What To Do When A Friend Hooks Up With Your Ex

Photo: AntonioGuillem/iStock

A few months ago, one of my family members hung out with my ex-boyfriend until 2:30 in the morning, and I woke up to a text telling me that he wanted to go home with her. I cried and texted her some of the harshest words ever typed from my phone. Time passed and I could not shake the image of them together. He had hurt me so badly and she had watched me cry for months, so it seemed that she could not have cared less about my feelings. Exes are supposed to be off-limits, are they not?

Related: How Soon Is Too Soon To Move In With Your Partner?

When the people in your life you least expect to betray you do exactly that, it’s a tough pill to swallow. While you may not be able to forgive and forget, understandably so, here are some ways to put your mind at ease and move on when a friend hooks up with your ex.

Try to hold yourself to a higher standard

No matter how upset you are. When I popped off the harsh text to my cousin, I knew I had every right to do so. Just as well, I still felt terrible. I had stooped to a level lower than what I was comfortable with and made the situation worse. While it is important to stand up for yourself, remember that at the end of the day you want to be proud of how you handled the situation, even if you think that your friend’s actions were disgraceful. Carefully think about what you want to say before typing it out, then edit anything that he or she may take as offensive and turn it on yourself.

Related: What’s the Best Zodiac Sign and Why?

Remember it has nothing to do with you

Even if the encounter was purely physical, there is no denying that it still really sucks. But remember that you and your ex broke up for a reason, and you moved on with your life because it was in your best interest. If your ex has the ability to get with someone in your inner circle without remorse, it exposes their character and further explains why you should stay away for good. His/her actions are independent of your life and, even though it hurts now, you will look back and be grateful their true colors showed through.

Give yourself time to process your emotions

Take it one day at a time and give yourself license to be angry. But after a few days — or weeks — channel that energy into a constructive pursuit; write, run or go after something that you have always wanted to. Prove to yourself that you are still your own biggest advocate and remember that your worth does not change with their actions.

Practice thought-stopping

Thought-stopping proves especially helpful in situations like these. After giving yourself time to ruminate and work through your initial emotions, practice halting your thoughts by utilizing a default image. For instance, when you start to get distracted thinking about them together, fill the space with a thought about something happy and interesting, like what your next vacation destination is. I like to think about what I want to do on my next trip and plan the minute details in my head. Distraction from the detrimental thoughts will help you move on faster and keep as much of your peace of mind as possible.

Consider your friendship

Finally, you must consider if your friend’s actions were enough to end the friendship. Was it a lapse in judgement that you can forgive or a serious breach of trust? How quickly did she own up to the mistake or did you have to hear the news from someone else? Would you be devastated if you never spoke to this person again? Girl code or no girl code, whether or not to salvage the relationship is something only you can decide.