Originally piublished Oct 1, 2009.

About a month ago, I got drunk and slept with my friend's girlfriend. (He's not my best friend, more of a second-tier friend.) We both swore never to tell anyone and left it at that. Only problem is, we've been hanging out a lot lately and sending private messages to each other multiple times a day, but nothing physical. It's progressed to the point that our mutual friends are starting to notice that there's something going on between the lady and me. And, frankly, if someone I was dating were doing what she is doing, I'd consider it cheating.

Things came to a head a few nights ago when we ended up skinny-dipping and then showering together. We are obviously infatuated. We had a long talk about what to do: We are really into each other, but there are issues. For starters, she would have to break up with her boyfriend, something she would do in theory, but there are housing issues (she lives with him) and friendship issues (her best friend is his best friend's lady). Furthermore, I'm scared not only of getting beat to hell by her man, but of getting shunned by all of my friends for stealing another man's girl.

Everything is interconnected in the most fucked-up ways possible. I'm wondering if there is any way out of this with the desired result for everyone: the lady and I together, friends understanding of the situation, and her boyfriend not totally destroyed. I still like her boyfriend as a friend and a guy, and I don't want to crush him with a pre-winter breakup (it gets real lonely here in the winter).

Fucked In Madison

As "the lady" is not a wallet, a car, or a crusty old come sock, FIM, you can't "steal her" from a second-tier friend or anyone else. She is a free and autonomous individual; her affections are hers to award and hers to rescind. And as it's the lady who would be doing the dumping here, FIM, you wouldn't be crushing your second-tier friend with a pre-winter breakup, she would.

Let's not overestimate your importance in the little lady's drama, FIM. I'm sure you're a lovely person, you're a great fuck, that you look good in the shower, etc., but you are only evidence that her relationship isn't long for this world, FIM, you are not the reason it isn't. This breakup was in the cards before you and that fateful drunken night. Your appearance on the scene may have given her an incentive to end a relationship that needed to end—and end sooner rather than later—but the relationship was doomed before you drunkenly banged the (shitfaced) lady.

In other words: You're just a symptom, FIM, don't flatter yourself by imagining you're the disease.

That said, FIM, her friends and future ex-boyfriend may very well blame you when the breakup comes. The only way to avoid looking bad/culpable/responsible in their eyes—and get the girl without the beating—is to inform the lady that you're into her and want to be with her, but that you can't see her until she's free and clear. No more hanging out, no more texting, no more skinny-dipping, no more showering together until she's officially single and available.


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