Dear Mistress Maeve,
I have been divorced for more than 20 years; my kids are grown up and on their own. For the past three years, my ex and I have gotten together on Saturday nights, usually just to go out to dinner and sometimes a movie at his house. By his choice, the relationship is platonic.
Unbeknownst to me, my ex began having a clandestine affair with a mutual friend of ours with whom I'm very close. The affair lasted over a year and ended about six months ago. Our adult daughter told me of the betrayal, and it has been very painful, like a double whammy. It seems hurtful that my ex would do that, even though I know I have no claim to him. It also hurts that my dear friend would participate in this affair. I'm hurting and would appreciate your opinion.
Affairs of the Heart
You have every right to be hurt. No, you do not have any claim to your ex, and they are both consenting adults, but they obviously knew the affair would hurt you - otherwise, they wouldn't have kept it a secret.
You say that your relationship with your ex is platonic by his choice, which indicates that you would like something more. Did your "dear friend" know of your lingering feelings for your ex-husband? If so, and she slept with him without talking to you about it, she's no friend of yours. Furthermore, if your ex knew that you wanted more from him, he shouldn't have led you on by taking you on "dates" every Saturday evening - not while he was sleeping with your best friend.
That said, you have two choices. You can mope around feeling sorry for yourself (not very attractive), or you can take your Saturday nights back. It's time to take a hiatus from your ex and your friend; they simply do not deserve your time and attention right now. Plan ahead for Saturdays - book a spa day for you and another girlfriend who hasn't stabbed you in the back, plan a girls' road trip with your daughter, or simply curl up with a glass of wine and a good book. This is your life now; the secret's out, and you're moving on.
Besides, as long as you keep spending Saturday, the premier date night of the week, with an old flame who clearly has no allegiance to you, you'll never date anyone else. And that's where the real healing begins.