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Love Letters

What's the 'Girl Code' Thing to Do?


Q:

Hi Meredith,

Prior to this year, my two best friends were a couple. They were together for six years and all three of us were very close throughout (before you get all excited, let me clarify that this is not THAT kind of letter). Anyway, in the last year or two I think it was clear to everyone except the female half of this couple, who I've known since we were kids, that things were cooling down between them. It was like they were best friends more than a couple. So it only came as a shock to my friend when the male half broke things off. I was more surprised to hear that he planned to (almost immediately) move across the country for a job I didn't think he cared for.

Flash forward six months and my female best friend is on social media and discovers, in horrifying detail, that he's moved in with a new woman -- one he met here and moved across the country with. More and more terrible revelations followed, and it's now become clear that for a while, he was seriously dating both women. We were disgusted and my best friend is devastated. Worst part? He just moved back to our neck of the woods with this woman.

I don't know this other woman at all, but we have mutual friends who are positive that she has no idea that she was part of an affair. He told her that he had broken up with my best friend something like eight months before they actually did. This woman has moved across the country with my former best friend, and she doesn't have many friends in this area (she was a transplant), so she's sacrificed a lot for a relationship that she doesn't even fully comprehend. It enrages me that this guy, who I once really cared about, can get away with betraying two women at once with little to no consequences. No one seems willing to tell this woman anything, not even our mutual friends, because they don't want to rock the boat, and my best friend is too saddened and hurt by this all to want anything to do with this other woman or with him.

But there's a part of me that is dying to tell her -- maybe in a very polite letter. Part of me thinks it's not my place to interfere and possibly destroy someone else's relationship, but part of me feels like this is the right thing to do. But I also worry that I'd be doing this to punish my ex-best friend for not being the loving and good hearted guy we always thought he was, and it feels wrong to drag the other woman into my vendetta against him.

He's a coward, so I doubt talking to him and asking him to tell her would accomplish anything. Please help? Do I send a letter or butt out?

All the best,

– Struggling with the girl code in Oregon

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A: If you must write a letter, send it to your male ex-friend. You can tell him that you're hurt and furious, not because he broke up with your female friend and split up your little circle, but because he cheated and lied. You can explain that you wish that he had been forthright so that you could have kept him in your life.

Understand that he is dealing with consequences -- he lost you and his ex, who was his best friend. He might seem fine now, but that loss will hit him hard.

Forget about girl code and think about what you and your female friend need to do to heal. Even if this breakup had gone the way it was supposed to, you'd both be dealing with change and leaning to switch up your scenery. Start that process and focus less on comeuppance.

Readers? What is her role in this? Should she tell this woman that she was part of a cheat? Should she just let the friendship go?

– Meredith