Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

A Slip of the Tongue

A Slip of the Tongue my friends are awesome just a story  wine glass pour 300x201I had two good over for dinner last night (How Very Lucky and Jack from Brooklyn) and we were talking about, well, everything. Life, love, music, work, , politics… you name it we talked about it.  At some point, as a tangent to what we were talking about, I told a story about a couple I know. And then it hit me, hours later, that I totally slipped up.

The couple in question is an old friend of mine and her husband. I’ve met the husband dozens of times, since way back when they first started dating. But when I mentioned him in the story I called him by the name of a different guy.  A different friend’s ex. Someone who happens to look a lot like him, but who I haven’t seen in over a decade. And who I haven’t thought of in YEARS.

My memory is a scary place.

So anyway, beyond their physical resemblance, they have pretty much nothing in common. So I started to wonder why he came to mind. Maybe I was supposed to remember this guy for some other reason. Maybe I’m supposed to write about him and how he came to be the friend’s EX?

This is one of those cases where I feel a little odd, because I’m telling other people’s stories (and hence airing their dirty laundry), which always makes me feel odd. But it all happened so long ago and I’m 99.9% sure that none of the people involved know anything able this site. Plus, I’m not really going to tell you what exactly happened.

We were/they were all in their early/mid 20s and either fresh out of or still in grad school. All very bright and earnest. The woman in this story and I went to grad school together. She was living with and engaged to a man she’d known for years. Her college boyfriend. And they seemed the perfect couple. They were waiting until they were both out of grad school and started in their new careers before getting married.

And then… she met someone else. And like so many (most) people do, she started to see this new guy behind her fiance’s back. I knew about it and was kind of shocked, because it seemed so out of character for her. But then, I was young. I still thought that cheating was something that very few/only bad people did.

Anyway, she cheated for a while. And then one day she came home and told her fiance that she was in love with this other guy and that was that. She moved out and in with the new man. Leaving out lots of details here, obviously. And not too long after, she and the new guy got married.  Her ex-fiance was at the wedding.  It was the last time I saw him.

Again, I have no idea what made me think of him last night. Maybe it was random coincidence. Or maybe it was because I’ve been hearing lots of cheating stories lately, and lots of talk of revenge and anger.

Really, the only thing that makes this story worth telling is the fact that the guy in question, the Ex, chose to not be angry. To not hate the woman who cheated on him. To not end their many years long friendship because their romantic relationship was over. There were no children involved. No pets. Nothing to bind them together. But he chose to stay in her life, as a friend. Because he had been for all of those years. And he didn’t want that to change.

I honestly don’t know if I could do the same.


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13 to “A Slip of the Tongue”


  1. Black Iris says:

    I couldn’t do the same, not if I’d loved someone. I might be able to manage not hating and going on to have my own life, especially if I were young and hadn’t been with them long, but I don’t think I could have handled being at the wedding and staying friends. Of course, after many years, things don’t matter anymore, so that would be different.

  2. FeistyWoman says:

    I’m leaning towards this issue along the same lines as Black Iris. There isn’t any way I could take this laying down, especially if was marrying the person. I’d feel more than betrayed.

    The EX who remained her friend is rare. Usually these things only end in an ugly drawn disaster. This instance in which everybody involved was all hunky-dorey afterward is not mainstream.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I certainly didn’t present it as a mainstream idea. Just a story of some people I know. And who are all still friends (the EX and the couple in question) to this day.

  3. I’ve done the same.

    One of my best/longest term friends is a man who cheated on me. It took a little time for me to get to that point. He lives in another country now. But we exchange regular emails and he is one of my biggest supporters.

    • Simone Grant says:

      That’s nice to hear, that it’s not THAT rare. I’d like to think there are many people in this situation. We’ve all read the data on cheating. LOTS of people cheat. It would be nice to think that many of those friendships can be salvaged.

  4. Sandyvs says:

    Sometimes, when relationships end, BOTH parties are at the point where they are no longer in love and so they end a lot friendlier than if only one person is no longer in love. Perhaps that is what happened in this case?

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’d imagine you are right, although, I would never have asked for that kind of detail. I really am a bit prudish about what I do and don’t talk to my friends about.

  5. Nikki04 says:

    I agree with Feisty and Iris. I couldn’t do it. At least not right away. If I were in love with the person, it would take me a long, long time to get over it.

    That being said, I think it is SO sad how most relationships end so completely – when the two people in them were so close. I mean, you go from loving someone, or at least being close, to never seeing them again. While sometimes the end causes too much pain to get over (e.g. how do you cheat on someone you love? why don’t you come clean first? I mean, really?), sometimes people let the end of things get the better of them, instead of keeping someone they loved in their life.

    It’s a case-by-case thing, I suppose.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’d agree with you that it is sad how relationships tend to end so completely. But, sadly, so many people behave badly at the end of relationships and most of us (human beings = us) don’t seem capable of overlooking that bad behavior.

  6. BBforever says:

    I’m sorry to point out the obvious but the EX fiance wasn’t at the wedding to be supportive of their friendship….he was there because he was curious! He was filled with mixed emotions and was secretly praying for a miracle that she wouldn’t get married. To me this situation reeks of relationship no nos. One, you don’t start a new beginning with a cheater. Two, know when to walk away and three, don’t put love on a schedule.

    • Simone Grant says:

      You’re certainly entitled to your theories, although I’m not sure what they’re based on… The decade + of friendship since the wedding (that I didn’t include in the story) might support the idea that he wanted to remain friends, but whatever. I, long ago, learned that people like to read their biases into whatever I write, facts be damned.
      But, thanks for the comment.

  7. Terry D says:

    When you really love someone, their happiness is first and foremost in your heart. I watched a short movie not long ago called “What Love Is” starring Cuba Gooding Jr and this exact story is played out in the movie – The dialogues/monologues are brilliant and the sentiment is exquisite. I’m not even going to try to tell you the story but I WILL urge you to find it, buy it, rent it, share it with everyone you know cause it’s just that good.
    Having recently experienced the same emotional roller coaster, I can honestly say it’s worth the ride.
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