I am literally in shock after eleven years together my wife has left me for my best friend. As you can imagine this has really hurt me, as I never thought this pain could come from two people I love and have such a fondness for.
Around a fortnight ago, when returning back to the marital home from work, I found a letter from my wife, explaining that she had packed up and left me for my oldest and closest friend. I didn’t even realise there was anything particularly wrong with our relationship or have any inkling that anything like this would occur.
I have so many questions and foresee so many problems. For example, we have so many mutual friends, it feels impossible for me to even contemplate any environment where everyone could be together and me be there also. What will they be saying? Did they all know about the affair and nobody say anything to me? How long was it going on for?
So upset am I currently, I want to literally punch him, even though he’s clearly not worth it. How do I even begin to get over this cheating?
I am so sorry to hear of your situation. You have been deceived by the people that you love most and it is only natural that you feel the cocktail of shock, pain and anger that you have described.
It is important that you acknowledge the anguish that you feel, as difficult as this may be. You are healing from a double betrayal. You are grieving for the loss of not only your partner but also your best friend. Allow yourself this necessary time to overcome the shock and to grieve the loss of these people who are no longer in your life.
Given that you are contending with loss, emotional distress and trust issues, I recommend that you seek therapeutic support if you feel that you are not coping very well. Be honest with yourself Deacon, is this situation affecting your sleep or your eating habits? Has your weight changed significantly? Are you having negative thoughts about yourself? Are you maintaining your day to day routines? Have you taken to drinking or any another unhealthy coping mechanism in order to manage? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, the therapy process will prove hugely beneficial in aiding you through this tough time.
The situation has also cast a doubt to other friends in your social circle and I understand your concerns. The potential gossiping of others or the possible negative perspectives of people that learn about your experience are bound to be impactful. The questions unanswered are unfair and will, of course, add to your experiences of anger and doubt. Perhaps in time, you will discover the answers to these questions. Perhaps you won’t. Yet if this experience teaches you anything, let it be that although you are unable to control the actions of others, you can most definitely control how you respond to them. Fast-forwarding to any upcoming events that may see you attending weddings, birthdays or whatever else in the presence of your ex-partner and your ex-friend, try to leave those thoughts on the back burner for now. When the time comes, you will know what to do. For the moment, do not put yourself in any environments that will amplify your anger or distress.
Remember that you are not responsible for the actions of your wife and your best friend. Often when we are feeling low, we feel the weight of guilt that we did not see there was something wrong, or the weight of shame inherent to the feeling of being left alone. Anger can consume us, absorbing our time and our energy. The doubt of whether or not we can trust others can also lead us to severely doubt ourselves. If ever you come to feel these things and you most likely will! It is important that you say aloud to yourself ‘‘It is not my fault and I deserve better’’. Reaffirm this sentiment throughout the upcoming months’ Deacon, for it is not you that should shoulder the blame and it is certainly not you who deserves any negative backlash for this situation.
Channel your inner strength, for whether you believe it or not, you are strong enough to cope. Do not allow their cheating to define who you are. You have the power within to take charge of how you move forward. As such, invest in yourself over the next few months. Prioritise your health and well-being, take extra special care of yourself, be it through a healthy diet, a brilliant sleep routine, or taking the time to do the things that you truly enjoy.
Recovering from betrayal such as this is a long road. In time Deacon, when you look back to this moment, you will be thankful that this happened and that you had the opportunity to rebuild your life on your own terms. When you are in a stronger place personally, you will be able to evaluate how you wish to change your life for the better. Until then, be patient and kind to yourself each and every day. Through acts of self-care, remind yourself that you are worthy of trust, of true friendship and of love moving forward.
Wishing you the very best that life can offer,