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#178426 - 09/05/07 04:45 PM Best Friend Taking Advantage of Others?
ca_tallguy Offline
New Here

Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 17
Loc: California
Hi Guys,

I'm a little upset about a situation with my best friend of almost 20 years. Several months ago, he hooked up with this guy a few times and they hung out a little. They didn't see each other for awhile, then this guy found out he was HIV+ and called my friend for support as he didn't really have many close friends in town.

My friend provided support to him as he dealt with finding out he was positive. This guy started to stay over with my friend because he didn't want to be home alone in his apartment. I think they shared a bed and cuddled for some weeks, and eventually the line was crossed and they were sexual a few times.

All along, my friend knew that this guy had major issues with sexually acting out and now his HIV status. I had a conversation with my friend and said that this lack of boundaries didn't feel right to me... that it may be innocent physical contact to him, but certainly not to this guy who had issues.

So it didn't surprise me when the whole thing blew up over the last week or two. This guy has also become a friend of mine, and when I was trying to patch up the relationship by talking to him about what I thought were some simple miscommunications about other things, the guy told me that the real issue was that he felt like my best friend was taking advantage of him sexually.

To make matters worse, my best friend is shocked by the accusation although I totally believe it, and now wants to end the friendship with this other guy saying -- "I knew he had issues, but I didn't think the issues were THIS big!" Honestly, I'm disgusted because I think my friend was in it for the sex all along and is now making up reasons to break ties with this guy. If nothing else, the timing of ending the friendship comes across as very, very cruel.

I don't know if I am taking this too seriously because I'm deep in analysis of my own sexual victimization, but I don't think that I am. But what can I do? I've talked extensively with my friend about this, but if he was indeed taking advantage of the guy it doesn't seem to make sense for him to try to make a friendship work that shouldn't have started in the first place.

I guess that I'm very disappointed in my best friend in the world. Part of me doesn't want to try to beat him over the head with this because I would hope for him to do the right thing on his own, not because of guilt. But if he has already done the wrong thing and indeed was taking advantage of the other guy, I don't know if there is a right thing for him to do. Pretending to care about the other guy as a friend, out of guilt, does not seem right either. I've written an email that directly tells my friend how I feel about this but wonder if I've already made my point and this would just cause a huge rift in our relationship.

Any advice would be much appreciated.


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#178483 - 09/05/07 08:39 PM Re: Best Friend Taking Advantage of Others? [Re: ca_tallguy]
cat lover Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/05
Posts: 89
Loc: Denver, Colorado
It sounds to me like there are some boundary issues going on. A book which helped me:

"Love Does No Harm: Sexual Ethics for the Rest of Us" by Marie Fortune

My guess is that you're more able to spot victimization because of having experienced it yourself. I think I have a heightened awareness, too, and I don't view it as a bad thing at all.

Even best friends can disppoint sometimes.


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#179206 - 09/08/07 11:26 PM Re: Best Friend Taking Advantage of Others? [Re: cat lover]
Russ2 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/28/03
Posts: 77
Hey there, and thank you for posting.

The real question you should be asking is not "what can I do?", rather what should you do. And my answer would be: NOTHING.

You may have an opinion on the matter, and even feel disappointed in your friend, but what these two grown men do within the context of their relationship is their business.

Considering the way their relationship got started in the first place, are you really all that surprised by the outcome?

Take care of yourself,
Russ


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#179207 - 09/08/07 11:46 PM Re: Best Friend Taking Advantage of Others? [Re: Russ2]
ca_tallguy Offline
New Here

Registered: 09/02/07
Posts: 17
Loc: California
Thanks for the responses.

So Russ, I shouldn't tell my friend that I am disappointed -- just keep that to myself? I guess that's mostly what I'm wrestling with. Maybe this is part of the "new me" that is emerging as I deal with PTSD, but this bothers me so much that I can feel it impacting my communications with my best friend (of 20 years). I'm not as happy to see him, or as chatty in conversations.

Aside from that, it's not quite as simple as doing nothing. I feel forced to either join with my friend in writing off this guy who was taken advantage of, or upset him by remaining friends (but that's kind of impractical because I'll have to keep them apart, never doing anything as a group).

I really resent being put into this position when I feel that my best friend is being cruel and childish.


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#179328 - 09/09/07 06:50 PM Re: Best Friend Taking Advantage of Others? [Re: ca_tallguy]
Russ2 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/28/03
Posts: 77
It sounds like it may be time for you to gain some healthy distance from both of these men, and from their relationship in particular.

Even if you decide to tell your longtime friend that you feel disappointed in him, such a proclamation would only be your opinion. Since it would be the mere opinion of someone outside of the relationship in question, the views of such a third-party observer might easily be discounted. If he is not open to your perspective (as honest and true as it may be), then it could put your mutual friendship at risk. So, perhaps you should ask yourself: what is more important, your 20 year friendship with your best friend or getting mixed up in his affair?

Now, if you want to help the new guy, then give him some straight-forward advice (which may include something like "wake up man, and don't be such a door-mat!").

Unfortunately, you make the future sound so black and white. Nothing says you have to actively keep them apart -- afterall, it is possible (and healthy) to have many different friends who are not all friends with each other.

One thing seems clear, you have no reason to feel resentful. Your friend did not do this to you. It was his affair, his hook-up-turned-drama. They are both adult men, and as grown-ups must live with the consequences of their intentions, words and actions.

Take care of yourself,
Russ


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#179657 - 09/11/07 12:57 PM Re: Best Friend Taking Advantage of Others? [Re: Russ2]
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
CA,

I agree with Russ in that you can have both as friends if that is what you wish. Their feelings regarding the situation (in ANY aspect) are not your responsibility. If you feel you can not see them in the same setting at the same time, then that is just how it is.

The important thing here is that you remain true to yourself and your feelings, regardless of what you THINK you need to feel because of what you think YOUR FRIEND wants.


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