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I (21F) have been dating my boyfriend, Ben (22M) for three years now. Ben and his cousin Rachel (20F) are extremely close. Their moms are sisters, and both single moms, so they were practically raised together. Ben usually treats her like his little sister and is very protective of her, but they’re also just best friends and do everything together.
I’ve known Rachel for years as we went to high school together, but we were never in the same circle of friends until I started dating Ben, which is when my best friend, Jess (21F), and I became part of their tight knit group. Jess and Rachel didn’t really get along in high school but have since been able to become pretty good friends.
Rachel and I aren’t particularly close. I like her a lot and wish we were as close as she and Jess currently are, but she doesn’t seem to like me very much. I know that because she’s told me off several times - one time on vacation she told me off after Ben and I had a little argument over where to eat dinner, Rachel told me I was being whiny and annoying.
She’s done this in front of their moms, and constantly makes little remarks when we’re with friends. Ben doesn’t see much wrong with it because to him, she’s treating me the way she would treat a sister, and he finds it endearing that she ‘teases me’ the same way she does to him, which is what I try to believe as well.
Last week, Ben threw Rachel a surprise birthday party. I helped him plan and we both split the cost for anything we had to buy for it. I knew from Jess that Rachel had been talking to this guy who she really liked, so I thought it would be nice if I invited him as well as our friends.
Fast forward, Rachel was surprised and the party was going great. We were getting along pretty well which made me happy. We were all drunk when the guy Rachel liked arrived with a friend. I greeted them at the door and walked with them over to Rachel in an attempt to kinda wingman for her.
Rachel was talking to Jess, facing away from us, and as we get closer we realize she’s drunkenly telling Jess how much she likes the guy I invited and the friend he brought and doesn’t know what to do, and then began comparing her hookups with both of them in great detail.
Jess tried to get her to stop talking several times but she was too drunk realize, and I was frozen awkwardly as these two guys heard the entire thing. When Rachel finally turned around she looked mortified. She went over to Ben and began telling him what had just happened. Rachel and asked him why he would even invite them, and he told her I must’ve invited them since he didn’t.
Before I could even get any words out, Rachel began going off at me saying I embarrassed her and put her in an uncomfortable situation, and that now she wouldn’t be able to enjoy her party amongst other things. I felt so bad that I couldn’t get any words out and basically just let Rachel go off at me until Jess pulled me away.
Jess told me she agreed that I embarrassed Rachel and it was sh!tty of me to not try and stop her. I explained myself but she said it wasn’t my place to invite them to begin with since I wasn’t in the loop about Rachel’s love life and it would be best if I kicked them out and left as well, so I did.
It’s been a week since the party and Rachel hasn’t spoken to me. Jess thinks I should apologize to Rachel for embarrassing her at her party. I feel bad about this whole situation but I can’t help but feel like it’s unfair as I was only trying to bond with Rachel and didn’t intentionally embarrass her.
I feel I’m owed an apology as well since I basically helped plan and pay for the party and got kicked out before even being given an opportunity to be heard.
NTA but I really dont think you and your bf have much of a future together if he is not willing to stand up for you every time his cousin is mean and rude to you. I'm also thinking that jess isn't that close of a friend to you anymore
Why is Jess now telling you how wrong was what you did? She was the one to be sharing information that didn’t concerned her to share to begin with. You only try to do a good thing but personally I think anything you would’ve done it’s still won’t be enough for Rachel & her jealousy she probably is jealous of you and Ben dating since they are pretty close,
but I also don’t like this “friend” Jess specially because you did nothing wrong, Rachel was the one doing stuff she wasn’t supposed to & she outed herself & embarrassed herself that’s no one but her fault so I don’t understand Jess siding with her. Also personally I’ll just start ignoring Rachel she sounds pretty immature.
NTA You were doing a nice thing trying to invite her crush. How were you supposed to know that she was playing double-duty with two friends? She effed around and found out.
NTA but Jess is giving snake vibes. She’s found a new best friend, and you’re about to learn some painful lessons. Also your boyfriend has no spine, and it’s clear that you will always come AFTER Rachel. Don’t spend your 20s being a doormat.
Bare with me, this is gonna be long (apologies in advance). The following took place last night:
1.) I reached out to Rachel and spoke with her. I sent her a big text explaining my side of the situation and tried to clarify what had happened. I didn’t apologize, and I expressed my feelings regarding our relationship as well as the incident at the party. She was not very receptive and was not open to accepting responsibility over her own behavior.
She said that I crossed a line, and even said she believes I “embarrassed her intentionally.” She thinks I invited them knowing about her situation (apparently Jess was actually aware of that detail) and invited them both in an attempt to humiliate her as ‘payback’ for all the incidents we’ve had in the past (basically, her treating me like ass.)
2.) I spoke to Jess as well. I reached out to her and expressed how I felt regarding her kicking me out of the party that I was essentially cohosting, as well as how I felt towards her basically throwing me under the bus and enabling the situation between Rachel and I to get much worse.
She was also not very receptive. I was surprised by that since we’ve been best friends for years and never had any issues within our friendship. It was clear she was completely on Rachel’s side, and not only that, but also apparently shares Rachel’s dislike of me, Rachel’s belief that I planned this entire ordeal to intentionally humiliate Rachel, and thinks I tried to create a conflict between herself and Rachel as well.
They both have said they believe I should apologize (now to both of them) and said they are not comfortable with being around me until I do. (lol, sorry that’s just laughable)
3.) I spoke to Ben, about everything. I told him about this post, we read through some of the comments and we talked about this entire situation. He said he wanted to be aware of everything that was going on so he was with me while I texted with Rachel, and listened to my conversation with Jess on the phone.
He apologized to me for not intervening sooner, for not leaving the party with me and also for not realizing that Rachel’s behavior towards me was beyond ‘sisterly teasing’. He took full responsibility for not hearing me and not validating my concerns whenever I addressed them.
He reassured me that he’ll be speaking to Rachel about her behavior and setting firm boundaries, and promised to do whatever he can to make sure I feel comfortable and safe within our relationship, which was such a huge relief after everything that happened.
there’s something else he shared with me yesterday too, and this was honestly the one thing I was not expecting— Apparently, a few days ago, Ben, Rachel, and Jess were hanging out at Rachel’s. He said Rachel didn’t want to invite me and neither did Jess, and that he found it odd that they were verbalizing that to him.
What he found the most odd though was Jess’ behavior towards him. He said he felt uncomfortable and in the moment didn’t want to assume she was flirting with him, but ended up leaving and after witnessing our conversation felt he should share this with me as he’s starting to think there’s potentially more to it.
Moving onto today, literally a few hours ago, Ben came to see me and told me Rachel stopped by his place. He spoke with her and addressed everything he said he would. Her response to him was pretty much the same as her response to me.
Shockingly enough though, she also told him she thinks he shouldn’t even be dating me to begin with, told him she’s no longer going to ‘pretend to support our relationship’ and that he’d make a much better match with Jess.
She ended up confessing to him that Jess has developed some feelings for him which is what brought them closer, and she’s talked with Jess about how much better suited they’d be than Ben and I. He shut it down immediately and came straight over to tell me about it.
We’ve decided that we’re gonna distance ourselves from the friend group and cut ties with Jess. He’s already blocked her on everything (I didn’t even ask him to) and left the group chat we all had together.
I’m heartbroken to learn that my best friend would do something like this, but kinda starting to think she was never my best friend after all though it still hurts to lose the only best friend I’ve ever had. I haven’t spoken to her about this yet and tbh I don’t think I’m going to, I don’t wanna waste any more energy with such awful people.
Ben’s been extremely apologetic and feels really bad about the role he inadvertently played in all of this as well as the way Rachel has been treating me, which to me is a good sign and has been very relieving. He’s an amazing guy and I’m so happy to see that I was right in thinking that all this time.
He also respects my decision to cut ties with Rachel and has agreed to discuss further what kind of boundaries we will be putting in place going forward in terms of the family dynamic. He even spoke with his mom about all of this after our talk to make sure she’s in the loop regarding our boundaries as well as Rachel’s behavior.
She was very understanding about it and they both even insisted on paying me back what I spent on the party, but I don’t wanna accept because their support is more than enough.
With all of that said, it’s only been a day so I’m not sure how this will all play out in the long run; I’m still very overwhelmed by the turn of events but nonetheless I’m glad I came here yesterday. If I hadn’t, I don’t think I would’ve gotten the courage and confidence to confront this situation the way I did.
I’ve also decided to start therapy again for my social anxiety and to hopefully fix some of the self esteem issues that I’ve been avoiding for a while, which is something I’m really happy and proud about, and I have to thank you all for helping me realize I needed that help.
Sorry for all my rambling and for this extremely long update lol. Thank you all again for each piece of advice, each perspective, all the words of encouragement, and even harsh but necessary reality checks. I appreciate it all.
For those brave enough to read this far, what are your thoughts on how this all went down??