I had a high school crush who turned into a high school boyfriend and stayed with me into my college years. We were together for six years, but sadly, I wasn’t a good girlfriend for all of them. One summer, after he’d gone away to his military college for a few weeks, I had a one-night stand with a guy I worked with, and I’ve regretted it ever since. Here’s what I went through after that night:
At first, I was in denial. The morning after I slept with someone else, I didn’t feel any guilt. I had been drinking the night the affair happened and was more concerned with curing the hangover than understanding the situation and the gravity of what I’d done.
Then came the unbearable guilt. That day at work, I was fine, I was flirting with the guy I slept with and wasn’t regretting anything… until I had a moment alone. All of sudden, the guilt rushed over me and everything went white. I cheated on my boyfriend — the only person I had ever slept with, the person who loved me. How could I do that?
I was over-the-top nice to him. That night, I called my aunt and confessed everything. I was a complete wreck. She told me that it was OK and a one-time mistake and that I just needed to better myself and appreciate him and love him better, so I began doing all of these over-the-top gestures for him to try to secretly reconcile for my infidelity.
I tried to avoid confronting what I did. I moved back to college and threw myself into school work He was busy with school, and I MADE myself busy to try to not remind myself of what I did.
I avoided my boyfriend constantly. He would call and I would put it to voicemail; he would want to come up for the weekend and I made up excuses. I couldn’t look at him. I felt as if the truth would be all over my face. The Catholic guilt was wearing on me more than I could take.
I almost got caught, so I lied more. When he finally did come up for a weekend, I got a text from the guy I cheated with saying his college was playing mine this upcoming weekend and he was hoping I would go to the game. My boyfriend saw it, fipped out, and started asking a million questions. I lied, saying it was a group message to all of us who worked together. He said he believed me but I was on high alert to make sure nothing like that would happen again.
I told my parents what I did. I know. It may seem insane, but I needed to tell them. They gave me the advice to try to move past it, and comforted me by saying that I was in college and mistakes happen. It got so bad that I would text my mother daily for a pep talk, which eventually started to wear her down.
I went to counseling. After feeling terrible about exhausting my parents with my burden, I decided to seek help from my college’s counseling center. What a mistake that was. I was hoping for a person to talk to without judgement, but she was a hardcore Christian and only made my anxiety worse. After two sessions, I stopped going.
I pushed my boyfriend away more. He could sense something was up and kept trying to bring us closer. I kept pushing him further and further away. I was hoping that if I pushed him away, he would end it and that I would hopefully not feel like such a bad person.
I tried to break up with him. The night I tried to break up with him was awful. He got so upset and told me he was planning on proposing after graduation. He begged and pleaded and I gave in. I couldn’t bear to tell him what had happened.
I tried to convince myself that I’m young and mistakes happen. It was the only comfort I could find. I was in college, it happened once, and I felt awful. The personal pep talk would work for a bit but eventually faded
I had a mental breakdown at Christmas. During my family Christmas party, I looked over and saw him drinking beers with my family, laughing, having a great time, and totally oblivious to how terrible I was. I pulled my mom into the bathroom and cried for two hours.
We eventually broke up. After a few more weeks, the breakup was inevitable. It wasn’t just about me. He deserved someone who would respect him and remain loyal. He took it hard and I did, too. He was my first love and letting him go was an ending of an era in my life.
I never told him that I cheated. I felt that it would only relieve my guilt and hurt him more. He is now with a beautiful girl and they seem very happy (according to Facebook). Even though ending it with him was hard and he was a great guy, I knew it was the right thing to do, I didn’t love him anymore and it was time for both of us to move on.
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