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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4826
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Doctor Z --- hi, good evening, I promise I will try to make

Resolved Question:

Doctor Z --- hi, good evening, I promise I will try to make this short for you tonight, if you are available? I have what maybe is a stupid question and feel embarrassed , and I feel badly having to bug you again so soon but this is really driving me crazy and keeping me from being able to unwind and relax at all to sleep tonight. I was going to try to just push through this but I don’t think that’s working. Paige is fine now btw, now that I am home,,, we aren’t having any issues and she is sleeping soundly which would normally put me at peace but I think I am just feeling a lot of guilt that I can’t shake and I need to know if this is cheating or not… so, to try to explain to you, yesterday morning after I had slept for only a few hours Stephen came in my room to wake me up. I wasn’t happy about getting up because it was just a few hrs of sleep,,, but anyway he was being funny and was trying to pull the covers off but I told him to stop, mostly because I was embarrassed because I was sleeping without the tshirt on that I had normally been wearing to bed while there and he was being annoying,, so he stopped but instead got under the covers with me and I know I was still exhausted from no sleep the previous night because I turned my back to him and fell back asleep, not quite a crash from no sleep but pretty close to it. So anyway when I woke up Stephen was still there and was sort of holding me, I’m not sure how long,,,,,,I didn’t necessarily at the time really think about it but now that I am home with Paige I am feeling really guilty, is this cheating? I feel horrible, like dread almost, I don’t know whether to tell her or what? How many times am I going to screw up like this
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.

DoctorZ :

Hi Kyra, Of course I am available for you :) And you do not have to keep it short for my sake and you definitely should never feel like you are bugging me at all, remember I always tell you are never bugging me when you ask for advice.

DoctorZ :

Okay so let me ask you when Stephen came into your bed under the covers did you ever invite him in or was he just holding you when you woke up?

DoctorZ :

Also I know you have slept over at his place before, have you two ever slept in the same bed before this, in a platonic way?

Customer:

Hi sorry, I was having trouble with the site , or it was on my end, either way...yeah we've slept in the same bed in a platonic way before, just usually not like that

Customer:

oh and no, I didn't invite him

DoctorZ :

No worries, usually on the weekend there is not a full staff of technical service so sometimes the website gets a little screwy.

Customer:

but at the same time i didn't tell him to leave

DoctorZ :

Yeah, but even if you did not tell him to leave did you want him to leave at all, but may be you were not assertive enough to tell him no because you did not want to upset him

Customer:

Thats true i definitely don't like upseting him, but somehow i am feeling really like i let Paige down

DoctorZ :

I do not think that you cheated at all in this case because you were pretty tired from staying up all night and emotionally exhausted, so you were not all there cognitively because you were so tired and you did not do anything with him actually, he is the one that held you while you slept, so you probably did not even notice for the most part.

DoctorZ :

I do not think you let Paige down at all, I think this is still some reminisce guilt of how Paige made you feel over the weekend and that is why you are feeling like you let her down.

Customer:

ok, i am breathing a little easier now, i'm glad you said that because i know you know these things and that you are honest, and yeah i hadn't thought about that, about the guilt i was already feeling for being there

DoctorZ :

That is what I think this is. While you and Stephen are really good friends and while he never did this before while sleeping in the same bed, it could just be that he knows you had a long night because of Paige and he was just comforting you in a platonic way. I mean he did not take off your shirt or make a sexual advance from what you are telling me and you did not make a sexual advance to him either

Customer:

Thats true, he didn't take off my shirt and it wasn't really a sexual advance from him, and right i didn't make any towards him either, it just was a little more intimate, i don't know if that is the right word, but more than i felt comfortable with, at least later

DoctorZ :

I think you were very exhausted and close to crash and just were not in the right frame of mind to say no because you just wanted to go back to sleep. I do not think you did anything wrong and I think under normal circumstances if you were not so tired that you would have said no to what he was doing because it made you feel uncomfortable, but at the moment you were only half awake at best.

Customer:

Yeah all of that is very true, i was completely exhausted and even when he got into the bed with me like that i didn't feel like doing anything except sleeping so i wasn't really caring at the moment that he was under the sheets with me or that I wasn't exactly completely dressed, and you are right i would've said no to that if i hadn't been on the verge of crashing

DoctorZ :

And I think he was just trying to be comforting to you because he knew that you were stressed from all the text messages by Paige and this was his way of doing it. He probably did not mean to make you feel uncomfortable at all, he was just trying to be a good friend. So I would not worry, I do not think you screwed up at all and you should definitely not self-blame yourself for this.

DoctorZ :

And also isn't Stephen gay too?

Customer:

Yes he's gay too, although sometimes he doesn't act like it, but he very much is

DoctorZ :

Okay, I am just trying to put all the objective evidence out there for you to help you think about the situation more in a more plausible light. I think you are clear on this one Kyra, you did not do anything wrong. I think this is leftover guilt from what Paige was texting you about over the weekend because she was jealous of how close you and Stephen are, but no you did not cheat on her in this instance.

Customer:

ok, yes, i am sure i have had a lot of leftover guilt now that you point that out, i do know i spend a lot of time feeling guilty , it probably does not take a lot for me to feel that way....i need to see things like that more often, look at the evidence, look at whatever is happening in a more plausible light. Although Stephen can be really , umm, i don't know, affectionate a lot of times, he's gay, so it doesn't mean anything sexual, i should know that

DoctorZ :

It is okay, guilt can play tricks with our mind and only lets us focus on the negative thoughts and not see the whole picture.

Customer:

And what you're saying makes sense, he probably was just trying to be a good friend, he just likes to be affectionate and can be sort of touchy feely sometimes, and yeah he knew how bad i was feeling because of all the texting with Paige

DoctorZ :

That is most likely the situation, he just expresses himself through physical touch and probably has been told on a number occasions about boundaries.

DoctorZ :

I understand why you feel guilty because of the past, but this was definitely different

Customer:

ok, i think i literally just breathed a sigh of relief, i think maybe things in my mind just got skewed and its hard for me sometimes to see things clearly, sometimes the picture is pretty blurred

DoctorZ :

I can see that, but you have nothing to worry about here. You are a good girlfriend and very loyal to Paige.

DoctorZ :

Just remember to try to use the thought record and think about things more objectively as well. Guilt can create a "tunnel vision" where you only focus on the negative and ignore the rest of the picture.

Customer:

:) thats exactly what i want to be actually, a good girlfriend to her

Customer:

so i really don't need to tell her anything about this,,,right?

DoctorZ :

I know you say that you want to be a good girlfriend, but you actually ARE a good girlfriend to Paige...think in the present. I do not think you have to tell Paige because she may not understand and become increasingly jealous about your relationship with Stephen, even though I am sure she does not think you will physically cheat on her with him, but more of an emotionally cheating if that makes sense.

Customer:

Yes that makes sense., and yeah, she wouldn't understand, although she does know what he can be like, affectionate-wise

Customer:

and yes, ok...I AM a good girlfriend to Paige :)

DoctorZ :

I am just trying to get you to think in the present Kyra :)

Customer:

and thats really good that you do that, really helpful because I want to remember to do that, i want to continue to go forward and try to stop thinking negatively and constantly putting myself down in my mind

DoctorZ :

I know you do and you have been doing a great job, do not forget that. Remember focus on the amazing progress you have made in the last 2 months and that will only get better :)

Customer:

:) yes i will keep trying to look at all the progress, you are right, because when I think back to like June it is a different story right now, a much better one

DoctorZ :

And that is all you, you are the one that has worked hard to make this progress. You should be very proud of yourself because right now you are a good girlfriend and your relationship is pretty solid right now from what I can tell.

Customer:

yes it is definitely solid, when i came home today she was genuinely happy i was there, and that made me feel good, made me feel like i must be doing something right these days, and she does know i want to spend my life with her, have a baby with her, i think she is now believing me

DoctorZ :

That is great to hear that she was so happy when you came home. And I think she does believe that you are making great strides to improve your life not just for yourself, but also for your relationship with her.

DoctorZ :

And like I said it has only been 2 months, imagine the progress you will make at the 6 month mark

Customer:

yeah that's true :)) i am really looking forward to the 6 month mark, if things keep going the way they are.... i really want to be ready to have a baby and have Paige be ready with me

DoctorZ :

Then that 6 month mark will be a good goal for both of you to revisit having a baby :)

Customer:

I will keep my mind on that, and not let things like this set me back.... and now i'm just thinking...do you think i need to say anything to stephen about it, ? about what happened? or just let it go

DoctorZ :

I think right now you can let it go, but if he displays that kind of affection again then you can be assertive and tell him that you are not comfortable with that, so that way you can set clear boundaries.

Customer:

ok that makes sense, because its not exactly new entirely, so , yeah, if it happens like this again i will set more clear boundaries, i've never done that with him, ever

DoctorZ :

Well this will be new territory for you then, but I think being assertive will be good for you and will help you in the long run and not just with Stephen, but overall with how you interact with people.

Customer:

in fact when we are together people a lot of times think we are a couple, when they don't know us.... yeah i would love to be able to be more assertive

Customer:

ok i just noticed the time again , i seem to lose track of time when we are talking, so I will let you go and go to bed now, and now i'm sure i can sleep, thanks to you :)

DoctorZ :

Anytime, I am always happy to help Kyra. I hope you sleep well and have a pleasant start to the week

Customer:

I didn't mean to take up this much of your time btw, i swear.... thank you , you have made a huge difference for me tonight and all the other times as well :)

DoctorZ :

No, I enjoy talking with you and helping you. You do not have to apologize for staying on the chat for this long, like I always say I will stay online with you for as long as you need.

Customer:

ok , well it is more appreciated than i can say, and i hope your week is great as well, goodnight Doctor Z :)

DoctorZ :

Good night and sleep well Kyra :)

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4826
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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