“Much to my shock, they started dating immediately after,” says Sally. “I was deeply hurt and couldn’t believe Alexis didn’t know something so basic as ‘don’t date your best friend’s ex right after they break up.’” Alexis broke it off a week later, after her older sister pointed out her faux pas. But six months later, Alexis and Jack were back together. And then, they got married.
“Alexis and I have been distant ever since she and Jack tied the knot,” says Sally. “We still talk, but it’s not the same, and I don’t want to be too close to her at this point. I didn’t even invite her to my own wedding because I didn’t want Jack to be there. But I do miss my friend.”
Caitlin*, 22, from Wisconsin, broke up with her long-distance boyfriend while still in college, a school her ex’s best friend also happened to attend. The two started hanging out more and more, and eventually they became a couple. “All of our mutual friends seemed to be OK with it, but my ex was not fond of our relationship,” Caitlin says. “He tried to start fights between me and his best friend and even tried to break us up by telling lies about me to get inside his friend’s head. It made the beginning of our relationship really rough.”
Tammy, 42, from California, believed in the Best Friend Code until last year, when she was about to dump her BFF, a woman who was causing rifts among Tammy’s other friends and was treating her own husband very poorly.
“I went over to their house to tell her we couldn’t be friends anymore, but only her husband was home,” says Tammy. “I was about to leave my own husband at the time, and that night, after I explained the purpose behind my visit, my friend’s hubby admitted he was about to leave his wife as well. We started a very strong emotional connection, and have been committed to a relationship filled with love, support and kindness ever since.”
But it hasn’t all been a fairytale for Tammy. “My ex-BFF is ruthless and has vowed to make our lives hell,” she says. “But, the incredible connection my boyfriend and I have has made it all worthwhile. The drama is incredible, but sometimes you realize that it’s not worth missing out on the love of your life just to appease some snotty ex-girlfriend/BFF.”
Hearing these stories, it’s hard to pick a side. In every situation, someone got hurt – but did they deserve it? And was it worth it in the end? Is it ever worth it?
For now, I’m sticking to my guns on the Best Friend Code: Don’t go there! But I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Tell us: Is it ever OK to break the Best Friend Code?
*Name has been changed.
Faye Brennan is assistant editor at BettyConfidential.