• Resolving Problems

My friend was drunk and had sex on my couch

Published: June 3, 2014 | By | 2 Replies Continue Reading
If her friend was drunk and disappointed her, should she forgive her? The answer isn’t clear-cut.



A friend of about twenty years recently did something I feel was very disrespectful. While I was in the hospital with my 8-year-old son for three weeks, she came over, had too much to drink (according to her) and had sex with her ex-husband, who we are letting stay with us, on our couch.

My 16-year-old was asleep down the hall as were her 12-year-old twins. I feel it was severely disrespectful towards my family, my kids and me! We are a family, not a frat house or bachelor pad. I already felt distance there but this has pushed me over the edge.

Her apology seemed insincere when confronted. How do I handle this or even get past it? It is really upsetting me.

Signed, Rayelle


Hi Rayelle,

I’m so sorry to hear about your son’s hospitalization and hope he’s on the road to recovery. His stay in the hospital must have been a very stressful and difficult time for your family.

Clearly, having sex on your couch while your son was in the house, whether he was sleeping or awake, was very poor judgment. But I’m not sure how you should handle this situation, because it isn’t straightforward.

Although you had been friends for twenty years, you say that you were already feeling distant. Moreover, allowing her ex- to stay with your family may have added to the strain in your relationship. Was/is she okay with this arrangement? Has she said anything about it? Could she be harboring unexpressed resentment?

Another question that comes to mind is whether your friend typically has lapses in judgment that are annoying or disrespectful. Do you think your friend was drunk? Does she often drink too much and embarrass you or herself?

The fact that she apologized suggests she realizes she was wrong but are you worried there will there be other lapses?

She can’t undo what happened and neither can you so it probably boils down to this: Your friend disappointed you but do you want to end the relationship entirely over this incident or can you accept this as one disappointment in an otherwise still meaningful relationship with a lot of history?

Best, Irene

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Category: Friends who abuse alcohol and/or drugs, RESOLVING PROBLEMS

Comments (2)

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  1. Amy F says:

    I hope your son is doing better.
    What your friend did was thoughtless and immature.
    I’d be upset, too.
    Keep in mind that you a been through an enormous stress with your son’s illness and I’m sure you’ll need some time recovering emotionally from all that strain. I wouldn’t make any decisions about ending the relationship right away, though a little distance is probably in order, at least temporarily.
    I agree with Irene in considering the totality of your relationship. Does this friend have a pattern of behaving inappropriately or is this an anomoly? I hope you have a strong enough foundation to keep her in your life, because twenty year friendships offer a rich history that isn’t replaceable. But if you do decide it’s not worth continuing to be her friend, you lose nothing by waiting until the rest of your life settles down.

    Good luck.

  2. Eliza says:

    I tell you, keep you friends close but your enemies closer. I always lived by that motto. Not that this friend is a “frenemy”…but be cautious with people who lack judgment like that. I would forgive, but not necessarily forget, and keep the friendship–but perhaps it’s time to re-define what type of friendship you do have, and let time reveal whether she is able to be the type of person who you want to share time, confidential info. with…there are all levels of friendship. Trust is “earned”…and once it is broken, it does take time to mend and grow back, IF in fact it’s a mutual interest and respect going forward. Some people honestly do not know what being a friend is all about…it’s all about them, their needs, and their lives.

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