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You Asked: My Guilt Is Overwhelming Me

Dear Sugar,

This issue has been bothering me for a couple of weeks now, and the guilt has been absolutely eating me up inside. A couple of weeks ago, a few friends of mine all got drunk (myself included) to celebrate our guy friend's return for the weekend. He has been dating a girl that I know for a few months, but he and I have always had a sort of thing for each other. That night we got very drunk and to make a long story short, we ended up sleeping together. He also told me that he'd been sleeping with another woman while he was away from home and from his girlfriend. I feel absolutely terrible and haven't told anyone about this. I can't seem to get over the guilt I feel and it's destroying me — I feel shameful and I'm scared that if this gets out, everyone will hate me. I'm at a complete loss as to what I should do, and I really need some advice. I've learned my lesson with the drinking and haven't had more than a glass of wine at most, but I know the damage is already done. Please tell me what to do! — Regretful Reagan

To see DearSugar's answer,


Dear Regretful Reagan,

Looks like you've gotten yourself into quite a situation here. You haven't given me much information about your friend's girlfriend, but since the guilt is taking a real toll on you, the best advice I can offer you is to come clean with what happened. It's pretty clear that he is not a very trustworthy guy — not only did he cheat with you, but he told you about other women he's slept with while being in a committed relationship — so perhaps it's time this woman knows the truth about her boyfriend.

What you did was no doubt wrong, so if you're concerned that everyone will hate you if they find out, just think how they'll feel if they find out months down the road, or from someone else. The way I see it, you have two choices. One, if the girlfriend is someone you consider a friend, and if you think there is a real possibility that someone will get wind of what happened, you tell the truth and hope that she appreciates your honesty. Two, if you don't really know her all that well, and if you're pretty certain no one will find out what happened, talk to your guy friend about how you feel in hopes of getting some of the burden off your chest, and just keep mum. Either way, take this as a lesson learned. Being the other woman is just as damaging as cheating yourself. Only you know what the right decision is, so listen to your gut on this one. Good luck.


Join The Conversation
Silje Silje 8 years
I was in the same situation, told no-one, and now they are breaking up for other reasons. I won't tell her still, it was an awful thing to do, and if I could do it again, I wouldn't. But I certainly won't make matters worse and myself a man-stealing whore in her and many others's eyes by coming clean. If my man cheated, I would rather not know.
aylee aylee 8 years
In some situations, I would say to keep it to yourself. But in this situation, I would suggest telling the GF if she is your friend or if not, convince the BF to confess. I think it's more important for the GF to know who he really is (before their relationship goes any further), than punishing yourself with your guilt. You do deserve to be punished for what you did, but the GF doesn't deserve to be deceived. I don't believe the need to punish you at the expense of the GF's health and welfare. The GF will most likely hate you, but at least she will know what she's getting into and she could go get tested too. Come clean with the intention of helping the GF, not so she can forgive you.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
there's almost no chance that people aren't going to find out since we all tell ourselves that if you don't tell and he doesn't tell that no one will know - and well...even in a perfect world that doesn't it's probably a better idea to just own up. chances are even if you share that you're not the only one that he's cheated on - it's still not going to make things better but it will definitely make you feel worse if you don't say anything.
Poster-of-a-Girl Poster-of-a-Girl 8 years
You know, relationship psychologists apparently advise against coming clean, because you just complicate everything even more and the only thing it accomplishes is relief of your own guilt. I'm all for you know, sisterhood, and ladies backing each other up against scumbag dudes, but you didn't do this in the first place, so... I'd say get tested and keep your mouth shut.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
If you aren't great friends with the gf I wouldn't say anything. I would tell the guy that I don't want anyone finding about it and that I regret what happened. I would also tell him that he's a pig and needs to dump the girl so he can sleep with anyone he wants to.
sugarbritches sugarbritches 8 years
You really screwed the pooch here...I agree with the above that the girl will definately hate you for this and also that mutual friends will be furious and your list of allies will probably be pretty thin. I would leave the GF be - let's be real she's not your friend. If she was you would never have been able to sleep with her boyfriend. I would however have a serious talk with the guy. By serious I mean rip his ass for being so cheesy and then never see him again. If and when this comes out you're going to hurt over it and you'll be lonely because you may lose a lot of your friends. I'm glad you learned your lesson so I hope this isn't too brutal on you. Good Luck.
Lele777 Lele777 8 years
Several people would apprecite her honesty esp. my best friend! She ended up with genital warts from a similar situation and she wished the girl had told her so she wouldn't have kept sleeping with him. Had she known she wouldn't have popped up with warts 6 months later after he got around to infected females when she thought that they were in a managomous relationship. it didn't mean she didn't want to kill the nasty b-witch!
bluestar bluestar 8 years
I would come clean. She needs to know that he's an asshole that can't be trusted...and needs to get tested. She also needs to know what kind of "friends" she has.
LikeThoseShoes LikeThoseShoes 8 years
i personally say keep it to yourself... he's the cheater... you letting the info out will only cause you to feel better by hurting someone else. let him be the one to come clean if he chooses to.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
Um, do nothing. It serves no purpose for you to tell. Maybe feeling bad will make you think about your actions in the future.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I don't even feel like getting into judgments about what this girl did, but I agree with Dear that she needs to tell her friend, no mater how unpleasant that conversation is going to be. In this case, I don't think it's about relieving her guilt. Her friend's boyfriend is an absolute jerk, and on top of all the cheating, may well be infecting her with a dozen STDs with his apparently habitual drunken infidelity. It's about her friend's health.
AutumnM AutumnM 8 years
i would tell her if i were you. like other people said though, she'll hate you...
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
Don't unload on her to make yourself feel better. Guilt doesn't feel good for a reason. It's automatic and appropriate punishment for being shitty to someone. It's not supposed to go away quickly. Learn your lesson from this and move on.
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
ditto what vmruby said... :rant: also, I hope she kicks his a* and yours too, because you both deserve it.
LoveSarah LoveSarah 8 years
If you HAVE to tell her, than do so. But it probably wont make you feel any better. And, she WILL hate you. And, some of your mutual friends might hate you for it, too. It's really up to you, though.
vmruby vmruby 8 years
Whatever happened to self control and respecting other people's relationships. Being drunk does not give you a free pass to have sex with someone who is otherwise involved.It's sleazy. I don't care if you guys have a thing for each other or not. I would tell his girlfriend what I know including your part in his cheating, but don't expect her to thank you for your honesty and don't expect forgiveness either. Hopefully you learned from this nightmare and in the future avoid getting caught in the middle of a situation like this again.You never know when it will happen to you.
yadiet yadiet 8 years
you say that you've been friends for a few months. It wasn't the correct thing to do. But maybe you should not say anything and AVOID THE GUY this is a tough one.. but what girl would appreciate the fact that you slept with her man. And get tested.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
what girl would "appreciate" your honesty when you have slept with her man? no woman i know.
Lele777 Lele777 8 years
If I were her, I would want to know what my man was up to. She would probably appreciate your honesty in that you could be saving her health, but don't expect her to show you any gratitude. What if he keeps this up and takes her home an STD? My advice to you, get tested!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
have to agree about the "its your guilt dont put it on another" feel guilty, forgive yourself, you dont need anyone elses forgiveness because frankly its not going to make you or them feel better, besides you might not even get it. I find that writing a letter helps, but never mailing it or giving it to the person you are apologizing to. Than burn it.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
i hate questions revolving around "i did this terrible thing, no one knows, the guilt is eating me" frankly, people make mistakes, but guilt is just a byproduct of that. you need to learn to eat it. you don't need to ruin other lives just so you can get something off your chest and feel better. in this case, i agree with Dear, that you should probably tell her if you feel comfortable doing so, as he's a huge cheater, but in terms of other similar situations where you do something terrible but no one will ever likely find out...keep your damn mouth shut. you deserve the guilt you feel. you did something bad.
stumbler02 stumbler02 8 years
I agree with Sugar. If she is your friend, then you must tell her. Although you're right, she *will* hate you for it. After all, this is the kind of situation that a girlfriend dreads the most--the threatening female friend who clearly has a "thing" with the boyfriend (don't think she hasn't picked up on it, it's usually obvious). Well, now her fears are reality!
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