How do you extricate yourself from a family-oriented friendship? Very long and pathetic story to follow.
About eighteen months ago, my child became friendly with a classmate. We hosted a play date that went swimmingly well. I liked the Mom quite a bit. This led to a reciprocated play date at their house, where we eventually ended up becoming family friends – Dads enjoyed each other’s company, kids played nice, Moms hung out. All was good. I thought it was great that we all were nice new friends. In fact, we spent the majority of the summer together, and even did holidays at each other’s houses.
Well, as my friendship with the new Mom evolved, she started to confide in me that she was involved in a long-established affair with another married male (who also had kids), and had long ago kind of checked out on her marriage. In fact, she actually hated her husband. Now mind you, our kids are now absolute buddies, and talk about each other endlessly and go to school together five days a week in the same class. I was kind of OK with just being aware of the situation, but as time went on, the volunteering of information became, well, a little TMI. The wheres, the whens, the hows. It was mentioned to me that there was a pregnancy scare and Plan B was involved. When I kind of brought up the What the FUCK?! Factor, as in, don’t you have enough going on? She said that they (she and her, uh, paramour?) discussed the thought of having a baby together and liked the idea, but then freaked when the possibility became a reality and bailed. TWICE. When I asked what would happen should the Plan B not work, how would she deal with the fact that she wasn’t sleeping with her spouse (except for the occasional mercy fuck) yet somehow get pregnant? She said that her husband wouldn't be smart enough to figure it out. (She is forever talking shit about him/his intelligence, etc.)
I tried to remain outside of the circle, especially since her husband happens to be a really nice guy. He apparently was aware that she had fooled around on him at one point, but was under the impression that it had ended a while back (to date, it’s now been about three years running). I also asked why they don’t just get a divorce; she sighted financial reasons, and also claimed that for all his faults, her husband is, in fact, a good father. They supposedly attempted counseling, though I never heard more about that after one or two tries.
Her child left the school to go on to a different district last year, so that kind of helped separate the situation. Still the kids missed each other, and I would regularly get calls and emails asking for play dates. I would kind of blow them off, or we would end up rescheduling. The few times we did get together, the conversation was kept very basic. My child regularly talked about how much she missed her friend, and would beg me to call the Mom and see when we could get together (this still happens pretty frequently). I try and change the topic, not really giving an answer, or say that everybody's busy the next few weekends, not really knowing how to explain the situation.
We went for about four or five months without communicating and I suddenly got a call about two weeks ago. It was a really bad time for me to talk and I never returned the call or sent an email.
And now to convolute the story further, her husband found me on FB this morning, wanting to know how I’ve been, and what’s been going on. Inevitably, he’s going to ask why I haven’t been around and what’s the story. It kills me to know what is going on, yet I feel I have no right (nor do I have any intention) to tell him.
How am I supposed to explain to my kid that I cut off our relationship with this family because of this person’s scruples?
Throwaway email: email@example.com