New readers, welcome to Dear Wendy, a relationship advice blog. Read some of the most popular Dear Wendy posts here. If you don’t find the info you need in this column, please visit the Dear Wendy archives or the forums (you can even start your own thread), do a search in the search bar, or submit a question for advice at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.
By the end of the night, we were all extremely drunk — the drunkest I’ve been in a very long time. My childhood crush was kind of flirting with me, but he’s a flirty guy so I ignored it. Fast forward to my leaving/getting in an uber: I’m hugging him goodbye and he gives me a kiss on the cheek which somehow turns into a full-blown make-out. It only lasted a few seconds but I feel AWFUL about it. To make matters way worse, his girlfriend of five years SAW the whole thing and now they are not speaking (this happened two weeks ago).
I am not the type of girl who ruins relationships or cheats on her boyfriend. It was so stupid and pointless, and my boyfriend deserves a lot better. I don’t know what to do. Do I tell my boyfriend, too? I think about it 100 times a day and here are my pros/cons of telling him:
1. He deserves to the know the truth and decide if he still wants to be with me.
2. I won’t be keeping a secret from him (I’ve never kept anything from him).
3. There’s no chance of someone else telling him first
1. He could break up with me over something that meant absolutely nothing.
2. If he forgives me, there may always be this doubt in his head that I’ll do it again (we are SO happy and so in love and I don’t want to ruin that, ugh).
3. It’ll cause him unnecessary pain – at the end of the day I am so in love with him and that other guy means absolutely nothing to me.
I made such a stupid MISTAKE. Do I tell him or ride it out?
Side note: I realized through this event that I clearly don’t know how to stop drinking when I should and for this reason I have given up alcohol. I’ve not explained the reason to my boyfriend, but it’s one thing I can do to improve myself/learn from this.
Please help me, I’m consumed with guilt. — Consumed with Guilt
You clearly want some absolution here, but I don’t think confessing to your boyfriend is going to give you the relief you desire. For one, it’s selfish. You can justify that telling him is for his own good all you want, but it’s not; you’d be telling him for YOUR own good (to relieve the guilt you are currently consumed with). Also, for the record, I don’t think giving up alcohol is going to give you the absolution you crave either. It’s one thing if you really think you have an alcohol problem; it’s quite another if you’re creating an issue where there isn’t one to distract yourself from the problem that actually exists – the guilt you feel over kissing someone other than your boyfriend for a few seconds. Creating an alcohol problem that likely doesn’t exist isn’t going to solve shit and is just going to confuse the boyfriend you say deserves to know the truth.
The truth is that you did something stupid that arguably isn’t that big of a deal unless it’s indicative of a bigger issue. You say the bigger issue is an alcohol problem. I say that maybe the bigger issue is that you aren’t as happy with your boyfriend as you say you are. If that doesn’t resonate – if you really feel in your heart of hearts that you have a good, solid relationship with someone you love and care about and respect, don’t fuck it up by confessing about some meaningless drunken kiss that lasted a few seconds. If this is a relationship for the ages for you, you’ve got to learn how to deal with mistakes that might rock the foundation of that relationship. Because you will make more mistakes!! No relationship and no person is perfect. To worry about “ruining” a perfect love is going to be the death of your relationship – and, not for nothing, your emotional well-being. What pressure! You know what putting pressure on yourself like that sometimes leads to? ACTUAL ALCOHOLISM! Like, the real kind and not the made-up kind you diagnose yourself with after one wild night.
So forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for not being perfect and for making one little mistake that didn’t mean anything except you were dumb in the moment and not thinking. It led to nothing, right? You didn’t have sex with the guy, zero clothing was removed (or even moved), he didn’t follow you to wherever you were going next, you haven’t spoken to him since, it didn’t start anything (if anything, it ended whatever flirtation might have existed between you for the foreseeable future). If you feel like you absolutely have to have your boyfriend’s forgiveness in order to move on, tell him, I guess, but own that you are telling him for yourself – for your own need to be forgiven. And while you’re at it, tell him that you’ve stopped drinking because you had to put your guilt somewhere because you were suffocating under the weight of it, and so denying yourself whatever escape or enjoyment alcohol might give you was a way to do just that without potentially breaking his and your heart and ruining your relationship. I mean, if the truth is what you’re after, you might as well be 100% honest – with him, and with you.
Also from the forums:
However, I realize this is a huge decision and I want to talk about it with as many people as I can which, unfortunately, I cannot do in person since this is such a personal topic. — Ready for a Baby
You are nowhere near ready to be a mom, even if you say you are. See how that feels? When someone takes what you say and believe about yourself to be true and then says, “Nah, I know better.” Multiply that feeling by 1000, add 20 years of childcare responsibility on top of that, as well as derailed dreams and goals, and broken trust, and you’re getting close to the betrayal your boyfriend would feel if you “accidentally fell pregnant” after he said he wasn’t ready to have kids for at least five years. If you’re so ready to have a baby right now — and I mean it when I say you don’t have the emotional maturity, evidenced at the very least by your inability to discuss personal issues with people in real life, and you are not fucking ready for the financial and physical and emotional demands of parenthood — then find someone who is also ready or thinks he is. Don’t blow up your most-perfect-human-being-ever boyfriend’s life with your selfishness.