Relationships: When your partner cheats on you with your best friend

Last week, I watched a movie “Revenge” starring Academy Award winner Kevin Costner who stars as Michael J Cochran, a former fighter pilot who finds himself irresistibly drawn to the beautiful wife of an old friend (Anthony Quinn) who co-acts as the husband.

Last week, I watched a movie “Revenge” starring Academy Award winner Kevin Costner who stars as Michael J Cochran, a former fighter pilot who finds himself irresistibly drawn to the beautiful wife of an old friend (Anthony Quinn) who co-acts as the husband.

When J’s old friend realizes this romantic relationship between his wife and his old friend, he reacts with uncontrollable rage to the double betrayal. He brutally attacks the adulterous lovers, something that sets into motion a terrifying cycle of retribution that cannot be stopped.

After watching the movie, I started imagining if this was nothing but fiction just like most Hollywood movies. When I spoke to a number of friends about it I discovered that the movie was not far from the truth.

In our society today, there are so many friendships souring and breaking up as result a close or best friend discovering that their best friend is having an intimate affair with their partner.

Cleopatra 31, a Public Relations Officer remembers the day she married David as a “beautiful” wedding day 4 years ago, complete with the perfect dress, great friends and family. However over the years, Cleopatra says one friend in particular became a big part of her marriage life.

“I felt like her big sister in a way,” she says. “She was always welcome to our home, we did so many things together … I trusted her.” But with time Cleopatra noticed that David was spending a lot of time alone with her friend.

“In the back of my mind I thought, ‘Okay, something’s not right.’ I just had a feeling … a gut feeling.”

Then came the bombshell……..Cleopatra  searched through her husband’s phone  and found intimate text messages from her friend to the husband and indicating that the two were having a affair behind her back.  She was heart broken.

“I first approached my friend and she denied .This made me so angry and I was deeply hurt .How on earth somebody I regarded as my best friend start sleeping with my man? When she insisted I told her the truth.”

I was so hurt; I never thought something like this could ever happen to me, later with a close friend. When I asked my husband he denied and I told him how I had searched through his phone.

At first, he was very angry with me for searching his phone but when he realized how serious I was about leaving our home because of his infidelity. He admitted, apologized and promised it would never happen again.

Surprisingly, Cleopatra forgave her husband though she admits it was for the sake of her children .Unfortunately that was the end of her friendship with her best friend.

Cleopatra’s story is not isolated, there are so many similar stories and perhaps the only difference may be about the end result.

While Cleopatra chose to forgive her husband and kick out her friend, others choose to kick out both of them or the partner who is involved and retain their friend.

“It happened to me before because my best friend always admired my girlfriend but I trusted my girlfriend so I never expected anything to happen.

I was surprised to find them in a compromising position in one day and that was the end of me and that girl,” says Eddie, 25 a journalist.

According to Chris,32, a marketer, it is women who are to blame because he believes women are “weak people”. Chris says sometimes, men speak to girls jokingly but not love at all.

“You may try dating your girlfriend’s friend expecting her to say no but some girls take you serious and offer themselves to you. In this case I would  chuck the girl because for us guys at times  we just try to see if the girl will give in ,if she does then its her fault .I treasure my friendship more than a relationship with a girl.” Chris adds.

Perhaps the above is the male view point, what do the women say? Amazingly some women also blame it on themselves.

“I would strangle the girl, I am lucky it has never happened to me. Because I know women in most cases are the root causes of such things” says, Deborah, 26, an accountant.

“Eeh…I can never do something like that to my friend because it is so embarrassing. But some girls are dry, if a friend’s man approaches them they cam easily say yes.

Men are also to blame, why would they start making advances to close friends of their wife or girlfriend? It shows somebody has no respect for you and they don’t love you.” says Dr. Rita Nassaga, 28.

According to Dr. Robin Smith, a psychologist, Affairs are often full of rage and hostility. She adds that affairs are not real.

“An Affair is an illusion. It’s not real,” She says. Discovering a cheating partner has never been a cup of tea for any body involved in a serious relationship.

However, it is also important to handle the situation maturely to protect one  reputation’s and forge a way forward.

It is not wise to take impulse decisions on discovery of an affair because ultimately you may get hurt for the rest of your life. 

Take the time to clarify your values and decide what the healthiest choice is for you. If you decide cheating is not the healthiest choice, take steps to end any outside relationship in a respectful manner.

Assess your relationships to determine areas that are lacking in intimacy. This may reveal unmet needs. As you discover needs that are not satisfied, it will become important to honestly express your feelings and emotions.

Make a decision to either faithfully stay in your relationship or end it respectfully.

Contact: ubernie@gmail.com

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