Debbie’s life had seemed to be perfect. She had a wonderful husband, Todd, and three beautiful children and they shared a happy life together. This included camping holidays with her best friend from Teacher’s College, Simone, and her husband and two children.
To Debbie’s horror, her husband and “best friend” began to meet for coffee and talk and text up to five times a day. They said “there was nothing in it” and she was being paranoid to be jealous of them.
When curiosity got the better of her and Debbie checked his phone and found messages like – “You are so hot, when can we get together again?”- She exploded and asked Todd to leave. He begged to stay, saying that he and Simone had not “gone all the way with sex”, but had just “fooled around a bit”. Debbie said she never wanted to see either of them again and they could have each other. She didn’t care if they never had sex, they betrayed her emotionally!
Debbie was mortified when her kids began begging her to let their Daddy come home. They couldn’t understand why their Mum was being so horrible to their Daddy.
What was even worse, was that they were also nagging her to take them to play with Simone’s kids, with whom they had been best friends.
Debbie didn’t know what she should do and came to counseling? She asked: “Can I tell them the truth? Am I being paranoid?”
I explained that forgiveness is often challenging when a spouse cheats, but when it’s with your best friend, it’s double betrayal. Certainly one of them has to go. How could you ever trust them again? You would be constantly phone-checking and never want them to be alone together.
So who goes? It has to be the girlfriend because she has doubly broken your trust-firstly in becoming intimate with your husband and secondly, in sharing your confidences the whole time she has carried on a conspiracy with your husband.
If your husband has been a good father and friend to you and the kids really want him home, you might give him just one more chance, but only if he has counseling and he keeps every promise he makes with you in the future. Oh and don’t tell the kids – they love their Daddy and need to look up to him. If they get their father back home, encourage them to make new friends!
Dr. Janet Hall is a psychologist, hypnotherapist, sex therapist, author, professional speaker, trainer, and media consultant. Jan consults regularly with print media and is a frequent guest on talk-back radio and current affairs shows.
Jan was a regular for two years on the Sex Life television program in Australia. Her user-friendly strategies offer practical solutions to sexual and relationship issues so that you can have the love and the sensational sex that you deserve. Jan has a unique ability to encourage people to clarify their situation and solve their own problems with both heart (trusting intuition and feelings) and head (with logical analysis and rational prioritization). She believes that people deserve to feel empowered and allow themselves to be the best they can for the good of all. Jan has a happy knack of making psychology user friendly.
Dr Janet Hall