Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
I have messed up with my friend(30 Posts)
I have a brilliant friend of 10 years. She is really kind, supportive etc etc. I am bi but never told her this and it didn't matter because both of us are in happy forever relationships and have kids.
Anyway a year or so ago I realised I was falling for her in more than a friendship way, it got really difficult for me to be with her so I started to distance myself a few months ago as much as I had really wanted to be with her.
Recently I am sure she has realised this and seems as though she might be hurt, a couple of comments about me having moved on or been bored of the friendship (said in a jokey way).
I don't think it would be right to explain why I have been distancing myself but also feel like she probably thinks I'm being a bitch.
Any advice would be great, I'm lost as to how to handle these things.
I think you've done the right thing in distancing yourself. Are those feelings still there?
I don't think you should tell her. It'd change things.
Thanks, the intensity has gone and I know it's the right thing not to say anything but I wish she didn't think I don't like her or want to spend time with her because it's not true.
I'm such an idiot!
Do you think you could be as close as you were without the feelings coming back?
If so, next time she makes a comment, just say "sorry I had some stuff going on but it's all sorted now".
It's not a lie and she'll never know the reason.
You're not an idiot. You can't help how you feel.
What is to stop the feelings from returning if you become closer friends again?
I agree you shouldn't tell her about your feelings. If a friend told me their feelings had developed into more than friendship, I think I'd feel incredibly awkward and embarrassed.
What about your "happy forever relationship"? It must have been affected by this. Have you just continued with it and are just pretending that you didn't fall for someone else? Is that fair on them?
If you were a man you would probably be advised to stay away from her because she already has a partner and children with them but I'm pretty sure double standards will be applied here.
I don't think we could be that close again without the feelings coming back but I don't know until I try I suppose.
I did end up in the pub with her a few months back being all cryptic about what was wrong which just made me feel silly because I always tell her what's going on in my life and I couldn't.
Yes you are right our forever relationship was suffering and possibly as a result of this but perhaps the relationship was having trouble first, I don't know.
We had counselling and we are back on track now. I'm just trying to get back a friendship which I wish could be normal.
Whilst you may or may not want to tell her the truth, I think you will need to tell her something, otherwise she may think the worst.
You could tell her a white lie ( problems at home / work /family- that you needed to deal with)
that you had other concerns and you will share these at a later date but just wanted to forget it for now
Or you could just tell her the truth and see what that brings.
Its so difficult, but potentially you may have lost what you had already anyway.
Thanks for the input.
I was just thinking about composing a text to say sorry if I've been a bit distant or whatever but it felt a bit odd. I then thought maybe it's just better to not say anything at all and just carry on and make more of an effort like I used to?
I don't want to make things awkward.
I don't think you will like my advice, but I am very much in the "the truth will set you free" camp. It sounds like you have distanced yourself anyway, at least she will know why and not questioning whether she did anything wrong.
Hmm yes but as PP said, it would make them feel awkward and embarrassed and I'm not sure what good would come of it.
Maybe...but I think it depends how you phrase it. You could say that first of all you have never told her but you are bisexual. You arent sure if it is because you had not told her that you are bisexual(when you were clearly very close and shared lots of things) that it was playing on your mind or if you felt your feelings were blurring between friendship and deeper feelings for her. You needed to give yourself some space and distance as obviously both in relationships and you did not want your own confused feelings to damage your friendship forever?
Or something more eloquent. But it is honest and if she is a really good friend, she might feel a bit awkward initially, but I think will respect you for being so open. I would.
If you are sexually attracted to her, I don’t think your friendship can go back to what it was. It’s not fair to either her or your partner to pursue a close friendship under these circumstances, and will be awful for you. Clean break, is my advice, and tell her why. If you cut her off without explanation, she’ll be hurt. If you explain, she’ll be sad but understand.
Your 'brilliant friend' of 10 years standing must be feeling incredibly hurt that you've distanced yourself without explanation.
I suggest you tell her that you've been having problems in your 'forever relationship' and have been preoccupied/haven't wanted to burden her and see if you can resume your friendship without lusting after her.
In a way I can't see the problem. I have sometimes been attracted to the point of infatuation to men who are gay but, as there's no hope of
hot sex my fantasies coming true, I adjust my feelings accordingly and attach 'if only' labels to the objects of my lust.
Are you able to do that?
Tell her. I'd want to know. If she's a true friend, she will understand.
I would be inclined to tell her of your feelings. At least she'll know why you've distanced yourself and won't be forever wondering what she did wrong. She may feel awkward, she may not want to continue the close friendship, or she may be flattered and cool about the whole thing.
I would not leave it. If your friend mentioned it to you, even jokingly, then she is worth an explanation. Tell her that you know you haven’t been such a good friend lately and that you are sorry for it, but you need to deal with something on your own. If she really wants to know you will tell her the reason one day(when the feelings have gone).Only if she insists for you to tell her there and then make her aware that things could dramatically change between you too.
our forever relationship was suffering and possibly as a result of this but perhaps the relationship was having trouble first
It seems more likely that your relationship was going through a rough patch first. Your friend was sympathetic/empathetic and you transferred feelings you should have for your oh to her.
It's not uncommon for those who are struggling in relationships to look outside to take their minds off what they should be focused on, and it would appear you honed in on a friend of long standing by way of distraction.
As you've said, 'the intensity has gone' and I very much doubt that this is coincidental as you have also said that your 'forever relationship' is back on track.
In this instance I do not believe that 'the truth will set you free' as it could be excruciatingly embarrassing for your friend if you tell her of the feelings you've had for her. Revealing the fact that you are bi is one thing; letting her know you've been fantasising/lusting after her is another ball game - and it's one where you could find she distances herself from you.
As I see it, the only way you could do it is to tell her you were experiencing problems in your relationship that you didn't feel able to confide in any one and part of the problem was due to you being bi, a fact that you haven't hitherto revealed to her as you were scared she might reject you/your friendship.
You could describe this period as wrestling with your inner demons which is why you distanced yourself for a while and could then go on to say 'jeez at one point I thought I fancied you' in a lighthearted/joking manner so that, having just been told you're bi, she's reassured that you won't be making a move on her.
However, overall I would advise silence. Apologise to your friend for distancing yourself, promise it won't happen again, stick an 'if only' label on your feelings for her, and resume your friendship.
I think you should tell her actually. Losing a very good friendship can be very damaging and people can be left feeling like they’re not good enough it eindering what they did wrong.
If it was me I’d far rather know the truth & not lose a good friend
@DonKeyshot that is incredible advice, I really appreciate that so much. Sometimes it is hard to see what is going on yourself but I think you have hit the nail on the head. Perhaps I fell in love with her listening and being so kind when my relationship was difficult. I might be able to say some of the things you suggest, currently it has become quite awkward as I know she is hurt and I don't know how to make it all okay. Thank you
Incredibly you say that but would you still want to be that persons friend?
Would it bother you? This is what I feel unsure about especially after PP said they would feel awkward and embarrassed.
Thanks forever, I am really torn as I don't know how she would react at all , on the surface I know she would be cool about it but then on another level I'm not sure
Having been the friend that the other had feelings for I am in the camp of tell her.
My friend told me she was bi (she's since come out as lesbian, not that it matters!) And that she had feelings for me. 15years later we are still great friends. It made no difference to how I felt for her as a friend and she knows I don't think of her in any sexual way. I think the honesty made our friendship stronger.
I agree with Lex234 - be honest, if you can do so carefully.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.