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Husband refuses to take in wife's friend during her divorce; 'she judged our open relationship.' AITA + Update

Husband refuses to take in wife's friend during her divorce; 'she judged our open relationship.' AITA + Update


"AITA for refusing to let my partner's best friend sleep in one of our spare bedrooms while she's getting divorced?"


My girlfriend Anna (32F, all names changed by the way) and I (35M) are currently living in a house that I owned since before the start of our relationship. Anna's best friend, Kathrine (33F), and I never really got along.

Partially maybe because we're very different types of people but primarily it's because she doesn't approve of the fact that Anna and I have an open relationship. Ever since Anna disclosed this fact to Katherine, she accused me of cheating and that I pressured Anna into it. Our interactions have gone from frosty to cold.

And just to set the record straight: it's not cheating. Cheating absolutely exists in open relationships, the thresholds are just set through discussion and neither of us ever did anything that's against these agreed upon hard rules ever.

Also neither one of us pressured the other one: We just had a conversation early in our relationship why our previous relationships failed and realized that both of us struggled with relationships getting "routine" and we weren't ready to mothball the thrill and excitement of meeting and dating new people yet.

As we're both not particularly jealous people we decided to try a non-monogamous relationship and it worked well for us ever since. I also already tried explaining this to Katherine once or twice, so from my point of view I did my due diligence to have a good relationship with her but her perception of that might differ.

Anyways: Last week Anna had an unexpected emergency call from Katherine and, as it turns out, she's serving her hubby with divorce papers because he had a secret affair over the last few months.

As a good friend does, Anna immediately invited her friend to stay at our place for a few weeks until things are sorted out. Katherine doesn't have family here but we both have beds in our respective home offices and so in her mind it was the perfect solution.

When Anna told me a few minutes after the call, I quickly had to pump the brakes. I'm not going to lie that the idea of having a hostile house guest in my own home isn't unappealing on its own already but that's not even my main reason:

Both Anna and I have friends with benefits/secondary partners that occasionally stay over when Anna works night shift or I'm traveling for work and they also visit just for the occasional, platonic movie night or dinner party. Friends with benefits are friends after all.

Now, having Katherine here would mean we'd either have to significantly scale back these relationships for an undetermined length of time or have them over anyways.

As I imagine Katherine is probably even less tolerant towards perceived infidelity right now, that would probably just be a shitty to hostile experience for our other partners.

Both of these things, to me, sound unfair towards me and our secondary relationships. As we always saw these as real relationships that deserve respect and consideration just as much as our relationship (within some increments of prioritization of course), I told Anna that I don't want Katherine living here.

Anna pretty much saw my reasoning right away and, given that I own the house, apologized for her rushed invitation and called Katherine to take it back. But since then the situation has gotten out of hand to be honest.

Our friends aee pretty much split along the lines of "it's your house" and "wow, you put Katherine on the streets just because of your side chicks?" And Katherine kicked the conversation up an additional notch by insinuating that I'm trying to isolate Anna from her and just said no because I hate that they are friends.

For the record: I never had a problem with their friendship nor did I ever do anything to limit it. Anyway, I'm increasingly starting to wonder if my objection has been worth it and the right call or if it's been unfair towards Katherine. So AITA?

Edit: Maybe to clarify... Katherine has never been outwardly aggressive or offensive against me.

It's always been insinuations and probably gossip.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's initial post:


You explained your reasoning to Anna & she agreed with your perspective. You both agreed to not host Katherine, the reason is not important. Why are other people involved? Katherine is an adult, she is able to resolve her own problems. Ask Anna to deal with Katherine’s nonsense. NTA.

The OP responded here:


"Why are other people involved?"

Because Katherine looped in additional friends against my/our will.

"Katherine is an adult, she is able to resolve her own problems"

Yeah, I'd love to do that but I'd feel much more comfortable if this situation is resolved or at least pacified, too.

We disclosed our relationship status on basically a "need to know" basis and my worry is that Katherine might actually make it known to people that don't know yet if she continues and this keeps spiraling. But that's a separate dilemma.


NTA. You cannot be hostile to a person, then expect that person to open their home to you when things are tough. GTFO with that craziness.


NTA It should have been discussed with you prior to offering, but Anna seems pretty rational and course corrected. There are plenty of ways for Anna to support Katherine other than to to bring this person into your home that judges you and does not accept your relationship. Your objection is worth it as it sound like if Katherine moves in for a term she will serve to cause you problems and frustration.

Twelve days later, the OP returned with an update.

"Update: AITA for refusing to let my partner's best friend sleep in one of our spare bedrooms while she's getting divorced?


I figured I'd be giving an update because I still get "X upvotes!" notifications for my initial post somehow. The responses were also actually kinda helpful so I'd also like to say thanks and share the outcome.

It was reassuring that so many people agreed we weren't out of line and we should stick with our decision. Even more helpful were the questions why we didn't turn the tables, got in front of the supposed backlash (more on that later) and said "well, why don't you host her then?"

What can I say except that we're not located somewhere where everyone from your barber to your second cousin will blow up your inbox/socials and call you an AH to your face on behalf on a third party.

We only heard about the criticism against us through the grapevine and we didn't really have a specific person to say "well, then you take her" to. But, after reading your comments, Anna got the idea to let out a WhatsApp broadcast to our shared friend group.

It basically said that we're feeling vErY gUilTy BeCAuSe oF KaThEriNE's sITuAtiOn, sorry, very guilty because of Katherine's situation and that it was bad to make a promise and then take it back...

But we simply realized that our lifestyle seem like it might be triggering to her in her current situation that would be uncomfortable for everyone involved... "But we'd be happy to help anyone who'll take her in in whatever way we can." Cue the crickets.

That was the moment we realized that maybe there were less people on Katherine's side than we initially assumed. Actually, only one couple - who were friends with both Katherine and her hubby - reached out to invite us to dinner, apparently to share some things we weren't aware of yet.

First of all, according to them the "affair" wasn't the carnal thing Katherine made it out to be and more of a "falling out of love" situation on the husband's side that has long been coming.

Basically he met someone and that made him realize that his marriage was dead. And he did the moral thing and broke up with Katherine. No one is 100% sure if there's been something physical before that but I wouldn't be surprised if that was all in Katherine's head.

There's also apparently a very juicy reason why he gets to keep staying in the house but this update is long enough already. Anyway, as for the whole smear campaign lodged against us... turns out that the whole drama apparently consisted of only three things:

Katherine trying to pressure us and (consciously or unconsciously) sowing rumors that everybody is really angry with us. A single couple that stood on Katherine's side.

And a lot of people hoping to not get pulled into a war of roses and just nodding politely. The couple that was on Katherine's side are the friends that Katherine hit up right after us by the way.

The dinner party friend's theory is that they threw us under the bus and fed into Katherine's outrage because that couple has a young daughter and we know for a fact that Katherine has just as many Karen-style convictions about parenting as she has about relationship styles.

Anyways, Katherine is now basically ostracized, moved in with family a bit outside the city and is working remotely until she finds a condo to haunt this city from again. I also want to clarify a few things from the original post.

To the people that insinuated that I pressured Anna into this relationship or keep her on a short leash: Given how NM dating works out for different genders, trust me when I tell you she isn't lacking options to get out of this relationship if she wanted.

To the ones that criticized her for not standing up for me: I consciously didn't want to include this part because I didn't want to invite judgment of Anna (yeah, hindsight is 20/20) but that has been a dicey subject in our relationship.

But after having Anna's explicit permission to share this here now... There's actually a lot of backstory with Katherine adopting a loner Anna into her friend group back in their school days and Anna somehow still feeling like she needed to "earn her place" in the friend group/be grateful for Katherine. She's currently looking into going to therapy for that.

Finally, I want to add a last bit of positive news coming out of this shit show. This whole fiasco made Anna and me talk through the whole "someone else moving in" topic.

It's not really something we're gonna do in the near future but Anna told me that there's one person she's currently seeing with whom she might be eventually moving into that direction.

And this time she asked me early if I'd be okay with her moving in with us somewhere in the future (hinge not throuple for the people that speak poly on here). I kinda like that Katherine would probably hate that this is the outcome of her whole tantrum. But other than that, I'm really happy things are mainly back to normal now.

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's update:


Oh come on, what's the "juicy reason"?! Lol

The OP responded here:


Allegedly Katherine's husband was the one carrying their marriage financially and shouldering the vast majority of fixed expenses, despite both of them working and not that big of an earnings discrepancy between the two of them. So when she wanted to kick him out, he apparently said "Sure, I'll let you know when you need to pay what to keep everything running."

Katherine goes Surprise Pikachu face at the fact divorce means paying for your own living expenses and agrees to downsize in exchange for moving out and him buying her out of the house eventually. Basically she was living above her means somehow. No idea where her money went tho.


Did... did I just read a BORU where (1) the central couple of the drama are poly and (2) the outcome was that a sane conversation between rational adults cleared up the issue?


Wonders happen, apparently! But note that this works along the thing we always discuss when "poly" goes wrong in these posts: it was a mutual discussion in the beginning of the relationship and both of them went in knowing.


I've always kept the view that open relationships, even if they are not for me, aren't some evil thingy you should hate on. I've been downvoted heavily on this sub and others if I ever just said anything in favor of them. I feel so glad to see an open relationship with level headed people, but yet again, some people in these very comments have a hate boner for this couple.

To those people, would you have hated this couple if the friend already hated the guy for more common reasons like just accusations of isolation or the more acceptable one, if they were into bondage and the friend thought the girlfriend was being abused? If not, then this is just as valid. And even if not, a no is a no. They didn't want that friend in their house, simple as that.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit,Reddir
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