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Angela, Counselor
Category: Relationship
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I need advice please! Have been seeing my boyfriend for 6 months.

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I need advice please! Have been seeing my boyfriend for 6 months. He's a lovely guy. One month ago I got extremely drunk and slept with another guy. I know it sounds unlikely but I honestly can't remember how it all happened. I remember sitting at table talking to this other guy and next I remember waking up with him. I asked the other guy how it happened and he said he couldn't remember either. He was an aquaintance and he knew I had a boyfriend. There was NO attraction on my part to this other guy and in fact, I'm repulsed by him now and sickened by what happened. A bit scared too, to think that I could get that drunk. I asked a friend for advice at the time, and she said it was best not to tell my boyfriend just to clear my conscience. The whole episode made me realise how much I really like my boyfriend and I'm terrifed at the thought of hurting him and losing him. Wish I could erase what happened. Do you think it's ok to put the past behind me and try to move on?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Angela replied 7 years ago.
The tough choice that you obviously have to make is to risk telling him or not about what happened. You have to look at the pro's and con's of your situation and then decide what you will you. Of course if you tell him you run the risk of loosing him, but if you don't tell him you run the risk of your boyfriend finding out and then loosing him; you also could run the risk to the other guy telling him. In order to help you decide what to do, I want you to make a detailed list of the pro's and con's of telling your boyfriend (- the pro's and con's go far beyond the few items I have mentioned above). Only make this list when you are alone and will be undisturbed. As you make the list carefully weigh each pro and con and how it would affect you and your boyfriend (-emotionally, mentally, and etc.). At the end of the list after you have carefully weighed each pro and con in the manner that I described above, I think you will have a clearer understanding of wether to tell him or not. Also, if at the end of the list you decide to tell your boyfriend, then I would recommend following up the statement with: you will go to a support group or to counseling due to your previous actions of getting drunk and sleeping with another guy. Telling him the above and actually doing it will enable him to have some peace about not having to worry about you getting drunk again and doing the same thing and it just may cause him to stick with the relationship.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you so much for your advice! It is highly unlikely that my boyfriend would find out. When I spoke to the 'other guy' the next day, I told him I was thinking of telling my boyfriend and he said I shouldn't. So I really don't think he'll be telling him either.

Anyway, I think I have decided there is too much at stake if I tell my boyfriend. Not only the hurt it would cause him, but also I live in quite a small community and there is quite a lot at stake for the other guy too. Other people would get hurt if found out. I suppose my main reason for telling would be to have my own peace of mind and not to feel guilty when my boyfriend treats me so well.

I've seen a priest and confessed everything. The priest's final words to me were; 'Be at peace with yourself'. If I can do this, I think I could see a great future with my boyfriend. What I'm terrified of, is that at some stage down the line, (maybe a month, a year, 5 years) that guilt would return or a conversation about loyalty might come up and I would end up telling my boyfriend then. And of course, as bad as it would be now, it would be so much worse down the line. My friend said if I can't live with the guilt, then break it off but give a different reason for it (since over a month has passed since incident). But I would hate to think if that happened, that my boyfriend would think it was off between us beacause of him, when really it would be me.

Of course there's the possibility that I can overcome the guilt and within a few months block the whole thing out of my head and move on with my boyfriend. I have decided I'm giving up alcohol for Lent too (and possibly longer) , as I realise how badly it affects me. Sorry, that's a lot of information! Can I just ask you personally, do you think it is deceitful of me to try to carry on as if nothing has happened? One minute I think it is selfish of me to tell so I can clear my conscience and the next I think it is selfish not to tell.

Expert:  Angela replied 7 years ago.
Based upon what you have written, I understand how you feel that it is selfish and not selfish as the same time. Is it deceitful? Well based upon your religious belief (-I assume your Catholic since you saw a priest) the priest told you to "Be at peace with yourself" which also implies to forgive yourself, so in that sense it is not selfish. On the other hand, if you take your religion out of it, then it would be deceitful not to tell him. However, what would be the purpose of having your belief system as a Catholic if you didn't follow the priest's advice? So based upon your belief system and what the priest told you, then it would not be deceitful. Naturally, you will have to deal with guilty feelings that arise because of your past actions, however, if you are giving up alcohol for Lent and possibly longer then some good would have come out of this entire experience as you move on in your relationship with your boyfriend. Also, don't forget you can go back to a priest as often as needed when you feel guilty and explain that you are struggling with guilt (- talking about it with a priest will also help you to heal and move past the guilt). Don't forget to say your prayers, I don't know if the priest suggested any when you saw him, but don't forget to say them especially when you feel guilty (-this will help you heal also).
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