How do I deal with my anger over cheating?
February 3, 2006 7:40 AM   Subscribe

My girlfriend cheated. We're separated now. What do I do with this anger?

My (ex) girlfriend has been cheating on me since October. I confronted her about it many times, but all my evidence was circumstancial and only pointed to lesser crimes. I was put into awkward situations (like providing a ride to her house for him) under the guise of "just friendship". She never admitted it until I pulled out the printout of the conversation I had with him on Trillian. (he admitted it because he thought we were no longer together).

She has been crying non-stop, and I do truly believe she is sorry. If that makes a difference or not ultimately....well, we'll just have to see. We've briefly considered getting back together after a healing period, and right now, that's where we stand...hopeful. I feel like if we get together or not has a lot to do with how much we heal and I'm not placing bets either way. I tend to waver in my emotions from minute to minute.

So, since we're not talking, I'm unable to yell & scream & curse at her, and don't feel that's the best idea anyway. She cheated because of quite a few neurosis (it seems) that she is seeking help for and telling her what I think of her would be like kicking a broken puppy...and possibly setting her back quite a bit in her already low self esteem.

But the problem is, I'll remember Event A where I was lied to and just make the connection now, or I'll re-remember how it was when I was doing B and it'll all seem so fresh and I just want to...react somehow. But I don't know how.

The only outlet my anger seeks is to tell her, hurt her with what she's done and that is not healthy, wouldn't help much and we're not talking anyway.

I'm not the sorta guy to scream and punch things so that doesn't seem to feel right, and it can strike at anytime, anywhere. How do I deal with that anger when I'm feeling it?
posted by Brainy to Human Relations (43 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
you'll probably have to tell her how you feel eventually, especially if you're going to be friends or anything else. otherwise it'll just eat eat eat eat eat you up inside! right now is not a good time for that, though, so just wait. just be open to getting over it, and eventually you will. not a being-able-to-date-her-again over it, but some sort of over it.
posted by soma lkzx at 7:43 AM on February 3, 2006

Take up a physical sport, at least for the short term. This'll work out some of the raw, white hot anger.

Definitely express SOME anger to her. Don't be nasty, or violent, but cheating is when you SHOULD yell at the other person.
posted by anonpeon at 7:51 AM on February 3, 2006

She knows I'm angry, and I haven't held back with my reasons, and I've certainly told her about the levels and the depth of my anger and hurt.

But since we're not talking now, what do I do when I just want to call her and scream "You $**&@#^!@*( how could you *&^%&)*!?(%?", especially if I've already yelled at her about that particular thing.

Not that she doesn't deserve it, but I don't want to just keep making myself angry for no reason.
posted by Brainy at 7:52 AM on February 3, 2006

Start running, or buy a bike and channel the energy into long rides. Intense exercise is the best outlet for anger that I've ever found.
posted by COBRA! at 7:55 AM on February 3, 2006

Sorry about your screwed up girlfriend. Many people will have specific long term answers about this situation. The advice I was given dealing with anger in the here and now is:

Think about the situation. Allow it to make you angry.
How will this affect you & make you feel in 1 hours time?
1 day?
1 week?
1 month?
1 year?

You'll be surprised how temporal these things are, especially if you think about other bad things that happened to you over a year ago.

This technique also falls under the Remember The Big Picture mantra: it may not diminish your feelings, but it should allow you to get them in perspective.


I 'm not much of a screamer or puncher either, but I recommend one outlet. My aunt is a senior clinical psychologist who deals with dysfunctional family counselling: abuse, divorcing couples, stuff you wouldn't believe. She says after all the psychobabble she's encountered, the best remedy she has for frustration is: Find a room with no one in it that is isolated. Close the door, and stamp your foot swearing or screaming until you're exhausted. Like a little kid throwing a tantrum. I was skeptical of this, never screaming or punching things before, but it worked a treat on a particularly angry day!

Good luck!
posted by lalochezia at 7:57 AM on February 3, 2006 [2 favorites]

Brainy, just yell and carry on (but not to her). I talk to myself all the time. Don't knock the effects it can have. If you want to get technical, there is a theory which states, in part, that physically talking yourself through something is useful in helping you cognitively (see Vygotsky if you really care). Get the physicality part out.
posted by oflinkey at 7:57 AM on February 3, 2006

Write all of your feelings down in a journal as they're happening.

I do think it would be a good idea if you wrote her an email expressing your anger. But don't send it immediately. Write it, then come back in a couple of days and look it over to make sure you didn't go nuts on her (which you initially will, it's not a bad thing, just what anyone else would do in your situation). Then send it when you feel you and she are ready.

It's a really good thing you guys aren't talking, though. If I were you I would let this relationship go and start moving on.
posted by schroedinger at 7:58 AM on February 3, 2006

Exercise. Works to release anger/frustration, and actually has positive benefits, too. The last thing you want to do is confront her in any way right now. Get past the hurt to gain some perspective on the potential value of a renewed relationship, before you do anything that could impact its value.

You don't have to join a gym or anything structured, just some physical activity is enough. Running, free weights, whatever.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 7:58 AM on February 3, 2006

When I was in your shoes, two things were useful to me:

1. Writing letters expressing exactly how I felt. These would go on for pages. I never mailed them, but writing it down helped me get it out of my system.

2. Intense physical exercise. Do some things that make you break a sweat, and keep doing it. I believe there is something therapeutic about breaking a sweat, and exhausting yourself physically will be good for you.
posted by ambrosia at 7:58 AM on February 3, 2006

I've been through this situation, about 4 years ago, and I'm on the other side of it, so first and foremost, you need to know you won't always feel this way. I know how terrible it is in the moment but it might help to know that you will regain composure, that things will be good again.

I went to a therapist. I was really not that "type" before, I didn't think therapy would really help me. On a whim, shortly after me and my ex broke up, I was in a bookstore and to my horror wandered into the self-help section. I started looking at books about infidelity, relationships endind, etc. I ended up buying a book called "Uncoupling".

The thing is, that book, an inanimate object, saw straight through me and described sooo many exact details of the circumstances of our breakup, the infidelity, etc. It was then that I realized that most people play out this same script, that we're probably not all the unique butterflies that we like to think we are, something in us is programmed to do certain things a certain way.

It was at this point that I realized that if a book could help me, a therapist probably could help more.

So I started seeing one, once a week, and the first few sessions were very rough. I had the pleasure of having to explain all of this to a third party. I made it through, though, and she really helped me a lot.

After maybe 6 or 7 weeks I had an opportunity to move across the country, and I took it, and it was a very good thing for me. I had moved to Lubbock to be with my (now ex) and there was nothing there for me.

There are some things you should probably avoid doing. Try not to get your friends and family members involved too much in this. They loyalty is with YOU and this will sometimes drive themselves to do things which are not necessarily in your best interest, but that might protect you from immediate hurt. Also, they may be interested in stirring it up a bit instead of just letting it lie, thinking that you want to hear about how much they hate her too. Just a thought.
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:58 AM on February 3, 2006

More specific than exercise, lift weights. Seriously. That sensation is singularly the best foil to that kind of anger.
posted by dong_resin at 8:06 AM on February 3, 2006

> What do I do with this anger?

Learn a martial art. Eventually, the anger will go away. Meanwhile you will have learned something good.
posted by pracowity at 8:07 AM on February 3, 2006

So much good advice in under 10 minutes, I can't imagine what this will be like later. How many best answers am I allowed to give, again? Hahah.

Therapist - seeing one for years [she accompanied me a few times and lied to him in a closed session so he was almost on her side telling me not to be paranoid.] but I wanted other P.O.V's as well.

Writing Letters - Done that too, but it almost seems to "stir up more"...or maybe all the anger now has an outlet. But I just "feel" like that's wallowing in it. Also, I can't write letters in the car...very well.

Stamping my foot and tantruming in a room somewhere seems like a great idea. And I've been considering joining a gym so this might be a very good time to do that. And I'm probably moving to a new area March 1st so that should help too.

I can be feeling fine with everything and BAM there it is. I just don't like having a leg that could give out at anytime without anyway of coping besides thinking of what I'd say if I was talking to her.
posted by Brainy at 8:08 AM on February 3, 2006

You need to stop blaming yourself and assign the proper blame to your ex. So what if she's neurotic? She cheated on you. She lied to you. She did it once, and unless she changes a lot, she'll do it again. It really doesn't matter what sorts of "issues" she has or how low her self esteem has, she's shown herself to be untrustworthy and not worthy of your time and effort.

Physical exercise is perfect for getting some of that anger out. Start running. Also, if you're still getting these little flashbacks in a month or so please speak to a therapist. It's normal to feel angry and betrayed, but you shouldn't let it scar you permanently.
posted by bshort at 8:08 AM on February 3, 2006

1) Have a good scream.

2) Write her a letter that outlines your feelings. This will give you a chance to get it all out without her sitting there crying and ostensibly feeling guilty and remorseful and potentially stifling your ability to say everything you want to say. Email is good, but a handwritten letter might be better - ultimately that's up to you - I did the handwritten letter thing and it worked better than if I'd tried to email it. Schroedinger has a good idea in not sending it immediately and removing any sort of overly abusive terms. However I disagree with waiting until you think she's ready. This is about closure for you and getting your feelings sorted out. Send it when you're ready. It doesn't matter if she feels guilty or sad, or whatever - I can't say it enough - this is about you and your feelings. It's ok to be selfish if you need some time to get your head in order. She's forfeit her right for you to consider her feelings, for a little while at least.

3) Start running. Uphill, and fast. Kickboxing or plain ol' boxing works very well too.

4) Go to your local dollar store and pick up $10 or $15 dollars worth of wire coat hangers (probably close to 40 or 50 of them). Every time you think of Event A or Lie B, take one coat hanger and mangle the shit out of it and use all the abusive language you didn't put in the letter. Give it a punt to the other end of the room, then put it away in the bottom of a closet. Try and let that one event go. Repeat with other events or memories as they may occur. When you are feeling sufficiently ok about things, scoop up all the hangars, bind them together, and sell them as modern art to a local museum. Or for the less snarky solution, try and unbend them and donate them to the local Value Village or Salvation Army store.

5) Move on. Have no contact with her (even if she reaches out to you) for a long while. Like, months.

Speaking as someone that's been in your position, I'm very sorry that this has happened. It's a real kick in the head and it can be a very difficult time. Good luck.
posted by Cyrie at 8:15 AM on February 3, 2006

I guess this is more of a girl reaction, but call up friends. This is exactly what they're there for. Call your ex every name in the book, yell and swear and howl, plan elaborate revenge scenarios.
posted by occhiblu at 8:16 AM on February 3, 2006

Also, this sounds like it just happened. You're not "wallowing" by listening to your emotions right now. You're processing them. That's good, and healthy. Getting upset at yourself for being upset will lead to repression, which is unhealthy.
posted by occhiblu at 8:20 AM on February 3, 2006

I found that allowing myself to connect all the dots, realize all the absolute "oh my God this means THAT and JESUS IT'S EVEN WORSE" items, and let them get me completely pit-of-the-stomach seething would be beneficial, just to get it out there and out in general. Drop the worst-case scenarios, since you now know you were correct. Watch the path and let yourself be angry at it. Allow yourself rage towards each little small thing that contributed—giving him a ride is rough.

But limit yourself. Cry it out if you have to, pound a pillow, do what you want, but get the very most out of it. And then latch on to a large chunk of true apathy. The truth is, if she did this, she can't be that great. Go down that road. Even if you don't completely believe it, know that you're better than that, and that you didn't deserve it and that's just fine.

Allow yourself another few sessions of absolute rage, talk it out to close friends who will listen for a good half hour, and then go back to apathy. Eventually, you'll find that you really are better, and that you really don't care. The pain will linger for awhile, and it'll still suck, but just keep falling back on the truth that apathy can bring you. There are bigger, brighter, better things to be focusing on, and you should try your hardest to push her out of your head.

But do allow yourself to build up and vent the rage. Because that's the only way you'll get to that transitionary point.

And don't contact her for a good while. Let the rage subside, let the apathy begin to sink in more, and you'll be able to approach her much more level-headed later on. The onus is on her to prove, prove and triple-fucking-prove that she won't ever go down that path again, and to prove that you're worth it to her. Keep your standards high, and make sure she knows what the deal is, if you happen to consider giving another chance. Also, ask her to examine what her motivations were--were things wrong with your relationship, bad communication, or her just being selfish? It's important that you both understand the why to such a stupid thing, if you ever want to continue down that road.

If you don't, you can always write a ragemail. Likely necessary that you withhold sending it to her if you want to get back together, but damn if that's not a release as well.

But then apathy. Alternate. Convince yourself. Believe it's the truth, because it really, really is.

Good luck.
posted by disillusioned at 8:24 AM on February 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

Cheap plates and a Rubbermaid container to throw them into.

Seriously. There's something about breaking dishes, even cheap dishes. I don't know why, maybe it's the satisfaction of breaking things into tiny, tiny pieces. Goodwill is your friend for those supplies.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 8:29 AM on February 3, 2006

Go here. They can be a little overwhelming, but there are some good people there who will be happy to talk to you.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:38 AM on February 3, 2006

1) Write, and not just about the anger, but all sides of it.

2) Exercise, the harder the better. Get the emotions out physically.

3) Stop referring to her as your girlfriend. You are broken up with her. Or more appropriately, she ended the relationship. You can get back together if therapy works for her and you come out the other side of where you are now, but right now, Brainy, there's nothing but an abyss where your relationship is (or so i gleaned from your one-paragraph posting) and if you carry around an abyss you can pack a large amount of anger in it and that'll weigh you down. Besides if she is to succeed in therapy, IMO, having a boyfriend will only hold her back/act as a crutch; so i say its better for both of you to acknowledge that her actions have called an end to the relationship and its up to each of you individually to decide if you want back in ...months down the road, not tomorrow.
posted by iurodivii at 8:41 AM on February 3, 2006

I also recommend writing letters that you don't mail and getting lots of exercise.

I also am a big fan of the therapeutic effects of a night of binge drinking with the boys. You're allowed to make an ass of yourself and soliloquize on this bitch we call love.
posted by dobie at 8:50 AM on February 3, 2006

I know exactly how you feel.

Regular exercise, fresh air, sunshine.

Keep yourself busy. Friends, work, hobbies, projects--even if you don't feel like it.

Clean your room. Clean your whole house. Organize. It helps to have something concrete to think about rationally.

When you can't deny the anger, indulge yourself. Cry. Write letters or just rants and throw them out. Bitch at your friends. Such things.

Also indulge yourself in other things--watch your favorite movies, eat your favorite foods, listen to your favorite song ten times in a row and who cares if it annoys your roommate?--now's the time you really can't feel guilty about giving yourself the small pleasures in life.

Others will disagree, I'm sure, but I think it's best in these situations to completely cut off contact with the cheater. At least for a while. I've seen it over and over--those in touch with their exes are miserable, those who cut them off do better. But I've found it's not really advice you can give someone. I think it's something people need to learn the hard way. I did, even though I'd seen it many times.

The anger will subside gradually. It'll still hit you unexpectedly now and then. (I don't think it's hardly ever worthwhile to try to get back together after something like this, but you didn't ask our opinions on that, so that's why I parenthesied myself).
posted by lampoil at 9:02 AM on February 3, 2006

I've been there too. Lots of good advice here; I second the pillow-punching/yelling (by yourself) and writing down your thoughts about it all (years later you'll find it interesting to read a journal if you keep one). But I don't think writing her a letter is a good idea at this point. I feel bad about the nasty letters I wrote my ex when I was at your stage; she told me how much they hurt her and my reaction at the time was "good, you deserve it," but in retrospect it didn't do any good and makes me feel like a jerk. I've often been sorry about nasty things I've done or said, never about ones I didn't. Later on, when you've gotten past it, you can write her and/or talk to her and try to figure out what happened, but I don't see what's to be gained by doing it now.

And good luck. You will get past it, unlikely as that seems now.
posted by languagehat at 9:02 AM on February 3, 2006

I second breaking glass. Get a bunch of empty glass bottles (perhaps the left over beer bottles from a guys night in where you can vent at friends?) and head down to your local recycling center. Chuck the glassware into the correct bins and delight in the crunching, tinkling noice of sweet, sweet release.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:16 AM on February 3, 2006

I get the sense from your post and follow-ups that you're not letting yourself really soak in it. There's a difference between dragging it out and not letting yourself feel it at all. When you say things like "Writing Letters - Done that too, but it almost seems to "stir up more"" it makes me wonder if you're not letting yourself stir it up ENOUGH. You're entitled to be angry. Not just because she was wrong, but because you're human and it's an emotion we all feel.

I get that you don't want to wallow in this and have it color your mind so much that you can't make abstract and/or objective decisions. But you need to accept that you also can't do that if you never let yourself feel the things you feel. Your brain isn't going to let you just push this stuff down forever - it's going to surface. So let it surface, holler in the car, kick a rock. Self-knowledge isn't something you achieve by denying your impulses, it's something you get by looking them in the eye.
posted by phearlez at 9:23 AM on February 3, 2006

If you don't *deal* with this anger now -- not just getting away from it, but actually feeling it and processing it and exploring it -- it will stay with you till you do.
posted by occhiblu at 9:29 AM on February 3, 2006

Fall into another woman's arms. Nothing like the bliss of a new romance to dull the pain of an old one.
posted by eas98 at 9:32 AM on February 3, 2006

Been there. Years from now, all this will have no more emotional resonance than a movie you once saw about someone else's heartbreak. Draw what comfort you can from that.

Otherwise, what everyone else said--excercise, keep busy, have a purpose. If you have ever wanted to become active in your community, now is the time. Focus on something larger and more important than yourself.

And cut off all contact with her. "I'm sorry, but it is not good for me to communicate with you right now. I will make contact with you when it is OK, but that won't be for a long while."
posted by LarryC at 10:14 AM on February 3, 2006

Write a hate-filled blog about your feelings. Under no circumstances tell anybody the URL, and delete it as soon as you realize how mortally embarrassed you'd be if anybody you knew read it.
For driving: get a voice recorder and make podcasts.

Above all, stay away from this woman. If she's crying and wants you back, good: by not speaking to her you get some petty revenge. But if you're having trouble with how angry this makes you now, it would only get worse listening to her bullshit excuses and justifications.
posted by nowonmai at 10:21 AM on February 3, 2006

I second the motion on smashing glass bottles at the recycling center - standing under a train trestle and screaming when the train goes by is a good one too.
posted by matildaben at 10:58 AM on February 3, 2006

At first I thought... Why are you trying to protect her? Go ahead and tell her exactly how you feel, what you think of her, etc. But then what? You'd still be angry and hurt and all the rest. And you'd be kicking yourself for still feeling that way.

Enumerate all the bad ways you feel. Betrayed. Embarrassed. Sad at what's lost. Used.

What she did, and why, and what kind of person she is -- that's her. Do yourself a favor and think about you.

Sure, she's got problems and reasons and guilt... that's all another matter. She wasn't thinking about your feelings, but you can. If need be, tell yourself you'll "be fair to her" and "look at her point of view" some other time.
posted by wryly at 11:14 AM on February 3, 2006

I've been on the bad end of a situation like this also. I'd had a medium-term girlfriend and she decided she liked another guy more than me, instead of doing the honorable thing and facing up to me and telling me she doesn't love me anymore she decided to go behind my back.

From what i know it went on for about two months before i finally twigged on, at the time i exploded and had a serious anger vent. She was in tears for days.

The facts are, you've been hurt, and in probably the most painful way you can be hurt. The anger you are having at the moment is NORMAL, don't think your wild and out of control. If you feel the anger and you know its bad then you won't lash out, but keeping it bottled up wont help either. Try piping that anger into positive fronts, maybe sports, exersise, arts/crafts....

Over time the pain and anger will fade, but theres no instant cure. Stick with it. Hope it all goes well for you in the future!
posted by Nik_Doof at 11:34 AM on February 3, 2006

I also think you have to give yourself permission to be really be pissed off & hurt, here - it sounds like you are being way too nice to her. This is, as far as I can tell, 100% her fault, and she was given many opportunities by you to come clean but did not until confronted with hard evidence. Don't concern yourself for the moment with whether there's a chance for reconciliation in the future. For now, you are single because someone betrayed your trust. Deal with that reality.

I have also found martial arts good for anger management, because it gives you both the hard exercise and the mental calming techniques. But, finding an isolated place to throw a tantrum is a good idea when you really need to let off steam. It goes pretty fast when you're alone. Yelling at her will probably last a lot longer because her presence will feed your emotions and everything will be more complicated and exhausting. I would consider this just about you at this point, and yelling and stomping by yourself starts to feel silly once you've expended some energy, so it can be finished pretty quickly.
posted by mdn at 12:23 PM on February 3, 2006

Yep, get it out -- purge the anger. Throw a tantrum (by yourself). Rant to your friends. Listen to angry music (I always like "Liar" by the Sex Pistols for times like this), preferably while running HARD on the treadmill or something. Whatever it takes. Because -- and here's the secret -- if you're letting yourself express it, you'll eventually get bored with it. That boredom will be a good sign -- it mean's it's finally working its way out of your system. It's when you try to put a lid on feeling/expressing it that it can fester endlessly.

And yeah, cut the contact with her. Start calling her your ex-girlfriend. She sounds very sorry and very screwed up, which is all terribly unfortunate, but she gets to deal with her shit on her own right now. Whether or not you two can eventually have a friendship or a relationship is currently neither here nor there. You'll be able to answer that question sometime in the future, but right now you need to attend to your own needs and feelings, and having contact with her will only be a distraction from your real priority right now.

Sorry you're hurting so bad. Best of luck.
posted by scody at 12:56 PM on February 3, 2006

All of the above. Also, it helped me to realise that if I stayed angry, brooded, worked myself up, that I was in fact putting myself in her control and power - regaining my autonomy and self-esteem actually depended on learning to not give a shit. Thinking that made it easier to practice letting go/lifting weights/doing whatever.

You know what? If you pretend that you don't give a shit for a while, it becomes true.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:09 PM on February 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

I would channel the anger into helping me stay away from her. When you start thinking about calling her, and how much you miss her, make yourself think about how she used you and trampled on your relationship. Anger is absolutely the key component of a solid "no regrets" break-up. If you let her string you along, she will only do it again, or you will always supect that she is cheating again and so your relationship will be ruined either way.

I really don't want to seem like a dick, but you seriously need to move on. It will never be the same again.
posted by tcobretti at 1:23 PM on February 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

And for fucks sake, don't get back together with her no matter how much she cries & begs.

Say what's on your mind and go the OTHER direction.
posted by drstein at 2:31 PM on February 3, 2006

Lots of good advice. One thing about anger. It like all your other emotions is a message telling you something. In this case its telling you that you were hurt, betrayed, made a chump of, etc ... Connecting with the anger, is a step to connecting with the underlying message. Pay attention to the underlying message, which is really a summary of where you are at and what happpened to you, and as you do that you will start to allow yourself to learn from it. To learn from that experience, what was good, what was bad, what you would do the same, what you would do differently. And after you have learned these things realize that the past is the past and in the future you will take these things you have learned and they will affect you in a positive way.
posted by blueyellow at 2:49 PM on February 3, 2006

And cut off all contact with her. "I'm sorry, but it is not good for me to communicate with you right now. I will make contact with you when it is OK, but that won't be for a long while."

This is also good advice for double agents who have been seen with their handlers.
posted by gsteff at 5:55 PM on February 3, 2006

posted by armoured-ant at 5:00 AM on February 4, 2006

Angy music DOES help, at least for me. Something else that wasn't mentioned above (the ideas about punching pillows, raging alone, things like that are good. Also, listen to Lhat) that helped me was guns. Both video games that involved a lot of shooting (I recommend the old school Lethan Enforcers) and real guns. No, no, no, you're not going to shoot her. You're going to shoot at paper targets, preferably with a rifle and them far away. While shooting bottles is a lot of fun, what really helped me is how calm you have to be to make a really solid shot with a big ol' M1 or something similar (.22s are fun, but didn't help as much). You really have to relax and let your finger squeeze (not jerk) right as you exhale, pulling the butt as hard as humanly possible against your shoulder.
And the bang is really satisfying too.
posted by klangklangston at 11:31 AM on February 6, 2006

In the near term the only meaningful things you can do are for yourself. Exercise and releasing anger work for some, music works for others, and the list goes on. (It ends with things like alcohol, paid sex, and fistfights but the people who find those meaningful probably don't post on mf. Or they don't post relationship questions at least.)

What has happened will either end the relationship or else be a catalyst for positive change. My own view is that cheating has an evolutionary base to it and it is a bit harsh to dismiss others for doing something which may be genetic opportunism hardwired into our species. But I reached that conclusion after a week spent as a blubbering wreck when I went through approximately what you are going through now.

And I feel for you. You care deeply about this person who has caused you this pain, so seemingly gratuitously.

If I were going through what you are with what I know now I'd plan to spend a LOT of time in conversation and rediscovering the person I thought I was in love with. I'd understand that the relationship was something I had absolute control over, in the sense that I could end it in a minute, but also that the relationship is a place where both parties can grow.

Infidelity may be the most common catalyst for many relationships to strengthen and develop into stable long-term partnerships.

The ones which it doesn't end, that is.

Some cynical old Frenchman said "Love is something we haven't got which we give to someone who doesn't exist."

I find it weirdly comforting.
posted by thayerg at 9:02 PM on February 6, 2006 [1 favorite]

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