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'My BFF told my husband I cheated 20 years ago, and now he's leaving me.' UPDATED 2X

'My BFF told my husband I cheated 20 years ago, and now he's leaving me.' UPDATED 2X

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"My [42F] best friend [42F] told my husband [44M] I cheated, and he's leaving."

I'll go right ahead and say the obvious: I deserve this, I'm the villain, it's all my fault. I know. But my goodness I can't handle this. I'm posting here in the hopes that someone has advice on how to win back a betrayed spouse. Back in 2001, yes 20 years ago, I was young and dumb and did something horrible. I had been with my husband (boyfriend at the time) for 5 years at that point.

We grew up in the same home town, part of the same friend group as kids, and fell in love in high school. We've been together ever since. After college, however, I got it into my head that my relationship was holding me down and stifling my self expression. My best friend Julia agreed with the sentiment. Together we'd go out clubbing, leaving our boyfriends at home.

We wouldn't do anything bad, but still there was a thrill to knowing that other guys were looking at us. Well, as they say, never play with fire. The more we partied, the more Julia would want to cheat. Eventually she started making out with other guys at clubs. And I'm ashamed to say that for a few nights, I did the same: dancing with guys and kissing them.

I put a stop this after a few such incidents. I felt disgusted with myself, with her, with these strangers I was kissing, and most of all I felt horrible about cheating on the love of my life. I told her that I couldn't hang out with her anymore if she was going to continue her cheating ways. She understood and she put a stop to it as well.

Of course all my moral indignation didn't give me the courage to actually fess up to what I did, so we kept it out secret.

Skip 20 years later.

I've hence married that boyfriend, and he's my husband now. We have 4 children (18, 17, 14, 14). Over these 20 years, my best friend has practically faded out of the dating pool entirely. She has a successful business of her own, inherited from family, and she dedicates her life to running it. Her social life is essentially hanging out with me or my husband, and sometimes babysitting the kids.

Well, it turns out that she has gotten so chummy with my husband that one night, in February of this year, she had too much to drink, and she ended up letting spill our little cheating incidents back in the day. She didn't mention that I only did it 4 times, kissing 4 different guys in total.

Understandably, she doesn't remember those specifics, she just remembers that she cheated for almost an entire year and remembers I was doing generally the same.

To make matters worse, she said this while my oldest son was upstairs, and my son heard everything. I was away for the weekend with our 3 other kids, visiting my parents, and my poor husband had to calm my son down while also trying to make sense of what Julia was telling him. I never knew that the night I left would be the last time the love of my life would ever kiss me.

I came home the next day and my husband sat me down and asked me point blank if I ever cheated on him. I could tell from the look in his eyes that he knew everything. I admitted that I had. He was so calm that it scared me. I was afraid for his wellbeing. He's usually so proud and charismatic and that day he just looked serene, detached from our relationship, detached from me.

He told me that he wants a DNA test on all of our children, which of course I agreed to, because they're his. He's the only man I've ever slept with. We waited for the test results for 1 week, and my son wanted nothing to do with me during this time.

When the results came back, I thought that we could finally start on rebuilding our foundation of trust. I had all the energy in the world to put into our marriage, and to show my man that I was worth his time and his love. The day the results came back, he told me he wanted a divorce.

We have been separated since March of this year. He has purchased a condo in the downtown area of our city. My oldest 2 kids spent 100% of their time there, while my youngest twins split their time with me and with him. He refuses to go to marital counseling. Our jurisdiction has a 6 month wait before a divorce can be finalized, and that expired in October.

So as if October 23rd, I'm a 42 year old divorcee with 4 kids, 2 of whom hate me, the others see me as the reason their lives were upturned. I cut Julia out of my life. I know this wasn't her fault, I know I was the one who chose to lie and I deserve the consequences, but still I associate my life's total ruin to her. I blame her even though it doesn't make sense.

And just last weekend, one of my younger kids mentioned that Julia has been sleeping over at my husband's condo. I am incensed with jealousy, and hatred for her, and anguish at this whole situation. I need to win him back. This isn't how our lives are supposed to end. We have worked so damn hard to build our home and he can't share it all with her, while I rot out here in the cold.

Even the thought of calling him my "ex" makes me want to shrivel up and disappear.

TLDR Best friend and I cheated on our boyfriends 20 years ago. I married my boyfriend, and 20 years later, my best friend admitted to my husband what we did. My husband has divorced me now, after 6 months of separation. I've just received news that my best friend has been sleeping over at his condo. I have to win him back. I can't let this be the end of our love story.

What do you think is going on here? Any advice for OP? This is what top commenters had to say:

said:

why does it sound like Julia intentionally spilled the truth in order to get into OP's husband's pants? 🤔

said:

as someone who’s been betrayed by their spouse and knowing how easy it was for them to keep secrets and lie to me.. i’d believe just about anything someone told me about them. So in your case.. knowing the lie went on for 20 years.

There’s no way your husband wouldn’t believe you did more than kiss, even if that’s all that really did happen. That’s the bed that a liar (even if it’s just one lie) makes, and once found out - has to lay in.

said:

And this is why you don't keep secrets from your partners - you come clean on absolutely everything prior to announcing an engagement at the latest. In your 20's it's a little black eye to lose a long-term relationship... at 40 you could be losing your entirely family.

Later, OP shared this update:

Well, I did something I never thought I'd do. I unblocked Julia and reached out to her. We set up a time to meet for coffee at my mom's house when the place would be empty. We spoke for hours, though I can't say that it was like old times.

I found myself stuck with a tenseness in my stomach. I realize I still hate her for what she did, I'll never be able to let loose with her like I once did, and that's a reality I have to accept. Anyway, reiterate the facts as she has told them.

What were her intentions in telling my husband about my cheating?

It was purely a drunken mistake, with no real rhyme or reason behind it. She doesn't even remember it happening, she just remembers my oldest son being very short with her the next morning and my husband later explaining what she had said.

How did she behave with my husband after the revelation?

My husband cut her off a day or so after I did. He did this because a few days after the incident, via text, she tried to convince him that she was drunk/confused. But this happened after he had confronted me, so he knew that it was the truth she had spilled. He wanted space from her, because he associated her to all of my lies.

How did she get back in touch with him after he blocked her?

He didn't block her, he just told her to not contact him again. She promised to keep her distance from him and the kids. Three months later, she reached out to him again because she has been getting help with her alcohol abuse, and she wanted to apologize for all the harm she did. After that conversation, they kept in touch.

Why is she spending nights at his place?

She's been finding it hard to stay at home alone during winter because of her old drinking habits, and wanted some company. She sleeps in the guest bedroom and obviously they don't drink together or anything. She apologized for the confusion it caused my twin daughters.

I allowed myself to feel hopeful here. They're not together. This wasn't some grand conspiracy for her to steal him away. I still have a chance. But I had to make sure.

Did she ever sleep with him?

Yes. After the divorce finalized, they hooked up a few times to let off steam. She insisted that I shouldn't worry because they never tried to pursue a relationship. There's way too much resentment and baggage for it to work, and she doesn't think she's his type.

There it is. I cried when she admitted this. She cried and apologized. I must have told her that I hated her a thousand times. I really do hate her. I hate her more than I thought was possible. She knows how much I love him. She knows how much I need him.

And yet she still manages to knock things over and out of place no matter how it hurts me. I told her to get out after that. I haven't blocked her again. She wants to be back in my life. But there's no chance in hell I ever want to lay my eyes on her if she's sleeping with the man I love. I know some women can swallow their pride and do it, but I can't.

So that's where I'm at. At least they're not in love or running off to get married. I tell myself that he's just using her to try to fill a hole in his heart. I tell myself that "letting off steam" is not how anyone would describe meaningful sex. It's a physical reaction to stress and circumstance.

But then I remember what she said about her not being his type. I wish I asked her if she's dating now, or if he has his eyes on someone. I wish I wrote down notes on what I wanted to learn and express instead of just going in unprepared. My emotions got the best of me and now I'm here weeping again until my body hurts from exhaustion.

This hasn't helped my obsession with the prospect of him moving on.
All this meeting has done is humble me at the thought of him and her making love.

I can't let this go on. I need to get him back before he falls in love with someone else. Given the new information I've learned, does anyone have advice on what to do?

Any advice?

Sources: Reddit
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