Dear Em & Lo: Help, My Friend Is Sleeping with My Ex!

Dear Em & Lo,

I am so confused and upset. I recently found that my ex-boyfriend and a girl who I thought was a close friend of mine have been dating behind my back.

The back story is that he and I dated for a year and broke up a year and a half ago when he got back together with his ex-girlfriend (who had been engaged). My friend, S, had been dating his best friend for about a year, and she broke up with him for her ex as well. S and I remained friends throughout this. She knew how hard my break-up was. Anyway, it’s a year and a half later and they are both single and now are sleeping together and “dating casually.”

I know their actions together have nothing to do with me. I just wonder — I thought it was uncool to hook up or date your friend’s ex. Am I overreacting? My heart feels broken over what someone I thought was a friend did.

— Brokenhearted in Brooklyn

Dear BiB,

Um, wait, we missed the part where their actions have nothing to do with you. Not true! She’s your close friend and he’s your long-time serious ex. Whether they admit it or not, when they bump uglies it has everything to do with you… at least, so long as it’s breaking your heart, it does. Especially if they’re doing it behind your back. So low!

As a general rule, we think it’s bad manners — not to mention bad taste — to date or sleep with a friend’s ex, a.k.a. “dating the floor model.” Why ruin a perfectly good friendship for a hook-up that, let’s face it, probably won’t last the season? The ONLY way we think it’s acceptable to move in on a friend’s ex is to (a) wait until that friend has reached some kind of relationship closure (that clearly hasn’t happened here), (b) give the friend a heads up first so they’re not blindsided by the news (er, again, your friend seriously failed you here), and (c) only do this if you’re convinced that there’s some kind of deep love connection and that you’d be defying Cupid to ignore it (once again, totally not the case here). In other words, yep, what your friend did was 100% uncool. No wonder you’re brokenhearted!

We also think it’s uncool of your ex to do this too, but whatever — you expect exes to act like assholes. That’s why they’re exes, after all.

But back to your “friend.” Not only is she kinda screwing you over, she’s kinda screwing her ex over by dating his BFF too! Talk about a double whammy. If you really value whatserfuck’s friendship and think she deserves a second chance, then confront her on the matter, explain how hurt you are, and see what kind of defense she has to offer. You don’t have to accept her defense, of course — we’re having trouble imagining a good excuse for this situation: “Ohhhhhh riiiiiight…THAT was the guy who put your heart through the blender! I didn’t recognize him without the goatee!”

We guess it could just be a matter of the forbidden being all the more tempting, of obstacles (or in this case morals) standing in the way of love (or lust) thereby making it all the more appealing. That’s the nature of the beast. But there’s Romeo and Juliet, and then there’s Gossip Girl.

If she gives you one of these excuses and you buy it — great! You’ll have gotten the closure you deserve. If, on the other hand, she gives you one of these excuses and you don’t buy it — or if you can’t be bothered with a big Talk and just want to cut to the chase — then go ahead and bench her. Because dating is hard enough on the heart when your friends have your back. But when they don’t? It’s soul-destroying.

Your friends,

Em & Lo

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  1. well i was sleeping with my boss who became my pastor and a while after we were at church he started talkin to juanita another member who knew how i felt about him and she was like a sister to me and now they are google eyed and sleepin together that scandalous bitch and cold harded pimp so i text him about it and he didnt want his wife to find out so he told me to not text anymore so i said ok assclown il also not call u and so that happened on june 15 and i had been textin him and calln for the past three years and i havent called or text since and it drives him crazy! and trust me now he makes excuses to be n my face but he chose her over me so sorry assclown and i was so n love with him and now he stares at me cause i come around with my sexy hills and dresses that accentuate my ass and tits and he almost falls over hisself tryna get my attention and now she can barely talk to me and glares at me but she can kiss my ass and lick his and he can try but hell never get the cookie again lookn good and being successful is the best revenge! love u first and pic wisely love u

  2. This has happened to me also. The part that hurts the most is that I treated the girl like a sister, went above and beyond to be a great friend. In retrospect I see she barely put forth any effort. She was the only person I trusted enough to bring around my boyfriend because ….this same situation has happened to me before…They both knew how much it hurt me the first time, yet I guess I didn’t mean enough to either of them to care. I was notified via a txt message from her stating that “they were going out and to call if I was upset.” So I called to let her know it wasn’t cool…later I hear they’ve been fooling around even when we were still together. I feel that I can not be mad with my ex, like another post said I can expect him to be an asshole. But apparently our 6 year friendship was worth less to her than to try my leftover forbidden fruit. I guess this is why you have choose your friends wisely. I guess my warning signs should have been her desparate lonliness, and sleeping around. Truth is, any one who threw her a bone would have got in. I’m just glad she showed her true colors before I wasted more time trying to be the amazing friend that I am. All I can do is laugh and hold my head high because obviously they deserve each other since they’re cut from the same cloth.

  3. your friend having affairs with ur ex any way if you really love ur ex wait 4 him and belief if is urs he would surely come back to you , dont mind the love affair within them if u real love wait 4 him

  4. its really difficalt to see your love with your best friend and they are having sex or affair the one thing i am gonna say if you really love him and trust you will get him one day just wait for him and dont let any guy come close to you
    try to show him how much you love him and how long you can wait for him

  5. As a dude who’s both dated friends’ exes and had friends date mine, I’ve found that having a man-to-man as early as possible is the best way to go about it.

  6. My “ex” best friend and i used to date these two guys, funny thing is they were best friends too.. after a while things out of hand. We all broke up and after numerously trying to help my best friend, she continued to live her life with the horrible habits such as underage drinking AND stealing. after new years, i felt bad and i called her up to meet for coffee. we both apologized and started to talk again. one day we both ended up walking in the hall together when she bluntly tells me she slept with my ex bf on new years. i honestly wouldnt have cared if 1. she had not STILL been texting him. 2. her and i were not this foursome of friends when we dated those two guys. 3. if shed apologized. 4. if i wasn’t setting her up with this guyshe was head over heals for since spring last year. long story short, i know what you went through, and im TERRIBLY SORRY! i have YET to confront my friend about it. the worse part is.. i feel bad because the guy she was head over heels for treated her amazingly and him and i are best friends. the even worse part is im falling for him now.. he’s truly a GREAT guy, and apparently interested too. but im worried that ill be as low as her if i leave her as a friend and give him and I a chance.

    i apologize for the length of this, i thought this would help if i vented and wanted to share my story that your not alone.

    : ) xoxo

  7. Rei, that may be true is some cases, but my best friend is my best friend because we are so much alike. If her ex hit on me, I would say no for two reasons, first, she is my best friend and may be offended,and second, he didn’t work for her and she is just like me. I only have a few female friends, because I definitely get along better with men. All my female friends are very much like me. If you are hanging out with people who are not compatible with you, these kind of things happen. The only person that I know that has actually messed with any of my former lovers is my sister. My sister and I only have our mothers blood in common, and she is like the women that I refuse to be friends with. She always wants what someone else has. My friends would not dream of doing that because they think just like I do:)

  8. Missy, you say, “If you think about it, if he didn’t work for her, why the hell would he work for you?”

    She is not the same person as her friend, two different people, he probably saw something better in her friend.

  9. There is an unwritten rule in female friendships: You never date anyone your friend did. If you think about it, if he didn’t work for her, why the hell would he work for you? The only reason I would ever date any of my ex’s friends would be to get back at him. This girl( and your ex) had to know you would take issue with this, that is why they tried to hide it. Tell them both to screw off!! Niether of them care about you, if they did, they wouldn’t be screwing around behind your back!

  10. I had a friend that was like this in High School. Every single time a relationship I was in slit up, all of a sudden she was hard to find, and when you did find her, she was with them. Always proclaiming how innocent it all was.

    Sad thing is, I hung around her for years after that, just to keep an eye on her. “Keep your friends, close and your enemies closer”, type of reasoning. Until I finally grew tired of her, and turned my back on her completely, after I pulled the same stunt on her one time, just so she could have a good dose of how it felt. Amazingly, she didn’t like it very well, but never could understand the similarities.

    She was also the same friend who found the need to announce your weaknesses at the most inopportune times, not that there is a good time for that.

    ~Best Wishes~

  11. no figleaf, you’re not the only one. does nobody on this site believe in letting go, and making room for someone new? also, how many women here want their ex boyfriend dictating who they can date? not so many, I’d think. You don’t own him, the relationship is over. maybe find a new one instead of worrying about what they’re doing. this spoken as someone who encouraged my roommate to date my ex. Get over it.

  12. ^I kinda agree with Yves about ‘She has every right to go after whomever.’ But, she did go ‘behind’ her friends back and date her ex, which seems the friend knew it would hurt her, and did it behind her back anyway. This part is wrong. The friend should of asked her if she can date her friends ex.

  13. Wrong, She has every right to go after whomever. He is finito with you or are you both sexing?
    You do not own him or her they have no obligation to you. Friendship is acceptance of the friend as they are. If you are a crybaby then that’s you!! Too much of American female conditioning is to “own” the other!! Very wrong!! Go out and get into life Volunteer,whatever,until you sort thru all the crap inside of you then get on with life!!
    We have moved away from the code of ladies and gentlemen to that of the have not mentality. There are millions of perminatations
    billions of people. Get over yourself!! Be you, a person complete within yourself. Then go get what you want keep your friends and sex buddies,FWB etc as well. Do not get addicted to romance but to the pleasure of living.

  14. 100% not cool, period.

    Although explanation ‘c’ is the only understandable, not forgivable, answer. But who are we kidding, with scruples like these two have, is true unconditional love even a possibility. It will take a while, but you’ll get past it, and be smarter because of it.

  15. At least from other commenters here I seem to be outvoted but for me it’s more of a problem that the former BFF hid the relationship with the ex than that she *had* one at all.

    Maybe it’s because I went to a small high school, and later a small college, and in both cases if nobody could go out with anybody who’d previously gone out with a friend then nobody would have been able to go out with *anybody!* Except maybe transfer students and incoming freshmen. But for whatever reason it seems to me that past a certain point the clock on these things needs to reset.

    I mean, sure, ideally if someone breaks up with you it’s nice to hope they never have a relationship with anyone else ever again. Let alone with a friend of yours. But since people aren’t property when we’re *in* relationships with them it doesn’t seem like we should still hold title to them after.

    That said things would probably work out a little better if the friend hadn’t hid it, and it really would have helped if she’d waited two years rather than a year and a half. (In my first, second, and third-hand experience it seems to take about two years for people to finish moving on after a breakup.)


  16. Chances are, if this is how well your friend treats you when it comes to exes, then I can’t image how awesome she must be for everything else! Lose her. Speaking from experience, I dumped a really terrible friend almost a year ago. The truth: I haven’t missed her for one day. You really are better off without BOTH of them.

  17. I think that what she did was wrong and unthoughtful. She didn’t care whether it hurt you or not she was just thinking about herself and how she would feel. On the other hand he is just history he definitely doesn’t respect you or care about you. If I were you I would not continue to be friends with her and who’s to say that she wouldn’t do it again.

  18. I think that what she did was wrong and unthoughtful. She didn’t care whether it hurt you or not she was just thinkin about herself and how she would feel. On the other hand he is just history he definitely doesn’t respect you or care about you. If I were you I would not continue to bew friends with her and whos to say that she wouln’t do it again.

  19. I totally agree. What your “friend” did was not cool what so ever. The fact she was hiding it behind your back says point blank that she knew it would hurt your feelings, and just did it anyway.

    I’d talk to her and try to work it out though. If her friendship means a lot to you, then depending on how she reacts, sometimes it’s not a bad idea to give second chances.

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