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Hi; this might be a long post, so please bear with me!

I met my best friend, we'll call her Emily, in college about six years ago. She was dating her now-husband, we'll call him Curt, at the time. Emily was like the sister I never had. We had a lot in common, but she was the nicer, more considerate version of my cynical, sarcastic self: the yin to my yang, I guess. I became good friends with Curt, too, through her, and three years later, I was the maid of honor at their wedding.

Now, three years after THAT, I'm the one getting married, and Emily is my maid of honor. My fiance and I hang out with Emily and Curt on a regular basis.

A month ago, Emily confessed to me that she had been cheating on Curt with her boss, who is also married, has three kids, and is almost twice her age. The first time she told me, I was in shock, but it didn't phase me that much because it almost seemed like it wasn't "real." It was like I removed myself from the situation. The next day, though, when I realized just how real the situation was, I got upset.

The part that shocks me the most is that she was so callous about the whole thing. She actually said, "I know I should feel guilty, but I just don't." As soon as she said that, I felt like an alien had invaded her body. The Emily that I knew and loved would NEVER behave like that. She confided in me that she and Curt aren't intimate on a regular basis, and that he doesn't seem to care. She tried to talk to him about it, but he refused to talk.

We attended a party at their house soon after that, and Emily ended up crying in the bathroom with me and another friend who also knows about the affair. We told her that she deserved to be loved and she deserves someone to make her feel attractive (because she is!) but she's going about this the wrong way, and it just wasn't like her at all. The next day she called and said that she had ended the affair with her boss and talked to her husband about fixing their marriage.

This weekend, I went out for a "girls' night" with Emily and one of our other roommates from college. Erica ended up confessing the affair to her, and told me that she had ended it for a week, but it is now back on (ironically, at the same time that she is trying to "fix her marriage" with Curt). Surprisingly, my former roommate (we'll call her Marcia), was completely understanding and they jumped right into talking about how it was great that Emily was finally enjoying herself, and how hot the sex was. I sat there dumbfounded and uncomfortable. I'm no prude (AT ALL) but this made me squeamish. I tried to offer some rational thought (not scolding at all, but along the lines of "I totally understand how this started happening, but you just have to consider the consequences, and I don't want you to get hurt, blah blah blah") and I was reprimanded because I "didn't know what she was going through" and "Her happiness is the most important thing." I was made to feel like the unsupportive friend because I didn't want to hear how great the sex was between Emily and her boss.

What's worse - the two of them started to have a talk about how, basically, all marriages are screwed because cheating happens "more often than not" and how Marcia didn't ever want to get married because you can probably just "expect infidelity." I am getting married in less than three months, and these two are in my wedding party.

Now, I am torn between feeling mad and feeling guilty. I almost feel like apologizing to Emily for coming across like I did, because I don't want to lose her as a friend, and I don't want her to feel like she can't talk to me. On the other hand, I am starting to think that maybe Emily isn't the person that I thought she was if she can have an affair with a married man with no remorse, and maybe I DON'T want her to come and talk to me, because every time she tells me about her affair, I feel like an accomplice, and I feel especially icky every time I see her husband.

Plus, I am starting to freak out a little bit that maybe they're right: does infidelity in a marriage happen more often than I think? Am I kidding myself to think that I can have a marriage where one person doesn't cheat on the other person?

Argh. This whole situation makes me feel angry and sad about growing up. I feel like I am losing faith in relationships and losing a valuable friendship.

Can anyone give me advice/reassurance, or even criticism? Maybe I'm handling this the wrong way. I am pretty sure that I AM internalizing this too much and taking it too personally. I want to be a good friend, but I don't want to condone the affair - and honestly, I wish there was something I could do to stop it. I just don't know where to go from here.

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