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i cheated on my husband and the guilt is not letting me live

Community Member

With my partner's and his family pressure, we came to Australia as a student 4 years ago. Being betrayed by some close people(his side) we were somehow managing our life. I used to work part time and go to Uni while my partner worked two jobs to support his family back home. We barely used to see each other. We were struggling but at the same time were excited to begin our new journey together. After few years i was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My partner supported me a lot during that time.

My partner lost his job 2 months before our wedding. Everything had been planned. So we burrowed money from our friends for the wedding thinking we would pay them back after he gets another job. Two months had passed after the wedding and still no job. My depression got extreme. There wasn't a single night when i didn't cry myself to sleep. I started thinking about other men. i started talking to a guy from my high school who was also going through depression. we shared everything. With him i felt heard. And then i cheated on my husband with him after 2 months of our wedding.

I had to tell my husband and he was devastated. We went several counselling but then i decided i didn't want to try anymore. I realised i had never been happy in this relationship. I was saying okay to things that i was not okay with. My husband is a nice guy. But i don't love him. I want to move on and i want him to move on too. I'm ready to start new but i feel like m stuck. We still live together for some personal reason but everything i do for him, it feels like m doing it out of guilt. The unanswered question, "what went wrong?" is not letting both of us to move on.

I started my therapy again and i was told that m suffering from persistent depressive disorder. Now i want to start a new life with this new guy. But i feel like m stuck. I have tried sharing my story to my close friends but i feel judged. I blame myself for everything.

6 Replies 6

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Patches89~

It is easy in some ways to see oneself as the bad guy, and to do, as you say, things out of guilt.

I've no answers, but I would simply like to offer some thoughts. There is no judgment here.

Many people get married, and for some it is a false start. In easy circumstances that false start can continue on for a long time, almost not realized, or only realized in a general sort of way, then kids may come along, and the pressures start.

In your case the pressures started from day one. You said there had been betrayal by family members, money was obviously short needing 3 jobs between you to support others, plus you doing uni too - which is a different world and can itself lead to paths diverging.

Then money becomes more of an issue, with the loss of a job, something that in itself can cause friction and even lack of understanding - plus the need to repay borrowings.

Then add depression to the mix and the presence of a person who suffers too and understands, someone you knew before and were maybe comfortable with as a result.

Al this is a pretty potent brew, and out of it has come your realization it was a false start. Your thoughts, as you say are:

"I was saying okay to things that i was not okay with. My husband is a nice guy. But i don't love him".

If you genuinely feel that way do you think it is the right basis for a long term equal partnership? How long before you start to resent acting from obligation or guilt, how long before you husband picks all this up?

Both you and your husband deserve that sort of long term equal relationship, though not necessarily together. If you simply had a fling brought on by old attraction and maybe misery, but did love you husband, that would be one thing, and probably something to learn from, however it does not sound like that.

If one were to leave your new freind to one side for the moment, would you want to continue your life with your husband permanently out of affection and happiness in his presence, offering the same in return?

Leaving that friend out helps you think more of your own feelings and capabilities, and also allows for the fact he may perhaps only be temporary. Two people with depression may not be the same if one or both improve a lot.

All I can do is hope you are granted the wisdom to sort all this out and make the best decision for all three of you.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Patches, thanks for coming to the forums.

To come to another country as a student with someone else always seems to be exciting, but to then get married under extreme conditions always put pressure on your relationship.

You become depressed and have to borrow money from friends which always put a great deal of pressure on the two of you, especially as your husband loses his job and the want to pay them back increases, so you distract yourself by having another relationship which turns into becoming intimate, it's not easy to recover from this, some people can't do it and some recover from it, however, in your marriage it hasn't.

What counselling has been able to do is for you to decide on what you want to do, and no don't blame yourself, as they say 'it takes two to tango', although I'm not encouraging anyone to have an affair.

Can I suggest that you keep your counselling going to try and overcome your depression before you make a final decision on being with this other person, there are a few issues you may have to sort out beforehand.

Please get back to us.


Community Member

Thanks Croix

I realised that i had become so much emotionally dependent on my husband. It is true that i only realised how unhappy i was in this marriage after i met my friend. But it didn't take me any longer to decide that i didn't want to be with my husband regardless of this new guy.

About this new guy, him and i both have started to get things together. I don't know how our life will turn out future but i feel that there is something to look forward to.

My biggest worry right now is my family, feeling of guilt, fear of being judged.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Patches89~

I'm glad you are able to sort out attraction for another from your basic needs, hard to do but you seem to have managed it and come to see yourself in a new light. You are a stronger and capable of more independence than you might have realized.

I'm sure this will stand you in good stead in any relationship you have in the future -you will be able to give more to it as an equal (I hope that makes sense).

No doubt you will feel guilty, not because you deserve to, but it is simply human nature to question one's actions and regret the results - even if unavoidable. Maybe when that happens you might like to think how things could have been 5 years down the track if you had stayed, when lack of things in common, the prospect of a university enhanced career and even resentment at being held back or being dependent all take hold. Would your husband have felt any better than you?

As for being judged, I suppose some will, however it is probably more a reflection on them than you. You would be familiar with " Before you judge a person, walk a mile in their shoes", it certainly applies here. Perhaps if you see those that criticize as being limited?

With your family, well, I've no idea, hopefully they love you.

Apart from the new guy is there anyone to give you undivided support? Going though all this alone is very hard. Please let us know how you get on.


Community Member

your not a lone in the situation I did the exact same stuff for a different reason I cheated on my partner twice and he still keeps me around he got so mad each time he found out he asked me why I did it I believe I did it because I wanted to be noticed and wanted to feel loved and I guess I'm not truly receiving that from my partner and because I have no family in this state I have no where to go and I feel kind of trapped. I feel like a dog that you get angry at for peeing on the rug but then your cuddling the dog 2 hours later but you still remember. the worst part is having to look at the person you feel bad for and watching the mistake sit on replay in front of you or every time you look at your partner you see your mistake that's the worst part.

I'm sorry I'm not going to give you helpful advice because not even I know what to do but I wanted to let you know your not alone but just know there are people out there that have done worse like me for example I cheated twice

Hi Chloe,

Thank you for sharing your story. I believe you're a strong woman who is courageous enough to share her story to make a stranger feel better. Just knowing that m not the only makes me feel so much better. When you said why you did it, now i feel more comfortable to talk about why I did it.

My husband and i were in a rough patch even before i cheated on him. I thought it was due to finances and my depression. My husband usually used to say to do anything that makes me happy. One day i told him that i wanted an open relationship. Yes..You guessed it right!! He said "if that makes u happy go for it". Without even think where is this coming from!? Without even asking what's going through my head. So imagine how emotionally unavailable he was. Now that i bring this up, he says he trusted me and didn't think i would actually do it. And it was my depression talking.

Regardless of what happen, he is the guy who i once truly loved. And its hard to see him suffering.

And i appreciate your encouragement but dont let yourself down by saying that you've done worse. The important thing is you owned up to your mistake and still carrying on with your life.