Sometimes, a friend might be going through something, and you might be their only support system. And sometimes, that friend might be sauntering face-first into a harrowing affair with a married man unbeknownst to her own husband and you… still need to be supportive. Here’s how to nod along while your friend recounts the really undeniably bad extramarital affair.
Squint out of concern.
Your natural reaction to your friend’s news of cheating on her imperfect but loving husband, is going to be to bug your eyes out in surprise – do not do this! Instead try to focus on squinting in an air of thoughtful concern (For her, and her alone. This has been hard for her).
Nod vigorously to let her know you’re listening.
Nothing says, “I support you through this unfortunate situation that was practically foisted upon you when you directly sought it out,” like a good nod-along. Show her that there is zero judgment – seriously, you’re totally following and understand the words she says. The stress your feeling is only because you feel bad that she’s accidentally been doing this to herself for a few months straight now.
Purse your lips as you continue to nod.
Again, you are serious. Making a strong choice with your mouth prevents you from accidentally making a variety of inappropriate and judgmental faces about how someone would rather let their spouse live in the dark than tell them it’s not really working out anymore. You’re cool and calm, just taking this news in like any other story she’d tell. No biggie.
Touch your chin and mouth “wow” a lot.
Touching your chin shows that your nod is thoughtful, and you’re taking in her story with the utmost empathy. But if you really want to show support, just make your mouth make the shape of a “wow” at random points in the conversation to let her know that this is a crazy and totally understandable situation, even if it has been going on for two years and there are children involved. She didn’t really mean for any of this to happen!
It’s hard when friends have affairs, but mostly hard for them. So give them the consideration they deserve by quietly nodding along to their destructive and self-serving behavior. They’re your friend, after all!