Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dear Brookey,

I wanted to get your objective opinion on something. Recently most of my girlfriends, some whom I’ve known since childhood, are disappearing on me. I noticed they started hanging out without me, or “forget” to invite me to lunch or a movie. I confronted one of my “Friends” who has since distanced herself from me and she said that she didn’t like the fact that I date married men. When I asked her if that’s how our other mutual friends felt, she said yes, which is why they don’t hang out with me anymore.

I thought friends weren’t supposed to judge you. I told her that true friends are friends through thick and thin and don’t judge, but she brushed me off. What do you think?


This is interesting, because without knowing the depths of each of your friendships and what you all have been through together, it’s hard to say either way – you can make an argument for both sides.

While I think your friends should judge you based on your heart, maybe your heart is showing them something they don’t like. Have you ALWAYS dated married men and they’ve accepted it until now? Or is this something new that you’re doing that they think isn’t really “you?” If this is new behavior, I'd hope they'd talk to you about it rather than abandoning you. But if this has always been your thing, perhaps they're just tired of it now.

Either way, a person can decide to let go of a friendship if they feel that those involved are growing apart. Most friendships, especially between women, are born and nurtured through commonality – shared interests and values. Perhaps your friends feel that your standards and values don’t fall in line with theirs, in which case they don’t see you as someone who they have anything in common with anymore. If they are turned off by your behavior or the choices you make, it’ll be hard for them to respect you – in which case any interaction with you could be seen as “fake.” Some people take adultery very seriously, and they may question your ethics and the type of person you are based on the choices you’ve made.

I’m not saying you’re a bad person, but depending on some experiences that your friends may have had or the values they hold dear, they may not look at you as a model friend. They also may not trust you around THEIR man. Most women (and men) feel that if you’ll sleep with someone’s husband with no regard to their relationship, then you’d probably sleep with THEIR man too. Women tend to keep a close eye on OTHER women they think are shady…especially when their man is concerned. They may feel that a woman who feels no shame in sleeping with another woman’s husband will feel no shame in sleeping with their man too. Although you may not cross that line and break the “girlfriend code,” your rep may be a little shaky when it comes to men.

Some of us have found ourselves involved with a married man at one point in our lives or another. We may have told ourselves that if the relationship was a good one, he wouldn’t be with "me." We find reasons to justify our behavior, even if deep down we think it’s wrong. We can either choose to continue what we’re doing, because…after all…we don’t know that woman – OR we can choose to do better because we know better. Just because you’ve made a decision to get involved with a married man in the past doesn’t mean that you have to CONTINUE doing that – either because you feel you can’t or don’t deserve better. The past choices you’ve made don’t have to define who you are now. But it seems that by consistently dating men who are unavailable to you, your friends may feel that this is EXACTLY how you are choosing to define yourself.

If you see nothing wrong with dating married men, either because you feel no obligation to the other woman, or because you seek relationships with no commitment, then that’s your business. You answer to no one but God and yourself.

But you can’t blame or be mad at your friends for exercising their right to choose who they have in their life. We should choose who we have in our inner circle very carefully, and if your morals/values don’t jive with theirs, then you’ve grown apart and it may be time to let the friendship go. If you want to keep the relationship, then talk to them about how you can change their perception of you and ask them what you can do to salvage the friendship. They may ask you to change your ways, in which case you’ll have to make a decision. If you feel you shouldn’t have to change in order to be their friend, then keep it moving. But if they speak to you from their heart and seem genuinely concerned, hear them out and consider their feelings…or try to see things from their perspective. Sometimes our friends (especially those from childhood) know us better than we know ourselves.

I hope it works out for you.



The Fury said...


Stef said...


The Fury said...

@Anonymous - They're not your friends. For them to put you on ice without talking to you isn't friendship. Sure they could use the dating married men thing as an excuse, but there's something else there. The only possible friend may be the one that told you. Have you tried to holla at their men? Have you tried to f#ck their husbands? Keep it 100 with us. Morals is one thing, friendship is another. How many of those chicks have a deadbeat baby daddy that y'all ignored? How many of them slept with Bobby Brown? Are you the the one that wears the super skimpy dress with no bra on the church outing?

Reach out to them if you value their friendship (you probably shouldn't) and have some heart to hearts with these judgmental ass "friends" of yours.

and oh yeah...don't go around telling people you date married men. ESPECIALLY women, they're silently judging you all the time.

Rameer The Circumstance said...

Great response, Brooke-Ra. Adding my thoughts...while I don't KNOW this to be the case, I think we live in an era/time period where people don't like to look at themselves in terms of fault or accountability. The reason I think my statement applies in this case...this line:

"I thought friends weren’t supposed to judge you."

I was never raised with this myth. In fact, raised the way I was - AND going to Catholic private school - I learned at an EXTREMELY young age that EVERYONE judges you. EVERYONE. Oh, it's not PC for some to say or think so, but you do. I've said this countless times on this very blog - I think people never consider exactly what judging someone is. If you have any semblance of a moral code, then you make judgments each and every day. I give the example I always do - it's the reason why the vast majority of humans are disgusted by pedophiles. If you didn't judge that activity to be reprehensible, abhorrent and/or disgusting, you'd be completely okay with a person who says they'd like to have sex with a 6 year-old.

As Brooke-Ra stated - this woman's friends don't co-sign that behavior for whatever reason, and probably haven't for quite some time. And while most people on here will more than likely be a lot nicer about responding to this, I'M not nice - I tell it like it is - you have no one to blame but yourself. Even celebrities and adored public people get scorned and criticized for such activity - look at the Alicia Keys and LeAnn Rimes situations. Alicia's man was separated; but many people - particularly women - don't care. Her man was still married, even in ancient times, dealing with a married person was detested. It even led to death - and still does in some parts of this world.

Your friends owe it to you to be honest about what you're doing and how they view it. If your friends enabled everything you do/did, they'd be horrible individuals, in my opinion. I personally have always surrounded myself with people who will instantly tell me if they don't like something about the things I say or do, and I do the same for them. It's hard to find people with that level of honesty, but I'm blessed to have found people like this. And you know what? Knowing that someone who loves and cares for me is telling me "that ish ain't cool, and I can't co-sign it" has helped me many time to adjust my behavior and be a better person. Because I'm not going to listen to someone who doesn't know me well, love me and have my best interests at heart - but my boy that I've known since 8th grade and who is like family to me? If HE says he can't co-sign some ish, then I need to reflect on what I'm doing. Cuz TRUE friendships aren't easily cut off.

My advice? Look at the woman in the mirror, and be honest with yourself. If MOST of your girlfriends have cut you back...shouldn't that spur you to think about what you're doing and how you're living?

Your friends are a reflection of who you are, whether you see it or not. And, quite obviously - your activities and mindset no longer reflect them. And they choose to be with people who DO.

My words may be harsh - but they're also TRUE SPIT.

Annamaria said...


1. EVERYONE judges everyone..I don't care if you've been friends since you were in pampers. You have been judged & you have judged...

2. When a REAL friend judges you they will call you out on it. For example, if my REAL friend was doing something that bothered me or that I didn't like I'd just tell them..And then I'd ask that they not do whatever it is when they are with me. DONE.

3. As someone who is about to get married IF all you date/FUCK is married men. I'm dropping you like a bad habit. WHY because I'd rather lose your friendship than have you LOSE YOUR LIFE for trying to talk to my HUSBAND..

Annamaria-The Businesswoman said...


Your REAL friends will be a lot more accepting of that.. :)

Jay said...

I gonna agree with Rameer on this one. We make judgements all the time - that's how we form our friendships in the first place. We decide based on the judgment that this person is worthy to be in our lives or not.

What I don't agree with is how they handled it. They should have told you their feelings upfront instead of simply bailing on you. Then, if after telling you how they felt, THEN they can distance themselves from you. They probably felt that telling you that they didn't agree with adultery would hurt your feelings, or that you'd be defensive. Either way, they should have manned (or woman'd) up and told you how they felt and let you decide for yourself what you wanted to do.

But like Rameer said, take a look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you're truly happy dealing with married men. I find that most women who do that lack the self confidence needed to stop that behavior. I just don't think it's in a woman's nature to be satisfied with that arrangement long term. Maybe your friends aren't disappearing because they think what you're doing is wrong, but maybe because they sense the lack of self esteem on you. That's not attractive on anyone, but they might not even realize that they're doing it. I tend to shy away from certain types subconsciously. I'm sure your friends who have been your friends since childhhood realize the rift, in which case they should be open about it, but the others might just naturally feel themselves pulling from you without even realizing it. Just a thought.

Courtney said...

As a woman who has dated a marred man before, trust me when I tell you, it's not healthy. I did just what Brooke said, justify it - to myself AND to my friends. I stopped telling my friends that I was dating a married man like Fury said, but not because they were secretly judging was because I was ashamed. Not only should you stop telling your friends you date married men, you should STOP DATING MARRIED MEN.

OR any man with a girlfriend. Men will tell you anything to justify why they're cheating on their wife - "She's not giving me sex" "I'm not happy" "She's not making me happy" "She doesn't make me feel like you do" "She doesn't understand me like you do." It's all bullshit, lies they simply tell to make you feel good about giving them some ass while they go back to their wives and children while you are at home lonely. Trust me, I've been there.

And I noticed that I was a different type of friend when I was in those relationships. I became secretive, because I was ashamed of mentioning him around my friends. I couldn't talk about my "relationship" openly like they could about theirs, because I was wrong. Girlfriends love to talk about their men, but because I couldn't, I either never spoke at our gatherings or I'd avoid them altogether. I was always defensive, and secretly miserable because all of my girlfriends were going to concerts and parties with their man OUT IN THE OPEN while I had to go alone or not at all becaues my "man" was with his family. My friends seemed to shy away from me too, but not because they were secretly judging me, but because I was pushing them away.

Think about what you're doing and how it's affecting life around you. Maybe it's not them, maybe it's you.

SuSu said...

Character is how we humans judge one another. We judge one another so we know who to let in and who to keep out or let go. Flawed as it may be, it is how we operate. All living, conscious, breathing, human beings do it.

Girlfriend, you may be a nice person, but your character is looking a little dingy. That would be my initial judgment of you based on what you wrote. I would still be your friend though because that is just who I am. I may not like what you do, but if you still are worthy in other ways of my friendship, it would be yours to keep. I would judge you based on what kind of friend you are to me. Not what you do or with whom. I have had all types of friends with questionable scrupulous. Their flaws are not always deal breakers to me. I think I’ve always been good at judging character and understanding that we are all flawed. I have boundaries and expect them never to be crossed by my true friends. I trust that even my most unscrupulous friends would never betray me or cross the boundaries that we have established as friends. If those boundaries were crossed would bring out a completely different character in me.

Your friends may be judging you based on the contents of your character—which are not showing you in a good light. They may also be tired of watching you lower yourself to standards they believe are beneath you, and of them. If you truly are the kind of woman that happily dates married men, perhaps all you are doing is showing them who you truly are and they believe you and are now choosing to let you go.

Don't let their judgments of you affect how you feel about yourself. Right or wrong, other's opinions of you will always be just that: their opinions. Live your best life and be happy. If dating married men is your way of happiness, keep doing it. Everyone has a role to play in life, and if this is the one you are destined and determined to fill, by all means do it with your head held high and do it with pride—if you can. You can always try and find new like-minded friends or friends who are not as judgmental and have open minds.

If you cannot hold your head held high, it might be time to do some true, honest soul searching and figure out why you feel it is acceptable to date a married man. Figure out if this is how you want your legacy to be written at the end of your journey. Do you really want to be that chick?

Our character is our pride. Shiny or dingy.. be true to yourself and let your character speak for you, which it is already doing. If you don’t like what it is saying about you, you will have to change it to reflect who you are and who you want to be.

Ms. Penn said...

We all make judgments, it's in our nature. We aren't the ones who decide if you get into heaven or not, but we can all make up our minds on what we think about someone. It's just the way we are.

Your friends are free to judge you. I'm sure you've judged them before. I know my friends have judged me, and I have judged them. We don't have to agree, but at the end of the day, we choose who we keep in our lives and who to let go. Maybe your season with these friends is up. It doesn't mean they weren't true friends to you like Fury may just mean your friendship has run its course. Not all friendships are meant to be for a lifetime, and your priorities and values shift as you get older. Maybe in our 20's dating married men was "exciting." But as we get older and get married ourselves, we will have a different view on it because we're at a different point in our lives. If they're at that point where your values and theirs simply don't match anymore, I'm not even sure they "owe" you an explanation. Sometimes people just drift apart mutually.

Clearly it's bothering you, so if you want to save your friendships, then reach out to them to try it. I don't see how you can say you're happy with your head held high dating married men, but if that's you, then be prepared to be ostracized. No one wants a woman with questionable morals around them or their loved ones - especially not their man. If you've already shown you couldn't care less how you affect another woman's relationship, then how can they be SURE you won't overstep the boundaries of a friendship? At the end of the day, they probably aren't sure...and even if they were sure you'd never do that, who wants to be associated with a woman with no self esteem? Birds of a feather...that's how we're usually association. And personally, I don't want to be associated with a woman who has no problem commiting adultery (as defined in the Bible). I'm no where near perfect, but there are just some things that I can't overlook, and adultery is one of them.

Anonymous said...

This is a heavy topic indeed. I agree with Fury, they should tell you what's up. Real friends will tell you the truth whether it's good/bad/or down right ugly.

Do you have other friends and if so what is their take on you dating married/attached men?

Personally I don't have those women in my circle. I once fell out with a friend because I didn't judge her on how she was but when the tables were turned and she did something behind my back with my man I cut her and him off. Why? Because I couldn't trust her.

It's hard but you do have to look in the mirror and ask yourself, "Would I want this done to me if I were married or dating?"

I also like Courtney dated a married guy and to this day am ashamed. It wasn't me and I fell for the, "I'm not happy, but I met you first and realized I want to be with you, she doesn't give me head, she doesn't please me, etc..etc" Also the flesh is weak...very weak and the physical attraction overpowered my weak spirit at that time.

Long story short I grew very unhappy with myself as a person and had to cut him off for good. Plus I looked at my friends and none of them were doing this and I'm a reflection of them as they are for me. It took a while but I let him go and when I did the person that was restored through my faith was a strong woman. I hope it does turn out good for you, but you should ask your friends, "What's up...tell me the truth." But get ready because if they are "real" then they will tell you the ugly truth.

I'd rather someone keep it real with me then to hide what they really think.

My 2 cents...

Rameer The Circumstance said...

I must say - I'm loving ALL the response on this topic. Very honest, very real. I thought I might see a slew of sugar-coated responses by people - glad to see I was wrong...

TheBlackMan said...

Lets be straight up. If she is dating married men, then she can slip up and creep with her friends husbands too! That is why they dont want to hang with her...

Annamaria said...

Ok this may be ME but this is my take on it.. A lot of the women on here had admitted things they've done in the past (which we've all done) and how they've grown & moved past them. WHICH I APPLAUD.. BUT this woman doesn't seem like she wants to move past it. From what was written she seems perfectly ok with her choices. WHICH IS FINE. BUT it seems like she is using her question to not only justify her behavior but have us say something is wrong with her friends.
At the end of the day if you was happy with your life & decisions You'd be chucking the duces up & content finding new friends!

Anonymous said...

I just hope and pray that her friends and can be as open as we are because it makes a difference. If this girl wants to change then she will need "real" people around her to encourage her new behavior. Not ones that will gossip behind your back and give you the "Silent Treatment"

In our toughest storms (and this is one hell of a storm) she will need those that support her to help her if she wants to change. Someone said earlier it sounds like the one true friend she has is the one that told her the deal. I agree...

If she doesn't change then her friends may decide to not have her in the circle because as my beliefs are I don't want to be around women who want to date married or attached men because I can't trust them and it's not my beliefs. I was once that woman and have begged God for mercy on me. As Brooke said the only one to truly judge you and that you have to answer too is God at the end.

Being transparent is also a key to friendship and healing. In other!

Anonymous Friendless said...

Hello everyone.

I tried to stay off the comment thread and just get all of your opinions, but I wanted to chime in.

I'm not defending my choice to date married men. I find myself in situations that sometimes work for me and sometimes don't. I guess subconsciously I don't want the commitment because I have intimacy issues, am a commitmentphobe, etc. I'm working on that. I've never glorified my relationships.

But my friends have never really condemned me for it either. If I had known how they felt, I either would hear them out, or at the very least, stop confiding in them with my issues so that their view of me wouldn't changed. The one friend said they still loved me, but couldn't condone what I was doing anymore, so rather than hurt my feelings, they just distanced themselves from me. I don't think that's what true friendship is.

While I can honestly say that none of my friends have dated a married man, or had an abortion, or dated Bobby Brown, or anything that I find morally questionable, I'd STILL be their friend and be honest with them if they had. I guess that's what hurts the most - that they didn't care enough about me or my friendship to tell me the truth. @Anonymous, your words touched me. I do want to change and now I feel that I have no friends left to help me do that. I feel abandoned and alone. I guess that's what hurts the most.

Brooke said...

@Anonymous Friendless,

I don't think you're alone. I think if you reach out to them and tell them that you want to change, they'd be there for you. At least the one friend who was honest with you should be...and would probably welcome you with open arms. Try it.

And if you're serious about wanting to change, you don't need them to do it. Change comes from within, and usuaally involves some soul searching. While it'll be helpful to have friends there who you can call on, who can be your reality check, and who will love you, trust me when I say the change you seek is already within you. You just have to tap into it. Your true friends will be there for you and wish you well.

Annamaria said...

@Anonymous Friendless:

You need a friend, here you go. You just said yourself you have a shitload of BS reasons why you date married men. Not sure how old you are but it's time to put your big girl panties on & look in the mirror. LONG & HARD. (TWSS) Take a deep breath. Then work on yourself & the root of your issues. Don't get into ANY relationships/friendships with anyone.
When you come to terms with all that then try to find girlfriends. REAL girlfriends who will talk to you exactly how I am talking to you when you need to be spoken to like this.
THEN look for a man. ONE who cares about YOU & ONLY YOU. One that you can be with & share with & don't have to be embarrassed or hide any aspect of your relationship with.

Jay said...

@Anonymous Friendless,

It takes courage to admit how you feel and that you want to change. There are so many people out there who judge others, but can't admit their own faults. I commend the women on the blog who have admitted to dating married men and didn't judge her but who offered advice from an "I've been there perspective."

We can be anyone we want on this blog, on Facebook, Twitter, etc. We can be our "clever" selves, our self righteous selves, the ones who have never made a mistake behind closed doors - not our "flawed" selves, so admitting to your flaws and wanting to correct them takes courage. I think your friends will appreciate that. And be honest with them too about how you felt they treated you. I think there's an opportunity for growth in your friendships here. Good luck!

The Fury said...

It took me a long ass time to read all of those responses. That's the last time I take a long lunch. LOL

This woman is concerned about her "friends". Not who judges what (yep we all do it). Or how bad dating the married men is for her to be doing.

For FRIENDS, it doesn't stop with judging silently and moving on. There should be a discussion or friendly advice. I'm not gonna let my blind friend ride a motorcycle. if that's my FRIEND.

How can you judge someone you love and not offer help? Or advice? Just let them go?

@Anonymous Friendless - I'm happy you responded. And don't be so sure about your friends and their behavior. In my sordid past, I've seen WAY more women hide their "bad" dealings from their friends to stop from being judged.

I suggest getting some counseling for your commitment issues and finding supportive friends that are willing to talk to you rather than be ghost.

Brooke said...


I agree with that assessment completely.

I also agree that your first order of business should be to take care of yourself first. If you want to change, you'll need to figure out why you gravitate towards married men, why they gravitiate towards you, what they fulfill in your life, what you feel you're missing, deserve, don't deserve, etc. Loving yourself is the key to all happiness - no matter who you date, don't date, who you have as friends or who you let go. It starts with you. Do it for yourself.

Then repair your friendships that are dear to you. It may take some time to get it back to where it was, but if they're true friends, open up the lines of communication, tell them how they made you feel, and see if the friendships can be fixed. You may find that some are irreparable, but others may be better off for it.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Fury. Counseling is good and the friends that you need will find themselves to you. Sometimes when we look too hard (even for friends) we find the wrong things.

I'm glad my words can touch you. I'm talking from experience and the friends that I did tell I was dating this guy were my true blue, ride or die friends and told me their feelings. Everything they said about him and even me was true.

They STOOD by me because I didn't want this any more and I love them for it.

You CAN change but as Brooke said it comes from within. If those girls are "ghost" then let them be like Casper and bounce.

I don't know where you are in the country but find a place that will support your change and girlfriend when you do and you see the restoration take place. Those "casper" friends may try to be your friends again but you will know who is real and who ain't.

Be strong and lean on a stronger force and leave those married/attached men alone, they don't love you. You're blocking your blessings by staying with them. There is someone out there divinely made for you but he won't be revealed to you if you keep blinding yourself with dating these attached dudes.

Be strong sista...

Rameer The Circumstance said...

Good advice, Jay, Fury and Annamaria. And of course, Brooke-Ra.

I wish you the best, Anonymous Friendless. And commend you on your honesty and willingness to bare yourself.

Stef said...

All women hold secrets. Some we can share with our friends, others we keep to ourselves because we know what they'll say or how they'll judge us. We all do it. Some friends we hold in high esteem, so we don't want to disappoint them. Others, we know their morals aren't that high, so we share with THAT friend :)

Either all your friends are saints or they're hiding something :)

But even if they ARE saints, that's no reason to just cut you off like that, especially if they've known you and what kind of person you are since childhood. I understand folks can grow apart, but they KNOW you...and if they never mentioned to you EVER that they thought dating a married man was wrong, then they were never your friends. I find it hard to believe that this is the first you're hearing of their disapproval. If so, then you don't need friends like that.

The Cable Guy said...

I'm late, and like Fury said, it took me MAD long to read all the comments, but they were great comments nonetheless. I really have nothing to add other than Brooke, I think in your original response, you weren't hard enough on her so-called friends. They dissed her rather than tried to help her or give her loving, sisterly advice. Maybe the women in my family are just too harsh, but they would have hit her over the head with the "Girl, are you crazy! Stop dating marred men you dumbass!" Not saying that's the way to handle it, but if you know what you're doing is wrong and your friends know it's wrong, and NO ONE checks you on it, then I'd question what type of friends they really are. Sometimes your true friends hurt your feelings. If you don't want to hear it, that's one thing. At least they can say they tried to tell you if you choose to ignore them...and THEN they can cut you off. But they didn't even give ole girl the benefit of the doubt, or the friendship. That's wack to me.

@Anonymous Friendless,

Like everyone said, you can change if you want to, and couseling is a great idea. But as far as your friends are concerned, if you TRULY care, then let them know that that's not how true friends roll. If they don't get that, then later for them. We all deserve friends who will be there for us and tell us when we're fuckin up. They were not that type of friend to you, so you may be better off finding REAL friends. I know good friends are hard to come by and it's not easy to let them go, but if they don't take responsibility for how they hurt YOU too, then be out.

Stef said...

I hate to say it, but I agree with you Cable Guy :)

spchrist said...

I'm with the friends...knowingly dating a married person is a no-no in my book. There are too many men and women who are single out there for you to go after a married person.

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