He Was My Husband. She Was My Best Friend.

Why did I forgive one of them but not the other?

woman reflecting back on first marriage, her ex and her best friend Juergen Schonnop via Canva | txpeter via Canva | Valeria Ushakova via Canva | Drazen Zigic via Canva

Author Nicole Yatsonsky wrote, "Your truest friends are the ones who will stand by you in your darkest moments — because they’re willing to brave the shadows with you — and in your greatest moments — because they’re not afraid to let you shine."

Well, truth be told, my best friend had an affair with my husband.

I have always suspected my husband of having an affair with my best friend. Neither she nor my husband ever confirmed their connection, or my suspicions, but all the signs were there.


I decided not to confront my best friend about my suspicions for several different reasons.

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First of all, she wasn’t the only other woman.

Even if I was mistaken about my best friend and my husband, I was not mistaken about his unfaithfulness.

He treated our marriage like it was a doormat. A doormat is useful when you need to scrape the dirt from the soles of your boots. Otherwise, you never even know it’s there.

If I was going to confront anyone, it should have been him — or no one. I chose to confront no one. This was not an easy decision for me to make.


When I found out he had been seeing other women, my stomach hurt. I didn’t even understand how he could do it. My brain couldn’t wrap itself around the thought of him being intimate with another woman.

My heart ached for the marriage I never had, and I felt like such a fool for not seeing this coming. All I wanted to do was tell everyone, especially my mother-in-law, but I didn’t want anyone to know anything bad about my relationship. So I kept quiet.

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The one thing that kept me going through thick and thin was thinking that one day my husband would change and realize how hurt I really was by his actions.


He never changed, except for the worse, so I finally had to give up.

Over time, I finally decided to forgive my husband, but I never forgave my best friend. Why have I forgiven him while refusing to forgive her?

The answer is as simple as it is sad: He’s dead; she’s still alive.

I didn’t forgive either of them for a very long time. Years passed. Then a decade. Perhaps fifteen years after the day that I found the voicemail messages my best friend left for my husband, I found out he was dead.

Let me explain.

My husband and I married young, divorced young, went our separate ways, and learned to live without each other’s presence.

RELATED: 8 Reasons Why You Hate 'The Other Woman' More Than Your Cheating Husband


By the time I learned he had passed away, I hadn’t seen him for more than a decade.

It was still a shock to hear that someone with whom I’d once shared a bed, a house, a home, a dog, and life was dead.

I found out about my husband’s death — my ex-husband’s death to be specific — on the morning news. My parents saw the news story about a local man killed in a single motor vehicle traffic accident and told me about it.

As soon as I heard this, I immediately denied it was him.

It wasn’t just a matter of being in denial regarding the death of someone I’d once promised to love, honor, and obey. The news reporter had gotten a few important details wrong, including his age at the time of his demise. So it was easy to think the name was a coincidence.


It wasn’t long before a family member confirmed it was really him.

Shortly thereafter, I decided to forgive him for everything he did wrong in our relationship.

I hope he would do the same for me if he had the chance.


Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to extend that forgiveness to the woman with whom he cheated. I haven’t seen her in years, and I don’t intend to change that anytime soon.

I doubt she even remembers me anyhow, but I bet she remembers my husband.

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Tracey Folly is a Boston-based writer, podcaster, and frequent contributor to YourTango. She’s had stories featured in Elephant Journal, Medium, NewsBreak, and YourTango, among others.