This weekend, my fiancée and I were hanging out with a small group of friends, drinking. My fiancée is a flirt, which generally doesn’t bother me—and it wasn’t bothering me in this situation. Also present was one of my oldest and best friends, "Peter," who I’d planned on asking to be in our wedding party. Peter and I have never lived in the same city as adults, but have stayed close.
I knew that Peter didn’t have a great relationship with alcohol, but I had never seen him get black out drunk, or do something that seemed destructive. Until this weekend. Peter and my fiancée got up to go get another bottle of wine, and as they left a different friend said that it seemed like they were about to go make out. I laughed it off, because I know they’re not each others’ types, and because I trust/ed both of them. Then, later that night, after we dropped a very drunk Peter off at his house, my fiancée told me that they’d kissed earlier—at his initiation, and she pushed him away after a few seconds, there was no tongue, etc. I don’t love that it happened, but I also am not going to freak out over one kiss, particularly given how incredibly awful she felt, and I full on trust that it wasn’t her idea and wasn't what she was going for.
If it hadn’t been Peter, or if he hadn’t been so drunk, I would know what to do, or how to feel, in terms of my friendship with him. Obviously, I’m pissed that someone I feel so close to would make a move on my fiancée, whether or not they were drunk, and I’m going to say something to him to that effect. But I also wonder if I should bring his relationship with alcohol into whatever I say. Part of me thinks that he might have done this as a cry for help—do those even exist outside of TV shows?—but even if that’s totally dramatic, the Peter that I know and love wouldn’t pull such a dick move. Even if he hadn’t kissed my fiancée, I’d still be more concerned with his relationship with alcohol after seeing how drunk he got that night.
So: am I overreacting? To the situation itself? To the role of alcohol? I’m not looking to Friends Off a guy I’ve made a part of my life for the past twenty years over this, but I’m also still pretty surprised that this even happened, and could use a neutral opinion.
My response after the jump...
If anything, C, I'd say you're underreacting—but underreacting is underrated, if you ask me, and it sounds like underreaction is the right response here.
Your fiancée is a flirt, which you've acknowledged (and aren't usually annoyed by), and your buddy was drinking heavily. Booze disinhibits (fiancées and buddies), it can stonk a person's perceptions, it can cause someone to misread/misinterpret signals—you know, like mistaking a little innocent, friendly flirtation for, "Hey, why don't you follow me to the kitchen and put the moves on me right now even though I'm engaged to one of your oldest friends, a man who just so happens to be drinking in this house with us right now."
My neutral opinion: be the good sober friend and confront your old drunk friend. It may not have been a TV-style cry-for-help, C, but you can treat it like one. Ask him what the fuck he thought he was doing, tell him you think he he has a drinking problem, and let him know that he's lucky you're not the jealous/violent/overreacting type.