We Still Feel Guilty

Looking for some good letters. 


Hi Meredith!

One of my friend’s boyfriends was interested in me. I knew my friend loved him very much but that it wasn’t reciprocated.

Idiot me … I thought if I kept talking to him and socializing, their relationship would survive. I didn’t want to be the cause of her misery. But as time went by, I saw that her boyfriend really loved me. I also started becoming attracted to him. But I had promised myself that I would never tell this to anyone, not even him, because that would ruin everything. But he could tell.

For some time, there was bad tension among the three of us. His feelings for me started getting pretty obvious. I would tell everyone, including my friend, that there was nothing going on. This went on for a while.

One day, he broke up with her. I didn’t want him to. But … then he and I started our relationship. It’s been two years now and we can’t move past the guilt. I know my friend still hates us. We talk about it every day. We love each other, but we feel like we are very bad people for having done this to a friend. We have lost most of our friends because they don’t approve of our relationship. Sometimes I feel like walking away from everything – him and all of the people who haven’t supported us. Will this relationship ever feel okay? Please help.

– Sorry


It’s true – you did a bad thing to a friend. The entire love triangle was mishandled, and your denial of your feelings only made things worse.

But … you learned some lessons, right? And now it’s two years later. People have moved on (I hope) and have started making choices that have nothing to do with you.

It’s important to know that circles of friends change over time, even without conflict. Do not assume that your entire community was altered forever because of these specific relationship mistakes. Your community was going to evolve no matter what.

It does sound like it’s time for you and your boyfriend to find some new social situations so that you can be a regular couple making friends – as opposed to “that couple who betrayed your close friend two years ago.” Make some new memories with people who aren’t as focused on your origin story. Let it become less important over time.

For the record, you don’t need your former friend’s forgiveness to move on. You just have to promise yourself that you’ll do better – and then follow through.

– Meredith

Readers? Should there be so much guilt?

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