your man When your friend steals

What to do if your bestie akushaya ngestina and your part­ner wants to dump you

Move! - - CONTENTS - By Mo and Phindi Groot­boom

THERE is no big hu­mil­i­a­tion like the one I am go­ing through at the mo­ment. I dated my man for two years be­fore fall­ing preg­nant and he was ex­cited that he was go­ing to be a fa­ther, even though he is five years younger than me. He showed ma­tu­rity when we first started dat­ing and that is why I was will­ing to give him a child. He is a great fa­ther. But that is not the point. Re­cently I dis­cov­ered that he is see­ing my friend be­hind my back and my friend likes him. He has kind of con­fessed that he is leav­ing me for her. I don’t un­der­stand how my friend can also agree to this. I am hurt and don’t know how to cope with ukushayiwa ngestina (be­ing dumped and my man taken by an­other woman). What must I do? FRUS­TRATED LOVER

CHEAT­ING is a very hor­ri­ble ex­pe­ri­ence, even more so when it’s with some­one you con­sider to be your friend. Fall­ing in love is a choice, the same way fall­ing out of love is a choice. It is never an ac­ci­dent, or some­thing we have no con­trol over. For this rea­son, we hope you know you don’t have a friend in this per­son you call friend be­cause friends don’t be­tray one an­other. They pro­tect what’s dear in each other’s lives. FRIEND­SHIP RE­SPON­SI­BIL­ITY How­ever, while your friend has a friend­ship re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect you, your man is the one who made a solemn com­mit­ment to you. It’s his re­spon­si­bil­ity to live up to that com­mit­ment and to hon­our you by not be­tray­ing your love. The num­ber one goal in a cir­cum­stance like this should be that you have ul­ti­mately han­dled your­self in a self-re­spect­ing man­ner. Even if you sense that the re­la­tion­ship is go­ing to end be­cause of his cheat­ing, don’t let your emo­tions get the best of you. IN­TENSE FEEL­INGS Say to your­self that your goal is to be proud of the way you end the re­la­tion­ship, if that’s the di­rec­tion the re­la­tion­ship is tak­ing, be­cause that’s a re­flec­tion on you, not your part­ner. So many of the in­tense feel­ings end up caus­ing us harm be­cause we give in to them, let­ting them con­trol our be­hav­iour.

You should never put your­self in a sit­u­a­tion with your boyfriend where you look like the crazy one, be­cause you’d be throw­ing your­self un­der the bus

and dis­tract­ing every­one from the fact that what he did was wrong. Though it’s never easy to walk away should you de­cide to do so, it’s bet­ter to leave with your in­tegrity in­tact than to end a re­la­tion­ship in a sea of self-doubt and para­noia.

It seems you have all the in­for­ma­tion you need. Af­ter con­fronting your man, you now know that they are in­deed see­ing each other. You also seem to know for a fact that your friend likes him. This puts the ball com­pletely in your court.

SOBER EN­GAGE­MENT

Be hon­est about what it re­ally is that you want, now that you have all the in­for­ma­tion you need. What you don’t want is to un­nec­es­sar­ily drag the is­sue with­out deal­ing with it.

Our sug­ges­tion is that you take your time heal­ing first, be­fore you make your de­ci­sion. Be­ing on an emo­tional high is not be­ing in a good po­si­tion to make life de­ci­sions.

Af­ter you’ve got­ten your­self in a po­si­tion for a sober en­gage­ment with your boyfriend, you need to con­sider what it will take for you to for­give and be rec­on­cile? Or is this a deal-breaker for you? Then com­mu­ni­cate this to him. This, of course, also de­pends on whether or not he still wants to be with you, or was cheat­ing with your friend a mes­sage that he doesn’t want to be with you any­more.

EMO­TIONAL HEAL­ING

What­ever the mat­ter, it’s im­por­tant for you to make the choice to for­give him for your sake, es­pe­cially your emo­tional heal­ing. It doesn’t mean you are fine with his cheat­ing ways, and it doesn’t mean you ap­prove of it ei­ther.

The pri­mary pur­pose of for­give­ness isn’t nec­es­sar­ily to let him off the hook, even though he may even­tu­ally be off the hook. But the pur­pose of for­give­ness is about free­ing your­self from the hurt so you can live more freely go­ing for­ward. For­give­ness is a process that opens your heart and gives you peace of mind. If you are stuck in hate and bit­ter­ness, you are the one suf­fer­ing. The let­ting go that con­sti­tutes for­give­ness un­tan­gles the knot in you so you feel hap­pier, lighter, and more present.

IM­PER­FECT NA­TURE

The sober­ing re­al­ity of for­give­ness is re­al­is­ing that you’re ac­tu­ally for­giv­ing an im­per­fect per­son. There are no guar­an­tees that he won’t do it again. There are no guar­an­tees that he won’t find more cun­ning and de­ceiv­ing ways of cheat­ing so that you won’t ever find out. Even if you were to leave him, there’s still no guar­an­tee that you’ll meet one that won’t cheat on you. Fact is, our im­per­fect na­ture makes all of us sus­cep­ti­ble to cheat­ing.

The only way to de­ter­mine if you’re ready to trust again is to hon­estly as­sess if you will be able to han­dle it, if you were to find out that your part­ner is cheat­ing on you again. And if he wants to go, never beg him to stay. His re­la­tion­ship with your friend will fall on the same sword any­way.

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