I’m Worried He’ll Find Out I Talked To A Former Friend

Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day. Those of you who get the newsletter – it’ll be in your inbox soon with some event opportunities. If you don’t get the Love Letters newsletter yet, sign up here. More importantly: Feeling weird about a relationship issue (or lack thereof) today? What’s your relationship/marriage/dating/cheating/snooping question? Today’s the day to send a letter. We’re at [email protected] or fill out this form.


Dear Meredith,

I’ll just cut to the chase. I love my boyfriend loads. He has definitely brought some positive change into my life and I’m grateful. The only thing is that he doesn’t want me to have male friends. He says males and females can never be friends and that males just want to get in my pants and they’re always waiting for an opportunity to do such. He also says he should be my only male friend because I might get close to the other males.

Because I love him and accepted that the condition came with him, I ghosted all my male friends (none of that felt good). But I couldn’t help but feel guilty and ashamed of what I did to one male friend whom I know was a genuine friend. I’d wake up feeling sad and I missed our friendship (I was genuinely torn over that friendship breakup), so I texted him yesterday to apologize. He accepted my apology because he believes “two wrongs don’t make a right.” I am grateful I was able to apologize to an old friend and make things kind of right before it was too late.

The problem is my boyfriend is not aware I did that, and I’m scared he’ll leave me for reconciling with a male friend when I tell him. What should I do? Your advice would really be appreciated.

– Stuck in the middle


Drop the boyfriend. Make plans to break up with him as soon as possible. Grieve the relationship – with support from any friend you want – and move on.

Look, I wrote a few versions of this response. Some have me saying “we all have different boundaries, and we can choose the rules we’re comfortable with” when it comes to partnership. But this particular rule – the one your boyfriend maintains because of his own discomfort – is controlling and bad for you.

Your boyfriend says he’s your friend? Well, good friends don’t stop loved ones from having other positive relationships.

You have a bunch of bad feelings about all of this, and they all go back to an incompatibility that isn’t going to change. What happens when someone new (a man) is nice to you at work? What will you do if you want to join a club where men are present? What happens if/when your boyfriend’s rules change and become more limiting?

You signed up for this knowing it was a dealbreaker for him, but you didn’t promise forever. If you’re panicking about delivering an apology – one that made you feel like a better person – you need to make a change. I’m sure you do love your boyfriend a lot, but that doesn’t make him the right partner.

I’m sorry I can’t give you any other magic solution. If you have to end good friendships for love, something is wrong.

– Meredith

Readers? Any other path here? Should the LW disclose the apology exchange and see what happens?

Love Letters

What’s your love and relationship problem?

Ask Meredith at Love Letters. Yes, it’s anonymous.

About Love Letters