Q: About 20 years ago, my husband and I befriended this other couple. We saw each other’s kids grow up, and spent time staying at each other’s homes on visits.
The husbands had a falling out seven years ago and we all stopped speaking. She particularly shunned me after their argument, which had nothing to do with me or her.
Fast forward to when I was divorced for one year and they were separated and in divorce proceedings. He and I reconnected and started dating, and we have fallen in love. While we never even flirted while we were all married, we always got along. I have never been happier in my life. It was all above board, no shenanigans.
He is now divorced and upon finding out about us, she has had a major meltdown. She is furious and accused us of having an affair.
I feel horrible, but she and I have not been in contact for several years. Did I violate some girlfriend code? She is calling all their friends and calling him a cheater and me a hussy.
A: What is there to feel horrible about?
If it’s just that someone you (used to) care about is in pain, then I can see that. Of course.
But in the story you tell, you’re rivals only of her making; you had no falling out with her seven years ago, and no role in breaking a marriage already broken.
And she’s the one using her current misery, apparently, as an excuse to behave miserably toward you for a second time this decade.
So even if I believed in a code, which I don’t, there’d be no violation of it here besides hers. She only embarrasses herself with her venom.
She also gives you and her ex more reason to feel joy and relief in your future by shedding new darkness on the past. Just don’t get carried away, since they’re still joined by their kids.
She’s inviting you to war. It’s up to you not to accept.