Tattoo artist applying a tattoo
Unsplash | Lucas Lenzi

Woman Furious After Finding Bf's Secret Tattoo Of Friend's Name

In order for a relationship to be successful, it's necessary for both partners to weather the occasional storm. After all, if a relationship is unable to get through a rough patch, the only real option is to break up.

A reddit user recently took to the r/relationship_advice subreddit to share a doozy of a relationship problem: namely the fact that her boyfriend has a secret tattoo of the name of a woman he used to be interested in.

Let's go back to the start.

Two people holding hands in a car
Unsplash | Octavio Fossatti

OP, a 29-year-old woman and Tom, also 29, have been together for three years. Just before their relationship began, Tom got a divorce. To help him through this period, he relied heavily on Jessica, a close friend who was also going through a divorce.

Were Tom and Jess platonic?

Woman viewed in profile, leaning on her hands
Unsplash | Ben White

Unless they had something secret going on, it seems that they were. OP does note that Jess and Tom still hang out regularly and friends have noted that Jess was into Tom at one time.

"Tom and Jess are just friends and I have no reason to think they're more."

Group of friends on top of a building
Unsplash | Devin Avery

But last night, OP noticed something in an obscure spot on the bottom of his foot.

"He has Jessica's name tattooed on the bottom of his foot like he's [expletive] Woody from Toy Story or something," wrote OP. "I don't know why this bothered me but immediately all the blood left my face."

Tom says he was drunk and got it as a joke.

Tattoo artist applying a tattoo
Unsplash | Allef Vinicius

OP writes that she pressed Tom a bit, and he admitted that he was romantically interested in Jess at the time.

"I was legitimately too stunned to talk, he clearly felt bad, we went to bed without talking much more," wrote OP. "I woke up to flowers on the bed this morning (he leaves very early to work out) which was sweet, but I'm still a bit in my head about this."

What to think?

"Tattoo" neon sign
Unsplash | Brianna Tucker

To summarize, let's look at OP's handy TL;DR: boyfriend has a very close friend he used to be romantically interested in, found out he drunkenly got her name tattooed on him and now I am feeling very very insecure

Commenters can't believe that Tom and Jess never hooked up.

"Really?" gif from 'The Office'
Giphy | The Office

In response to a question about this topic, OP said that she has no reason to think they've hooked up, and no reason to think that they're lying. We'll have to take that for what it is, since there's no evidence to the contrary.

Her discomfort is understandable.

Woman lying on bed uncomfortably
Unsplash | Yuris Alhumaydy

"I’m not going to tell you to break up with him or not. But I feel most people would feel very uncomfortable in your situation as well," advised one commenter. "He and Jess were/are still very close, have admitted strong feelings for each other, have a deep emotional connection and he has her name tattooed on her. I think it’s just simply human to feel how you’re feeling right now."

Is it a lie or a trickle truth?

Woman making shushing gesture
Unsplash | Kristina Flour

It feels like a betrayal, but it isn't really a lie. It might be a lie of omission, but the truth did eventually trickle out. To be fair to Tom, it's an awkward thing to bring up.

It's tough to know how to handle this one.

"What do I do?" gif
Giphy | Friends

"I might dump him, but as with most of these posts, there's a lot of missing context and I wonder if you're trying to use a neutral tone," wrote another commenter. "Why were they both going through divorces at the same time? Were they having affairs with each other and broke the marriages up?"

Another commenter boiled it down to some simple questions.

Question mark spray painted on a wall
Unsplash | Marcel Strauß

A commenter advised that OP ask Tom the following:

-Would he be with Jess if he wasn't currently in a relationship?

-Would he be with Jess if she wasn't currently in a relationship?

-Under the right circumstances, would he and Jess hook up?

"If any of those answers was 'yes' I would leave," they concluded.

How would you handle this?

Tattoo artist applying a tattoo
Unsplash | Lucas Lenzi

There's no easy resolution here. Tom has a suspect tattoo and hasn't been unfaithful, but it's perfectly natural for OP to feel so unnerved.

Make sure to check out the thread and let us know how you'd handle this if you were in OP's shoes.