Ask FHM is a corner of the internet where we fan the flames of your burning questions. Here, we dish out some tough love and an honest take on whatever potentially life-changing situation you find yourself in (while silently thanking God we aren’t you right now). Ask us anything. Except for money, and if open-minded ba kami.
There’s no sugarcoating this one—my girlfriend just admitted that she’d been cheating on me. To make it worse, her side guy is my best friend. Obviously, I broke up with
The deepest, sincerest of condolences won’t even begin to cover it, but we’ll say it anyway—we’re sorry, man. That sucks. Big time. There’s no looking on the bright side, at the big picture, or anything of the sort. It is what it is: A shit storm that’s pretty much altered the course of your life forever. How many people lose their girl and their best bro in one fell swoop? It’s a dubious distinction, and a sad club to be a proud member of.
So what now? There’s no manual for moving on from stuff like this. While the “It just happened, we’re sorry” narrative is as
And that’s the point we want to make: We’re all told to “handle” it. We’re raised and taught to resolve things neatly: Swallow it down, suck down all your rage, jealousy, and hurt along with the very many bottles of beer you’re sure to keep company with over the next months. We’re taught to seek revenge, seek solace in someone new, seek a higher power and pray the pain away (while praying for their cheating-ass souls along the way, because there’s a special place in hell reserved for them).
We’ve been indoctrinated that whatever we do next,
But what if—and humor us here, because you have nothing to lose anymore at this point, anyway—you didn’t subscribe to that? What if you let yourself fall completely to pieces, with no hope or assurance that you will, one day, be fine?
Our take is, there aren’t many opportunities in life for a man to completely hit scorched-earth, ground-zero, bottom-of-the-barrel rock bottom—and when they do come, we’re conditioned to get over it and climb out of that hellhole as fast as possible. It doesn’t do to wallow in the cesspool of shame and pain. It’s embarrassing. It’s unbearable. No one wants to be around a broken man—they’re no fun. We’re told to suck it up, get over it, and win.
But these opportunities—the lowest points in life—are invaluable moments. They’re lessons in resilience. They’re chances at redemption. They’re the perfect times to truly examine what it is to be human, without running the risk of being thought of as unmanly or too sensitive. Who’s going to laugh at a guy
When you force yourself along the path of recovery, you also run the risk of leaving a lot of feelings resolved. You’re allowed to have them, you know. You’re allowed to feel equal parts rage and relief, hurt and hubris. You’ll find your capacity for forgiveness (or if you have any in you at all). It’s okay to marinate in these emotions, “sucking it up” be damned. You don’t have to change “for the better”—at least, not right away. Allow yourself to realize that you are changing, and you don’t have to hurry whoever you will become along the way. In the immortal words of Fight Club, let the chips fall where they may.
You don’t have to drink to
And eventually, in this time of just being, as opposed to actively, intentionally moving on, you’ll soon hit a limit. Call it a light bulb moment, a flash of clarity, or finally reaching an enlightened state of self-awareness. You’ll soon realize that you’re still alive (and that means something), and you’re no longer the ruins of the hurricane that hit you.
Most importantly, you’ll learn how to trust other people again, eventually. But the first person you need to learn how to trust again is yourself. And you’ll only get to do that once you book a one-way ticket to hell, have a drink with your own personal demons, and claw your way back out all on your own.
Illustration Borg Sinaban