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You Asked: Am I Overreacting?

Dear Sugar,

A few years ago I fell for my very best friend. We began dating, and not a week later, a serious crisis occurred in my family and I told him I could not start a relationship under such circumstances. We went our separate ways, and he was very bitter towards me for a while. He immediately began dating a girl, wound up getting her pregnant, and now they are married. Although our friendship suffered serious blows, he will always be someone very dear to me. On occasion we've run into each other at parties, and it's like nothing changed, until a few months ago.

One night we both had a number of cocktails in us and began discussing the unfortunate turn our relationship took. The conversation ended when he grabbed my face and kissed me. Since then, he has contacted me a few times online, asking to hang out. Generally I've ignored these messages, but now he is texting and calling more frequently, asking to just spend a little time with me and talk. I'm not sure how to handle this situation. Spending time alone with a married man with whom I have a past seems inappropriate. I've already caused him to cross the line once, and I refuse to be a part of such a thing again.

All I can think about are his wife and her child, and how this would make me feel if I were in her shoes. Am I overthinking his request? If not, is there a way to handle this without causing any more damage to the memory of our friendship or his marriage?

— Fraught Friendship Fima

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Fraught Friendship Fima,

Wow, this is certainly a complicated situation to find yourself in, although the combination of friendship and more-than-friendly feelings is rarely anything less than complicated. In this case, I think your instincts are absolutely right. The kiss alone was inappropriate enough, but engaging in any other alone time at this point is putting yourself at risk; you don't want to end up in the middle of something you never intended to be a part of. And while it's certainly possible he just wants to get together and talk, it's obvious his feelings for you run far deeper than friendship. He's looking for some kind of satisfaction or closure that he's just not going to get while he's still married.

As hard as it may be, you need to stay away from him. If he persists, clearly state your unwillingness to participate in any questionable behavior. No matter how much he begs or pleads, avoid his attempts to make contact. As far as maintaining a friendship, at this point it doesn't seem possible, does it? The more distance you create, the more likely he is to move on. If he decides to leave his wife and start anew, let that be his choice alone.


Join The Conversation
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
of course it's easier said than done but i agree with the advice - you need to keep your distance and wait for him to really sort out his life before you take any action. since there is a family involved - even if he doesn't want to be in that family - he needs to make that decision and act on it - i.e. separate and get a divorce and understand the reprocussions of that before you get back into anything with him. a lot of people say that they are miserable in their relationships - that they are married and have a kid and it's all mundane and they wish that they had a different life. it's not your role in life to be his diversion - if he wants out - then he needs to get out on his own, and then - and only then should you consider getting involved. it's not because of anything more than timing when you guys broke up to keep you from being with him, and maybe in a different place and time things would be right - but until that's probably smart for you to walk away.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
If it were me I'd agree to meet him in a public place and discuss things. That way he's not going to make a move but you can still find out what he has to say.
thelorax thelorax 8 years
Applause for marttina, and for you too Fima, for having and listening to your conscience and for THINKING this through! Clearly, you already know that your friendship will never be the same again, and it wouldn't be fair to you or to his wife and child to pretend that pursuing this friendship would be a good idea.
bluestar bluestar 8 years
Text him to stop contacting you and start ignoring him! He knows what he's doing is stupid, he doesn't need an explaination. Jesus. I don't care how good of friends you were before, you already crossed a line, now leave it alone!
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
Dinner is a date with a married man. Send him an email or text and tell him you refuse to be his 'other' woman. You're debating because a part of you wants him to leave her for you because you don't think you'll become the wife he's cheating on. Wrong. End it.
AutumnM AutumnM 8 years
this one is hard...well what i would do would talk with him over dinner and explain to him that you do not want to get in a relationship with him.
Lele777 Lele777 8 years
I definitely agree with lickety split. And yes...thank god there are still girls out there with self respect!
omilawd omilawd 8 years
Good, you're putting yourself in his wife's shoes. And I'm sure after doing that, you realized that if you were with him, a child in your arms and a ring on your finger, that you wouldn't want him going around his ex. It's unfortunate, but I'd leave him be for a while. He sounds like he needs to get some things sorted out, and that's not going to happen for a looooong time, if at all. I know you're friends, but if you continue anything, I can almost guarantee that would ruin his marriage and your friendship.
looseseal looseseal 8 years
Dear's advice is right on the money, and I, too, salute you for having a sense of right and wrong. I gotta say, even if I liked a guy before, coming onto me while he's married and have a kid would be a permanent turn-off. You dodged a bullet here, a woman like you deserve much better than this guy. To think, if you stayed with him, that would have been you in his wife's position eventually. Bullet well dodged.
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
I think it's sad that you guys didn't work out and clearly you used to have very strong feelings for eachother (and he probably still does), but you have to make it clear to him that you guys kind of had your day in the sun, and now the past is the past.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
Well done OP!! We all salute you for having morals!! I've been sick of hearing about cheating women recently on here. :) You need to stay away from your best friend until he gets a clue. Is he unhappy in his marriage? He does have a child with her and if he's married her then something must be right. I guess when he goes home he gets greeted with PMS in a dressing gown that has saggy boobs from breastfeeding so I guess it's no wonder a man who wasn't ready to settle down is now straying... However, if he doesn't stray with you then he will with somebody else so you need to be very clear in your "break up" with him that his behaviour is unacceptable and he needs to grow up for his family and settle down as he has promised he would to his wife.
cowgirlredd cowgirlredd 8 years
i think it is important to point out that OP, you did not 'cause him to cross the line' once - he chose to cross it himself. it may seem confusing since you were involved, but it sounds like he surprised you with that kiss, and it needs to be made clear that HE chose to kiss you. it is very mature and centered of you to give this the depth of thought you have. it will be hard to watch him hurt, but you have got to leave this one alone. it is not the time to try to tie up loose ends.
piksie007 piksie007 8 years
marttina, the close the legs comment was a bit harsh haha! but i agree wholeheartedly with the underlying sentiment. lickety split summed it up: BAD ENDING written all over this situation..
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
Absolutely not. His remorse will become your undoing. Let him go for once and for all now. Change numbers, whatever it takes. Or he's going to use you. He obviously didn't love you when you needed him and he doesn't now. She's 'getting on his nerves' with her demands now that playing house isn't fun anymore. Run, don't walk away!
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
this has BAD ENDING written all over it. i'd tell him just what you said here, you aren't comfortable with the situation and wish him well. danger will robinson!
ajennilynrushhh ajennilynrushhh 8 years
I agree with the others and Dear. Yay, you have a conscience. You know what's right and what's wrong! But anyway, you should keep your distant from him. I bet if you do end up being alone with him again, he'd probably just make another move. So just go out and make new friends. You don't need that drama, it'll just be one crazy love triangle.
beautiful-disaster beautiful-disaster 8 years
i agree marttina. its so nice to see there are still people out there who have a conscience. in no way should you continue to see him, since its obvious that he is "confused". from what youve written i can guess he probably just got married because he felt like it was the right thing to do. had he not gotten her pregnant they most likely wouldnt be where they are today. i totally agree with what marttina has said. there are so many women out there saying should i leave my boyfriend for the guy im seeing who is married?? common ladies, what if you were the wife? how crushed would you be if your husband or even boyfriend did that to you? you woulndt like it, so dont partake in this sort of behavior. lets all try to treat others (even those we dont know directly, the way we would want to be treated and hey.. if he did it to her, hell probably do it to you.
marttina marttina 8 years
FINALLY we hear from an ex-girlfriend with a conscience, who does not want to start an affair and destroy a family in the process. Dear Sugar has been deluged by mistresses lately and it's been annoying. OP, this "friend" clearly wants an affair but I'd bet 100 bucks that he wouldn't leave his wife for you. Don't take it personally, it's just the way these things work. Make new friends with whom you don't have this kind of baggage. You'll live just fine without this guy in your life. Sorry to rant, but ladies, can we please close our legs, stop the impulsive behavior, act with dignity and class, and most importantly, just think about what we're doing?? Can we please open our hearts and just treat others the way that we want to be treated? Get we just rid of these two-timing exes who want to have their cake and eat it too, and stop getting sucked into their drama and lies???
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