My Alibi? You.

Dear Lisa:

I'm so angry at my best friend that I'm just lost in a sea of decisions to consider.  We grew up together in a smallish town and have been best friends since about age 9 or 10.  We are now 32, both married, no kids for either.  She works outside the home and I work from my home.

Her husband is a terrific guy who adores her and I just found out by accident that she's been cheating on him while using me as her cover!  I had no idea - none - that anything was going on.  I happened to run into her husband at the post office and of course we stopped to chat for a moment.  He happened to mention something about a cake decorating class and asked how I liked it cause LyingLola (his wife) seemed to really like it a lot and had already said she was going to sign up for the advanced class.  I was stunned but managed a non-commital answer and got away from him.

Of course I immediately called her and demanded an explanation.  Turns out she's been seeing someone for a few months and to get out of the house easily, she's been saying that she's been with me.  Either we've been at this class or the gym or various women's activities.  None of it is true.  She said she didn't tell me about it because she knew I wouldn't like it and she knew I would object to being involved.  I asked if she's in love with this other guy and she said no, he's just a fling.  She got married at 19 and has always wondered what she missed!

I told my husband about this and he said it's up to me to decide what I do.  He offered no opinion or judgment which I suppose is commendable but sure isn't helping matters.  I know I have to do something because I just can't allow her to keep using me as her cover but I really don't know how to go about solving this.

Can you give me some possible fixes for a difficult predicament?

Shocked Shirley

Dear Shirley,

I hate to be a Negative Nancy, but my advice is going to be a little tough.  Your friend is clearly in a foolish frame of mind – of which she is completely entitled – but to involve you in her schemes is not something a good friend should do.

We often feel conflicted when face a challenge in a long-term friendship.  It seems irresponsible to risk losing a friendship that has been in our lives since we were kids, but the way Lola is treating you is far from fair.  Having a relationship with someone who is making very poor life decisions can make your own life stressful.  It’s tough to have tea or go out for a drink with someone who is making a mess of their lives.  It’s important for us to look out for our friends, but when their excess drama spills out into our own lives, we need to take a step back.

I would first have a talk with your friend.  Tell her that she’s no longer to use you as an alibi for her affair.  She will either agree, or not.  If she agrees, then that’s good.  At that point it’s up to you whether you want to continue being friends with her.  Now that you know about her fling, you will probably start hearing more details.  If you can handle that, then by all means continue the friendship.

If she doesn’t agree to leaving you out of the alibi business, then I would request a break from your friendship.  This woman has her priorities set on one thing: her own selfishness.  She clearly has no regard for either her husband or her best friend.  What kind of friendship do you really have?  If she responds poorly to your requests and reasonable sensibility, then perhaps you suggest that the two of you discontinue your friendship for a month or two.  Ask her for some time for each of you to sort through your feelings.  If you’re meant to get back together, you will.  A little time away from each other won’t necessarily mean the end of your friendship.

Hopefully this will just be a phase and she will snap out of it in a few months.  During this tumultuous time in her life you are welcome to listen to her speak of her marriage problems.  She can tell you about how free and beautiful she feels with her new lover.  You’ll be tempted to tell her that she should break off her affair – which will fall on deaf ears.

Friendships such as this one are somewhat doomed – if only temporarily.  We’ve all been in “crazy brain” mode where, for whatever reason, we start making awful life decisions.  Good friends let us know that we’re being irrational, and even better friends actually listen when they’re the ones being told they’re irrational.  I know you’ll do your part…but will she?

Good luck and stay strong.


Friendships go through rotten phases sometimes.  Is yours?  Tell me about it at:


Post a Comment