Thursday 26 April 2018

Dear Mary: My best friend told me she had sex with my man before I was with him

A woman feels betrayed by past encounter between friend and her new boyfriend. Photo posed
A woman feels betrayed by past encounter between friend and her new boyfriend. Photo posed

Mary O'Connor

I'm writing to you out of embarrassment because I feel I have no one else to talk to and because I can't bring myself to tell anyone I'm close to about this.

I am a female in my 20s who recently met a man around the same age through one of my best friends. She introduced me to him at a party, saying he was a friend of hers. I met up with him a few times and then we hooked up.

It wasn't until I made things official with him that my friend who had introduced us decided to tell me that they had actually slept together a couple of times.

She apologised and said she didn't tell me at first because she didn't want to ruin my happiness but thought I should know the truth, and that I should still go for it because they were just "friends with benefits".

I have stayed with him because I do have strong feelings for him, but I feel that maybe I have made a mistake.

Should I drop both my friend and boyfriend and go looking for someone else?

He also lied about them having no history together. This is my first serious relationship.

Mary replies: It is extremely likely that any guy you are with will have had sex with somebody before you, and he will also expect that you may have some sexual experience.

That is fine and no big deal. However in this case what is upsetting you is that one of the people that he had sex with is one of your best friends.

I'm trying to get inside the head of your best friend to try to understand what reason she had for telling you that she had sex with the man who is now your boyfriend. It certainly wasn't because she wanted to protect you in any way - even though that is what we do for our friends. We watch out for them and are there for them in good times and bad. But she saw that you were happy in this new relationship and decided to put an end to your happiness. This doesn't sound like a best friend to me.

As I understand it 'friends with benefits' are people who enjoy each other's company, are attracted to each other and decide to have sex when it is mutually convenient. They are both free to date other people as they are not in a proper man/woman relationship. For instance they don't go on dates and it is almost all about the sex. This is what your friend had with him and as long as they were both happy with it then nobody should judge them.

But now you have a full relationship with him and it could be that she is a tiny bit jealous of what you have and decided to sabotage it.

If you finish with him because of what she said to you then she is the winner and you are very much the loser.

It's unfortunate that he lied about them having no history, as that means you may not trust him to tell the truth in the future.

Perhaps you could bring up the subject one last time and make it clear that while to some extent you can understand why he lied about this it would certainly jeopardise your relationship if he were to lie in the future. Then get on with enjoying yourself with him and try to ignore what your friend did to you.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting or email her at or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.

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