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AdviceHey, Bonita!

How to Get Over a Betrayal—and Your Partner’s Parents Walking In

Dear Bonita,

I have been betrayed, and my heart is broken. What is your advice to someone who is struggling to get themselves back together after something like that?

Your question is incredibly broad, but so is the experience of heartbreak and betrayal. We all know those feelings. I’m sorry that you’re feeling this way right now, with the beautiful weather. It’s no way to say hello to the best seasons in Athens.

Whatever happened, place your blame appropriately. If you got run around by a player, hold that person responsible. Don’t find ways to make it your fault. Stay away from the person who hurt you, and do what you need to do to create safe spaces. Leave public places if they’re present, or ask them to leave if they’re somewhere where you have the control.

Talk to your friends freely, seek support from them, and don’t be tempted otherwise by a fear of “spreading gossip.” It’s your story, so tell it. Go out and get laid again, if that’s your style. If not, concentrate on all the ways that you and that person were not compatible, and become secure in your separation. Do not forget the reasons you separated. Know that it was the right thing to do.

Do not cave to any pressure to remain friends with your transgressor. Take all the space and time that you need. You owe that person nothing, and yourself everything. Try to get to a place where you can look at that person’s photo and feel nothing—not even anger or pain. That can take a while, so space is crucial to this.

Honestly, I can’t recommend space enough. That’s often what’s missing when feelings linger past their expiration. So no phone calls, no texting, no social media, no friendly hangouts—none of that. Throw the memory of that person into the pit, and you’ll get over it, guaranteed.


Dear Bonita,

I’m still feeling humiliated after my partner’s parent walked in on us during a VERY intimate moment a few weekends ago. It’s not often that we get to spend weekends with them, and I have no idea what made us think that this was the perfect time to get frisky, but it happened, and now I dread ever seeing either of my partner’s parents ever again! They’re really chill people and were super apologetic about the whole thing, but we’re supposed to meet up again next month, and just thinking about it makes me wanna vomit.

I’ve already apologized, but I feel like apologies never stop being owed for making a parent see their child in that way! Plus, now I worry about what they’re thinking of me, even though I’ve been partnered with this person for years now, and we’re gonna marry soon. Please help me make it through my next meeting with them without vomiting from embarrassment!

Sincerely,

Mortified

Mortified,

Don’t worry so much about what they think of you. If you’ve been dating their child for this long, and it’s always been hunky dory, I can’t imagine their opinion of you would suddenly bottom out upon finding out that their kid has a sex life. You’re all adults, so I wouldn’t worry about them thinking that you’re some awful tramp or you’re corrupting their child. Hopefully apologies were issued for leaving doors unlocked or entering without knocking, and not for the actual sex acts. Two consenting adults are allowed to have sex. I don’t think you need to apologize anymore, because you really didn’t do anything wrong.

I know it’s embarrassing, but relax. Modern parents aren’t nearly as uptight as they used to be, believe me. If it were a huge family scandal, you’d certainly know by now. Next time you see them, just smile as usual and don’t mention it. No non sequitur apologies. Just drop it, as of right now. It’ll all pass.

Need advice? Email advice@flagpole.com, use our anonymous form, or find Bonita on Twitter: @flagpolebonita.

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