You don’t mention what, if anything, your friend’s baby daddy/boyfriend is requesting from you in exchange for keeping quiet, but, regardless, the fact remains: As long as there is a secret that he’s privy to that you don’t want your friend to know, this man holds some power over you. And with that power, he’s in the position of making you feel threatened. The thing is: You have power too. You have the power to completely diminish all the power and control he thinks he has over you by sharing the secret with your friend. Of course, in doing so, you risk upsetting her and potentially damaging your friendship. In not doing so, you risk all of that happening anyway, while living in fear until it happens that it’s going to happen. In both scenarios, your friendship is at risk; in one scenario you have all the power and in another scenario you have zero power. I would choose the scenario in which you have power.
If you choose to take the more powerful position of telling your friend what happened, you need to do so with humility, sensitivity, and a sense of remorse. Tell your friend something has been weighing on you for a long time and you are ready to tell her. Let her know that you are aware this news may affect how she sees you and you understand that. Tell her you know you made a mistake and it’s a regret you live with every day and you hope she can find it in her heart to forgive you. You are telling her now not because you wish to simply unburden yourself of the guilt, but because this guy is threatening to tell her himself and you don’t want him to hurt your friendship any more than he already has.
Once you share your secret with your friend, you strip the boyfriend of the power he has over you, and the ball will be in your friend’s court. In a sense, she will have some power then, and you have to trust that your friendship is strong enough to withstand the risk that she may choose to move on. Regardless, I think you will feel much better transferring the power out of the hands of a man who doesn’t care about you and into the hands of someone who does.
What side? Doesn’t his daughter want to see him happy and not be alone? Also, he is a great grandfather as far as I can tell. I just can’t get a reason that makes sense for why he refuses to introduce us, and I’m so conflicted. Can you please advise? — Tired of Not Being Introduced
It sounds like he’s more than just roommates with his “ex” and that maybe she isn’t his “ex” at all. They still live together, he doesn’t mention selling the house and moving on, and he refuses to introduce you to his daughter because she will “take her mom’s side.” As you imply, there shouldn’t be “sides” if this is actually an amicable breakup. And if it’s NOT an amicable breakup, it’s hard to understand why there seems to be no rush for them to stop living together.
Bottom line: If it smells fishy – and it does — it’s usually because it IS fishy. Your boyfriend is lying to you. He isn’t really ready to move on, and he’s nowhere near ready — and may never be — to integrate you into his life. He’s either still with his partner, and/or he feels enough shame and guilt over being with you that you will likely never be embraced as a significant other in his life whom he feels proud to introduce to those he’s closest to. If you want to avoid such a scenario again in the future, it’s best to stay away from men who still live with their significant others and aren’t available to you.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.