*Names have been changed.
Normally I share little snippets and stories of my life, little pieces that I hope you will enjoy and that give you some indication as to what living in a 24/7 BDSM relationship can really be like. Of course my relationship is only one example of such relationships, but nonetheless it is still an example.
Today is a little bit different, because instead of sharing stories with you I am going to share a clusterfuck of a situation with you, then ask you how you would handle it. My husband and I are clueless for what to do, for reasons that will soon become clear.
Many years ago I went to school with Claire*, who also joined my Girl Guide unit. Claire and I got along well and because of that, we spent a lot of our free time together. Claire and I had similar tastes in music, we played chess or video games together or laughed together and had sleepovers, as good friends normally do. Claire was reliable, always there.
Claire had a history with relationships, and she had a history with people. Claire’s parents argued a lot (later divorced) and they competed for Claire’s love with gifts and money. That, I believe, made Claire materialistic, and your worth to her was determined by the money you gave her or the gifts you could for buy her. She lied too, and she told me once that her Florida holiday home was burgled and she was raped in the attack. When my Mum offered her Mum, Jenny, her sympathies, Jenny said that it never happened.
Around July 2004 Claire and I went to a summer camp together. I met a guy there, Chris, who I kinda fell in love with but was too shy to tell him how I felt. Chris was kind to me too, and I thought he liked me. Claire asked if I liked anyone at camp and I opened up to her, trusting her as my friend. The next thing I knew they were getting cosy on the bench and she was touting me that she’d beaten me to it. I felt betrayed.
Just before Christmas 2005 Claire and I went shopping together. On the bus into town we were discussing our then-relationships and Claire turned to me and told me that Matt had changed her views on marriage, that I knew she wasn’t really the ‘marriage type’ but that she wanted to marry him. I was amazed – if Matt could make Claire want to settle down then he must be something special. I had to meet this guy!
Mid-December 2005, I got my wish at a work Christmas party. Claire and Matt seemed happy together and I was happy for them too. I became friendly with Matt, but friendly as the partner of my friend. I saw him and treated him as my friend even when we worked together, he was still just a friend through my friend. Our colleagues joked that we would end up married (little did they know!) and we always denied it. I already had other plans to marry Mohammed, my then long distance boyfriend from the UAE.
Christmas Eve 2005 I went to a carol singing service in my area. I’d lost my grandfather in the April so I was in a low mood, but I decided to go anyway to be social. While I was there I heard someone call my name, it was Matt. Again we chatted. Claire was performing in the band but I felt like we were both there to support her. From the look she gave us though she felt like I was there stealing her boyfriend.
After Christmas there was much excitement about Claire’s St Trinian’s themed 17th birthday party. I was excited about some fancy dress and bowling and she never gave me any indication that I wasn’t invited, however, I later learned through my brother (who was also her friend and who was also invited) that I’d ‘assumed’ my invite and, in fact, I wasn’t going to be invited. My brother persuaded her to invite me because he knew how hurt I would be otherwise, again I went and again nothing untowards happened. Most of the group huddled off to take over the dukebox, and Matt and I stayed at the lane and chatted work.
July 2006 I got a phone call – Claire was getting bored of Matt. I was confused and I tried to understand it, didn’t she want to marry him not so long ago? What happened?
It turned out that Matt was being laid off and with the money soon drying up, Claire had packed him up that same evening. Mohammed and I had broken up a few weeks before too, though purely for cultural reasons.
I took a big risk against my friendship with Claire at that point, but I decided to do what felt right to me. I grew up with Claire, so I knew how Claire was after relationships and I was ashamed of her behaviour. I advised Matt not to accept Claire’s offer of friendship, that that was her way of keeping tabs on her exes in case they ever became of value to her later on. She’d betrayed me once, so I saw no shame in returning the favour that one time. I didn’t care whether Matt took my advice or whether he did or didn’t want to be my friend, I just didn’t want Claire to hurt him again.
Still Matt was a good guy and he was thankful for my insight. We became good friends.
By that time I’d already invited Matt and Claire to my 18th birthday party, as a couple, so it was a bit awkward to have them both there as single people. To make it worse my aunt and uncle thought Matt was into me so they tried to hook us up, threatening violence if he didn’t ask me out to dinner before the end of the night. Long story cut short, my Dad had to give Matt a lift home to keep my uncle from half-killing him.
Back at my home Matt got bowled over by my then three dogs. I was mortified but he was in love, in fact, he even text me the following morning to ask if we could walk the dogs together that afternoon. I was unsure about hanging out with my friend’s ex but he was still my friend anyway so I decided, when in Rome.
So I agreed.
Walking the dogs just became a thing we did, and we got on outside of work just as well as we got along in it. I felt comfortable around Matt, safe, natural. It didn’t feel odd when he stayed to dinner and it didn’t feel odd to hang out with him and his friends. He had other girl friends too, so I was another girl friend. Why would it be strange?
Apparently Claire didn’t agree though, and If I was his friend then I couldn’t be her friend too. She’d even been getting my text messages but instead of telling me that there was a problem, she’d been plainly ignoring me. That hurt, but I finally saw and accepted her for the petty, insecure individual she really is. So I moved on.
Admittedly four months in I was seeing certain… perks, to my new friendship with Matt. He became my Master, I was his sex slave, and we had a delicious kind of secrecy in that arrangement for a long time. We fulfilled a need in one another, a kind of emotions-free, whipping-and-fucking S&M rebound relationship born from personal stressors and our newfound mutual hate for Claire. It felt morally wrong though and so we denied it, but it still happened. He cared about me, but only really enough that he didn’t kill me. Those were good times.
True to form, feelings developed. Matt wasn’t interested in me but we still stayed friends.
We both dated others for a while but none of those guys were Matt. Jake was super shy, passive and very clingy, and Pat only ever wanted to know me for sex. It wasn’t until we were both seeing other people did we realise there was something more; Matt hated me being with Patrick, and I hated him being with Lisa. Our friendship had changed, and not for the better. It was like being adrift at sea without a buoyancy aid.
Those relationships lasted three weeks. We were admittedly both cheating on our partners in that time, with one another.
Matt asked me out formally in January 2008, we got married in 2013.
At our wedding Lewis, Matt’s best friend of 20+ years, was our best man. I’ve long liked Lewis, I always saw him as my “brother from another mother” and was even vocal about as much. I’ve never gotten in the way of their friendship, I’ve never felt the need to. Lewis accepted me as apart of Matt’s life and so I gladly accepted him. We’ve even laid carpet together before, and that’s not a euphemism. We both trusted Lewis.
Which is what made Sunday so painful.
We had Lewis here to watch the Carabao Cup and Matt cooked him a lovely homemade roast dinner. They both supported the rival teams but there was zero animosity over the game. He sat on our sofa, drank beer with Matt and even wandered to the store with him to buy dessert. Just before his departure home Lewis told Matt that he was now dating someone – Claire.
Apparently it’s already been going on for two months and understandably Matt is devastated that his best friend would date the ex-girlfriend who devastated him. He has warned her of what she is like and Lewis is taking caution, but Matt is still seeing this as a huge act of betrayal. Apparently Lewis planned to speak to Matt face-to-face beforehand but the relationship had “just happened” while he was in the hospital. Katie (another close female friend) and I are calling bullshit.
It seems that Lewis (and perhaps even Claire) know the ramifications of this situation because Lewis has asked Matt not to tell anyone, which I find absolutely audacious given he’s just swanned off with the woman who hurt us both. In my eyes (and perhaps even Matt’s) they are both traitors now, and they absolutely deserve one another. Lewis could stand to lose his friendship with Matt’s Dad over his relationship with Claire, and Claire could lose her friendship with my brother, who adores his brother-in-law. I believe they want us to keep it a secret to preserve their happiness, at a cost of our own. That is unacceptable to us, for seemingly obvious reasons.
So, Dear Reader, now I ask you: what would you do?
Would you still be friends with Lewis?
Would you keep it a secret or would you tell the family, knowing that it could devestate friendships?
Would you even try to be friends with the new happy couple, knowing they have betrayed both you and your partner at some time and in some way?
The TL;DR version – my betraying ex-friend introduced me to her ex-boyfriend, who became my friend and is now my husband. She’s now dating my husband’s best friend, who is heartbroken that his best friend would betray him like that. How would you handle this weird-ass situation?
NB. A potential poly relationship is absolutely not an option! There is no love to be had there!
I’m reminded of the old saying, “two people can keep a secret only if one of them is dead”. In your case, there are multiple people involved, with different perspectives of what contributed to the animosity and how deeply it runs. There’s zero chance of the “secret” remaining so and 100% chance of it festering until it blows up in spectacular fashion.
Go with your gut instinct, rat them out to any and all who will listen and then play spectator as they try to work around the fallout.
Mind you, that’s not me being petty, just pragmatic.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Ooh I like it. I have told a few faces but the consensus seems to be “so what?”, so maybe so what? Maybe they can be in a relationship then, and that’s fine, but if Matt doesn’t want to be Lewis’ friend now because he was dishonest about the situation, so what? You don’t date friends’ exes for a reason, and you especially don’t do it behind their back.
I think there’s a kind of ‘cake and eating it’ situation here too, and if Claire (presumably) didn’t want to be my friend because I was friends with Matt, it should come as no surprise if Matt wants to wash his hands of them now that Lewis is dating her. All is fair.
LikeLiked by 1 person