I had a very, very dear friend whom I loved and trusted like a sister who had an affair with my husband. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought either of them capable of betraying me. I was so devastated that words can't even begin to describe the pain. Having your husband and a close, trusted friend cheat together is a double betrayal, one you feel you will never get over. I even contemplated suicide, but thank God, I didn't follow through. But you do get over it with time, I promise.
My husband and I worked things out and I forgave him. But as time went on, I found I couldn't get past the hurt and anger SHE caused me, which puzzled me, because HE was the one who made a solemn vow to always honor and love me, and to be faithful. It took a long time, but I was able to finally forgive her, and that was when I was finally able to truly heal.
To forgive someone does not mean to say what they did is ok, not at all. But to not forgive is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. If, and when, you can find a way to forgive her, that does not mean you have to have a relationship with her if you don't want to - that is your choice and your right. But IF she is truly sorry and sincerely regrets what she did, then I do hope you will eventually be able to forgive her and even have a relationship with her again. On the other hand, if she is not remorseful, then you can still forgive her (for your sake), and then move on with you life.
And a final note to those who say "My sister would never do that to me"; "things like this don't happen in my family", etc., never say never. This friend truly was one I loved like a sister, and I literally trusted her with my children, my life, my everything. But I've learned people don't realize what they are capable of themselves when they are unhappy, faced with temptation, or any number of situations. I've realized she was, after all, only human too. Does that excuse what she did to me? Absolutely not! But it did go a long way towards me learning to forgive her. We haven't had a relationship since then, nor will we ever. But after I wrote her a letter telling her I forgave her, I learned she had been suicidal for years from the guilt of hurting me so badly.
So my letting her know I (finally) forgave her not only lifted a heavy burden from me, but it lifted one from her, too. I also finally received the sincere apology I had been needing all that time, but never realized just how badly I did need it.
I'm really sorry you had to go through pain like that Belle, but please know that not all people or families are the same. My entire family is nothing but trustworthy, we are all friends, and all of us agree this isn't nor would it ever be, an issue. My husband and I have been happily married for the past 31 years, and all of my siblings and their husbands/wifes have been happily married much longer then we have. We genuinely can say never.
Oh, Mrs. K, I am so sorry, I never meant it personally towards you. I realize there are some families with a close, tight bond who wouldn't ever hurt anyone in their family. I guess I meant it as more of a generalization, mostly with non family. But I have seen countless marriages fall apart because of infidelity with a sister, cousin, best friend, etc., all because they thought it would "never" happen to them.
I have two sisters and a lifelong best friend of 44 years (since we were 10) whom I do know wouldn't ever hurt or betray me. And even though I did love the good friend (who cheated with my first husband) like a sister, it was still nothing at all like the bond I have with my lifelong best friend, or with my sisters. Oh, and as for my first husband - he also had an affair with another friend of mine, but at least I wasn't as close to her as I was the other one. I dropped her like a hot rock when I found out, but only after a few choice words to her, too. ;)
I was trying to convey that some can't say "never", but it's sometimes difficult to cover the gray area in written words, which is where this falls, and it seems I worded it badly. But the sad truth is, there are so many families that are so dysfunctional that they can't, don't or won't trust each other. And then there are those who do trust their sister, cousin, best friend, only to find out that person has betrayed them in the worst possible way, as was my case.
I have now been married to my second husband for 18 years (actually, 18 years tomorrow), and I'm so blessed to be able to say I have never been happier.
You and your family seem like such nice, caring, loving people, and you are truly blessed to have each other, just as I am with my family and my real friends.
Thank you for pointing out the other side to this; my answer was a bit one sided and I should have made it more balanced. I'm a Sr. Mentor and Supervisor on another Q&A site, so I should have known better than to let my personal experiences influence my answer.
My ex exposed himself to my little sister (she was a minor at the time). She told my parents, but nobody told me. For many years, my dad would get mad whenever I left my children with their dad (he was afraid their dad would molest them). I never knew why until my spouse left me for another woman (that was when my mother finally told me). This was years after my own dad died and my mother blamed me for my husband's affair. Had I known that he exposed himself to my little sister, I would have left him during my younger years! Just thought I would share this with you and I wanted to say "I understand the pain & hurt of betrayal."
Wow, I can't understand why no one told you about it, nor can I understand why YOU were blamed for your husband's affair. That is just so unfair to you AND your children. I mean no disrespect to your family, but I do believe they had an obligation to you and to your kids to tell you what he did, especially since your dad would get mad when you left the kids with their dad. If he was afraid your husband would molest them, all the more reason to tell you.
But in trying to understand why they didn't tell you, maybe they were afraid it would come between you and them? Maybe they were afraid he would (convincingly) deny it? Maybe, maybe, maybe......; there are too many maybes, aren't there? But the bottom line is, you had a right to know what kind of man you were married to. I just pray you don't blame yourself for what he did.
When my (first) husband had his affairs, I spent a lot of time wondering what I did wrong, what I could have done to prevent it, etc. But I finally realized it was not my fault.
One affair can be forgiven as a mistake, but to have more than one makes it a way of life. And I refused to live with someone who chose to make it a way of life, as he did. It seems with your husband it was a way of life, too. And, while I pray he never molested or abused your children in any way, I do suggest that you find a discreet way to ask them. If he did, he needs to be kept away from kids - all kids - and even prosecuted.
I am so sorry you had to endure such pain and betrayal. My prayers are with you and your children. Belle
NJoy, I didn't post this question but it sure hit home!
Hi NJoy. I enjoy reading you're post.