Dear Cynthia,Hey! Hopefully you can share some friendly wisdom to a girl who needs it badly! I was attending my best friend’s birthday party the other night with all my girls. The night was going well, cake, champagne, VIP table with the people who mean the world to me. I was just getting out of a bad breakup so I needed this night out badly. I guess you can say I was feeling a bit down and insecure but it was my friend’s b-day so I didn’t want to ruin it and make it about me.The bottles kept coming in and I was doing way more shots than my usual two. We decided to head back around 2-3am but the night is still very blurry to me. We kept the party going at her house and her boyfriend let’s name him “Josh” joined us as well. My friend soon passed out on the couch while we danced in her living room by the fire. Next thing I know we were french kissing on the kitchen counter and the last thing I remember is him pulling out and both of us frantically putting our clothes back on! I had so many feelings and thoughts crossing through my mind but I regret not stopping it. I feel so guilty and I know this will break her heart. I promised Josh not to say anything — he says that I will be ruining two relationships and everything will be destroyed.Is he right or should I confess to clear my guilty conscience?
Dear Vulnerable Vivian:
This is one helluva tricky situation, girl. And it doesn’t seem like there’s any time for bullshit, either, so let’s just jump right into solving this mess. Look it, if you tell your best friend about your drunken kitchen sex with her boyfriend, you risk losing your best friend forever because the news is going to crush her. The good news for you, your conscience will then be clean. And then if you don’t tell her, the two of you will remain friends as you’ve always been, which is the good side to this, but then you have to learn to deal with this plaguing guilt forever (while keeping your fingers crossed that this boyfriend Josh character keeps his mouth shut, too). Either way, it’s going to feel like shit because something happened that shouldn’t have happened (regardless of your fragile emotional state and all the alcohol involved), and now somebody has to pay for the damage done. So, who’s it gonna be?
Best Friend vs. Boyfriend vs. You, My Friend
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Viv, but sometimes you just have to spare the people you love pain from the terrible mistakes you’ve made—even if you didn’t mean for them to happen. Telling her will only make you feel better. Because not only will it cause your friend an immense amount of pain, but she’ll then have to deal with losing two very important people in her life: her best friend and her boyfriend. You made the mistake and now the guilt is something you’re unfortunately going to have to live with. Now is the time to step up to the situation and just keep quiet.
Try not to murder yourself over what happened, either. Reflect on it. Learn from it. And don’t let it happen again. Remember: Emotions and alcohol never mix well. Add a dick to the equation and it’ll turn into an even bigger mess. It always does. Every time. So if you find yourself feeling that vulnerable again, whether it’s because of a bad breakup or you’re depressed or whatever the reason may be, it’s a much safer bet to stay home and deal with it, rather than risk putting yourself in that kind of situation ever again. And if you really can’t stand to be alone because your fragile state is too great to bear, then go to some dark bar on the other side of town and find some other person’s boyfriend Josh to fulfill your needs. That way you can get what you want and nobody you know has to get hurt in the process. Nobody you know, anyway.
I know it’s a lot to deal with. Guilt feels like someone just punched you in the stomach. And you’re probably so nervous that Josh at any time might accidentally reveal the awful truth. And then on top of that you have to act your ass off every time you’re with your best friend and/or her boyfriend like everything is totally fine. But, like I said before, it happened, you did it, and now you just have to deal.
A lot of people might throw fire at this, since honesty is supposed to be the best policy these days, but sometimes we just have to deal with the anguish of our own decisions and allow the people we know in our lives who are happy to stay that way. Good luck.
Do you need some advice from resident expert Cynthia Bonitz? Submit your questions via the Contact Us form for the chance to be featured in our “Ask Cynthia” expert advice column! All names will be changed for anonymity.