You feel betrayed? Let me see if I got this right…
You broke his trust and violated his privacy by snooping through his computer. You found a sexy video — something he had every right to both make and have and that you had no business seeing — watched it, and somehow now you feel betrayed and he’s the one in trouble.
Just like you feared, your anger and frustration over this are unjustified.
Being angry and unable to express what you need from the situation is not an acceptable burden to place on other people. Let’s move you past this so that you have a shot at happiness, okay?
And look, I totally understand why you feel shitty and dissatisfied, and I’m going to help you rise above that, too, so let’s do this.
You Need to Be the MOST
Let me break down what’s happening to you: Your instinctual creature (the human animal inside all of us) needs to feel like she’s everything to him. The most attractive, the most desired, the most wanted, loveable, important, and the best lover he’s ever had in his whole life. That’s your instincts fucking with you. (Our instincts and egos sometimes act like self-centered assholes — it happens to the best of us.) But here’s the rub. After viewing part of that video, you (and your ego) were witness to a hard, cold truth — one that is difficult for even the strongest of us to swallow. Yes, he loved his other girlfriend(s), too. And they had a hot time in bed. It was so steamy, in fact, that he was compelled to preserve it on tape.
So that’s the explanation of the biological mechanisms running in the background driving you a bit crazy over there. Explaining it still probably doesn’t help you much though, right? Don’t worry, there’s more.
Let’s at least get you back to “pretty good” instead of miserable. This isn’t fool-proof, but it’s a place to start — and ultimately, you’re going to have to decide to get over it. That’s the magic bullet here, your willpower and capacity for choice. But we got to start somewhere, so let’s start with shaking it loose from your mind, body, and soul a little bit.
He Chose You So Shake it Off
You can start to shake it off by recognizing he’s with you now. Look at what the two of you have together and be grateful for that. Ease your mind by talking to someone safe (like a therapist). Take care of your body through massage, exercise, and/or a nice relaxing bubble bath. Shake it out of your soul by dancing, hiking, or running, and then feed your soul by spending time appreciating beauty in the world, whatever beautiful is to you (a garden, art, birdwatching?)
After that, see if you’re feeling more like your old self. If you need more, keep looking for what might be the next (healthy) thing that helps. Whatever that thing is, you need to go get it for yourself. You can’t get it from him. He’s not going to know what you need, and it’s not his job to help you recover from this.
He Didn’t Betray You — You Betrayed Him
Please understand that he didn’t betray you — it’s a hard pill to swallow, but you betrayed him. You might want to ask for his forgiveness and then apologize for breaking his trust, invading his privacy, and then for copping an attitude about it all. Also, you’re 100% right: he didn’t need to delete it! That file was none of your business, and that was a generous and kind thing that he did for you there.
We Are Entitled to Own Our Thoughts & History
We are all entitled to our private thoughts, strolls down memory lane, fantasies, and the like — that’s not cheating. We all get to keep our own experiences, memories, mementos, etc.
You need to come to grips with the fact that he lived as a sexual being before he met you, and that that’s okay. If it’s helpful, think about that really amazing thing he does to you in bed that you love. Someone had to teach him that, and you can thank her for it! Just do the thanking in your head.
Okay, good luck moving through this. You can do it!
PS: Your friend gave you bad advice. Get a better advisor for the next time you hit a rocky patch. And if you ever need relationship coaching, I’m here for you.
Wendy Newman is the author of 121 First Dates. She’s a dating, sex, and relationship expert who’s led hundreds of workshops and revolutionized the lives of over 70,000+ women internationally.
You can send a question to the column via email: [email protected]
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