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I made a mistake


redpoppy99
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Hello all. I am new here and this is the reason I joined. I made a mistake. I cheated. It was once and the only thing that happened was kissing but it is still cheating because I liked it and I wanted it and I had feelings for this person. I didn't feel guilty for a while because I got very good at the whole denial thing... but I saw this person recently and I hung out with them (not alone and nothing happened) but it made me remember what I did. Now I feel horrible. So completely guilty. I realize what a huge mistake I made and I will NEVER do it again. My significant other knows but I have not confirmed it. I have denied it every time they bring it up and they have finally let it go. I don't know what to do now. I am starting to act the part of a guilty cheater- I feel like my partner is distant or upset about something but I know it's not really how they feel, it's just my guilty conscious. What should I do? It was a one time mistake and I do have a reason (not the same as an excuse, I know it was wrong)- my partner and I were going through a really hard time, I moved to a place where I knew no one and they had no time for me and I was lonely and I was desperate for attention I was not recieving from my partner so I sought it out else where. We have gotten over that bump in the road and have made a deeper commitment to one another. So- now do I tell my partner, when everything is so good in our relationship and we are beginning to take the next steps? Or do I suffer and let the guilt eat at me because it is what I deserve? If I do that, will it ever go away or will it ruin our relationship just like coming clean would? Someone, anyone, please help but please do not judge too quickly. I know what a huge, terrible mistake I have made... once a cheater, always a cheater is not true- I know it will never, ever happen again.

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Redpoppy,

 

It sounds like this act is still affecting your relationship. At the least it is having an impact on how you approach the relationship. I am currently dealing with the pain from not being strong enough to deal with my own faults in my relationship. In addition to the pain of the pain of my actions the simple fact that I did not say anything until I got caught is a major part of my wife's pain and our issues.

 

I am too in the middle of my own situation to be able to share how things can work out. However, my gut tells me that this issue is already between the two of you. Saddly it may always be a part of your relationship, but you can only work to minize that impact if you can deal with it together.

 

I too am curious how survivors of this type of pain (from both sides) would recomend you to proceed.

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This is a tricky one.....

 

1. You already denied it lots of time so to tell the truth now would make it an even harder blow because not only did you cheat but you blatently lied and denied it for ages even though it was true.

 

2. But if you don't tell it means you're still lying.

 

3. What would be the reason to tell the truth? To clear your own consicence and make yourself feel better? Or for the good of your partner? If you're only going to do it for yourself then what's the point?

 

4. What do you think your partner would want you do?

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Personally, I think you should be honest with your SO about what happened. Let him/her know that what happened will only happen once, and you feel awful that it ever happened.

 

If my SO did this, I would want to talk about it in hopes that we would avoid similar problems in the future.

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How long ago was the kiss? It's not so much the kiss as the feelings that went with it and you feel you still have. From my viewpoint, a kiss on its own is not such a terrible thing. It's far easier to be unfaithful in your soul before you even that other person.

 

The question as I see it is are you willing to let this other person completely go and commit yourself to your significant other? If so, and your partner is a forgiving person then it's maybe something you need to bring forth if you want your relationship to continue. If your partner is not a forgiving person then this is likely going to remain a very tricky thing for you. Some people will never forgive, others find in inside them to do so and move ahead. Thing is, we all make mistakes of different magnitudes on different issues at some point. Where each person's limits as to what they will tolerate varies quite a bit.

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Holy crap, I'm pretty sure you're a guy but wow, that sounds just like my relationship except my girlfriend is in your shoes. I mean it sounds exactly like what happened. she moved away for an internship for four months and I'm 99% sure that she kissed an ex while she was gone but she never really admitted it so I'm carrying the possibility of being lied to and it bothers me more than the fact that she probably did that.

 

To be completely honest, I love this girl, I gave it a lot of thought and could forgive her for it. The differance her though is that she has since completely cut contact with the cheatee. I personaly would like to know so I can forgive her, get everything out from between us, and be 100% close and honest again.

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If your so has let it go, you have to too. You have to forgive yourself first. You made a mistake, but you're human and that's what we do.

 

Only you can decide whether to tell your partner, and I'd take into account a) how deeply s/he is likely to be hurt by it. (There's causing someone Pain, and then there's PAIN), b) how likely they are to find out about it, and c) how likely it is that you can move past it yourself.

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And perhaps this is why the divorce rate is so high today... Too few people take accountability for thier actions and bring lies into marriage. I'm pretty sure you're not looking to marry this girl but I can assure you that bringing a significant lie into a marriage is one of the worst decisions you can ever make. For the short term, keeping it a secret may be ok but in my oppinion you can't reach the deepest levels of intimacy when you're keeping something from your SO. The reason for not telling in these situations is fear of losing the relationship so you don't give your partner the related information. I large group of people have become ok with not taking accountability for their actions and it's ruining the sanctity of marriage. If we all take a few moments to really think about what we're doing, why we're doing it, and know that we're going to hold ourselves accountable for our actions we'll all make fewer mistakes.

 

So IMHO

 

If you tell her,

Best case: she forgives you because she has known for a long time and feels much better that her intuitions were right and that you have enough of a concience to eventually do the right thing.

 

Worst case: She leaves, you learn from you're mistake and make better decisions in your next relationship.

 

If you don't tell her

Best case: She still never finds out, you end up married but you're both never as close as you once were and constantly feeling like your relationship is missing something but not sure what.

 

Worst case: The above scenario but ending in divorce, you losing half of your stuff, wasted years, and a ton of emotional trauma for both of you.

 

Your call champ

 

Without honesty you don't really have a relationship.

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I think she already knows and is just expecting you to admit it. The relationship was over right thre minute you ahd feelings for another girl and lost interest in your g/f. If you plan on working on your relationhsip and keeping the guilt to yourself, don't get into these situations ever again and I thanx goodness it was only kissing. Yes it's still cheating but at least your mistake wasn't as aweful as it would have been had you gone further than that.

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How long ago was the kiss? It's not so much the kiss as the feelings that went with it and you feel you still have. From my viewpoint, a kiss on its own is not such a terrible thing. It's far easier to be unfaithful in your soul before you even that other person.

 

The question as I see it is are you willing to let this other person completely go and commit yourself to your significant other?

 

The kiss was back in May and when I saw this person again, I had no feelings. There was nothing. The feelings I had to begin with for this person were superficial, I think. I was more into the attention I was getting than anything else. I have that problem from time to time- if someone shows interest in me, I tend to milk it. I have been called a flirt and while this is somewhat true, I have never acted on this before the kiss. I call it "innocent flirting" which in my mind is more teasing someone and giving them a hard time than "hitting" on them. I hope that helps you assess the situation better.

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That being the case, perhaps you should consider coming clean with your partner. You've already decided this person has no special meaning so you're not claiming you'll "break it off" to make everything right because there is nothing to break up.

 

It sounds like an isolated incident which is long since gone is isn't going to happen again, right? So, let your partner know and see what happens. It sounds like if you don't this thing is going to keep you turning in circles on the inside anyway and you won't be able to relax and grow in your relationship with your SO.

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After reading everyone's response, I guess I should add a little more. I never lost feelings for my SO, I just felt neglected- like I was not a priority. I know that what happened is due to my own personal problems and nothing else but that is not my problem here. I am fully aware of what my faults are and that I need to work on them- what I am dealing with and need advice on is this guilt I am feeling. Will it truly ruin our relationship the way everyone says it will? My SO is everything to me- the one I want to be with for the rest of my life. I do not want to lose them. All I want to do is the right thing for our relationship, for my SO. I am beyond what is right for me because, in this situation, it is not me who deserves such a thing. And I am 100% positive something like this will never, ever happen again. Thank you all for the advice so far and maybe this helps you all understand the situation better??

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What's best for you, what's best for her, and what's best for your relationship are the same thing here. I promise you, if she's pretty sure that it happened and knows she's been lied to about it constantly she probably just dropped it because it hurts to much to constantly be lied to. When you tell her the truth explain to her that the reason for lying is because you realized it was such a huge mistake and at this point all you want to do is make her happy... Which the truth obviously won't. Tell her that to be in a relationship both partner's have a right to know all of the information pertaining to the relationship and that you were wrong. Tell her that you understand if she wants to end it but that you think your relationship can really grow stronger from this experience and that's what you're hoping for. And obviously, tell her that it'll never happen again... and truly mean everything you tell her. I honestly think she already knows and that she's just tired of being lied to but she loves you so she isn't going to leave.

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Redpoppy,

 

You might want to check out "After the Affair", by Janis Spring. It has a whole chapter exploring the question to tell or not.

 

To some it may seem like overkill for a kiss, but I have learned from my own relationship, that what constitutes an affair and the effects of it can be very different for each couple.

 

You are in the best situation to judge the effect on your SO, both of telling and not telling.

 

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What would happen if you told your SO? Would they not accept you?

 

I am just not sure they would accept it and be willing to move past it with me. I am afraid my SO would rather move past it on their own. I am not sure my SO would realize how regretful I am for it and I guess I don't really know how to make them see that I am. My SO tends to disregard things I say as just words... and I guess I don't blame them but that is a big issue for me.

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A tough one. The only context for me would be that for years I struggled with pornography and always was afraid to tell my wife.

Funny thing was - she really knew anyway. FOR ME (my situation) it would have bonded us more, even though I was deathly afraid of telling her.

What happened? She caught me in it. In many lies. The result for us?

It drove a wedge in the relationship.

 

I can't tell you what you should do. All's I know is that sometimes what we think will happen doesn't always happen.

 

I'm praying the best for you and your mate.

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I can't really advise you, but I will tell you the "other side" of the story.

 

My husband had a "woman friend" he worked with 6 years ago...they went on breaks and lunch together. They also went out in "groups" on the weekends. I was NEVER EVER allowed to go. In fact, one night when I said I WAS going, he took his coat off and said "fine...then I'll stay home."

 

He always promised to be home "early". The earliest he ever got home was about 3am, with some b*****t excuse.

 

Then, I found sexually explicit emails from them. Suddenly, all the going out stopped...the friendship abruptly ended.

 

I alway suspected something happened. Even in MARRIAGE counceling, I looked him right in the eye and said "did ANYTHING happened between the 2 of you...I mean...even a kiss?" And he looked me back in the eyes and said "No...nothing EVER happened".

 

One month ago I found out he lied. He "claims" to only have "made out" with this woman...doesn't quite "remember" all the details. Mind you...this is 6 years later.

 

I feel like the last 6 years were a lie. I believe it was more than "making out" (and what does THAT involve?), and MORE than just "one time". He will not discuss it with me. I am left to my imagination to wonder what happened between them. I feel if is WAS just a kiss, (and that is STILL cheating), he had many an opportunity to "come clean".

 

OF COURSE, now we are in a different place in our marriage. Things WERE good.

 

It takes a lifetime to build trust, and an INSTANT to change it.

 

I am sick with grief. I have moved out of the house that was our home. I am staying in an apt my parents have attached to their house.

 

That's my story. I cannot advise you what do to. I can only tell you what happened to me when I found out about him being unfaithful 6 years after is happened.

 

Allie

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how rigid is your partner in terms of expectations of fidelity? for lots of people, a kiss would not be the end of the relationship, but a strong warning sign that something was going wrong that had to be fixed... you said you are in a better place now with your partner, so maybe you both heeded the warning sign.

 

but if he is a naturally jealous person or has a standard of fidelity that prohibits a kiss or the relationship is immeidately over, then telling him might end your relationship.

 

so you have to decide which way you want to go... if you think he will dump you immeidately, then suck up the guilt and file it under lessons learned, that you shouldn't even consider flirting for one second with anyone else or you might get into trouble.

 

but if he is a more forgiving type, and the guilt is a wall between you, then tell him what happened, and explain everything to that you have explained to us here, that you are deeply sorry, the person means nothing, and that nothing else happened and you have learned from your mistake.

 

good luck, glad you learned the consequences of this behavior before you married or did something worse...

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Here is an update:

 

I decided NOT to tell my SO about the kiss because they have moved past it. My SO trusts me to go out with friends again and I trust myself not to do anything like that again-it has almost been a year since the incident. I am working on some of my personal issues and I think that will greatly improve our relationship. I am 100% positive that there will be no infidelity EVER again on my part and I am very confident it won't happen with my SO. I am working on building a stronger bond with my SO and we are working on building a solid future together. I have learned from my mistake and feel that it would only cause further pain to my SO to bring up the subject again. I will deal with the guilt I am feeling because I do deserve it and if I were to tell my SO, I think it would only be to make myself feel better- I committed a very selfish act once and I can't bring myself to do that to my SO again. I do love my SO more than anything and I always have and I am 100% sure I always will. I thank you all for all of your advice- it was all very insightful and helpful and I couldn't have come to this decision without it. I will more than likely be posting updates because it is why I joined! Thanks for all the support!

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To me its an issue of respect. Would you have done this while your SO was there? I think Allies story lays it out pretty clearly, the "risks" invovled. However again its an issue of respect and you showed your SO a great deal of disrespect, which seems to me to be one of the key factors in a healthy relationship.

 

Whether or not something needs to be fixed is irrelevant. Lots of things in life need to be fixed it howver does not give us licence to go ahead and do things just because we "feel"like it. I would be asking myself why have so little respect for the person I love.

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Come clean to her, she deserves the truth. It'll only hurt her as much as she lets it, and that's up to her to decide, not you. Keeping her from the truth is only being further selfish, on top of cheating on her like this.

 

By the way, it wasn't a mistake; it was a wrongful act of betrayal you willingly chose to do against her. A mistake is something you accidentally do; cheating is not an accident.

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