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My childhood sweetheart cheated on me and now I'm so broken

Community Member

My "boyfriend" and I are both 29 and have been together since we were 14 I know we were way too young but we loved each other and have spent 15 great years together......well I thought they were I found out last week that he was having an online affair. He has spent the last 2 months constantly messaging and calling a woman he met on an online gaming site. We had our confrontation and we have been really honest with each other about all that happened. We have decided that for now we will TRY and work through it but we both know it might not work.

I just can't stop feeling this overwhelming grief and despair, I can't function normally no matter how much I've tried. i've lost 4kg in a week because of nausea I can't eat, I can't sleep properly, I lose my train of thought every 2 seconds, I've had to have time off work because I cant think straight (I'm a kindy teacher) and I just have so much anxiety. 

I don't really know what I'm trying to achieve with this thread but it feels good to even write it down. I feel like I can't talk to my friends or family because they will just judge my partner negatively and tell me what to do which right now I'm not ready to hear. I feel so alone   

6 Replies 6

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

hello, a pretty devastating shock to your system I'm sure. Now I will honest with you, but I would never say anything that I don't believe, nor anything to deliberately hurt you or anyone.

When people go hunting for any connections or wanting to find someone on the net, firstly it won't stop, even though they promise it won't happen again, well it does they go and use a friends computer or go to the library, but eventually became unstuck again. It's like an alcoholic they will find by any means where to get their next drink, or they hide it in the shed .It's a terrible ordeal to have to cope with when your childhood sweet heart does this to you.

It worries me to believe that he not only has this person, but possibly others as well, and I know that he won't tell you if he has, because this will only deepen this problem. I would suggest to have a break from each other, because I don't know what's worse, living together and having to watch over your shoulder constantly and checking on him by ways of opening up his computer, or separate and see what eventuates.

I'm really sorry for you and please keep in contact. L Geoff.

Vegetarian Marshmallow
Community Member
I would ask him what it is that he gets from this other woman.  Exciting conversation about botany?  Money?  Sex?  Just the thrill of doing something forbidden?  A particular power dynamic in the relationship?

Community Member

Hi it's very upsetting to read about what you are going through. I've been dealing with the same kind of overwhelming despair for 2 years. I'm still single while my ex is in a new relationship, a relationship he started not even a week after he dumped me and we also share a child together.

when i think I've shaken it off it sneaks up on me again. I feel stuck and I don't know how to get out of it. I have told a few people about my anxiety and everything I'm going through, I felt at first they listened and it helped a lot, but when you keep relapsing I feel like they're getting tired of hearing the same things and dealing with the same problems. After a while they look at you weird and I look their faces and their responses make you feel like 'when she gonna get over this?', maybe I'm dwelling too much on the past and a relationship. I miss him terribly but together we are toxic.I always seem to relapse when my ex calls me up to check up me just to find out if I'm in a new relationship and then the conversation becomes perverted.

I've had another breakdown so now I'm here again on beyondblue trying to seek some relief of sorts.

I hope you are OK and found some relief.

Community Member
I can relate.  I have just posted a part of my story in a new post.  I have been with my partner for 15 years and we have 3 children. After thinking he was having an affair, I found out he was cruising an online dating site and responded with "I just wanted to see what else was out there"!!  It was worse for me that he was looking, it might of been easier if he had just met someone randomly and started an affair, but the fact he was actively looking for someone else really, really hurt.  I don't think he still gets why I was so hurt.  Your post was a little while back so I hope things have picked up since.

Community Member
Darkness_within, I want you to know I've been through a break-up with my ex-girlfriend that rocked me to my core. Everything you've described, I've experienced too. And it was earlier today that I looked at myself and I was unrecognisable. Not only had I pulled away from my family and friends, but I was filled with spite towards her (though I never let it show on the outside) and I was thinking and acting in a way that just wasn't 'me'. The normal be would be ashamed of what I've become. I'm hoping my recent brainwave lasts and is a real turning point for me. The only thing I can say to you is that I understand what you are going through and that there is a stranger sitting in his apartment in Sydney right now thinking about you and praying for you. Please do stay strong. 

Community Member

Oh my poor Darkness_within.... I'm so sorry that you had to go through this... Unfortunately, there will be many people who won't know what you're going through..... even worse. I do.

I'm a bit further down the path... I found out almost exactly a year ago that my husband of 4 years was cheating on me (found out through Facebook) through every opportunity he could find... Geoff has some good points about people who are doing this sort of online cheating. It's very easy for them to find willing partners online, many people don't consider it really cheating so there's less stigma but as you are well aware, it's no less devastating!

My ex partner then went on to blame me for breaking up our family, telling me it was my fault that our son wouldn't have his dad around (he's 3) because I WOULDN'T just forgive and forget his multiple infidelities (with multiple people). It was apparently my fault he was cheating too because according to him, I was a horrible person (this took me a long time to process, now I know that it was his choice to cheat, not my fault in any way, and that vilifying me is his way of dealing with guilt over doing the wrong thing). This is not your fault. There is no darkness within you that caused him to cheat. He CHOSE to do the wrong thing, he CHOSE to not tell you. They are his actions. If he can take responsibility then at least you have something to work from.

My anxiety and guilt through the beginning was so bad that I was getting migraines (thought I had a brain tumour because of the number of times I would see lights and feel a creeping sensation along my face) everyday. I was unable to sleep, had no interest in food (lost 16kgs in about 4 months from size 12 to size 6) and would forget to eat because I couldn't keep my mind on task enough to function enough to even eat food I'd prepared. Thankfully, because I have a young son, I had to make good healthy food even if I couldn't eat it.... also forced me to get out of bed, there's no explaining to a toddler that mummy can't / doesn't want to play...

So, the best advice I can give you at this point is:

1. Find a good counselor - shop around until you find one you click with. A good one can help you so much!

2. Grieve - it is a process of grief. Things have changed. Whether or not you two stay together, you need to grieve the relationship you had.... it's gone now, and at the very least it's different. You have the choice to have a new relationship with this person where you make the choice to be with them, knowing what they are capable of, or to walk away. As Geoff mentioned, you may be tempted to look over your shoulder for the rest of your time with this person, would you knowingly choose that? I can only tell you that for me, walking away was the hardest choice I've ever made... now a year later it's still hard at times but I know I made the right decision. But, that was my choice and I wouldn't blame anyone who chooses to stay.

3. Exercise - especially if you don't want to be on medication. In an attempt to avoid medication, I've exercised most days and really notice if I miss 2-3 days. I simply can't afford to miss days now or my mood goes downhill sooooo quickly! The other good thing about exercise is that it will likely make you tired and help with your sleep.

4. Try to keep a routine - get up on time, get 8 hours sleep (mine was broken sleep for a long time but I would have to force myself to at least try).

5. Keep in contact with people - it becomes so tempting to stay home and avoid people, but how can they help if they don't know you're not coping... and it's ok to not be coping right now.... it's absolutely devastating to go through what you're going through. No one can deal with that sort of horrible discovery without going through a grief process.

6. Be kind to yourself - treat yourself as you would treat a friend who was going through what you're going through... if you don't honestly think they would treat you kindly, then get new friends ;o)

7. Make food... try to get caught up in the cooking experience - I never liked cooking before. Now, it's one of the places I forget anything else and try to focus on being in the moment and using all my senses. Who knows, you might make something that smells soooooo good that you might even want to eat it?

8. Know that people care - Friends and family may judge him (probably will) because they care about you... but they will likely stand by you in whatever you choose (also, you can always tell them a bit further down the track when you're a bit clearer on whether you're going to work out). As Edwin said, there are strangers who are thinking about you and praying for you wishing you the best.  I'm another one, I wish you all the best. Know that others have gone through what you're going through and you'll get through it too... it may suck for a while but it gets better. I promise.