I messed up. Cant forget it.

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I messed up. Cant forget it.

Post by toeknee » Tue May 22, 2018 6:42 am

Just trying to get some perspective.

4 years ago I met the most amazing guy, I mean he was just perfect, he met all my friends, and loved all of them as much as I do, I met some of his friends, he was so full of happiness and life that when I was with him, everything tasted nicer, everything seemed better, I was just so happy, and so in love. While we were together, I didn't tell him I loved him, I wanted to take things slow, to do it right this time.

I wont make too many excuses, I'll just say - when I wasn't with him, I was terrified of how much I liked him, and that he might not feel the same way about me. To try to deal with this, in a totally terrible way, I kept a dating site profile, and I used it to speak to one guy, who I'd been speaking to for years. Let's say the chats weren't at all innocent, but I never met the guy in real life. Turns out this guy just so happened to be Mr. Amazing's best friend. Obviously, break up occurs just after dramatic reveal. I was distraught, because I understood that it was entirely my fault, I went full pathetic (you never go full pathetic) wrote poems, cooked his favourite meal, dropped it all off outside his house, begged him just to talk to me, really ridiculous stuff.

I'm no longer that pathetic, it physically hurts to think about it some times. I've been single ever since, and not had any interest in changing that; you could say I want to punish myself, I dont know if that's right though, initially, I wanted to change it/find someone, now I just don't care about anyone I meet enough to meet them again. I don't know how long it's been since I've had sex, but I've lost all interest in it except in the heat of "the moment" (by myself), and again that disappears soon after. I still wake up in the middle of the night dreaming about him, 3 years since we've been together, I dont wake up crying or anything, it's been too long for me to suffer that badly, I just feel down... like, I'm aware of how I hurt him, how my pathetic acts probably solidified the fact I'll never be able to even speak to him again, what he must think of me, and I think about that, a lot.

My life isn't all doom and gloom. Good job, better friends, wish I could see more of them sometimes, occupy my time. Then again, it's not all sunshine and roses, former alcohol addiction still affecting liver, managed to quit smoking only to go right back to it, love life... well you know that.

I don't know what I'm looking for. I suppose what I want is either a response telling me I deserve for it to affect me for the rest of my life, so I can at least rest easy in that this is how I should feel.

Or someone to tell me how this feeling is supposed to benefit me, what the purpose of it is. How do you come to terms with the fact that you're just as bad as those exes who hurt you? It's a horrible feeling, to realize it's your fault, especially when you hoped that so much would come of it.

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Re: I messed up. Cant forget it.

Post by Tarantula » Tue May 22, 2018 9:23 am


I usually can be counted on to go nuts at people who do that sort of shady stuff - I think it's really, really wrong.

And even I'm gonna say, I think you are being too hard on yourself. It was four years ago - presumably you're not the same person who would do that sort of thing anymore? Next time you will dare to take the risk of committing fully or get the heck out of dodge, right?

The good thing is, you haven't tried to shirk responsibility or downplay it. But it's about balance. Yes you did a bad thing. You've owned it, chewed on it, learned from it. Now you can move forward.

If you've been waiting for permission to let it go, this is it. You are officially allowed to move on with your life and stop beating yourself up.

If I were you, I would focus less on punishing yourself now (psst - you're not pathetic. You messed up and tried to make amends. So many people don't take responsibility for their actions but you did - credit to you for that), and more time understanding why you really felt to do that in the first place.

You say it's because you were scared he didn't feel the same so I guess this was your plan B, to try and shield yourself in the event that it didn't work out. I hope you know now that this is an ineffective method in any case. BUT. The burning question for you is, why did you even have the insecure thought of 'what if he doesn't like me as much as I like him??'

Mmmm, that's the deep stuff. Btw I also think you're great for managing to overcome your alcoholism. I think there is more going on underneath the surface with you... old challenges... old wounds. So I suggest you focus on those things so that the next time a good man comes along (there will be a next time), you can manage your doubts better.

So yes. Let me restate. You did a pretty selfish, bad thing. But you have done everything right after that point. So please, do yourself a favour and forgive yourself.

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Re: I messed up. Cant forget it.

Post by reckoner » Wed May 23, 2018 7:12 pm

I completely agree that you have punished yourself enough. And I wonder if part of the reason you have done so to the extent that you have is the manner in which the whole situation unfolded.

I have cheated in the past, also with the partner's best friend. But in my situation, the best friend and I both knew what we were doing so we both betrayed my partner and were both guilty, to our varying extents (me more, obviously). But if I've read your situation right (not much detail given - fair enough!), both the partner and the best friend were unknowing, and therefore innocent, parties and had no reason to fall out with each other. So there would be ample opportunity for them both to share the details, and their sympathies, over your crime. Talk about salt in your wounds. So your shame would likely be amplified immeasurably - maybe that's what's behind the self-flagellation? Of course there is no excuse for infidelity, but it does sound as though, in that context, you have been horrifically unfortunate.

From what I've learned about infidelity, and from my own experience obviously, it usually happens at the end of a relationship, as a (cowardly) means of ending it, or acknowledging that it has gone wrong and is all but over. As Tarantula has wondered, I find it very unusual that this happened during the beginning, the in-love part. From this, I wonder if there was something off about this relationship right from the start - self-esteem issues on your part, your instinct that you were more into it than him etc. Perhaps as a consequence of how things happened, you've overstated in your mind how much of a perfect match this guy was.

Lastly, my experience as one who's cheated gives me enormous confidence in knowing now that there's absolutely no way ever I'm going to let that happen again (because it's actually all a total nightmare). You've clearly done a huge amount to make up for what happened so, yes, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and let this experience and the fallout be the stepping stone to knowing for yourself how it happens and how you can make sure it never happens again.

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Re: I messed up. Cant forget it.

Post by boulding » Thu May 24, 2018 8:30 am

I struggle to find you guilty. Yes your behaviour was silly and tacky but you can’t really describe a cyber sex chat relationship with a faceless individual as cheating. It would have been normal to shut this off when you got a real life relationship but because you were insecure you hedged your bets with an anonymous fantasy man. Yes you were daft but not really wicked or malicious. Your reaction to the break up was a bit over the top with poems and food deliveries but who hasn’t sent some drunken text to an ex and then bitterly regretted it afterwards and suffered humiliation. It’s not the end of the world. In any case you hadn’t made any vows or commitment and there wasn’t an engagement ring on the horizon so frankly I think your boyfriend had a bit of a cheek to consider himself the injured party. All you did was run a fictitious boyfriend alongside a real one which is weird but it hardly counts as adultery.

Clearly at the time you saw him through the filter of love hormones. If you’d gone out with him a bit longer you’d probably have discovered he’d got a few faults and I think the fact that he was so not understanding or forgiving of your stupidity shows he perhaps wasn’t so nice.

What you have in your head now is just a stylised fixation not a real boyfriend and I think you have to use real will power to switch your thoughts to something else. You could try some cognitive behaviour therapy to change your thought processes. I’m not surprised you have not met anybody in the last 3 years, you are probably giving off all the wrong vibes.

Stop beating yourself up, get this fixation out of your head and get out there and start living.

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