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An Open Letter to My 18-Year-Old College Self

I Made My Bed

Dear Sugar
I had been dating my boyfriend for nine months, almost exactly, when I made a stupid mistake and cheated on him. He was perfect in every way and I still to this day have no idea why I did what I did. It was a drunk stupid mistake, but the damage was done.

I told him the next morning and he broke up with me and called me every name in the book - dirty, disgraceful, etc... Even though I know I deserved his harsh words and I bought my ticket and now I have to take the ride, they were still hard to swallow. After a few months apart, he told me he wanted to give our relationship another shot.

I was so excited and relieved that he was willing to forgive me, but I am having a hard time forgetting all his harsh words. Do you have any advice to overcome my hurt feelings from his behavior? In the Wrong Wendy

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear In the Wrong Wendy
This is tough. It sounds like your boyfriend really loves you if he is willing to give you another chance. You have to remember he said all those harsh words when he was upset and hurt, and he probably wanted to make you feel the same way. That isn't to say it was right, but it sounds like his emotions got the best of him.

Cheating is a huge blow to the ego so it is not surprising he lashed out at you. The bigger issue here is why you actually cheated. Obviously there was something lacking in your relationship, so before you get back together, have a talk with him and make sure that you make the appropriate changes in your relationship so you will both be happy.

Since he is willing to forgive you and leave the past behind him, you have to make the decision if you can do the same. Take things slow and if you still can't get his words out of your head, take that as a sign that this relationship might not be right for you.

Join The Conversation
Deliriousmom6 Deliriousmom6 10 years
Unfortunately the cold hard truth is that, the words that he called you, you deserved. I'm not meaning that in a mean way but in his heart and mind, you were those words. I think that you should focus on the fact now that he wants to get back with you. That takes a lot on his part. He has to do a lot of soul searching to come to this part. Sometimes, it is easier for someone else to forgive and forget than it is for us to forgive ourselves. But, it is (US) that seem to stumble on the forgiveness part. I dont' want to push my religion on anyone, but the act of forgiveness comes from the heart. And to really forgive yourself, you have to mean it with a broken and contrite heart, as you approach God in prayer. You did the right thing by telling him the next morning. And maybe that is why he is so willing to take you back. There is a part of what you did that is worth forgiving and regaining your trust back. You didn't have to tell him and yet you did. You should be proud of yourself. Just another quick note, he might be willing to take you back, but remember that the trust issue will still be an issue. No matter how long ago it was, trust is something that if you break it, it takes forever and a day to regain it back. Good Luck and God Bless
Tiinnaaaa Tiinnaaaa 10 years
i doubt he even meant what he said while he was insulting you.. it was probably just the anger at the time, it sounds like he really likes u if he is able to forgive you even though you cheated.I think you should just forget what he said then and focus on what hes saying now :)
kittycat kittycat 10 years
u need to relax ur ego. the guy is willing to take u back. anybody would have been pissed in his situation.
a-nonny-mouse a-nonny-mouse 10 years
My harsh, unkind truth? You are probably having a hard time getting over his angry words because they were (even in some slight aspect) true. I don't advocate verbal violence, but the right to share some hard words was well-earned by him, IMO. Name calling certainly isn't cool (although it was reasonable, under the circumstances), but infidelity is much worse. (Not that anyone is keeping tabs on who-hurt-the-other-person more, or on which relationship vice is worse; I mention only because it fits within the context of your situation, and is the sole reason *why* he called you names.) You've owned up to what you did and he forgave you. Great! I hope it works better the second time around -- but it is unsettling that you still don't know WHY you cheated. (Drunkenness is NO good excuse, and is really lame even as a bad excuse. If I were your boyfriend, and "drunk" was your best answer, I wouldn't even consider giving the relationship a second thought unless you actively chose to abstain from alcohol forever. . .because THAT is what true penitence takes: complete renouncement of the offending behavior. If alcohol is the explanation, then alcohol is the problem -- but I tend to be very hard on weak excuses.) But my concern for YOU is that you still don't know why you did this. You cannot fully commit yourself to this wonderful man (and vow that you will never cheat again) if you cannot comprehend why you did so before. It seems like you need to work through this for yourself before you make promises to him. On another note (not directed toward you, in particular) -- Dear wrote: Obviously there was something lacking in your relationship. . . ((slowly half-nods)) Yeah. . .faithfulness. (*not to be mean*) I'm not attributing thoughts to Dear's comment, but I do disagree with the idea (even if it isn't the point She was making) that people only (or even mostly) cheat if they aren't getting something from their relationship or their partner -- as if it is their partner's responsibility to offer them perfection, and if it doesn't happen. . .well, hey, that is a good enough reason WHY they are being unfaithful (even if it remains inexcusable). This line of thought undermines the success of personal reformation. (Not to sound too much like a life coach, or anything.) How is a girl gonna figure out what is going wonky within herself if people shout, "It's not you, honey; it's the relationship that isn't right." I'm not hearkening back to a Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God era of intractable personal doom and self-loathing, but it is necessary to accept full responsibility (as it seems this person has) *and* to understand why this behavior happened -- rather than shrugging it off on "not getting what was wanted or needed." People cheat for many reasons: immaturity, lack of character or devotion, youthful stupidity. . .any number of things. I'm of the camp that it is NEVER okay to chalk it up to, "I was missing something in the relationship." My answer to that: Then END the relationship! I think adults (those that are normally responsible, mature, considerate, etc) usually cheat because they aren't right with THEMSELVES. Perhaps the person has low self-esteem or isn't ready to devote herself/himself to a committed union. Who knows? (Maybe the person is addicted to attention, or has horrible issue with self-control.) None of this excuses cheating, but none of it is indicative of a lacking relationship -- rather, it indicates lacking qualities within the cheating person. Anyway. . .rant on words is over. I hope it didn't overshadow the other things I wrote. (And, again, it isn't intended to be mean or cruel. I'm just writing what I honestly feel.) For the record, I think this gal did well by her man for (at least) admitting her unfaithfulness the NEXT MORNING. Many would have been too guilty or too scared to have come clean. I do truly hope it all works out well.
lolak lolak 10 years
Well you kinda have to let it go because what ever he called you I'm sure it wasn't as bad as sleeping with someone else, even if you told him you were drunk that is still not a valid reason cause let's face it, that excuse is played out and deep down inside we all know that we still know what we're doing no matter how hammered we are. I was drunk out of my mind with my best friend, cousin and high school sweetheart one night and I mean DRUNK DRUNK I wanted to kiss him so badly but in the back of my mind I knew my loving boyfriend was at home waiting for me to come back to him and I knew that if I did anything wrong that night that I couldn't and wouldn't be able to bare and live with the fact that I failed him when I knew we both deserved better. If you are going to get back with him at this point all you can do is forgive him and yourself, Good luck with the second round
honeysugar28 honeysugar28 10 years
Remember that he was really hurt when he said those things to you so he lashed out at you. The fact that he forgave you and gave you another chance tells me he really loves you and wants to make it work. So you should both forget the past and focus on your future.
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
forgive yourself and don't do it again. life will go on, i promise. :) unless he keeps bringing it up and uses those words on a regular basis, i think everything will be ok.
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