How to avoid making a bad situation even worse
October 26, 2009 10:47 AM Subscribe
How do I navigate this situation without tears or fist-fights?
posted by anonymous to human relations (17 answers total)
Three years ago I deeply upset a friend. I started dating her ex-boyfriend, who was also father to her two-year-old twin boys. They had been apart about six months before we got together. Initially, before he and I were officially together, I lied a couple of times about our sexual relations to spare my friend's feelings. When we decided to 'come out' as an item I told her at once. It did not go well - tears, threats of violence. I haven't seen her since. For the record, I have never done anything like this before, nor am I likely to again. I have learned a lot and grown a lot.
The relationship lasted a year, then fell apart on pretty acrimonious terms. He and I are no longer speaking, FWIW
So, big mess. The thing is, all of us have mutual friends. I have asked them not to feel they have to tiptoe around the situation. It is getting increasingly likely that I will bump into my former friend at a party, or wedding, or similar.
The question is - when this happens how should I behave? Should I pretend nothing happened? (this seems callous and weird). Should I apologize? (seems too little too late at this point). We are all in our late-20s, so supposedly grown-ups. What’s the right thing to do? I feel massively guilty I upset my friend, I miss her friendship, I’m nervous about seeing her, but I don’t feel guilty about the relationship. Our feelings were real, if ill-advised.
All advice gratefully received. I'd appreciate specifics on what to say and how to behave.