I hooked up with my friend’s ex

No chat today. It is mammogram day. (Only mentioning it because sometimes hearing that from others reminds me to schedule mine.)

While I'm occupied, what's been on your mind about your experiences? Send a letter to [email protected] or fill out this form.

I hooked up with my best friend's ex last night.

My friend and her ex have been in an on-and-off relationship for five years and have only been broken up for about seven months, however … they still have something there.

My friend and I both moved away to different universities. I was back for the weekend and decided to have some drinks when my friend's ex ran into me and was hitting on me. I knew it was bad but I found it difficult to say no. After we did hooked up, people caught him at my house and could tell what happened – but they didn't talk about it.

I won't see my friend for another six months, but should I call her and tell her? He told me we can't tell her but I'm worried that if they have a fight, he might. I don't know how to have the conversation.

– What do I say?


He might tell her. Someone else could tell her.

Even if no other person tells her, it sounds like you'll have trouble carrying this secret. That makes me think this is worth an uncomfortable phone call or FaceTime.

I do believe in secrets, for the record. People can have private experiences without feeling like everyone is entitled to the information.

This situation seems to call for a disclosure, though. Your friend's breakup is new, the friendship itself sounds important, and you don't seem to want to keep this information away from her. Maybe I'm assuming too much, but it sounds like you might want her to know as she makes decisions about the relationship in the future.

If that's all true, please understand that telling her might mean losing her, at least temporarily. This kind of thing hurts, and she might not want to talk to you for a long time. Apologize and be honest about your part in it. Tell her how you feel about your friendship and that you want to make space for her to do whatever she needs. Listen to what she tells you.

There is no easy way to start the conversation. Try, "Hey, I want to talk to you about something." Maybe the six-month break will be a good thing after that. It'll give everyone time for some perspective.

– Meredith

Readers? Feel free to tell me I'm very wrong about disclosures here. Also, if the LW tells, does the ex get to know what's coming?