Our circle of friends has suffered a very decisive split. Two guys who were in a long-term relationship since we have known them broke up. One of them had an affair with an acquaintance of mine who has recently been hanging out with all of us. He isn’t, or wasn’t, even gay. There are seven of us who always did everything together. The new guy made eight. He has, or had, a girlfriend, but she never really came out with us. Some of the guys in our group thought it was obvious he was up to no good because why would he want to hang out with a bunch of gay dudes and a couple of chicks? I feel a little guilty as I brought this guy into our circle of friends, and now he fucked it all up. I still don’t think I should be held responsible, but my friend who lost his boyfriend has been very rude and short with me since this happened. They have been very ugly with each other and want everyone to choose sides. We never all hang out together anymore. When any of us hang out all we talk about is what happened and who thinks who is right and who is mad at whom. I understand that these guys are not going to be able to just forget and forgive, but I want to bring us all back together somehow. What can I do to make us all return to the way we were? Life used to be fun and awesome, but now it’s lame, and I dread the weekends. Do we just cash it in, or is there some magical solution to this predicament?
— Missing the Good Ole Days
I am guessing you didn’t write so I could just tell you to cash it in. OK, so I suppose for starters you could stop bringing in these stray homewrecking tramps. Just kidding.
It’s OK to make new friends, and you kind of might need to, but pay attention. I am not saying you should be suspicious or judgmental of people who are different or are straight men with penises, but listen for that little voice or at least trust your friends’ sixth senses.
Now to be clear, I am also not saying that the homewrecker is a dirty leg or evil. My house is glass, if you know what I mean. He may in fact be going through a difficult time discovering and learning about his sexuality. If you want to be his friend the thing to do would be to ask him in a non-accusatory manner what’s up. He may not have a good answer, but give him a chance.
It is hard to bring a group of fighting people together. First, you have to take the high road. No picking sides. When put on the spot, treat everyone with respect and ask them to do the same with one another and you. This will not always go well. Sometimes the worst behavior occurs in the aftermath of big fallouts — especially because it’s hard to understand that some things are none of our fucking business.
As friends to these three gentlemen, you and the rest of your crew should simply let them cry on your shoulders and tell them to keep the hard work between one another. None of you can fix their problems. You can encourage them to find resolution and move on with their lives, with or without each other, but you shouldn’t feed any fires of anger, resentment, or revenge. They each will be a shit ton happier when this is past and they haven’t done or said anything horrible to the other two. You might also win the lottery.
Here is your magical solution/suicide bombing: Approach each person individually and invite them for a night out together. Insist on neutrality and no discussion of the incident. Tell the three gents they need to decide amongst themselves who’s going and who’s staying home if they can’t all be together. Like divorcing parents they will have to work out time with the gang. Try to move toward normal. It will work itself out slowly or some of you may realize you need new friends. Remember when planning this first outing, alcohol will accelerate the process, but that could be good or bad.
Much love and a lot more luck,
Your Uncle Mat
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