Hello, world. My name's Stephen LaConte, I'm a writer here at BuzzFeed, and according to my friends and family, I'm pretty darn good at giving advice.
So I've invited readers like you to message me on Instagram and Twitter (@StephenLC in both places) with your biggest problems — and I'm solving 'em right here on BuzzFeed, one DM at a time. Let's get right to it.
Today, we've got this woman, who recently cheated on her boyfriend...with his best friend:
Yeah, you should tell your boyfriend the truth — and not just because you're worried the other guy is gonna "blab." Your boyfriend deserves to know what happened so he can decide whether he still wants to be in a relationship with you. And frankly, he deserves to know the truth about his "best friend," who really doesn't sound like much of a friend at all.
Look. I don't need to explain why what you two did was really, really bad. You say you already feel like a "horrible person," and I don't want to pile onto that, especially when you've taken the positive step of asking for help. However, I am going to call out a few things in your DM that rubbed me the wrong way — not because I want you to feel even worse, but because I think you should re-evaluate how you talk about this situation before you come clean to your boyfriend.
Specifically, I think you should pay attention to how often you've centered yourself in the narrative here: Your DM focuses exclusively on your feelings, your guilt, and your desire to stay together, without much regard for the impact this is going to have on your boyfriend.
For example: The fact that the sex was good? Not really relevant when you consider that this incident will likely devastate your boyfriend and destroy two of his most important relationships. Please spare the guy this unnecessary detail, if and when you tell him.
You also write that you don't want to tell your boyfriend the truth, because you think it would be "crazy" to break up over this. Well, your boyfriend should get a say in that too, and it's not fair to withhold information from him simply because you might not like his decision. If he chooses to leave, you need to respect that, and you definitely can't call him "crazy" for it.
And then there's the fact that you say you're uncomfortable whenever the friend is around, not because it's a painful reminder of the horrible thing you two did together, but because he can't "keep his mouth shut." Once again, I'm left wondering if you actually recognize the severity of the mistake you two made here, or if you've been too busy focusing on the cover-up.
So yes, I do think you need to have an honest conversation with your boyfriend about this. But first, you need to have an honest conversation with yourself — one where you step outside of your own experience, and really, truly reckon with the pain your actions will cause your boyfriend. Then, and only then, you should talk to him about it.
Approach the conversation with humility, and without any demands. You can let him know that you'd like to stay together if he's willing, but TBH, that shouldn't be the focus of your discussion right now. Your job isn't to protect yourself from the consequences of your actions — it's to face them head-on, and then listen to what your boyfriend wants and needs in order to move forward.
And if he breaks up with you, you'll need to respect that and consider this a very painful lesson learned. We all make mistakes in life, sometimes big ones, but having the integrity to own up to them — and accept the consequences with grace — is a step in the right direction. That goes for his so-called "best friend," too. Good luck.
TL;DR: Acknowledge the pain you and this guy have caused your boyfriend, tell him the truth, and then respect whatever decision he comes to about the future of your relationship.
That's all the advice I'm giving today, folks, but if you've got any words of wisdom for our DMer, please share them in the comments. I'll be reading...