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what’s the right choice?

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  • #405242
    anonymous
    Participant

    i recently made a mistake. i didn’t “cheat” but came quite close. enough to the point that i’ve felt immense guilt over it for the days that followed.

    i’m here because i would like some clarity on what the right decision is. i love my partner very much and don’t want to hurt them. we’ve been together for 3 years and are happily in love.

    if i KNOW that i will never put myself in this position again and have completely blocked this other person in every aspect of my life, is it worth it to tell my partner?

    this other person means nothing to me, i was simply drunk and saying things i didn’t mean. i don’t think i was even fully aware of the extent of what was happening, it just felt good in the moment.

    i feel like telling my partner would only hurt them and cause them to distrust me. especially since i know i won’t ever do it again. all this experience has taught me is how much i love and value my partner, i feel recommitted in every sense.

    so what’s the right choice? should i tell or not? and if not, how can i feel close to my partner again? i just feel like i don’t deserve them. how do i let go of these feelings and move on from this terrible mistake?

    thank you for reading

    #405246
    anita
    Participant

    Dear anonymous:

    If I KNOW that I will never put myself in this position again“- did you make a plan in regard to HOW to make sure that it does not happen again, particularly in circumstances where alcohol is involved?

    In general, if (1) you are honest with yourself about what happened with the guy and about your relationship with your partner, and (2) you are no longer in any contact with the other guy, and (3) you have a plan in regard to how to deal with potential future circumstances involving alcohol and guys=>then there is no benefit in telling your partner about the incident.

    How do I let go of these feelings and move on from this terrible mistake?“- “terrible” is a strong word: what made the incident terrible?

    anita

    #405247
    anonymous
    Participant

    hi anita,

    thank you for replying. this has been weighing very heavy on my heart. i do have a plan and have blocked this person from everything. i will never see them again as we only saw each other by coincidence. i don’t ever want to see them again.

    the thought of hurting my partner in this way has brought me great shame and regret. i can’t believe i ever put myself in a position to hurt them. in future circumstances, i’ve told myself i won’t ever drink to the point of excess or losing control over my decisions. it just isn’t worth it.

    the incident was terrible to me because i can’t believe i put myself in that position. i feel like irreparably broke something in my relationship even though nothing physical happened. we just flirted inappropriately.

    my question is how do i move forward with my partner if i don’t tell them? i feel ashamed and not worthy to have them for hurting them in this way. how do i make myself feel worthy again and let go of these feelings?

    #405248
    anonymous
    Participant

    do you think it’s possible to move forward in our relationship? or do you think i will carry this guilt with me forever?

    why do you think not telling them is the best choice?

    #405250
    anita
    Participant

    Dear anonymous:

    You are welcome. “I feel ashamed and not worthy to have them for hurting them in this way. How do I make myself feel worthy again and let go of these feelings?” – the shame and feeling unworthy of your partner, or of another person (a family member/ other), you felt it before the incident, at times, didn’t you?

    anita

    #405253
    anonymous
    Participant

    yes i have felt this feeling before, when i let someone down like a parent or friend. but it’s never been like this before. i just feel so shameful that i can’t sleep or eat properly.

    i want desperately to let go of this feeling. i don’t think even if i told them, it would go away. i feel i would feel even worse because perhaps they’ll think it was worse than it really was and be even more hurt.

    i just hate myself for putting myself in this situation where i would hurt my partner and for drinking so much. like i said, i hate thinking that i irreparably hurt our relationship which is my dream relationship.

    #405254
    anita
    Participant

    Dear anonymous:

    It  is clear to me that you are suffering and I am sorry that you are. It seems like the incident awakened an early-life experience of feeling that you wronged a parent. It felt badly then, but you forgot how badly it felt. Then the bad feeling awakened following the recent incident. I recommend that you say nothing to your partner, especially not before you process the early-life experience which got triggered. I will be away from the computer for about an hour. If you’d like to share about your earlier life experience in regard allegedly doing wrong to a parent and suffering shame and guilt as a result, please do and I will reply further when I am back.

    anita

    #405255
    anonymous
    Participant

    i love my parents and have a great relationship with him but they are very expectant of me and have very high standards. i feel i’ve only truly disappointed them a handful of times in my life. however when i did, it was usually a big issue for me and i would feel shame and it would take some time for it to go away. however, they were always kind to me after some time passed and encouraged me not to dwell on the incident and that they had forgiven me.

    now as an adult, my mom is very close to me. i tell her almost everything but refrain from telling her when i do something i feel is truly wrong because she can be very judgmental. she’s very moral too and i’ve always admired this about her.

    if i say nothing to my partner, how do you suggest that i move past this incident and look to the future? how should i go about in making it up to them?

    #405256
    anonymous
    Participant

    i guess i’m also asking if our relationship will ever feel like it did before? whenever i try to act normal, i feel a stabbing pain of guilt inside me.

    i feel like with time, it’ll be better because we will make new experiences and move on with our lives. but i’m scared to feel close to my partner since i feel like i hurt them. i feel like i did something unforgivable.

    i love them so much and don’t want to lose them. i feel like a terrible person for committing this mistake.

    #405345
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Anonymous

    If we have discussed this previously, I would suggest that your actions do not match your values. Perhaps this is causing you pain and making you feel like a “terrible person”.

    I don’t think you’re terrible. But it isn’t about what we believe, it is about what you believe.

    When you are feeling calmer, try considering…

    A) What is a terrible person? What traits do they have? What do they do?

    B) Do you match that criteria?

    C) List the all of ways that you are a good person.

    Another helpful exercise is what would you say to a friend in your circumstance?

    #405349
    Helcat
    Participant

    Even if you are not hungry, please try and eat and drink. It helps to regulate emotions. It may be worth trying some supplements that aid sleep such as valerian root or melatonin. Or speak to a doctor about sleeping pills. Sleep is also very important for emotional regulation.

    This situation is still very fresh in your mind, it will take some time to process. It has hurt you deeply.

    #405352
    anita
    Participant

    Dear anonymous:

    I think that you are only interested in talking about the almost cheating incident in regard to your partner (I’ll refer to the almost cheating incident as ache, which is fitting), but looking at your childhood experience is very relevant to you recovering from the ache.

    My parents… have very high standards… I’ve only truly disappointed them a handful of times in my life. However, when I did, it was usually a big issue for me“- because your parents had VERY HIGH standards for you, when you failed them- you felt VERY LOW, and it was a BIG issue for you. Fast forward, you failed your partner and because of the very high standards placed on you, you feel very low and it is a big issue for you.

    (Mother) can be very judgmental“- when you do something that is wrong, when you make a mistake, you are very judgmental of yourself.

    You wrote regarding the ache: “I feel like I did something unforgivable… <b>I feel like a terrible person for committing this mistake</b>“.

    You wrote about your parents: “<b>they were always kind to me after some time passed and encouraged me not to dwell on the incident and that they had forgiven me</b>”- this means that indeed, as a child, you dwelled on having disappointed your parents ,  felt very guilty for some time, and eventually, they forgave you. Fast forward, you now dwell on the current mistake, the ache, and you are in great need to be forgiven.

    Question: how did you get your parents to forgive you following the few incidents when you disappointed them: did you tell them that you are a terrible child and that you are so sorry for the terrible thing you did… until eventually they pitied you and forgave you, anything like that?

    anita

    #405353
    anita
    Participant

    Effort at editing-

    Dear anonymous:

    I think that you are only interested in talking about the almost cheating incident in regard to your partner (I’ll refer to the almost cheating incident as ache, which is fitting), but looking at your childhood experience is very relevant to you recovering from the ache.

    My parents… have very high standards… I’ve only truly disappointed them a handful of times in my life. However, when I did, it was usually a big issue for me“- because your parents had VERY HIGH standards for you, when you failed them- you felt VERY LOW, and it was a BIG issue for you. Fast forward, you failed your partner and because of the very high standards placed on you, you feel very low and it is a big issue for you.

    (Mother) can be very judgmental“- when you do something that is wrong, when you make a mistake, you are very judgmental of yourself.

    You wrote regarding the ache: “I feel like I did something unforgivable… I feel like a terrible person for committing this mistake“.

    You wrote about your parents: “they were always kind to me after some time passed and encouraged me not to dwell on the incident and that they had forgiven me”- this means that indeed, as a child, you dwelled on having disappointed your parents , felt very guilty for some time, and eventually, they forgave you. Fast forward, you now dwell on the current mistake, the ache, and you are in great need to be forgiven.

    Question: how did you get your parents to forgive you following the few incidents when you disappointed them: did you tell them that you are a terrible child and that you are so sorry for the terrible thing you did… until eventually they pitied you and forgave you, anything like that?

    anita

    #405354
    anonymous
    Participant

    helcat,

    thabk you so much for your response. i agree that i need to take steps to better my mental state and i’m currently working on returning to my old self.

    like you stated, i agree that it will take some time because this hurt me very deeply. i’m having trouble separating my self-worth from what i did. i feel very responsible and, in turn, ashamed.

    #405355
    anonymous
    Participant

    anita,

    eventually they just needed time to heal past my disappointment. they weren’t cruel to me in any way, i think they were just upset. it wouldn’t take long, sometimes hours and at most a day or two, and they would always remind me that they loved me at the end of every argument or circumstance.

    one thing i will say though is that it doesn’t sit well with me when other people are upset with me. i don’t like to feel confrontation unless i know i’m absolutely right or at least feel that way.

    regarding the ache, it’s true i do feel very low because i feel like i disappointed my partner and violated my own moral code. i thought i never would’ve done something like this and yet i did. this makes me feel very ashamed.

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