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DearSugar Needs Your Help: Should I Have Been More Honest?

DearSugar and Holding Back Betsy need your help. She cheated on her boyfriend, but when she came clean, she wasn't 100 percent truthful in her story. She's still guilt-ridden, so should she broach the subject one more time and get everything off her chest, or should she just let it go?

Dear Sugar,
My boyfriend and I have been together for about two and a half years. We graduated college around the one-year mark and returned back to our hometowns (about 45 minutes from one another). We both started working and got consumed by our daily schedules. My boyfriend decided to go to med school, and at that point spent many days and nights as a resident in his local hospital. Needless to say, there was very little time for one another. I was training for my new job as well, and I met a guy. We became friends quickly. We went out a few times with other employees and there was definitely a lot of flirting going on between us. It never amounted to anything until one night, he invited me over after a few drinks. We laid in his bed, cuddled, and eventually we kissed. I freaked out and went home before it could lead to anything else. This guy was incredibly persistent and it actually came to a point where I quit my job.

After that night, I felt disgusted with myself. I felt consumed with guilt and thought it was necessary to come clean to my boyfriend, but I wasn't 100 percent honest with my story. I told him that we were out one night and he kissed me. I explained that I felt something was missing in our relationship which led to this event and that we needed to make our relationship more of a priority if we wanted to make it work. To make a long story short, we moved on from this and are still together. The problem is that every now and then, the images from that night will reappear in my head. I am always afraid that my boyfriend and I will run into him somewhere and I won't know what to do. I know that honesty is the best policy, but in an effort to avoid hurt feelings, I thought sparing the details of that night was important. Did I do the right thing, or should I open up this chapter once again and be even more honest? Should I have handled this differently? — Holding Back Betsy


Join The Conversation
Marci Marci 8 years
I agree with Michelle c also. There wasn't anything to tell. I never would've mentioned it.
LoveSarah LoveSarah 9 years
Leave it be. It isn't worth rehashing out or bringing it up again. Trust me, I've been there, it really isn't worth it. Forgive yourself and move on.
talanted08 talanted08 9 years
Everyone has given very good suggestion's b/c me personally I think you should move on and think about the good times you and your man have! If you were to revisit this situation think about the nights you sit alone at home while he's out doing his career! It sound's like you want more alone time to me b/c that's what your going to get when you tell him the truth! Haven't you explain your self enough that you shouldn't have to even think about it! I've been in your shoes but this was before me and mines made it official. I decided to tell the truth and when I did I was alone for at least a week and that also means no phone call's. It's not good to experience that but if you know that person loves you then they will take a part of you with them that they eventually will see the light! When it all boils down, let it be, just let it be!!
Janine22 Janine22 9 years
There is no point in rehashing minor details with him, (although, as someone else has said, I suspect that something more happened that you are not admitting on here). If you bring this up again, it will cause your bf more hurt unecessarily. If you can't move on from it, then perhaps you need to reevaluate whether you want to stay in your current relationship. I think honesty is the best policy, but in this situation it seems that you have already told him and bringing it up again will just hurt him again. Value his feelings over your own guilty conscience if you truly love him. Good luck to you.
quitecontrary quitecontrary 9 years
You already did a terribly selfish thing by cheating on your man, and now you want to break his heart a little more with details of it (even after he's already forgiven your lucky @ss!) just to make yourself feel a little better!?!?!? Uhm, NO. Live with it. And learn from it.
lily3484 lily3484 9 years
I agree with everyone else, the situation was handled. You came clean about what the real issue was, the kiss. Most people would'nt even share that. Your bf doesnt need to know the details of this event. This may make you feel better but it would hurt him. He seems over it, so you should be to.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I wouldn't tell him. It doesn't seem like you made a huge deal about the fact that he kissed you and you didn't kiss him to your boyfriend. You took responsibility for your actions and told your boyfriend what happened, I wouldn't open this back up because you will seem like you were dwelling on it.
ajennilynrushhh ajennilynrushhh 9 years
You two kissed. You knew it was wrong and left before it lead to anything else. It's done. You don't need to re-visit the subject, it won't get any better if you do.
K-is-For-Kait K-is-For-Kait 9 years
What more is there to tell, really? That you two kissed each other, not him just kissing you? I don't think that's even really a reason to have a guilt conscience. There's no point bringing that up again and ruining your relationship if you want absolute nothing to do with the other guy anymore, anyway. Just don't kiss other people whilst you're in a relationship anymore and you won't have an issue.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
Don't bring it up again. You'll just hurt your boyfriend and it won't accomplish anything. You initiated, he initiated - either way, you kissed someone else, you confessed, and it's done. If you really can't get over it, maybe you should reevaluate your relationship with your boyfriend. Guilt is hard, but you have to let it go.
ehadams ehadams 9 years
Let it go. No sense in bringing it up again if you have moved past it in the relationship. The real question you should be asking yourself is, why are you obsessing over this still?
cotedazur cotedazur 9 years
I agree with Michelle, you shouldn't be worrying about this - you told your boyfriend you kissed someone else, and that's exactly what happened. On another note, you DIDN'T "graduate college" around the one year mark - your college graduated you, and you graduated FROM college. This is one of my giant grammar pet peeves - a person graduates FROM college, the college graduates you. Sorry.
jessy777 jessy777 9 years
People may not agree but honesty only makes you feel better. The worst thing you can do is revisit this issue to relieve your guilty conscience. Either learn to live with it in your relationship or move on. I have been cheated on and when I was told my boyfriend explained he couldn't live with himself and he felt guilty everyday but now that I knew he felt much better. Well that was great and all but now I was hurt and we broke up. He thought being honest would get him some brownie points and I would forgive him. Also, don't blame time or distance on your infidelity. I do not understand when people do that. My current boyfriend as been in Boston on business for the last 4 months and we have seen each other twice but I haven't felt the desire to kiss another man nor do I think I will. Something more was going on that led you down this road. In my opinion.
karlotta karlotta 9 years
I agree with everyone above. I understand the difference in your intent; you were actually laying in bed and kissed; not out on the street and the guy kissed you - but what would telling him change? He doesn't need details, it doesn't change the gist: that you put your mouth on some other guy's mouth - so forget that story! You didn't even have sex with the guy, so who cares, really? Kiss-cheating is so high school, and not worth mentioning. And be happy that the wake up call (for both of you!) resulted in a better, healthier relationship, and not in a dramatic finale. After all, you DID have reasons to look elsewhere, you weren't satisfied, and you slipped. It's called a TINY slip. Forgive yourself, move on, and keep mum.
ladychaos ladychaos 9 years
Maybe college as in grad school/med school. ...but yea. Let it go. It's not worth ruining your relationship over, if it only happened that one time.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i know that people say that honesty is the best policy but i think that sometimes it's better to only tell parts of story since you know what the outcome will be if you share everything and that's not necessarily going to get anyone anywhere. i think that you told him what was needed and if you really tell him the whole thing - do you think that it'll make you feel better or make him feel better? sometimes it's easier to accept a cheating event if it was a random minor thing but to ad emotions and friendship into it , that's just going to make it more stinging and that's not going to be good for your relationship.
jessie jessie 9 years
quit beating a dead horse....let it go.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
Ummm, he's only 45 minutes away. C'mon! That gives you no place to be cuddling up with someone else. Since you already told a half truth, may as well keep it that way.
Berlin Berlin 9 years
The problem is that you aren't being honest with YOURSELF. You need to realize that you didn't tell him that you two kissed (instead of him kissing you) so that you could avoid being a major culprit and so that he would have less of a reason to break up with you, NOT to save his feelings. You are making it out to sound like you did him a favor, but in reality you know that he probably would have broken up with you or at least led to a very big rift in the relationship. I'm not saying to go back down that road but at least admit to yourself you did it to protect yourself, not so that you'd save his feelings.
itsme3683 itsme3683 9 years
Maybe she meant he was volunteering shifts at a hospital. Either way, I think the critical part of the story is that he was working a lot. I think you're fine. You told him the jist of what happened, I think you're fine.
michelle-c42934 michelle-c42934 9 years
I'm confused, you told him that you kissed, what else is there to tell?
cubadog cubadog 9 years
Do not visit this with your boyfriend, you have been forgiven and the re-hash will not make it better.
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 9 years
I agree, Carmela -- the medical residency thing is totally off. While some schools start up with patient contact right from year 1, it's definitely not long shifts at night. but in replying to the original question, you definitely weren't honest enough in the first place, but I think since you've already been forgiven, re-hashing the drama is unnecessary. You lied (by omission) about location, mostly, and a little about the context of the kiss. Unless something else happened that you're not saying (which I think did -- it wasn't just a kiss wasn't it? you made out for awhile right?), I don't think there's any reason to put your boyfriend through the pain again. Seriously, you're lucky he forgave you in the first place. He deserves someone that doesn't cheat on him.
carmela83 carmela83 9 years
This story doesn't make sense starting the first few lines. How could you both have graduated college at the 1 year mark, and then your boyfriend became a resident within the next year and a half?. Med school is 4 years long, and residency comes after that. Just sayin, something's fishy...
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
Do NOT re-visit this with your boyfriend again. Find some other way to relieve your guilty conscience. JMHO. Incidently, I think it was a mistake for you to confess to your boyfriend in the first place, but since it's after the fact, there's nothing you could about that. Again, JMHO.
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