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Question
Posted by: Regret | 2012-10-29

Q.

Did something in my past, can''t forget/forgive myself!

Good day CS

20 years ago when my marriage broke up I did a terrible, ugly thing.

I found out that my husband was having an affair (our marriage was over and we couldn''t have kids, I was in a bad place) and I did not know how to handle it. I was 30 at the time. When I eventually found out it was not a normal affair he had been having one for over a year with this woman AND her husband.
They 3 of them would be going at it while I was away tending to a sick gran or working. I did not drink alcohol then so I''d go and sleep early and Sunday when I wake up " oh they slept over as they were to drunk" ...meantime...yeah

I don''t know to this day if I was in a coma or on some good pills but they convinced me to join in. I thought this would save my marriage? WTF was I thinking. I regret this all my life and still cant. I did join in or " swing"  or whatever but shortly after I could not live with it and broke up with all three. Sick I know.

How do I ever forgive myself? I later learned that this couple have done it before and since. Shortly after my divorce they all moved to another town, I don''t see or hear from them. But it eats at me. I cannot forgive myself for having slept with this man while married and then let my husband sleep with his wife.

I am a decent person, I''ve lived a good life before and since. How do I ever get over this terrible thing I did.

Expert's Reply

A.

Expert ImageCyberShrink

OK, it wasn't a great thing, but it wasn't too awful either - sober and with proper thought you'd never have chosen to do such a thing, especially if they had not been persuading you.
But this sort of prolonged regret, and guilt, and beating yourself up about it is a far worse decision. It happened, it wass foolish and in special circumstances. You have learned from the experience, and will surely never do it again.
What then is gained by continuing to punish yourself for it ?
You were a good person, You still are a good person. A good person who did one foolish thing i her life. Few people have done as little wrong as you - you did not hurt anyone but yourself ( and that wasn't necessary ). You have learned not to do that again - see a counsellor and work through this so you can move beyond it and start enjoying the rest of your life, again !

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

32
user comments

C.

Posted by: probook | 2012-11-12

Hi There

I also looked at alot of the comments and think yes it is always easier said than done . To be honest you went and tried saving your marriage by sacrificing your values for your Husband which in turn ,evens though you did what you did ,shows you gave your all to your marriage ,and that makes you an extraodinary good person . I think it takes a while to forgive yourself cause you deal with the regret of it ,now you are the one on your own and hubby did not bother thinking wow my wife also did her everything ,evens something this bad ,but he keeps on going for his own needs and own happiness .That in turn show he idolizes his own happiness and that he doesnt know about sacrifices for each other ...like you sacrificed to please your husband .I believe ..all i can say is ,is that we all have things we regret and it takes time to heal from it ,but gve yourself the time ,you cant just switch to forgiveness and get over it just like that ... i can honestly tell you one thing ,and that is to pray that God can show you his way to make yourself happy with yourself again and to allow yourself to forgive ourself as well as him ,cause i believe he has forgiven you ..They say you wear your regret as a belt to show you that that time you didnt allow god to lead you . Alot of people can say this or that ,but u know i think you are a good person that gave her everything to the person she loved ,evens if it was in ways that was horrible you did your best and you are going to come out better than this .You do not get alot of women anymore that would do their everything for the marriages these days

Reply to probook
Posted by: Drew | 2012-11-03

Maybe if your sex life was normal he would have not wandered. Sometimes woman always think only for themselves. Get a life

Reply to Drew
Posted by: Bobby | 2012-11-01

can''t change the past. concentrate on the future.

Reply to Bobby
Posted by: ME | 2012-11-01

Haven''t we all done something we regret and struggle to forgive ourselves for?

You need to seek true repentance from God - you need to mean it from your heart. Remember He sent His son to die on the cross for us that our sins would be washed away... of course this doesnt mean we have the " go ahead"  to behave as we want to without the consequences.
Yes, you feel guilty - what you did was wrong and immoral - but if you seek true forgiveness from God and where possible try to make amends with those you hurt (unless to do so would cause more harm). You need to find a way to forgive yourself.

Your answers and your forgiveness does lie within The Word of God and Salvation through Jesus Christ.

I did something I have struggled 14 years to forgive myself and by renewing my relationship with God, truly repenting and then leaving my burdens at the cross - I feel I am on the way to making peace with my actions.

Don''t listen to the people who are lecturing you and telling you that you should commit suicide (REALLY??? that person is sick) - the devil has already burdened you with shame and guilt and its now time to turn to the Lord for his guidance to help you turn your life around, but its not just something you do once and expect immediate results... there are always consequences to our actions and challenges and hardships will arise but as long as you stand firm in the Lord you will conquer.

Good luck &  God Bless

Reply to ME | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: DORRIS | 2013-04-08

good advice,nothing is immpossible with God

Posted by: Brandon | 2012-11-01

Hi again

Just want to add something else...
You''ve had a huge concoction of different answers thrown your way, and all of these answers have different advise and perspectives on the " badness"  of what you''ve done.
First of all, the God fearing people aren''t coming from any high horse. We''ve ALL done very bad things, no denial - there never was any denial.
Secondly, God doesn''t just forgive anyone as these others have proposed. I think they need to get off of THEIR high horse! God forgives those who repent and turn to Him.
Thirdly, by what measure do all of these people say that " swinging isn''t so bad" . How do they know how bad it is or isn''t. Only God knows, and God thinks it''s very bad. Take God out of the equation, and the " badness"  of swinging is subject to anyone''s opinion.
This is the truth, if God doesn''t exist, then there is nothing wrong with swinging or anything else anyone wants to indulge themselves in  morality is completely subjective! If God does exist, He forgives those who repent, and turn to Him, and those only! That''s why I am a Christian  not because I''m good and perfectly moral, but because I''m the exact opposite! You need to find yourself a good Bible believing church (There are millions of fakers out there), and read of who God is in the Bible.

Reply to Brandon
Posted by: Anonymous | 2012-10-31

Hi there,

All I wanted to do when I read this was to hold you. We''ve all done terrible things in the past that we regret but the important thing is to learn from our mistakes and move on. You were a good person, you still are. One silly mistake does not and should not change who you are. Never let guilt make a place in your heart, Forgive yourself, you''ve tourtured yourself long enough...All the best, Please speak to a professional or someone that you trust, I''m with you in spirit, strenghts...

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Sol | 2012-10-31

Hi, when you are in a crisis you don''t think straight. A mistake was made, you discovered you were better that. Hold on to the better part of yourself. If you have a patner dont ever mention it(except to your Scrink)

Reply to Sol
Posted by: Dolly | 2012-10-31

Build a bridge and get over it hon! even so called " godfearing'' people have done terrible things and they mus really get off their high horses. it happened but beating yourself up for 20 years, come on u r human! live your life God has forgiven u already so now forgive yourself. and that dead beet of an x can go jump or swing!!

Reply to Dolly
Posted by: Craig | 2012-10-31

Don''t beat yourself up. On the one hand, you experienced something a lot of married couples probably dream about involving themselves in, on the other hand it reaffirmed that your marriage was indeed over. I guess its one of lifes experiences that you put in your memory bank filed under do not open.

Reply to Craig
Posted by: Deb | 2012-10-31

I cannot believe some of the replies to regret, everybody feels differently about different things. What is bad to one is not bad to the other, none of us have a right to tell her she was wrong or right or make her feel like an idiot. I know people who swing and I can just see disaster waiting on the horizon. As for the issue of being religious that is also peoples choice and the advice they give is from a godly point. If you believe in the Bible and have a relationship with God then you will know full well it say what you sow is what you reap. Something like karma in the normal world. Sin is sin so regret dont beat yourself up about it, God also forgives as soon as you ask for forgiveness. Also remember there is no differentiation (which our human minds cannot fathom) between lying or killing in God''s eyes, its plain sin. So ask for forgiveness if its bugging you to that degree (it would me too) and then forgive yourself and be free from it.

Reply to Deb
Posted by: swesh | 2012-10-31

Hi Regret! such is life, let the past stay in the past and move on with your life and REMEMBER NO ONE IS GOING TO FORGIVE YOU EXCEPT YOURSELF. Every time the thinking confronts you, remind yourself of Shakespeare''s famous saying " THERE IS NOTHING EITHER GOOD OR BAD, BUT THINKING MAKES IT SO - TO ME IT IS THE PRISON" 

Reply to swesh
Posted by: Roy | 2012-10-31

There is nothing wrong with what you have done. Sure, it may be unconventional to some, but there is no reason for you to feel bad about what you have done. You were not the one who slept with another couple behind your ex-husband''s back...he did that to you. Choosing to join in with them temporarily for a period after that was in no way wrong because you did so with your husband''s permission/encouragement. So where in all of this did you do wrong? Is it because you did something out of the norm? So what? I can assure you that there are people out there involved in far weirder/more unconventional things. Exploring your sexuality isn''t a crime. You have now done so and decided that swinging is not for you, and did not lie or cheat in the process. The only way to learn in life is to make mistakes, even though I wouldn''t judge this as a mistake at all. Don''t beat yourself up over this...if you''re doing so because of the judgement you''re worried society would dish out at you if they knew, bear in mind that we all do things we''re worried people may judge us for.

Reply to Roy
Posted by: Simon T | 2012-10-31

This is something really bad you have done. You should consider suicide.

Reply to Simon T | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: Anonymous | 2013-07-03

Suicide does not solve anything. Only cowards commit suicide

Posted by: Peter | 2012-10-31

There is a stark difference between the way people BEHAVE, and the way people ARE. The fact that you, in one particular instance and under particular circumstances, behaved in a " bad"  way, does NOT make you a bad person. You are STILL a good and decent person, it''s in the way you are wired, not the way you behaved, please remember that. I''ll bet you''re a kind and loving person, I''ll bet you do good things, selflessly and out of the goodness of your heart. Your good will tower a long, long way over your bad, trust me. We have ALL done things we regret (whether we are brve enough to admit it or not), and you are (in my view) especially brave to face up to your regret and to be honest about it. The fact is this : it happened a long time ago, and you have recgonised it was not a good decision. There''s a lesson to be learnt from that, and that will guide you to good decisions in future. Now you can let go of it, and love yourself again - you deserve it. Pay no attention to the religious zealots and bigots out there - for they judge you based from a narrow-minded and intolerant perspectve. They too have secrets and regrets, many of which would tower miles above yours. If God exists, I am sure he (or she) loves you, no matter what.

Reply to Peter
Posted by: OT | 2012-10-31

God wants to be your father, comforter, clean you up, befriend you, carry you through and through. He has all the time to do everything good for you. He is slow to anger. He has the biggest heart to can measure, full of compassion and love.
If He wanted to destroy you, it would have happened. This is the day and He is still calling you into His arms. Believe me, there is no saver place.
Go to that secret corner and tell Him all about it. Pour out your heart ans self, just as you are, unto Him, how you feel and think. How you want to feel or Him to help you. Read the book of Psalm 103. Do not stop there, read that Bible.

I condem that spirit that is pulling you down and setting you free. God bless you in Jesus Christ name.

Reply to OT
Posted by: Simom | 2012-10-31

sounds lekker, where do they live now, I want some of the action

Reply to Simom
Posted by: Karien | 2012-10-31

For starters I''ve also done things that left me with a lot of regret. Secondly God will never refer back to sins you’ ve been forgiven for. Thirdly, the devil is sleaze and love to remind people of what they have done.
If you confess your sins to God and gave everything to Him you’ ll receive forgiveness, there is no sense in being reminded of your sin on a regular basis. It’ s as good you don’ t acknowledge God for his greatness. The devil will love people to think that way. My advice is to go on your knees and have an earnest conversation with Jesus and give it to Him to handle and forget about it. I’ ve done it and I must tell you I’ ve really forgot about it. Good luck!!!

Reply to Karien
Posted by: Bob | 2012-10-31

Regret, what you did is not swinging. Swinging is like Grumps said: a MUTUAL decision by both people with set rules that protect both of you and the relationship. He cheated on you, plain and simple. What you did is, instead, a desperate act to try save your relationship. This clearly shows a complete lack of respect on HIS part.
My partner and I have been in the swinging lifestyle for a while and the reason we enjoy it is simple: We trust each other explicitly and respects each other''s limits. It is NEVER one dragging the other into something they want to do. Trust and respect - he had none for you. Find some for yourself.

Reply to Bob
Posted by: Jay | 2012-10-31

Im so sorry to hear about the mistake and pain you have had to live with... yes, this act was wrong and it was wrong from your husband and the other couple''s side too - but unlike them your conscience was not deadened... you are living with the consequences now, but the pain and guilt shall retreat and you will be all the more wiser and stronger for it in the future. I encourage you to use the lesson you learnt to help others avoid the same mistake in the future - this more than anything else will give you peace.

Reply to Jay
Posted by: Grumps | 2012-10-31

Firstly, all the religious, pompous folk - get off your high horses! Swinging has been there long before Christianity and practiced by many civilizations! In line with what Simon said, many couples make the mistake, mostly the female in the relationship, by thinking that it would save their relationship if they enter this lifestyle .... WRONG! This lifestyle, yes it is a lifestyle same as naturism, is a beast to be respected and only entered if you are very, very strong in your relationship and rules, yes there are rules. These rules protect you at the end of the day.

It happened and there is nothing you can do now to fix it - what is done can''t be undone. You made the wrong choice for letting yourself be pushed into something that you were not ready for. Accept what happened, learn from it and forget about it and move on!

Reply to Grumps
Posted by: Simon | 2012-10-31

Every swinger site will tell you that if you are thinking of swinging, your relationship needs to be strong and stable. One person doing it without the others knowledge constitutes cheating plain and simple.
Swinging is a form of adult fun for singles and happy couples.
If you are unhappy in your marriage, it will not save it, it will end it.
It will add some excitement to your lives, but if there''s no excitement there to start with you are going to run into big problems.
Your hubby was a dork for cheating on you. But swinging to fix a marriage, never works out.

Reply to Simon
Posted by: brandon | 2012-10-31

Hi

I''m going to say something that is completely different to what everyone else is saying, yet it''s the truth. Please, think carefully about what I''m saying. What you did WAS and IS terrible, amongst all the other terrible things that you and ALL of us do. The reason you''re feeling terrible is because your conscience is telling you the same thing. The conscience is a God given instrument to warn you of these things and to turn you to Him for forgiveness. Read carefully and think about it. If there is no God, then your conscience is merely an impediment to ANYTHING that you do, right or wrong, and you SHOULD just get over it. In fact, you should just get over anything bad that you do. If however God does exist - and the presence of your conscience is a good indicator of that, though not conclusive proof - then it''s God''s way of letting you know that you have transgressed His law! You need to repent, and obtain forgiveness from Him through Jesus Christ! It''s terrible to feel guilty, but there is forgiveness from God. There is!

Reply to brandon
Posted by: LizardLady | 2012-10-31

Stop beating yourself up! Just make the choice and live with your decsion. Easier said than done!Nothing has changed about you, you just went beyond what you are used to, an uncomfortable place. No need for the guilt, get rid of it before it destroys you forever.You sound like a nice, ''normal'' lady, your husband was not worth having you as his wife. Forgive yourself and move on, there is something else waiting for you, but you won''t get it until you make place for it.

Reply to LizardLady
Posted by: JJ | 2012-10-31

Get a life..!!! getting eaten up by this is silly... We all do something wrong sometimes in our lives... just LEARN from your mistakes and DO NOT do it again.....
Live is great... stop living in the past and look positive to the future..

Reply to JJ
Posted by: TT | 2012-10-31

Oh GET OVER IT! Sounds like you WANT to live in pain, you enjoy suffering, if not then then stop whining, there are people being raped, murdered, children being sold as slaves daily and here you moaning like a spoilt brat about something that is so trivial. Listen, stop being so self absorbed, get on with your life because you letting someone else in your past dictate your present and future. You want to feel better about yourself, then go help people or animals in need.

Reply to TT
Posted by: Libra | 2012-10-30

Hi Regret, I can associate with your feelings of regret. I am married, but got involved with friends (husband and wife) for a month or two. I actually never enjoyed it, but they roped me in, and got me drunk all the time to join in. Out of guilt and regret I told my husband and he was devastated. I can definately warn anyone not to go there, it wrecks lives. Both hubby and I are still constantly trying to deal with the pain it has caused, and forgiveness. I ask God daily to forgive me, and will never get involved in something like this again. People that do that to a marraige are not well!

Reply to Libra
Posted by: SK | 2012-10-29

When we know better, we do better.

Reply to SK
Posted by: XXX | 2012-10-29

We all do things that we later regret.The fact that you did it once and never again is proof enough that you learnt your lesson and decided to move on and away from this unhealthy situation.
As difficult as it might be,push it to the back of your mind and try and forget.You ARE a decent person that made a mistake,probably only to satifsy your husband and try and keep you together anyway.
Forget it,you live a clean,healthy life now and that is what is important.
Your husband was a " chop"  to get involved in this in the first place.

Reply to XXX
Posted by: Liza | 2012-10-29

Just because you''ve done terrible things in your past, doesn''t mean that you''re a terrible person. CBT-style therapy will help you change the way you think about what you''ve done in the past. Right now you feel guilty. You''ve developed a habit of thinking negatively about what happened. CBT will help you train yourself to change negative thinking habits into positive thinking habits. Of course it was a bad idea to sleep around BUT you''ve learned from it haven''t you? You won''t ever do it again will you?

Just remember that wisdom doesn''t come from doing everything right. It comes from continually learning from your MANY mistakes.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012-10-29

OK, it wasn't a great thing, but it wasn't too awful either - sober and with proper thought you'd never have chosen to do such a thing, especially if they had not been persuading you.
But this sort of prolonged regret, and guilt, and beating yourself up about it is a far worse decision. It happened, it wass foolish and in special circumstances. You have learned from the experience, and will surely never do it again.
What then is gained by continuing to punish yourself for it ?
You were a good person, You still are a good person. A good person who did one foolish thing i her life. Few people have done as little wrong as you - you did not hurt anyone but yourself ( and that wasn't necessary ). You have learned not to do that again - see a counsellor and work through this so you can move beyond it and start enjoying the rest of your life, again !

Reply to cybershrink

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