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'My best friend told me my boyfriend was having an affair. It was a lie.'

As told to Anna DeGrey

The day my relationship began to unravel was the day I received a text from Sara*, my best friend since high school. It was a simple, yet devastating message: she claimed to have seen my partner, Michael*, with another woman, implying an affair.

Our friendship had always been rock solid, surviving countless ups and downs. She was the one I turned to for everything. When we were young, she helped me cope with my parents' divorce, and she was very supportive, years later, after I had a miscarriage.

That’s why, when she told me about Michael, I believed her. I had no reason to think she would lie to me or lead me down the wrong path.

Michael and I had been together for six years, and until that point, our relationship had been great. There had been no signs of trouble, no moments of doubt that led me to believe our relationship was anything but strong. This is what made Sara's message so jarring—it didn't fit with the man I knew, but her words planted seeds of doubt.

Watch: The one of three steps to deal with jealousy. Post continues after video.

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Sara had always been a bit of a troublemaker, known for stirring the pot, but I’d had never been on the receiving end. Our friendship was built on a foundation of deep trust and loyalty, or so I thought. Her text read: "I’m in a wine bar with friends and Michael is here with a blonde woman. They are giggling and touching each other. You need to tell him that you know!"

I felt dreadful. I called Sara right away, and she didn’t pick up. I remember feeling sick, pacing the floor, and waiting for Michael to get home. Sara eventually called me back and said, "Sorry, but it looks like he’s having an affair. If I were in your shoes, I’d want to know." I asked her if they looked intimate and she said, "It looked blindingly obvious to me. You need to tell him that he’s been caught."

When he did get home, I let it rip. "I know you’ve been at a bar with a blonde woman!" I told him a friend had been at the bar too and she spilled the beans. He didn’t deny having drinks with a woman but claimed they weren’t alone, they were in a group, having left a late meeting.

But I didn’t believe him. Why would Sara lie to me? I absolutely believed the word of my closest friend. 

Michael was hurt that I’d take someone else's word over his. He kept telling me that he’d done nothing wrong and that he was always faithful to me. "I can ask the woman I was talking to, to call you and clarify?" he said. But I did not want to talk to the woman. Michael wanted me to tell him which friend told me this news but, at first, I didn’t want to get Sara in trouble. 

In the days that followed, living with him was unbearable. We had some dreadful arguments – me accusing him of cheating on me and Michael being livid that I wouldn’t believe him. "This is ridiculous," he said. "You have no evidence and I’m getting tired of being falsely accused."

He said that if I chose to believe a friend instead of him; it showed him that our relationship had major issues. 

The truth eventually came out when one of Michael’s male colleagues phoned to tell me that Michael had done nothing wrong and their colleague – the so-called blonde woman – was mortified that she was getting caught up in some kind of fake love triangle. This colleague even texted me a group photo from the night Sara had been at the bar; Michael was seated next to a blonde woman but there were also five other people at the table. It didn’t look intimate at all.

I then apologised to Michael for hurting him, but the damage was done. He said that the nasty things I’d said during our arguments about the "affair" were so painful. He felt betrayed by my readiness to believe the worst and decided he couldn't stay in a relationship where trust was so easily dismissed. And so he broke up with me and moved out the following week, leaving me devastated.

I confronted Sara and told her that Michael hadn’t done anything wrong. I asked her why she caused trouble and told me he was alone and looking intimate with another woman. I wanted to understand why she had chosen to deceive me.

She admitted to jumping to conclusions based on what she thought she saw, but I didn’t believe her. I felt her actions were deliberate. She’d recently gone through a bitter breakup herself, and I felt she was out to destroy my happy relationship, as she’d always been jealous of my and Michael’s love for each other. 

And that’s how I lost my partner and my best friend through one pointless accusation. I’m trying to get over Michael and I’m dating again. But most of all, in the aftermath, I find myself truly missing the friendship with Sara that had once been a cornerstone of my life. I also feel that my story is an example of the fine line between protection and interference and the huge impact that our actions can have on the lives of those we care about.

*Names have been changed due to privacy.

The author of this story is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons.

Feature image: Canva.

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