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I slept with my best friend

(38 Posts)
SailOnSilverGirl Mon 26-Aug-13 15:07:39

Warning - Longer than I planned, I understand if you don't read it/skim it. I probably would ;(

Hi Mumsnet - I have been lurking here unregistered for about a year now, mostly in Relationships & AIBU. I'm a mid-20s male and have found this forum to be a real eye-opener and I have learnt a lot. I have been an active forum poster since the mid-90s when I was a wee lad and most of the internet is male-heavy, so reading the views of so many women has been a source of much fascination. Anyway, to the topic at hand:

Went to the pub last night, met up with my best female friend and a few others. She has a boyfriend who she lives with. He was away all weekend. Me & my friend got quite drunk and left to go back to hers for a spliff (no drug lectures please, this isn't the place and I'm a toxicologist and was a hard drug user until 3 years ago so I know exactly what I'm doing to myself). We walked past another pub, could hear a band playing, went in on the fly, we were dancing, having great fun (we are really good friends). It was so spontaneous which isn't my forte. Then we were touching, it all felt so right, we kissed. Went back to her house, just chatted in the garden looking at the stars (actually mostly clouds) for ages...We had sex, chatted more after, I woke up at hers today (I did migrate from the bed to the sofa at some point cos she was out like a light, I had no room, didn't want to wake her and my mind was racing, couldn't sleep). This morning wasn't awkward, we were going to go for a day trip today (this was planned before yesterday) but she sacked it off because she is too hungover. She didn't seem too bad when I left, so maybe she just wants some space, I don't know. To be honest, I'm slightly relieved because my head is swirling and it ain't the hangover.

I don't really know if I have a specific question here, I just like getting my feelings on paper, it's extremely cathartic. I guess my problem is that I don't know what I want here. I like my friend a lot and there has always been a spark there, back when we first met in our late-teens our friends always used to tease us about our dynamic, made it awkward by saying we fancied each other all the time. I do find her attractive, body and mind. However, she has got a boyfriend, I know him (I like him well enough) and I have some serious intimacy issues of my own. I am in my mid-20s and have never been in a single relationship...nada, nothing, plenty of casual sex and one-night stands but nothing more. In fact I have nearly posted here before asking if MN saw this as a red flag. I have massive anxiety issues about it, I have low self-esteem and I am wracked with thoughts that I have been a 'bachelor' so long that I have no understanding of relationships & love. Intimacy makes me nervous, and I don't know if I can completely open up to anyone, I always hold a part of myself back. I'm scared that I have never loved, and I have developed a highly idealised notion of love (I blame Disney movies and cheesy love ballads) that I don't think reality can ever live up to. I sometimes think I should stay single my whole life because I can't live with hurting people.

This is all very fresh and perhaps I should have waited for what the next week holds before I posted. I feel quite bad. Maybe I shouldn't have gone with it last night, it takes two to tango but I could have stopped it, I should have stopped it as soon as our lips touched. She told me she was sexually unsatisfied in her relationship. I hadn't had sex for over a year. I was weak, but hell, I just want someone to hold just like everyone else. The two women I have fallen for in the last five years both rejected me and I'm depressed about it.

She is the one with the boyfriend and a big part of me feels that what happens next depends on her. However, I have some major issues in my mind relating to taking responsibility. I have a lot of regrets about not taking responsibility in my life in the past. My dad died unexpectedly when I was 17 and when my mum & sister needed me to be a man, to be strong, to be there for them, I couldn't do it. I withdrew for a year, they got addicted to anti-depressants (I don't believe in them). When they needed me to take responsibility I failed them, and I am racked with guilt about it. Maybe that's another issue altogether. I never took responsibility for my drug use (well I did eventually), I'm a very smart guy (we all have our pride, that's mine and I truly believe it), I was a 'gifted' child, but have insulted my intelligence, my gift, with the way I have lived and underachieved.

A year ago I became determined to always take responsibility for the rest of my life, to be Atlas. This morning my friend said things like 'you must think I'm a total slut' (No) and 'this was my decision' (No). I just hugged her, she had a bit of a cry, I tried to re-assure without being preachy. I really really don't want for this to all land on her, as I said it takes two to tango. Maybe she feels like crap for sleeping with me, but I can't feel crap for sleeping with her in all honesty, I enjoyed the intimacy, and for the first I time in my life I got to lie there and hold someone I care about.

As I said, this was mostly catharsis and I have talked about some stuff I had no intention of bringing up...I should probably pose some sort of question. If you think I'm a bastard for sleeping with someone in a relationship, feel free to tell me, I'm almost impossible to offend. I just need to chill out a bit maybe? Give my friend some space and let her be. However like I said I find that hard because I feel it is shovelling all the responsibility on her. I'm confused. If when I next see her we can?t keep our hands off each other and she wants me I highly doubt I will be able to stop. I really need to calm down I think.

If you have read all 1000+ words of this, you're a saint and I thank you. I feel a bit better now anyway. Normally my mum is my rock but I won?t talk to her about matters of intimacy, and the friends I might get advice from all know me & her so that's a no go. I couldn't keep this inside.

CleverWittyUsername Mon 26-Aug-13 15:25:06

If you are determined to take responsibility then wouldn't you be best off just being straight with her? So tell her how you feel, ask where her head is currently, and ask how she sees this panning out.

PAsSweetOrangeLurve Mon 26-Aug-13 15:27:31

Quick fire question - what's your instinctive first answer:

Do you want a relationship with her?

something2say Mon 26-Aug-13 15:29:40

Hello my dear. I read all that.

This is my advice.

Re your friend, see what happens next. But it's not good that you betrayed her partner. Also consider why you call someone a friend when you fancy them. That is a boundary issue.

Re the rest of what you write, you have answered all of your own qs. Scan your OP again and jot down the things you say you need to do. You se only young. Now is the time to say, hold on a sec, what am I doing here? Do I like the life that I am creating? You have written down several things you need to do.

In self esteem, can you start daily self esteem work. And I do mean daily. Don't just know you have a problem and then do nothing about it. You'll be cool man xxx

Cailinsalach Mon 26-Aug-13 15:31:02

Hi OP.
I agree with you that if this relationship is to proceed it will be down to her. Do you want it to develop? If you do would you consider telling her but maybe back off a little to give her the space to end her current relationship?
It does sound like the two of you have a deeper vonnection than just friendship.

SailOnSilverGirl Mon 26-Aug-13 15:32:08

@SweetOrange

Okay, this is 10 seconds after I have read your post and my instinctive answer is No. I don't want a relationship with anyone because I think I would be crap at it, I am too narcissistic and should protect other people from myself because it will only hurt in the long run.

Cailinsalach Mon 26-Aug-13 15:33:07

Connection.
(Sorry I occasionally use Klingon when under pressure. ...)

SailOnSilverGirl Mon 26-Aug-13 15:46:08

@CleverWittyUsername

It's good advice, I should be straight with her, its the respectful thing to do, but I don't know how I feel sad My instinct is to sleep on it and see how I feel when I wake up tomorrow.

@something2say

Thank you for reading. I have betrayed her partner. I don't know him that well, I don't think he is brilliant but he is decent company. I should feel bad about what I have done to him, end of.

'Do I like the life I am creating'

Interesting question, and my immediate answer is No. I am never satisfied and constantly second guess my decisions and actions. Maybe I should slow down and take stock of my life.

loopylou6 Mon 26-Aug-13 16:00:39

Hey smile

You obviously know you have real self esteem issues, you really need to work through these asap. For what it's worth, I think you sound absolutely lovely, Altho I DO NOT condone what you have done with regards to your friends partner, and it must not happen again whilst she is still in that relationship.

I think you could benefit from some counseling, you need to learn your self worth, you put yourself down a lot and this is not good.

I think it's time for a very honest conversation between you and your friend, I agree with a previous poster who said it sounds like you have a bond which could be more than just friendship.

PAsSweetOrangeLurve Mon 26-Aug-13 16:08:38

OK then you don't pursue a relationship with her, but you need to make sure that this doesn't happen again - unless she splits with her fella and happy with a FWB scenario. FWIW I think you are selling yourself short - half the battle of personality issues is recognising you have them. Don't cut yourself off from something and assume that you have to be alone forever.

Portofino Mon 26-Aug-13 16:21:02

Are you connected to the Pirate invasion? Just wondering like?

loopylou6 Mon 26-Aug-13 16:22:24

Eh? am I missing something porto?

SailOnSilverGirl Mon 26-Aug-13 16:34:31

@Portofino. That's gone right over my head sorry.

@loopylou6. I think you're right, I need to lay it out flat and have an honest conversation with her. The thought scares me. I am extremely comfortable about talking about my innermost feelings on paper, but face-to-face I never seem to be able to say what I want to, I get really really anxious and i always give a half-arsed performance compared to how I play it out in my mind beforehand. I'll try.

Vis a vi the various commments about self-esteem issues & counselling. As you have said, I am very much aware of my issues, but yes I find they paralyse me and I feel a lack of hope that they can be solved, so I don't try. I would never go to counselling in a million years. I have an extremely low opinion of psychiatry, or psychobabble as I like to call it. I think the human mind is far too complex to categorise, and all psychiatrists are interested in is labelling you and pushing drugs. I firmly believe that in their extremely black and white analysis of neuroses they actually do more harm than good. Only I can work through my issues.

antieverything Mon 26-Aug-13 16:55:01

I was in a similar situation (but from the other side) so I can only give you that perspective.

A while ago I had both a boyfriend and a "best" male friend. To be fair, my relationship with my boyfriend was crap at the time and I knew I was having feelings for the friend - and people had been asking since we met if we were a couple - at one point we started joking that yes we were having an affair.

To cut a long story short, we went out with some friends one night and had one of those magical fun spontaneous nights where everything connected perfectly and we were totally in sync and god it was perfect.

We didn't sleep together, but we could have done if we weren't so blind drunk by the end.

The next day we had a very grown up conversation in which I berated myself as a horrible person and the upshot was he left it to me to decide what to do - he didn't want to be "the other man" and that was fair enough. I suppose I partly wanted him to fight for me - stand up and say I love you, leave him, be with me! And I probably would have done... But he didn't, and I was left with it. And I kind of resented him for that, but looking back it was the right thing to do. I don't think starting a relationship under those circumstances would have meant it survived very long, and I can see that he didn't want to pressure me. I was way too confused and unhappy and the rest to be jumping into something new.

The end? I am still with the boyfriend. We bought a house together and plan to get married fairly soon. I no longer see the friend.

But it could have gone the other way. I didn't know myself what I wanted. But I did confess to the boyfriend, and I realised once and for all that it was him I really wanted after all. Who knows what your friend really thinks?

I can only say, looking back, that I am so grateful that the friend gave me the space to work it out, because it wasn't meant to be for us and I know now that I made the right decision. If your friend wants to talk, talk. If she doesn't, leave her to it and see what happens.

(The flipside of this is of course that I sound like a total using bitch retrospectively - I suppose it's worth mentioning that I did stay friends with the guy for a while, but then I moved away and we didn't see each other anywhere near as much, and the friendship just fizzled out. Plus I don't think my boyfriend was ecstatic about it and I felt I owed it to him to let it go and devote my energies to our relationship rather than saving that friendship).

I apologise for the epic. I really meant to say, you don't have to do anything. See what happens. You won't be being the bad guy. You sound a lot like my (ex) friend in fact. Don't feel bad. Don't beat yourself up. Just give it some space.

CatsAndTheirPizza Mon 26-Aug-13 17:01:33

Hmm - familiar writing style.

Snapespeare Mon 26-Aug-13 17:05:28

I used to think I should 'protect other people from myself', so relegated myself to the status of a fwb or 'bit of fun' then I realised that this isn't my decision to make on my own, that when I let my guard down, I not only allowed myself the possibility of being hurt, but also the possibility of being loved...& that's scary, but also awesome.

I agree that the ball is kind of in her court, as she is the one with the current relationship, but that you should also be honest about how you feel once you've worked that out! & dont panic or remove yourself or be unnecessarily quiet, because a prolonged lack of contact might help her feel that you are ignoring her, because you don't know what to do (arguably you don't, or you wouldn't be here) please don't help her think you're a fuck & run, even as 'just' a friend, she means more to you than that?

LoisPuddingLane Mon 26-Aug-13 21:42:53

OP, it may just be because you were disgorging all that stuff in one post, but your first post does come across as a little self-obsessed.

I would suggest stopping all the overthink. If you don't want a relationship with this lady - and you've said you don't - then hopefully you can still be friends.

By the way, on the subject of anti-depressants - I'm not sure what you mean by not believing in them. That sounds a bit Tom Cruise at his Cruisiest.

A lot of people with depression require them to address a chemical imbalance in the brain. I am one of them. It's not like fairies - they work whether you believe in them or not. It isn't a sign of weakness to take them if or when you might need them.

Portofino Mon 26-Aug-13 22:21:47

Great post Lois.

LoisPuddingLane Mon 26-Aug-13 22:28:33

Oh thanks. I thought I might get hissed for that!

internationallove985 Mon 26-Aug-13 22:49:52

Okay easy for me to say I'm not living your life or with with your thoughts, nor do I know your circumstances, but the bottom line is you had sex with someone (albeit) your best friend but it's hardly the end of the world. You can't go back and unsleep with this women so there's no point worrying. xx

VisualCharades Mon 26-Aug-13 22:57:24

Poor boyfriend concerned.
Atlas your turn of phrase is really cold..."I like him well enough"

SquidgyMummy Mon 26-Aug-13 23:06:12

I think the sleeping with your bf is a bit of a red herring.
Even if you did both eventually want to have a relationship, i think your head is not in the right place.

How long since your Dad died? Have you really grieved for him, or perhaps numbed it all with hard drugs / casual sex (summarizing your OP)
At 17, it was not your job to "man up".

I hear what you are saying about psychiatrists, but it doesn't have to be about pumping you full of drugs. I don't know enough about all the different types of therapy, but have had it on and off over the years and would best describe it (for me) as a safe place to say what you really need to express and also have a bit of breathing space / support / advice whilst you do whatever work is needed on yourself.

Lavenderhoney Mon 26-Aug-13 23:11:53

Would you want to be with her if she was single and you had slept with her?
Because it seems to me somewhere ( and correct me if i am wrong) you may be worrying if she splits with her bf for you, there is pressure for it work for ever, and that is no way to start a new relationship.

To protect yourself from any blame or fallout, emotionally, you could tell her you are not sorry you slept together, and you would like a relationship ( dating) with her, but not whilst she is with x. That's it. No calls, texts, secret meetings where you get messed up. And you can tell a close friend what happened, dont manage alone, there is no special prize for that.

If she decides to leave her bf, its for her well being, not into your flat and your life. That way you can date and stay together or split as a normal couple behave.

I don't think you need fixing btwsmile do you have any male friends who are mature and sensible enough to discuss this kind of stuff? Or a family member?

Also, and this I am aware sounds a bit boring, but do you see lots of different people in hobbies, work, and meet women naturally? Now might be the time to get out and start a new hobbysmile ( where you can meet other women, obviously)

LoisPuddingLane Mon 26-Aug-13 23:12:05

Also, you don't get addicted to anti-depressants. I was reading a passage about this yesterday. I'm going to bed now but I can find it tomorrow...

blueshoes Mon 26-Aug-13 23:34:11

OP, you sound somewhat dramatic. From what you describe, she did not take it that bad the next morning. The ball is definitely in her court whether she wants to tell her boyfriend or not or even whether she wants to develop things further.

Neither of you came out smelling of roses. It is both of your fault. I appreciate that you do not want all this to land on her but really, it was never her fault or your fault solely ever to begin with.

You just have to decide, if she wants to carry on with more of the same with you, whether you are going to draw your boundaries and say 'no' or give it a go and how both of you are going to square it with her boyfriend.

You need to get a clear head (no hangover shit) and first decide for yourself what YOU want. But please no martyr talk about protecting others from yourself. If you want something, you should go for it and do the right thing, that includes getting yourself sorted and in a better place. It is as you said about taking responsibility for yourself and those you love.

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