How Do You Stay Out of Trouble?

A few of you have caught my tweets about some friends of mine that are in a sort of perverted love triangle thing.

I know it’s not really my business, but at least two of those involved are my good friends, who also happen to be a common-law couple.
Naturally, the wife is unloading on me all what is happening to her, how her husband is “in love” with their friend who has been staying at their place after breaking up with her fiance. It’s only been a month that they’ve all been living together.

He has been having sex with both of them, but otherwise shutting my friend out, in favour of the new, shiny toy. Obviously this is a retarded thing to do, and upsets everyone. There’s a lot more crap and asshattery going on, but that’s neither here nor there.

The thing is, this is upsetting me on many, many levels. I want to be there for my friends, but I can’t risk getting involved and potentially saying something that pisses them all off. And yet somehow I am finding myself getting involved.

My question is: how can I stay out of this, but still maintain a friendship with all of them? I really don’t want to be part of the drama, but since it is the major focus of their lives right now, it’s all they talk about. I don’t really want to just “fade away” until things get better–I don’t know if they will or not.

So how do you stay out of trouble? What would you do in this situation?

Thus far I have succeeded in not “talking behind someone’s back” which I have done before (to my regret) and when I have said something, it has been straight up to that person. They haven’t always agreed with me, but at least I said it to their face, right?

But yeah. Tricky situation. I think they’re all being retarded about it, but of course no one will listen to me. And is it really my place to even say anything? I see so much destruction and illness and I don’t want them all to be hurt or hurt each other in this way. But then again, I’m not really involved, other than by virtue of the fact that I am a friend to all of them.

This whole situation just leaves me upset and frustrated after I speak to the wife. (haha, one of the reasons I have been cleaning my apartment like a fiend–I need to do some hard labour to get my mind off this!).

So, is it my problem, or not? Should I get involved, cut myself off, or offer cautious advice? Or just say nothing at all and watch my friends destroy themselves?

5 thoughts on “How Do You Stay Out of Trouble?”

  1. Wow, tough one. If you want to stay friends with all three of them, I think for the time being I would only hang out with each of them one-on-one and let them know you're not taking sides and you want to keep your friendships with all of them. It might be best to draw some boundaries saying you don't want to talk about the love triangle situation because you feel like you're getting caught in the middle and it's making you uncomfortable.

    If they say they need to vent or they need some advice, then give your advice, but I wouldn't give any advice if it's unsolicited.

    Probably the obvious solution right now is that the three of them should not all be living together! It's a recipe for disaster if people's feelings are getting hurt. But I wouldn't share that with any of them unless they ask.

  2. I agree–they should not be living together. Without getting into too many details though, that is not an option for them. They're basically poor, with no income so they would not be able to move out independently, and none of them WANT to do that anyway. Frustrating!

    But yes, I think I may just have to hold my tongue and pretend that everything is ok when I am with them. They are never apart so it is difficult to hang out alone with one of them–they're sort of a packaged deal. (I think that's what's causing their problems, but again–trying not to get involved).

  3. I think it would be honest and genuine to tell them that although they're adults who ultimately get to decide how they live their lives, the situation and potential fallout from it is making you uncomfortable, and you are choosing to set a boundary about discussing it.

    You're entitled to set the ground rules for your friendship. You can let them know that you're interested in keeping them all as friends, and that even though you're not judging them for what they're doing (even if you are), you're feeling torn about hurting feelings by saying something… so you can choose to detach or set boundaries. Like, I'll hang out with you guys, but if you start getting weird or arguing while I'm around, I may have to leave. Or, we'll still do all our regular friend stuff, but please don't try to talk to me about your Three's Company living arrangement.

  4. 1) I think its hilarious after reading this that under other posts I might like is Craigslist: The Place Where You Can Find Anything. It seems fitting fro the absurdity of this situation
    2) I say you back away for awhile until they figure this out. This entire situation is pretty convuluted and ugly and no matter what someone is going to get hurt unless they decide they can live together like this for the rest of their lives (*shocked face!*)

  5. I absolutely hate it when people decide that they want to maintain friendships with people who they know are doing bad things to others. Why would you want to be friends with a guy who does this? Why would you want to be friends with the other woman in this situation? It doesn't make sense to me. Essentially, you're saying that you don't care if your friends don't have integrity and it's fine with you if they're cruel to others.

    What I would do in this situation is drop the guy and the other woman as friends and tell the common-law wife that she needs to get the hell out, whatever it takes. I think that any other path, I would be complicit in what's happening, and that wouldn't be okay with me.

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