Home US DEAR JANE: My best friend hid a vile secret about her past – I don’t think I can ever speak to her again

DEAR JANE: My best friend hid a vile secret about her past – I don’t think I can ever speak to her again

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Dear Jane, I discovered a horrible secret about my best friend and it made me wonder if I will ever be able to talk to her again.

Dear Jane,

I found myself in a devastating situation with my best friend of almost 20 years and I hope you can help me unravel it.

As background, I have been inseparable from this friend since we were 14 years old. She has always been the person I have turned to for advice or support during difficult times and over the years she has become more of a sister.

One of the most difficult times in my life was when my parents divorced, seemingly out of nowhere, when I was 17 years old. It hit me like a truck and for months I was miserable. But my friend was there to help us pick up the pieces and that brought us even closer than we already were.

A few days ago I was having dinner with my mom, who I think had too many glasses of wine, and I was talking about the vacation plans I’m making with my friend. My mom has never been this friend’s biggest fan, but while she was talking about her, I could see her rolling her eyes and getting angry at her.

When I asked him what was wrong, he initially tried to evade the question, telling me that he was simply “in a bad mood” and had had too much to drink. But I knew something was up, so I kept pushing.

Dear Jane, I discovered a horrible secret about my best friend and it made me wonder if I will ever be able to talk to her again.

And that’s when it came to light…she told me that the reason she and my dad got divorced was because she caught him having an ‘affair’ with my best friend. She said she had found messages the two had been sharing and pictures they had been sending each other, and she confessed that the discovery had triggered her breakup.

I was absolutely disgusted. He didn’t know what to say or think. He had so many questions, like, how come they hadn’t told me this? My mom said that she and my dad agreed that they didn’t want to destroy a friendship when they knew my life was already going to be in chaos, and she said that my dad insisted that nothing physical ever happened between him and my friend.

I’ve talked to her about this in more detail over the past few days, and while I still can’t forgive her or my dad for keeping this secret, the person who hurts me the most is my friend. She was by my side when all this was happening, acting totally innocent, speculating with me about what had happened to ruin my parents’ marriage… and the whole time she knew exactly what had happened.

I haven’t been able to bring myself to talk to her yet because I really don’t know where to start.

International best-selling author Jane Green offers sage advice on DailyMail.com readers' hottest topics in her column Dear Jane, Agony Aunt

International best-selling author Jane Green offers sage advice on DailyMail.com readers’ hottest topics in her column Dear Jane, Agony Aunt

The idea of ​​cutting her out of my life without confronting her about everything seems wrong to me. But how do I begin to explain to him how upset and hurt I am by this whole thing? Especially when it happened so long ago?

Please help.


tangled spider web

Dear Tangled Web,

There is nothing worse than knowing that a close friend has betrayed you and I am so sorry for the pain this is causing you.

There is no way to make this pain go away, but a couple of things occur to me.

The first is that you don’t actually know what happened, only your mother’s version of the story, which includes the fact that nothing physical ever happened between them.

Which doesn’t make it any less…disgusting, but the truth is that you don’t know the truth, and it’s worth trying to put your emotions aside to sit down with your friend and your father, to find out what their version is. of history is.

Whatever the story, I also want to say that we all make pretty terrible decisions when we’re young.

Science now tells us that our frontal lobe, the part of the brain that controls our impulses, is not fully developed until the age of at least 25 years.

There may be no excuse for your friend’s behavior, or she may have been going through something herself, something that made an older man’s attentions feel flattering or validating.

I can’t tell you what to do here, but if she has been, as it seems, a good friend over these past two decades, it’s worth listening to what she has to say with an open mind and heart. .

Dear Jane,

I am a single mother of two teenagers and have been alone since my youngest son was born, having broken up with my emotionally abusive ex-partner shortly after the birth of my second child.

I have a full-time job, and although things aren’t easy, I manage to pay my bills and support my kids without the help of my ex, who refused to pay child support when I moved in with the kids. In the first few days after we moved in, I fought with him about money, begged him to be in our kids’ lives, but honestly, life is so much smoother without him, I gave up after a few years.

I’m proud of the life I’ve built for myself and my children, but apparently that’s not enough for my parents, who constantly criticize every element of my lifestyle every time they come to visit me.

They say my house isn’t clean enough, I don’t do enough with the kids, I’ve taken on too much by having a dog, I’ve let myself go physically… it goes on and on.

My mom has told me that she thinks I have depression, despite having no medical experience, and both she and my dad insist that the only way I can “change my life” is to return to my hometown. They send me texts and emails pointing out all my flaws and have offered to let the kids stay with them to give me time to “recover.”

I have tried to reason with them and have had very challenging conversations and eventual arguments pointing out that they paint a very negative picture of my life and that I am actually happy with my life. It’s far from perfect, but I get it done. There are times when I feel overwhelmed, tired and completely exhausted, but I would say that’s normal for a single dad working full time, in a challenging profession.

I live for my children and they have everything they need. Bringing me down as a parent is the most painful thing they can do. I have a great relationship with my children and I am much closer to them than I have ever been to my parents.

Dear Jane Sunday Service

Life is too difficult for most of us to tolerate people who question our choices or make us feel bad about how we live our lives.

Whether family or friends, it is vital that we surround ourselves with people who value and support us.

Telling people this can be terribly difficult, but it is what we must do to protect ourselves.

I have no desire to return to my hometown. I have built a life for myself and my children. They are happy, I am happy. I enjoy the job because I have conversations with adults and socialize and I don’t really feel like I’m missing out on an adult social life.

My question is where is this going? I’m happy to have a different view than them, but ultimately I’m in my mid-40s and I don’t want them to constantly try to tear me down. I have tried it the good way and the not so good way. I talked to them face to face and sent them emails. Nothing and I mean nothing has worked.

Do I just give up and accept that I will never have a trusting relationship with my parents? I don’t see them changing and I can’t just ignore their hurtful comments.


clipped wings

Dear clipped wings,

There is a very famous poem by Philip Larkin, This Be The Verse, which begins with the line: ‘They screw you over, your mum and dad, it may not be their intention, but they do…’

I am reminded of this as I read your letter and all you have accomplished for yourself.

Raising children as a single mother without financial help is one of the most difficult and challenging things we can do. I take my hat off to you and applaud everything you have achieved. What a strong and brave woman you are.

Use that courage now to tell your parents that you will no longer tolerate criticism of any kind.

Whether in person, in a phone call, or in a letter, you need to set a clear boundary, with the consequence that if they don’t respect your choices, you won’t be able to see them. And then stick to it.

This does not mean that children should stop having a relationship with their grandparents, but they should no longer expose themselves to their criticism.

You carry a heavy burden and you don’t need to feel guilty for telling them this. Release your wings and allow yourself to fly.

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