I'm a 22-year-old mother who's engaged to a future U.S. Marine. We plan to marry when he returns from basic training.
But now that his three-months’ leave is coming closer, I keep remembering this past New Year’s Eve.
I cheated on my fiancé with a friend of mine whom I've had a crush on since I was 14.
I know I seem horrible since I’m the one who made all the moves. But after all the liquor wore off, guilt took its place.
Now I have to make myself forget.
Or my anxiety and guilt take over and I can't stand being in the same room with my fiancé, without wanting to confess and beg for forgiveness.
I love him with all my heart and he doesn't deserve this pain, since this is the greatest relationship I've ever had.
I already block the other guy every way possible, but now I'm left with the decision to tell my fiancé and break his heart and trust in me.
Or, should I just remain quiet and wait it out before I tell him? I do plan on telling him but I just don't know when’s the best time.
And I'm too scared he’ll leave me. I deserve it, but…
There aren’t any delays or excuses that’ll make this easier… only, hopefully, the truth can.
You also can’t just stay silent, because this will come back to bite you. Somehow, somewhere, your cheating will come to light.
Even if he detects it by your own uncomfortable behaviour when you’re around him, which will upset and distance him.
Tell him in person, not online or on the phone. Say what happened - your loneliness while he’s been away, especially on New Year’s Eve, excess alcohol, a familiar friend.
Don’t mention the old crush or he’ll think you still have feelings. If you do, end the engagement!
Which leads to the deeper issue here. You’re a very young mother in a relationship that involves long-distance and being alone a lot.
And you already know that you can lose your self-control.
Are you ready for this marriage? Or are you just looking for a safe haven?
Here’s what I advise: When you’ve told your fiancé the story, suggest that for both your sakes, you take a six-month break.
Say that it’s to prove to him that you’ll never cheat again, or lose your sense of commitment to a future with him by getting drunk.
You need this, for your own inner strength and character.
My wife and I have a daughter, age 10.
We get along quite well as a family.
However, sometimes my wife and I have opposite opinions when a decision must be made.
Can you assist us? We’re at a deadlock when making a final decision.
You both need a whole new way of looking at decisions.
It seems neither of you is comfortable with compromise – i.e. giving up a little control and finding a solution that you can both accept, even if it’s not the “perfect” decision in your mind.
Repeated deadlock erodes relationships. It’s also a crummy example for your child who needs to know that she, too, can’t always get her own way among friends or family.
You’d both benefit from marital counselling – not because one of you is “wrong” but because you’re repeatedly engaged in a silent power struggle.
Good counselling will teach you ways to find some common ground when making decisions.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who’s married to a hoarder (May 15):
Reader – “Our expertise is working with hoarding, and training the health care industry, police, fire personnel and families on how to communicate with hoarders.
“Working with the family to understand how to approach the situation in a slow and methodical way, works best.
“The hoarder has to acknowledge that hoarding's a problem.... most of our clients don’t call themselves hoarders and don’t identify with a hoarder.
“Hoarding affects at least 6% of the population and isn’t a condition that’s easily understood.
Ellie – Thank you. I always appreciate hearing from specialists, particularly on sensitive issues which some readers face.
But since this column appears in different locales, I cannot recommend a specific counsellor.
I’ve had personal experience with an elderly hoarder living alone, wherein some suggestions in the column also worked, though the circumstances were different.
Tip of the day:
Cheating rarely remains a secret. Confess, apologize, and examine what it says, both about your relationship and you.