Dear McKoy: I got married when I was 21 years old. My husband and I have two children a boy and a girl age 10 and 8. Last year, he cheated on me and I couldn’t deal with it so we broke up. During the breakup, I had unprotected sex with two different men. I realize what I did was reckless, but I was so confused and depressed. Fortunately, my husband and I chose to get back together. I really love my husband and I don’t want anyone else in my life. However, my problem is that it has been a year since I cheated, and I feel so guilty to the point that I am experiencing frequent anxiety and panic attacks. I have also done STD tests and have received negative results, at least I’m sure I don’t pass on anything to him. He isn’t aware that I have slept with other men because it would seriously jeopardize our marriage. I’m at a loss on what to do. I just want to live my life and be happy, especially now that my family is back together, but worry and guilt are preventing me from doing so. I’m curious if anyone else has experienced a similar situation. I feel like the worst person on the planet.
Dear Dana: First of all, anxiety can devastate a person’s life and make it difficult to recover from a crisis, therefore, it is vital that you receive therapy for clinical anxiety from a skilled therapist.
In my opinion, you were not cheating on him if you were separated. So if you chose to have sex with someone else it should not affect him, however, you must protect yourself. It’s good to know that you have been tested, and everything is fine. Don’t feel bad about sleeping with other people when you were separated; put this chapter behind you and move on. Unless you choose to inform him, he has no right to know what happened. It’s like having previous boyfriends before getting married.
I understand how guilty you feel, but you can help yourself by being the greatest wife you can be. Some of life’s most valuable lessons are taught to us through terrible events.