship already is and her habit of being confused and misunderstanding you(I'm putting this lightly), you should have known that she would twist your words and show her true colours. Some people don't deserve to know the real you. They will twist things against you no matter how much you open yourself up or how sincere you think you are. They'll always think they're right and more simply put, they're just bullies.

 

Regarding the topic of bulimia or weight loss, congratulations on the successful weight loss and feeling good about yourself. I'm also glad you are not bulimic or suffering in any way physically. To me, your friend just screams insecurity and she may be insecure about her own image or weight.

 

On your husband specifically I think you both have some work to do in your marriage. If he's not willing to acknowledge his wrong or apologize to you sincerely, I'd question whether his heart is in it. He seems to have some pent up resentment against you for a number of things. Maybe he feels you don't listen or are too sensitive to react well to whatever he has to say. It was wrong of him to speak to any third parties about your private ongoings between the both of you. I'd have serious reservations about a friend, let alone a spouse, who may be so indiscreet. I think this is a major character flaw. I'd focus on this (regarding your spouse) more than the question of bulimia with a deranged female friend.

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Just no. No to your husband talking about you this way to ANYONE, never mind your best friend. And no to your best friend triangling and sucking your husband into the middle of all of this.

 

Yes perhaps you behaved passive aggressively by sending your letter instead of dealing with it head on, but that doesn't mean you deserve to have your husband and best friend $hittalking you behind your back. I don't know if I would be able to trust either of them again after such a scenario.

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I told him what I saw. He said I invaded his privacy, (which is true – I shouldn’t have snooped), and that he only said those things so that we could repair the friendship, and was essentially working as a mediator. He also said that we were both being dramatic and crazy, and that he wouldn’t talk about it anymore.

 

Uh, I don't think your husband understand what "mediator" means, and that "mediation" generally is not one-sided with the other party having no clue that any "mediating" is taking place. That was a spectacular load of equine manure.

 

I think you have every reason to be upset about this discovery, OP, for all the reasons already outlined by other posters. I also would not brush this whole thing under the rug and apologize to them either of them for how sh*t-headed they both are. That is backwards. This discovery was painful, but it did bring to light the fact that your husband is breeding some resentment towards you and does not share your idea of boundaries in a marriage. He was quick to join the JAS87-Bashing Party, which is not a good sign at all.

 

It also strongly suggests that something is very off about the dynamic between you and him, if he's got you tiptoeing around this issue now and afraid to assert and stick up for yourself.

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Your husband threw gas on a fire and made an awkward situation even worse.

 

Your friend was seriously out of line seeking out the confidence of your husband.

I'd be livid with the both of them.

 

The fact that he thinks he can just take the conflict off the table with out any discussion is convenient nonsense.

 

About the letter? I didn't read it and I'll just assume you had a good reason to write it. But you had to weigh consequences and in the end not be surprised that she might not want to continue a friendship.

 

But triangulating the husband and him throwing you under the bus? Incredible!

 

If there is something in the letter you need to apologize for or if you wish you handled it differently, say so. But it doesn't negate her treatment towards you to begin with and I certainly wouldn't consider her a friend, ever.

 

Not sure what to do with the husband

Edited by reinventmyself
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