• Resolving Problems

Betrayal: My BFF ran off with my ex

January 1, 2014 | By | 7 Replies Continue Reading
How do you get over a soap-opera-caliber betrayal?

QUESTION

I have a best friend whom I have known for close to 15 years now. We met in 5th grade and were so tight. We shared everything, went through our ups and downs together, and were practically sisters.

About a year ago we had a minor argument and just stopped talking to each other. Neither of us made an effort to contact the other, which was rather odd because we had always worked out our issues before.

After a year of not communicating, she sent me a message on Facebook saying that if it was her fault we stopped speaking that she was sorry. In a way it felt like it wasn’t sincere. I did reply and also apologized.

Two weeks later, I found out that she was getting married to my ex-boyfriend, a guy I dated for a year after she introduced me to him. I broke up with him right before our falling out. I never felt so betrayed in my whole life! I feel anger and deep resentment, especially towards my friend. I sometimes feel like maybe they had been seeing each other behind my back, but I really don’t want to believe it. It breaks my heart.

She never told me they were dating, or even about the engagement. I found that out from a mutual friend. I’m totally confused and don’t know what to do. I don’t know whether to confront her, or just cut her off and move on. What should I do?

Signed, Linda

ANSWER

Dear Linda,

This is an operatic betrayal, so it’s totally understandable that you feel angry, resentful, and heartbroken. I’m so sorry!

This is speculation on my part, of course, but it seems as though your friend felt too guilty to tell you she began dating your ex, and so built up the minor tiff you two had into something that merited a one-year hiatus. Maybe in her own mind she even exaggerated whatever part you played in this minor conflict to partly justify her own big betrayal. Then, suddenly fearful that you might hear about her engagement, she made a rather lame attempt to patch things up before the big news hit you.

It sounds like you don’t still have romantic feelings for your ex, but that makes this sort of situation only somewhat easier. Now the question is: What will help you cope with this betrayal?

If you want to know all of the details, and if you want to tell her how hurt you are that she didn’t get in touch with you earlier–out of respect for the length and depth of your friendship–then follow up her Facebook message with an invitation for a cup of coffee. If you’d rather not even see her, then don’t. It’s entirely up to you. Unless she gives a very sincere apology for not telling you much earlier about her relationship with your ex, I don’t think this friendship can be saved, unfortunately.

Childhood friendships are such a gift–what a shame that your friend was so careless with your sisterly bond. Yet the fact that you, too, didn’t feel compelled to get in touch with her for a whole year after a minor fight might be a sign that this friendship had run its course. You survived that year without your friend, and you’ll survive whatever comes next. I hope that eventually the hurt you feel will be balanced out by some positive memories of the relationship when it was at its best.

Signed, Carlin Flora

Author of Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are

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Category: Secrets & lies

Comments (7)

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  1. marsha says:

    One thing I noticed is you said she “introduced you to him.” Did she do that with the intention of you two dating? Or, did she merely introduce you to him casually. Perhaps she liked him all along and felt that you took him away from her? I don’t know the full story, but it crossed my mind. Otherwise, what she did was pretty cowardly.

    [Last name removed by moderator; to protect yourself from spammers, please do not use last names on this blog. Thanks!]

  2. LaTrice says:

    First off, you have every RIGHT to feel betrayed, because your best friend wasn’t woman enough to tell you the truth about her relationship with your ex-boyfriend. If she really loved and cared about you, she should have been more forthcoming.

    Honestly, I think it’s best that you should end the friendship-since the damage has been done. The fact that she was hiding her relationship with your ex-boyfriend from you says a lot about her actions, and it doesn’t excuse or justify the pain that she has caused towards you. I don’t respect her for what she did to you, and again, her actions are unacceptable.

    You’ve learned to live your life without her in it, so you need to continue to keep doing that. Use this experience as a lesson-learned, at least you know who your REAL friends are!

  3. Marisa says:

    And why is it a betrayal if the letter writer made no attempt to speak to her friend for a year?

  4. Marisa says:

    Your friend should have told you she was dating your ex and been out in the open. However once you break up with someone you do not have the right to label them hands off to anyone, including friends. You cannot control the relationships of others and these two may have really clicked.

    • Sel says:

      I agree with this!!

      Once a relationship is over the ex can date or marry whoever including one of your friends provided all due respect was shown.

  5. carol says:

    If a friendship becomes stressful and trust is lost, then why be involved with that person. I agree with Amy, find a better path for yourself. A path with a friend or friends who are trustworthy. Of course it takes time to know if someone is going to treat you with respect. If someone has shown their disrespect of you, respect yourself and move on.

    Take care, Carol

  6. Amy says:

    Ouch.
    I was drawn to the portion of your letter where you said that neither if you made an effort to reconcile after your minor tiff. It seems to me that you probably didn’t miss your friend very much, since neither of you made an effort to reconnect after your disagreement. You presumably moved on and so did she, until she reestsblished contact.
    Whether or not she was seeing your ex while you were would be mere speculation, and at this point probably for any matter. Why make yourself miserable playing detective. Perhaps she didn’t have the guts to tell you she was getting married to him. Either way, your exes are getting married and you have every right to have feelings about that. Most people I know consider their friends exes off limits. I don’t have a lot of respect for her for doing so. Who needs a best friend like that?
    Lick your wounds for a while, then move on from both of them, emotionally. If you cut the emotional attachment, people no longer have the ability to hurt you or make you feel like a victim. You’re better off without folks like that in your life (and they deserve each other).

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