Entertainment Dating
Entertainment Entertainment Dating

Advice: I cheated a year ago. Should I come clean now?

I cheated on my boyfriend a year ago. We broke up for other reasons, but I still feel a lingering sense of guilt about what I did. Should I tell him about it or let it go? We talk and stuff, but I wouldn’t say we’re friends now exactly.--Too Little Too Late

Unless it’s to inform him about a strangely belated case of the clap, don’t tell him. A confession this late in the game is pointless; it’s just going to reopen an old wound that doesn’t need to be opened. Doing so would make you feel better, but him feel worse. It’s not up to your ex-boyfriend to absolve you from your crappy behavior. It’s up to you. You have to learn from it. And that requires taking a good long look at your past choices and determining not to repeat the ones that make you feel like shit. Now you know cheating is one of those things for you. Yay, learning things the hard way!

Seriously, what’s done is done. You can beat yourself up for it endlessly or you can choose to let the experience inform your life going forward and conduct yourself with as much honesty and integrity as possible. That’s a lesson I learned the hard way too. In fact, I’m still learning it. In some instances, forgiving ourselves is far more difficult than forgiving other people. Other people fall away but we are stuck with ourselves and our choices until we’re cold in the ground. So settle in, it’s gonna be a long ride.

We all have done things we regret--we’ve been mean and hurtful to those we love, we’ve betrayed people’s trust, we’ve lied, been jealous and inconsiderate--but those instances don’t have to define us. It’s perfectly reasonable to reflect on the ways we’ve behaved poorly, but it’s not OK to live in that regret. Doing so only serves to fuel the fires of our self-loathing.

If you need to atone for your indiscretion, then do it, but do it privately. Write a letter to him but don’t send it. Be super-extra nice to everyone you meet. Volunteer. Serving others who are less fortunate than me has never failed to put my Inflated White Girl Problems into perspective. If you’re the kind of person who believes in karma, then put that karmic shift back into the plus side. If you’re the kind of person who thinks that’s all a bunch of witchy crap, then practice acceptance in whatever way resonates with you. The important part is to be the kind of person you want to become. Live with intention. Recognize that all of your actions have consequences, and behave accordingly.

Good luck.

Want to ask Anna an anonymous question about love, sex or dating? Email your quandary to redeyedating@gmail.com.  Need to give your dating life a boost? Sign up for RedEye Dating.

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Lolla day 2: Best and worst, plus superlatives

    Lolla day 2: Best and worst, plus superlatives

    And just like that, there’s only one day left of Lolla. Here’s what stood out to us from day 2. Best: The Tallest Man on Earth: Maybe it was just a right-mood, right-set situation, but boy this was the perfect mid-day act to take a breather, sit in the sun, and just chill and listen to and enjoy....

  • 50 Cent at Parliament and Wyclef Jean at The Underground

    50 Cent at Parliament and Wyclef Jean at The Underground

    Shots in The Dark at Parliament Nightclub with 50 Cent and The Underground Nightclub with Wyclef Jean and Joey Fatone July 31st

  • Lolla day 1: Best and worst, plus superlatives

    Lolla day 1: Best and worst, plus superlatives

    One day down! Here’s the best and worst we saw at Lolla on Friday, plus a few superlatives from day 1. Best: Anyone who knows me knows I was bound to pick Paul McCartney as my favorite act of the day. The Beatle came out and gave it his all with more than two hours of hits, tributes and jokes about...

  • Lolla day 1: Let's just rename it Paul-apalooza

    Lolla day 1: Let's just rename it Paul-apalooza

    What can you really say about Sir Paul McCartney, the former Beatle, pop music pioneer, worldwide cultural icon, and all-around great guy, that hasn't already been said? I mean, seriously. With the Beatles changing music for the better, becoming a pop culture institution and being "more popular...

  • Aldermen looking to stop stores from getting around plastic bag ban

    Aldermen looking to stop stores from getting around plastic bag ban

    Chicago's ban on plastic bags starts to take effect at many big stores Saturday, but an alderman who helped craft the law already is talking about changing it in order to thwart a few large retail chains that he says are trying to skirt the new rules.

  • State police: Man shot while riding in van on Eisenhower

    State police: Man shot while riding in van on Eisenhower

    A man was shot multiple times while traveling in a minivan on the inbound Eisenhower Expressway on Friday morning, authorities said.

Comments
Loading
81°