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'I feel so guilty over stupid one-night stand to get back at my boyfriend'



Dear Coleen

I’m a woman in my early 30s and have been with my boyfriend for three years.

We hit a rough patch a couple of years ago where he was openly flirting with other women and it got to me so much, I dumped him.

To cut a long story short, we got back together and I moved in with him. Things were fine and he really did make an effort to be a more thoughtful partner. Then I found out he’d been messaging an old girlfriend.

I hit the roof and slept with a guy I knew out of revenge.

It was just a one-night thing and I regretted it immediately. I never told my boyfriend and just hoped I’d move on from it.

The thing is, over the past year, ­lockdown has made us really close and now I’m feeling terrible guilt over the one-night stand.

He also asked me to marry him, which only makes it worse because I feel I’ve deceived him.

Although he was a big flirt and did chat to his ex, I genuinely don’t think he slept with anyone, so what I’ve done is much worse.

I’d love your opinion – should I tell him or just let sleeping dogs lie?

Coleen says

This is a tough one, but I suppose you should think about why you’re telling him. Is it just a way of offloading your guilt and leaving him with the problem?

I’m from the “honesty is the best policy” school of thought, but I can see that in certain situations ignorance is bliss.

If this one-night stand had been recent, I would definitely suggest being honest about it and advising against marriage until you’d worked through all your issues.

However, it was a while ago and a knee-jerk reaction to his behaviour and at a rocky time in your relationship.

But if you don’t tell him, you have to stick with that decision – don’t get married and then tell him – and accept that guilt might be part of the deal.

If you want to tell him so you can wipe the slate clean and make a fresh start, then you have to be prepared that he might not want to stick around.

Or, he will move past it but you’ll be starting another chapter of your lives together with a lack of trust, so counselling may help in this situation.

This decision has got to be down to you, but you’ve recognised it was a big mistake and you’ve learnt from it.





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