How do you cope with the remorse of cheating with your best friend's boyfriend? Over 7 years ago I cheated with my best friend's boyfriend while she was away in rehab. It was only one time, and I never wanted a relationship out of it. After my best friend of 2 years was sent to rehab, I was told I would never see her again. One stupid night, I asked her boyfriend at the time to get me and a friend alcohol and come over to hang out. We reminissed about how much we missed her, as we began to drink. As the night went on, he made several passes at me. I fended him off a few times, before ultimately giving into the unthinkable. After the night was over, he left and we vowed never to speak of it again. To be honest, I don't really remember how I felt afterward. Obviously, I was ashamed, but I cannot even recall how I dealt with it at the time. As time went on, my friend returned from rehab and we went on as best friends. She remained with the guy for several more years...he was the love of her life. Then, she found out he had been cheating on her with several different women, some while she was in rehab and others more recently (one being another friend of ours). It killed me to see her go through that breakup. To be the one to console her about her cheating boyfriend, knowing I too had been part of the crime. Seeing the hurt she went through, knowing I had caused part of it, but not able to tell her or really even be there for her becasue of my own guilt. Wondering when he would break down and tell her the truth about us. The thought of losing my best friend was unbareable. But somehow she never found out. I supressed any memory I had left of that horrible night and tried to move on...and somehow we did. Time went by, I didn't think about it as much, we grew older, wiser, and closer. Sometimes it would pop into my consciousness at the mention of cheating or a trustworthy friend, but for the most part, I learned to deal with it by pretending it never happenned. Now, over 7 years later things started to change between us. We weren't hanging out like we used to, there was definately some sort of disconnection between us, but I couldn't figure out what. Then I got that call. She told me she had known for the last 2 months. Apparently, her ex had tried to get back into her life recently and wound up telling her the truth about him and I having sex 7 years ago. Unbelievably, she still wanted to save our friendship. She's an amazing person and somehow found it in her heart to "forgive" me and try to move with our friendship. But now I am having to cope with the pain of knowing I had caused her so much suffering. It was one thing to deal with it on my own, but the moment I found out she knew was like a knife right in my heart.


Answers


Thumbelina
1764 days ago
Hind sight is 20/20 as they say. What to do now is the question. I would think that what you should do it arrange a time when you and your friend can sit down, with no time limit, with no audience (a private setting) and tell her exactly what happened to the best of your memory. I think that you owe her that much. I am not saying that you are innocent in this but what you did say was he made the moves on you and you believe that you resisted at first. Alcohol makes people do stupid things. Was she in alcohol rehab? If she was, she knows that alcohol makes people do stupid things. Anyway, she has already said she wants to salvage the relationship. You've punished yourself enough. I think that you should be honest with her and tell her you saw her suffering so much with all the cheating that her boyfriend did which she knew about that telling her about what happened between her boyfriend and you would just be adding to her pain. Like I said, it doesn't let you off the hook. If it makes you feel any better, you were only one of many. But make sure she knows how you feel about it. She may want to stay friends with you but don't be surprised if it goes south. After everything is said and done, she may not be able to do it. Be prepared. But at least you won't be suffering with the secret anymore.



Chemar
1764 days ago
she sounds like a special kind of friend to still want to even try to salvage something of the close friendship you used to have.

I agree with Thumbelina that you need to have realistic expectations on this...nomatter how willing she may be to try to move past the betrayal, still she may not be able to, nor possibly you. Something will undoubtedly have changed.

yet maybe her realizing now what a rat her ex was with so many others, will help her forgive you for your part in it.

I really hope you both manage to get past this and become close friends again



remorseful
1763 days ago
Thank you for your kind answers, I really don't believe I deserve them, but thank you. I was really expecting to be torn down by these posts. We have had our "talk" the day she told me she knew, afterwards we went down to Atlantic City and had a great night out. We fell back into our old groove and it really felt like I had my best frriend back. We drank and laughed all night and froliced in the ocean....it was really one of the best times I've had, and she really looked happy too. Afterwards, I broke down again and felt like I just couldn't get over the remorse and guilt. I felt like I still needed to say so much to her, so I wrote her this letter....

I know on Saturday we said we would talk about what happened and then move on, but I feel there is a lot more I need to say. Though no words can ever describe how I really feel, or ever change what had happened, I need to get them out and at least try to attempt to show you the remorse I feel, so that maybe in time I can heal a little more too. Let me start by saying thank you for giving me a second chance. I know this was probably one of the most hurtful things you’ve ever experienced, it definitely was for me. I cannot tell you how sorry I am, to be the one to cause you so much pain. It hurts me so bad, that me of all people would be the one to cause you this type of suffering. It was one thing to live with this pain by myself. I learned to deal with it, by suppressing it, trying to pretend that it really never happened. You don’t know how hard I’ve tried to forget what I did. But it always haunted me, it would always come into conscious at every mention of friendship, cheating and other memories from our past. But the moment I found out you knew, was like a knife right in the heart. To know that you now had to deal with the pain of being betrayed by your best friend could have killed me right then and there. I’m the one that’s supposed to be there for you in your time of need, not the one causing your suffering. I even thought it might be good idea to just end it because I obviously didn’t deserve to be alive. But I know that is the easy way out, and a kind of way of thinking from my childhood that got me into this mess in the first place. I just can’t believe that I was capable of such a thing. You have no idea how much I loathed myself at that moment, and still now. I feel like the scum of the earth. I am so thankful that you are such a great person to even try to mend our friendship after such an atrocity. I just want you to know how much I’ve changed from the person I was at that time. Though I’m still dealing with my own demons, as we all do, I’ve come a long way from that pathetic excuse of a human being I was at that time. You probably know, better than anyone, what issues I’ve had with myself and guys in the past. As a kid and teenager, I had no self-respect. I let guys walk all over me because I thought I was ugly, and fat and not good enough for anyone to love. I longed for the affection of any guy that would look my way. I never even really had any boyfriends back then, just guys that used me for sex. I just let them use me and toss me to the side when they were done. Unfortunately, Joe was one of those guys who I let take advantage of me. I don’t want it to sound like I’m making any kind of an excuse, because I’m not, I just want you to remember a little of where I was coming from at that point in my life. But we are only human, and we make mistakes. Looking back, I made a lot in my teenage years. But this was by far, the worst. It’s really unfortunate that the decisions we make when we’re young and dumb can haunt us for the rest of our lives. But that’s a part of life and growing up. It’s how we grow and learn from our mistakes that is what’s really important and shows who we are today. I just hope you can realize how much I have changed and grown, and that you have been the one that has helped me become the person I am today. I couldn’t imagine how things would be if we were never friends. I value our friendship more than anything in the world. These last 2 days have been some of the hardest to get through, comparable to the pain I felt after breaking up with Hector. But it was worse, because I caused it. I’ve cried like I’ve never cried before. After we came home from AC, I tried to go on as normal, but I just couldn’t do it. I sat in front of my computer, trying to do school work, but it was all I could think about. Then the tears started again. I still hadn’t told Hector anything, so I went up into the attic, curled up in a ball and sobbed some more. But then I couldn’t stop. I felt so dirty and ashamed. Even though we talked about it, I still felt like I needed to confess this terrible sin to someone. So I went down and got Hector and told him everything. It just spilled out of me, and I talked and cried with him until I couldn’t breathe anymore. Later, by myself, as I reflected on everything, I realized he wasn’t the one who I had to confess to, it was you. So hear I am, pouring my heart out, asking you for forgiveness. I just hope in time we can both move past this, and continue our friendship & start making even greater memories in the future. I don’t know what I would do without you and hope you really can look past the bad decisions I made, though I will understand if you cannot. I’m sure things will never truly be the same, but I hope we can move on. Thank you for listening to me and always being there for me when I need it. I can only hope to prove to you that I will always do the same for you, and will never cause you this type of pain again. I am sincerely sorry for what I did and I don’t think there’s really much more I can say. If you ever need to talk about this again, I am here, and if it is easier for you to never mention it again, I will understand as well.

She responded by saying thank you, that I brought tears to her eyes, that she loves me and that we will always be best freinds. I can only hope she does really mean those words and that we both can truely move on now. I know only time will tell. But I've made my peace and now just need to learn to deal with the pain. I honestly don't see how it will ever go away, but if she can move past this, I know I can too. I think the pain of losing her as friend would be greater than the pain I feel right now, so I should be thankful. I just feel like there's something more I need to do or prove to her. But I don't think that's posssible. Hopefully in time the pain will subside and we can both move on with our lives together.



Thumbelina
1763 days ago
Sometimes, life is very hard work. Well done.



amyrose
1762 days ago
After I read this I thought - your friend seems ready to forgive and move on and she seems to have let go of any feeling of blame. You seem to be holding on - despite her feelings - to the guilt of an action that you took 7 years ago. For this reason, I don't really think this is entirely about your friend or your relationship with her, but with something inside yourself. It seems that the real person you betrayed was you - you acted against your own better judgement, and against the self you want to be - your "best self" some call it. Maybe you even doubt your ability to be a loyal and faithful friend because you have seen your "shadow side" and felt the pain of acting from that darker place, when your conscience catches up with you. My suggestion is to do something powerful and meaningful to help heal yourself - to make it clear that you are committed to acting in the world according to the golden rule, and to your own highest standards (and to forgiving YOURSELF, which you have not yet done). I suggest a ceremony - something that is meaningful to you - you can do this by yourself, or invite your friend. Maybe you want to light a candle and write out what you did that haunts you, and then burn the paper...maybe you want to give your friend a beautiful rose, and make a formal vow of friendship and loyalty to her, maybe you want to pour out a glass of beautiful, pure clear water and drink it, saying to yourself that you now forgive yourself and are washed clean. Maybe you want to burn some sage...or submerge in the ocean...or whatever works for you...But the point is, you need to look within for forgiveness, acceptance and love - and trust that you will not do this kind of thing again to someone you care about. Your friend has given you a second chance, now it is time for you to follow her example and do the same for yourself! Peace.



Thisisit
1762 days ago
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Thisisit
1762 days ago
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remorseful
1762 days ago
Thank you amyrose and I believe you are right. I’ve kind of came to the own conclusion on my own, but needed to hear it from someone else who doesn't know me (as my friends have told me the same thing, but I knew they were just being friends). I sort of did what you said, but in my own way. But maybe having an actual "ceremony" would be beneficial too. I realized there has been a lot about myself that I have always hated. I haven't owned up to some of my responsibilities and put a lot of things off in life because I felt I wasn't worth it. After another great night of spending time with my best friend (which let me say I am sooooooooo glad to have back!), I realized I needed to stop being so self-loathing and start righting some wrongs in my life. I went home and talked with my boyfriend of 6 years. I love him with all my heart, he is definitely my one and only and the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. I wanted to come home and talk to him about us both growing up a little more and start being more responsible (he's 30 and I'm 25). It wasn't suppose to be a major talk, I just wanted to start being a better person ( I felt I owed it to my best friend and also myself) and obviously wanted my boyfriend to be on the same page as me. As we began to talk, all of my emotions started pouring out. It all happened so fast I don’t even remember exactly what all was said or how we got to the subjects we did. I never really told him my “dark” past before him, as I was so ashamed. He’s got bits and pieces over the years, but I never spilled my guts so honestly to him than last night. I told him how much I didn’t respect myself in my younger years, and how I let every guy take advantage of me. I actually told him I would let guys use me for sex, then toss me to the side. I told him how up until I met him I never even had a real boyfriend, and in that moment I realized it was because he was the first guy that ever really gave me any ounce of respect back. As my words spilled out, I couldn’t stop, so I just kept going. I finally broke down and told him that I knew he was the one and only for me and that I needed to know NOW if he felt the same way. I asked him if he felt that he too that wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and marry me. I just felt like I needed to know where I stood with the 2 closest people in my life. I had already made my peace with my best friend, and now it was time to deal with him and where we were going. (As a back-story, please note we had been living together for over 3 years when I found him with other girls’ numbers, he denies to this day actually “cheating”, but afterwards he broke up with me because he just didn’t want to be with me anymore. He was confused at the time and couldn’t commit. There’s a lot more to that story, but don’t have the time to go into detail now. Anyway, we only were really broken up for a month or 2, and still spent a lot of time together and still had sex. During our separation I got pregnant with his child, it would have been our first. Even after getting me pregnant, he still refused to “be with me”, but stated he would always be there for me and the child. It was really one of the roughest and most stressful times of my life. I just couldn’t have a baby that way. A little more time passed, about 2 months, and we eventually decided to get back together. He said he could no longer deny the feelings he felt for me and really did want to be with me and start a family together. A week later I had a miscarriage and lost the baby. It was devastating. But I realized we really weren’t ready to have a baby and everything happens for a reason. If anything, the whole thing brought us closer together. So we’ve been together ever since, and things couldn’t be better. Every day we grow closer and closer. But I’m at the point now, that I need that confirmation of marriage to know he really does love me and will always be there for me…now back to the real story, sorry it’s so long!) And then there was silence. I couldn’t believe it. I had just poured my heart out to him and basically asked him if he would marry me, and he couldn’t say anything. He’s a very quiet person (as am I), and rarely let’s out his true feelings and emotions, so I knew I’d have to talk to him a little more to get anything out of him. He probably felt put on the spot and really wasn’t expecting a talk like this, so I gave him more time to think of what to say. As he stumbled to finally get some words out, he said exactly what I didn’t want to hear. “You know how much I care about you, but I just…I just don’t know…” How could he not know!?!?!? After 6 years, after everything we’ve gone through, how could he not know if he wanted to be with me forever? In that moment I knew it was over. If he didn’t know by now, he never would. My heart sank. I couldn’t look at him, I wouldn’t let him touch me, and I didn’t even hear what he said after that. My worse fears were confirmed. Then, in a sick sort of way, I felt happy. I was happy I got what was coming to me. The best punishment I could get for doing what I did to my friend would be to loose the one I loved. I felt like I deserved it. I went through every emotion possible at the point. I went from sad, to happy, to angry, to hurt. I screamed at him, “How could you, how could you do this to me again! I told you last time, if you didn’t want to really be with me (after we broke up the 1st time and got back together), don’t!! But whatever you do, please do not put me through the pain of loosing you a 2nd time!” I was trying to decide in my head where I would go that night to sleep. I needed to get away from him. As we both stood there crying, I finally started to actually listen to him. He kept saying “even if we wouldn’t be together, if something happened, I would still always want you in my life. I couldn’t imagine you not being in my life”. As we began to actually talk, I realized I’ve been misinterpreting him all of there years. He didn’t want to break up with me. He just couldn’t commit himself to getting married. He assumed maybe we wouldn’t always be together as a “couple” because things can happen, but he always wanted me in his life because he cared for me more than anyone in the world. I asked him why he assumed we wouldn’t “be together” and why he had such a negative view of marriage. To me marriage is the ultimate commitment to love. It shows to each other, and everyone else, how much you do really care for each other. It’s not a “shackle” or way to tie him down. And we’ve been together so long, what would even change? Nothing! We live together, play together, cry together and laugh together. I just didn’t see where he was coming rom. But he really couldn’t answer me though. He just said it was never a priority to him. Growing up, all he cared about was hanging out with his friends, and never really saw himself getting married. Not that he never would, but it just wasn’t something he thought about or made a priority. He told me isn’t the fact that we’re still together, and that I could see how much he really cared for me enough? But I still told him no (even though I do know deep down in my heart he does truly love me). I told him I needed that confirmation. I asked him if you really do care for me as much as you claim, wouldn’t you “marry” me just for the simple fact that you see how much it means to me? And he finally said yes. Not to marrying me, but that I was the one he saw in his future and that in time we probably could get married. We talked into the wee hours of the morning. We talked about everything, kids, us, just everything. It was honestly the best talk we’ve ever had. I can only hope he now takes the time to reflect himself. I hope he can come to terms with the problems he has with commitment, and eventually fully give himself to me, and one day soon we will get married. I only hope that I am not getting my hopes up to be eventually let down by him again. I guess only time will tell, but haven’t I waited long enough? Maybe I’m rushing things and with everything that’s happened recently, I’m putting too much pressure on him. I’m trying not to, because I don’t wan t be that girl and I only want him to marry me if he truly does, but seriously how long is long enough? I don’t know, sorry for this long, drawn out story. I think I really got off topic here. Basically, I just feel everything that’s happened lately has really opened my eyes to some things and I just feel like I need to know where I stand. Thanks for listening.



Clyde
1749 days ago
I think you really still need to talk it out with her and explain things...if you keep worrying about it, maybe you have more you want to say?

Best,

Clyde