Cheated and guilty

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  • Tamara
    September 17, 2023 at 10:29 pm #1125510

    I broke up with my 3 year boyfriend today. I had an affair, which ended about 4 months ago. It’s something I am not proud of, and came clean. After a lot of thought my boyfriend decided to try and forgive me, except I have been unable to even imagine me forgiving myself. This has caused me to distant myself to the point of having a breakdown weekly, not being it happened again, or because he isn’t trying but for the full fact that I am unable to forgive myself. How does someone live with this guilt? I am not asking for a pity party, I surely know that somethings are unforgivable, and I think that had he been unable to forgive me I would move on, but since he can I can’t myself.

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    September 18, 2023 at 9:44 am #1125527

    This is kind of confusing since you refer to the person you broke up with as your boyfriend (rather than your ex-boyfriend). This reads like you confessed your affair on your way out to assuage your guilt (which is selfish, btw) and it didn’t work.

    I’ve never cheated on anyone so I can’t relate to this at all, but if you’re having regular breakdowns, you should probably seek out the help and support of a therapist.

    September 18, 2023 at 11:11 am #1125529

    The path to forgiving yourself is understanding why you cheated. Lots of people cheat, and each one has their own reasons. I’m not advocating for cheating or saying it’s ok, but it’s very common and if every person who ever cheated was an unforgivable monster who needs to be shunned by society, well, there would be a lot less people around.

    To start with: What were you not getting in your relationship with your boyfriend that led to the affair?

    September 18, 2023 at 12:42 pm #1125531

    I think you should seek therapy if you’ve been forgiven, can’t forgive yourself and are having breakdowns about it. I have cheated in my past (a very long time ago, not this relationship) and I don’t think it made me a monster then or now. And I am pretty hard on myself. I hope you can understand that everyone makes mistakes and nothing you have done is that terrible or unforgivable. I’m sorry you can’t let it go.

    Good luck.

    September 18, 2023 at 5:25 pm #1125541

    The affair came out months ago, yes it was wrong and I felt guilty, but he did need to know. I couldn’t keep it going the way it was, and after a few days of confessing he decided he wanted to continue, and wanted to forgive me.

    It’s been four months, and my anxiety and guilt is getting worst. I keep replaying it in my mind, not understanding how I hurt such a good man, and feeling guilty. I’ve been seeing a therapist ever since before I told him about the affair, and I continue to but it seems to be getting worse, to the point where I don’t want him to be involved because it shouldn’t be his problem to deal with this specific guilt. I can’t seem to understand how or why he would be willing to forgive me, because if I can’t how could he?

    I want to work on myself in general, I want to feel deserved to be loved because he clearly loved me despite my flaws.

    September 19, 2023 at 7:54 am #1125551

    You need to see a different therapist or explain that you are being crushed by guilt and ask them to help you. Sure, break up if you want to. Maybe a fresh start is what you need.
    Having affairs is not unforgivable. I think you are missing the point.

    Something is wrong in your relationship if you are going outside of it for sex, love, outside attention, an affair. That should be your concern. Why did you do it? Not beating yourself up for being a human and making a mistake. Why did you cheat? My guess is you are not in the right relationship that satisfies you or fulfills you very much. It’s not a good match. Maybe he’s nice and a good guy but he isn’t The Guy for You, and this is why you cannot forgive yourself. Let him go, seek a new therapist and try to reflect on your behavior and treat people better next time.

    Better therapist.

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    September 19, 2023 at 8:46 am #1125559

    Thanks for clarifying. When I read your first post, it sounded like you told him you had an affair as you were ending things, which I think is usually done solely to alleviate guilt and therefore selfish. Couples moving past infidelity isn’t unheard of, btw.

    I think you should consider a new therapist or even temporarily getting prescribed medication.

    September 19, 2023 at 11:21 am #1125561

    Just spit-ballin’ here:

    Is it possible that your anxiety is because on some level, you were hoping your relationship with your boyfriend was going to end?

    It’s not uncommon for affairs to begin because it’s easier in some ways to do something perceived as “so unforgivable” that the relationship HAS to end, rather than having the difficult conversation to end the relationship or address the core problems.

    But now he hasn’t ended the relationship, you’re in a constant cycle of stress and anxiety because you don’t know how to advocate for what you want?

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