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  #1  
Old Apr 17, '12, 11:57 am
Love333 Love333 is offline
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Default Need advice about confessing infidelity

I have been reading the forums for a while, and have truly gotten some great advice through searching for situations similar to ones I needed help with...but I am at a loss with how to deal with this situation,and I hope you all will have some advice for me:

My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We were both 20 years old when we got married. We dearly loved each other but we were understandably immature and honestly didn't know a thing about making a marriage work. We had trouble in our relationship and really didn't know how to work on it. We had been married only a short time when I changed jobs. I worked around a lot of men who paid me a lot of attention. I did a lot of flirting, but there was one man in particular that I felt a huge attraction for. The feelings were mutual, and eventually he kissed me. I did not sleep with him, but there were other physical things that took place.

Surprisingly, at that time, I felt little guilt (and I am someone who feels guilty for anything I do wrong!). By this time I had been at this job for a couple of years and my relationship with my husband had gotten very strained.

However, I really feel the man upstairs intervened for me at this time, because my workplace underwent some major changes and I felt as if I had to quit my job. After I got away from my workplace I had a clear head and realized what a mistake I had made. I decided I should try to treat my husband the same way I treated this man at work that I had feelings for.....

And a truly amazing thing happened. My husband and I got closer and closer, little by little. My husband has turned out to be the most amazing man in the world, and I made a vow to myself that I would make up for my past behavior and I would be the best wife anyone could ever be.

For the next several years, every time I would think things couldn't get any better, they would! I now have the most amazing marriage I could ever imagine. We are really best friends. And it has been 7 years since the huge mistake I made with the other man. I have had occasional pangs of guilt, but for some reason, now, after all these years, I have started feeling guilty about more and more often. I can't stop thinking about what I did. It seems to pop up at the worst times (when we are on vacation having fun, when I am ill and my husband is being wonderful taking care of me, etc)...I start to feel unworthy of his love and devotion.

A few years ago, I told my husband that I felt guilty about some things that had happened....that I hadn't slept with anyone else, but I still had been unfaithful. He just hugged me as I cried...he said that it was in the past, that we all make mistakes, and that I needed to not be so hard on myself. He said he didn't want details and that we needed to just focus on the here and now.

But all I can think about are the "details". I don't want to tell him everything that happened just to make myself feel better, but I do not know how to get over this guilt. I don't think he would leave me if he knew everything that happened, but I am afraid it would do serious damage to a beautiful relationship.
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  #2  
Old Apr 17, '12, 12:10 pm
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Bix Bix is offline
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Default Re: Need advice about confessing infidelity

I would suggest to speak with a priest and go to confession.

Telling your husband all this at this point and time is ... Forgive me, but it's selfish. You're having difficulty dealing with your own guilt and feel like sharing it will make it better. It may temporarily relieve your personal guilt, but not only will the guilt return, but you will also cause great emotional pain to an innocent person. You've already told him the truth once and he forgave you. Why cause him further personal hurt because of your guilt?

I would pray and ask God to ease your mind and enjoy the happy relationship and forgiving man you have been blessed with by God.
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  #3  
Old Apr 17, '12, 12:17 pm
Love333 Love333 is offline
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Default Re: Need advice about confessing infidelity

I honestly feel I'm being selfish as well. A part of me can't decide if it's pure selfishness, or if it's also me wanting him to have "the facts" so he can decide if he wants to be with me still.

He also admitted to doing things he wasn't proud of at this time during our marriage, but neither of us came forward with all the details, and honestly I don't want to know. I just want to enjoy my marriage and the wonderful person God has given me to spend my life with. I just wish I knew how to get rid of these thoughts when they come up.
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  #4  
Old Apr 17, '12, 12:18 pm
SherylPatton SherylPatton is offline
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Default Re: Need advice about confessing infidelity

I was in an almost identical situation to yours 20 years ago when my husband and I were first married. Only I was on the other side, and my husband committed adultery twice in a short period of time. My advice would be that you DO NOT tell your husband the details of what went on. It will serve no purpose, it might hurt him more, and I doubt it would relieve your conscience.

I assume if you are hanging out on these forums you are Catholic? Your profile doesn't say, but I'll assume you are. Have you been to confession about this? If not, go see a priest ASAP. If you have confessed it and have been absolved, then you ARE forgiven, no matter how guilty you feel. Our actions come with consequences, and one of the consequences of our sins is that we feel guilty. I still feel bad about something I have done in my past and I probably always will. The important thing is that you are forgiven, and don't let those feelings run the show.

Whenever you feel guilty, do something extra nice for your husband. Thank God that you have such a beautiful marriage. God gives us many gifts that we don't deserve because He loves us and his generosity is overflowing. Let it go the best you can.
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  #5  
Old Apr 17, '12, 12:56 pm
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Need advice about confessing infidelity

Confess it to your priest.

Do not bring it up ever again with your husband. Ever.
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ke's universal disclaimer: In my posts, when I post about marriage, canon law, or sacraments I am talking about Latin Rite only, not the Orthodox and Eastern Rites. These are exceptions that confuse the issue and I am not talking about those.
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  #6  
Old Apr 17, '12, 12:59 pm
Luna Lovecraft's Avatar
Luna Lovecraft Luna Lovecraft is offline
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Default Re: Need advice about confessing infidelity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love333 View Post
I honestly feel I'm being selfish as well. A part of me can't decide if it's pure selfishness, or if it's also me wanting him to have "the facts" so he can decide if he wants to be with me still.
If your marriage is strong now, why would you want to test your husband by telling him about mistakes you made 10 years ago? What good could come of it? Honestly, I think this desire to tell all is a little self-indulgent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love333 View Post
He also admitted to doing things he wasn't proud of at this time during our marriage, but neither of us came forward with all the details, and honestly I don't want to know. I just want to enjoy my marriage and the wonderful person God has given me to spend my life with. I just wish I knew how to get rid of these thoughts when they come up.
I doubt very many happily married people would care to know all the details of their spouse's shenanigans from a decade back. I know I wouldn't. And I doubt your husband does, either.

Go to confession and listen to what your priest says.

Luna
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  #7  
Old Apr 17, '12, 1:24 pm
hurtandhealing hurtandhealing is offline
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Default Re: Need advice about confessing infidelity

My husband had an affair and, from everything I have learned about recovery, I am a BIG proponent of confessing adultery to the spouse. You have done this already. The other thing I have learned is that, in all cases, the injured spouse gets to determine how much information he/she needs.

Think about it this way: you made the decision to go outside the marriage. Infidelity requires a lot of the injured spouse in terms of recovery-for something we didn't ask for and certainly would have done all in our power to keep from happening. Knowing the details is the only thing over which your husband has control. Don't take that from him. (And you can acknowledge this yourself in not wanting to know all the details of his past.)

It is always wonderful to hear stories of restored and improved marriages after infidelity. Take any details of the "guilt" you have to the confessional and leave it there until such a time as your husband asks for it. (And I say "guilt" because, of course, if you have already confessed it, you are no longer "guilty!")

Also, you could check out www.affairrecovery.com for further help for yourself in dealing with your feelings. God bless!
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  #8  
Old Apr 17, '12, 2:01 pm
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Tighty Whitey Tighty Whitey is offline
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Default Re: Need advice about confessing infidelity

I am really very happy for you and think that you've got many blessings in your life that you have appreciated. That being said, the remainder of this might not sound charitable.

You are being very defiant and arrogant in your unwavering stance that you should condem yourself for these mistakes. You are in essence failing to accept with sincerety and compassion the beautiful gift of forgiveness and grace that not only your husband has given you but that God through the death and suffering of his son, Jesus, has given you. I have seen, and from my own personal experience known, that this type of shame, the feeling that you are not worthy of forgiveness and God's love, is tough to overcome. But by carrying this shame and loathing with you, you are rejecting that love. So yes, go to confession and speak with a Priest, counseling might also be good to help you understand why you have these feelings of unworthiness.

Peace, g.
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But I say to you: Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. And pray for those who persecute and slander you.
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  #9  
Old Apr 17, '12, 2:29 pm
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cradlecatholic5 cradlecatholic5 is offline
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Default Re: Need advice about confessing infidelity

I suggest, like others, talk to your priest.

No need to bring this topic up to your husband ever again. You're very blessed to have a husband as forgiving and loving as you do.

From my experience, sounds like YOU haven't forgiven YOURSELF.

Prayers, hugs & peace to you
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  #10  
Old Apr 17, '12, 2:45 pm
Tsudeaux Gnymm's Avatar
Tsudeaux Gnymm Tsudeaux Gnymm is offline
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Default Re: Need advice about confessing infidelity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love333 View Post
A few years ago, I told my husband that I felt guilty about some things that had happened....that I hadn't slept with anyone else, but I still had been unfaithful. He just hugged me as I cried...he said that it was in the past, that we all make mistakes, and that I needed to not be so hard on myself. He said he didn't want details and that we needed to just focus on the here and now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Love333 View Post
He also admitted to doing things he wasn't proud of at this time during our marriage, but neither of us came forward with all the details, and honestly I don't want to know. I just want to enjoy my marriage and the wonderful person God has given me to spend my life with. I just wish I knew how to get rid of these thoughts when they come up.
It looks like the two of you are in agreement. You don't seem to be having any other marital problems, so don't bring it up with your husband at this time.

Quote:
But all I can think about are the "details". I don't want to tell him everything that happened just to make myself feel better, but I do not know how to get over this guilt. I don't think he would leave me if he knew everything that happened, but I am afraid it would do serious damage to a beautiful relationship.
You should talk to a priest or therapist to deal with your guilt. If he thinks you need to discuss this with your husband, do so only under direct guidance and in the priest's/therapist's presence.
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  #11  
Old Apr 17, '12, 3:18 pm
Love333 Love333 is offline
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Default Re: Need advice about confessing infidelity

I really appreciate your responses. I think the problem really lies within myself, and I do feel that telling him any more now would be selfish. I've always been the type of person to air everything out, not to keep any secrets...so I still don't even know how I was able to do something like this to begin with. It's just so unlike me. But it's done. I have to accept that and acknowledge that even though I have a selfish desire to unburden myself of all that happened, it wouldn't be what is best for my husband. I think I will look into getting counseling about this, because as someone mentioned, there is some reason why I am unable to forgive myself for this.
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  #12  
Old Apr 17, '12, 3:22 pm
Love333 Love333 is offline
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Default Re: Need advice about confessing infidelity

Quote:
Originally Posted by SherylPatton View Post
. God gives us many gifts that we don't deserve because He loves us and his generosity is overflowing. Let it go the best you can.
This brought tears to my eyes...thank you!
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  #13  
Old Apr 17, '12, 3:40 pm
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: Need advice about confessing infidelity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Love333 View Post
I really appreciate your responses. I think the problem really lies within myself, and I do feel that telling him any more now would be selfish. I've always been the type of person to air everything out, not to keep any secrets...so I still don't even know how I was able to do something like this to begin with. It's just so unlike me. But it's done. I have to accept that and acknowledge that even though I have a selfish desire to unburden myself of all that happened, it wouldn't be what is best for my husband. I think I will look into getting counseling about this, because as someone mentioned, there is some reason why I am unable to forgive myself for this.
There is such a thing as cruel honesty. When it would do the other person NO GOOD and might harm them, you should not be honest. To what end? To destroy your husband's peace of mind, his love for you, your marriage? Why would you want to do that?

Have you confessed this yet? If you have not, get to confession as soon as possible. You have carried this guilt long enough. If you have, you are forgiven already, and must work on letting go of that sin.
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  #14  
Old Apr 17, '12, 3:43 pm
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Bix Bix is offline
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Default Re: Need advice about confessing infidelity

Prayers for you!
__________________
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.
(Psalms 91:2)
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  #15  
Old Apr 17, '12, 3:57 pm
yogicat yogicat is offline
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Default Re: Need advice about confessing infidelity

Praying for you! Definitely confess it to your priest, but I wouldn't tell your husband the details at all.
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