extreme guilt after ONS with married man

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    Hi there,

    I am beginning to spiral and can’t eat or sleep well. Here are the main issues going on with me:

    1) On NYE, I slept with a married man (“A”) with kids when I was blackout drunk. It is all a blur to me. I knew that he was married, and just that eve he had been showing me pics of his kids. We have been in the same professional circles for years, and have friends in common, but met by happenstance. It was my first time to meet A in person. I don’t know his wife.

    I work for an organization in a developing country where we all stay at the same apartment complex.  The city we live in has a curfew (it’s a conflict zone). A group of us were at a party earlier in the eve, and our other friends decide to stay at the party for a few hours. So A and I were alone, and spent from 10pm onwards on the rooftop of the apartment complex we live drinking. Amongst our colleagues, this would normally be totally normal. Throughout the night I was thinking about lines and whether any were being crossed. I do consider myself a girls’ girl, even though maybe I’m not anymore.

    Now, I probably blacked out somewhere around the time of us swimming in the pool at the apartment complex at like 130am. I do remember in my head the vibe changing and thinking a line would be crossed, and telling myself it was ok to cross it. But I don’t know if that was those human thoughts we all think, or a conscious decision I made.

    Eventually after going swimming, we agree to have one more drink together at my apartment where I have some other beers (I don’t remember this and why we didn’t go back up to the roof, but I don’t doubt that I invited him as I normally have an open door policy). The idea was that we both change out of our wet bathing suits and then meet. He goes upstairs to change out of his bathing suit, and comes to my apartment.

    Apparently I answered the door naked, and so came on to him. In my mind, this was probably not so much of a seduction thing as me having taken off my one piece and looking for comfy clothes, and being so drunk I didn’t remember I was naked (I normally walk around naked at home). I’ve never before opened the door naked for a boyfriend, but maybe I did decide to do so. There is a moment I vaguely remember of yes we are going through with this (but this was when he had knocked?).

    But maybe I do have this bad part of me deep down that did want to seduce him.

    We had sex in my bed, and what gets murky is that I don’t really remember anything between me opening the door and seeing his face (but not being entirely sure if it was A or another neighbor) and than him being on top of me. I vaguely remember him saying he was going to leave after kissing once he was in my bedroom, but at that point I still thought he was my neighbor. I don’t know why I thought this as everybody else we live with was at the party.

    At one point during sex I wasn’t sure who A was, and actually thought it was our neighbor. I remember wanting to ask “who are you” but felt too embarrassed. I remember him going down on me briefly but the rest is blurry. I figured out who he was when he was lying next to me and very upset at what happened. He said he wanted to go back to his room to think about this as we were both upset about this lapse of judgement.

    When I woke up on new years day I thought we had just made out. He did have to tell me we had sex. We talked about what happened twice on new years day. He was just passing through our city, and will probably be back for a day or two at the end of the month before returning to the US. He is not going to tell his wife or anyone. He says he is very happily married and this is a blip and the first time he’s cheated, which I believe. We agreed that we will not have any contact in the future out of respect to her, which I know sounds crazy in retrospect.

    I do feel strangely attracted to him, because he has a lot of qualities in a guy I would like to be with (funny, smart, family man), and also there is an attraction now that we have slept together. I think part of this is why I am placing a lot of blame on myself. I think once I get over what happened I will sort of have to get over him, if that makes sense.

    A is a friend to my boss and my boss’ boss. If I have panic attacks over my behavior and what happened there is no way I would be comfortable telling my boss. My concern when he returns at the end of Jan is that he tells one of them because of his guilt, and they think I’m a whore.

    I don’t see us having any contact in the future, other than to send him STI results as soon as I take a test.

    2) I am concerned I am spiraling to a very dark place. I am bipolar and sought treatment three years ago for the first time after having a breakdown in another developing country. I am in a better place now as I have been medicated for about three years. I did begin abusing sleep medicine about three weeks ago, which is something I was doing prior to the breakdown I mentioned in 2015. I am sober now and have not had any booze since Wednesday, and tonight marks my first night without the sleeping pills. But if this continues through March (when I am scheduled to leave the country) I will have to be highly medicated in order to do so.

    I’m not particularly religious, but I am going to go to a church service tomorrow and confess.



    Dear larem22387:

    The key is to not panic. Something bad happened, but the panicking, that “spiraling to a very dark place” is not a must-happen consequence of that bad event.

    Sex after getting drunk is unfortunately very common, and not something particular to bipolar people or people abusing sleep medications and so  forth. Relax best you can, resolve to avoid the particular circumstances that led to the event.

    In the future, when you successfully avoid and prevent an event like this from happening (for example, you are in a situation where you are alone with a man and alcohol is present, you ask the man to leave or leave yourself), you will feel better about having learnt from what happened and prevented such from happening yet again.

    Regarding your concern that this man will tell your supervisors what happened, remember that you can deny that it did. You don’t have to admit to it (maybe in church you do, if you choose to  confess), but you don’t have to admit to it to your supervisors because there is no benefit to doing so, not if you learnt from the situation and not repeat it.






    Quite a story. It sounds like you’re worrying a lot, which is understandable. Sex for women is very intense and so I think your entire emotional/biological system is planning for a longer term relationship with this man and so you’re thinking a lot because things will probably be changing, it’s the body’s way of triggering the mind into really thinking fully about what’s happening to make sure you’ll be safe….etc. Do you see my line of thinking, this is to give you an understanding of what’s happening to you.

    Overall, I really wouldn’t label this as good or bad. I appreciate it isn’t ideal, are you more worried about what your boss’ are going to think of you in relation to losing your job? I would argue it will most likely have little to no impact to your career especially over the medium to long term. Plus Anita’s advice in a highly professional setting may be applicable, but it could also make you look like a liar if he does confess but from a professional stand point it’s none of their business really, especially if you’re all drinking, what do they expect happens?

    It sounds sensible how you’ve left things but it sounds like you found out what you like in a guy and the qualities so maybe you could take that into future relationships?

    Re. the spiraling into a bad place….can I ask what triggered the abusing sleep medication? Again though, this sounds like worrying and anxiety, is this of much use to you? If you can catch yourself doing this in the future you won’t have to waste your time worrying, it’s good you’re aware that you’re doing this.

    Re. the religious point, sounds positive to get it out in the open.

    Best of luck.


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