Wedding Woes
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The group dynamic has changed. It's not your fault, but you need to accept it.

Dear Prudence,

A few years ago, I enjoyed being in a large group of friends who shared a lot of the same interests and would socialize frequently. In addition to regularly socializing at casual events, we traveled together several times per year. Three years ago, it was revealed that two of our friends, who were married to other people, had been having a long-term affair. One of the couples has since divorced (Amber and Ben), and the other couple stayed together (Chris and Delia).

Amber, Ben, and Delia cannot be in the same room as each other, so all of our traditions have been impacted. We now have to decide who to include and who to exclude from every trip and every social event. I am particularly conscious of Amber’s feelings because she is not at fault. I am currently planning a trip for a milestone birthday and I have invited Delia. I don’t agree with what she did and the fact that she has shown little remorse, but we have a lot in common and she is my oldest friend.

How should I deal with this situation (and other future similar situations) since I cannot invite my other two friends? I was discussing this trip with Amber and a group of friends, and I had to privately tell Amber afterward that Delia was attending the trip. It got really awkward and I felt bad. When I think too much about the situation, I feel angry at Delia for fracturing our group of friends (on top of splitting up a marriage and doing damage to her own family unit), and I feel like I made a mistake inviting Delia on the trip. I want Amber to know that I value our friendship even though I am still friends with Delia.

—Fractured Friendships

Re: The group dynamic has changed. It's not your fault, but you need to accept it.

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    This is now no longer a friend group.  These are your friends and you are going to need to see them separately.  

    Delia and Ben need to accept that it's their actions that created this situation.  You can still be friends with Delia but I would stop feeling like you owe Amber explanations of all the things as well.  

    Friendships evolve and change.  And if I was Amber and opted to salvage my marriage that would be the priority over activities with the friend group.  That may also mean that you need to accept that your friendship with Amber and Ben may drift if you prioritize a friendship with Delia. 
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    I feel like this is the same as "don't discuss wedding events with people who aren't invited." Why talk about the trip with Amber if you already know she can't be invited because you're having Delia go?

    Just see your friends separately and don't discuss them with one another.
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    ei34ei34 member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    Agree with above, this is no longer a friend group.  It's okay to remain friends with all, but they'll have to be seen separately and I'd try not to discuss plans one isn't invited to with the full group.
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    The larger friend group is broken but it’s not just Delia’s fault (it’s Ben’s too) but that’s probably not the point. 

    Amber and Delia aren’t going to hang out and you can’t expect them too. Also stop talking about what you’re doing with one with the other. If you want to stay friends with both of them you can but you can’t go back to how things were. Maintain separate friendships with them. 
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    mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
    First Anniversary First Answer 5 Love Its First Comment
    edited April 11
    Wait, Delia is showing no remorse for what she did and you keep wanting to shove her in Amber's face?  Also, Chris and Delia stayed married even though Delia is seemingly callous about it all?! 

    As someone with no true life-long friends (my oldest friend I met my Jr year of HS and is my SIL, but I have no childhood friends...because of moving) and someone who's made really close friends as an adult, I place a lot less weight on history.  I'm also game for a lot of things, so finding shared interests with people isn't that difficult for me either.  

    I think LW screwed the pooch on this trip, but I think they should take the little germ of those feelings about Delia being an asshole and probably not a good friend, and let that grow for a little bit.  I'm not saying LW needs to dump Delia forever, but putting some distance between them would probably be a good thing. 

    If LW wants to repair things with Amber, they need to apologize and prove through actions that they mean it.  And also know that they may not get her forgiveness.  

    Oh and stop pining for something that was a total farce. They were playing in all of your faces, so all those good times and trips and whatever are completely marred by the affair. 
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    mrsconn23 said:
    Wait, Delia is showing no remorse for what she did and you keep wanting to shove her in Amber's face?  Also, Chris and Delia stayed married even though Delia is seemingly callous about it all?! 

    As someone with no true life-long friends (my oldest friend I met my Jr year of HS and is my SIL, but I have no childhood friends...because of moving) and someone who's made really close friends as an adult, I place a lot less weight on history.  I'm also game for a lot of things, so finding shared interests with people isn't that difficult for me either.  

    I think LW screwed the pooch on this trip, but I think they should take the little germ of those feelings about Delia being an asshole and probably not a good friend, and let that grow for a little bit.  I'm not saying LW needs to dump Delia forever, but putting some distance between them would probably be a good thing. 

    If LW wants to repair things with Amber, they need to apologize and prove through actions that they mean it.  And also know that they may not get her forgiveness.  

    Oh and stop pining for something that was a total farce. They were playing in all of your faces, so all those good times and trips and whatever are completely marred by the affair. 
    I think you bring up a great point that the 'most fun trips' were possibly a pretense and time that two people were continuing an illicit affair in the faces of their spouses.   Delia may be the oldest friend here but I'd still have major issues prioritizing her.
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    You’re totally free to side with someone who did the cheating but you can’t be serious thinking A is still your friend. This group is over. Move on from it. 
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    If I was Amber and I saw your laughing it up with Delia after she showed near zero remorse for an affair I'd be distancing myself from you too. Because sure, you're free to still be friends with someone, but that kind of makes you a shitty person too, LW. 


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