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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know what to do about this.

My INFJ female friend is married to her husband. They live very far away from me in another state. Sparks have died down because INFJ has achieved higher social value than husband, while husband has been acting childish with a dead-end job. Also, the relationship has gone downhill because of major incompatibility issues. The couple has a small child together.

Recently, INFJ friend had sex with the best friend of her husband. She told me it was the first and will also be the last time something like this will ever happen, and that it happened when both were drunk. She has also said that she doesn't really feel guilty about what she did, but she does feel guilty about not feeling guilty about it.

I'm the only one she's told this to, because I live far away and have an objective perspective on things.

Problem is, I've never cheated on anyone, and this is actually the very first time I've even personally known someone to have cheated. It makes me feel a bit sick. I didn't condemn her directly, but at the same time, what the fuck? Aren't INFJs supposed to be more saintly than the average crowd? How am I even supposed to feel about this? What should I do?

Discuss.
 

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Welcome to the Trap of the Confidant. Enjoy the breathtaking walls of dirt, the beauty of the tiny window of sky, and the quaintness of the roots poking you in the back of your head.

Now you're stuck. You can't exactly tell her husband because it would be a breach of trust on your friend's part, plus, the husband would never believe you. And yet she expects you to carry on and ignore what has happened. I tend to see this move as the biggest douche bag move one friend can do to another. She's basically dug you a hole, shoved you into it, and conveniently forgotten to give you a rope to climb out.

If I were in your position, I would probably feel pretty offended that she dumped that on you with nothing to do about it. Is she going to tell her husband eventually? Or is that going to be a big fat secret you have to carry for her? Sorry, I don't think too highly of her for what she's done to her husband's relationship with his best friend and you. Notice, though, that my offense is more over what she's doing to the relationships around her marriage rather than what she actually did to damage the marriage itself.

I mean, seriously, did she not think of the consequences this might have for her husband and his best friend? Now his best bud has to harbor this horrible secret, and every time he sees his best friend's wife, he'll probably think "I had sex with her". And every time he sees his best friend he'll think, "I screwed with your wife and you don't know."

It's like she's infecting all of you with this burden you get to carry on her behalf, because she obviously ain't carrying it herself.
 

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What do you think your moral duty here is ... what is doing the "right" thing mean to you in this case?

Is revealing the secret one person has shared with you more unethical than keeping that information from another man which directly impact both their lives? You'll have to look at the consequences of both actions. If you tell, then you're getting involved and meddling. If you keep the secret and don't say anything, then you're passively endorsing infidelity. In either case, you're stuck with the knowledge and the consequences.

Personally, I would feel obligated to tell on her if I was the secret keeper of such an information because I believe that the man has much, much more to lose by staying with a woman who's cheating on him and lying about it instead of confessing than I would lose by losing a friend who trusted me with her secret.

However, I'll look past my personal feelings, and try to convince my friend to confess to her husband instead.

Honestly speaking - there isn't much you can do about it. It's one of those situations where no one wins in the end. There's tons of reasons for cheating - but if her husband values monogomy, and that's the basis for this relationship, then he's going to find out eventually. Things like these can't stay hidden forever.
 

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Cheating is unacceptable, as it can ruin the life of the person who has been cheated on. Its completely disillusioning and can ruin their ability to trust. Losing the ability to trust will end up affecting every new relationship. It can also ruin their self-esteem: "I wasn't good enough.." Its cruel, it should never happen, no exceptions.

Every relationship is built on a foundation, and the different types of relationship have different central meanings at the core of that foundation. The traditional romantic relationship is founded on monogamy and trust. Take those away and what is left? Lies. The person cheated on looks back and questions how much of their life with their cheating partner was a lie. They can't get those years back and do it over again -- many times they just walk away with a stolen youth, all of it devoted to someone who recklessly violated the contract of the relationship. There were vows, promises to be faithful.. to earn someones trust; and I believe trust to be innocent. These are such powerful things that need to be handled delicately. Its hard for anyone to trust these days where cheating runs rampant. I think inside everyone has a timid spirit because they know the risk and that it can deliver the most crushing of blows. Its a miracle anyone trusts anyone.. then someone -does- and how do they handle it?

I think you need to explain the severity of this to your friend. Cheating can't be taken back.. and people usually find out about it, and yes it will be devastating. Her husband might show anger instead of sadness but it doesn't mean he won't be in pain. I think sometimes some women think men can just take it because they're men, and they aren't as emotionally complex. But they are. They are just taught to show it differently. She needs to stop being fucking -selfish-. Shes married. Life isn't just about "me me me" anymore.. she made a decision to merge with another. His emotions are entwined with hers, her feelings, her decisions.

If things are really so bad that they can't be salvaged, and she wants another partner, then she needs to explain everything to her husband and ask for a separation. Keeping him imprisoned in this illusion of a marriage will cause so much psychological harm. I have known so many jaded people who have given up on loving again because of a spouse cheating on them in the past. "Whats the point.. they're all liars." Love is the most beautiful thing I think a human being can experience. Crippling them so that they can't experience it again is the most vile thing.

Remind her that perhaps before all of the bitterness that builds up being so close to another human being with their own thoughts, ways, opinions, she did love him and respect who he is at some point. I think she needs to look past all the negativity that has been cultivated over time and remember that hes a human being worthy of love and respect.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
...Is she going to tell her husband eventually? Or is that going to be a big fat secret you have to carry for her?...
No. She's not going to ever tell him. She wants to stay together with husband "for the sake of their child". If she tells him, she believes it'll lead to divorce. I think she's in some kind of strange denial/wishful-thinking stage.

I have never met her husband but this is indeed a secret I'll have to keep.
 

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Like I've said a bunch of times before, the INFJ type is highly romanticized. An INFJ, at their core, is just as human as anyone else out there. Just because I'm an INFJ doesn't mean I'm against casual sex, for example. A majority may be, yes, but I am personally not. I really, really dislike the image that's been painted of the INFJ - it can be very misleading (as seen in your case).

What are you supposed to feel? Feel whatever the hell you want to. You don't need to feel a certain way about this; sure, it violates some superego-morals, but that doesn't mean you should be feeling it. If it doesn't affect you, then it doesn't affect you. Simple as that, really.

Personally I say it's not your problem, but savior complex says throw in unsolicited advice or input. I think the best balance between the two would be to talk it out with her - find out why she did what she did. Help her find a way to resolve the issue without your personal interference - you don't want to get personally tangled up in the situation. I would go about this by asking questions about her and keeping it within her 'zone': "why did you cheat on your husband?" "what can you do to help build the relationship back up? do you even want to bring the relationship back up? if not, why not?"

Only she can discover the resolution to her situation, and the power of that resolution still lies in her hands. The extent of what you can do is attempt to help catalyze it in certain directions. The direction I suggest is to help her come to some sort of reconciliation with her husband.
 

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Aren't INFJs supposed to be more saintly than the average crowd? How am I even supposed to feel about this? What should I do?
let me confess something, I've cheated once in my previous relationship. well, I've always described myself as a loyal person and if I ever love someone truly, I'd never cheat. in the previous relationship, it was not like I go out and sleep with someone else, I told people I was single when I was in the relationship - I consider this as cheating. I decided to break up and I spent days to think about why I cheated after that. then I realised I've never actually loved my ex-girlfriend...

so, come back to your case, I believe your INFJ friend never loves her husband that much, that's why she said she didn't feel guilty for what she did.

If I were you, I'd ask her to confess what she did to her husband. as an INFJ, living life and worrying that someday someone will find out that I cheat on them can make my life miserable.
 

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His best friend?? And they have a kid together? Yikes, I feel bad for all parties involved in this. Confident included.

Your friends lack of guilt and her not wanting to tell her husband makes me feel that, like RandomlyChildish said, she probably is no longer in love with her husband.
How familiar are you with their relationship? If i felt I was in an unloved or not receiving enough love from a person i'm suppose to be very close to, it would really take a toll on my loyalty towards them. If I felt i wasn't being treated fairly in the relationship (especially for a long period of time), if they were hurting me, that they were completely disconnected and ignoring me or treating me badly in any other way, I could see myself reacting by trying to hurt the other person. Not saying that cheating is necessary the path that I would take. I'm just saying that your friend is probably reacting based on bad feelings between her and her husband.

Personally, I would pressure my friend into telling her husband. If i'm going to be a confident to this kind of dangerous information, i'm at least going to try and be a moral one. I don't think it's your friends decision (at least not on her own) to determine whether or not a divorce is a good idea or whether their relationship can survive this. I mean... she already cheated, why does she get the power of deciding the next course of action? I don't know, maybe help her recognize the seriousness of her actions. Maybe if she thinks she can get away with this once, she'll try and cheat again? I don't know if i would suggest telling the husband, especially if you don't know him.

Seeing your friends make bad relationship decisions is like watching a glass knocked over slow motion where all you want to do is scream 'NOOOO'.
 

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No. She's not going to ever tell him. She wants to stay together with husband "for the sake of their child". If she tells him, she believes it'll lead to divorce. I think she's in some kind of strange denial/wishful-thinking stage.

I have never met her husband but this is indeed a secret I'll have to keep.
Hmmmm. She might be in some strange stage as you say, but it also makes some sense to try to keep things together for the sake of stability for the child. My mum stuck with my dad throughout our childhood despite his cheating and being unhappy with him. She stuck it out a long time. I can't be sure what would have been better, her leaving or her staying. The downside to her staying is that I grew up understanding very well what a loveless relationship looks and feels like, and I was affected by her depression. The upside is that we were completely financially secure and had a stable upbringing in terms of homebase, routines and family. My personal view is that life would probably have been much more tumultuous and difficult for my brothers and I (particularly because my mum and dad come from different countries) if they had separated when we were young.

This is just to say... if she feels pretty sure that he would want to divorce upon finding out, then not telling him for the sake of some sort of stability for the child is not necessarily some wacky decision. I would think it's fair enough that he might want to divorce, and in an ideal scenario she would respect him enough to speak to him honestly and give him the choice, but I know that some mums will do almost anything for the sake of their children.

So yeah I don't agree with people who feel like you should pressure her into some sort of action or be any more involved than you've already been forced to be. Depending on what sort of friendship you want with her you're within your rights to not have her burden you with this stuff, but these are huge life choices and consequences she's dealing with here that ultimately affect you very little. The moral meaning of her actions and choices to you doesn't say anything about what she needs to do for her life.
 

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"for the sake of their child".
I really hate when people say this, I mean if they aren't truly "miserable" fine. But honestly if they are only staying together "for the child" they are gravely mistaken that's their reason and that it's effective. First of all you are bringing up a child in an environment that is unstable and gets perceived as "normal" (so now the kid grows with that). Second, a lot of times it's not about the "child" it's about having to deal with the emotions of a divorce/child's emotions/uncertainty of events to come. So I find that people who say that aren't as "selfless" as they are trying to portray, it's more like selfish as they are looking for the easiest road, not to mention causing more emotional damage to a kid growing up in a house where the two main influences of his/her life are unstable with each other.

Clear defined mature adults "may" be able to pull it off. But I highly doubt many could.
 
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When I was younger, my best friend at the time cheated on her boyfriend. I felt really conflicted over what to do for a few days. She had no intentions to tell him. I finally told her boyfriend, telling her first that I had to tell him and I was sorry. If you knew the guy, I would suggest you do the same.

I've been cheated on before, and even if I would have been super angry at the time, looking back, I would have great appreciation if someone would have told me at the time instead of me having to find out in some obscure way later down the line and just making things worse.

I would really REALLY try to get your friend to tell him. Help her work up the courage if that's what she needs. But be really serious in making her see how damaging this information is going to be to her husband the longer she waits. If she doesn't tell him, they can't have a healthy relationship. Even if they don't have the best relationship already and are "staying together for the kids", this lie coming between them and growing over time is going to keep making the relationship worse and worse. Not telling him may look like an easier route to her, and it may seem easier at the very beginning, but that's only an illusion. You gotta be real with her on this one or you're not helping.
Sorry that you got that secret put on you. Secrets are heavy burdens.
 

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I don't know what to do about this.


Problem is, I've never cheated on anyone, and this is actually the very first time I've even personally known someone to have cheated. It makes me feel a bit sick. I didn't condemn her directly, but at the same time, what the fuck? Aren't INFJs supposed to be more saintly than the average crowd? How am I even supposed to feel about this? What should I do?
Discuss.
People are people. Those 4 letters are just an indicator of common traits that a group of people have. We are all different. Labels are always bad. Even the good ones.

Like I said yesterday...the problem with cheating is not the fooling around, its the lies, insecurities, guilt, anxiety that it causes. I am sorry to hear that you got caught in the middle of this. Been judgmental of this behavior or adopting a "holier than thou" attitude doesn't help a bit. What we condemn, we oppress. She already knows that she did a bad thing, she broke a commitment that she made with a man she supposedly care about, making her feel more guilty about it will not help. You don't have to like a cheater but tolerate it. Telling the other party about what she did will only have negative consequences, because:

a)-Your friend will be mad at you, because you broke her trust on you. You "cheat" on her.
b)-The husband might not believe you and will call you a liar.
c)-In case he believes you. Probably that will bring a lot of distress into the relationship. Your friend will know and if the relationship ends in a divorce, a part of you will think that you were responsible of this for telling about the cheating.

If she doesn't feel guilty at all, that means that she doesn't really cares that much about her husband. She knows that what she did was a bad thing to do. The guilt will start to eat her from the inside and at some point she will spill the beans. The truth eventually always surface on its own. If she doesn't care more about her partner for the sake of both parties and the children...the relationship should be dissolve. Trust is the foundation of every relationship. Without it you have nothing. I see relationships like a child that both people involved holds with their hands. That child needs to be taken care of, see that all of their needs are fulfilled and never take it for granted. When the child is death, is time to let go and move on.

Really sorry that you are caught in the middle of this, my condolences to you >_>. What I will do is listen to my friend and recommend her to consider what the relationship means to her. If she doesn't feel nothing at all, she should consider getting a divorce. I think is more damaging for a child to live in the constrained environment of a dead relationship. Happy couples produces happy children. Also her husband deserves someone that truly cares about him not someone that acts like she cares. Hope that this situation have a peaceful resolution.
 

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What I don't understand is why she has chosen to confide in you - a man. You say it is because you live far away and have an objective perspective. Hmm... really? She is telling another man that she is unhappy with her husband. She is sharing more of her true thoughts and feelings with you rather than her husband. Isn't this another form of betrayal? Or is your relationship wholly a brother- sister relationship? If you are gay, perhaps it's not so bad.

If she calls again, I suggest you should say that you feel uncomfortable with knowing these details of her personal life, that you are no expert in these matters and suggest she sees a good therapist or consellor who will have worked with clients with similar problems and can give her the help she needs.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What I don't understand is why she has chosen to confide in you - a man. You say it is because you live far away and have an objective perspective. Hmm... really? She is telling another man that she is unhappy with her husband. She is sharing more of her true thoughts and feelings with you rather than her husband. Isn't this another form of betrayal? Or is your relationship wholly a brother- sister relationship? If you are gay, perhaps it's not so bad...
Perhaps we can meet for drinks, the night will still be young, and we can find out if I'm really gay or not ;) (Please don't be ugly)

Actually, I am a good friend of hers despite my rampant heterosexuality as I have zero sexual desire towards her. I have never seriously flirted with her (though I am admittedly a flirt in genearl). But she's about as far from my "type" as humanly possible. Our relationship is quite platonic. The way we've connected is through our past job together and her willingness to entertain my philosophical ramblings.

I don't know about this being another form of betrayal though; as bad as she may be, I do see from her perspective that she has a rather limited population of people she can discuss this with and not face conclusions and condemnation. I mean, I do have conclusions and prejudices inside, but I'm aware that there are many different facets to human nature, so I'm generally quite cool and collected about things. Of course, this is quite novel to me so I'm still struggling, as you can see, in even trying to identify the possibilities and conclusions to begin with.
 

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tell her husband that his wife is a cheating whore and to talk to his best friend about it, she cheated once she will again. She just doesn't want to have to go through a divorce even though shes going to end up like that anyways.
 

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A neighbor of mine, she's married and quite a few times when she's seen me walk to the mailbox (which is a little over 100 yards off the road) has followed me to get her mail. Smiling and staring at me the whole way, now I know that's not saying she's a cheater but come on, it's happened probably close to 20 times in the almost 2 years I've lived where I'm at and we both have the same landlord.

I've often wondered how her husband would feel if he knew that because if she has tendencies like that towards me, she'll have them towards other men. The first month I moved in , I ordered a box of worms and she brought them and knocked on my door walking in drizzling rain because she said they were put in her mailbox and with an intent smile on her face the whole time while talking to me.

A married woman ( or man ) should not behave like that. Some things are so obvious that words needn't be spoken to describe the implied intentions. Her husband is a pilot and travels a lot , when you connect the dots it all adds up and is pretty easy to see what's what. I wouldn't give her the time of day. Her name's "Grace" , quite funny when you think of adding a (D-i-s) in front of it I think. lol
 
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Actually, I am a good friend of hers despite my rampant heterosexuality as I have zero sexual desire towards her. I have never seriously flirted with her (though I am admittedly a flirt in genearl). But she's about as far from my "type" as humanly possible. Our relationship is quite platonic. The way we've connected is through our past job together and her willingness to entertain my philosophical ramblings. I don't know about this being another form of betrayal though; as bad as she may be, I do see from her perspective that she has a rather limited population of people she can discuss this with and not face conclusions and condemnation. I mean, I do have conclusions and prejudices inside, but I'm aware that there are many different facets to human nature, so I'm generally quite cool and collected about things. Of course, this is quite novel to me so I'm still struggling, as you can see, in even trying to identify the possibilities and conclusions to begin with.
Ok you have reassured me that your relationship with her is platonic on both sides. I never said she was bad (things are not clear cut like that) rather that it is usually a no no to talk to someone of the opposite sex about your marital problems and it is sad that she does not have a trusted non-judgemental female friend to turn to. Also it is hard for you because you can put yourself in her husband's shoes and imagine how awful it must be for a man whose wife has cheated on him. But if you feel you are able to listen to her without judgement, help to clarify what is going on in her mind and use your ENTP skills in trying to make sense of the situation then you could help her a lot and perhaps you would also learn from her mistakes i.e how not to end up in the sorry situation this couple finds themselves in. Although she did a very stupid thing, it is important to remember that when emotional needs are not being met within a marriage the temptation to have an affair is huge. If she can identify what these emotional needs are, it is possible she could work with her husband to improve their relationship and restore the love and then the temptation will no longer be there. Alternatively he relationship may be beyond repair. This is why I still think she needs to seek professional help as it is so complicated. I also agree with everything Agape said.

Seeing as this is Personality Cafe, I will also say that what might make an INFJ different to other women in this situation (other INFJs feel free to disagree with me here) is the tendency of INFJs to dream of the perfect relationship. The idea that her marriage is the perfect relationship or that her husband is her soulmate is clearly shattered so for how many years does she think she can continue in a loveless marriage - harder for INFJs than for others, possibly. Good Luck. You are a good person for considering taking this on.
 
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@SpilledMilk

she cheated because she doesn't respect her significant others.
we are also not technically meant to be in monogamous relationships.

and it has nothing to do with being intf.
she's a human being she's going to make mistakes and fuck things up. her behavior and actions isn't depending in a theoretical perspective. you can't assume these things. that's stereotyping.
 
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I find it interesting... women and men seem to cheat for very different reasons. Women will cheat when they are not having their needs met from a support perspective. It is less about the physicality in many cases and more about the validity of the mate she is with. When I say validity I am referring to said mate's ability to sire good off spring... yes children may not play a part but since women are predisposed to behaviors if a man is viewed as less-than the act of cheating increases significantly. This also can manifest when the man is predisposed with his work and essentially forgets about his woman.. another man can capitalize quite easily. Interesting enough if you read books like Sperm Wars you'll find a very high percentage of off-spring are actually products of an affair. Women have a tendency to obtain lovers to essentially have the fertilizer "fight" over the egg... sounds animalistic but reality is we are the rationalist of the animal kingdom. Even when one tries to take the moral high ground "Dumb Down Juice" can melt all congnitive thinking.

As a friend and a rational thinker I would say the best bet is to help your friend understand the why of why it happened. No sense in one torturing themselves staying with something out of general purpose. A life of servitude for one's precieved transgression has got to be the most miserable way to live ilfe... being honest with self on why it happen and getting past the "I am so wrong" is probably the best medicine one could provide. There is no question that your friend feels no remorse for what has happened. Often times the, "I was drunk" excuse is used to justify what one may not morally agree with. She is scorn and she needs to address the scorn she has for her husband. That may be best suited with just moving on.

What I don't understand is why she has chosen to confide in you - a man. You say it is because you live far away and have an objective perspective. Hmm... really? She is telling another man that she is unhappy with her husband. She is sharing more of her true thoughts and feelings with you rather than her husband. Isn't this another form of betrayal? Or is your relationship wholly a brother- sister relationship? If you are gay, perhaps it's not so bad.
If she calls again, I suggest you should say that you feel uncomfortable with knowing these details of her personal life, that you are no expert in these matters and suggest she sees a good therapist or consellor who will have worked with clients with similar problems and can give her the help she needs.
She confide in him because she wants his man-meat... either on her mantle or in a jar for safe keeping.
She admitted she didn't feel bad about it (bad girl routine) and stated she would never do it again (the challenge). There is no doubt there are motives at play...
 
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