When my husband (now ex) dropped the bomb that he was having an affair with one of my girlfriends, I was shocked. Sadly, though, my first thought wasn't "Oh, I love him and want him back". Much to the contrary, it was "What will the neighbors think."
In learning the news of his paramour, so many thoughts swirled through my head, but the thoughts of how the women, who were my circle of friends, would react kept coming to the forefront of my thinking. What would they think less of me that I can't keep the attentions of my own husband? Would there be judgement, shame and separation from my group of married mom-friends? Would I be ostracized and left out? Since his paramour was also in this group, it served a double blow. What if they rally around her (an extrovert with a big personality) and I'm left with no one?
The women in my neighborhood were all doting moms -- both of the stay-at-home and career-women varieties. It didn't matter their roles, we all banded together to drink wine and let the kids play in each other yards, pools and swing sets. As the news broke, I came to realize they were loyal wives and this struck a deep chord with their level of morality. This was not tolerated or accepted. And a fierce backlash against "the other woman" ensued.
Over a short period of time as the news broke further into our neighborhood and gossip whisked around our little town, and as it all came tumbling out, I came to realize that these women were kind, supportive, loving and generous. Most of them were appalled at both of them for their behavior and ties were quickly cut with the paramour. Where I thought friendship loyalties would be stronger, they didn't like her actions or trust her -- most specifically, not around their own husbands! Most cut ties and don't speak with her to this day.
Through the hard times of my divorce and the years after, I've created deeper relationships with these women as they were with me every step of the way.
All the women in your circle into your life, as much or as little as you'd like, and you may very well find the same support and loving-kindness that I found.