I’m back! Remember me? Bad BFF? Well, quick update … I am engaged to the ex of my ex-BFF. Crazy how things work out, right? I hope all women learn a lesson from this: Never, ever pass up true love. Loyalty is essential but has its limits. I’m glad I was brave enough to make that move. Not many women are. My ex-BFF can’t help me build a family at the end of the day. The situation may have not been ideal, but we both did what needed to be done. My loyalty lies with the man I was blessed with. The intent was not to be shady, but life isn’t black and white. —S.B.
I love receiving updates from people who have written in for advice and taken it. Usually readers want me to know that the solution I offered worked in their favor and they have moved on from a situation that wasn’t fulfilling and now feel better, or they have worked out an issue with their partner and are back on steady ground. That makes me happy.
This update does not.
I recall your story well. You wrote in seven months ago to say that you’d slept with your best friend’s man and you felt very “guilty” when he proposed to her. Her would-be husband was walking around as if nothing had happened and showed no remorse. She, your friend of 17 years, seemed happy, and you were wondering if you should tell her at all, or maybe wait until she’d been married a few years and then spill. I encouraged you to actually be the friend you hadn’t been previously and to confess sooner rather than later.
That was a hard ask, since you would lose your friend, but you wrote back in to say that you did it. And I was very proud of you. You made an extremely bad choice in betraying your friend, but you did what was best for her—and you—on the back end. We all make bad choices, and we can all recover from them and become better people. I hoped that you were on your way to being a better woman and friend. This update lets me know that isn’t happening yet.
Comedian Chris Rock isn’t a relationship guru, but he has many classic jokes (in the form of astute observations) about relationships. A popular one is when he speaks of people in relationships who show off their partners because they are happy. He says, “If a guy introduces his boy to his new girlfriend, when they walk away, his boy goes, ‘Aww, she’s nice. I have to get me a girl like that.’ If a woman introduces her new man to her girlfriend, when they walk away, her girlfriend goes, ‘I got to get him … and I will slit that [woman’s] throat to do it.’”
Of course, that doesn’t apply to all women. Most women would not go after their friend’s man. But it does apply to some, and it does, unfortunately, apply here.
Your initial story and this update tell me that you have serious insecurity issues about your former best friend. You want to be her, and because you can’t be, you want to hurt her. Why else would you have sex with her fiance and then turn around months later and speak of marrying him?
Having her prize isn’t going to get you her life. And while you might feel that you’re winning and deluding yourself with romantic notions of fate and destiny, you are losing more than you know. The only person winning here is your former friend. She got rid of two untrustworthy people in one fell swoop. You’re dealing with her headache now.
This man to whom you’ve pledged your life, the one you call a “blessing”? He’s made that pledge before, to a woman he cheated on. And he walked around as if nothing was wrong and popped the question afterward as if everything was A-OK.
That’s the same man who was walking around, seemingly head over heels in love with someone else, just seven months ago, and now you’re planning to marry him because he’s supposedly totally into you. He didn’t miraculously become a better man because he found you. He’s the same person who can callously cheat and smile as if nothing’s wrong.
This is life, not a fairy tale. Frogs don’t suddenly become princes because they get kissed by the right woman. He isn’t a changed man already. The same sweet nothings that he sold her, he’s selling to you; and what he did to her, he will do to you—and much worse. You’ve shown that you will play in the dirt with him, and if you continue in this relationship, you are about to get dragged through it.
You want to win? Clean up this mess by leaving this man alone. Actually be brave and loyal instead of selfish and sneaky and trying to spin horrible decisions into romantic notions.
Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of the upcoming book Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at firstname.lastname@example.org.