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For two years I was madly in love with someone who eventually broke my heart. We split up about six months ago, and since then I've been hearing a slow trickle of horrifying information from our mutual friends. For example, I had no idea that when he spent nights at his place to "clear his head," he was actually binging on crystal meth and fucking anything with a dick.
Not only was he screwing around on me, he was sleeping with several friends of friends—people I/we socialized with! Now I know why our sex life had gone to hell. I thought it was me, but speed-fueled orgies are tiring, especially for a 50-year-old guy! I've since done a little digging and have discovered a personal ad, indicating his preference for barebacking (he's HIV+) and golden showers. There's more, but the worst is our friends. Every time I talk to one of them, I find out something more awful than the last thing I heard!
I'm furious and I feel like an idiot. I can't believe people kept me in the dark. It's bad enough that all this new information keeps reopening wounds; I feel like I've not only lost my love, I also feel utterly betrayed by most of my so-called friends. How do I get past this?
—Dork in the Dark
Finding out only after you've broken up that your ex was even more of a fuckstick than you could've imagined is one of the most frustrating things in the world. It's like coming up with the perfect retort an hour after you've been insulted. But worse. Way worse!
One thing you shouldn't do is fall into the self-pity trap that I landed in after finding out (post-breakup) that an ex had been cheating on me. That was only one person and no methamphetamine, and I was apoplectic. Instead of sobbing along to Morrissey, I'd suggest you take up kickboxing or some other extremely violent, cathartic sport. You need to work this out of your system, and boxing will give you the added bonus of hot new muscles—not to mention you'll be surrounded by sweaty menfolk.
Once you've tired yourself out in the boxing ring, quit online-stalking him. Yes, it's evil that he wants to put other people at risk, but what can you do? We should all assume everyone we meet has some kind of cooties, and protect ourselves accordingly. Hopefully, the men he's meeting are doing so.
I also agree that your friends were giant nattering wimps not to tell you what he was up to, but maybe they figured you knew or that you were in an open relationship. It's also likely they've been burned by ratting out other friends. A lot of people are afraid the aggrieved will shoot the messenger, which has been known to happen. So keep a little distance until you're fully recovered, but if they're otherwise good friends, try to forgive them. Trust me, they don't think you're an idiot.
And please note that while you might think it will make you feel better, tracking the ex down to yell and scream (or worse) will only make you look mental. Silence is, if not golden, preferable to looking like a lunatic.