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You Asked: I Can't Get Over the Guilt

You Asked: I Can't Get Over the Guilt

Dear Sugar,

Lately, I've been haunted by my past. Over a year ago I cheated on my husband in a one night stand. I never told him, and I have no intentions of him ever finding out. I have never and will never put myself in that situation again, but I still can't move past the overwhelming guilt of what I did. It would absolutely destroy my husband to find out the truth, so telling him isn't an option. I can barely get through the day right now. How can I deal with these feelings and rid myself of these demons?

— Haunted Helena

To see DearSugar's answer

Dear Haunted Helena,

While I personally believe that the person who's been cheated on has a right to know that they've been betrayed, it sounds like you've made your decision to keep mum and have no plans to rethink that.

In terms of getting over the guilt, there's no solution that I know of, except forgiveness (of yourself), which is going to take time. In the meantime, you need to learn how to cope enough so that you can get through your day. Have you thought about confiding in a therapist or trusted friend so you can at least get some of the guilt off your chest? Unfortunately, what's done is done, and you can't change that, so stop obsessing. Every time one of these negative thoughts about guilt or shame start, pull away from the past. Turn your attention to the present moment and what kind of life you want for your family's future, and start taking the steps necessary to make that future happen. When it comes to cheating, there's never an easy answer, so the best thing you can do is try to be a better person for your husband and yourself.


ninjastarlett ninjastarlett 9 years
Personal therapy?
ufshutterbabe ufshutterbabe 9 years
Go to a therapist. Do not burden anyone in your personal life (friends, family or husband) with the details. You already feel bad carrying this secret - there is no benefit to putting that on someone else (who isn't a trained professional). Also, friends may be able to commiserate with you, but a therapist can help you move on in a positive way - which is what you need. I hope you'll be able to eventually forgive yourself for your mistake.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
You did the deed, now you have to live with the consequences.
0danielle0 0danielle0 9 years
Get therapy, soon. Everyone makes mistakes. Sounds like you need help forgiving yourself. :)
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I'd suggest talking to a therapist. It could really help you out a lot to get it off your chest. He or she cannot tell anyone so it's not the same as talking to your friend. If you have no intentions of telling your husband than you really must get away from the guilt or he's going to notice that something is wrong.
chicaparati17 chicaparati17 9 years
All the advice is for the most part good. You know its easy for people to say: "Oh i would never do that" but you NEVER know how you will react when faced with a situation. I dont think you should continue to beat yourself made a mistake...AS WE ALL DO..and you sound sorry. FORGIVE YOURSELF (or at least try too :)) like Dear said...focus on the good in your life. Ask yourself,,,if I am truly sorry..why am I beating myself up?! See a counselor it will be the best decision you will ever make!
tsteffensen tsteffensen 9 years
I was one of those people that said I would never go to a therapist. Years ago when I was going through a personal crisis, I relented and went. It was the best thing I ever did. I was amazed at how much it helped to confide in someone who wasn't judging me or anything I had done in life. They just wanted me to be better.
jessie jessie 9 years
sometimes forgiving yourself is the hardest thing to do. i suggest you see a counsolor. it might make you feel better. but then it might make you feel better just to confess to your hubby and beg forgiveness from him. you might be able to save your marriage. fess up....let go of your guilt and be truly sorry and hopefully it will work out. best of luck to you and your hubby. I normally don't tell personal storys, but i messed up with my hubby once, and i felt so guilty i ended up on meds on almost in mental ward. i held on to my guilt for that long. but by telling him and apologizing and communicating with him, he was able to forgive me and i was able to forgive myself. its not easy, but it can be done.
lolalu lolalu 9 years
misscgo0711- I agree First off, forgive yourself for what you've done. Everyone has done horrible things, and you won't find any peace until you forgive yourself. Then you should find someone you can trust ( a close friend, sibling, parent, a priest/rabbi/spiritual leader if you have religious beliefs, ect.) and tell them all the gritty details, this way you can confess all and it will be off your chest. If that doesn't help, then you have no choice but to tell your husband. I might be in the minority here, but I think any marriage could survive a one night stand if that's truly all it was. Good Luck!
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 9 years
Well, you did the crime now you're doing the time. If you want to ease your guilt(which you so deserve), don't do this again.
lily3484 lily3484 9 years
At one point, I was in a similiar position. I decided to tell my bf the truth while sparing details. Even though I told him, I still have a sense of guilt for not sharing everything. So, I agree with the above statements that honesty is not always the best policy. You will still feel that feeling inside. I still sometimes feel that sick feeling I know you are experiencing. I strongly suggest talking to a friend that you know will listen and understand without passing judgements. One of my good friends really helped me decide how to go about dealing with this and what made this situation a little better was knowing she was'nt thinking I was a horrible person for what I had done. Forgiving yourself is the hardest part and still something I struggle with. It gets better, I promise.
missceego0711 missceego0711 9 years
Just find someone who you can trust and talk to them. Talking to someone will truly help you, if you don't it's going to come out and might get to you husband. So just talk to a counselor or therapist, or a friend. Talking will make you feel so much better. But you will feel guilty no matter what, because you know what you did was wrong. That feeling will never go away.
aeschere aeschere 9 years
you need a counselor. it will help immensely.
sass317 sass317 9 years
You have no plans to tell him, so go to a counselor (privledge and all that, you dont have to worry about burdening a friend with the knowledge of your one night stand- seriously how many posts have we already seen about people who know their friend cheated and wonder if they should tell the spouse?) they can help you work through your feelings of guilt, tell your husband that you have been feeling depressed and think that talking to a professional will help- he doesnt have to know the specifics of your sessions.
lizrocks lizrocks 9 years
Forgive yourself and move on. If you can't do it for you, do it for your marriage.
graylen graylen 9 years
Seriously, get a counselor! It seems so hush-hush in our society but I really don't know why. Everyone I know who willingly chose to go to therapy loved it. It really helps to have someone to talk about it with. I had a similar situation with guilt over something and I couldn't have gotten back to normal life without it.
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