Don't Get Tricked By The 'Fake-Up' Break-Up

An angry open letter to a friend’s ex just went viral, but columnist Lucy Vine says it’s a bad idea

I feel like I spend my life composing furious letters in my head. They mostly just go:

Dear everyone to do with Donald Trump/TfL/men who won’t get out of the way on the pavement/slow lifts/Piers Morgan/King Joffrey (yes I’m late to the GoT party)/ YouTube adverts/4am blender dude next door/most Come Dine With Me contestants,


Best wishes, Lucy Vine

And then, like, a really clever PS.

I expect we all do it, and that’s why everyone was so delighted this week, when one brave woman – the hero this world could never deserve – wrote a venom-filled open letter to her friend’s soon-to-be ex-husband. Of course it went viral, because who doesn’t want to tell off a dickhead?

Posted on a website that takes its name seriously, called scarymommy.com, and written by Samantha Angoletta, the senior content editor (it’s not even anon!) the letter begins by calmly explaining that she understands how divorce can sometimes just ‘happen’. But in this case, she goes on, ‘This divorce is your fault. You hurt my friend, you lied to my friend, and you betrayed my friend.’

And you’re like, HERE WE GO!!

Samantha then talks about how well her friend is handling the break up, but adds, ‘Just because she’s being a f**king pillar of dignity and strength, doesn’t mean that I’m not pissed. Oh, I’m pissed. I’m pissed, and I’m looking at you, sir.’

Oooooh! And then it gets really good:

‘I get to pull the Best Friend Card here, and I get to just be pissed the fk off that you are the catalyst for the heartbreak, pain, anxiety, and overwhelming stress that you are causing my friend. So, FK YOU DUDE.’

And then she says a lot more eff yous, followed by this brilliantly petty line:

‘You can understand why I kind of want to call you up and be like, “I HOPE YOUR NEW HOUSE HAS ROACHES. SO MANY ROACHES. I HOPE IT RAINS ROACHES.” But only when your kids are not there, of course. Okay, bye f**ker.’

Oh, it’s funny. It’s so funny. I especially like the way she passive-aggressively calls him ‘Pal’, and you can feel the hissing, teeth-grinding, seething hatred in that word. It’s everything an angry best friend would want to say to a shithead who’s hurt her best girl.

But – and I say this because I care about you – you should never do this.

You can’t. I’m so sad about it, because I love being awful and swearing a lot, and saying stuff like, ‘If you get a shipping compartment full of roaches, don’t call me. I have no idea what you’re talking about. F**ker.’ But it’s a really terrible idea and we can’t do it – because of The Fake Up phenomenon.

Friends get back with their arsehole exes all the time. ALL THE TIME. They pretend to be breaking up and it turns out to be a lie they were telling themselves. Even in this case it doesn’t sound clear-cut. Samantha doesn’t say what the husband’s done, but she does acknowledge they’re still getting on well and that they’re still living together – saying, ‘The two of you are managing to cohabitate in relative peace until you are able to help your kids through this transition and life change’.

SAMANTHA DUDE, THEY’RE PROBABLY GETTING BACK TOGETHER RIGHT NOW. And then you will always be the friend who said you wanted to ‘junk punch’ her husband ‘hella hard.’

You can never fully believe your friend when she says a relationship is over. I know this from so many times over the years, when someone has told me they’ve dumped their terrible significant other for good. So of course, then, I tell them what I really think of that person’s terribleness. And she agrees! She tells me she can’t belieeeeeeeeve she let it go on for so long! She’s so glad to be single! She will never date such a moron again! We laugh about his tiny shrivelled pee-pee and how he once said he fancied Ann Widdecombe. What a loser.

Only for her to immediately get back with him because he sent her a nice WhatsApp message with a unicorn emoji.

And what follows is a hundred years of awkwardness.

So yes, it’s your job as a friend to hate the people who treat our loved ones badly, of course it is. But it’s also your job as a friend to support, without judgement, their endlessly rubbish choices. That’s your real ‘Best Friend Card’. When it comes to love, people are idiots. We know this. And it doesn’t matter how many open letters you write, she will still, ultimately, make her own foolish decisions. So, trust me on this one, hilarious and satisfying as it is to read Samantha’s rant, it’s best if the rest of us just stick to composing letters in our head.

Follow Lucy @lecv

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