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'AITA for not telling my wife about an incident with her best friend?' MAJOR UPDATE

'AITA for not telling my wife about an incident with her best friend?' MAJOR UPDATE

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Honesty is always the best policy in a relationship, particularly when it's uncomfortable.

"AITA for not telling my wife about an incident with her best friend?"

I want to be very sensitive when writing it here, but I have been dealing with unbearable guilt and wanted to know if what I am doing is wrong. I really do not want to trigger anyone, but I will be writing about a very sad situation. I (33M) have been married to my wife (31F) for 6 years and we have a 3-year-old kid.

We are very happy together and I am lucky to be married to a very kind and smart woman. My wife's best friend Ana (fake name for anonymity) has been living with us for the last 6 months. I wanted to talk about Ana to give a full context of why I am making my decision. Ana is my wife's best friend since school days. Ana was living in the city with her boyfriend, and we live in the suburbs of that city.

They seemed happy together and were in relationship for 2 years. However, my wife noticed bruises on Ana's hand last year and asked her about it. Initially, Ana dismissed it as work related injuries. My wife kept on probing, and we learned that Ana was in an extremely t*xic and ab#sive relationship. Her boyfriend lost his job last year and became extremely controlling and ab#sive towards her.

He constantly accused her of cheating (Ana denies it), made her link her phone messenger to his computer and started micromanaging finances. There was an incident of d#mestic v##lence that was the final straw and my wife, and I had to rush to the hospital to look after Ana. Since Ana's parents are mostly absent from her life, my wife asked me if Ana can stay with us for a few days.

We are three people living in a 4-bedroom house and have two spare guest rooms. I of course agreed to it and told her that Ana can stay with us as long as she wants. I think the incident completely broke Ana and she would just start crying randomly and completely shut down. It was really sad to see Ana in that state. She had to leave her job due to mental issues and stayed at home in the room all day.

My wife is very kind and took care of Ana like she was family and made sure she felt loved. Ana is also thankful to my wife and I to help her in her worst time, and helps around the house and with our kid (though we never leave him alone with Ana). Ana, now is coming back to normal, smiles sometimes and has started looking for job again. Now onto the incident.

Last Friday, my wife and I went to work as normal and dropped our son at daycare. I had a doctor's appointment at noon and came straight home from there as I did not have a lot of work in office. I made some lunch, and then went to my room to sit in my bed and reply to all the emails. Ana was in her room, and I did not talk to her after I came home.

Around 2pm, I heard Ana's room door open and her walking in the hallway. Suddenly, our bedroom door opened, and Ana walked in t*pless and just in her underwear. I was shocked and not sure how long I was staring at her. But after a few seconds, I blurted out "I am sorry!", and she quickly covered herself with her hands. She was apologetic and started explaining herself.

She said she just wanted to borrow my wife's clothes because her laundry was unwashed. It was super embarrassing to have conversation with her in that state and I looked away. She again apologized and then went out of the bedroom. The incident lasted less than 2 minutes. After a while, she again came back into our bedroom (fully dressed) and apologized for the incident.

She said it was really embarrassing and she did not know anyone will be home. I said it's ok and I should have told her I am back early from office when I came home. She asked me to not mention about the incident to my wife. She said she feels embarrassed she walked around the hallway without clothes and that I saw her in that state. I said it's okay and let's forget about it.

I have not told my wife about the incident and it's been 5 days. It was just a benign incident, but I somehow feel guilty about the whole thing. I feel more guilty that I am lying to my wife by omission of the truth. However, I feel that if my wife takes it the wrong way, it may strain her relationship with Ana, and I really feel bad for Ana what she had to go through.

I also do not want to make Ana uncomfortable in our house by telling my wife about her barging into our bedroom in that state. Am I the AH in this case for not talking about this incident to my wife.

I am afraid that if Ana tells it to her first, it will make me look really bad and guilty. However, if I tell her, I do not want her to blame Ana for any of this and not help her in time of her need. Can someone please help me on how I can tell my wife about this?

Commenters were quick to share advice.

Icy-Doctor23 wrote:

YWBTA if you do not tell your wife. Never keep secrets as a team with your house guest against your wife!

machinezed responded:

Tell her gently. Just as you say, I would tell her before she tells your wife. Make sure you tell her you truly believe it was an accident. As the conversation may just end up telling her to at least keep a shirt on when out of her room. If the friend is vindictive or thinks she wants to try and break up you and your wife.

She may be the first to tell her and the story may change to you coming to her room while she was sleeping topless. And you creeping her. The first stories are always the one to believe. But it wasn’t malicious what she did. You aren’t trying to kick her out, and could have been an honest mistake. And it doesn’t have to be anything more than that.

Disastrous-Oven-4465 wrote:

Ana needs to tell her PDQ. She also needs to stay out of your bedroom. Do NOT keep the secret. That’s what will destroy your relationship. I’ll try to give Ana a pass but some small part of me thinks she knows what she’s doing and asking you to keep it a secret is part of that.

fallingintopolkadots wrote:

If she really was just walking in to get an item of clothing (assuming she and your wife have that kind of clothes sharing friendship) and she was truly not aware that you were home, then this really doesn't sound like a big deal at all.

It's a bit concerning that Ana is so worried about it, granted she is coming out of an ab#sive relationship. It really shouldn't have needed to be kept secret, and it's clearly bothering you to do so.

"Hey sweetie, I had an awkward moment with Ana the other day that she felt really embarrassed about and didn't want to tell you, and I tried to honor that, but I feel weird about keeping such a benign snafu quiet. I came home from work early that one day and went straight to the bedroom to hang out. I knew Ana was home, but I hadn't said anything to her to let her know I was home too.

I was minding my own, when she came in to borrow an item of your clothing and she was topless because she didn't know I was home or in our bedroom. She was extremely embarrassed, I averted my eyes immediately, she explained about the clothes and apologized -- it was awkward all around -- and then she exited and got dressed. Do you have any questions or concerns?"

OP wrote:

Thanks. This is really helpful. May be I am overthinking this, but I have read that in these situations, the victim's trust in men is very fragile. Would it be horrible if I tell my wife after I told Ana I would not mention about this incident? Should I talk about this with Ana first?

The next day, OP shared a major update.

I was not sure how to bring it up to my wife and you guys really helped me a lot in understanding the urgency of telling my wife. I also got some cool ideas on how to bring up the subject without making it awkward for anyone. For everyone saying Ana was doing it on purpose, I did not agree with it as I am an extremely average looking person and women don't chase me.

However, things since last night have been just crazy and I think I am spiraling a bit. Sorry for the long post. So, I decided to tell my wife last night as soon as she came home about the incident. I liked the idea of jokingly bringing up casually so that we both can laugh about it and then forget it. Last night, when my wife came home, I made sure I stayed in our bedroom.

I asked Ana if she could stay with my kid downstairs. As my wife was changing, I asked her if Ana still borrow her clothes. Ana had to borrow them regularly when she first moved (long story). My wife told me yes and she has told Ana she can take anything from her closet if she needs it. I asked my wife if Ana told her about the funny incident from Friday.

My wife said no, and I told her the whole story about how I came home early, and Ana came in the room almost naked to get her clothes, and how embarrassing it was for both of us. As my wife was listening to this, she completely froze and turned pale. She started murmuring in Spanish (which is her and Ana's native language).

I don't understand Spanish really well, but I understood the words "hombre casado" and "orta vez". I asked her if she is okay, and she sat next to me and asked me to explain everything in detail. I just told her it was nothing and she must have not heard me coming in. I was trying to laugh it off, but my wife had water in her eyes.

I kept on telling her it was not a big deal, but she kept on asking me for more details. She asked me how Ana talks to me. I told her that Ana barely talks to me since she moved in except few words here and there. My wife then asked me about three weeks ago when my wife had gone to visit her parents for four days. Ana did not want to go with her and stayed back.

I told her that Ana was just acting normal. She or I would cook dinner after I got home from work while the other took care of the kid. The only thing different was Ana generally spending her evening in her room.

However, when I was sitting in the living room watching TV after the kids slept, Ana came and sat on the sofa next to me but did not talk to me. I asked her if she wants me to change the channel or stream something she likes, and she just said she wanted to get out of her room. However, she did not flirt with me or do anything unusual.

I kept on telling my wife that it was just an accident, and I really did not understand why she reacted so emotionally to it. My wife refused to answer and just said ok and agreed with me. However, she told me I should have told her about the incident sooner and should not keep any secrets from her and gave me a big lecture.

I told her that I did not think it was a big deal and thought Ana would tell her, but glad I brought it up. After dinner, my wife messaged Ana to join us, and she came out. While talking, my wife brought up the incident and told Ana that I mentioned about the incident, and she does not need to feel embarrassed. Such things happen when we are all in the same house and is not a big deal.

Ana was firstly taken by surprise, but then told my wife she was just scared to tell her because she thought my wife would judge her because of her past. My wife gave her a stare, and she quickly changed the topic. At night, I asked my wife what the hell was going on.

I told her to please not keep any secrets from me, and if she does not tell me, I will directly ask Ana about what her past has got to do with anything. My first guess was Ana might have had a thing for me before we got married or something. But my wife was very reluctant to answer and kept on trying to change the subject and cuddle. However, I kept being persistent, and she finally spilled the beans.

Apparently, when Ana was in her early 20s, she was in relationship with a married coworker who was twice her age. It was a kind of sugar daddy relationship, and he told her that he was in an open relationship (or that's what Ana told my wife) and he would leave his wife in few years once the kids go to college.

This makes sense, because Ana is very pretty (like Miss USA level), and I never understood why she was single for most of the time I knew her. She eventually ended that relationship and started dating her BF Jim, who turned out to be an ab#sive AH.

My wife said she suspects Ana was still involved with the older guy while in relationship with Jim, which explains why he kept on accusing her of cheating. That is why my wife became emotional when I told her what Ana did because she was worried Ana has no boundaries regarding married men.

My wife said that Ana always looks up to us and praises me for being such a loyal partner and how lucky my wife is. My wife was a worried initially when she brought Ana home, but her actions from the time when my wife was away clearly show that she respects the boundaries, and it must have been an accident.

My wife told me she is grateful I let Ana live in our house and observe what a healthy and happy marriage looks like. Today morning was even more weird. I got up early as I could not sleep well and went down for a cup of coffee. After 5 minutes Ana walked into the kitchen and told me she was relieved my wife did not overreact to Friday incident.

She said I am a good husband and gave me a hug and peck on the cheeks. She has never hugged me in the last 6 months. She seemed to be in a happy mood and was making small talk with me while having coffee. I cannot believe my wife did not tell me such a huge detail about Ana for all these years.

It's completely possible she cheated all through the relationship with Jim, and my wife is just covering for her all along. She even kept it a secret from me (after giving me a lecture about how we should never have secrets), and I don't know what else she is hiding. Everything just seems very confusing at this point.

I feel angry at my wife for lying to me all these years for Ana. I also now see Ana differently. I am also worried that me trivializing the incident to my wife might have sent wrong signals to Ana.

The comments kept coming.

Tundra-Queen8812 wrote:

Ana needs to go before her own messed up issues lead her to further mess with your marriage. She was testing OP again with the hug and kiss on the cheek and I didn't see OP writing that he told his wife about that new development. She's gotta go before she pushes to the next level.

OP responded:

Yes. I am also a bit mad at myself for trying to casually describe the event as some of the redditors advised and not talk about the fact that she was in the room for a lot longer. I was worried that my wife would be pissed at me. Now I wish I told her all the details and did not make it sound trivial. My wife now trusts Ana and I am getting more uncomfortable.

Thisisthenextone wrote:

Buddy.

"After 5 minutes Ana walked into the kitchen and told me she was relieved my wife did not overreact to Friday incident. She said I am a good husband and gave me a hug and peck on the cheeks."

Someone actually happy there wasn't a misunderstanding would not hug and kiss you.

She's pushing boundaries.

Ambroisie_CY wrote:

Exactly! I'm from a culture where kissing on the cheeks is normal, even when meeting new people. But in this context? Hell no! If you live an embarrassing situation like this with your best friend's husband, you don't go and kiss him on the cheek, nor hug him right after.

Cultural thing or not, the context is important. And here the context tells us that Ana has indeed no boundaries with married men.

OP needs to tell his wife and explain to her he is beginning to feel uncomfortable with Ana around.

And I'm pretty sure his wife will agree with him. OP don't put your marriage in trouble by not speaking your mind. Your boundaries are as important as anyone else. And if you felt the need to tell us about this kiss and hug, this means it's bothering you (which is normal, it would bother me too). You need to do something about it.

Bencil_Mcprush wrote:

I can never process spouses who think it's a smart idea to keep silent about these "incidents."

Don't you realize that the longer you dwell in secrecy, the less innocent you will look and the worse your spouse will react when they finally find out?

tonidh69 wrote:

Probably ought to set a timeline for Ana to move out. Sounds like a powder keg. But also sounds like it could be true that it was accidental. Not sure I'd be mad that the wife didn't tell earlier, but prob should have when she moved in. It wasn't her story to tell, until she moved in. More communication. Maybe cameras? Seems extreme, but whatever makes things more comfortable.

SwimmingJello2199 wrote

Have not heard one thing about your wife's appearance but definitely a few comments about how h*t her naked friend is....

OP responded:

I didn't think that was relevant. My wife is very beautiful to me and has amazing personality. We have been married for 6 years and together for 10, and there is a reason why I love my wife soo much.

Solid_Seb wrote:

Well that took a turn lol. Keep the honesty going and tell your wife, and be better about boundaries with Ana. A cheek kiss can be completely platonic in a lot of Spanish cultures, but still best to say something since your wife seems wary.

OP responded:

I agree with the hug and kiss part here. It is not uncommon for my wife's friends to kiss me on the cheek when they meet me. I am not from that culture, and initially used to make me uncomfortable. But, something about today morning with Ana waking up so early, coming down in her bed clothes and sitting with me rubbed me the wrong way.

I am not able to point out exactly what, but she was acting differently (for a lack of better word, she looked happy for the first time since she moved into our place).

Sources: Reddit
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