Avatar universal

I cheated and I'm gutted about it

Two years ago I was out with a group of co-workers and I was so blackout drunk that some friends had to carry me to a friend's apartment and throw me onto a bed to let me sleep it off. I was alone when I hit the bed. I woke up to the feeling of a female co-worker rubbing my leg and then that ended up leading to sex. I'm not saying I was assaulted - I was awake and participated - but it felt like it was a dream rather than not real life. Had I been sober I wouldn't even had agreed to sleep over - I'd never knowingly put myself near that situation. I know none of this makes it okay. I'm responsible for drinking as much as I did and ultimately responsible for my actions afterwards.

I never told my wife since we're in an extremely happy marriage and I KNOW this will never happen again. But it eats away at me all the time. It's been 2 years and I still feel guilty about it regularly. How do I forgive myself and move on? Can I?

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973741 tn?1342342773
I think you sound like a reasonable and remorseful man. It will destroy your wife to know AND the relationship you two value.  Some lessons in life teach us. They are painful.  But I'd look at this as a lesson.  Drinking to excess like that is dangerous.  And no sexual escapade is worth hurting your wife or your relationship.  I would never tell her.  Make it up to her by being ever so grateful for her and be the best partner you can for eternity.  :>)  And IF you feel the guilt is sucking you in and you need to tell . . . get a therapist and work through it.  You sound like you have suffered enough and should focus on moving forward to me but know it can be hard sometimes. Hang in there.
Helpful - 3
I'd just make one amendment to the above.  If you suddenly start acting like a completely different person, such as becoming a toady to your wife, she's going to notice and that will also make her wonder what's going on,  What you want to do is be the person you've always been for her, the one she fell in love with and still loves.  Don't try to become someone else.  The lesson to learn is not to do the thing you regret doing.  The lesson isn't to become so oddly sweet all of a sudden if that's not who you are.  The lesson is for your to learn, not to try to change what was fine about you.  Peace.
13167 tn?1327194124
Some things you just have to live with.  I think it's good you didn't tell your wife,  since you obviously don't intend to do anything like that again.
Helpful - 1
That’s comforting to hear. So many people seem to say you “should” fess up, but I’m not sure what that accomplishes, except to cause my wife pain.
I agree.  It doesn't accomplish anything.  Just endure your guilt,  and move on.
There are some other threads on this website about cheating and telling.  If you don't intend to leave your wife for someone else, if it's not a relationship and you love your wife and want the marriage to continue, don't tell her.  You're right, it will hurt her and depending on her personality might end your marriage which will hurt both of you if it's otherwise working out.  This sounds cold, but the fact is, our significant others don't need to know everything about us.  Being cheated on hurts some in a way that never heals and doesn't mean all that much to others, and life being what it is, your wife may have cheated on you too.  It is what it is.  My view is, learn from your guilt what it has to teach, which is, this isn't something you like having done and so you'll be more careful in the future.  We're all only human.  We like to have fun experiences.  Most of us like sexual pleasure.  The sex drive has to be very powerful in order for the species to continue; childbirth is no picnic and to actually be willing to do that takes a lot of hormonal energy so we have a strong urge to have sex even if we don't like it all that much.  It's just evolution.  Human children take forever to mature, assuming any of us does, and historically most of them and many women died in the process, so when we're young we sometimes do these things.  So learn from it, don't do it again, don't tell her because you're right, it will only hurt her and won't make it not have happened, but when you learn what you need to learn from it, you do have to let the guilt go or you won't be the person your wife fell in love with.  At some point, we learn from guilt but then to stay healthy and survive we have to let it go.  Peace.
646779 tn?1281996041
I see it from both angles. It seems reasonable not to tell her as it was quite clearly a mistake but as I myself am in a committed relationship, I do feel I would want to know if my partner had sex with another person. I also feel it could eat at you to have this dark secret for the rest of your relationship. By bottling it up are you simply reminded of the guilt you feel every day because you’re not able to address it?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
You do the decent thing mate and you tell her the truth. You know that being lied too is more painful than the act itself. Atleast youre showing your remorse by being honest. Aslong as someone told me the truth even after years id still be grateful. Its awful that people condone lying to your spouses to keep the peace. Whatever happened to the ugly truth no matter what? Hopefully your guilt will disappear when you tell her. Poor gal. If not i hope someone tells her for you.
Helpful - 0
I think given the situation, this is not "lying to keep the peace." If the cheater thought he might cheat again, he should man up and end the relationship so she can find someone better than him. But it sounded like a one-time accident. The pain he would cause his wife (and their children if they have any) if he dumps this all on her, seems not to be worth any relief of guilt that he might feel. The guilt is the cross he bears, he shouldn't ask her to carry pain so he doesn't have to feel guilty.
I agree with this. I think there are times when it's more beneficial to keep it to yourself, and I say that as someone who's been cheated on.
A lie is a lie. Cheating is a lie. Withholding info is lying. This isn't a game of 20 questions! If you really love her and respect her, then you owe her your honesty. I've been in her shoes. She is promising her life to yours. She deserves the facts to make the best possible informed decision. After 14 years of thinking my wife was someone else, I am destroyed. Best years of my life gone and waisted. I threw everything away just for more lies. If only I had known sooner. Now I have nothing. I can't find the energy or will to try only to keep loosing. I will be ending my life soon. Maybe I'll find where I fit in on the other side. Hopefully there will be nothing.
H8, are you saying your wife cheated once when drunk, and that you now know about it and feel your wife was someone else all this time? The o.p. here did have a very regrettable one-time sex event when he was impaired, but it isn't comparable to someone being a lifelong cheater.
H84lies.  Gosh, I'm so sorry you are in such pain. Please do not act on any desire to hurt yourself.  Life gets better.  Pain subsides. It really does.  Reach out to a hot line for help or call a friend.  I think the betrayal of someone you trust cheating on us is very challenging to deal with.  But right now, it's all emotion that is fueling things for you.  Let your wise brain start to prevail. You don't have to stay with your former partner and their shortcomings are not yours.  You can have the life you want beyond this.  Hang in there.  
H8, I've been in your shoes. It's totally different than what oxox is describing. Oxox cheated once. It sounds like your spouse cheated over and over.

You can go on. You should go on, especially if you have kids. You can find a life outside and apart from this person. You'll be surprised at how much easier life is. I know you don't think so, but I swear you can find happiness again.

Get a good counselor, talk to your doctor. It's possible.
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