Betrayal & Grief together

I lost my partner in August 2021 to a cancer he had hidden from me for months and could have been treatable. After he was gone I learnt of a secret life that explained why he did this.

I suffer from all of the grief of losing the perfect man I had and dealing with the fact that he was never really who I thought all along.

I find it difficult because all of the communities I have joined and forums I have been on, I have not seen anyone talking about this side of loss.
Is there anyone out there who found out they had been betrayed after they had lost their partner? how have you coped?

I can’t bring myself to write such a long detailed post as to explain what happened but I also write an anonymous blog where I have shared them.
whatyouleftmewith . co . uk


I lost my partner about ten years ago and I had a shock when he was first taken I’ll. He collapsed at work and when I arrived at the hospital they told us straight away it was a serious and terminal brain tumour. I contacted his daughter who told his ex and when I arrived at hospital the next day, he was confused and his ex was there holding his hand! She told me she would be sorting things for him and best if I left. I was completely shocked that she would do such a thing and it was completely out of the blue. I went back later and asked him what was going on. He said he didn’t know why she was there and he hand the invited her.

Sorry… Message went to quick …. Anyway long story cut short. My partner was confused generally due to a bleed on the brain. The exe showed up from time to time telling me they were having an affair. All of his family and friends told me this just wasn’t true. I couldn’t quiz him cos he was so poorly. I cdnt find it in my heart to stop her visits cos he was dying and maybe, just maybe he wanted to see her. She showed up at the funeral, tho very few people even spoke to her. The end of my story is that I got counselling afterwards and eventually decided that since there was no way of proving that he wasn’t faithful to me, it was down to me what I chose to believe. I could get bitter and angry and feel betrayed forever, without any evidence apart from this woman saying so, or I could choose to believe that, like his family said, he hadn’t been seeing her at all since they broke up years before his death. It’s not possible to challenge someone with a brain tumour that affected his memory and cognitive function about a past he often couldn’t even remember. In the absence of any facts I chose to be kind to myself and to his memory. I chose the ‘truth’ that gave me peace, instead of the ‘truth’ that would have given me no peace. Hope that makes some sense. Ten years in I think of him with love and fondness and the ex doesn’t come into my mind when I think of him. Sending you a hug xxx


Thanks Nell,

I’m doing my best, the problem is the evidence is overwhelming. I can see that you’re probably right, if no one else believed it either and there was nothing to support it.

I’m very sorry to hear about the painful and sudden loss you have been through. I’m glad that you have found kindness for yourself. Xxx

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You have got more to cope with than you deserve. Since it must be true that your partner had a secret life you do know that he was at least trying not to hurt you. Peoples lives are messy and secrets can destroy relationships. To have to deal with finding out someone is not the person we thought is a mega painful thing and when they are gone we can’t get any answers to the ifs or buts or whys. When you are ready it might help to get counselling where you can express your upset to someone who doesn’t know you, won’t judge you and you may in time find a place in your heart to accept that, he made some bad judgement calls, maybe for fear of hurting you and losing you. That doesn’t make it ok by any means and it adds to the pain of grieving for him. I think it’s more common than we realise because people don’t want to talk about it. You are doing the right thing to come to places like this and talk. I send you my respect and hugs. Xxx

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Thanks again Nell.

I had 12 weeks of counselling but ran out of slots, I’m on more waiting lists and doing my best to heal through volunteering, art classes, family but so far I don’t seem to be getting much further just holding myself up where I am.

I’ve just felt so alone in it when you read other widows stories so wanted to find some common ground and people who have made it through the other side xx

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Just another thought - you don’t have to try and forgive him right now. His actions, once they came to light have hurt you deeply albeit that wasn’t his intention. If you feel angry and betrayed it’s not surprising and you have every right to be angry. I’m not minimising what he did. He can’t see the devastation his secret caused you. Your left trying to make sense of it all. You don’t deserve that, specially on top of all the misery of losing him. It’s a big call right now but if you can, please be kind to yourself. You’ve got enough to cope with just getting through each day. More hugs xxx

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Hi my life has been turned upside down I knew certain things about my partner of 40 years and coped. Since his death lots of other things have come home to roost financially and personal. I have been in councelling for this but I still miss him and all this other on top has just made things worse

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I don’t know what has happened but when my dad died nearly 24 years ago aged 53, a woman sent photos of her and my dad together, turned up at the funeral and tried barging her way in and turned up at the funeral director refusing to leave till she had seen my dad’s body.

My mum, his wife of 30 years tried to push it to one side, but her grief for my dad turned to hatred because he wasn’t there to defend himself or explain his actions.

All I know is that my mum started to talk about dad in the last year of her life ( she died suddenly 3 years ago 20 years after my dad) and stated how much she regretted not grieving him and investing so much hate. She said she would always love him and didn’t care what he had done. She just wanted him back.

Don’t let whatever has happened ruin your grief or memories of your love.