I’ve known my best friend since we met at school and would have trusted her with my life. But I’ve recently found out that she slept with my new boyfriend after a party. I feel so betrayed; I can barely look at her. What should I do?
Of course you feel betrayed. You’ve been wounded to the core by someone you’ve spent your entire life trusting.Shock, anger, grief, pain – I suspect you’ve got all of those whirling round your head. My best advice right now is to give yourself some space. Don’t see either of them while you work out how you feel – underneath the rush of emotions.
They may well be wanting to vindicate themselves, to explain, to apologise – but tell them you need some time alone. In other words, let them stew.
I’m a great believer in catharsis, in letting it all out. I think, if I were you, having made my dignified exit, I’d lock myself in my bedroom, pummel the mattress like a crazy being and scream and yell and sob a fair amount. When the urge to murder the pair of them has passed, sit down calmly and look at these relationships (because don’t forget that it takes two to tango – your boyfriend is hardly an innocent party in this, is he?) But I suspect that it’s your friend’s betrayal which is the more painful here.
Is this friendship worth preserving? Make a list of the good things vs the bad things. I think it’s worth remembering that friendships don’t automatically last forever – some of them really do have sell-by dates (yes, even the longest and fondest). The fact that your friend could do this to you shouts warning bells to me. At some level she takes you for granted and thought it was okay to betray you – the friendship didn’t quite mean enough. Whatever the excuse, that’s the bottom line and I would totally understand if you were to walk away.
But you may well feel that you do want the friendship to continue or, at least, to give ita chance. If so, then you need to sit down with her and tell her how you feel; how hurt and let down you are. Listen to what she has to say and decide if you want to continue the friendship. Remember this is your choice. You’re the one who’s been wronged. It’s important to realise that it will never be quite the same again and it’s also fair to say that you may find, as time goes on, that the friendship withers away naturally.
Your self-esteem and confidence will probably have taken a smashing too, so give yourself some time to trust yourself again. I’d recommend some nourishing yoga – particularly the breathing exercises (pranayama). Breathe that hurt right out of your body. If you can, try some bodywork too. I’d go for SHEN (shentherapy.info) or Kairos Therapy (kairostherapy.com) which help to release painful emotions. Finally, treat yourself to some heavenly Orange Flower body milk by new organic company Love + Art – the scent is so uplifting, it can’t fail to cheer you up (£19, loveandart.co.uk).
By the way, regarding the boyfriend… I’d give him the heave-ho. No question.
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