I Married My Boyfriend's Best Friend — And Feel Zero Guilt

I was in love, and I didn't care if I hurt anybody else.

Last updated on Aug 11, 2023

groom and bride embracing each other  oleynikkonstantin via Canva

I had two options that warm day in May of 2005: Meet the guy from an online dating site who seemed only slightly interested in me, or meet the guy who left voicemails "just to hear my beautiful voice."

At the time, I was a young, educated woman who had a full-time job and plenty of friends, so I did what any girl would do: I tossed the "voicemail" guy and met up with the emotionally unavailable one. To protect his privacy, we'll call him John. 


John was my height, a bit more religious than I am, and extremely irritated by the fact that I hadn't read anything Harry Potter-related or seen the original Star Wars movie. Come to think of it, I probably just annoyed him overall.

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But somehow, I passed the vetting process and was allowed to meet his friends. It was late June when he called and said he'd be picking me up at my house with his friend. I waited on my front deck, hoping the sweat from my underarms didn't soak through my new shirt.

I ran into my house to grab a bottle of water and when I came back, John's car was idling in front of my house. The front passenger seat was empty and I walked over confused until I saw his friend sitting in the back. I jumped in the car and was quickly introduced to Drew.


"Why didn't you sit in the front? You were in the car before me," I asked.

I turned around to look at Drew. He was tall, dark, and handsome. He shook his head and shrugged his shoulders awkwardly. His nose glistened with a little bit of sweat and my heart fell. I was in lust with John's best friend.

John turned around and explained that he thought it was silly and that Drew had moved to the back only when he reached my house. It was then I realized I had two choices: break up with John and lose Drew or stay with John and, at the very least, grow a friendship with this man that had me feeling like I was going to throw up (in a good way).

I, of course, took the smart (but very selfish) route and stayed with John. I wasn't prepared to lose Drew.


My friends reminded me daily that I was in a relationship with John, not Drew after I'd tell them about any interaction I had with him that day. It was mostly always innocent texts confirming plans or asking what food I was in the mood for so he could coordinate our weekend. John never did that; in fact, John never really cared about what I was interested in.

Throughout the following months, I played the part of "fun girlfriend" to John. Drew and I lightly flirted (though, if you ask him now, he says he never intended it to come off as flirting and was just being extra friendly to a girl he felt very connected to).

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On New Year's Eve, the group (including John's friends and mine) all went to Atlantic City. As the clock edged closer to midnight, everyone was buzzed, happily gambling and heartily eating. I felt depressed. I didn't want to kiss John; I wanted to kiss Drew when that clock struck 12. Of course, that didn't happen. I put a smile on my face and went about New Year's Eve like it was my job.


Later that night, when we all gathered at our cars in front of John's house just around 5 AM, John walked right into his home without even a look back to see that I got into my car safely. The only two left outside were Drew and myself. He saw how sad I was and told me to call him when I got home to make sure I was safe, a job most certainly that should have been John's.

It was then I realized it was too painful being around Drew and not being able to be with him. It was too painful to pretend to love John anymore, and I knew I was hurting him.

On the drive home, I thought about all my mistakes. Maybe I should have gone with the "voicemail" guy. Maybe I should have broken up with John immediately. Maybe I should just grow up and be honest with everyone about everything.

I called Drew when I got home and we talked from 5:30 AM to 9 AM, and only because my cordless phone had run out of battery did we end our conversation. I revealed everything to him: that I had more than just friendly feelings for him, that I was only staying with John because of him, and that I felt like the most horrible human being on Earth.


He confessed he felt the same way but at the same time encouraged me to stay with John and try to work things out. Despite our strong feelings, John was still his best friend and he wasn't sure he could ever be with me.

I hung up the phone feeling elated and completely destroyed all at once.

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A few days later, I broke it off with John. It just wasn't going to happen, especially now that I knew Drew had feelings for me. Word around the group was that John thought I was "the one," that we'd end up married, and he was devastated by the breakup. I always found that curious, considering he didn't treat me like I was "the one."


A week after, Drew and I became a couple — secretly.

We knew we couldn't be away from each other but we also knew being "out" would tear the group apart. It must have become obvious to others as Drew started receiving warnings from friends and family members.

"Stay away from Liza."

"She's John's ex. Friends don't do that."

"She's trouble. You're better than that."

Six months later, Drew told John. John accepted it, but our group get-togethers became very awkward, and few and far between until they were no longer.


In 2008, Drew's mother and my parents were witnesses to our "wedding," a simple ceremony at the Justice of the Peace. We had no party because we had no friends to invite. No one even thought to bring a camera so all we have is a grainy cell phone picture to commemorate that day.

It will be more than eight years since we've been married, as well as our son's fifth birthday. I know the way our love began was unconventional, and to some, controversial; when it comes to true love, everything else seems small in comparison.

I don't feel guilty because John is now happily married with children of his own. Had we stayed together, our marriage would have fallen apart quickly.

True love is rare — once you find it, you're blinded by the colors the world suddenly changes into — a new world that hopefully everyone gets to experience


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Liza Walter is a freelance writer who has appeared in HuffPost, BRIDES, Bust Magazine, Ravishly, and more.