I have been really close with one of my friends since we were about six years old because our parents are childhood friends, too. About five years ago I hooked her up with my best male friend, and they really hit it off. I also started dating someone and we all became a group of friends; we used to double date and do everything together.
About a year and a half ago they broke up — he dumped her. It was a really nasty split, and she was left deeply hurt. Of course, me and my boyfriend were there for her and tried to make her feel better. At one point she got really mad at us because we were hanging out with him too. We tried to explain to her that we didn't want to take sides, but she didn't seem to care. She decided to stop talking to us. At the beginning of this year my significant other and I broke up, too, and a month later in a drunken stupor, I ended up having sex with my friend's ex (my closest male friend).
It's been six months since that night and it actually developed into a beautiful relationship. But sometimes it's hard because in public places or in front of common friends, we have to pretend that we`re just good buddies; we can't let my ex or friend find out. Honestly, I don't really care about what they think but I'm afraid that her parents would get mad at my parents for what I've done. I really don't want to ruin my parents' friendship if this gets out. What can I do? We're sick of hiding it.
— Hiding Hannah
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Dear Hiding Hannah,
This is a very complicated situation so I can see why you haven't been quick to reveal your relationship to your circle of friends or family. However, hiding your relationship doesn't solve any problems, it simply delays them. I think it's time to let the cat out of the bag and deal with the consequences, whatever they may be. As far as your parents' relationship goes, I think it's fair to say that both sets of parents, hers and yours, may end up disappointed in the way things have turned out for their children's friendship. But if her parents really think that ruining their adult friendship over a riff between their daughters is worth it then that's something you have absolutely no control over.
The best you can do is try to avoid getting defensive if other people make judgments about your relationship, which I'm sure they will. And though it's easy to say that you don't care what your ex or your friend think, I doubt that's how you really feel. It's normal to worry about their feelings, and I think instead of feigning disinterest in their opinions, it's better to be sympathetic to how this situation might make them feel. There's no need to directly speak to them, but as your relationship comes out, do be gentle with how you handle it.