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big mistake, driving me crazy living with the guilt
October 8, 2006
10:13 pm
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hopeful for change
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how do you forget a mistake, one that would really hurt someone if they found out. Living with it is easier than spilling your guts and hurting someone deeply. Never had this before, and not an unhonest person. Feel deeply ashamed and remorse, and want to forget about it. Afraid someday the truth will come out. Living in fear. Living in shame. But honesty would be hurtful, painful and possibly destroy another person that I love.

October 8, 2006
11:14 pm
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chinita
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Hi Hopeful

Who are we talking about???

Can you be more descriptive???

Does it have to do with an affair???

I'm just curious so I know what to say

October 8, 2006
11:35 pm
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lovetocrochet
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Hopeful, while I can't give advice about what your situation is without knowing more... I understand the feelings you're having. Been there and done that with all sorts of mistakes, big and small.

You can't forget about something you've done. All you can do is learn from it.

If someone finds out the truth, the best thing to do is be honest. Say yes, it happened, and I deeply regret it. If it directly hurts another person, try to find a way to make amends, if humanly possible. You will come out all the better and respect yourself more if you practice honesty and responsibility with whatever it is.

October 9, 2006
4:30 am
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red blonde
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Hopeful,

It sounds like you are married or in a long term relationship and IN love with one person while not wanting to hurt your spouse/significant other because of the length of time you have been with him/her and the feelings that you still have for him/her. If so, that is an extremely difficult situation.

Chinita and lovetocrochet are right, please post some more about the situation. There are many of us who can relate to many of the situations posted on this site, I know, I am one of them.

If it is what I said in the first paragraph, I can only be honest with you about what I would feel and do in that situation and it may not be what you want to hear or even think about. First, there is no way to forget a mistake. Second, living with it will get harder as time goes on, because you are obviously hurting yourself. Third, trying not to deeply hurt one or possibly destroying an other, you will end up destroying yourself as well.

If that is the situation and if it were happening to me...all I can say is what I would think, feel and do. It would only be my opinion, the way I would have to look at everything.

It would be very difficult for me as well. Akin to saving a spouse or child when both are drowning and you can only save one of them.
You may have a history, possessions, and security with one plus love in some capacity but still may feel lonely, alone in the relationship, especially if your wants and, more importantly, your needs, are not being fulfilled or met. What may be keeping you there could only be memories, or the possessions, the fear of losing everything, and eventually, you will pull farther and farther away from that person. Perhaps, even become resentful and miserable. That happens even if you were not in a "situation" (if that is what you are feeling guilty about.) You would hurt that person in the long run and also will hurt yourself. And then comes the deep regret, the "un"-loving. It would become extremely hard for me to stay in that relationship, but that is me.
As for destroying someone I love or was in love with...I would be destroyed myself. I just could not do that, especially if that person truly loved me or was in love with me and we made eachother happier than we had ever been and that we enriched eachother's life, fulfilled one another. That is what God intended for us to be...happy.

As for the situation (if this is what you are talking about.) I would strip away the trappings of the "relationship" that I was in (even it has been long term)...the possessions, the fear of losing everything, the memories, and the security it represents (because that is all they are: trappings or a trap.) and look at what is left.

I have not been in that kind of situation. But I have lived in a long term relationship, where I was lonely, unhappy, wants and needs not being met, and pulled farther and farther away from him. I had a history with him, memories, possessions and a fear of losing those possessions, and the security, yes, all the trappings. But my love had changed for him. I finally ended the relationship. I still love him in some capacity and care about him. But to stay with him, I would only be hurting him along with myself. (And he had secretly been very unhappy in the relationship as well.)

We all deserve happiness. If we are not happy and are still lonely even when we are with someone, are we really doing ourselves or them any good? It would be living a lie, at least, that is how I felt in mine.

This is just my way of looking at things. And, if your situation is other than what I felt it is, please tell us so that we will have a better understanding of what is going on with you.

RED

October 9, 2006
4:36 am
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red blonde
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Hopeful,

It sounds like you are married or in a long term relationship and IN love with one person while not wanting to hurt your spouse/significant other because of the length of time you have been with him/her and the feelings that you still have for him/her. If so, that is an extremely difficult situation.

Chinita and lovetocrochet are right, please post some more about the situation. There are many of us who can relate to many of the situations posted on this site, I know, I am one of them.

If it is what I said in the first paragraph, I can only be honest with you about what I would feel and do in that situation and it may not be what you want to hear or even think about. First, there is no way to forget a mistake. Second, living with it will get harder as time goes on, because you are obviously hurting yourself. Third, trying not to deeply hurt one or possibly destroying an other, you will end up destroying yourself as well.

If that is the situation and if it were happening to me...all I can say is what I would think, feel and do. It would only be my opinion, the way I would have to look at everything.

It would be very difficult for me as well. Akin to saving a spouse or child when both are drowning and you can only save one of them.
You may have a history, possessions, and security with one plus love in some capacity but still may feel lonely, alone in the relationship, especially if your wants and, more importantly, your needs, are not being fulfilled or met. What may be keeping you there could only be memories, or the possessions, the fear of losing everything, and eventually, you will pull farther and farther away from that person. Perhaps, even become resentful and miserable. That happens even if you were not in a "situation" (if that is what you are feeling guilty about.) You would hurt that person in the long run and also will hurt yourself. And then comes the deep regret, the "un"-loving. It would become extremely hard for me to stay in that relationship, but that is me.
As for destroying someone I love or was in love with...I would be destroyed myself. I just could not do that, especially if that person truly loved me or was in love with me and we made eachother happier than we had ever been and that we enriched eachother's life, fulfilled one another. That is what God intended for us to be...happy.

As for the situation (if this is what you are talking about.) I would strip away the trappings of the "relationship" that I was in (even it has been long term)...the possessions, the fear of losing everything, the memories, and the security it represents (because that is all they are: trappings or a trap.) and look at what is left.

I have not been in that kind of situation. But I have lived in a long term relationship, where I was lonely, unhappy, wants and needs not being met, and pulled farther and farther away from him. I had a history with him, memories, possessions and a fear of losing those possessions, and the security, yes, all the trappings. But my love had changed for him. I finally ended the relationship. I still love him in some capacity and care about him. But to stay with him, I would only be hurting him along with myself. (And he had secretly been very unhappy in the relationship as well.)

We all deserve happiness. If we are not happy and are still lonely even when we are with someone, are we really doing ourselves or them any good? It would be living a lie, at least, that is how I felt in mine.

This is just my way of looking at things. And, if your situation is other than what I felt it is, please tell us so that we will have a better understanding of what is going on with you.

RED

October 9, 2006
4:37 am
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red blonde
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Hopeful,

I apologize for posting that twice...clicked the wrong button.
RED

October 9, 2006
6:11 am
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lovinglife
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hfc~

how do you forget something that causes us to live with remorse, shame, guilt, fear while at the same time knowing that if this something else exposed it would cause deep hurt to another??? I don't think you need to *live with it* as whatever it is could be talked about/worked out in therapy or perhaps educate yourself through books???

Sometimes when we feel remorse, guilt, shame is like we are punishing ourselves - we don't have to live like that...and btw we all make mistakes that we're not the proudest of. I'm more concerned about the person living with the internal torment of the secret than if the secret hurts someone else.

October 9, 2006
8:10 am
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hopeful for change
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I didn't write the whole story because of the fear. But...my h and I seperated, it was really bad before I finally left in a moment's notice. Found a place to move, hired a mover and left all in 24 hours. I thought I would never ever look back. I was so mad, sick, pissed hurt and angry at the way he had treated me for so long, I just wanted a divorce. Out of nowhere my ex h shows up. Its very weird, because we had broken up over his addiction to meth and he would never get clean.

I always felt like I never had the closure, so when he was right there we had it out. Anyway we ended up having sex, ofcourse he was trying to pull me back in. Saying he's been off drugs now, he's the love of my life, he has a good job, it's all gonna be ok...on and on and on. I always had loved him and thought wow....for a second. I realized that it wasn't all just his drugs. Wanted him away.Told him to stay away, leave me alone etc.

Awhile later my h and I ended up working things out, and now I am living with this lie. It would destroy my h. and i deeply regret it all.

One of our big issues was he was physically and emotionally unavailable. Never sex etc - i didn't even feel like a woman anymore, even went out and got a boob job, he still wouldn't look at me.

so when you knwo who comes along it was easy to be sucked in. hell a man looked at me, and not just a one nite stand, someone who i loved.

I immediatley regretted it. I immediatley had the closure, never had another thought about him, freed my mind and heart from any stupid thought i had ever had that if he were off drugs life would have been different.

I still never thought my h and i would get back together, but we have. And there has been extreme changes. This would destroy him.

i have always been a really honest person, and didn't tell him, my friends told me over and over and over, that i am always to honest and this time, i need to suck it up and live with it and not hurt him. After all i had thought he had been cheating on me, had stayed out all night many times, once with my neighbor. hell even when i type that it makes me feel better.

I just want it to never had happened. I just want to put it out of my mind.

October 9, 2006
8:29 am
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Robert123
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hopeful, your anguish is clear.
You feel badly about a choice you made in the past.
If you knew then, what you know now, you would have chosen differently. Such is life.
To tell this person what you have done will be "hurtful, painful and possibly destroy another person".
Is this price worth relieving your guilt?
Better yet, would this actually relieve your guilt?
You have the original thing you felt guilty for and then add "destroying another person" to the mix.
Also, you may damage your relationship with this person beyond repair.
To me, this doesn't sound very beneficial to anyone.
It sounds like you are looking for a way to make amends for your behavior.
In the Coda 12-step group I attend, we talk about this in step 9.
It states, "Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others."
I hope there is someone you can talk to about this and gain more guidance before making a decision. We need to include ourselves in the "not injuring" or doing more harm.

October 9, 2006
8:38 am
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hopeful for change
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robert, I am so grateful for your words thank you. This is exactly how I feel. To make ammends would injure him and my family deeply. It was such a bad thing I did. I have prayed to god for forgiveness. I am not a slut, or a bad person. I feel horrible about that choice, and the actions.

I don't think it would releive my guilt, I think it would be a million times worse, as it would be thrown in my face for the rest of my life and there is nothing i can do to change that. I believe it would damage us beyond repair.

We had a huge discussion when we got back together,about putting everything that had happened in the past and leaving it there. I had suffered alot of crap. I then had the clarity to do this, as now I haven't been so perfect either. Now everytime I think of the really bad crap he put me through, I am more able to let it go and let the past stay there, and not bring it up or put in his face. That was really hard for me before. So maybe that is a good lesson.

I keep trying to forgive myself, I just don't know how to forget. How do I release myself from it.

hopeful

October 9, 2006
8:56 am
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taj64
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Dear Hopeful for a Change,

I know your story. Guilt does no good. I feel you should not tell him. What happened at that time, is not what is happening now. We all make mistakes in our lives some big and some small. And for me I do not see this as a mistake. You had to go back to that other person in order for you to get back to your husband now. Your marriage at the time was over. Look at it as a blessing in disguise. Forgiving is a process and not an all or nothing thing. In time, you will be less hard on yourself than today. I would venture to say that most people have a secret that they would like to keep within themselves. Not all secrets need to be shared. I think this will all work out in time. And your frustration with holding it in will be released. Hang in there.

October 9, 2006
9:14 am
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hopeful for change
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thanks taj, it's a venture to call it a blessing. However I do feel free from some things now. Just want to forget.thanks for your encouragement, I have pondered this for awhile, and think it is the right decision. Just trying to live with it.

October 9, 2006
9:19 am
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taj64
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I know it is crazy to call it a blessing but don't you think if you stayed with your husband and not gotten out when you did, would you be where you are now? I doubt it. You would be still having problems. Im not saying it was the best thing in the world but there is always a lesson in everything we do. And that is the blessing, the lesson. I want nothing more than to forget my ex and that is very hard. Only time even if it takes years.

October 9, 2006
5:26 pm
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hopeful for change
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I know what you mean, there has been a huge change in our relationship for the good. That is a blessing for sure. I wouldn't be able to live with him in the way that we had. I was done with that. Can't live like that anymore and I hope we both have learned lessons, that we don't forget. thanks for the encourgament, I really needed that.

October 9, 2006
10:16 pm
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Lied2
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I have been on the receiving end of a secret a spouse couldn't live with anymore. The guilt was killing him and he needed my forgiveness. I haven't been able to deliver yet. Don't know if I will...

Based on my experience, there are two options in your situation. Tell him now and deal with the consequences or choose not to tell him and NEVER tell him.

You know yourself best. Can you keep this secret forever and can you trust that your ex will not use it against you?

October 9, 2006
10:20 pm
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loving myself
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Hopeful:

Do NOT tell him! Tell us instead.

Loving Myself.

October 9, 2006
10:31 pm
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nvr2late
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hopeful..
this is a tough one, I agree.
but to live with your guilt is not easy either.
my thought is this...
the past is the past, it would hurt him and hurt your relationship forever.

as long as you will never, ever do it again, maybe you should keep it your secret, learn from your mistake and realize what you have and use the energy that you are by mentally beating yourself up...use it by forgiving yourself and making a whole new relationship with your husband.

let go of the guilt, it does no good at all.
believe me, I know...
I beat myself up for filing for divorce from a man that I truly loved and have 2 kids with.

but I cannot do that anymore, I have to move on...alone...
you can 'move on' with your husband..start it clean, as a new relationship.

and let the past be the past.

just my thoughts.

nvr

October 11, 2006
9:24 am
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hopeful for change
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thanks for all of your support. I have chosen to never tell him, and deny it if somehow it ever gets brought up. I am not this sort of person and I would never ever do anything like this again. It was a bad situation.

lied2, he would use it against me for the rest of my life, it would probably end our marriage, and he would never see me the same again. As I probably wouldn't either, you can't say until you are the one facing it.

I guess I am trying to find out how to get rid of the guilt. does time help that, I don't know. Like I said never been in this situation before. Whatever the cost of my guilt maybe is my punishment in itself.

I know why I did the things i did. I know the situation and it's really logical, its not like i went out to do something. I was in a very vulnerable stage and we had even filed for divorce and lived seperatly, I never thought for a second that we would ever reunite. That doesn't excuse the facts of what happened, its just that..its not that I went out to cheat. I think there is a difference.

Maybe I am trying to justify this to myself, not sure. Just trying to forgive myself, and him, and figure out how to get rid of the guilt.

thanks hopeful

October 11, 2006
9:35 am
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risingfromtheashes
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hopeful,

you have already accepted that you were filed and separated when this happened.

short of the legalities, in all respects, you WERE single.

If the divorce was finalized, you did this, then got back with him, would you feel the same guilt?

I guess my point is that, the choices you made after separated, were based on being single again, not in a committed relationship.

so, in my mind, it wouldn't be cheating.

perhaps if you can come to that point of acceptance, the guilt will get easier.

I understand that if he knew this, it would destroy everything - but honestly, you are not responsible for his reactions to this. And it sounds like you are taking responsibility for the reactions he may have if he finds out.

I think forgiving yourself is the first step - beyond that, perhaps a therapist or counselor can help you with it.

October 11, 2006
3:23 pm
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hopeful,

I told my ex that I did more than I actually did in some sort of effort to GET REAL. I was so sick of the way things were that I thought I would just be honest and have an open real realtionship. HUGE MISTAKE.

We broke-up after 12 years, got back together after we were apart for a month, stayed together for a year of HELL and therapy. I should have never said anything and either stayed in the relationship or just left.

I was a dumbass, you don't have to be.

Cary

October 12, 2006
12:03 pm
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hopeful for change
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thanks for the input, I was definitly in the single mode....but didn't want to date.. I think I was trying to finish unfinished business that had been driving myself crazy with for years. Now I am free of that disney land thinking and fantasy, so that's gotta help.

Cary, thats exactly why my friends have drilled it into me to not be mrs. honesty for once. Its been hard for me, but the alternative isn't so swell.

thanks yvette

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