The Mirror’s agony aunt Coleen Nolan advises a woman who is feeling hurt and humiliated after her mother got the shock of her life
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I’m a woman aged 29 and recently I had to travel abroad for work for a few days, so I left my boyfriend with my house keys so he could pop in and feed the cat – we picked her together when we started dating.
When I was away, I got a message from a plumber who needed access to the house to fix something, but I couldn’t get hold of my boyfriend, so asked my mum to go round. When she got there, she found my boyfriend in my bed with a woman. It was awful, she screamed at him and told him to leave. It turns out I know the girl, but not very well.
I feel completely humiliated and terrible for my mum. I haven’t really processed things properly, but I’ve ended the relationship with my boyfriend. He keeps calling and texting, though, using the cat as some kind of bargaining tool – apparently he wants to see her and misses her!
I feel fairly sure I’m not going to go back to him, but I’ve never been in this situation before, feeling so hurt and humiliated. I don’t know how to face people. Please help.
It sounds as if he’s more concerned about the cat than he is about you! But I think he is using the cat to worm his way back in, and you can see that, so don’t be swayed. He can get himself another pet.
Look, this is a horrible situation and I totally understand that feeling of humiliation and wondering about what other people are thinking. But I can promise you, they’ll just be hoping you’re OK and want to help, and they’ll think your ex is a cheating rat.
I think taking this girl to your home and sleeping with her in your bed is incredibly low and it feels cruel and arrogant. So, obviously, I think you’ve done the right thing by dumping him.
I’ve been cheated on in the past, although not in this way, and all I can say to you is that you will get over this heartbreak and you’ll learn from it. You will feel stronger when you come out the other side.
Don’t shut yourself off from your family and friends – make a huge effort (and it will feel like an effort at first) to see people and go out.
And keep reminding yourself that you, and the cat, are better off without him.