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I'm the bad guy and I need help

(54 Posts)
Alphabetbites Thu 02-May-13 13:37:40

I've NC for this.

Years ago I cheated on my DH. I regretted it straight away. I've not told him but the guilt is killing me. I feel sick and I don't know what to do. I love my DH so much and I loved him at the time. I guess the OM gave me attention and I was flattered.

It was a one off, not that that makes it any better.

I have 3 options as I see it:

1. I don't tell DH, I live with the guilt and I go on to be the best wife I can. I hope he never finds out and I'm 95% sure he won't, but there's always that chance. It's a chance I take.

2. I tell him. He'll leave me and he'll be hurting. I will still feel the guilt.

3. I can't even believe I'm writing this but anyone who searches my name will know I've just posted in mental health... I commit suicide. I've written suicide notes today. I feel like my mental health has been deteriorating for months as it is and I feel trapped inside my head. I don't know if I can go through with it or not but it seems the only option where my DH can be set free. Where I can be set free too.

Flame away, I couldn't feel any worse.

Dahlen Thu 02-May-13 15:02:34

Alphabites I think you need to separate the behaviour from who you are. Having had a ONS does not make you a bad person; it just means you did a bad thing. There is a difference.

Dealing with the emotional fallout from this ONS is very important. You really need to discuss it with your counsellor. I think you'll find that it will help your MH issues anyway, as you can probably gain a great deal from working through why you had the ONS - was it a misplaced way of seeking validation of your attractiveness, etc when you were in a bad place mentally?

Whatever, the fact that you had a ONS does NOT make you an awful person unworthy of happiness or love.

Hope you feel better soon.

Alphabetbites Thu 02-May-13 15:13:43

Thank you all. Lots to think about.

I will talk to my counsellor. I'm fairly sure he wouldn't say anything but it's a risk isn't it? It's someone who knows and could tell my DH.

My head is spinning. Why did I do something so bloody stupid? sad

Ipp3 Thu 02-May-13 15:17:45

I wouldn't thank my husband for telling me about a dead affair. Nothing constructive could come from telling me, so why do it?
You did something stupid because you are human and humans sometimes do stupid things. You are more than that one affair and so is your relationship. Don't let the past tax the present.

slhilly Thu 02-May-13 15:19:34

At the end of the day, Alphabetbites, it's just "the slippery friction of mucous membranes". It's happened and that can't be undone: but you do have a choice as to how much emotional significance you place on it. I can't see it helps you or your OH to invest it with huge negative connotations. It was a ONS, not a year long affair in which you fell in love with someone else.

Trazzletoes Thu 02-May-13 15:21:25

OP, I'm pretty sure a counsellor has a duty of confidentiality re: anything they get told so I can't see that your counsellor is likely to tell your DH.

Timetoask Thu 02-May-13 15:25:36

Alphabetbites: You clearly regret bitterly your mistake. If you now have a strong relationship and a good marriage, I really think you need to forgive yourself and don't jeopardise your marriage by telling your DH.

Alphabetbites Thu 02-May-13 15:32:17

slhilly that's made me giggle! Great phrasing.

I wouldn't thank DH for telling me either. I didn't particularly thank him when he told me he'd visited a FWB to tell her it was over once we'd started dating. He says nothing happened and I believe him now but I didn't at the time!

I'm going to speak to my counsellor. He has said I don't have to tell him what I'm feeling guilty over (I alluded to it last time) but he can still help. I think I might just be honest with him - he knows me pretty well now, I'm sure he'll help me figure out the best thing to do.

If we have children, I won't then tell him. It's part of the reason I feel so scared now I think. I feel like it's now or never time with regards to telling him. I don't even know if this is making sense, sorry. My head is pounding.

I don't want to cause him any hurt at all - I love him. Wish I'd thought about that at the time.

bollockstoit Thu 02-May-13 15:36:27

My friend forced my then partner to tell me he had cheated. I didn't gain anything from it at all. In fact it made me less happy than I was and I wish I didn't know about it. Ignorance is bliss in this case imo.

KBabs Thu 02-May-13 15:40:39

+1 as Dahlen suggests best to always separate the behaviour from the person, whoever it is. This creates a space for forgiveness and allows healing to occur.

Focus on getting yourself feeling better for now and going forwards

Charbon Thu 02-May-13 15:53:24

Whether you would want to know or whether all the strangers here dealing with hypotheses would want to know, isn't the issue.

This is about a completely different person; your husband. If he has ever said 'I wouldn't want to know' then be guided by that. If he has ever said 'I'd want to know' be guided by that.

What ever your decision, acknowledge the self-interest that applies both to telling and not telling. Don't be tempted to repackage it as something you are doing purely for your husband's benefit, because that honestly is never true.

Bargains and trade-offs are normal in this type of decision. People are very able to convince themselves of their own altruism, but find it more uncomfortable to acknowledge the pay-offs for them personally in the final decision they make. If you're going to live with this either way, it pays to try to see this from your husband's point of view and to acknowledge all angles and pay-offs for the people involved.

slhilly Thu 02-May-13 16:10:12

Not mine, but Robert Heinlein's phrase. I think Charbon's advice is excellent.

slhilly Thu 02-May-13 16:10:25

Glad it made you laugh!

MrsHoarder Thu 02-May-13 16:20:02

In cases like this I think there is a lot to be said for the traditional RC sacrament of reconciliation. You confess (to a disinterested 3rd party who is pledged to secrecy), are given penance to do, do it and are forgiven and can try to move on from the guilt.

Salbertina Thu 02-May-13 16:52:09

To err is human, OP. please don't kill yourself over a one night stand long ago, death over meaningless sex?? I get your position more than i want to say on here, so its not that i don't sympathise .

A counsellor cannot break your confidence unless in exceptional circs of your life or someone else's being in danger. Confess all to them, NOT dh. I honestly think no good would come of that at all. I think your guilt is wrongly making you think it would.

Branleuse Thu 02-May-13 17:01:20

make sure your guilt and self flagellation is not making you overlook the reasons why you were unhappy enough to cheat. If you really loved him, you wouldnt have cheated. If he really loves you. He wont leave you for it

Charbon Thu 02-May-13 17:21:22

People do cheat on those they love and with whom they are very happy and content. The issue is often within that person and can be entirely unconnected to his/her feelings for a sanctioned partner, or satisfaction levels in the relationship. Infidelity like this is usually more to do with poor coping mechanisms during other 'life tests' and also as a result of having poor boundaries. 'Love' doesn't prevent infidelity and neither does it always overcome mistrust and loss of fidelity. Some people regard fidelity as being more important than 'love' and some regard love and other 'benefits' as being of more importance than a fidelity transgression. Not everyone is the same.

Salbertina Thu 02-May-13 17:29:33

Op pls also stop labelling yourself lying bitch or bad. Not healthy.
Don't do it. You made a mistake, the same one millions of people do

Dryjuice25 Thu 02-May-13 18:38:20

I know a similar sort of scenario where a woman cheated on her dh and couldn't leave with the guilt. She committed suicide and left a note with the reasons. It turned out that the dh had been secretly planning to leave her for an OW! He had been cheating on her for years. He then married OW within 2 years!

My point is you can never know what another person is hiding from you and cheating is not the worst thing you could do.

Lweji Thu 02-May-13 19:44:48

Honestly, you did it, it is over, there are no consequences (such as STIs, or children from OH), you regret it and you love your husband, and you won't do it again.
So, I would not tell him.

You do need to get over the guilt. We all make mistakes and things we are not proud of, and the best learn from them, as you seem to have.

I agree that you should discuss with your counselor to help you move on.

MooncupGoddess Thu 02-May-13 20:56:33

Yes do tell the counsellor and talk it all through. .

Of course it's important to think about your OH's feelings, but your feelings are important too. If even after discussing it with the counsellor you still feel it hanging over you, then maybe you should tell your OH. If you say everything you've said here (it was years ago, you've felt dreadful ever since and would never ever do such a thing again) then I'd be very surprised (though of course I don't know him) if he ended the relationship as a result, assuming otherwise all is well between you.

Yes I'm sure he would be upset and it would shake up your relationship for a while. But if the alternative is you feeling wretched and consumed with guilt for the rest of your life - well, that would probably have an even more damaging effect on your relationship.

quietlysuggests Thu 02-May-13 21:05:46

OP if you cannot live with the guilt then put simply, you cannot live with this guilt.
You are so distressed by your actions that you think killing yourself is a viable option to be seriously considered.
Your brain is telling you that it cannot cope with your DH not knowing.
I think it speaks to the goodness of who you truly are.
I think you are a moral, loyal, good woman and I think if you tell him you will be able to live with that.
I wish you all the best.

ImperialBlether Thu 02-May-13 21:19:57

I wouldn't tell him, but I think I wouldn't tell the counsellor, either. I wouldn't share a counsellor with a partner. You have to feel you can absolutely trust them and you clearly don't feel you can.

Someone mentioned a priest and I wondered whether you'd thought of someone like that, who is completely independent. I'm not religious, though I was brought up Catholic. I do think that it's possible to find someone who you can talk to who can help you get it all in perspective.

It would be good for you to analyse why you did what you did. Was it someone you knew? Was there anything wrong in the relationship or was it a chance encounter where you both got drunk?

You feel so very guilty now but I am worried that you are elevating your husband to some higher status that nobody really deserves.

cjel Thu 02-May-13 22:15:19

A counsellor has a duty of confidentiality. I think you should be brave and take the risk of discussing with your counsellor. It is not the time now to make any decisions about what you will or won't do. Once you have discussed your options with this third party, like you have here, you will start to be much clearer in you head and it won't be spinning. You may have tough choices but once discussed you will be happier and confident in your choices.xxxx

Selba Thu 02-May-13 23:17:04

What you did was foolish but not evil.
You shagged another bloke. You did not rob and murder a pensioner.
The law recognises and punishes the second but ignores the first.

Forgive yourself and move on.

And DON'T TELL YOUR HUSBAND

cronullansw Fri 03-May-13 00:11:58

Op, under law, if you commit a crime and get caught, you get a punishment.

In your mind, you committed a crime, your ons. But you've also served your punishment - in full - by suffering this guilt for years and beating yourself up over it time and time again.

So you can now forgive yourself, you did the crime, you served the time, now you can move on. Don't bother telling hubby and do not continue with the suicide thoughts, not good.

Chin up, look after hubby AND yourself xxx

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