My friend led me on and then chose someone else

I need help. Let me tell you the story first. We used to be good friends. Did everything together and I fell in love with him and he did me.

We just never told one another b/c we were both afraid the other wouldn’t feel the same way.

Then she came along. He told me he only dated her to make me jealous. And that he never thought he would fall in love with her.

He wasn’t even allowed to speak to me or see me or anything. She knew we had a past and she hated me. It went on for over a year before we found a way to get to spend time together. Online chatting.

We talked every morning day and night behind her back. I went for about 3 weeks averaging about 3 hours of sleep a night because I was talking to him the whole time.

I knew it was wrong and he sure knew it was wrong. But I couldn’t help it. I love him and I always will. He often snuck out to my best friend’s house just to see if I was there.

His girlfriend doesn’t know any of this and if she did she would break things off in a heart beat.

He often told me how he wishes things would have been different. He called me pet names like honey and sweetie and he led me on so much.

I thought they were going to break up and we were finally going to be able to be together. Until one night he never got online. And since we were no longer in the same town, separated because of college, I never see him.

Now I hear he is going to ask her to marry him. When just 3 months ago I was all he could talk about.

I want her to know what he did. I want her to see what a jerk he is and if he did this before he will do it again. But, however, I’m just afraid that I am only telling her because I don’t want him to be happy without me...

I’m just so confused ... should I tell her? Or let him go on and build a marriage around a lie? What do I do?

Response:

One of the saddest things about your story is just how often things like this happen.

It is common for friends to “fall in love,” but never express their feelings for each other, out of fear that the other person doesn’t feel the same way. There is even a name for it —“pluralistic ignorance” (see Miller & McFarland).

The problem with trying to ignore our emotions, is that they don’t go away. In fact, ignored emotions tend to influence our behavior, often in counterproductive ways.

For instance, when secretly in love with someone else, it is common to try and make the person jealous. But, being indirect about one’s feeling often backfires, as it did in your situation.

If there is something to learn from this, it’s wise to express one’s feelings as they are occurring, rather than let situations get out of hand (see talk about problems).

But, it’s too late for that now. You can’t undo the past or make things right.

And while he may have led you on, it is also possible that he was simply confused and trying to decide what to do. Most people caught in such situations, claim, and actually believe, that they are going to leave the person they are with, but most never do (see will he leave his wife).

Should you expose what he did now that you’ve been rejected? After all, you were willing to play along and betray their relationship while it suited your interests, and now you want to reveal the truth? Acting out of spite will not solve the problem, or make things better, or address the real issue—that you’ve been hurt.

When people are motivated to tell the truth based on revenge, little good rarely comes of it (see should I expose him).

So, our best advice is to focus on how you are feeling, and leave them out of it. And there is a great website that helps people deal with situations like this (see so there).

We wish you the best of luck.

 expose cheating | online cheating | other woman | will he leave

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