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What to do if you fall in love with your friend's man

By Faeza
27 September 2016

Confused writes:

They say that love strikes when you least expect it. That’s true because I’ve recently experienced this. I’ve known this man for a good 10 years and suddenly, out of the blue, I fell in love with him. This happened after I broke up with my long-term boyfriend. I was totally devastated because my ex-boyfriend and I dated and lived together for many years. One weekend, he went away to attend a “family matter”. Little did I know that he was getting married to another woman. I was shattered. This “new” man helped me through my pain. He gave me hope that I could live and love again.

But here’s the catch, this new man that I’m in love with happens to be my best friend’s partner. They have a child and are planning to get married. I know, I’m a horrible person, but I didn't see this one coming. I always judged my friends for dating men who were not available. Now, here I am. I feel like such an evil person. The saddest part is that this love is not one-sided. He has also confessed that he has loved me for a while, tried to ignore it and failed dismally. He says that he is even willing to marry both of us. I really don’t know what to do. Deep down I know that I can’t do this to my friend. She absolutely adores this man and trusts me. It will totally destroy her and ruin our friendship. What should I do?

Linda Yende responds:

Run away from this man as fast as you can. No good can ever come out of this situation. I have a lot of sympathy for you. You are not an evil person; you are just a woman on a rebound. Have you ever heard of patients falling in love with their doctors, psychologists or nurses? Or a student falling for the teacher? What you are going through is very similar. In the examples I gave, one party is

strong and well-positioned while the other is lost, sick or in need. In your case, you were hurt and betrayed.

Break ups are never easy and after your long relationship, you forgot who you were or what you did with your life before you dated your ex-boyfriend. Worse still, the betrayal that you went through with your ex having a full relationship behind your back while living with you made you afraid to trust again. It made you stop knowing what is real and what is not. You no longer know who you are or what you want. Your friend’s partner was your rock at the time of your break up. He should have been the doctor or the teacher but he became the “thief”. He took advantage of your weakness and confusion. I will not waste time on him because I want to address you.

HE’LL LEAVE YOU WITH A BROKEN HEART

What do you hope to get out of this relationship? Marriage? I hope you are not counting on that. He will never marry you. You are the fling and your friend is the real thing. The only thing you will get for sure is a broken heart. Him even suggesting the idea of marrying you both is ridiculous. There is no way your friendship will survive that, I assure you. Your friend will feel betrayed and you will be blamed, rightly so. If he leaves you after a while, you will become the affair that came to an end – that will leave you with another broken heart. If he decides to leave your friend to be with you, you will become the home-wrecker and eventually he will leave you. Also, you will certainly lose your friend.

DOING THE RIGHT THING

I want you to put things into perspective to minimise the damage. Do not keep saying that you are in love with him. Say that you are going through a phase and it is coming to an end because you can’t afford to lose a great friend. Instead of putting all your energy and passion into loving this man, I would suggest that you try a new sport, a new hobby or focus on a career goal. Use that energy for something else until you regain your balance and confidence. You'll soon get over the hurt caused by your ex-boyfriend and the feeling that you have developed for your best friend's man.