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"My Fiance Is Sleeping With His Best Friend"

Sam and I had been dating for over two years and we had plans to get married at the end of this year. A divorcee with three children, he was introduced to me by a mutual friend. Not long after we got together, Sam introduced me to Rachel, a married woman in her 40s, who works in the same industry as him. Calling her his "best friend", he said, "Rachel showed me the ropes at work.

Without her, I wouldn't be where I am today." He said they shared everything with each other-favorite books, music, travel tales, work gossip -over endless rounds of coffee. But by chance, I discovered there was more to the "friendship", when I picked up Sam's handphone and came across a few intimate smses from Rachel. It never occurred to me that he could be spending time with another woman.

He stayed out late because his sales job required him to attend meetings even in the evenings, so I never suspected him. Even when instead of taking me out shopping on weekends, he would tell me he had to go overseas to meet high-profile clients. After reading the smses, I realised that all this while, Sam had actually been having secret liaisons with the woman he called his best friend.

So the next day I smsed Rachel and confronted her about her relationship with Sam. To my surprise, she replied by asking me what my relationship was with Sam! Apparently, he had been keeping our relationship and impending wedding secret from her. She then revealed that a they'd been seeing each other for over three years. She warned me to steer clear and even labelled me a "third part"!

She said she was preposterous; she's a married woman so she clearly had no future with Sam. But she insisted that he truly loved her and that he'd never told her about his intention to marry. Later, when I confronted Sam about my exchange with Rachel, he became angry and defensive. He demanded to know why I contacted her and denied having an affair. He blamed me for not trusting him and said he intended to keep his "friendship" with Rachel, even after our marriage.

Then he lectured me, "One can love many people in life differently and every woman is special to me." He finished by continuing to blame me for not giving him freedom to be with his friends. Following that exchange, I found it difficult to trust Sam whenever he said he was going out and I couldn't stop wondering if he was really with Rachel. He continued to receive smses late into the night and often locked himself in the study room on the pretext of doing his work.

Once I discovered he was not working, but was really on the computer, chatting with Rachel on msn using the the web camera! In my frustration, I spilled water onto his computer so he couldn't go online. I tried to hold on to the relationship, but my feelings for Sam gradually thinned out. So one day I just packed my bags and moved out of his apartment. It was over, and long overdue.

Looking back, I now realise how naive I was. All those times the clues were right before my eyes but I didn't pick them up. When we went out, Rachel often came along. Whether it was dinner, drinks at a bar or even a night out at the movies, she'd be there, sometimes with her husband, sometimes with other friends, but she was always in the picture. Sam later admitted he'd once taken her to Australia to see his children from his previous marriage.

When people ask why Sam and I called off our wedding, I tell them the initial attraction gradually wore out as we rarely saw each other, due to his "busy work schedule". It's too embarrassing to tell anyone my fiance was actually two-timing me with a married woman, who's also older and less attractive than I. So I'd rather keep this to myself. My sobering lesson from this episode is: when a man and a woman say that they are best friends, in my opinion, there probably sleeping with each other.


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