My best friend married my widowed FATHER

DEAR JANE: My best friend married my widowed FATHER – and I am so disgusted I can’t imagine speaking to either of them ever again

  • In her latest agony aunt column, best-selling author Jane Green shares some advice with a woman who feels she has been betrayed by her dad and her friend
  • Do you have a question for Jane? Email [email protected] or ask it below
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Dear Jane,

I’m going to cut right to the chase here: my dad has married my best friend from childhood and I’m disgusted by them both.

To give you some background, my mother passed away three years ago and left just me and my dad behind. The experience was really rough for both of us, especially because we were dealing with our grief in very different ways.

About a year after she died, I was starting to feel like my old self, but I could see that my dad was still really struggling. He had basically become a shut-in, he wasn’t spending time with any of his friends, and he just seemed so depressed.

Around two months later, one of my closest friends from childhood told me that she was looking for somewhere to stay after breaking up with a boyfriend – and I suggested to her and my dad that she rent one of his spare rooms, at least for a few months. I figured it would be a cheap deal for her and would give my dad some company.

Dear Jane, my widowed father married my childhood best friend and I’m so upset with them both that I’ve cut off all contact 

To begin with my plan worked. They both bonded over their shared love of home design shows and my dad taught my friend how to play chess, which gave him something fun to do with his evenings when she wasn’t working. 

I thought everything was great – until about eight months in when they invited me over, sat me down… and told me that they’d fallen in love and were planning to marry. I was stunned. I had no idea what to say other than ‘what the actual f***’. 

International best-selling author Jane Green offers sage advice on readers’ most burning issues in her Dear Jane agony aunt column

They both tried to talk me down, told me that they never saw this coming, but they’d realized how much they had in common – and then they actually said I should be happy for them because I was the one who brought them together!

I walked out and I’ve never been back. They’ve tried calling, texting, and my friend even turned up at my house but I’ve refused to speak to either of them. Then a couple of months ago they sent me a wedding invitation. 

I refused to go and sent them both an email once again making clear my disgust over their relationship and telling them I can’t have them in my life if they’re going to continue this relationship.

Apparently neither of them cared because this past weekend they got married. Without me there. And apparently without a care in the world.

I’m so hurt and betrayed by both of them and hate the fact that they’ve chosen each other over me. I hate myself for ever putting them together in a room.

How can I make them see that they’re ruining all our lives?


Hurt and Betrayed

Dear Hurt and Betrayed,

It is completely understandable for you to feel enormously betrayed, and I am sorry you are going through such a hard time.

It is often difficult for children to see a parent with a new partner after their spouse has died. Even without the added complication of the new partner being a childhood friend, seeing a parent in a loving relationship with someone other than your mom can be jarring and upsetting, whatever age you are. 

Add in the fact that this is your friend, your pain is palpable, and understandable, and your trust has been shattered.

Unfortunately, we cannot control our parents choices, or indeed our friends. Nor can we help who we fall in love with. 

You love your father, and despite what feels like a huge betrayal, this isn’t a specific injury against you, and I imagine that having already lost your mother, you do not want your father to be out of your life forever.

Take them each aside and explain your feelings, and ask them how you can all work together to rebuild trust.

I wish you well.

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