Saturday, April 1, 2023
HomeRelationship AdviceI cheated and I hate myself for it

I cheated and I hate myself for it

I (20F) went out with my friends a couple months ago and cheated on my boyfriend (20M). I didn’t sleep with anyone, it was making out and a bit of touching (not that that makes it any better, I’m not trying to minimise what I did). The person I cheated with was a good friend of mine. I don’t know why I did it. It might be in part to do with seeking validation as I’ve always struggled with low self-worth, but honestly I don’t know. I don’t remember what I was thinking when it happened.

The day it happened I messaged my boyfriend, told him what happened and told him we should break up because he deserved better. The two days following that my friend (not the one I cheated with) had to come and pick me up to pretty much watch me because I wasn’t eating or sleeping and had said I wanted to kill myself. I felt so guilty and ashamed and hated myself. And I knew that how I was feeling was nothing compared to what I put my boyfriend through.

The third day after it happened I spoke to my boyfriend face to face. I was expecting him to shout at me, swear at me, even hit me. He’s the kindest person I know and would never hurt anyone but I felt I deserved it. He said that he was massively hurt, angry and confused, but that he wanted to work through it if I was 100% committed to putting the effort in. After a lot of crying and talking we managed to get things back on track.

I’ve massively reduced my contact with the person it happened with (no messaging, no calling, I see him for an hour at work 3 days a week but it’s just a polite “hi”). I’ve started therapy and I’m supposed to be going back on SSRIs soon (anxiety & depression). I’ve been 100% honest and open with my boyfriend, answered any questions he’s had and done everything I can to make this right.

I genuinely love him more than anything, and after a truly shit couple of months it’s going really well again. But every time I look at him all I can see is how much I hurt him. Every day I feel so guilty and ashamed and hate myself and I keep apologising to him and getting upset over what happened. I feel like a terrible person and like I don’t deserve anything good in my life. Especially him. He’s the first person in my life to make me feel properly safe and loved and I completely broke his trust and hurt him so badly.

I just needed to get that off my chest.

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  1. So, you might not like hearing this, but you need to stop this self-hatred thing. I know that self-flagellation feels like the right thing to do, but it’s selfish– all you’re doing is forcing the burden of comforting/validating/reassuring you on him. It’s self-indulgent and does nothing to help him at all.

    If you really, truly want this to work, this has to be the *first thing you work on.* Stop saying you don’t deserve anything, you’re a terrible person, you want to off yourself, etc; that’s hyperbolic and catastrophizing. He has forgiven you. The rest of the work *has* to be on your end.

  2. >Every day I feel so guilty and ashamed and hate myself and I keep apologizing to him and getting upset over what happened. I feel like a terrible person and like I don’t deserve anything good in my life.

    Is he constantly bringing up your cheating from a few months ago?

    If he is not, you need to stop/reduce bringing it up everyday.

    Reminding him again and again will not help you or him.

    Constantly bringing up the memories of a time in his life in which he was upset will make him upset.

    Also constantly apologizing and getting upset over it will make him feel guilty for putting you through this which is not your intention.

    You also should have some kind of individual therapy not only to reduce the constant guilt but also in general.

    Also never repeat it but I think you know that.

  3. I’m happy that you two were able to mend things, the best thing to do is NEVER do it again. Just be vocal about your needs and wants in the relationship, even if in your mind it sounds ridiculous. You’d be surprised

    As for the “friend” you cheated with, the best thing to do would be to completely cut off contact with them EVEN in person. Maybe tell him that you can’t talk to him for obvious reasons, and if he doesn’t respect that, get a restraining order or something.

  4. Damn, poor dude is probably deep in the sunk cost fallacy if he’s willing to stick with you. Guy can definitely do better than the person he’s stuck with. You hate to see it man.

  5. Hey, another cheater making the whole thing about them!

    Hopefully, for your boyfriend’s health, he leaves so he can find someone that won’t do that. Whatever function that allowed you to do that, you’ll just do it again in the future. Cheaters always do.

    I’m hoping the guy takes off the love goggles and sees you for what you are.

  6. Well you deserve to feel bad. Cheating is the worst. It destroys lives.

    Saying you’re sorry won’t make it go away.

    Your boyfriend is permanently damaged now and he won’t trust you and most likely other women in the future 100% ever again.

  7. This isn’t the place to do this. There’s literally a subreddit called r/offmychest.

    But I agree your boyfriend does deserve better. You managed to make a whole pity party about how you cheated on your boyfriend.

    Poor you feeling crappy after the consequences of your actions.

    Blows my mind when people cheat and they’re like I need therapy now. Bruh, your one off situation doesn’t mean you need therapy it just means you made a stupid decision. Instead, you’ve managed to make this entirely about you.

    Big yikes. Poor dude.

  8. To be honest , there’s very little chance he has actually fully forgiven you. Such a betrayal , especially for men , it’s impossible to get over. And it WILL cause major issues down the road…just break up

  9. Sorry, I don’t get why you wrote all this here? To gain sympathy? This won’t happen you’re not the one hurting. You have problems but you seem to know this prior to cheating. Cheating is always a decision you make over and over again. You broke the trust and this will never be the same and that’s the reason so many realationship fail after one partner cheated. And on top of that you cheated with someone from your work? This is so so so stupid. I hope you get help but I don’t think this realationship will survive…

  10. Out of curiosity, why are you still in contact with this “friend”? Yes, I realize it’s been drastically reduced, but normally in situations like this, the AP, or person you cheated with, tends to be blocked.

    If your partners forgiven you, then it’s time to stop wallowing in guilt, and instead strive towards becoming a better person and partner overall. Start with blocking the friend, and getting yourself into therapy.

  11. Good job for going to therapy. Never easy to admit to needing to help but you aren’t going to work through feelings of low-self-worth and all the associated issues without it.

    The only thing I would say is, when you said “I don’t know why I did it” isn’t really true. You probably don’t know why you have low-self-worth, but you know why you cheated. It was for the attention and validation it brought you. You should really ask for your therapist for help on that because that’s a really toxic pattern of behaviour that left unresolved will destroy people and that’s not fair.

  12. if you are dating a girl like OP with so many red flags you should save your future self a lot of trouble and end it. cheater and mental problems. it’s only a matter of time when it ends up blowing up in your face.

  13. I hope you are feeling better now but this is why it is hard for me to trust in relationships lol. I’ve had something like this happen with my ex lol and she became pregnant by her FRIEND. Good thing it didn’t last long

    Please be careful with who you call a friend though. That isn’t fair to your boyfriend or whoever you are with in the future. Might as well be single if you’re going to have people around you that don’t have good intentions

  14. I’d say to stop apologizing to him because you are forcing him to remember everything that happened. I do get that you are working on yourself and that’s totally great, but you need to support your boyfriend too and right now it doesn’t seem like you are doing that. It’s going to hard for him to enjoy the relationship if he constantly has to feel like a victim rather than a participating partner. That’s the part you need to focus on, creating and sharing happy moments with him.

  15. Well, you seem to be an exceptional case .

    I don’t believe you will ever cheat again.

    But do find out why you lacked control of your actions through therapy. Why did you entertained the idea? Lapse of judgement? Greed?

    That’s important.

  16. Obviously cheating is never a good thing but it happened and you were 100% honest with your partner and that’s something that’s really hard. You’ve done everything right and if he is allowing you to be in his life and actually is wanting to forgive you and be with you I think it’s time you forgive yourself and make sure it never happens again. If something like that we’re to ever happen again, tell him before or tell him you’re having the thoughts. Communication is key!

  17. You need to let it go. Don’t forget it, or what it cost you but let it go because it’ll eat you alive and probably cost you your relationship anyways.

    You’ve apologized, you’ve made changes, you’re working on self improvement, let it go and move on, focus on being happy and making your bf happy and live your life.

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