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Dear Specialist: My Girlfriend Had An Event With My Colleague

I’ve forgiven the woman, but We can’t forgive your.

Dear Therapist,

Five months back, my personal lasting girl duped on me. Our commitment got divided as a result of poor communication, functioning excessive, resentment, etc. While I found myself the main one duped on, we now completely acknowledge the role both of us starred, and over time of intense frustration, I came to the conclusion that I however love my gf, which I happened to be as upset at the unfaithfulness as at fact that we’d let the partnership get as low as it did. She also expressed deep regret, sorrow, and self-loathing for her measures. We’d a number of longer heart-to-heart talks over the appropriate days, and the ones conversations taught me personally something new about this lady.

The entire process of repairs are ongoing, but considering that the event, we have been nearer than we’d been in quite a long time.

My actual concern is this: The person she cheated with is actually a co-worker of mine. We are in the same (big) department, and I also nevertheless discover your typically from inside the usual segments. I haven’t chatted to him since this taken place, and that I do not have desire to talk to him. Indeed, merely watching him keeps a visceral effect on me. My respiration improves; my cardio events. We have a powerful craving to punch and split what to have this “fight response” of my personal system. The passage of time providesn’t decreased this feelings, also it entirely disturbs me, often souring my personal disposition for the day. We don’t wish him for this influence on me personally or to need my personal day interrupted similar to this.

You will find discussed this with my girl, but We don’t wanna keep doing that. It creates her feel very bad and unfortunate, and even though she wants to assist, she does not know how. Neither manage I. What ought I create?


Precious Chris,

First, you should know that your particular response is entirely easy to understand into the wake of cheating. Indeed, what you’re explaining is a very common response to upheaval. I personally use the term stress because many visitors can certainly think about (or were in person knowledgeable about) the pain sensation of being cheated on, what some cannot understand would be that a lot of betrayed lovers experience the symptoms of PTSD.

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Several of those symptoms tend to be irritability, sleeplessness, hypervigilance, and issues concentrating. Folk also can undergo “intrusion signs and symptoms,” eg flashbacks (of, state, taking walks in on a dirty spouse), nightmares about the affair, actual reactivity to traumatic reminders (like enhanced heart rate whenever running in to the colleague), or mental worry when confronted with distressing reminders (like the mood “disruption” you are experiencing when watching him).

The “real issue” we have found the event had been extremely painful, and watching your co-worker is actually a traumatic trigger when it comes down to actual problems: betrayal.

Part of what makes unfaithfulness so devastating usually it involves multiple amounts of betrayal. Yes, your own girlfriend deceived your own trust, and both of you are working through that with each other. However your co-worker additionally deceived your, and this also an element of the shock may be specially challenging work through, since most everyone focus a great deal from the biggest betrayal (between you and your girlfriend) they don’t take the time to function through—or actually acknowledge—the secondary one.

You might be thought, Wait, I scarcely see this colleague. It’s not as if he had been my companion. And to do not forget, numerous would say that this isn’t regarding the other individual whatsoever. In the end, this individual never ever produced a commitment to you personally. Best your spouse did.