My childhood sweetheart left me for my best friend

DEAR DEIDRE: MY childhood sweetheart has left me for my best friend. I don’t think I will ever recover.

We met at school, fell in love, and were together until we went to university. He was my first everything, and I, his.


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But the distance was too much and we were so young. We split and lost contact for several years.

We married other people and had children. I never stopped thinking about him, especially when I became unhappy in my marriage.

I had no idea he’d moved back to the area and one day, I bumped into him in the high street.

We were overwhelmed to see each other. We embarked on a passionate affair. It was like we were teenagers again.

We realised we were destined to be together and so, within months, agreed to leave our spouses. It was incredibly difficult — I had a three-year-old and a five-year old, and his children were even younger.

For 15 years, I thought we were happy, that we’d be together forever.

We regularly spent time with my best friend (who we both grew up with) and her family. We are all in our mid-fifties.

And then, on August Bank Holiday this year, he dropped a bombshell.
He told me he’d been seeing another woman. He left that evening with a packed bag.

A few weeks later, he came back to collect some possessions and admitted the other woman was my best friend.

I’m reeling. Looking back, I should have seen something amiss — as my best friend was always too busy to talk or meet.

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Now, my husband has started to message, asking forgiveness and saying he made a mistake.

I don’t know what to do. I have loved him since I was 15.

DEIDRE SAYS: You are grieving not only for the end of your marriage, but also for your first love – a man who’s been in your heart for 40 years.

And, of course, your closest female friend. That’s why this hurts so much.

Perhaps you both relied too much on the idea you were each other’s soul mates, and ignored the cracks in your relationship.

Lean on your other friends and family for support. Talking to an impartial counsellor could help.

Relate.org.uk offers online counselling. My support pack about counselling explains more. Even if you can’t find a way back to each other, counselling could help you to part less painfully.

You can and will get through this. You have your children and other friends.

My support pack, Mend Your Broken Heart, should help you to find a way forward.

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