Author Topic: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook  (Read 9203 times)

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katycoo

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Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
« Reply #45 on: April 01, 2013, 02:36:57 AM »
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Actually, in the real world it would appear that this and other things like it DO happen. To me you are coming across as someone who has already judged her friends and is looking for people to agree with you about how horrible and unworthy they are. I understand that this might not be the actual situation, but it's how you're coming across. If you don't want to be friends with her anymore, that's OKAY. You don't need reasons or approval.

This is entirely untrue. If you would refer to my OP, I clearly stated what I was looking for - on a forum supposedly dedicated to etiquette of all types, which is solely where my concern lies. All of the responses from others questioning my reasoning for why I feel the way have nothing whatsoever to do with my questions, and only served to further muddle this entire thread.

In my OP, I supplied all of the details for the situation I had etiquette questions about because I thought they would be needed to form the etiquette-related opinions necessary. I did NOT ask for anyone to agree with my, or judge the situation at all, which is what the majority of the responses on this thread have done. If you don't like the way I wrote it, or what my position is, that has nothing at all to do with the etiquette questions I have asked. I thought the name of this forum was Etiquette Hell, after all; not Judgment Hell. I am looking for whatever useful information I can find to possibly help my friend deal with a complicated situation, which as some have said I can suggest to her and leave it at that. I'm not going to bully her or lose sleep over any of this, so everyone can stop telling ME what *I* should do here, which is exactly the kind of unsolicited advice you are all condemning me for supposedly giving. @@

We're telling you what you should do because etiquette says keep your nose out of it.  Your friend doesn not need help handling this situation because she has no obligation to share the information which you think she should.  She's 'handling' it just fine on her own.  If people ask you what's going on, tell them that you prefer to stay out of it, but you know she's open to being asked directly.

Twik

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Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
« Reply #46 on: April 01, 2013, 10:07:48 AM »
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3. What obligation, if any, could someone be expected to have to explain the true paternity of their child on FB? Especially when they are in a new relationship with the true father, and seem to make no secret of his relation...but haven't come right out and said it.

Absolutely none. It's not your business or anyone else's and if she is not being explicit about it, you have no right to do that for her.


While I would have a hard time being friends with her, her husband or the BFF  after all this, I would also have problems being friends with someone who broke the "news" of the child's paternity, or the state of someone else's relationship - I would never be able to trust the news breaker again.

Whoooaaaa wait a minute I never said *I* was going to break any of her news for her, I am only asking for help to relay to her to help her to handle the situation on her FB profile.

nikkib, I understand the temptation that these dramatic sort of people create. They (intentionally or not) create a grand soap opera, and appear to invite audience participation.

But as most posters have said, your only solution for both etiquette and your own peace of mind is to keep out of it. Take it from someone who's been there, she won't listen to your advice, no matter how much thought you put into it. She won't start running her life along the lines you think you should.

It sounds like you really don't respect her, or really like her much now. The best thing would be to let the friendship fade. You're at different points in your life now.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

nikkib

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Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
« Reply #47 on: April 01, 2013, 12:12:21 PM »
Thank you everyone for your responses. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to go about suggesting any possible advice to her anyways, since I had vowed to myself to just try to avoid the subject as much as possible in any further interactions with her...and since yesterday was my birthday and she apparently couldn't be bothered to call, text or even FB post to wish me Happy Birthday, it would seem our friendship is basically dead in the water anyways (and she is very active on FB constantly and regularly uses such "silent treatment" to express her displeasure with people). I think if nothing else, this experience gave me plenty of material for studying how people should/shouldn't handle their personal lives on FB, especially someone who has normally over-shared every aspect of their life but suddenly realizes the truth may paint them in a light they don't particularly want to be in. Such is the world we now live in...

snowdragon

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Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
« Reply #48 on: April 01, 2013, 12:22:30 PM »
Thank you everyone for your responses. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to go about suggesting any possible advice to her anyways, since I had vowed to myself to just try to avoid the subject as much as possible in any further interactions with her...and since yesterday was my birthday and she apparently couldn't be bothered to call, text or even FB post to wish me Happy Birthday, it would seem our friendship is basically dead in the water anyways (and she is very active on FB constantly and regularly uses such "silent treatment" to express her displeasure with people). I think if nothing else, this experience gave me plenty of material for studying how people should/shouldn't handle their personal lives on FB, especially someone who has normally over-shared every aspect of their life but suddenly realizes the truth may paint them in a light they don't particularly want to be in. Such is the world we now live in...

Happy Birthday!!! I hope it was wonderful for you.

BarensMom

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Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
« Reply #49 on: April 01, 2013, 12:33:21 PM »
Nikkib, I hope you had a good birthday, and eat some leftover cake for me. 

For your own peace of mind, I would consider either hiding the feed or defriending this person on FB.  It sounds as if her life is a train wreck; at first everyone wants to watch, but after a time, it just becomes irritating and exhausting.  This has taken up too much space in your head as is, and, since she couldn't be bothered to wish you a happy birthday, I'd say this "friendship" has run its course.

bah12

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Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
« Reply #50 on: April 01, 2013, 12:55:35 PM »
While I can definitely understand your frustration with your friend (especially if her actions surprised you), I do think that frustration/shock is coming across pretty judgementally.

Your friend has no obligation to explain herself on facebook or clarify the paternity of her child.  Furthermore, her friends are in the wrong for asking you to pass on anything you know to them.  It's gossip and it's not cool.

I think how people handle divorce on FB is similar to how they would do it in real life...everyone is different.  Some are more open than others.  Some reveal every detail and others just let people figure it out on their own.  There are more classy ways to handle it than others, but there's no textbook answer to dealing with life's changes.

As for you and her, I think she's right when she says that her new BF is part of her package.  He is.  And you're either able to accept him or you're not.  For a close friend, I would try.  But if you can't bring yourself to do it...if you can't think of her the same way you did before all of this, then there's nothing wrong with it.  But, you should quietly end the friendship.  Because it's not fair for you to insist that she not bring her BF around because you aren't ready to accept him or that she "come clean" about her baby's father, etc.  It is fair to say "You know, your ex husband and DH are really close and it's awkward for us to talk about the new BF and the baby when a good friend has been hurt.  We'd prefer to stay out of your private affairs and we understand that it's unfair of us to ask you to shut out a big part of your life when you are with us.  I think it would be better for all of us to back off for a time and let things settle a bit."  (and this only if she insists you tell her why you are backing away).

And for her "friends" that are asking you for those details?  Just say to them. "It's not my place to say and honestly it's none of my business.  Here, have some beandip."

Twik

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Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
« Reply #51 on: April 01, 2013, 02:44:30 PM »
Thank you everyone for your responses. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to go about suggesting any possible advice to her anyways, since I had vowed to myself to just try to avoid the subject as much as possible in any further interactions with her...and since yesterday was my birthday and she apparently couldn't be bothered to call, text or even FB post to wish me Happy Birthday, it would seem our friendship is basically dead in the water anyways (and she is very active on FB constantly and regularly uses such "silent treatment" to express her displeasure with people). I think if nothing else, this experience gave me plenty of material for studying how people should/shouldn't handle their personal lives on FB, especially someone who has normally over-shared every aspect of their life but suddenly realizes the truth may paint them in a light they don't particularly want to be in. Such is the world we now live in...

Well, Happy Birthday!

I'd write her off as a friend, and not worry about her any further, other than a source of amusement if you want to keep friends with her on FB.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Mental Magpie

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Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
« Reply #52 on: April 01, 2013, 10:21:18 PM »
1. How should a divorce announcement be handled on FB? Especially with children involved, a multitude of mutual friends and goal of maintaining amicability? Oh and can't forget about the mutual infidelity too...

2. How soon after such a divorce/separation should mutual friends be expected to accept the new BF/GF? In this case, no divorce or separation papers have even been filed yet nor do they seem to be in a hurry to do so, so it is hard to expect a typical timeframe for being "officially divorced" :/

3. What obligation, if any, could someone be expected to have to explain the true paternity of their child on FB? Especially when they are in a new relationship with the true father, and seem to make no secret of his relation...but haven't come right out and said it.


1.  I feel like a divorce announcement on FB is in poor taste.  I realize it's easy to see at times when people change their significant other status, but I wouldn't call that an "announcement," exactly.  Anything beyond a quiet change in status is just a plea for attention and an excuse to drag ugly details into a place they really don't belong.  And it's juvenile.

2.  Accepting the new significant other in your friend's life is your decision, but I think it's rude to expect her to exclude him from socializing simply because you can't take it.  If you can't deal with it, then don't see her, or ask her out for a girl's lunch (meaning your DH is not invited, either).  I understand that it might be awkward, but it shows maturity and a gracious character if you can accept that your friend is now involved with someone else.  Your approval of how they came to be involved is unnecessary.

3.  A child's "true paternity" is also not a topic I would choose to discuss on Facebook.  It's not really anyone else's business.  Do you think she needs to be outed for her initial deception?  I agree with others - if common friends are asking you questions, refer them to your friend.  Otherwise it just comes off as gossipy - and again, juvenile.

I agree with all of this, especially 2. While I think it was OK to ask her new BF to not come, I also think friend was right to decline. Inviting one half of a social unit, but purposefully excluding the other, while the inviter is a whole social unite just seems rude to me.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

ladyknight1

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Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
« Reply #53 on: April 01, 2013, 10:30:00 PM »
I would back away from this "friend" in a hurry. There are very good reasons why I am only in contact with a few former friends from high school.

Nemesis

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Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
« Reply #54 on: April 08, 2013, 10:15:17 AM »
Okay the post is very long, and follow up posts were also very long. So this will be a similarly long reply. Cookies and cream for those who made it to the end!

I would preface this by saying that I think it is normal to "judge" our friends. We all do it. Of course we do, that is why we are friends with certain people and not with others. Because we judge that Person A is a good fit for us in terms of values  or interest,  or we judge that Person B is someone we wish to avoid because of attitude and personality. So judging a friend is normal and I don't think you should be scolded for it.

Your friend cheated, lied and basically isn't the person you thought she was. In other words, you didn't sign up for this! You agreed to be a godparent of a child to someone you thought was genuinely in love, in a stable marriage and with parents who shared your values. Instead, you find out that everything is indeed not what it seems and you are upset.

First, can you put your emotions aside and just decide again if you wish to continue being the child's godparent? It was an informal arrangement anyway, so I was wondering if you can pull out. Of course, it is not the child's fault and it can be seen as punishing the child for the mother's sins. But if you cannot be supportive because there is just too much drama for you to handle, I think it is better to walk away before more damage is done to both parties. The child is just 5 months old and too young to remember you yet, so there is still time to pull out. And since you live quite a distance away, this can be used as a valid reason to suggest that your friend may need to find closer and thus more involved godparents.

Second, with your friend, I really do not think it is your place to help her with her vaguebooking. I think in terms of etiquette, it is not right to give unsolicited advice to an adult. I didn't read anywhere that she asked you for your opinions and help. In fact, your posts seem to imply that she likes her method just fine. It is you and your circle of friends who can't stand it. Please understand that while this is uncomfortable, it is a perfectly acceptable situation. I do have a number of emotional drama queens (of both genders) on my facebook, and their vaguebooking is so constant that people have stopped asking them what was wrong and just let the friendship drift away naturally. We can't stand it but most of us won't say anything about it either. Occasionally someone will post a reply of "shape up and grow up!", which we all privately agree with, but also agree that it is way too brutal and ineffective to say that.

Third, I do believe that you have been way too involved in your approach. I get the feeling from your posts (I could be wrong!) that you are an exceeding straight forward person who calls a spade a spade and doesn't think twice about hiding her opinions on things. This makes you a very honest person which is good, because people can always take you at face value and trust your words. But sometimes being too honest is brutal honesty, you know? And brutal honesty is rude, hurtful and unhelpful. It doesn't get your message across to your friend but instead will make her defensive. Sometimes, it may be wiser to just bite your tongue and keep your opinions to yourself.

Fourth, other friends asking you about what is going on is normal, since the drama is vague and intriguing. Given that this is soap opera drama played out in real life, I think etiquette-wise it will be best to give a reply "I really do not know what is going on myself. Perhaps you should ask her directly by sending her a private message on Facebook". Etiquette-wise and old age wisdom makes it clear that it is a bad idea share such personal information about someone else's life, even if it isn't a big secret.

nikkib

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Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
« Reply #55 on: April 08, 2013, 11:21:12 AM »
Thank you Nemesis, you truly described me and my feelings about the situation to a "T"! I do have a hard time not being completely honest with people, and everyone who knows me knows I am a terrible liar...in fact I'm pretty sure if I tried to tell people I didn't know what was going on they would be able to tell immediately I was lying! I just feel like the world would be a much better place if people were just totally honest all the time (ever see the movie "The Invention of Lying"? lol) but I do recognize that sometimes brutal honesty does more harm than good. I haven't had much contact with my friend since our heated phone conversation, and don't really plan to...I would be totally fine with our friendship just quietly slipping away, but unfortunately with this friend being the drama queen that she is, I know she won't let that happen and I'm likely due for another ugly spat with her if I continue distancing myself as I am :/

But thank you for your insight, and for seeing where I am coming from - I do appreciate it :)

BarensMom

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Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
« Reply #56 on: April 08, 2013, 11:52:51 AM »
Nikkib, don't give her the chance for an ugly squabble, if you see her in person, just greet her and say something like, "Oh, hi.  Gotta go now, I have to find a cat-specific fire extinguisher.  Have a nice day."  If she tries to pick a fight, just refuse to engage.  Always be busy, always be polite, always be vague, and always keep moving away from her.

Twik

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Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
« Reply #57 on: April 08, 2013, 01:12:55 PM »
Nikkib, don't give her the chance for an ugly squabble, if you see her in person, just greet her and say something like, "Oh, hi.  Gotta go now, I have to find a cat-specific fire extinguisher.  Have a nice day."  If she tries to pick a fight, just refuse to engage.  Always be busy, always be polite, always be vague, and always keep moving away from her.

Sheer brilliance!
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

TootsNYC

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Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
« Reply #58 on: April 08, 2013, 03:28:24 PM »
Nikkib, don't give her the chance for an ugly squabble, if you see her in person, just greet her and say something like, "Oh, hi.  Gotta go now, I have to find a cat-specific fire extinguisher.  Have a nice day."  If she tries to pick a fight, just refuse to engage.  Always be busy, always be polite, always be vague, and always keep moving away from her.

Sheer brilliance!

My thought as well.

Cz. Burrito

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Re: Friends' divorce + infidelity + lovechild on Facebook
« Reply #59 on: April 08, 2013, 05:02:23 PM »
I think you've been given some good advice here.  While your friend has handled a dramatic situation somewhat indelicately, it's not up to you to clear everything up.  If somebody asks you about it, I might respond "you'd have to ask her about that."