Welcome to “Love and Sex Today.” I’m Dr. Doug Weiss and today’s topic is a hot one—“When a Girlfriend Cheats With Your Man.” When you find out your best friend, your neighbor that you’ve had your kids over to their house and theirs at yours, or that co-worker friend who tells you her stories, has been cheating on you with your husband or partner for quite a while, that is devastating. That’s what this post is about. We are going to get into it, because I have heard this story hundreds of times. I want to give you some tips to be able to walk through this, because when he cheats, sometimes he cheats with your girlfriend.
Now this topic is red hot, I mean really. I have been working with men and women who have committed adultery for almost 30 years. Every week there’s someone in my office, telling me stories of their husbands acting out with prostitutes and other people that they don’t know, anonymous hookups, men, all kinds of issues. But then there’s the story where it’s her girlfriend. It’s her neighbor friend, it’s the girl she goes to the gym with, or walks with. It’s the girl she has over to the house, they have tea and coffee, and they hang out with their kids together. They go to the park together, and it’s this woman who has had ongoing sex with her husband, sometimes for years, sometimes more than a decade. They’ve gone on vacations together and she has betrayed you.
I have seen literally thousands of women do anger work on their husbands and get upset about their betrayal. But there is a different kind of betrayal between a woman friend when she has sex with your husband or your long-term partner, and it is real. I’ve learned on the job there’s a code women have with each other—you don’t sleep with each other’s husband. It’s just the one thing you never do. It’s an unwritten code, but when it is violated, it is traumatically painful for the woman who’s the wife. She feels that she’s no longer safe with that woman, she hates that woman, she’s hurt by that woman, she’s angry at that woman. She can recall every time they spent together like a photograph. She can recall every act of kindness she’s done for this woman and feels betrayed at such a deep level. Sometimes the betrayal of that friendship is almost as painful, or more painful, than the betrayal of her husband. Maybe the husband has cheated before, but women least expect it from their close friends.
I want to walk you through this. Ladies, you’re going to want to share this with your friends, because you know a woman who has been betrayed by another woman. This post can really help them find healing.
First of all, the bond you had with that woman is broken. It’s shattered. What you felt before was real, but what you’re feeling today with the pain, anger, and hurt is also very real and powerful. I want to validate that. You have been betrayed. You have been lied to. You’ve been stolen from—time, energy, and your story. Now she’s in your story of years doing things together. She’s in your house. She’s in your mind.
What was she thinking? She had sex with him that weekend, and yet she was with me that Sunday afternoon. What kind of woman does that? Is she crazy? Is she a Borderline Personality Disorder? Is she a slut? Is she a whore? All these words and ideas come into your heart and mind, and that’s valid. Every woman feels that. You don’t have to feel that you’re less than because you’re having these strong hatred feelings towards this woman.
You’re going to go through normal grief. You’re going to go through the shock. You can’t believe she did this. You’re going to bargain, “Okay, is it because she’s skinnier? Is it because she’s younger, because she’s got a funnier personality? Or because of this?” No, it isn’t. It’s because there was opportunity, and he took the opportunity. Him, victimizing her, bringing her into his game, is a very real thing.
You’re going to feel sad about the loss of the relationship, because she’s someone you really like to talk to and be with. It’s going to be hard to accept that she’s really that kind of woman. You’re going to go through grief. That’s normal. My book, “Partners: Healing from His Addiction” will be helpful if your husband has a sex addiction.
Here are a couple things I’m going to recommend. There’s a post we did early on, dealing with anger. I want you to find that and read it because you’re going to need to get really good and mad. You’re going to need to do the exercises I explained: write the anger letter, warm up, get some kind of racket or bat and a mattress, and go totally ballistic and ape. You’re going to have to let that rage out of your body, okay? It is going to have to come out. Otherwise, you’re going to get symptoms of possible depression, weight gain, all kinds of negative, toxic stuff in your body you don’t need to carry. She’s not worth you carrying that pain in your body. You want to get that out.
We did another post on forgiving others. You’re going to want to read that. I walk through an exercise there where you role-play. You’re going to want to forgive her, not for her sake, and not necessarily because you think she’s worthy of forgiveness. You’re going to want to walk in forgiveness towards her because it’s going to free you. You can’t change this. You’re going to carry this scar for many years.
When you think back on her, you will most likely think about what she’s done with your husband. You might have images of her in your mind if you’re having sex with your husband or your partner. That is real. I would encourage you not to go into any real detail with what they did sexually, because every time you participate in that, you might get triggered and have a memory of her. If it’s your neighbor, you’re probably going to want to move if it’s financially possible. I’ve seen that happen again and again. If they’ve been in his car, you’re going to want the car sold. These are normal thoughts.
I would walk through all of this with a therapist, and if you need a therapist who understands betrayal, I can tell you the best team. I have the best team. If you call Heart to Heart Counseling Center at 719-278-3708, you’re going to find compassionate counselor women who have walked through this with many women. We do this every week. We do three and five-day intensives. People fly in from all over the country and world and get help and healing from this kind of betrayal.
I want you to know there’s help for you, and you’re going to have to take care of you. Watch your commitments to other things in your life and scale them down. You’re going to have to grieve. You’re really going to have to take this bullet out of you. Betrayal is huge. You’re going to have to squarely put the responsibility on both of them. I’m going to say something here that might be really offensive and hurt you, but I don’t have any intentions of doing that. Your girlfriend’s betrayal is real. She is responsible for her sexuality. She is responsible for her choices. She is absolutely responsible for being part of this betrayal. However, she did not make a lifetime commitment to you. She did not put on a tuxedo, walk down the aisle, stand before God, your family and friends and say, “I will forsake all others for you.” She didn’t make that commitment.
She might have been vulnerable. She might have been needy. She might be a slut. She might be a whore. She might be a sex addict. She might be someone with a psychological disorder, or just really needy. Maybe she was playing a game, hoping to capture your husband, to capture your lifestyle, to drive your car, to live in your house. You never know what all she was involved in. However, the responsibility for him cheating, is his. He hurt you. Don’t blame her for making him, or manipulating him.
There’s some potential for that, but no real man can be seduced. Okay? The man has some cracks. Maybe he had a sex addiction. Maybe he was needy or vulnerable. Or maybe he was the perpetrator, the hunter, the man who was out there looking for another piece of action for himself, because of his own psychological deficits you have nothing to do with. When a man cheats, it’s never the wife’s fault. Ever. There’s something going on with him, morally, spiritually, emotionally, addictions, abuse. I’ve dealt with thousands of these men. I’m not saying there might not be issues in your marriage, but those don’t make men cheat. Those make you go to counseling, okay?
I hope this is helpful in validating your experience and your pain. And please, this is a post you want to send to a lady you know who’s been betrayed by a woman. If you’re a hairdresser, give this to everyone you know, because you really want them to heal, and be whole, and get back to having a great love life, no matter what path of life they have to travel to get there.
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In this episode, Dr. Weiss mentioned his book “Partners: Healing from His Addiction,” available at http://drdougweiss.com.