Slept with Boyfriend's Brother

Q: I'm 20, and I've been living with my boyfriend for the past six months. Our relationship couldn't be better. One night last week me and a few friends and his brother went out to a club while my boyfriend stayed home. To sum it up, we were all extremely drunk and I had sex with his brother. I've been talking to my boyfriend every day since then, but he's a mess. He can't eat, and he just cries all the time. I love him and I know I messed up, but I want to make it up to him and rebuild our relationship; he says he loves me more than anything but he doesn't know what to do. What should I do? -- Elizabeth

Dr. Susan: There's a limited amount you can do to make up for such a serious lack of judgment. Your boyfriend is going to have to work through his feelings and decide if he can ever trust you again. You've behaved so badly that I don't know if you're mature enough for a long-term relationship. A drunken kiss might be one thing, but you had sex with your lover's brother. You could promise your boyfriend you're swearing off liquor and that you'll absolutely never drink when he's not around, if that would help him take your remorse seriously. It's worth a try, but only if you're willing to abide by it. Obviously you make very bad decisions while under the influence. The main thing you can do is be there for him as he unloads his hurt on you, as long as it takes, without making excuses and without in any way implying this is his fault. If it were anyone but his brother, it would be slightly easier. But since he isn't going to stop seeing his brother, he'll always be reminded of your betrayal. Your relationship may not be able to survive this insult.

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